Go! Go! Nippon! 2015

Written by Ryechu

Originally released in 2011, Go! Go! Nippon has an interesting history.  Produced by OVERDRIVE (Kira Kira, Cho Dengeki Stryker, Deardrops) for a Western audience, GGN was created “exclusively for overseas VN readers, [and] features a Japanese-to-English dual language option,” and was released in both western and eastern markets by Mangagamer.  The original title was stellar, and very successful from what I’ve read.  I was also on that hype train, and I purchased a hardcopy of the game a while back.  Then, less than a week later, Go! Go! Nippon 2015 was announced.  And even though I was a little salty that I no longer had the latest version of the game, I was still very eager to play it.

I have played both versions of GGN through now, and while this review will mostly be about the 2015 remake, there are a few key things from the original that are missing.  Overall though, for those who are interested in a virtual tour of Japan where you can literally follow the characters with an interactive Google Map, this game is perfect.  And if you’re looking for a story with some simple romance and a lot of fun, this title is for you too.

You are a nameable protagonist.  After speaking with some friends online, you decide that you are going to visit them for a week in Japan, get to see the sights, try some of the local cuisine, and generally have a good time.  What you don’t realize is that Makoto and Akira are androgynous names, and it turns out that the two individuals you were speaking with are actually two very cute sisters.  Cue obvious discomfort.  Then, when you arrive at their home, you discover that their parents are away on business, and you are all alone with them.  While at this point GGN could have easily turned into a standard nukige, it remained classy.  During your stay in Japan, you get to choose three locales to visit, and you visit each locale with one of the girls.  In the 2015 version, there are a few locales where you go with both girls, but eventually choose one to hang out with one of them further.

Damn right it is.

Damn right it is.

Which route you end up on is determined by who you go out with more.  Akira is the more active type, an excellent chef, but has a pretty fiery attitude.  Maybe it’s because she’s shy, maybe it’s because she thinks you’re a pervert (well, you sort of are), or maybe it’s just because she wants you to have a good time.  Makoto, on the other hand, is a bit more refined, and loves the smaller things in life.  Both of them are incredibly cute though, and very knowledgeable about the various locales you visit.  There is a good amount of infodumping in this title, but since the game is literally a virtual tour of Japan, that’s to be expected, and I actually enjoyed reading about the history of various landmarks in Tokyo and its surrounding areas.

And when I say it’s a virtual tour, I’m not joking about that.  You are able to follow every step you take with the sisters, and it’s literally like you’re there with them.  It’s a really neat touch that I would not have thought of doing.  In the upper-left corner of the screen the game tells you where you currently are, and if you click on “Show Photo,” you get something like this:

The absolute best use of two monitors ever.  EVER.

The absolute best use of two monitors ever. EVER.

The 2015 remake has had a large number of additions, including the E-Mote system.  A handful of newer titles are starting to use this system – the characters gain a little bit of movement when their sprites transition, rather than just static images. It gives the game just a touch more realism, and it’s a great use of the technology.  Additionally, all of the CGs were updated, and they looks crisp and clean, as expected of OVERDRIVE.  The music wasn’t updated, from what I can tell; it’s probably the only part of the game that isn’t memorable.

But what the 2015 remake did change was a lot of the content we were familiar with.  Lots of minor changes were made to the original scripts, many of the “between the day” scripts are vastly different (while others remained mostly intact, or with more options), and the endings are completely different.  Gone are the after-credits scenes, instead replaced with just an ending followed by the credits.  I feel a little cheated by the fact that the ending is the actual ending, and there isn’t a sappy little extra scene just to tie everything up.  I don’t know, it feels like I’m missing a little bit of closure, but if I get to the point where I need it, I can just go back and play the original title and get that little bonus scene, and all is well with the world again.

What I did find really great was the quality of editing that went into this piece.  It’s very rare for me to be able to say that I read through a piece and did not find enough errors to run out of fingers and toes trying to count them, but in my playthrough of this title I found less than a hand’s worth.  Kaitsu is now a goddess in my book, and between her and the betatesters’ editing (I was not involved with this project, for the record), I feel this was a great success.

My goldfish will be infinitely better than your goldfish.

My goldfish will be infinitely better than your goldfish.

There is one very massive downfall to this title: you are either going to love it from the get-go, or you are going to hate it from the get-go.  If you’re not interested in a virtual tour of Japan, this is not the VN for you.  On the other hand, if you are interested in a little bit of Japanese history and want to see some of the sights, or maybe get a few ideas about where you could go when you finally get to visit the country yourself, definitely pick up this title.  You can pick up both titles for under $15, and honestly, that’s a steal.

