Review by Maharoba
"My First VN, My Impressions"
While I've played a couple of games that labeled themselves as visual or graphic novels before, Katawa Shoujo was the first one I decided to seriously try. It's ironic, because I found out about it through a friend on Facebook laughing at the concept of 'cripple sex'. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who booted the game up because of their own curiosity.
The game, at first, seems incredibly boring. It goes over your character and his heart condition and why he is joining this school for 'disabled' students. But as you are introduced to all of the characters, the game picks up in interest. I will admit that there were times where I skimmed the text as there is so much to it, but I think most of the writing was absolutely superb.
The general graphic style is fairly lazy, but for the most part there are times where the artwork is very good or very bad. It is hit or miss, but they do have animated videos for when you start a girl's arc. I just wish there would have been another video for their endings as well.
There's not much I can say that others haven't already said about the story. It's absolutely phenomenal. There are 5 different arcs, all of which can have good or bad or even neutral endings to. All of the girls are very different and suffer their own disabilities, such as not having arms or having prosthetic legs. I will admit, I do not get emotional AT ALL for movies or stories, even in situations where other people are bawling or insanely freaked out. But in this game, in a few of the arcs, I was honestly moved. I did not cry, but I came close several times. The writing is great..it's not amazing all the time, but there is an appropriate amount of drama. No matter which arc, your heart will always stop for a second when your character has his first kiss.
Five different arcs with different endings. I spent at least 4-5 hours on each arc, so that totals to at least about 23 hours. For a free game, that's damn good. The magic of this is that after one arc, you don't want to start another one because of the emotional attachment you have to the girl you just finished with.. but you just KNOW that you have to finish it all. The only downside to this is that the bad endings are written in an incredibly depressing way (No spoilers, but one of my bad endings made me feel awful.) and it deters you from doing them, especially when you've built this artificial connection with the girl.. but that is merely a personal downside. I'm sure many people have 100%'d the game.
Overall, this is a great game. Don't be ignorant and just judge it like others do as 'that cripple sex' game. You will find that it is time well spent, and as I close the game for the final time before uninstalling it from my computer, I feel a very similar feeling in my heart; very similar to a breakup with a long-time girlfriend..as pathetic as that might sound. It's just a tribute to how powerful this game is. Give it a shot, it's free..you have nothing to lose.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/16/12
Game Release: Katawa Shoujo (US, 01/04/12)
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