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Posted by Animasta

@Tim_the_Corsair: honestly my biggest problem is the horrid pacing

Posted by Bam_D_Leprechaun

I just finished the Good (and Bad) endings with Shizune. The bad ending was really sad.

working on Emi now.

Posted by Wraith1

For those who want to try a more story focused vn, I recommend Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night, but those never got official English releases, you'll need a fan patch

Posted by Mutley

So, I've downloaded this, but its showing as a BC! file so its incomplete. Anyone have any similar problem or know what went wrong here?

Posted by iBePeRFeCT

Well after reading your blog I've decided I'll give it a shot. These types of games are far and away out of my normal gaming genres, but I'm open to try and play anything once.

Posted by CaptainCody

Where's my Mika DLC.

Posted by MattyFTM

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

If you guys want cripple porn I happen to know a site... Nah, all kidding aside the talk of the plot in this game made me want to give it a go, somehow making me overcome my inherent dislike of anime and dating sims/visual novels (admittedly I was young and they were basically pure sex games)... ...and I was pretty unimpressed. Don't get me wrong, I admire the attempt at telling a unique story with a setting that came across as a legitimate, heartfelt attempt at presenting something no other form of media really touches on all that often. That alone is worthy of accolade. But oh my fucking God that writing! Purple prose, repetitive dialogue/themes, poor characterisation, and very lopsided writing quality (a combination of amateur authors and the division of labour, perhaps?). I understand it is a somewhat amateurish production, and that's cool, but I find all the praise for the writing and dialogue to be somewhat baffling, especially when there is no gameplay to speak of to redeem it. It may be good for a visual novel, but it comes up woefully short compared to any remotely similar story or script I have ever seen.

I totally see some of the amateurish nature of the writing. But I still think that it was pretty impressive in many ways. Conveying emotion in writing is something that is incredibly hard. Technically it might not be perfect, or even close, but I was incredibly impressed at the way it brought the emotion across and made me feel for the characters. For all the downfalls of the writing in a technical aspect, that's impressive.

Posted by Sweep

@MattyFTM: Get on steam so I can yell at you every time something bullshit happens in this game. Video_Game_King took a drink every time I said "Fuck this game" last night, and after 20 minutes he was pretty wasted.

Moderator
Edited by MattyFTM

@Sweep: You should get on the PC gaming hub IRC when you're playing it so you can complain to me, and other people who loved the game all at the same time.

http://webchat.quakenet.org/ Channel #GB_Gaming_Hub

Posted by Sweep

@MattyFTM: Yeah, I have spent enough time in Giant Bomb IRC channels to last me a lifetime. Instead I'm just going to punch you in the ovaries when I next see you.

Moderator
Posted by Swoxx

@Sweep said:

@MattyFTM: Yeah, I have spent enough time in Giant Bomb IRC channels to last me a lifetime. Instead I'm just going to punch you in the ovaries when I next see you.

Bitter much?

Edited by MattyFTM

@Sweep: You come anywhere near my ovaries and I'll squirt toothpaste in your eye. That may or may not be a euphemism.

Posted by konig_kei

I was gonna say why did you link to squid porn but, in the end.... I can proudly say that I have faith in humanity! Congratulations, and thank you.

Posted by Sweep

@Swoxx: Bitter? No. Corrupted? Yes.

Moderator
Posted by Swoxx

@Sweep said:

@Swoxx: Bitter? No. Corrupted? Yes.

Was that a thinly veiled threat?

I want you inside my IRC.

Edited by Ravenlight

The cycle continues.

@Hailinel said:

@Animasta: You have just confirmed that I can no longer see any mention of Leigh Alexander's name without pondering if she is currently drunk off her ass at this very moment.

You too, huh?

Posted by Swoxx

@Ravenlight said:

The cycle continues.

@Hailinel said:

@Animasta: You have just confirmed that I can no longer see any mention of Leigh Alexander's name without pondering if she is currently drunk off her ass at this very moment.

You too, huh?

You three, huh?

Posted by Pezen

Finally finished my first play through of that game. And quite frankly, I don't know where to begin. I've got a million thoughts regarding the game and trying to make sense of it all is a daunting task onto itself. Yes, I'm one of those people the game had a profound impact on. It started pretty early in the game, I bonded pretty quickly with Hisao and his constant conversation with himself. Not only could I see myself in many of his thoughts, but it was nice to play a character who had thoughts and personality of his own. Even some of the funniest thing to come out of this game was him having arguments with himself.

