The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Go! Go! Nippon! First impressions

“Go! Go! Nippon!” is a curious hyrbid between a visual novel and a stripped-down version of the Lonely Planet Guides. The basic premise is simple: you are a male North American who takes a week-long visit in Japan, experiencing the best sights that Japan has to offer. Consider this: if you’ve visited my website, over half the games involve picking up a gun and getting headshots. So…how does your average FPS gamer fare in a game that’s more about reading? Would they even consider this a game? Genre-savvy individuals will soon realise that the two tour guides were conveniently rigged for a particular type of story in mind…

  • The information about the SUICA card was cool, but not unheard of. I’ve used the Octopus card system in Hong Kong. In North America, we use old school fare payment methods, although my town is getting an upgrade with a debit-based fare payment system.

  • The green notes underneath are cool facts about a particular location.

  • A player also gets some quick insight into the meaning behind particular words that are unique and probably not offered in a formal language course.

  • I find that the best way to understand a nation’s culture is to enjoy their cuisine.

I’ve completed all of the ‘missions’ up until the fourth day, and insofar, it is quite akin to reading a glorified book on the iPad, complete with translations of Japanese, explainations of some cultural and historical elements and a neat little feature (“Show Photo) that links me to Google Maps. The game itself is executed exactly like a traditional visual novel and is very simple; this allows it to present facts about Japan in a clean manner. While I would recommend going to the local bookstore and picking up a copy of Lonely Planet’s Japan if you are interested in visiting Japan, this game nonetheless merits a look for its concise presentation of some highlights about Japan. Also, you will get a kick out of the over-the-top dialogue; your character is quite enthusiastic about Japan.

  • So there you’ll be, reading through dialogue and clicking mouse left to get to the part where you choose your destination. You advance the slide once…ZOMGWTF?!

  • I thought this was a game about visiting the historical and cultural aspects of Japan? While you don’t trigger a BAD END when this happens, you cannot unsee.

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