I Play Porn Games for the Story (and Porn) // 17.02.2012

Naked chicks in wheelchairs, man.

(You know what that means: I Play Porn Games for the Story (and Porn).) Yes, your one-stop blog for all things video games, anime, mash-ups and boobies. This time, we're covering the one visual novel I've actually heard of: Katawa Shoujo. (Technically, that should be Katawa Na Shoujo, but I'm in no position to lecture others on their shit Japanese.) How did I come about this game? Well, one day, (pictured here) decided to make a thread about how this game came out, and I decided to give the visual novel a try and jump into the awesome world of Katawa Shoujo.

So after a loading screen populated with incognito Chickenheads, the story proper begins. We see our protagonist Hisao Nakai waiting outside for no reason. At this point, the game creates a reason for him in the form of a girl. She asks him out, and he responds the only way he knows how: by having a heart attack. Unfortunately, it turns out that girls aren't too fond of near-death experiences they're not a part of, so Hisao spends a few months in the hospital before being sent off to Yamaku School (for the Katawa'd). It is here that Hisao is at his assholeiest. Now I could write a lot about why he's such an unlikable protagonist, but let's start things off slowly. First off, the guy is way too ready to invade the life of anything with a vagina in his school. Oh, it starts off innocent enough, as it's just him joining some club or activity or whatever to pass the time (even if that intrusive thing I mentioned earlier is more obvious with Rin (he has no interest in art, but ends up joining the art club, anyway) and Hanako (I have quite a few words about this one)), but give it a while. By the second act or so, he's gonna jam his way into whatever emotional problem he finds in a girl. What's that? Girl X (let's just say that it's Emi, because she seems the most prone to a Mega Man X situation) understandably wants to keep her emotional barriers? That's when Hisao tells the girl, "Fuck that! You tell me about the source of your emotional problems right now, you stuck up bitch!" (OK, the words aren't accurate, but the tone definitely is.) It gets especially bad with Leela look-alike Hanako, mainly because she usually feels obligated to up about her past, like Hisao is ready to punch her the moment she refuses. I know that part of this may be because it's a dating sim and all, but I still found myself yelling at him way too often for prying into their lives.

You know, the strange thing is that this looks a helluva lot like me. All you need to do is add a beard somewhere between "medieval-ass lord" and "19th century anarchist leader", and you have a pretty good idea of what I look like.

I guess the other problem I have with the guy is his stubborn inability to get over these girls' various disabilities. I'd recommend a drinking game based on how many times Hisao points out a girl's disability, but I think that would result in something very similar to the Kenji route (yes, the only other guy in the game gets his own route, and it isn't this). Regardless, Hisao just can't get past the various disabilities these girls have. I know what you're going to say: he's going to a new school, so it's gonna take time for him to adjust. I grant you that, but remember that I'm adjusting to all this, too, but I managed to do it better than him. It took me all of five seconds to stop thinking of Rin as "the girl with no arms" and move onto her as "the girl whose lungs are made of weed", and that was before I actually got to know her on her own damn route. (More on that later, though.) Hisao, on the other hand, still gets hung up on shit like this. At least early on, he spends a lot of time worrying about things like what words to use (probably shouldn't mention hearing around Shizune) or whether or not to ask the various girls about their disabilities. Do I even need to say anything? Yes? OK then: I found myself saying, "Jesus Christ. I'm absolute shit at talking to other people*,and I could do a better job of socializing with these girls than you." *(Combine Hanako's silence and isolation with Rin's "what the fuck" thought patterns and you have me.) But even ignoring that, he can't resist thinking dickish thoughts about these girls. Perfect example: at some random point in Scottish giant Lilly's route, Hisao finds himself amazed at how effortlessly she navigates the empty halls of Yamaku. Gee, what a goddamn surprise! Who would have thought that a girl who's been attending this school for longer than you would have little trouble finding her way around the damn place? But no. I guess her blindness trumps all. Dick.

But as much as I malign Hisao, I do love me the girls in this game. You see, unlike the judgmental prick that is Hisao, Katawa Shoujo doesn't really make a big deal about the Katawa part. It just introduces a girl's disability very briefly (well, as briefly as possible when Hisao's the narrator) before moving into some type of characterization, like bitch or 19th century girl or energetic slightly-less-bitch. Yes, I know, shallow (at least how I describe it), but give it time, because once you get into a girl's route, holy shit do things get dark. Is emotional baggage necessary for enrollment at Yamaku? Because every girl seems to have some. In fact, there's only one girl I can name who doesn't have severe psychological issues of any kind, and that's because she barely gets any development in the first place. (Granted, most girls don't get a lot of characterization outside their own route, but this girl in particular gets shafted the hardest. (Damn it, guys.)) Not that I can fault it too much for this approach; after all, how else would they make these characters so great in the first place? I don't know how they did it, but Four Leaf Studios managed to turn a girl with no arms into an actual person whom you can have feelings for. Do you understand how immensely important that is t the game? I doubt it. Not only does it make the story ultra powerful, but it contributes so much to the plot thematically. After all, what better way to show that these girls are actual people who aren't defined by their disabilities (despite what Hisao might think about it...asshole) than by convincing you of such? (Admittedly vague, but it works.) Hell, the story even managed to make a convincing case as to why Hanako deserves to be the developer's pet, even if she wasn't my favorite. Which girl did I like the most, you probably didn't ask? I'd say that my favorite route would have to be Rin's, for two reasons: she has a lot of room for legitimate growth as a character, and her problems aren't as cliched or contrived or fucking nonexistent as the other girls' are. Man, I loved that r-

Oh, and I should probably mention Miki. She's a strange character, to say the least. She has her own unique portrait, but you can't date her and she only gets a few scenes' worth of actual characterization. Shame, too, because look at how awesome she is.

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT! I don't love them in that way, you guys. Honest. In fact, the sex scenes can be kinda awkward. Usually, I'd say that it has something to do with it being a video game (what am I supposed to do with a boner when I'm trying to make the text move forward?), but this time, it's a story thing. Think about it: you've been developing these emotional attachments to these characters for three or four acts (the pattern seems to be "one or two sex scenes in the third act, another in the fourth to round things out"), so it's hard to get horny when the sex finally comes, especially if you were unlucky enough to get stuck with Misha. It's sort of like watching your friends fuck: it's weird enough as it is, and jerking off in the middle of things wouldn't improve it. Oh, and need I remind you that these are high school girls? If you're just playing this for the tits (hopefully mature ones), there are far more efficient ways to get nipples, like Google or YouTube or (those hentai game pics had to go somewhere. Just sayin'.). Although that's not to say that I didn't enjoy the sex scenes; I just didn't enjoy them as some type of masturbatory aid. I mean, it's pretty hard to masturbate to a picture of just some titties or whatever. Yet that's what I like so much about the sex scenes: they only show what's necessary. This isn't some pander-y bullshit that the developers threw in because they felt like it (except for Misha's sex scene, which kinda comes out of nowhere). There are some actual plot reasons behind Hisao fucking a girl in a wheelchair (it's to show that he's an inconsiderate asshole) or Hanako taking her clothes off for the protagonist (now that I've got the context out of the way...). OK, not all of the sex scenes are this important to the plot (again, Misha's is just there for whatever strange person wanted to see her naked), but my point is that some actual thought was put into these things.

