Katawa Shoujo

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Katawa Shoujo [spoilers]

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:25 pm

Hmmm. We don't really have a video games forum, much less a visual novel forum, so I guess plain ol' OT is good enough.

Anyway, as I said here, I only just learned about this game/VN a couple of weeks ago. My initial reaction was . . . less than enthusiastic. I mean, a dating sim about knocking boots with girls with disabilities? The premise seemed crass, to put it kindly, and bloody offensive if I was feeling blunt about it. But when I see someone like Tines singing its praises I figure there has to be something to it, so I went and investigated.

Wow.

As I said in the above linked post, I'm still amazed something of this quality was made, for free, by elements of 4-chan. That blows my mind. But it really is a solid game, and one I'd quite happy pay to own were they of a mind to charge for it. And, even better, the adult content can be toggled on or off as desired, meaning it has an all-ages version right out of the box. Nice.

As for the routes themselves: I'm hard-pressed to pick a favorite or single one out as the "best", since they're all noteworthy in different ways. It's lame to say that, but it's true -- Emi seems like the most layered and complex character, while the Shizune/Misha route seems to have the most complex relationship dynamics. Meanwhile Rin's route is complex and engaging, and the fact that you never really quite figure out how to connect with her is both refreshing and realistic in many ways. And Hanako! She's such a woobie, but her route has a lot to say about the dangers of being overprotective and patronizing toward those you hold dear. I think Lilly's route is probably the only weak one, but her character is so pleasant and engaging that I can't really hold it against her.

So, who else is playing? Any thoughts on the various routes or their content? Any commentary on the history of the game, or what it might mean for the future? I'm curious as to what our den of pervs and intellectuals might have to say about the subject. :lol:
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Final Messenger » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:28 pm

Sounds like an intresting game I'll have to check it out sometime this week.

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Postby Fireball » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:23 pm

WAHAHAHA~

I wondered if you or symbv actually started playing since you seemed very interested.

Personally, I'm not much of a VN player. Actually before Katawa Shoujo my experience with the medium was rather limited to an hour of Fate/Stay Night. Nevertheless, when I read the sticky on 4chan I found the whole thing interesting enough. A game made for free by fellow anons? Based on a simple sketch plus sexin' the cripples? Well, why the hell not?

Yeah, why the hell not...in what emotional rollercoaster did I get myself into. Initially I wanted to have Hanako first but then a got Emi who I didn't mind since she was cute and me liking sports, it kind of fitted. Everything developed so naturally with all its ups and downs in a relationship lolanal and I even got the good ending by my first try. It was. just. perfect. I think it is true what they say. The first girl will forever be etched in your mind as canon. For me it was Emi.

Rin was my second try but that just destroyed me. After the credits I was done with the world. The whole story was like trying to reach the unreachable. Everytime you felt like you got a step closer to her she went 3 steps back but you just kept going and going until you finally reached her and maaan did it feel good.

"Hey Hisao...what's the word when you feel that everything is all right?"

This last words I will never forget. Still puts a smile on my face.


Currently pondering who I want go with next. I feel like for sake of my and Hisao's heart condition I will do the remaing girls each a month.
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Postby Final Messenger » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:32 pm

I just started the game and must say I am impressed. The story is quite good so far and the sound track is very nice. I am very surprised that something this good is for free. This is my first V/N game to and so far I enjoy the style of game (I am a plot>than game play kind of guy). The girl I am most likely going to go for on my first run is Hanako, she is just sooo cute I don’t care how horribly burned(?) she is she is just so cuuuuuuuuute. I just hope this game has some sort of save feature in the game.

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Postby Tankred » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:40 pm

Oh, this game.

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Postby Xard » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:47 pm

the fap art is inconsistent shit so the game kinda sucks

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Postby Tankred » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:59 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:the fap art is inconsistent shit so the game kinda sucks


A flaccid experience.

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:13 pm

When I first started, my "natural" path was Emi; the choices I made led me to her, even though Hanako was the one I had in mind from the start. Once I figured out the significance of that animation preceding Act II I restarted, found a walk-through, and did it again with Hanako. That was cool. I liked the fact that she turned out to be a pool shark, and the bit with her breakdown in class was handled very well. My one gripe was that it ended rather abruptly -- we never see Lilly's reaction to their relationship, or how things really develop going forward, or anything else. That kinda bummed me out.

With Hanako finished I moved on to Lilly. I didn't care much for her path, structurally; it didn't really do much to make me appreciate her disability and its limitations, and the ending was so cliched it was absurd. But, that said, Lilly as a person is so endearing that I can't knock it. I love her mannerisms, her easy-going nature, her character design, her relationship with Hanako, everything about her. She's wonderful. Her path is just . . . dull. Her sister rocks, though.

