Review: Go! Go! Nippon! My first trip to Japan

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For those unaware, Go! Go! Nippon is a visual novel about a guy who takes a trip to Japan for the first time.

The game is about $15 over at J-List, so I obviously had to check it out, since I was wondering how good it could really be.

The most basic plot is one guy who has a name you get to choose who goes over to Japan to spend some time with a couple online friends. Unlike most online friends, these two were real people who were honest about their names and didn’t stab him to death in his sleep and sell his organs for rent money. No, they were good people in fact, who showed him around various spots in Japan and… Well, that’s about it really.

To say the game is short is an understatement, Darmstadtium has a longer half life than the game lasts or so it feels. Monster Girl Quest requires dedication and a degree of masochism that I lack to go through the game in a reasonable amount of time, while Go! Go! Nippon! can be played through in less than an hour with little difficulty, and it isn’t a bad thing.

The actual plot of the game is simple, you are at the house in Japan and you have a few days to visit places, and six spots you can choose to go see. Naturally, one playthrough can’t cover them all, so a second run is required to check it all out. Endings for the two girls you meet are unlocked by seeing spots with them as opposed to the other girl. Two spots with one girl will unlock her route, and it isn’t really stated who will show you which places, which is sort of nice, since you will most likely unlock one just by playing, and the other by visiting the other places on the next playthrough. It really is that easy.

The game includes some ‘romantic’ dating sim cliches, like accidentally walking into the bathroom on someone. I found those inclusions to be a bit cliche, and to not really add anything to the story or to the purpose of the game.

The main part of the game seems to be showing you some neat places in japan, and I think including another place or two to see instead of a bathroom scene would have been more worth it. The game concentrates on the going to japan aspect of it’s plot, and including such cliches is effort that would have been better spent showing more interesting places or more interesting things about Japan.

For $15 though, the game is a fun little game that is basically saying to you “Look at all these fun places and interesting little facts! You should come here and see them for real!”

And for $15, having a game that has the intention of getting me interested in Japan isn’t a big deal, but I think it would have benefited better without the cliches from dating sims. other than that though, it’s a decent enough game at a good price.

However, if you can’t afford to go to Japan and want to see more of it in pictures, you’d be better off going to various websites and photo galleries, which cover far more stuff and tend to be free. I personally suggest Culture Japan as a good site.

Score: 3/5 not that bad

Pros: shows some cool places in Japan and some interesting factoids about Japan. Visual novel made in Japan specifically for export to other countries.

Cons: very limited in what it shows. Very short overall. Cliched story additions. I can get more true facts, more interesting photos, and see more interesting places for free thanks to Danny Choo. Not a lot to say about the game.

Final verdict: If you have $15 laying around and want to buy a game that shows you a few places in Japan because you’re interested in going, I would suggest reading through Danny Choos’ website. If you want a fairly short introduction to see how interested you are, then I suggest you may as well get the game.

J-List sells Go! Go! Nippon! here.

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