As for the gameplay....what the shitting hell do you want me to say? There's not exactly a lot for me to comment on. You read a ton of text (which can oddly vary between something out of a novel and something out of a high school student's mouth), accidentally click a girl's boobs for two minutes, and occasionally make a choice. Is that what you want me to comment on? There's still not a lot to say about them. You click your choice and then move on with the story until another choice presents itself. Your early choices affect which girl you get to see naked (obviously), but it's not exactly clear how your choices are gonna play out, if you're trying to go after a specific girl. For example, how am I supposed to know that taking the offensive in a game of Risk allows me to go out with Shizune? I guess that missing scenes in the library are meant to give you that vague sense of direction, but it could be a little clearer. Eventually, though, you find yourself dating a girl, helping her overcome her emotional problems (I probably should have mentioned earlier that this is something else I don't like about Hisao, but I'm willing to put up with it for the sake of character development), and then moving onto another girl, abandoning that girl and her emotional baggage. I guess that's where the "game" part comes in, because I can't imagine this being a problem in any other medium. Again, it feels really insensitive to start a new route, knowing that, say, Emi's still gonna cry herself to sleep at night, or that Shizune will probably lead on OK life without many serious issues, all because you wanted to see Rin's boobs. Then again, I guess the only reason this would make you feel like an asshole (and it will) is because of how good it is at making these girls feel like actual people. You know what? After you've finished reading this, and after you've left a comment, go out and play this game. I don't care if you've already played it; go out and play it again, damn it.

Review Synopsis

  • I don't know who I hate more: Hisao Nakai, or Steve Burnside. OK, it's Steve. It wasn't even fucking close.
  • Regardless, I love the shit out of these girls...
  • ...but not in that way, you effing perverts.

Wait, there's one last thing I have to address before closing this portion of the blog: all 277 images I've taken of this game (not counting the Chickenhead thing from before, of course), spread across 182.67 MB. That definitely sounds like a lot, but to put things in perspective, I've only taken 183 images of Temple of Elemental Evil, a game whose progress I pain-stakingly transcribed over the course of eight blogs. But are there any patterns to be found in my insane image taking habits? Let's examine as I rank the girls (and Kenji, oddly enough) by how many pictures they got:

  • Oddly enough, there's a tie for first place between Shizune and Hanako with 68 images each. I spent most of my Hanako pictures simply yelling at Hisao for being the intrusive asshole that he is toward the one girl who SHOULDN'T be intruded upon, but my Shizune pictures are spread out a bit more evenly. Yes, I still yell at Hisao for his cuntly ways (quite literally), but I also indulged in some deaf jokes (can somebody explain how you laugh without making noise?), Shizune's funny faces, and the weird characters to be found in her route.
  • Next up is a girl between Shizune and Hanako, in a way (that's not at all sexual, you goddamn pervert): Lilly, with 65 images. Like Shizune, a lot of it is Hisao being an asshole, blind....OK, not jokes, but Hisao being an asshole about Lilly being blind (or disabled, really), and some truly odd gender issues. (You thought it was Akira, didn't you? Turns out Scottish girls all wish they had dicks.)
  • After these three girls, we see a sharp decline in the number of pictures. Emi lags far behind the competition with only 28 images to her name. I don't know if I've mentioned this before (I had to type this part up first, because there's no way you can drop about 300 images on a site and not explain yourself), but Emi was my first route, so I wasn't exactly used to the "capture every goddamn thing" mentality that I adopted in my final routes. (See if you can guess which ones those were.) Because of this, I mostly took reaction shot pictures that I could use in the forums. However, this was where I discovered how many pictures I was taking, so I decided to turn it into a game, of sorts: for each picture, write the title in all caps to highlight how much of a stalker Hiaso is when in a relationship. It didn't take long for that stalker mentality to convert itself into pure anger.
  • Wait, Act 1? That's not a girl. Regardless, the nebulous period between never having played the game and choosing which teenage girl you want to fuck managed to net 20 images. Again, I had not gotten into the rhythm of hitting Print Screen every time (did you think JPEGs could really eat up that much memory?), so most of these are simple reaction shots and forum weapons. Don't ever make me use this.
  • Rin, sadly, only got 20 pictures, but surprisingly, none of them used the word "fuck" (Effing A doesn't count). (This will make sense in a bit.) I abstained from doing so because I don't want to know what Nomiya does when he hears that word. (It's not uncommon for his pictures to end with scared shock.)
  • Kenji comes in at dead last with only six images to his name. Then again, that's limited to about a fifth of an act, because any more Kenji would be too much Kenji. Can you handle that much Kenji? Can anybody?
  • Finally, in the titles of my images, 39.5 of them were in all caps (here's the .5), and 22 of them used the word "fuck" in some fashion. Never before have I been so angry at a game I genuinely love so damn much. Unsurprisingly, Hanako takes the majority in both categories, because FUCK YOU HISAO, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU TO TREAT HER THE WAY YOU TREATED HER YOU FUCKING INVASIVE, FUCKING DEMEANING PIECE OF SHIT!!!!!!!!! *calms down* And that's Katawa Shoujo, ladies and gents.

Of course, this couldn't be I Play Porn Games for the Story (and Porn) without a random mash-up!

Sometimes, I play games without anime titties.

(It's not often, though.) In fact, there's a good chance that while you're reading this sentence, I'm playing Skyward Sword or Tear Ring Saga or something else. But this blog isn't about those; instead, it's about random indie platformer LIMBO. Wait, I thought I couldn't run this game. What the hell gives? Well, through the magic power of magic, I was able to beat the hell out of the game, seeing the part of the game that comes after the middle. At some point, though, I should probably mention that the game is pretty decent.

Although damn if it takes its sweet-ass time getting there. Hell, it takes about all of the game alone to figure out just what you're supposed to do, and even then, it's not very clear. Apparently, the game's about a boy-shaped shadow trying to find a girl....or humanity...or something. It doesn't really go into detail, mainly because it's a silent game. Combine this with the stark black and white footage, and it's like a silent movie. The only difference is that instead of Alfred E. Moonman getting a rocket to the eye, LIMBO focuses more on a bleak atmosphere. Unfortunately, at least in the beginning, "bleak" tends to mean "ungodly boring." I don't even know how to describe such a nondescript feeling. It just is. I'd say something especially nasty about it, but it's not even the type of atmosphere that teases out an emotional response...at first. Trust me, though: stick through it. Stick through those first few boring levels (probably not the best way to say that, given that the game doesn't really tell you where levels cut off), because things eventually become entertaining. Wait, did I say "entertaining"? I meant "cartoonishly dark." I don't know how to explain it, but just about everything around you looks like it wants to kill you as soon as possible. (More on that in a minute, though.) Maybe it's the black and white thing from before, or how half the objects in the game are sharp, twisted monsters, but holy hell, does it work. I struggle to think of anything that gets away with anything as sick as this, but that may be because I'm incredibly lazy.

Wait, is this Saira all over again? Am I gonna have to hop from planet to planet just to find my boyfriend or whatever? (I wanted a picture of the brain slug portions, but it seems that there aren't any on the site, possibly because they suck so hard that nobody wanted to capture them.)

