A Monogatari Game!?

There's a new Monogatari video game coming out!? Aww, it's just one of them puzzle matching games? BUUUUU BUUUU (I'm imitating Dia here).

Here's a link if you want to read more about it.

This, for one, does not interest me. I love Monogatari but I don't like this sort of game genre. Which got me thinking. What would a 'proper' Monogatari game be like? How would I design one?

Well, for one thing, we need to focus on and adapt Monogatari's greatest strengths; the writing, the animation and the music. Thankfully, a video game is the perfect medium to carry all of those across! But what would the game be like?

The genre would have to lean towards what Monogatari has done before. I mean, we can't be playing some sort of RPG as Koyomi and level up while doing quests given by Shinobu. Well, we can, but that's not going to translate well in my honest opinion. Instead, we should examine Monogatari and do what they do best.

Like having a perverted main character
What does Monogatari do best? Ramblings, long conversations and head tilts. While we can include all of those, I believe the game genre itself will be a blend of a few things. First of, a visual novel. Instead of having just 2D stills though, we can blend it with Shaft's own personal style of Monogatari game goodness. We might not need to control a 3D Araragi in a 3D world but seeing his body adds enough depth and flavour.

The game could consist of multiple smaller mysteries over a large, single mystery. Currently in the novels, (spoiler alert?) Koyomi is a police officer/detective. He solves crimes relating to oddities. What's stopping us from implementing that here? He's the main character solving a big issue that happens to have tons of smaller issues in between that partakes to multiple different oddities.

Control the conversation until she stutters!
I was thinking that while this is excellent, Nisio Isin's writing strength should be used as well. Why not have branching conversation dialogue? Instead of just using it for the purposes of solving the case in multiple ways, it can be used quite freely just for the heck of it. Imagine, choosing your own retort to a conversation with Mayoi and her retort then changes accordingly and every choice will ultimately result in either her presence in your next case or not.

A Monogatari game would have to capitalise on the characters and speech. A visual novel approach will allow Koyomi to monologue to his heart's desire while the player reads said monologue while listening to the amazing soundtrack. Later on, depending on your conversation choices and gameplay routes (I imagine you can get from point A to B through either one of two different smaller mysteries so it's up to you to pick), you can have either Shinobu help you with a certain case or solve another case while having a loving back and forth with Hitagi.

Unfortunately, this type of gameplay for this type of game is only for the one-hit wonder mysteries
Why not throw in some actual gameplay mechanics aside from conversation trees. The game's timeframe can be a year and the gameplay flow follows on a day-to-day basis like Persona. You can then choose from multiple different things to do for the day; go and solve this mystery by yourself while will take up the whole day OR spend time with a certain character to make them available to you later on for another mystery or roadblock.

Go full Japanese and allow the dressing up of our favourite lolis or allow the purchase of consumables to be used for the mysteries. There's a deity that needs to be sealed? Use a talisman! If not, this deity will cause issues for another future mystery further on OR prevent a certain character from helping you at a specific part of the story.

Monogatari loves to have meta-jokes and references too so might as well implement that too. Say you're looking at a park and see nothing. You have a picture of the park to refer to BUT it actually shows the real world location with a hint on it. You then examine the same item in the game and BAM, you continue. The animations can also have a mix and match much like the anime does with it.

A surprise rhythm game!
Imagine having to play a mini game about rock climbing as you have a phone conversation with Hanekawa. Doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it just adds flavour. Of course, if you're just an English speaker playing in Japanese, I can see how that might be a little too distracting.

Whatever I said, it's just from me. I was just going through my head with this article honestly and I'm no game designer so this is nothing but the ramblings of a human being. However much I want a proper Monogatari game to happen, making it is but a challenge. One can only hope!


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