Travel to Japan is sort of a pilgrimage to many people. The wish to visit the country that brought us anime, manga, specific video games, as well as the otaku subculture, connects people from all over the globe. With the development of the internet, better data flow and cheaper plane tickets, many lived their dream and got to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Kamakura and many other places throughout the Land of Rising Sun. But, many still remorsefully gaze into the distance and wait for the day to finally make the trip. In the meantime, they fill up their spare time enjoying the virtual images of this godly place, which includes the game Go! Go! Nippon! My First Trip to Japan, along with the add-on bearing the year 2015 in it’s title.
The members of our staff who have spent some time in Japan have anxiously started this cheerful title and let themselves be immersed in it with almost childlike curiosity and a sincere desire to be thrilled.
We were introduced to a seemingly classic visual novel with a bunch of introspective comments from the main character (who you can name, country of origin, and even set up the conversion of Yens to the currency that suits you, so you can know how much money you’d spend for a week in Japan). Everything begins after a sleepless flight in the aeroplane, while you’re nearing the Narita airport. After you’ve collected your luggage you’re off to find Makoto and Akira, the internet friends who you’re visiting.
A magnificent surprise awaits you at the very beginning – even with the entire internet available, the main character had no clue Akira and Makoto are both girls, sisters, and both cute in the standard manga-anime style, and Makoto, along with a cute face, is graced with a sizable bust. We have already noticed that this game has a significant advantage compared to an actual trip to Japan. The first host the author had was also named Makoto, but he wasn’t a teenage girl, but a nice balding man in his late thirties.
Alas, Makoto’s bouncing (after the added animations in the 2015 DLC) breasts are the only advantage Go Go Tokyo has compared to the real thing. The game is divided into 7 days, which is how long the main character can stay in Japan, and during which you will choose locations you’d like to visit in a pattern, where one or both of the sisters will be your guide. After hiking on Takao Mountain, which was accompanied with comments like ”I’ve climbed here! It was awesome!” or “It really is true that middle-aged women happily chirp ‘Konnichiwa, konnichiwa!’ when you walk past them at the top of the mountain…”, we’ve noticed the games’ negatives.
Although the graphics are likable and images of the regions you’re visiting authentically (apart for copyrighted materials which are avoided) represent reality (which can be checked by clicking the always visible ‘show photo’ option that takes you to the location’s picture on Google maps), each day feels devoid of content. Tree to four pictures per location aren’t enough to satisfy the player/traveller.
Even worse is the lack of interactions, which comes down to endless clicking trough not so funny dialogues, which often are nothing more than sighing or silence of too-quickly enamored teenagers in half-embarrassing situations. Even those situations aren’t embarrassing enough for the game to take a full swing and motivate the hidden pervert to play, i.e. click, all the way through it.
Still, though mostly common knowledge, the information you can find about significant locations near Tokyo, as well as sundries about the life in Japan are really nicely presented and they definitely make for the game’s best point. Since it’s impossible to visit all in the limited time the game gives you, you may want to start over a few times to explore all the places you can visit, or maybe start a romance with the other charming hostess.
Again, it’s possible that due to the lack of quality in the game itself, you may completely give up on it after a single run and start saving up money for the actual trip to Japan to hang out with some other Makoto and Akira. Which would be our recommendation as well.
Author: Luka Zlatić