You know what helps this dark, malevolent atmosphere? Death. Tons and tons of death over the course of the game (assuming that you're not the type of person who can predict the future and somehow avert it simultaneously). Oddly enough, though, it actually gets really creative with just how many ways you'll die. Push a button (or don't)? Dead. Fail to climb off a rope in time? Impaled on a spike (which usually results in death). Succeed in climbing a rope? Bear trap. Finish the game? Dead. I wouldn't be surprised if you jumped around each part of the game like an asshole just searching for all the cool ways to die. Granted, that would destroy any semblance of atmosphere the game once had, but I'm willing to overlook that, given how much the deaths add to the atmosphere. After all, the world wouldn't feel so threatening if things couldn't kill you. It forces you to be suspicious of every little goddamn thing, since even the floor can kill you. It's like I Wanna Be the Guy, only more purposeful and enjoyable. Unfortunately, going all I Wanna Be the Guy throughout the game does have its downsides, like it being I Wanna Be the Guy for much of the game. I know that I said that I love how creative it can be with the deaths and everything, but sometimes, I want to progress through the goddamn game, and dying a ton doesn't exactly help that. It only gets worse when a lot of the deaths are trial-and-error shit you have no way of knowing about until it kills you (I'd call it a double-edged blade, but I'm afraid that sword would kill me as soon as I finish this line), or when you discover that you can't skip a death ani-

Fuck. I suddenly remembered something. I forgot to explain what type of game this is (I seem to have a problem with this). Like every goddamn indie game in existence (I think Johnathan Blow decreed it law of the land), it's a puzzle platformer. However, unlike a lot of indie games (Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, I guess Plok (I think), etc.), LIMBO's platforming isn't very good, and there's only one reason for it: the controls. I'd say that I've never seen anything so sluggish, but that would be forgetting my last blog. Regardless, there does seem to be a delay in the controls, which wouldn't be so bad if timing wasn't so damn important. I know that I said that I like the deaths in this game, but there's a limit to how many times a person can die. Fortunately, there's another part to this puzzle platformer that makes up for all the mean things I said before, and it doesn't involve platforming: puzzles! Turns out that these are actually pretty cool. Now remember earlier, when I said that you have to observe the hell out of the world to figure out how to survive? Well, that leads to some awesome puzzles. I could go off on a tangent about all the things I like about the puzzles, such as their creativity or how few of them involve brain slugs, but for brevity's sake, I'll just limit it to how contained all the puzzles are. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out: the solution to just about every single riddle can be found in the world itself. No need to yell at the game for making you hunt down a walkthrough on the first day; just you looking at black & white stuff and using your tiny brain to figure things out. Granted, there are those stupid trial-and-error puzzles I mentioned before, but the other puzzles are cool enough to make up for that crap. Besides, quite a few of those are the types of puzzles that thrive on you being a speed freak who wants to blast through the game, so it's hard to hold that against the game.

Review Synopsis

  • Man, this is a dark game, and yes, I mean it both ways.
  • You cannot escape death, nor can you skip it if you've seen it already.
  • Something something puzzles are awesome.
  • Wait, why is this blog so mean-spirited, again?
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Posted by Video_Game_King

Naked chicks in wheelchairs, man.

(You know what that means: I Play Porn Games for the Story (and Porn).) Yes, your one-stop blog for all things video games, anime, mash-ups and boobies. This time, we're covering the one visual novel I've actually heard of: Katawa Shoujo. (Technically, that should be Katawa Na Shoujo, but I'm in no position to lecture others on their shit Japanese.) How did I come about this game? Well, one day, (pictured here) decided to make a thread about how this game came out, and I decided to give the visual novel a try and jump into the awesome world of Katawa Shoujo.

So after a loading screen populated with incognito Chickenheads, the story proper begins. We see our protagonist Hisao Nakai waiting outside for no reason. At this point, the game creates a reason for him in the form of a girl. She asks him out, and he responds the only way he knows how: by having a heart attack. Unfortunately, it turns out that girls aren't too fond of near-death experiences they're not a part of, so Hisao spends a few months in the hospital before being sent off to Yamaku School (for the Katawa'd). It is here that Hisao is at his assholeiest. Now I could write a lot about why he's such an unlikable protagonist, but let's start things off slowly. First off, the guy is way too ready to invade the life of anything with a vagina in his school. Oh, it starts off innocent enough, as it's just him joining some club or activity or whatever to pass the time (even if that intrusive thing I mentioned earlier is more obvious with Rin (he has no interest in art, but ends up joining the art club, anyway) and Hanako (I have quite a few words about this one)), but give it a while. By the second act or so, he's gonna jam his way into whatever emotional problem he finds in a girl. What's that? Girl X (let's just say that it's Emi, because she seems the most prone to a Mega Man X situation) understandably wants to keep her emotional barriers? That's when Hisao tells the girl, "Fuck that! You tell me about the source of your emotional problems right now, you stuck up bitch!" (OK, the words aren't accurate, but the tone definitely is.) It gets especially bad with Leela look-alike Hanako, mainly because she usually feels obligated to up about her past, like Hisao is ready to punch her the moment she refuses. I know that part of this may be because it's a dating sim and all, but I still found myself yelling at him way too often for prying into their lives.

You know, the strange thing is that this looks a helluva lot like me. All you need to do is add a beard somewhere between "medieval-ass lord" and "19th century anarchist leader", and you have a pretty good idea of what I look like.

I guess the other problem I have with the guy is his stubborn inability to get over these girls' various disabilities. I'd recommend a drinking game based on how many times Hisao points out a girl's disability, but I think that would result in something very similar to the Kenji route (yes, the only other guy in the game gets his own route, and it isn't this). Regardless, Hisao just can't get past the various disabilities these girls have. I know what you're going to say: he's going to a new school, so it's gonna take time for him to adjust. I grant you that, but remember that I'm adjusting to all this, too, but I managed to do it better than him. It took me all of five seconds to stop thinking of Rin as "the girl with no arms" and move onto her as "the girl whose lungs are made of weed", and that was before I actually got to know her on her own damn route. (More on that later, though.) Hisao, on the other hand, still gets hung up on shit like this. At least early on, he spends a lot of time worrying about things like what words to use (probably shouldn't mention hearing around Shizune) or whether or not to ask the various girls about their disabilities. Do I even need to say anything? Yes? OK then: I found myself saying, "Jesus Christ. I'm absolute shit at talking to other people*,and I could do a better job of socializing with these girls than you." *(Combine Hanako's silence and isolation with Rin's "what the fuck" thought patterns and you have me.) But even ignoring that, he can't resist thinking dickish thoughts about these girls. Perfect example: at some random point in Scottish giant Lilly's route, Hisao finds himself amazed at how effortlessly she navigates the empty halls of Yamaku. Gee, what a goddamn surprise! Who would have thought that a girl who's been attending this school for longer than you would have little trouble finding her way around the damn place? But no. I guess her blindness trumps all. Dick.

But as much as I malign Hisao, I do love me the girls in this game. You see, unlike the judgmental prick that is Hisao, Katawa Shoujo doesn't really make a big deal about the Katawa part. It just introduces a girl's disability very briefly (well, as briefly as possible when Hisao's the narrator) before moving into some type of characterization, like bitch or 19th century girl or energetic slightly-less-bitch. Yes, I know, shallow (at least how I describe it), but give it time, because once you get into a girl's route, holy shit do things get dark. Is emotional baggage necessary for enrollment at Yamaku? Because every girl seems to have some. In fact, there's only one girl I can name who doesn't have severe psychological issues of any kind, and that's because she barely gets any development in the first place. (Granted, most girls don't get a lot of characterization outside their own route, but this girl in particular gets shafted the hardest. (Damn it, guys.)) Not that I can fault it too much for this approach; after all, how else would they make these characters so great in the first place? I don't know how they did it, but Four Leaf Studios managed to turn a girl with no arms into an actual person whom you can have feelings for. Do you understand how immensely important that is t the game? I doubt it. Not only does it make the story ultra powerful, but it contributes so much to the plot thematically. After all, what better way to show that these girls are actual people who aren't defined by their disabilities (despite what Hisao might think about it...asshole) than by convincing you of such? (Admittedly vague, but it works.) Hell, the story even managed to make a convincing case as to why Hanako deserves to be the developer's pet, even if she wasn't my favorite. Which girl did I like the most, you probably didn't ask? I'd say that my favorite route would have to be Rin's, for two reasons: she has a lot of room for legitimate growth as a character, and her problems aren't as cliched or contrived or fucking nonexistent as the other girls' are. Man, I loved that r-

Oh, and I should probably mention Miki. She's a strange character, to say the least. She has her own unique portrait, but you can't date her and she only gets a few scenes' worth of actual characterization. Shame, too, because look at how awesome she is.

