Fading Hearts Visual Novel Joins MangaGamer’s Slate Of Titles

By Ishaan . December 15, 2012 . 12:00pm

MangaGamer have added another original English language (OEL) visual novel to their slate—Fading Hearts by Sakura River Interactve.

 

Fading Hearts puts you in the role of Ryou, a high school student in the land of Sorayama. The game affords the freedom to decide how they want to go through the game—solve the game’s mysteries and learn the truth behind them or remain ignorant and lead a normal life.

 

The game lets you meet up with friends, read, work and other elements that are part of Ryou’s life. It also has multiple endings and a few RPG elements such as battles thrown in for good measure as well.

 

Fading Hearts is available for €9.56 (approx. $12.58). You can try a demo of the game here.


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  • Ladius

    Good to see Mangagamer expanding their oelvn lineup :)

    Since they apparently haven’t a chance to get on Steam (as sad as it is), I think they should aim at becoming the hub of the otaku digital market by widening their offer as much as possible: jrpgs, shmups, visual novels, oelvns… all can contribute to this objective, and by adding games such as the Exceed trilogy and the JiseiKansei bundle they’re apparently striving for that result. I imagine not every publisher would want to be included on a site with a 18+ section, but lots of others would probably love to gain a new venue considering how underexposed those games are in the mainstream market.

    Another interesting move could be trying to stock physical copies of JAST games in the Mangagamer physical store: after all, if JAST has a partnership to distribute Mangagamer retail copies in the US, why can’t the opposite be true for Europe?

    • British_Otaku

      First time that I’ve seen and typed the acronym OELVN (Original English Language Visual Novel), I assume that Katawa Shoujo would also count as one of them, and it’s gotten a lot of good reception.

      I’ll be happy to see more of them in other services and Mangagamer distributing some JAST games for Europe. Importing isn’t so bad, but having a local purchase option for English releases is cooler.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        OELVN seems to have become the slang of choice, although anime ‘inspired’ games are far from new.

        While Christine Love and Winter Wolves use their own programs, much of the fan made English product is based around an engine called Ren’py. It provides a good base for a traditional text box decision tree VN, but you kind of have to program around it if you want to do more. Fortunately, many games are completely free and there are multiple legit homes on the net.

        The quality however seems to be more miss than hit, which isn’t overly surprising in that most are 1-3 person teams using ren’py in construction set mode. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ones more than worth playing. Much of the current activity is built around otome, yaoi and female-targeted yuri, so folks mileage may vary in finding games fitting their interests.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    I have to ask, is there any H?

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      According to this website, I don’t think there is

      http://vndb.org/v2635

    • brian

      No, far as I know just 12+ plus stuff.
      I enjoyed the demo a lot, it has excellent artwork especially with it being and indie title.
      This is a surprise though, especially considering it was released about 3 years ago already in english.

  • ragingmerifes

    Eroge, please.

  • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

    I hope they pick up KnS 2. I might even purchase it.

    • Ladius

      They are going to talk with Innocent Grey in February, I hope they can pick up either Kartagra (most likely, since it’s already translated) or Kara no Shoujo 2.

      And yeah, I really hope people start buying those games instead of pirating them non stop, not only to support developers and publishers, but also because we won’t have anymore games like those if they aren’t profitable, or we will see them lose contents since they can’t pay dub licenses and so on. We’re a tiny niche in the videogame market, and even a hundred copies can make the difference for games that alread sell less than a thousand ones.

      This is actually one of the reasons Mangagamer has been on a nukige-spree in the last year, since nukige fans actually support the games they like, and their licenses are often pretty cheap.

  • SupaPhly

    I think MangaGamer should consider putting the games they publish onto Steam (only the all ages titles though)

    • Ladius

      They’ve already tried to do so months ago, but sadly the Greenlight approvation process pretty much guarantee it will never happen, thanks to the number of supporters a game needs to have in order to be approved and to the sheer quantity of downvotes by people who hate visual novels, think that every visual novel is porn or think that visual novels aren’t games and shouldn’t be on Steam (despite Steam already having similar games, like Analogue), not to mention those that are simply agains anything Japanese and believe Steam should be some sort of western-only venue.

      Maybe in the future they will be able to bring one or two games to Steam, but their best bet is to focus on their own site and to improve their offer in order to become more relevant in this niche.

      • Barrylocke89

        That really is a pity. I enjoy quite a lot of Western games thanks to Steam (especially Indie games: I spent a LOT more time playing The Binding of Issac than I thought I would) but I really do love my Eastern games too, and Visual Novels are a genre that I’ve just started sinking my teeth into.

        I recently got Digital: A Love Story, the free prequel(?) to Analogue: A Hate Story, and I’m enjoying myself so far. I’ll be sure to play the sequel when I get the opportunity to. And of course, I adore games like 999 and Corpse Party.

      • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

        That’s a little surprising that there isn’t more support shown from the Steam community. I figured it wouldn’t be a problem since I see anime mods for Left 4 Dead.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

          Anime mods…. Wow. Pic/Vid?

          • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty
          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

            KON 4 Dead XD I was expecting for Highschool 4 Dead though :P

            Lol anime GTA. Tht floating $$$ is awesome lol.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

        This type of mindset is exactly wht tht is making VN harder to cross the sea…. We need more VN tht is non porn like “;” series to convince ppl. Too little big name VNs in english if you ask me.

        • Ladius

          I absolutely agree with you, but we should also consider the economic side of things,

          While I would love to see more all-ages or quality eroges games localized by JAST and Mangagamer, the fact is that those tend to have more expensive licenses and to be less profitable than nukiges.

          Kara no Shoujo’s LTD sales were overthrown by Boob Wars in a matter of days, showing us that nukige fans actually care about their games and support them, while other games, despite being seen as better, are bought only by a tiny fraction of those who actually end up playing them.

  • disqus_zgHtN8UNgt

    This just shows how desperate and out of money Mangagamer is. I mean once you start putting OEVLNs to your line-up you know it’s bad.

  • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

    I’ll be honest here, brutal or not… The chances of Visual Novels in Steam are next to nothing if Valve doesn’t change their Greenlight program soon… The western mindset doesn’t help much at all because… Well, it’s kinda obvious…

    Why go for Steam when you have better places that specializes in VNs like Mangagamer and DLSite to look at? I mean, look at Hatoful Boyfriend’s download numbers…
    http://www.dlsite.com/eng/work/=/product_id/RE091090.html

    That’s crazy…

    • Ladius

      I absolutely agree regarding Greenlight: so far it has been a disaster for any game that is niche enough to be unable to gather lots of supporters, or hasn’t enough friends in the media to get the necessary coverage to build a fanbase in the first place. Moreover, seeing the reactions of those who downvoted the Mangagamer visual novels you see an awful lot of misconceptions, generalizations, cultural hostility or borderline racism, adding even more difficulties to the already steep path to be admitted to Steam.

      I also agree that, until Steam changes its absurd policies, Mangagamer should try to build its own site to be a hub for the otaku PC market, but let’s not forget that this will mean exactly that: building upon the niche that already follows their titles, without being able to reel in new customers.

      For instance, let’s take your example, Hatoful Boyfriend on DLSite: it got far more visibility than most visual novels thanks to its bizarre setting, not to mention it costs nearly 110 of most official visual novels. Even then, it sold only 3000 copies on dlsite, which means it actually produced less revenue than the 1000+- copies of Kara no Shoujo sold at 2919 EU. In the first place, the fact that 3k copies is seen as a great result in the visual novel context is by itself a sign of how shaky this whole market is at the moment, and that shows us why Mangagamer is currently relying so much on nukiges since they seem to be more profitable.

      Now, if even a third of those who pirate visual novels suddently started buying them things would definitely change, but we all know that won’t happen.

      • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

        Any idea what’s the requirements of Steam Greenlight and Steam itself? How did Analogue: Hate Story got into Steam in the first place?

        As for Hatoful Boyfriend, I don’t understand on how did it get to that insane number… Is it the cheap price tag or awareness? I don’t think the bizarre setting is the only reason it sold well since I’m turned off by it but hey, each to their own…. I can’t blame Mangagamer for relying so much on nukiges since they sell more than story-driven VNs like Kara no Shoujo… Now story-driven VNs are a risk more than ever compared to a normal nukige in the non-Japanese market…

        Believe it or not…. Many people got into VNs because of piracy…. Not sure of the numbers though but it’s many…

        • Ladius

          Analogue managed to get in the Steam store months before Valve introduced the Greenlight program, it would have never been able to do it if it had attempted it now. The same for some Hanako games, that are far less knownsupported than something like Higurashi, and yet managed to get approved by Steam before they changed their policies.

          Hatoful got a lot of coverage on mainstream sites, like Kotaku or Neogaf, and became some sort of cult hit because of its crazy premises. Now, compare that with Kara no Shoujo, that was covered only by visual novel blogs and Siliconera (big props to them for giving the KnS brand some visibility, by the way).

          And yeah, piracy can surely help people know visual novels, and in some instances it’s the only feasible way to play some games unless you’re a collector able to purchase pricey and rare games on Japanese sites, but the issue here is that there are plenty of people who have been playing visual novels for years, love the genre and yet have never bothered to buy a single game.

          Some may be poor or unable to purchase games on the web, but some simply don’t give a damn about the genre and have developed a “visual novels should be free” attitude that is a major obstacle to the development of the genre and to the localization of more, better games in the future.

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            Japanese VNs are like games and Steam….

            Who’s gonna bother with buying VNs legitimately when piracy is a easier and less hassle to get? I know there are sites that sells Japanese VNs but the biggest problem is the language barrier… Without a Steam-like program to manage all these, people finding it a pain just to buy Japanese VNs…

    • http://twitter.com/Xerain Xerain

      Gabe Newel himself has admitted Greenlight has serious issues.

  • http://twitter.com/Xerain Xerain

    Something interesting of note: If you buy it direct from Sakura River, you can choose to buy a Mac or Linux version. Manga Gamer has only the Windows version.

    MangaGamer’s price is a little bit lower than buying it direct form Sakura River… but they charge in Euros. I’m pretty sure my bank will tack on a conversion fee, so the price will actually end up around the same.

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