Something that I found interesting was how well the personalities of the people you met were established so soon by how they spoke, their attitudes and obviously their presentations. I found myself instantly rejecting Misha and Shizune due to their personalities and attitudes, they felt overly bossy and self-important. I leaned more towards the calming Lilly and the reclusive Hanako. They seemed like interesting people that seemed to have more of a story to them, especially Hanako. But my run with them seemed as short as with Misha and Shizune. Before I realized what had happened, I was spending all the time with Emi and Rin. Conflicted at this turn of events, it took some adjustment to realize that the game had already decided my path. But as the story progressed I grew to enjoy the absurdity of Rin and the bubbly nature of Hisao's health inspector Emi. And as the hours ticked away, I found myself fondly thinking of them as being very close to my character.

Moreover, I realized today at work that I had become more emotionally invested in these characters during these few hours than I had previously done for characters in tv shows I've seen seasons of. I can't stress that enough, I had a happy ending but my mind is filled with the emotional roller coaster that was that story and being done with that game sort of feels a little sad. Sure, I could go down a different path, but I am not really sure I'm ready for that.

I thought the game's writing was pretty damn good, people can argue writing quality however much they please and it's all subjective. But I can't deny that the game has had me everywhere from laughing to heart wrenching stress to some strange mixture of joy and sensory overload. That's why I feel the writing is well crafted, because it took the necessary steps to make a cohesive story and every step of the way is carefully planned. The fluff is what makes the game work for me, the unimportant parts made the heavier part drop from such a higher place.

The sex, well, contrary to @MattyFTM, I actually enjoyed the "lemon scented lube" scene. Mostly because that one felt more light hearted and it seemed to make fun of itself while it was happening. I found myself sort of chuckling at the whole ordeal.

I could probably go on forever about this experience.. it has put so much of what I have paid premium money to play to shame with it's good qualities, considering it's humble background and the fact that it was completely free. Thank you everyone who recommended this game, it was a pure delight.

Let me just say, goddamn. This game will be with me for a long time.

Posted by ZenaxPure

I ended up playing the game for about 4 hours this morning and whoaaaaa those anime tropes all over the place. This isn't a bad thing because like a good anime the characters have been growing and becoming more interesting as the story goes on but really, this game is much more anime inspired than I was expecting from an English speaking development team. Actually the cast of girls really remind me of a lot of Best Student Council characters... which is kind of weird the more I think about it. 
 
Anyway, I will say this is the first "pure" VN experience I've had (before it was mostly stuff like AA) and while I enjoyed it I wish there was a bit more conversation-y stuff to it, not even branching paths as much as I'd like to ask questions or have different responses for a lot of the stuff. There were things the girls said I was genuinely interested in and wished I could of inquired further.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Sweep said:

Video_Game_King took a drink every time I said "Fuck this game" last night, and after 20 minutes he was pretty wasted.

Not really. I can handle my liquor better than you. (Also, it was a text chat; what were you using to judge my sobriety?)

Posted by kingzetta

It is not scientifically possible for a man to know what a woman wants. And that's not fair! Because you always know what we want.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Pezen said:

The sex, well, contrary to @MattyFTM, I actually enjoyed the "lemon scented lube" scene.

Posted by Pezen
@Cloudenvy: Hah, maybe so. Still, found it pretty funny and certainly not as awkward as the first.
Posted by Video_Game_King

@kingzetta said:

It is not scientifically possible for a man to know what a woman wants. And that's not fair! Because you always know what we want.

No, it's pretty easy. You just need to have the ability to become a woman at will.

Edited by Death_Unicorn

I've done both the Emi and Lilly story arcs now, over the course of two days and I got to say this game is so moving. Lilly's arc literally had me bawling, it is ridiculous how powerful this game can be and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story.

I now kind of sit here wishing those characters would come to life because both of them are amazing. Hell, they are more real than some of the people I interact with in the day to day.

But yeah, play this game. I wish it wasn't over.

Posted by MattyFTM

@Pezen said:

Finally finished my first play through of that game. And quite frankly, I don't know where to begin. I've got a million thoughts regarding the game and trying to make sense of it all is a daunting task onto itself.

Heh, I had the same issue. I started writing this blog on Saturday at about 1pm. I didn't post it until nearly 10pm. Naturally I wasn't spending that entire time writing, I was doing other things too. But I did spend far too much time thinking about how to phrase things, and trying to organize thoughts in my head. And a lot of it was spent writing too. I think I rewrote that third paragraph about 15 times. I couldn't get it to sound good. And I'm still not happy with the blog as a whole. I'm not sure it conveys my thoughts as well as I'd like it to.