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT! I don't love them in that way, you guys. Honest. In fact, the sex scenes can be kinda awkward. Usually, I'd say that it has something to do with it being a video game (what am I supposed to do with a boner when I'm trying to make the text move forward?), but this time, it's a story thing. Think about it: you've been developing these emotional attachments to these characters for three or four acts (the pattern seems to be "one or two sex scenes in the third act, another in the fourth to round things out"), so it's hard to get horny when the sex finally comes, especially if you were unlucky enough to get stuck with Misha. It's sort of like watching your friends fuck: it's weird enough as it is, and jerking off in the middle of things wouldn't improve it. Oh, and need I remind you that these are high school girls? If you're just playing this for the tits (hopefully mature ones), there are far more efficient ways to get nipples, like Google or YouTube or (those hentai game pics had to go somewhere. Just sayin'.). Although that's not to say that I didn't enjoy the sex scenes; I just didn't enjoy them as some type of masturbatory aid. I mean, it's pretty hard to masturbate to a picture of just some titties or whatever. Yet that's what I like so much about the sex scenes: they only show what's necessary. This isn't some pander-y bullshit that the developers threw in because they felt like it (except for Misha's sex scene, which kinda comes out of nowhere). There are some actual plot reasons behind Hisao fucking a girl in a wheelchair (it's to show that he's an inconsiderate asshole) or Hanako taking her clothes off for the protagonist (now that I've got the context out of the way...). OK, not all of the sex scenes are this important to the plot (again, Misha's is just there for whatever strange person wanted to see her naked), but my point is that some actual thought was put into these things.

As for the gameplay....what the shitting hell do you want me to say? There's not exactly a lot for me to comment on. You read a ton of text (which can oddly vary between something out of a novel and something out of a high school student's mouth), accidentally click a girl's boobs for two minutes, and occasionally make a choice. Is that what you want me to comment on? There's still not a lot to say about them. You click your choice and then move on with the story until another choice presents itself. Your early choices affect which girl you get to see naked (obviously), but it's not exactly clear how your choices are gonna play out, if you're trying to go after a specific girl. For example, how am I supposed to know that taking the offensive in a game of Risk allows me to go out with Shizune? I guess that missing scenes in the library are meant to give you that vague sense of direction, but it could be a little clearer. Eventually, though, you find yourself dating a girl, helping her overcome her emotional problems (I probably should have mentioned earlier that this is something else I don't like about Hisao, but I'm willing to put up with it for the sake of character development), and then moving onto another girl, abandoning that girl and her emotional baggage. I guess that's where the "game" part comes in, because I can't imagine this being a problem in any other medium. Again, it feels really insensitive to start a new route, knowing that, say, Emi's still gonna cry herself to sleep at night, or that Shizune will probably lead on OK life without many serious issues, all because you wanted to see Rin's boobs. Then again, I guess the only reason this would make you feel like an asshole (and it will) is because of how good it is at making these girls feel like actual people. You know what? After you've finished reading this, and after you've left a comment, go out and play this game. I don't care if you've already played it; go out and play it again, damn it.

Review Synopsis

  • I don't know who I hate more: Hisao Nakai, or Steve Burnside. OK, it's Steve. It wasn't even fucking close.
  • Regardless, I love the shit out of these girls...
  • ...but not in that way, you effing perverts.

Wait, there's one last thing I have to address before closing this portion of the blog: all 277 images I've taken of this game (not counting the Chickenhead thing from before, of course), spread across 182.67 MB. That definitely sounds like a lot, but to put things in perspective, I've only taken 183 images of Temple of Elemental Evil, a game whose progress I pain-stakingly transcribed over the course of eight blogs. But are there any patterns to be found in my insane image taking habits? Let's examine as I rank the girls (and Kenji, oddly enough) by how many pictures they got:

  • Oddly enough, there's a tie for first place between Shizune and Hanako with 68 images each. I spent most of my Hanako pictures simply yelling at Hisao for being the intrusive asshole that he is toward the one girl who SHOULDN'T be intruded upon, but my Shizune pictures are spread out a bit more evenly. Yes, I still yell at Hisao for his cuntly ways (quite literally), but I also indulged in some deaf jokes (can somebody explain how you laugh without making noise?), Shizune's funny faces, and the weird characters to be found in her route.
  • Next up is a girl between Shizune and Hanako, in a way (that's not at all sexual, you goddamn pervert): Lilly, with 65 images. Like Shizune, a lot of it is Hisao being an asshole, blind....OK, not jokes, but Hisao being an asshole about Lilly being blind (or disabled, really), and some truly odd gender issues. (You thought it was Akira, didn't you? Turns out Scottish girls all wish they had dicks.)
  • After these three girls, we see a sharp decline in the number of pictures. Emi lags far behind the competition with only 28 images to her name. I don't know if I've mentioned this before (I had to type this part up first, because there's no way you can drop about 300 images on a site and not explain yourself), but Emi was my first route, so I wasn't exactly used to the "capture every goddamn thing" mentality that I adopted in my final routes. (See if you can guess which ones those were.) Because of this, I mostly took reaction shot pictures that I could use in the forums. However, this was where I discovered how many pictures I was taking, so I decided to turn it into a game, of sorts: for each picture, write the title in all caps to highlight how much of a stalker Hiaso is when in a relationship. It didn't take long for that stalker mentality to convert itself into pure anger.
  • Wait, Act 1? That's not a girl. Regardless, the nebulous period between never having played the game and choosing which teenage girl you want to fuck managed to net 20 images. Again, I had not gotten into the rhythm of hitting Print Screen every time (did you think JPEGs could really eat up that much memory?), so most of these are simple reaction shots and forum weapons. Don't ever make me use this.
  • Rin, sadly, only got 20 pictures, but surprisingly, none of them used the word "fuck" (Effing A doesn't count). (This will make sense in a bit.) I abstained from doing so because I don't want to know what Nomiya does when he hears that word. (It's not uncommon for his pictures to end with scared shock.)
  • Kenji comes in at dead last with only six images to his name. Then again, that's limited to about a fifth of an act, because any more Kenji would be too much Kenji. Can you handle that much Kenji? Can anybody?
  • Finally, in the titles of my images, 39.5 of them were in all caps (here's the .5), and 22 of them used the word "fuck" in some fashion. Never before have I been so angry at a game I genuinely love so damn much. Unsurprisingly, Hanako takes the majority in both categories, because FUCK YOU HISAO, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU TO TREAT HER THE WAY YOU TREATED HER YOU FUCKING INVASIVE, FUCKING DEMEANING PIECE OF SHIT!!!!!!!!! *calms down* And that's Katawa Shoujo, ladies and gents.

Of course, this couldn't be I Play Porn Games for the Story (and Porn) without a random mash-up!

Sometimes, I play games without anime titties.

(It's not often, though.) In fact, there's a good chance that while you're reading this sentence, I'm playing Skyward Sword or Tear Ring Saga or something else. But this blog isn't about those; instead, it's about random indie platformer LIMBO. Wait, I thought I couldn't run this game. What the hell gives? Well, through the magic power of magic, I was able to beat the hell out of the game, seeing the part of the game that comes after the middle. At some point, though, I should probably mention that the game is pretty decent.

Although damn if it takes its sweet-ass time getting there. Hell, it takes about all of the game alone to figure out just what you're supposed to do, and even then, it's not very clear. Apparently, the game's about a boy-shaped shadow trying to find a girl....or humanity...or something. It doesn't really go into detail, mainly because it's a silent game. Combine this with the stark black and white footage, and it's like a silent movie. The only difference is that instead of Alfred E. Moonman getting a rocket to the eye, LIMBO focuses more on a bleak atmosphere. Unfortunately, at least in the beginning, "bleak" tends to mean "ungodly boring." I don't even know how to describe such a nondescript feeling. It just is. I'd say something especially nasty about it, but it's not even the type of atmosphere that teases out an emotional response...at first. Trust me, though: stick through it. Stick through those first few boring levels (probably not the best way to say that, given that the game doesn't really tell you where levels cut off), because things eventually become entertaining. Wait, did I say "entertaining"? I meant "cartoonishly dark." I don't know how to explain it, but just about everything around you looks like it wants to kill you as soon as possible. (More on that in a minute, though.) Maybe it's the black and white thing from before, or how half the objects in the game are sharp, twisted monsters, but holy hell, does it work. I struggle to think of anything that gets away with anything as sick as this, but that may be because I'm incredibly lazy.

