Monday, June 18, 2012

Katawa Shoujo Review

Hey guys TheDokta here yes I know it has been a LONG time since I have posted any content here and I apologize as Year 12 is pretty full on.
Katawa Shoujo.
I feel at times this was more than a game, more than a visual novel. It was an experience, one that cant really be understood unless you play. An experience I am certain anyone who has played will never forget.

The story of Katawa Shoujo begins with our main character Hisao Nakai, awaiting his his friend in a snow covered forest. Suddenly when faced with crippling heart pain he is rushed to hospital where he learns he has arrythmia, an incurable disease that requires constant medical attention. Transferring from his regular school to a speciality school for people with disabilities or needing access to medical help on a regular basis he is forced to make new friends.

From here the game takes a chose-your-own-path style of as you sometimes will be given options and based on said options the game will take down a different paths. You will be given the opportunity to learn about the lives of certain girls within the school. The narrative for this game is really well written to ensure basic plot points do not clash.

The art style in this game is that of anime sprites with realistic backgrounds to really strengthen the feel of the game. There were a few moments where I forgot I was playing and felt I was just reading because the animations stopped or weren't doing anything.

Music was one of the things that caught my attention. The themes given to the characters work perfectly, representing their quirkiness or seriousness. The background music for the locations is also great but some additions I felt were a tad lacking. Overall the music worked great and really enhanced the feeling you will get from this game.

My personal experiences with this game (Having only completed 3 of the possible routes) I cant judge rightly which outcome works best for the game. So far however my favorite route and one I feel really brings emotions is Hanako's route. Her story is sad and she is distant from classmates as she feels they will judge her. Having been bullied frequently she finds it difficult to trust those around her confiding in Lilly who is blind. Slowly however you will gain her trust and fall in love with her. This route made me (a manly man) almost cry at certain times and I felt was fitting for the games premise.

In short Katawa Shoujo is an amazing game that will certain strike emotions in anyone who plays any of the routes. You feel for the characters and their stories. If you haven't played it OR heard of it I cannot recommend this game enough. I must warn however the game does feature some imagery that is not suitable for people underage or who dislike eroge.

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