Posted by AndrewB

My initial thoughts on this visual novel are:

I'm blown away by the way a bunch of random people could come together to produce something of higher quality than a lot of commercially released titles.

I'm crazy interested in the engine they used, as it's better than any visual novel I've seen to date (though I've been playing some old-ass visual novels).

I'm not incredibly attached to any of the characters, even though I feel like the premise and the message behind it is admirable, moving, and kind of eye-opening. But I'll have an actual informed opinion when I've reached beyond the second act of a single playthrough (I'm somewhat set on Lilly with this one).

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I'm a big believer in the visual novel as a medium, and this is beyond an awesome accomplishment.

Edited by Apathylad

Alright, I played through the game on Emi's path and I agree with the post. Katawa Shoujo is well-made, and I'm curious if the other paths are as interesting, but I feel like I should get back to it at a later point. Sure, it's technically pornography, but anyone looking for something arousing in this VN is going to be ridiculously bored (the first sex scene I encountered was about four hours in). So yeah, the game isn't very erotic, and I don't even think it was intended to be. I guess this goes along with Neil Gaiman's comment on Lost Girls:

The boundary between pornography and erotica is an ambiguous one, and it changes depending on where you're standing. For some, perhaps, it's a matter of whatever turns you on (my erotica, your pornography), for some the distinction occurs in class (i.e. erotica is pornography for rich people). Perhaps it's also something to do with the means of distribution – internet pornography is unquestionably porn, while an Edwardian publication, on creamy paper, bought by connoisseurs, part works bound into expensive volumes, must be erotica.

The game said more about relationships than Catherine, but that's just my opinion. There is a sense of progression in the relationship with Emi. The two characters don't fall for each other immediately, instead it's something that develops over time. It still has it's problems, though. The pacing isn't all that great, and yes, Kenji annoyed the crap out of me. Still, I'm considering giving it some sort of nod when I write my 2012 GOTY list.

Yikes.
Posted by Death_Unicorn

The subreddit for this game is also incredibly thoughtful and kind of fun as well, if anyone is interested.

Edited by MikeFightNight

Well I played through them all except RIn so far. Having also put this game into the vault somewhere in my mind after hearing about it awhile back and thinking the same thing as the OP did at first glance, I gotta say this game really did something I never expected a game could do. Make me feel some sort of emotions. I started with Emi by total accident as I didn't really understand how the choices at the beginning were funneling you to certain characters. I thought it was going to be as obvious as letting you pick which one's story you wanted to see from the start so before I knew it I was half way through Emi's arc and it felt like an organic build up. WIth that said Emi is my least favourite of the stories which says something about the others. She was also the only sex scene I explicitly skipped over due to how young she looks, too weird. However I did read through the infamous lube scene cause that shit was pretty hilarious, but also felt really out of place.

The winners for me are Lilly and Hanako. I also like their social pairing the best. Lilly feels like the most idealized romance story of the bunch having a lot of emotional ups and downs and Hanako was a really jarring emotional experience

Especially when you realize that wanting to protect and shelter her so much may not be the right path. Thought it was really cool you could end her story "un successfully" with a choice.

The game is not without faults as I feel some pacing is off and descriptive dialogue can run long and repeat the same points. I did find myself skipping some of Kenji's dialouge after awhile, liking him the best in Shizune's arc. That scene with him taking off his glasses and reminiscing while "The Who" played in my head had a lot to do with it. I have heard people say they like RIn's story the best so i'll have to check that out sometime in the future. My emotions have been kind of run ragged by this game so I need to take a break. Never ever thought I would say that about a game.

Posted by Dunchad

Despite being a somewhat avid consumer of anime and manga, I'd never tried a dating-sim/VN before, but because you duders were hyping this so much - I decided to give it a go. And I'm so glad I did.

It's pretty much all I've been playing for the past few days. I started off and kind of ended up doing Emi route successfully after which I went right back in and got a bad ending with Hanako - that ending was rough. Then I ended up dying. At which point I was hooked and decided to look for a flowchart that would help me with my quest to see every bad, neutral and good endings.

Right now, Rin is the only one left and I have to say, this has been one of the most emotionally gratifying games I've played in a long, long time. Only criticism I would make, would be about the art (not as good as I'd like it to be) and the somewhat unnecessary sex scenes - maybe not unnecessary, since they're a big part of the relationships, but I thought he artist wasn't quite up to the task. If you disable the adult scenes, are they just text? I might've preferred that.

Anyway, thanks for suggesting this. So far I've had an amazing year - played through Deus Ex: HR + DLC a week back (this years 2011 GotY for me - I love that world and I really hope there will be more) and now this.

