Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel designed by Four Leaf Studios, released in 2012. Hisao Nakai, a normal teenage boy, has his life turned upside down when a long-dormant Cardiac dysrhythmia forces him to move to a fictional school for disabled children, Yamaku High. Despite his difficulties,Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel designed by Four Leaf Studios, released in 2012. Hisao Nakai, a normal teenage boy, has his life turned upside down when a long-dormant Cardiac dysrhythmia forces him to move to a fictional school for disabled children, Yamaku High. Despite his difficulties, Hisao is able to find and make friends and even find something he may not have been looking for, love.
The game is all about choices. Does Hisao fall in love with the cutest girl at school, or does he choose to be a loner? It's all your decision in Katawa Shoujo.
*Not for children*… Expand
Jan 4, 2012I am not one to normally play "games like this" in fact, I can most likely count the number of times I have played visual novels on one hand,I am not one to normally play "games like this" in fact, I can most likely count the number of times I have played visual novels on one hand, and even that hand goes away when I think of the number I have finished. Generally I steer clear of H-Games just on principle, but even then the games stories never capture me enough to keep me going. Until now.
I started this game, thinking about how hilarious it was that a group of channers made a game, but the moment I saw the story begin I found myself wanting to know more. The production values are amazing, with the story, artwork, and even FULL MOTION VIDEO being delightfully and professionally displayed. Story wise, the player finds himself in a very similar mindset to the hero, trying to look past peoples disabilities but at the same time being fascinated and unsure of them. It is not hard to find a character that makes you want to move through the story with them, as despite their disabilities they are interesting people. They don't crawl all over you in classic harem style, the game strives to beat back stereotypes of the disabled, and girls in anime. While downloading this game you would be forgiven for thinking that it is just one big joke. The file size is 420mb (coincidence? I think not.). But if you play this game, prepare to fall head over heels in love with this beautiful story and game from Four Leaf Studios. Considering this game is a FREE download, and has the option to turn off H-Scenes, you have no excuse not to go out and download this game now. If only out of curiosity.… Expand
Mar 15, 2012First, let me say I don't give out a 10 light heartedly. In my mind, I reserve a 10 for the greatest experiences in gaming that I have playedFirst, let me say I don't give out a 10 light heartedly. In my mind, I reserve a 10 for the greatest experiences in gaming that I have played so far... it doesn't mean its perfect, just that its the best I know of. Why does Katawa Shoujo deserve a 10 from me? I'm not new to games, but Katawa Shoujo just touched me in a way few others have. I'm not talking about falling hopelessly in love with fictional characters(although they are all very memorable and beautifully written) but talking about what this game teaches you and makes you feel. If you could bottle that feel, and drink it every day, you'd be the happiest person on earth. KS basically helps you realize what YOU want in life, helps you empathize and believe in love when you're depressed and down on the whole idea of it, gives you profound life wisdom woven casually in its story arc, it gives you a perspective on disability and inner beauty and (I dont know how they do this) make you feel genuine emotions reading through the banal events of its amazing love stories. By the end of one route, as the credits rolled, I found my cheeks sore from subconciously smiling like an idiot for so damn long. My eyes could not contain the happiness/sadness. I haven't cried in 3 years, but I cried when it ended.
I started running due to KS, the first day I ran 3 km. And this is coming from a guy who can only do 200m if he lays down and pants afterwards. And I kept it up the next day too. And the next. And the next. And I plan to keep doing so. People going into this game for the sex often end up complaining about the lack of 'sex' and 'game', but its so much more, and by the end, you don't even care. I myself took it up as I'd never heard of it and found it beating Battlefield 3(and coming close to Skyrim) on Reddit's Most Played list. That and the fact that a group of **** had apparently gotten together to create this over the course of 5 years and then released it free, no strings attached(actually huge heart pulling strings attached). I've never been more delightfully surprised.… Expand
Jul 9, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Never before have I been so moved by a game, or book, or anything really.
Firstly, I've never written a review, or played a game even remotely like this, this is more my personal opinion.
Katawa Shoujo was introduced to me by a couple friends, mostly because they wouldn't stop talking about it, but now I'm the one not shutting up. After a week or so of them talking about it and me blanking out, I decided "What the heck, I'll have a look", and that was the first of many sleepless nights. I stayed up for nights, captivated by the thoughtfully created characters and storyline, the incredible artwork and music (that I'm currently listening to), and literally everything in between.
I'm going to split all of this up so it nice and clean, different categories and all that.
I love every track in this game, even the quirky, weird ones associated with Kenji. They have left me feeling many emotions, my favourite one being 'Wisona', which leaves me in a strange mood, one that I can't describe, as much as I try.
There are song that make you feel happy, sad, on edge, and as mentioned, in indescribable moods.
When I first started the game, a name flashed past my eyes during the opening credits, a name I recognized, could it be? And indeed it was, I was thoroughly surprised and thriller to discover that an artist I follow on DeviantART, MikeInel, did the animated sequences for Katawa, this propelled me even more to read it because he animated my favourite animation ever, and he didn't disappoint.
The same goes for the rest of the artists, the interesting use of backgrounds, the absolutely beautiful fullscreen drawings, especially the ones at the end of each storyline that I could only dream to recreate.
The only downside to the artwork (and possibly the entire game) is I personally thought there were too little variations of expressions during dialogue, but the times it felt like that were only in the less important moments.
Overall, the artwork was done incredibly well, nice and neat, but at the same time a bit sketched, which I think worked great.
If only triple A game developers put this much effort into their characters, their stories, emotions, feelings and thoughts. In every story I found a way I could relate to the character, My friends and I have agreed that I am a male version of Rin, we are both absentminded artists, who think about the world in different ways than most people, I found myself about to predict what she was thinking in a way, despite most people finding her the most confusing and least relatable.
