@1:31- "The digital comics themselves play out like simple adventure games. The player chooses actions and dialog options from a short menu and the story plays out with limited animation and voice acting. If one doesn't speak Japanese [...] it's still possible to play using trial and error. There aren't generally any fatal scenarios and selections can be made until something moves the story forward."(Sorry for the large quote! :) I know you're going to get to Scott Adams' Questprobe games sometime in the future... but didn't those have the same gameplay with US comics characters? (C-Y-A stories without bad endings) Or am I completely mis-remembering those games? I'm sure they're far enough removed to not be related to the Japanese products.. or are there similarities (switching characters on player demand, etc)?
Scott Adams' QuestProbe games were still traditional parser-based adventures, although the Marvel heroes were now the "puppets" being commanded by the player; there were some player-friendly constraints (Spider-Man can't die) borne of the licensor, perhaps Scott will fill us in a bit. Closer Western equivalents might have been the Infocomics of the late 80's, and CD-ROM and DVD attempts at animated comic books for PCs in more recent years, as well as some Konami titles for the PSP. The digital comics were much less "gamey" than a traditional adventure -- they were closer to an interactive storybook, without the freedom of a traditional adventure game (or even a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure.) There were exploratory and informational choices, but only one real action throughline for the story itself, and no inventory to manage or puzzle-level commands (at least in the ones I've sampled.) Thanks for the comment!