JP3’s Top Ten Best VNs of 2017
End of the Year Lists

JP3’s Top Ten Best VNs of 2017

7) Tomboys Need Love Too! (Zetsubou Games)

You’re not going to have to go very far to see how I feel about the lighter side of fiction. In fact, the Happy Fun Train is about to stop soon. But after some serious missed opportunities, the one called Zetsubou manages to hit one out of the park with Tomboys Need Love Too: a game that plays about as straight as you can with the ‘childhood friend’ dynamic and still manages to come out heads-and-shoulders above its contemporaries.

How? By boasting some of the most natural dialogue I’ve ever read in VNs. Chris and Kai are the heart and soul of this one with well over 80% of the game reliant on their banter and they carry it fantastically well. As their banter evolves and becomes more intimate, it does the near impossible and has you and I rooting for them. No, not for the archetypes they’re supposed to represent. No, not for a relationship built specifically for the audience to insert themselves into and live vicariously through. You are rooting for Chris and Kai. You want them to fall in love with each other. Hell, I wanted them to fall in love with each other.

That…is something else.

That type of investment isn’t a fluke. It’s the result of good, patient writing, properly build up and strong characters. Tomboys Need Love Too may be the best romantic visual novel I’ve played: the one that actually pulled of something others only dream to – a strong romance between the character themselves. I cannot recommend it enough.

Written by JP3 - December 31, 2017

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  • P January 2, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Almost half of those aren’t even VN… Story rich isn’t doesn’t always mean VN you know. Some of this are way closer to a point & click or just and adventure game than a VN. Though there’s still debate over what a VN really is, I don’t think A Mortician’s Tale, Herald, Detention and Old Man’s Journey are even close to being visual novels. Maybe they’re great games, but not of the VN kind.

    • VNsNowGuy January 17, 2018 at 2:26 am

      Hello! While I understand your point-of-view, I clearly disagree with it. If your argument is simply that there is more gameplay involved with those titles in particular than just a static image and narrative, I would remind you that the following games are marketed and accepted as visual novels that feature similar gameplay elements:

      – Danganronpa
      – 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors
      – Hotel Dusk: Room 215
      – The Silver Case
      – Symphonic Rain
      – Policenauts
      – Sakura Wars

      Now, outside of that, all I can tell you is that on this site, we have seen both Japanese and English creators evolve the formula. You may not see them as VNs and that is fair enough. However, none of them are without precedent and, if anything, should be commended for not sticking to a strict formula and giving us something still in the visual novel medium, but also uniquely their own thing.