I'll note at this point that it's a shame we don't have any harem endings here, because Lilly/Hanako/Hisao would be absolutely perfect -- in picking one of them I always feel like the other is left out in the cold, and between the strength of their friendship and the fact that both have feelings for Hisao it would seem a perfect setup. Also, it's not all that implausible, given their personalities; both seem to value their privacy, so it seems like the sort of thing that would benefit all of them in the long run.

With the Lilly/Hanako pair out of the way I moved on to Emi, and I didn't expect much -- she's the loli who'll make you feel like a creep just looking at her, right? Boy, was I wrong! Instead of a loli I get a character who's older than the rest of the main cast (including Hisao), and that innocent demeanor hides a confident, sexually aggressive woman. But it doesn't stop there -- layered on top of all of that is a tragic past that's quite believable, coupled with fierce independence. No, you won't be rescuing Emi. If you try to rescue her she will tell you to fuck off and get out of her house (literally). Instead you will give her space and treat her like a grownup, and let her come to you if she feels like it, and that's really fucking cool. Also cool is her mischievous look. You know, with the eyes. If I ever saw that look on a real woman I'd do anything she asked, because that right there is pure win.

After Emi I was left with two distasteful choices: I'm not an art fag, and Rin didn't really appeal to me, but at the same time I don't dig chicks with glasses or arrogant types, either (and Shizune is both). So I said "screw it" and went with Rin. While I still think hers was my least favorite path, I have to admit that it was the most interesting in terms of design. And the fact that, even in the end, you never really connect with her . . . that's amazing. It's really, really amazing. It's basically saying "yeah, I'll never understand her, but that's okay. I'll just love her and be there for her and that will be enough." And she says the same thing. The sheer novelty of it is enough to give the path high marks, even though Rin herself does nothing for me.

And that leave me with Shizune. I gotta be honest, I had to really talk myself into working on her path, because I didn't like her a bit. But then there's Misha, and Jigoro, and . . . oh my. Misha's sexuality was unexpected, but the way Shizune dealt with it . . . classy. Very classy. And now, when Hisao enters the mix, things get messy again, but it's all handled very well. I love the way it ended -- open-ended, but very hopeful. That's the way it works with high school relationships in real life, right? Nothing is certain, but if you've worked all your shit out, who knows?

And again, a harem ending would be great here, but with Shizune getting the harem instead of Hisao! It'd be a tough sell, since she wouldn't have rejected Misha to begin with if she actually swung that way, but given that these are teenagers we're talking about, who knows? Maybe she warmed up to the idea and decided to give it a shot for Misha's sake. Anything's possible, and it's not like Hisao would be complaining . . .

So, that's my Katawa Shoujo experience. 'm very impressed, as I said. And Xard, if you're looking to a VN for fapping material you're doing it wrong. We have the internet for that, dummy!
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby symbv » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:51 pm

View Original PostFireball wrote:I wondered if you or symbv actually started playing since you seemed very interested.

I only dug for more details when I saw it mentioned in this forum... Nowadays I don't play games that take more than a few minutes so most likely I would not give it a try. Given Bagheera has already tried all the routes (and finished?), perhaps it does not take as long as the standard non-free Visual Novels coming from Japan?
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Postby Fireball » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:54 pm

Some of the pictures can be pretty lulzy but I can't fap to this even if it had the most beautiful artwork. Like somone on /a/ so eloquently put. We came to fap, we stayed for love.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:I only dug for more details when I saw it mentioned in this forum... Nowadays I don't play games that take more than a few minutes so most likely I would not give it a try. Given Bagheera has already tried all the routes (and finished?), perhaps it does not take as long as the standard non-free Visual Novels coming from Japan?


Both of my trails took about 10~12 hours though I read it slowly.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:13 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:I only dug for more details when I saw it mentioned in this forum... Nowadays I don't play games that take more than a few minutes so most likely I would not give it a try. Given Bagheera has already tried all the routes (and finished?), perhaps it does not take as long as the standard non-free Visual Novels coming from Japan?


I've finished everything, yes. I would plan to spend at least 30 hours unlocking everything, and up to double that if you're a slow reader. There's an awful lot of material there.

And no, fapping doesn't really enter into it. It's one of those things like Re-Take -- the H bits are there because it's expected, not because they're necessary. But in Emi's case they are actually kinda hot.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby drinian » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:57 pm

I'm shocked that this actually ended up being completed. I remember hearing about it years ago.
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Postby Fireball » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:24 pm

Katawa Crash

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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:02 am

I'm still disappointed in my brother who used to spend hours talking about this VN but he still hasn't played it out now that it's been completed. :ehh:
So let’s make a wish.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:41 pm

View Original Postdrinian wrote:I remember hearing about it years ago.
It was released on the 5th anniversary of the /a/ sticky that kick-started the process of actually making the VN as inspired by the original drawing, rather than just talking about the concept.

View Original PostBagheera wrote:The premise seemed crass, to put it kindly, and bloody offensive if I was feeling blunt about it. But when I see someone like Tines singing its praises I figure there has to be something to it, so I went and investigated.
It did take its inspiration from a sketch that hinted at some area of perversion where Japanese VNs had yet to tread; but as the project actually got going -- especially after the first act was released as a preview -- it was clear that the VN was going to play everything in good taste.

