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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Katawa Shoujo Review
Posted by Anime Forum in Video Games November 20, 2014 at 07:36:20 PM

By: Solomore



Katawa Shoujo Review
“Are you able to seize the day?”
Available for PC and Android
Katawa Shoujo is a bishoujo style visual novel developed by Four Leaf Studios beginning in 2007 and finally releasing its full version at the start of 2012. With a 5 year development cycle Katawa Shoujo shows that persistence and a genuine and sensitive approach to its subject matter pays off.



Introduction

Around the new year of 2007, A post on 4Chan showcasing works by RAITA detailing art and concepts dubbed “Katawa Shoujo”, Which sparked like wildfire on the /a/ 4Chan board, with different scenarios, love stories, and ideas being thrown about, and soon an entire game based off of a single picture, began development with a team of a amateur developers began.

Story
Katawa Shoujo puts you in the shoes of Hisao Nakai, A normal boy who was leading a normal life until suffering from a heart attack and a long hospitalization. Following his attack he is sent to Yamaku Academy for Physically Disabled Children (It is mentioned by teachers that Yamaku does not take in Mental Disabilities) under doctor’s recommendations. Hisao must leave his past behind him and cope with his new life and surroundings while dealing with new friends and a heart condition that can prove fatal at any moment.
Katawa Shoujo has a good variety of love interests with different personalities and ideals, and their own story. Depending on the choices you make, the friends you have, your love interest, and even your own personality change and continue the story. Each path has its own values and characteristics that keep the same visual novel continuously refreshing, and always gives you a reason to return to Yamaku Academy

Brief description of the heroines (Spoiler Free)



Music and Art


Katawa Shoujo uses simplistic traditional sprite-based art, backgrounds, and occasionally special images and scenes, together with a sound track that leaves many games in the dust with its quality and quantity to tell the story. The artists have different art, sprites, and images for each character with a unique watercolor style that isn’t often found in other visual novels or anime though not necessarily polished or high quality it has its own unique charm that separates it from the more common art styles, and the music is perfect for fitting any mood for any moment. For those who love the soundtrack, it’s free to download on the Katawa Shoujo official website

Replayability and Completion


With multiple endings, routes, music, and other hidden extras, Katawa Shoujo encourages the player to play the game over, and over again, to collect Movies, Images, Scenes, Music, and even pieces of the story to complete the gallery, and the game. With the use of save states built into the game it makes it easier to get back to your previous spot to choose another option to keep the ball rolling. Some extras require x% completion to find which may seem like a pain, and are indeed sometimes confusing as you won’t exactly know what you’re missing to look for, but it’s worth it when it’s finally unlocked for later on-demand viewing. As you complete more, and more of the story the main menu changes accordingly as a small token for completing a specific section of the game, There aren't any secret endings or anything like hidden secrets (Though originally semi-implemented in the alpha and beta builds), So the reward may not be appealing to everyone.

Verdict

Katawa Shoujo may have been made by a small staff of self-proclaimed “Amateur Developers”, from 4Chan, But Katawa Shoujo is able to take sensitive subject matter, and make a Genuine and Sensitive approach accordingly. While the subject matter may be off-putting it’s definitely worth giving a try. With good Replayability, Unlockable Galleries, a touching heartfelt story, good character development, and at no cost. Katawa Shoujo deserves a spot in anyone’s game folder, but it’s more recommended to mature audiences to fully enjoy, otherwise play with mature scenes off. Katawa Shoujo is available free of cost, along with a Soundtrack, and an Unofficial Android Port available as well.

Positives

Lots of Content for Free, Great stories and flow variation, genuine feelings toward subject matter, Easy to use save state and skip system, Free to download game and soundtrack, Controller controls optional, Low spec requirements

Negatives:
Unlockable Gallery feels convoluted at times, difficult to convince other people to play it due to the subject matter, Android port has a long start-up time and menu does not work properly with some devices and consumes steady battery

Final Words and Personal Opinion
Personally, this is the visual novel that inspired me to start writing reviews, and while this is my first, I have a few more up my sleeve. This was a great visual novel for me to read and honestly I was happy on how the story telling turned out, and for the most part the ero scenes even had plot relevance. The gallery, while iv'e come close, hasn't been fully unlocked for me, but i'm still trying every so often. If anyone has any visual novels you think I might enjoy for review please send me a holler Thanks for reading

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