1. Jisei Murder Mystery Series (Sakevisual)
It’s a detective story with a supernatural detective. And Li Mei. We cannot forget about Li Mei.
The Jisei Murder Mystery series is the GOAT of the English Visual Novel market. At the time it was a high-quality original production featuring great art and some of the best voice acting talent just before hitting it big in the West. Seriously try getting Micah Solusod, Apphia Yu, Kira Buckland, Cherami Leigh, Chris Niosi and R. Bruce Elliot together now without dropping some serious coin…and I could’ve kept going with the list. The level of voice talent in this series is mind-boggling, but I had to stop at some point. Today you could sell the game on name recognition alone, however the series has held out for me more than its Otome counterparts in the Sakevisual library because it is a mystery game that we don’t see much anymore.
As much as I like Ace Attorney and Danganronpa, their influence has turned the genre into more of a spectacle: with courtroom drama and over-the-top antics often overshadowing what makes them work at their core. Good mysteries are tied to solid character building; with the player exploring the characters and getting to know them better to solve the deeper mystery. The Jisei series has several different levels of mystery: not only including the case they are on, but the deeper mystery of each of Kangai’s new friends as well as himself. Tie this in with trying to learn more about the suspects in each case and you have a game that can keep you still for hours as you go through it.
Three games deep and this is a series where the best is still yet to come. Of all of the games on this list, this one can really shine on the Switch: especially considering who is all involved. I’m not going to pretend I know everything involved, but I would bum-rush this to the Switch by any means necessary if I could.