And in the days immediately after its release, it was delightful to see the hard cases of /a/ all revealing their hidden mushy romantic nature. The sum total of human happiness was definitely increased, so definitely worth remarking.

And, even better, the adult content can be toggled on or off as desired, meaning it has an all-ages version right out of the box. Nice.
I can't find the image with Emi saying how it doesn't matter whether you toggle the adult content as the sex scenes will be disabled either way...
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Postby Final Messenger » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:03 pm

So I just finished Emi’s and Hanako’s routes and it was an entertaining experience. They were both very well developed characters and over all a very fun read. I even found that the sex scenes were handled in a nice way they did not feel like cheap fap material for the most part (well except for maybe the sports equipment one but I’d say that one was more for comedy) Overall I’m impressed and surprised that this was actually free
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Postby ONIAgent150 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:41 pm

I played the Act 1 demo they put out and was thoroughly impressed, after hearing about it first on "Slowtaku." I even convinced one of my friends to give it a try, and she wound up with Emi. Shamefully, I have not played the full game yet, as I am waiting for the DDL link to get put up. I am listening to the soundtrack a lot though, and checking every day for the DDL link. When I first saw this forum, one of the things that put a happy smile on my face was Mr. Tines' avatar. Because I love Shizune.
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Postby CorporalChaos » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:24 am

It was an okay game, but I think it could have been more polished, given that it's been in development for 5 years. I'll give it a pass on the fact that it's a doujin project that nearly didn't get done because they had a group that didn't function well together.

What bothered me most was the sudden change in tone between Act 1 and the rest of the routes. The story starts out really upbeat despite the circumstances, and there's some humor woven into the the dialogue that keeps everything running nicely. It was a good balance between the depression of entering a new world that places severe limits on your lifespan, and the cautiously optimistic arrival in a new setting.

And then, it just kind of throws all that out the window as soon as you get into Act 2. Rin, especially, who was endlessly fascinating in Act 1 with her odd, sly way of putting things. You get a couple glimpses of that on her route, but for the most part, for Act 2, it's almost if you're with a different (although similar) character. The same could be argued for most of the other routes, too.

As far as interactivity goes, I think Rin's route was probably the best handled of the game, as there were quite a few choices involved with your character interaction. Between Rin and Shizune's route (which has almost no options at all), the other routes lie somewhere in between these two extremes.

Another little annoyance is that the other characters almost disappear entirely once you get on the routes. In Act 1, you kind of bounce around, interacting with everyone, but once you get locked on a route, all but one or two of the other characters aren't even involved anymore. It all seems a little artificial.

The way the routes were determined in the first place were a little artificial as well. It seemed like you meet the girl, and the option you get with her is pretty much

"[] hang out with this girl and start dating her
[] minimum interaction necessary, next girl"

The choices don't really seem to flow at all. It also has the effect of making the last girl you meet the one whose route you start by default, unless you decide to say "I'm not going to date anyone!", something I'd recommend doing *at least* once.

The art, too is inconsistent. You can go from the round, blobby melon people in Rin's route to the really sharp chins of GALO SENGAN in Shizune and Lilly's route. Again, there's an entire range of art in between these two extremes. It would have been nice if there had been an effort to standardize the art.

On the positive side, the music was much more polished than from the demo version (although I liked the original character theme for Rin a little more in the demo, as I think it catches a little bit more of her unbalanced character), and the BGMs definitely add to the atmosphere of the scenes they play in.

Another nice feature added in from the demo was the animated cut scenes at the beginning of Act 2 They were gorgeously animated, and they really did a good job at hinting what was to come in the route. I was a little disappointed that the Act 3 from all the routes didn't have another animation.

Aside from the sudden mood shift that takes place between Acts 1 and 2, the rest can be overlooked for the most part. If you're here to read what's going on with the characters, interactivity isn't *that* big of a deal. It's nowhere near "the greatest VN ever made" as I've seen some on /a/ put it, but it's good to spend a few hours reading at the very least.

3/5 - Story (Decent writing marred by varying degrees of character interactivity, both between the player and in-universe)
2.5/5 - Art (Very inconsistent, score is only this high because of the animated cut scenes)
5/5 - Music (Great pieces, as the BGMs are insanely listenable even outside of the game.)

I'd suggest Hatoful Boyfriend, though, if anyone wants to play a real ren'ai game.
Last edited by CorporalChaos on Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Someone » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:26 am

Oh yeah, they were making a game weren't they?
Maybe i will check it out later. But probably not.
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Postby Omegagouki » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Been playing it for the past two days, just unlocked all of the Ch. 2 routes
SPOILER: Show
and got the Kenji Ending
as of current. Going to take a break for the time being, but I was dead-set on Shizune first so I'll do her route first. :biii:
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