Let’s go go back to Go Go Nippon for more romance

Why explore Tokyo when you can tour it on a computer in a Tokyo apartment?

Wait, the original Go Go Nippon came out in 2011? I thought it came out in 2014. Guess that explains why there’s no article of this on Destructoid. Well, if you never played Go Go Nippon and have any interest in Japan or visual novels, now’s a great time to give it a go. The 2016 version will release on November 11 on Steam for $19.95 ($7.95 for the new content if you already own the base game) with tons of new content, including all the content added in the 2015 version. Wait, there was content released last year!? 

Those not familiar with the game and clicked on this article anyway might be surprised to find that this game is actually pretty good as far as visual novels go. I linked to Josh’s review, but I also played it myself. You play as a foreigner studying Japanese who goes to Japan for a week to stay at his pen pals house. Those cool guys turn out to be cute girls, and well…yeah this is a romance game. 

The interesting spin here is that they act as tour guides, taking you to popular tourist destinations and telling you about the locations’ history, activities you can do there, and how much they like you and don’t want you to leave. Depending on where you go one of the two girls will accompany you, which is how your kanojo will be determined.

Did you know ‘kanojo’ means ‘girlfriend’ in Japanese? If you did, there’s an extra incentive for you to play (I’m not the official MangaGamer spokesman or anything I swear). The dialogue of the entire game is written in both English and Japanese, so if you want to go down the long, dark path that is Japanese study you can get some practice here.

The base game takes you to popular Tokyo locations such as Akihabara, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Asakusa. The 2015 expansion adds Comiket, Tokyo Skytree, and Odaiba among others. Protip: Odaiba is the best date location in real life: calm island with a park, science museum, and a giant GundamGo Go Nippon 2016 will add less popular places like Ueno, Tokyo Station, and Rikugi Park. Maybe they should go outside Tokyo some more for the game, considering they do visit Kyoto, Yokohama, and Enoshima. A somewhat nearby city I really love is Nikko. Google it.

Japanese dialogue plus the fact that you play as a foreigner and are toured around famous places around Tokyo by cute anime girls makes me wonder if the Japanese National Tour Organization made this to promote travel. It’s not exactly subtle, but it beats the hell out of that North Korean game where you drive around Pyongyang.

The game isn’t all that long. I suggest giving it a whirl if you are even remotely interested. There is humor, accurate information on locations, and both the character and relationship development feel natural once you get past the initial “oh, its this character trope” feeling. It won’t blow your socks off, but it’s charming.

[P.S. Akira is the best girl.]

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Cory Arnold
Pretty cool dude in Japan. 6/9/68
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