*sigh* Just downhill from here then, I guess.

Posted by TobbRobb

@Dunchad: I haven't tried it myself, but I think the disable adult content thing only censors the pictures. You still get all the text.

Play Rin dammit, I feel like me and VGK are the only ones who actually like her.

Posted by MattyFTM

@TobbRobb said:

Play Rin dammit, I feel like me and VGK are the only ones who actually like her.

I've played the Rin route now, and I really liked it. It was funny and really endearing. It didn't have as much emotional impact on me as the Emi route, but I guess that's just because I played that first. But I did really like Rin's route.

Playing through Lilly at the moment. Again it seems good, but I'm pretty certain I'm not going to get a comparable experience as I got from Emi with any of these other characters.

Edited by FluxWaveZ

@TobbRobb said:

Play Rin dammit, I feel like me and VGK are the only ones who actually like her.

Well, that's obviously very unlikely since many people voted for her as their favorite character in the poll.

@MattyFTM said:

It didn't have as much emotional impact on me as the Emi route, but I guess that's just because I played that first.

First route I got was Emi's and that didn't appeal to me or impact me nearly as much as Rin's route did on my second playthrough. Probably because I disliked Emi.

Posted by Rehtayne

@Dunchad said:

If you disable the adult scenes, are they just text? I might've preferred that.

No. If you turn them off, the entire scene is replaced by a random, non-related picture accompanied by the sound of a beating heart. It doesn't really interrupt the story, but you do lose whatever character development they might've put in those parts.

Posted by Dunchad

@TobbRobb:

I did and... it might actually be my favourite one. I did her last because she was so hard to "get" and so that being the crux of her route was really fitting.

Somehow she felt really - real, I guess. I could imagine meeting a person like that, who can only express themselves through their art. The fact that she didn't have arms was pretty much inconsequential to the story and because there wasn't an obvious reason that would've explained all her issues, it made them just that much harder to understand. I was just as frustrated with her as the protagonist was, so seeing the good ending was really gratifying - despite it being a little bittersweet (to me anyway).

97% complete, but I don't think I will go back just for the few missing "paths" - I did Rin's neutral ending last, but I really wanted to finish on a high note, so I reloaded an earlier save and replayed Rin's good ending before watching the credits and quitting. This sort of makes me want to start looking into VNs in the hopes of finding something as good as this.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@FluxWaveZ said:

@TobbRobb said:

Play Rin dammit, I feel like me and VGK are the only ones who actually like her.

Well, that's obviously very unlikely since many people voted for her as their favorite character in the poll.

But she's still second to last in the polls. Hell, even Emi's ahead of her! The hell, guys?

Posted by huntad

I think the music in this game is fantastic. I've been listening to the soundtrack all day.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Video_Game_King said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@TobbRobb said:

Play Rin dammit, I feel like me and VGK are the only ones who actually like her.

Well, that's obviously very unlikely since many people voted for her as their favorite character in the poll.

But she's still second to last in the polls. Hell, even Emi's ahead of her! The hell, guys?

*laughs maniacally*

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Cloudenvy:

You do realize that since Rin has used her legs all her life, she'd be pretty fucking awesome at kicking your ass, right? (Also, while I'm here, I might as well tell you this, : that "I knew it; you can't be trusted" pic isn't from Emi's route. It's actually from Shizune's route.)

Posted by kashif1

@Cloudenvy said:

@Pezen said:

The sex, well, contrary to @MattyFTM, I actually enjoyed the "lemon scented lube" scene.

Where is that from?

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@kashif1: That horrid anime Angel Beats, apparently.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Video_Game_King: Pffffft, I'm not afraid of a fictional character!

Come at me, I say!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Cloudenvy:

I can transform into Rin, you know, and gain all of her ass-kicking powers.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Video_Game_King: As if you're going to travel to our dirty and inferior civilization just to kick my ass.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Cloudenvy:

You'd be amazed at how petty I am.

Posted by TobbRobb

@Cloudenvy: Stop this! You are increasing his postocount, and with it, HIS POWER!

Posted by Shun_Akiyama
@TobbRobb said:

@Cloudenvy: Stop this! You are increasing his postocount, and with it, HIS POWER!

Then you must raise your own, so we can get some Godzilla vs. Mecha Godzilla action.
Edited by Cloudenvy

@Video_Game_King: I'm going to go to bed now, if I am to wake up to you dropkicking me in the stomach then so be it!

You don't have the guts anyway.

@TobbRobb: I'll defeat him and his kingdom one day, don't you worry.

Posted by Video_Game_King