Each girl's story made me feel something different, from Emi I found a sense of motivation, which I have been lacking lately, From Lilly, I learnt to look at things from different perspectives (how ironic...), from Rin... well I'm not sure, but that's Rin for you isn't it? From Hanako, I felt a lot, I was really satisfied with the ending, but throughout the story I felt incredibly strongly towards everything that happened, and I don't know how to describe it any better than that, apart from it left me with a strange empty feeling in my chest, but it wasn't good or bad.
Now some may have noticed I haven't mentioned yet, and though I enjoyed the story most of the time, I along with many others, felt it was the weakest story unfortunately, yet I could still relate to her, mostly through her hearing, though my hearing loss is only partial, anyway, back to the review-y bit.
So even though I enjoyed the story, the thing that brought it down was the ending, the way I interpreted it was pretty much "See you in 10 years or whatever", which does ruin something you've spent hours playing. None the less, I'm a forgiving person, and everyone makes mistakes, it's only human.
The story itself:
Now I'm your typical teenager, troubled by thing I need not trouble about, yet I do anyway.. yep I'm dumb, or more was dumb.
The stories in Katawa were ones I could relate to (I'm using that a lot) in nearly every way, I've actually overcome personal problems from relating myself to Hisao and his problems. On top of that, seeing the characters, though they may not be real (though I wish they were), seeing them overcome their disabilities made me realise that my problems aren't worth worrying about, there are people out there in the real world who have similar problems as the characters, yet they don't sit around moping.
Anyway, enough rambling about personal experiences, sorry about that. Overall this is my personal favourite story ever, books, games TV shows, movies, whatever, this is the best in my opinion. I went in not expecting much, as my friend mention it was a dating simulator, but I never really realised that. Also the mature sections, I never really though of them as arousing or anything, I'm a teenage boy mind you. I will admit, that at many points I did end up crying, and I'm not the only one.
If you haven't played it, go get it, it's free, and go into it with an open mind.… Expand
Jan 21, 2012Independent projects such as the one that birth this VN are such a rare occurrence one the internet that one could be left wondering whetherIndependent projects such as the one that birth this VN are such a rare occurrence one the internet that one could be left wondering whether experiencing what they have to offer is worth experiencing. In this case, the experience most definitely is. While the story's premise is highly unusual and quite questionable at best to the uninitiated, readers will be able to find an incredible amount of empathy for the characters in this story. The sound track is also exceptionally well done and accompanies the story scenes almost perfectly. I would encourage anyone with even a slight interest to experience what this game has to offer.… Expand
Feb 10, 2013story- the overall game is about YOU. As a teenage boy in highschool that suffers a fatal heart situation. You get transfered to a school forstory- the overall game is about YOU. As a teenage boy in highschool that suffers a fatal heart situation. You get transfered to a school for disabled students. gameplay- the game is played in a Visual novel style. using picture slides. and you choosing responses to dialogue between you and whoever. Your life is basically up to you to decide, how you want to spend during your time at the school.
video the graphics are great for any visual novel styled game. warning: contains nudity. but there is an option to block them if you have problems with that.
audio- the music in the game really sets the mood and matches perfectly with all the dialogue and cutscenes.
overall- the game is the first visual novel styled game i have played and it is one of the better games in general. mostly because the game reacts to all the choices you make. like an rpg almost without the fighting. i wonder if they can incorporate some type of 'QTE' quick time action events in these types of games. it would add some nice quick thinking and responses.… Expand
Jan 17, 2012I write this review oddly touched by this game; Now I am not a "Visual Novel" person. I read comic books and classic literature. I playI write this review oddly touched by this game; Now I am not a "Visual Novel" person. I read comic books and classic literature. I play western videogames, mostly WRPGs and Grand Strategy games. Ive never read manga, and the only anime I was remotely excited about was Dragonball Z. This game has touched me in a way I cannot describe more than any other medium has. And, considering it was created by people who met on **** of all places, I am impressed with the quality. I wont bore you with a synopsis since that gives away too many spoilers, but I will say this: jsut try it. sure there's a sex scene, it's "weeaboo" etc all the stigmas about playing an Japanese inspired game. I say just try it.… Expand
Jan 6, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Katawa Shoujo is a disappointment, it could have been so much better. but the straight edge approach to it all just ruins the atmosphere. Don't misunderstand, the notion that it should portray the relationships in a (somewhat) serious manner is the right way to go, but when you remove from it nearly every semblance of humor (Kenji being one of the few things about the game that is good) you get an experience that is underwhelming.
The ways in which the relationships between the MC and the girls develop are on the whole pretty decent, nothing amazing but not bad by any stretch of the word. The soundtrack, while fitting, doesn't really stand out much and is on the whole pretty simple. The artwork varies in quality and has consistency issues. Multiple artists, I know, but this has been in development for 5 years. Let that last statement sink in. This has been worked on for 5 years, yet it doesn't feel that way. The game feels like it could have been put together in about a year or so, 18 months at most. For a 5 year project, Katawa Shoujo is lacking.
On the whole the game could have been much better if the whole serious business approach had been declined, in favor of a more regular approach, that is to include humor, and cater more to the specific fetishes that the works direction can include. Why make a Bishoujo game about disabled girls and then dodge around potential scenes that can be included? There isn't anything stopping the game from having humor related to the subject matter while still remaining a 'serious' portrayal of building a relationship with a disabled partner.
Again, I'd like to point out that while KS isn't particularly bad, it isn't really all that good either, it does nothing to stand out and doesn't display a very high level of quality at all given its development period. An ok outing for an indie dev, especially considering where they gathered together and how the idea came about.… Expand