Ai Yori Aoshi is sort of scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Most of you probably know that I (Stuart) primarily collect adventure games, but I also like interactive movies. Ai Yori Aoshi takes it a step further as it’s a “visual novel”, which is sort of like a choose your own adventure book on the computer with pictures, except that the choices are few and far in between, and most of the experience is reading masses of text. Not much of a game. These things are really big in Japan. The newer titles have speech as well as text, but when they get localized for the US market, they typically translate the text but don’t bother to translate the speech. Good if you want to learn Japanese, not so good if you don’t.
This particular visual novel is a PC title based on a Playstation title based on an anime series based on a manga series. It’s about a boy and girl who are part of an arranged marriage, but tell their parents to leave them alone, but eventually end up together anyway, but their romantic designs are somewhat frustrated by having tons of other girls hanging around. A lot of these visual novels are love stories of one kind or another. Some stray into erotica but this one appears to keep it clean.
I bought this to try it out…I’m not sure if I will be buying others, as the experience is more like watching a bad soap opera than playing a game. What’s worse, the choices are so rare and you keep clicking past all of the text, that you’ll likely come to a choice without realizing it and just pick something randomly.