Pick up the bundle from Mangagamer here!

Already own the original Go! Go! Nippon!?  Pick up just the 2015 DLC here!

Our Score:
  • Ryechu's Score

Summary

Pros:

+ Take a virtual tour of Japan!

+ Fantastic script, with well-placed infodumps

+ Beautiful characters, especially with the E-Mote system

Cons:

- Not for everybody

- Music is average

- Endings lack a bit of closure - needed an extra scene to tie it up

4

About the author

Ryechu

Hiya! I'm a pervert. I like perverted things, and I sometimes write about perverted things (or, in some cases, I just write them in general). I also really like Pokemon. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JRyechuR!

Disclaimer: I work for Mangagamer, Sekai Project, JAST, Frontwing, and Tsukiware. None of my opinions reflect those of any of my employers, and are entirely my own!

7 Comments

  • It’s well and good that you usually review nukige, because if I saw someone giving a 7 out of 10 to Clannad and a 4 to Little Busters, and a 8.5 to GGN, I would disembowel myself on the spot.

    • Different VNs with different goals. Best not to compare something like this to a Clannad or Little Busters! Compare within genre for a better idea of how the score works. That is what we generally do when assigning scores. That said, I still stand by my scores and reviews for LB and Clannad.

    • Don’t worry, my review of Clannad will be just as honest as the rest of my reviews. Games that do their jobs and do their jobs well get higher scores. Games that don’t and fail at their jobs get lower scores.

      I don’t understand why this is a difficult concept, honestly…

      • Well not to hate or anything, but the problem is you use a common 10-scale when actually putting apples next to oranges. I think it’s more intuitive to judge a VN overall as a VN itself and a videogame, rather than within its specific genre. You know, I might be a genius in Math but if I fail miserably in History then I’ll have a hard time getting by.

        It’s just an opinion you should use or lose for the future. I know it’s dumber to redo your ratings only because a visitor differs. But hey, some people might see a low score on a famous VN and maybe be led to think that it’s all bombast and hype, when in truth it’s a game they might enjoy. This is just an example, I’m not talking of any title in particular.

        • I didn’t realize that I was required to use a different scoring scale for nukige. How do you propose I go about doing something like that while still utilizing the x/10 scale? Let me help you with that, you can’t.

          If you don’t have enough brain cells to realize that a nukige could not be properly compared to something like F/SN or Muv-Luv or, since you seem so keen on whining about them, a Key title (I’ll have you know I gave planetarian a 9, and it’s the only Key title I’ve played), well…

          We’re not going to change our rating system, nor should we. As with any review site, it is generally assumed that a certain amount of polarization is going to occur with reviews. If you look at VNDB, people give games all sorts of ratings. However, when an average is finally shaken out of those ratings, that is generally the accepted rating for that game.

          For Clannad’s polarization, it is generally accepted on VNDB that something around an 8.82 (+1.18, -1.82) is acceptable. 7 is within the polarization. However, are the reviews outside that generally accepted polarization still plausible? They may be considered outliers to some extent, but there they sit, and there they remain.

          For Little Buster’s polarization, we get a similar scenario (8.70 +1.30, -1.70 – though -2.70 could be argued) with outliers that still magically exist. 4 is indeed outside of that polarization range, but the rating was justified in that review.

          And if you have a problem with all of that, I will point out that you saw the 4, clicked the review, probably didn’t read it (and therefore didn’t read the justification of such a score), and immediately disregarded everything else.

          Also, you are aware that I did not write the reviews for Clannad and LB, right? You are aware that two people may have differing opinions on a piece, right? We are on the same page in regard to this, right? God I certainly hope so.

          • VNDB is more democratic in the sense that there’s a lot of people voting, and even if some of them apply extreme ratings, the average still gives a good idea of the game’s quality (or rather, POPULARITY).

            I don’t buy everything, for instance Yume Miru Kusuri is #9 in popularity on VNDB, of course a lot of people have played it and probably enjoyed it, but it doesn’t mean that it’s one of the best VNs of all time.

            I’ve fully read all Fuwanovel’s reviews that I have named, and then some, but people with less time might not do so, and instead focus on the low rating. Now that you bring it up, Key’s works are full of blemishes, but are still enjoyable for the right audience. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so respected a company (and yes, hyped).

            Going back to VNDB, it’s roughly just as Steam’s reviews -an indicator on how good/popular a game is, and veritable I think.

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