Wait, is this Saira all over again? Am I gonna have to hop from planet to planet just to find my boyfriend or whatever? (I wanted a picture of the brain slug portions, but it seems that there aren't any on the site, possibly because they suck so hard that nobody wanted to capture them.)

You know what helps this dark, malevolent atmosphere? Death. Tons and tons of death over the course of the game (assuming that you're not the type of person who can predict the future and somehow avert it simultaneously). Oddly enough, though, it actually gets really creative with just how many ways you'll die. Push a button (or don't)? Dead. Fail to climb off a rope in time? Impaled on a spike (which usually results in death). Succeed in climbing a rope? Bear trap. Finish the game? Dead. I wouldn't be surprised if you jumped around each part of the game like an asshole just searching for all the cool ways to die. Granted, that would destroy any semblance of atmosphere the game once had, but I'm willing to overlook that, given how much the deaths add to the atmosphere. After all, the world wouldn't feel so threatening if things couldn't kill you. It forces you to be suspicious of every little goddamn thing, since even the floor can kill you. It's like I Wanna Be the Guy, only more purposeful and enjoyable. Unfortunately, going all I Wanna Be the Guy throughout the game does have its downsides, like it being I Wanna Be the Guy for much of the game. I know that I said that I love how creative it can be with the deaths and everything, but sometimes, I want to progress through the goddamn game, and dying a ton doesn't exactly help that. It only gets worse when a lot of the deaths are trial-and-error shit you have no way of knowing about until it kills you (I'd call it a double-edged blade, but I'm afraid that sword would kill me as soon as I finish this line), or when you discover that you can't skip a death ani-

Fuck. I suddenly remembered something. I forgot to explain what type of game this is (I seem to have a problem with this). Like every goddamn indie game in existence (I think Johnathan Blow decreed it law of the land), it's a puzzle platformer. However, unlike a lot of indie games (Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, I guess Plok (I think), etc.), LIMBO's platforming isn't very good, and there's only one reason for it: the controls. I'd say that I've never seen anything so sluggish, but that would be forgetting my last blog. Regardless, there does seem to be a delay in the controls, which wouldn't be so bad if timing wasn't so damn important. I know that I said that I like the deaths in this game, but there's a limit to how many times a person can die. Fortunately, there's another part to this puzzle platformer that makes up for all the mean things I said before, and it doesn't involve platforming: puzzles! Turns out that these are actually pretty cool. Now remember earlier, when I said that you have to observe the hell out of the world to figure out how to survive? Well, that leads to some awesome puzzles. I could go off on a tangent about all the things I like about the puzzles, such as their creativity or how few of them involve brain slugs, but for brevity's sake, I'll just limit it to how contained all the puzzles are. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out: the solution to just about every single riddle can be found in the world itself. No need to yell at the game for making you hunt down a walkthrough on the first day; just you looking at black & white stuff and using your tiny brain to figure things out. Granted, there are those stupid trial-and-error puzzles I mentioned before, but the other puzzles are cool enough to make up for that crap. Besides, quite a few of those are the types of puzzles that thrive on you being a speed freak who wants to blast through the game, so it's hard to hold that against the game.

Review Synopsis

  • Man, this is a dark game, and yes, I mean it both ways.
  • You cannot escape death, nor can you skip it if you've seen it already.
  • Something something puzzles are awesome.
  • Wait, why is this blog so mean-spirited, again?
Posted by jetsetwillie

what's a porn game?

Posted by Video_Game_King

@jetsetwillie:

........Chrono Trigger. It's Chrono Trigger.

Posted by Sweep

I agree that the protagonist in Katawa whateverthefuckit'scalled is a complete dickhead, but he is far from alone. I thought the writing in general was absolutely terrible, predictable, and lacking any distinctive character. The girls all seemed completely interchangeable, their "issues" overwhelmingly boring. The girl with no legs wants to be an Athlete! Click for 5 hours to see how that pans out.

I imagine if you are a teenager then this kind of emotional drama probably resonates with you on a deep and meaningful level, but I couldn't help but find the entire game cripplingly naive and immature.

So, in summary, fuck that game.

Moderator
Posted by Ravenlight

Hisao is a total tool, I'm glad someone's taken the time to painstakingly document how he's only slightly less emotionally oblivious than a jar of mayonnaise. However, his dickishness only made Manly Picnic all the more awesome.

I laughed out loud at the .5 image. Now people are looking at me. Gowaygoawaygoaway...

@Sweep said:

I couldn't help but find the entire game cripplingly naive and immature.

I GET IT!

Posted by TruthTellah

@Video_Game_King said:

@jetsetwillie:

........Chrono Trigger. It's Chrono Trigger.

That's Brono Trigger around these parts, bub. And don't you forget it.

Posted by Crocio

You should have posted this on valentine's day.

Posted by Pezen

I never really disliked Hisao or his judgements regarding the disabilities. Especially since he comes in resenting himself and his situation and I can see someone like Hisao being a dick about it since to him, he's entering the "special school" which probably comes with a lot of stigma to it. But beyond that he's looking at it from a dark subjective place rather than an objective one. Still, I do agree that his insecurities regarding their disabilities later on becomes rather silly. Another part about him (or rather the writing) that I found rather strange was how oddly they sometimes positioned his thoughts in the different story arcs. Hanako's for example suffers a lot from this as it almost feels like he's trying to bone Lilly most of the way through that story until "omgsexyscar". But most of all I disliked Hisao's utter inability to add 2 and 2 together with obvious events.

Contrary to @Sweep's opinion on teen enjoyment, I bonded (as can be shown by my snazzy avatar) rather deeply with the events and characters of this game and I'm going on 29. There are events in that game that bring up old memories for me as well as the main personality traits of some of the girls are as if taken from some of my own issues. But it may also be that this part of ones life, the school years, are years I never experienced what Hisao is going through (as far as love, that is), so it comes to life through my lack of experience and builds on the assumption of how it could have been. Which is probably why whenever I finished an arc I came out feeling like I woke up from the best dream you could have. So that whole thing may be just as much my underdeveloped emotional barriers as it was the game's writing quality.

I think my main gripes with the game was anything with Kenji (skip skip skip fucking skip), some of Emi's faces made her look 12 at best and some sections felt artificially lengthened and as if the game was stepping around something until it felt it could go on. But I have no major complaints, especially since it was free. Hell, I felt like throwing money at someone when I was done. Ah well.

Glad to see this blog finally up, I've been looking forward to it.

Also, regarding Limbo, I agree about the sluggish controls, though it never really detracted anything to me. Man, I need to finish that game, I love the art style of it.

Posted by gale

Aha, yeah, Hisao's a complete asshole. After finishing Emi's route, I went back out of morbid curiosity and clicked on the "instant death" option you get when you first visit her mother, and man. After the shit he says to her in that branch, on top of everything else he's done, I was cheering for her when she broke up with him. She would've been completely right to tear him a new one after that, but she handles the situation with remarkable maturity, and does a great job of avoiding getting bogged down with his sullen self-righteousness any further.

And Hanako. Good god, Hanako. She really deserves a better friend than that jerk. So many times in that route (especially in the last act) it felt like I'd made some horrible, horrible misstep somewhere along the line and had inadvertently locked myself into a bad end, but no, apparently Hisao doesn't need any help with keeping his decision-making skills as horrible as possible, and that's just the way it's supposed to go. Jesus.

