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Go! Go! Nippon! –My First Trip to Japan- Review

Go! Go! Nippon! –My First Trip to Japan- Review (0)

On the surface, Go! Go! Nippon! My First Trip to Japan‘s plotline seems like a setup for a lively eroge title. After the visual novel’s protagonist befriends siblings Mokoto and Akira while online, he’s invited to Toyko for a weeklong stay with his internet acquaintances. A brief moment of confusion ensues when the lead character meets his hosts at the Narita International Airport. Expecting two brothers, instead the character is greeted by a pair of enchanting sisters with traditionally masculine names. As the trio returns to Mokoto and Akira’s residence, it’s remarked that the sister’s parents were called out of town on a business trip, provoking the protagonist to submerge any salacious thoughts.

Save for two instances of discovering the sisters in states of partial undress, Go! Go! Nippon!’s holiday proves to be innocuous. In execution, the game isn’t as ecchi as the premise first appears, revealing an entertaining interactive travel guide that’s bound to delight Western otaku. As a joint venture between visual novel developer Overdrive (Edelweiss, KiraKira) and MangaGamer, My First Trip to Japan was first released in 2011, crafted specifically for Western players. Now, a recent release on Steam has the potential to garner an even larger audience, increasing the visibility of the visual novel outside of Japan.

Go! Go! Nippon! –My First Trip to Japan- Review (2)

Before players begin their virtual journey to the Land of the Rising Sun, they’ll be asked their name and the current dollar to yen exchange rate. The first query is used to name to the protagonist, while the second stat is used to help keep a running tab of travel and dining expenses. While it could have been an interesting inclusion, the usefulness of tracking expenditures is restrained by Go! Go! Nippon!’s structure. Beyond choosing the order of travel destinations, there are few purchasing decisions along the largely linear journey.

That said, the title’s Tokyo tour of Asakusa, Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Ginzu, Shibuya, Shinjuku as well as Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera and Kinjaku-ji provides players with an alluring itinerary of travel destinations. Depending on the player’s pick, either affable Mokoto or tsundere Akira ushers players around each district and temple, providing information on Japanese history, etiquette, and culture. The only problem is that Overdrive doesn’t always contribute enough visual imagery for each locale. Akihabara’s multitude of electronic stores and maid cafes are discussed, but players never really get a chance to see the nuances of each milieu which seems likely to disappoint Go! Go! Nippon!’s potential fanbase.

Go Go Nippon My First Trip to Japan (5)

Fortunately, the title does give gamers the ability to look at the real-world locations- a mouse click on the “show photo” button bring up Google Maps’ street view. Beyond the allure of exploring each location in detail, the feature also demonstrates the talent of the Go! Go! Nippon!’s artists- who crafted a meticulous recreation of each venue, with advertising for Overdrive’s other works standing in for product ads. While Mokoto and Akira aren’t animated, each is given a range of facial expressions which helps to bring each character to life.

Beyond the title’s visual elements, My First Trip to Japan’s other aesthetics are generally adept. Although characters aren’t given a voice over, the novel’s dialog is simultaneously exhibited in both English and Japanese- ideal for students studying Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana. Navigation through My First Trip to Japan is consistently breezing with players able to change details such as text speed as the transparency of the dialog window. Those you errantly pass over a piece of conversation can even review the title’s log to reexamine bypassed passages.

Go! Go! Nippon! –My First Trip to Japan- Review (1)

While the virtual tourism is generally successful, players might have a hard time identifying the lead character. The protagonist’s perspective in My First Trip to Japan’s shifts wildly- while the story expresses the lead’s study of the Japanese language, he often is surprised at well-known cultural elements. From showing up tebura (without a gift) as his guest’s house, being surprised at the functionality of Japanese toilets, and even the existence of twenty-hour convenience stores, his expertise can seem wildly inconsistent. Luckily, once the character has chosen three destination, he’s paired with either Mokoto or Akira, allowing the title’s traveling elements to give way to a dating simulation. Of course, completionists will want to take on Go! Go! Nippon!’s four-hour journey twice to see the title’s entirety of content.

Although Go! Go! Nippon! –My First Trip to Japan- has a few fundamental flaws, the title’s theme should allow otaku to overlook these faults. Undoubtedly, the visual novel’s concept is promising, giving players a chance to experience many elements of Japan- for less than the price of a bento box. But it’s a shame that the title doesn’t follow the mantra of “show, don’t tell” just a bit more often.

Go Go Nippon My First Trip to Japan (3)

On the surface, Go! Go! Nippon! My First Trip to Japan‘s plotline seems like a setup for a lively eroge title. After the visual novel’s protagonist befriends siblings Mokoto and Akira while online, he’s invited to Toyko for a weeklong stay with his internet acquaintances. A brief moment of confusion ensues when the lead character meets his hosts at the Narita International Airport. Expecting two brothers, instead the character is greeted by a pair of enchanting sisters with traditionally masculine names. As the trio returns to Mokoto and Akira’s residence, it’s remarked that the sister’s parents were called out of…

Review Overview

Gameplay - 70%
Story - 75%
Aesthetics - 85%
Content - 60%
Accessibility - 90%

76%

Good

Summary : Go! Go! Nippon! –My First Trip to Japan- combines virtual travel guide and dating sim into a slightly uneven package.

User Rating: 4.85 ( 1 votes)

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

32 comments

  1. Those screenshots look amazing. Totally beautiful! Makes me want to go back to Japan…

  2. I’ll wait for the hentai remix where there’s a threesome at the end!

  3. Based on this screenshot along, I would have given the game a score of 104%

    • Japan, don’t ever change!

      I saw this on Steam for $4.99 and was about to pull the trigger. I know the review says it’s not that good, but after reading it, I regret not getting the game.

    • Why the hell was this picture not the main screenshot.

      Damnit, Robert I want to see that loli butt on the frontpage. Teddy bear and all.

  4. I for one would like to see more visual novel reviews.

    I think this review was pretty fair overall. I mean the loli rule was broken (and if that screenshot is real then that’s crazy) but it seems like the non-branching storyline kind of hurt things.

  5. So what’s the price on Go Go Nippon?

  6. WTF is this crazy ass weeabo shit? hahaha!

  7. Wow, the artwork is really amazing. Shame about how maid cafes aren’t drawn.

  8. I played this about 3 years ago. I have to agree some of the locations are disappointing. No maids in the maid cafes is pretty insane.

  9. Good review, Robert. It’s sad you don’t get to buy stuff in Akihabara. My dream is to go there.

  10. Man, that review seemed a bit harsh. Just going by the pics, it looks good and probably worth $5-$10.

  11. Its got lolicon. So why the low score?

      • I would argue that with game reviews it is.

        The system is that anything less than 80 means “flawed”. Look at most review sites, they give some pretty awful games 7 out of 10. The system isn’t right, but its all over Metacritic.

  12. You don’t know how close I was to buying this last week. It would be great if more VN came to Steam.

  13. I really need to try this. I know dating sims are a bit perving but I like them. Through in a tour of Japan and I’m sold.

  14. I’m sure you were all waiting with bated breath for my opinion:

  15. Sorry link removed for nudity.

    NOLA narrowly avoided a flogging only because it’s Fat Tuesday.

  16. I just bought this on Steam after reading your review. Thank you for the info. I hope there’s more VNs from MangaGamer.