Go! Go! Nippon! 2015
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 7

Fans of the original game will love the new locations, enhanced visuals and expanded story of Go! Go! Nippon! 2015, but newcomers are also in for a treat. The game is packed with information and offers a unique way to experience Japanese culture and tourist attractions without hopping on a plane. The lack of voice acting is a letdown, but overall this expansion lives up to expectations.

Gameplay: Lots of information about Japan and a lighthearted love story as well.

Graphics: The new animations are great and the widescreen visuals are a step up from the original game.

Sound: Still no voice acting, but the audio is very upbeat and fitting

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Go! Go! Nippon! 2015

Developer: OVERDRIVE | Publisher: MangaGamer | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Adventure / Visual Novel / DLC | Website: n/a | Purchase: Steam / MangaGamer

Not a lot of games, let alone visual novels, can boast being entertaining and educational, but Go! Go! Nippon ~My First Trip To Japan~ was one of those rare titles. The game was released in 2011 by MangaGamer and Overdrive, eventually making its way to Steam early in 2014 where it gained even more fans despite the slightly dated visuals. Go! Go! Nippon! served as a nice introduction to the visual novel genre and was also packed to the brim with interesting tidbits about the Japan.

Go! Go! Nippon! 2015 is a bit of DLC for the original game, but it is a little more than the typical fan discs we usually see for visual novels. For one, this expansion nearly doubles the content of the original game, so in addition to all the old locations players can now also choose from a host of other places. From the Tokyo Skytree, Odaiba Comiket and more, these new locations really flesh out the game and are just as interesting. In total there are seven new locations in the game and, like the original locations, you can also click on a link to view the actual Google Maps street view in your browser.

The story remains unchanged and features the adventures of your protagonist on his first ever trip to the land of the rising sun. The lead character lodges with two sisters, Makoto and Akira, who he met online and mistook for guys. After getting over the shock of being greeted by two cute girls at the airport, your character prepares himself for a memorable week of exploring the unique sights of Japan. The good news is that this expansion features two brand new endings, so even players who completed the routes of both sisters previously will have something new to experience.

Although the original game didn’t look too bad for its age, it is definitely great to see the effort that went into sprucing up the visuals for this expansion. The game can now be played in 720p widescreen, which is quite a bit better than the original. The new CGs as well as the old ones are now in the new aspect ratio, which gives the game a much more polished look. The most startling change to the visuals however is that while most of the characters sprites from the original are retained they are now enhanced with the use of the E-mote animation system. The animations really bring out the personalities of the sisters and are a big step up from the static sprites of the original.

The soundtrack is still decent, with a nice mix of song styles, but sadly the expansion does not add any form of voice acting. Having voices for the two sisters would have been great as seeing them animated without any voice acting feels a bit strange. The interface is mouse driven and easy to use, so even players who have never experienced a visual novel before won’t have any trouble. One of the features we love is that the game asks you to input the currency of your country as well as the conversion rate, so that while visiting locations you can see exactly how much it would have set you back in real life.

Go! Go! Nippon! 2015 is definitely a game that is best experienced in short bursts as trying to complete it in one sitting will definitely lead to an information overdose. The two sisters will constantly bombard you with new information about each location and Japanese culture in general, which can be a bit much at times. It is not just the tourism information that has been expanded, but the actual story has also been fleshed out a bit more. Your character still falls in love with one of the sisters by the end of the game, depending on your choices, but now it feels a little less out of the blue. Overall, the writing feels a lot more polished and the way in which food is described will leave you drooling for some Japanese dishes.

Go! Go! Nippon is available on Steam as DLC, which means you need to own the original game to play it, or as a stand-alone package from MangaGamer. The MangaGamer version can be played without the original, but includes a Steam key which requires the original game on Steam to redeem. A bundle with both the full game and expansion, along with a Steam key for both is also available from MangaGamer.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows7/8/8.1
  • Processor: Pentium4 1GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512MB Required (1GB Recommended)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space

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