And the sex scenes. Urgh. Ok, to be fair, the presentation isn't exceptionally distasteful, it's just that Hisao is involved in all of them, and he continues to be a terrible, terrible person. The thought of maybe slowing down, or easing off a little, or heaven forbid, stopping, just never seems to enter his mind at all. If he was just not good at reading his partner, that'd be... Bad, but I wouldn't hate him too much for it. But how many times does he make a point of explicitly noticing that his partner isn't enjoying herself, or even that she's actively suffering, but then he just carries on like there's nothing he can do about it other than finish up quick? I guess it's not exactly an uncommon sentiment, but come on. Are we seriously supposed to like this guy at all?

I don't know. I haven't tried any of the other routes yet. I feel like I might've managed to luck into seeing Hisao at his absolute worst, and come away with a disproportionately negative opinion, but that might be too much to hope for. I kinda like the game - the characters, at least - but man. I really wish Hisao didn't have to be involved.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Sweep:

The girls were interchangeable? How do interchange the shy-as-shit Hanako with stoner girl Rin? They were all pretty damn individual and compelling, to say the least.

Wait, are you calling me a teenager? I haven't been a teenager for 355 years.

@Ravenlight:

Wait, it made the manly picnic awesome? Kenji was the entire reason that moment was awesome. Hisao doesn't make shit awesome; Kenji makes shit awesome.

@Crocio:

I post my blogs on Thursdays, though. No negotiation.

@Pezen:

I think I addressed that complaint, though. I'm adjusting just as much as he is (it's not like I came into this already having played Katawa Shoujo), yet I was able to move past their disabilities within a single conversation. Why the hell can't he?

I wouldn't blame him for trying to bone Lilly; if I were in that situation, I'd rather fuck Lilly than Hanako (I'm a narcissist, but not THAT much of a narcissist).

*reads next part of post, tries to say something about Hanako without saying a lot about her*

DO NOT SKIP KENJI. NOBODY SKIPS KENJI.

Really? Her face makes her look like she's twelve? She's not only the flattest girl in the game, but also the shortest one. I think that if it wasn't so easy to stumble into her route, you could be arrested for pedophilia.

@gale:

Oh, I wasn't cheering at that point. My jaw was on the floor, thinking, "You fucking asshole. Did you really just say that to her? What the hell is wrong with you?" If you want to see me cheering, skip to Hanako's bad ending. I stood and applauded when she called him out for all that shit.

Yea, I really hated how he treated her in that route, and I've already outlined the reasons for it (here's another). The only reason I ranked her route second is because of how much I related and empathized with the poor girl.

To be fair, though, there are actual story reasons for a lot of the sex. Hanako was willing to fuck him just so he would stop seeing her as something that needs protecting and as more of an equal (it works and doesn't work), and Emi's butt stuff was there to show how much of an asshole Hisao is to buttfuck a girl who's stuck in a wheelchair all day.

Yea, you definitely hit Hisao at his absolute worst. Go and play the Shizune and Rin routes; at least there, he doesn't give them too much crap for their disabilities (although he is pretty hard on Rin).

Posted by Sweep

@Video_Game_King: I meant their bullshit insecurities were interchangeable. Which they are.

Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Sweep:

Not really, though. Yea, they all have trouble socializing with people, but it's not the same for each of them. (SPOILERS INBOUND.)

  • Emi's still pretty shaken up about her dad dying.
  • Shizune inadvertently pushes away any friends she comes close to making.
  • Rin has trouble putting her thoughts into words that other people can understand.
  • Lilly's actually got it alright. Maybe she hides her problems, but that's about it.
  • Hanako honestly can't socialize with other people on any level because of her terrible experiences with others.
Posted by Pezen

@Video_Game_King: You can because you're playing a game and you accept them for who they are in that game. But I don't think anyone in real life would adjust to something they're not used to after just one conversation, and if you generally are that type of person that's truly commendable and more people should be like you. I have yet to actually meet someone like that though. Though, as said, at some point he should get over it.

How would having sex with Hanako be narcissistic?

Fuck Kenji and his stupid face, I actually got annoyed every time I heard that song and his madness ensued on my screen. Never was it fun, interesting or otherwise an enjoyable part of the game. Granted, as soon as I began disliking him I skipped everything with him, so I'm judging him based on the fact that I just don't like him.

I've met plenty of short and/or flat girls. In fact, there's a girl at my job (with legs) that could almost pass for Emi superficially. So, small tits and/or short girls are not always a dead ringer for young girls to me. However, in some pictures, yes it's her face.

Edited by Turambar

People can come to fully accept others' disabilities in a matter of days, even when those disabilities are extremely physically distinct?  I currently work as a TA in a 7th grade class of 32 where 14 of the students are Special Ed., each with rather distinct mental and emotional challenges.  It's gonna take me a hell lot longer than a few days to come to know how to handle the girl that makes Hanako seem extremely outgoing due to her own extremely traumatic past.  Or how about the student who, despite being extremely intelligent, does not have the motor skills to match the speed of his thoughts, and thus literally cannot write?  Or the student that cannot read text unless they are triple spaced?  Then there is the student whose family life has her arriving at school half an hour earlier than all the others so she can brush her teeth and take a shower, and is on constantly changing medication ontop of that?  Let's not forget the student who is extremely OCD, wears the same shirt each day, grasps his collar the same way, and is incapable of participating in more than one class a day?  I can go on but you're saying that people only needs but a few days to get past all of that?  You either would make the world's best Special Ed teacher or you're full of bullshit.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Well, you've now fallen down the dark path of playing games where you "emotionally connect" with hand drawn anime girls in order to get yourself some naked cartoon pussy. If this ends with you seeking out more "visual novels" in order to compete with another prolific blogger (and it's not me. If you want to play a bunch of obscure late-90s CRPGs to compete with me then go for it) this may end poorly for the universe.

Posted by BulletproofMonk

I've only played through Shizune's route, and I don't think Hisao came off as that much of a dick. He was straight with her, but never an outright asshole. 

Edited by Mento

I still haven't played Katawa Shoujo, but I can see that the immature way it treats disabilities and teenagers and teenagers with disabilities is rubbing people the wrong way. Fortunately, as someone with no capacity for compassion or empathy that I'm aware of, I find I can make endless comics about it. Like this one:

Consider it punishment for tagging me on this blog for no reason.

/edit: Also don't let me hear you talk smack about Plok neither. It's easily in the top 5 SNES platformers, and that's no minor thing.

Moderator Online
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento:

Immature? It handles it pretty maturely; it's Hisao that treats it all pretty immaturely.

Awesome. Now make one of Shizune being a master of karate or something.

I gave you a reason. It was in that blog about Skyward Sword and whatnot.

@BulletproofMonk:

Just you wait until you hit the other routes. Remember what I said about Hisao being amazed at how good Lilly is at being blind? THAT NEVER GOES AWAY.

@ArbitraryWater:

I think the only other one I'd even touch is that other visual novel made by the Digital: A Love Story lady, and given that I didn't care for Digital, I think the universe is fine. For now.

@Turambar:

I'd point out that these are more physical disabilities than mental ones (the game even makes a point of this), but goddamn it. Also, Hisao still has trouble with this thing, even long after it should have stopped being a problem.

@Pezen:

Did you see the part where I said that I'm like Hanako with a touch of Rin? I can also become Hanako, too, so it'd be pretty goddamn weird to do that. It'd be like masturbating to yourself, only not masturbating to yourself. Like you made two clones of yourself, disemboweled one so you could wear his skin, and then demand the second to do sexy dances so you can masturbate to said sexy dances. Also, the second clone is on fire, because I'm clearly a monster, at this point, so why the shit not?

How can you not like the bastard?

Tell me which part of the picture you do not like.

