I'm already aware of recent releases like 「極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉」, 「コープスパーティー ブラッドカバー リピーティッドフィアー」, 「ナナシノゲエム」and 「ナナシ ノ ゲエム 目」, all for the Nintendo DS (and the first two in English).
At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the older ones for Super Famicom and PS1, the bulk of which seems to be from Human Entertainment (which no longer exists) and Chunsoft. English information seems to be more scarce for these ones.
Games I've had my eye on in the past and saved in my memory for later (once my Japanese language knowledge is sufficient) include:
- The Twilight Syndrome series (PS1) and Moonlight Syndrome (PS1) by Human. One of them Twilight Syndrome games I've played seems to be about urban myths. The first chapter involved one of the most popular ones: 花子, the toilet-haunting ghost girl. Like the original Silent Hill (PS1), the non-next-generation graphics is not a bad thing, and instead contributed to the atmosphere.
かまいたちの夜 (multiple games and consoles, original on SFC, newest on PS3) by Chunsoft. Since this game has many releases, I figure there's something good about it. Like many of the SFC games, the backgrounds are static images, the characters are like opaque wire-framey models (think Dural or whoever is the last boss from the Virtua Fighter series), and accompanied by spooky music (if the situation calls for it).
学校であった怖い話 (SFC/PS1) by Pandora Box. Apparently this is the best of its type (horror visual novels) on the Super Famicom.
街 (Sega Saturn, PS1, PSP) by Chunsoft. What little I have heard about this one are vaguely positive things; the only problem is nobody specified what is exactly so good about it.
428 ～封鎖された渋谷で (PS3, Wii, PSP) by Chunsoft. Apparently a story about 5 strangers whose stories are all linked together. Not sure if it's more of a horror or more of a thriller/suspense. Famitsu also apparently gave this game a perfect 40/40 so I figure there's something good about this one as well.
バロックシンドローム (PS1) by Sting. Its PS2/Wii incarnations can be played in English but its original PS1/SS release and its visual novel offshoot remains unknown. Did they name it syndrome to directly reference the Twilight Syndrome games?
The やるドラ (lit. "do drama") series (4 PS1 games). Not quite horror but likely some amounts of thriller/suspense. I first encountered these games from trailers and as a game demo (both on random Japanese PS1 demo discs, プレプレ to be more precise). Standard anime graphics with voice acting and dialogue choices. 4 games (each representing a season) so it must be at least a little bit good. Plus it appears to have some elements of crazy, psychotic girlfriends so hopefully some tragic endings.
The Never/Ever 17 games (various consoles). Don't know much about this one, but apparently good stories.
Now my question to those who can comprehend Japanese: how good are the stories (subjective I know but try to explain objectively) in these visual novels, how well written are they and anything else worth mentioning?