With its capability, the current next-gen console, PlayStation 4 is able to host and present a lot of great games in any genre, with one of the genre is visual novel. Although visual novel games seems simple the main attraction actually lies in the story and how the plot develops. And among many of its games, let me introduce you to the top 7 PlayStation 4 visual novel games that you need to know.
7. Root Letter
Root Letter is a visual novel adventure game developed and published by Kadokawa Games in 2016 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, Android, and iOS. It is the first entry in Kadokawa Game Mystery brand and a prequel of the upcoming Root Letter 2. Root Letter: Last Answer, a revamp of the game with additional contents and live-action sequences is due to be released on 2019.
The story is set in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture where the protagonist arrives in search of Fumino Aya, a pen pal friend from high school who had disappeared for 15 years. Afer he finds a letter dedicated to him from her that was never sent, he sets out to interrogate her classmates as he wonders if everything Aya had told him had been a lie.
6. 428: Shibuya Scramble
428: Shibuya Scramble is a visual novel adventure game produced by Koichi Nakamura with Jiro Ishii serving as executive producer, developed by Nakamura’s company Chunsoft. The game was initially published by Sega in 2008 for the Wii and later was ported by Spike to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable in 2009. The Android and iOS version was released in 2011 while the PlayStation 4 and PC version was released in 2018.
The story is set in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo where the narrative is presented using a combination of scrolling text, live action stills and video sequences. The game shares many story and gameplay elements with Chunsoft’s 1998 sound novel game Machi, the most prominent being the locale, Shibuya. Although Chunsoft does not openly state 428 is a sequel, the game contains numerous references to Machi.
5. VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
VA-11 HALL-A is an indie bartender simulation game with visual novel elements as well as cyberpunk, PC-98, and anime-inspired visuals. This game was developed by Venezuelan studio named Sukeban Games and published by Ysbryd Games for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux in 2016. Recently in May 2019, Sukeban Games released the game for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
The game puts the player in a role of a bartender at the eponymous VA-11 HALL-A, a small bar in a dystopian downtown which is said to attract the “most fascinating” of people. The gameplay consists of players making and serving drinks to bar attendees whilst listening to the stories and experiences of these said characters. There a no dialogue options, so drinks being the sole way to influence the story.
4. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games is a bundled version released in 2017 containing the first two games: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward. The two games are developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Aksys Games. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors was released in 2009 for DS while Virtue’s Last Reward was released in 2012 for 3DS and PlayStation Vita.
Each game in the series follows a group of nine individuals who are kidnapped and held captive by a person who goes by the name “Zero”, and are forced to play a game of life and death in order to escape. The gameplay is divided into two type: Novel sections, where the game stories are presented, and Escape sections where player solves puzzles in escape-the-room scenarios.
3. Steins;Gate Elite
Steins;Gate Elite is a science fiction visual novel and interactive movie game as a part of the Science Adventure series. The game was developed by 5pb and released in 2018 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch and PC. It is an updated, fully animated version of the 2009 game Steins;Gate, using footage from the anime adaptation of the original game along with newly produced animation.
The story revolves around the life of a self-proclaimed mad scientist called Rintaro Okabe. He is the founder of Future Gadget Laboratory in Akihabara, where he spends most of his time. What is unique about this game is the use of time travel theme, where we usually found in movies. This game shows good character development of the protagonists, along with the unexpected plot twists.
2. Steins;Gate 0
Steins;Gate 0 is a visual novel game developed and published by 5pb. It is part of the Science Adventure series and a sequel to 2009 game Steins;Gate. The game was released initially in 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows in 2016, Xbox One in 2017, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.
The story is seen from several characters’ viewpoints, mainly the university student Rintaro Okabe, the time traveller Suzuha Amane, and the neuroscientist Maho Hiyajo. After meeting Maho and her co-worker Alexis Leskinen, Okabe becomes a tester for the artificial intelligence system Amadeus. The player reads the text and dialogue that comprise the story and affects the direction of the plot by choosing whether to answer phone calls from Amadeus.
1. Danganronpa Trilogy
Danganronpa is a multiplatform visual novel franchise developed by Spike Chunsoft firstly in 2010. The series contains three main titles: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. In 2019 there is the re-released version entitled Danganronpa Trilogy for PlayStation 4 which include all three base games with the post-game dating bonus modes.
If you have played Persona series games before, you might find similarities in both games. The theme, the characters, and the dark-styled atmosphere feel similar with the touch of Phoenix Wright games’ element. Fifteen students who are trapped in a high school building were told by a malicious-looking teddy bear that the only way to escape is to: kill one of your classmates or avoid getting caught.
Read also: 7 Antimainstream Mystery Visual Novel Games
With the latest technology it has, thankfully PlayStation 4 still has the chance to present us with the ported poular visual novel games. Since it is ported to PlayStation 4, for sure it is because of the quality of the game. As always, Danganronpa Trilogy will be the first to be mentioned while talking about best visual novels, but personally I put my liking into Zero Escape: The Nonary Games as a fan.
Which one is your favorite PlayStation 4 visual novel game? Have you tried playing some of them in other console before? Please share your thoughts below.