I still do not understand that concept. I'm willing to compromise with you on pigtails (do you know any girl who wears pigtails past the age of six?), but that's about it.

Edited by Mento

@Video_Game_King: Oh yeah, you totally did. Man, it's a rum state of affairs when I'm not even reading my own blogs.

Limbo is fun times, in a Heart of Darkness insta-death crapshoot sort of way. The way each death is so lovingly animated, it almost feels rude to avoid all those deathtraps. As for Plok, I still maintain that anything with a Follin Bros soundtrack is too good to be an Indie platformer. I mean, too noteworthy. I mean, too instrumental to the indus.. you know, I'm just going to stop before I get too insulting. I was already pushing it with that comic.

Moderator Online
Posted by Wraith1

I'm disabled and found nothing wrong with Katawa Shoujo, except for the sex scenes, those were just awkward. That reminds me, I need to finish Emi's route since that's the only one I haven't done yet. Also Hisao can be such a dick in some parts of the game

Posted by Turambar
@Video_Game_King said:

@Turambar:

I'd point out that these are more physical disabilities than mental ones (the game even makes a point of this), but goddamn it. Also, Hisao still has trouble with this thing, even long after it should have stopped being a problem.

And my point is a distinctly physical disability is even more difficult to look past than an "invisible" mental one.  Also what the hell does that even mean.  By what rubric are you using that he "should have" stopped noticing it?
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Wraith1:

You haven't done Emi's route, yet? Well, that sex scene opinion probably won't change, then.

@Turambar:

After he got to know the girls and realized that since they aren't too hung up about their disabilities, why the hell should he be? And if they are hung up about it, maybe it would make them feel better if you looked past that part of them and started thinking of them in terms of their personality or life experience instead of "she's got no legs"?

Posted by Ravenlight

@Video_Game_King:

No, the part where Kenji this-is-sparta-kicked him off the roof was more satisfying because Hisao was a dick and finally got what was coming to him.

I want to play a game as Kenji where you uncover a feminist conspiracy.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Ravenlight:

I thought he simply fell off the roof, but now that I think about it, that is an awesome way to end a game.

So you want a version of Strip Fighter where Kenji's an extra character with his own story mode? Or a Radiant Historia ROM hack where he goes back in time to eliminate the ERA?

Posted by Ravenlight

@Video_Game_King said:

@Ravenlight:

So you want a version of Strip Fighter where Kenji's an extra character with his own story mode? Or a Radiant Historia ROM hack where he goes back in time to eliminate the ERA?

Yes.

Posted by Pezen

@Video_Game_King: I see your point. Yeah, that would be a rather fabulously narcissistic act.

I wish there was a box I could click in the options that read "Remove all traces of the obnoxious Kenji."

Unfortunately I've met girls who wear their hair as if they're six but they're far from six, it's really not a pretty sight.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Pezen:

Well, there is a box that allows you to replace the sexy portions with squid. Maybe you can hack something in that replaces Kenji with a naked portrait of one of the girls. That would definitely make things interesting.

I hope to god that you didn't buttfuck her in a nearby shed.

Posted by Pezen

@Video_Game_King: I wouldn't mind them using Kenji's portions as commercial breaks.

Well.. it wasn't technically a shed (but the apartment wasn't much bigger). Nor was there a butt hole.. well the butt hole was around but not the focus.

I just realized another thing, why the fuck is Hisao such a sissy in regards to alcohol? If something about the story is out of whack, it's a boy around 18 treating alcohol as if he's stealing a car. Man up and get drunk, son.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Pezen:

I would. Isn't that why the Gizmondo died?

Was the butthole just sitting over your shoulder, watching you two get it on? Also, I really hope she didn't wear her pigtails while you two were vagina fucking in your shed-sized apartment.

Although it's not a big deal, since it only happens once-ish. Also, I think it was established earlier how much of a pussy Hisao is:

Guess what happens next.
Posted by Pezen

@Video_Game_King: "the Gizmondo"? I wouldn't know.

Yep, it was having popcorn and seemed to enjoy the show, it had an odd way of cheering that sounded eerily like farting but I wasn't really paying attention. Nor do I recall how she wore her hair during the act, again, not really my priority at the time. But, factually, it was her apartment. I've always chosen to live in apartments that are made for actual humans and not just storage of things.

When I was first got drunk I was doing Tequila shots like a boss and he's whining about wine.. really, too much. Yeah, that image really seals the deal. Also, why did she run in swimwear? Assuming it's not just red underwear. If so, that adds yet another layer to the complexity that is Emi.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Pezen said:

Also, why did she run in swimwear?

After a while, I just assumed that it was standard gym wear. After all, all the other girls were wearing them in the race. (I don't want to go in the other direction with that.)

Posted by Pezen

@Video_Game_King: Ah yes, you're right. Just checked the gallery, although some have longer shorts, it's overall the same clothing for everyone.

Edited by Video_Game_King

@Pezen said:

@Video_Game_King: Ah yes, you're right. Just checked the gallery, although some have longer shorts, it's overall the same clothing for everyone.

You mean my images? Speaking of which...*goes to upload a few images used for reaction shots past* Aw shit. I've just uploaded a MASSIVE SPOILER to the FRONT PAGE of the Katawa Shoujo page. Believe me; I tried making sure that that image didn't make it to the front. Anybody want to upload some more images to bump that shit down?

Posted by Pezen

@Video_Game_King: Nah, in the game. I uploaded a few new ones, but didn't realize until I had tried X-amount of times that they need to approve them (because why read obvious pieces of text filled with information, right?), so now they got the same batch several times because I'm an idiot. No idea if 4 is enough to push those down though, unless they go by upload date alone. I haven't really done that stuff before.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Pezen:

Four is more than enough; I just don't want Hanako's totally awesome freakout on the front page feed of the game.

Posted by gale

@Video_Game_King: I'm a jerk, so I've watched a lot of anime, and yeah, I can confirm that those red shorts/underpants Emi wears used to be standard gym clothes for schoolgirls. I think that they've been largely replaced by slightly more conventional shorts, possibly due to the fact that most kinds of standardised clothing or equipment for schoolkids have been co-opted as fetish items by horrible perverts. They still show up a lot in anime or VNs as an aspect of the setting, or to appeal to horrible perverts.

Also, I had no idea that Hanako had a branch where she shuts down Hisao. I definitely need to go find that. I think I interpreted her reason for having sex with him differently than you did - it seemed less like she was trying to be seen as an equal, and more like she figured he'd be less likely to abandon her if she let him use her for sex, or something fucked up like that. I don't know, I should probably go sit through their meeting in the park again, see if I misunderstood something.

I'm a little reluctant about Rin's route - she's been my favourite character by far, and I wasn't looking forward to seeing all the ways in which Hisao can be a jerk to her. But if I'm already passed the worst of it, then I'm not quite as worried.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@gale:

I imagine it's to appeal to perverts, since I've seen at least one perverted thing in all the serious anime I've watched.

Here, I'll tell you how to get it: don't take her out to the city, and agree with Lilly when she says "you fucking suck, Hisao, you know that?".

Except that she pretty much says that she did it as part of that "see me as an equal" mentality. She thought that the only way to get him to look past her scars and fragility by...well, showing him her scars so they could move the fuck past it.

Hisao's still gonna be a jerk to her, but trust me: it's not going to be as bad as in Emi's route or anything. Or maybe Rin's just such a great character that I overlooked his more dickish offenses. Hard to say.

Posted by Moreau_MD

@Turambar said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Turambar:

I'd point out that these are more physical disabilities than mental ones (the game even makes a point of this), but goddamn it. Also, Hisao still has trouble with this thing, even long after it should have stopped being a problem.

And my point is a distinctly physical disability is even more difficult to look past than an "invisible" mental one. Also what the hell does that even mean. By what rubric are you using that he "should have" stopped noticing it?

As someone who suffers from a very slight, but noticeable, physical disability I too found your comment to be slightly ignorant- though I'm sure you didn't mean it to be and I really enjoyed the blog post as a whole. From my own personal experience, any difference, especially if it's physical and to do with your motor skills, instantly marks you out as 'the other' in a social environment. This makes it very difficult to forge real friendships as everybody, whether they're honest enough to admit it or not, is hard-wired to reject the defective on a sub-conscious level. You might be able to convince yourself into thinking otherwise but the instinct still remains whether you like it or not- personal morality and modern sensibilities only serve to mask that fact, not dispel it, which leads to a situation that's ultimately more damaging for the individual than if they had just been ridiculed outright in the first place. It's a harsh truth but that's the way of things. The better option would be to recognise that part of ourselves first and then make real steps to try and actively change that aspect- it's never something that can be accomplished easily or in a number of days.

That's one of the things I really loved about this game, it dealt with being confronted with disabled individuals in a really honest and upfront manner; it was genuinely refreshing. Hiaso may take time to get over 'the otherness' of it all, but when he finally does truly begin to see them as normal and as equal, it resonates all the more deeply because of the length of his internal struggle. He exhibits real humanity.

Posted by Turambar
@Moreau_MD: The proper "mature" way of dealing with that aspect I have always felt, was to recognize that a disability will characterize a person, but it will not define a person.  And that's something that I find Katawa Shoujo does very well, and in fact makes Hisao a far more authentic character than if he had magically managed to pretend none of the differences existed.
Posted by Moreau_MD

@Turambar said:

@Moreau_MD: The proper "mature" way of dealing with that aspect I have always felt, was to recognize that a disability will characterize a person, but it will not define a person. And that's something that I find Katawa Shoujo does very well, and in fact makes Hisao a far more authentic character than if he had magically managed to pretend none of the differences existed.

Wait...that was exactly the point I was making. I'm agreeing with you. My post was directed at the OP :/

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Moreau_MD said:

@Turambar said:

@Moreau_MD: The proper "mature" way of dealing with that aspect I have always felt, was to recognize that a disability will characterize a person, but it will not define a person. And that's something that I find Katawa Shoujo does very well, and in fact makes Hisao a far more authentic character than if he had magically managed to pretend none of the differences existed.

Wait...that was exactly the point I was making. I'm agreeing with you. My post was directed at the OP :/

I'm agreeing with you guys, too; that is the ideal way to treat somebody. My issue is that Hisao doesn't really do that, or at least it takes him too damn long to arrive at this.

Posted by Turambar
@Video_Game_King said:

@Moreau_MD said:

@Turambar said:

@Moreau_MD: The proper "mature" way of dealing with that aspect I have always felt, was to recognize that a disability will characterize a person, but it will not define a person. And that's something that I find Katawa Shoujo does very well, and in fact makes Hisao a far more authentic character than if he had magically managed to pretend none of the differences existed.

Wait...that was exactly the point I was making. I'm agreeing with you. My post was directed at the OP :/

I'm agreeing with you guys, too; that is the ideal way to treat somebody. My issue is that Hisao doesn't really do that, or at least it takes him too damn long to arrive at this.

Our point was that it does not actually take him too long, and the fact that he struggles with getting to that point is what makes him an authentic character.  You have far too an idealized view of how capable people, yourself included, are of looking past disabilities, physical or mental.
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Turambar said:

You have far too an idealized view of how capable people, yourself included, are of looking past disabilities, physical or mental.

I'll cede that, but I still think it takes him far too long to see them as genuine people who aren't defined simply by their disabilities. He spends all of Lilly's route asking her if she's OK about being blind, and much of his time with Emi and Hanako is seeing them as people who must be protected and saved from their miserable situations.

Posted by Turambar
@Video_Game_King said:

@Turambar said:

You have far too an idealized view of how capable people, yourself included, are of looking past disabilities, physical or mental.

I'll cede that, but I still think it takes him far too long to see them as genuine people who aren't defined simply by their disabilities. He spends all of Lilly's route asking her if she's OK about being blind, and much of his time with Emi and Hanako is seeing them as people who must be protected and saved from their miserable situations.

I haven't gone through Emi (or Rin)'s path yet, but on Hanako, I don't feel that way.  In fact, I'd say his over protectiveness reflects how I'd most likely approach someone with that personality and past that I've befriended, as potentially flawed an approach as that is.  Once again, it's what makes Hisao a very authentic character.  And Hanako at the end of the path makes it aware to him that both his and Lilly's overly caring and concerned reflected negatively on her in a moment of *character development*.  He doesn't by any means get off the hook for his behavior. 
 
Also I'll say this, and mock me however you guys wish.  That student I mentioned, who's childhood trauma and abuse has left her incredibly withdrawn?  The Hanako arc has given me plenty of thought on how exactly I should help her as a TA, and that's all I need to hold this VN in very high regards.
Edited by Video_Game_King

@Turambar said:

And Hanako at the end of the path makes it aware to him that both his and Lilly's overly caring and concerned reflected negatively on her in a moment of *character development*. He doesn't by any means get off the hook for his behavior.

He does in the good ending, though. I really, really don't like how he treated Hanako and Emi in their respective paths. Just for some context on this issue, though, let me tell you how I would have treated her: I'd leave her the hell alone and let her make the decision to open up to me. She's expressing a desire to be alone, and I'm not going to mess with that desire. Hisao's approach just seemed very forceful and disrespectful and many other mean words. It's like he's treating them not as human being, but as goddamn charity cases.

Edited by Turambar
@Video_Game_King said:

@Turambar said:

And Hanako at the end of the path makes it aware to him that both his and Lilly's overly caring and concerned reflected negatively on her in a moment of *character development*. He doesn't by any means get off the hook for his behavior.

He does in the good ending, though. I really, really don't like how he treated Hanako and Emi in their respective paths. Just for some context on this issue, though, let me tell you how I would have treated her: I'd leave her the hell alone and let her make the decision to open up to me. She's expressing a desire to be alone, and I'm not going to mess with that desire. Hisao's approach just seemed very forceful and disrespectful and many other mean words. It's like he's treating them not as human being, but as goddamn charity cases.

It's overbearing, and over protective, sure.  But I also know damn well that I'd probably end up doing the same for all the best intentions though not the best results, so I'm not going to condemn him for that.  The fact that that overbearing nature is fully responsible for one of the bad endings of her path is extra goodness.
 
On on another note, Hisao does not overstep the bounds that you seem insistent that he does in her arc.  Remember, it was on her own volition that she revealed her scars, both mental and physical, to him, both initially and ultimately.  In both cases, it may be that she felt compelled for various reasons and was not moving at her own preferred pace, but Hisao never pinned her down and demanded to know what was wrong with her.  His other fault that you take issue with, how fragile he treats her, prevents him from ever taking such a route.  Of course, I am still missing the other bad end for her arc so maybe that changes everything, who knows.  But as of now, Hisao is a wonderfully authentic character in my eyes.
Posted by Jay444111

Wow... the main character sounds like a complete dick! Does he at least get better in the end? Or should I wait until there is another version of the game where you can play as the girls and beat the living fuck out of him? Because I would rather have that happen then play as a character who is such a dickhead!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Jay444111:

I'll let this screenshot speak for itself:

Posted by Jay444111

@Video_Game_King said:

@Jay444111:

I'll let this screenshot speak for itself:

Who fucking acts like that? Hell, I doubt even Eric Cartmen would be as much as a dick as this guy! Hell... Can a modder make a option for this asshat to have a heart attack at any moment we want with a simple press of a button? This jackass deserves it!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Jay444111:

That's....kind of horrifying. Yea, the guy's a cunt (look at the title of the picture), but aren't you even more of a cunt for wishing that he gets a heart attack?

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