Katawa Shoujo Review (PC) A Casual Review

You know what I love about being a gamer?  The new experiences that once in a while comes along and takes you completely by surprise.  I have been graciously invited to join the team here at John Heatz.  This is the first time I have ever worked with a team on a blog before and although a few might think this isn’t a big deal I want you to know that it is to me.  I’m looking forward to bouncing ideas around and probably will be the guy with a different opinion, like the other day when certain people said they didn’t like Unchartedcoff Drakulas coff or that they never finished the games.. coff JohnHeatz coff and I had to single-handedly defend Naughty Dogs honour but that’s a tale for another day 🙂 I will still be blogging at Gamers Therapy, so don’t be sad.  Think of it as I’m spreading my awesomeness a little further now.  Don’t be a stranger.  Beyond!

This particular digital art form that I’m about to share with you is described as a “Visual Novel” however, it follows the rules by which the gaming standards are set so it’s safe to say, at least in my opinion that this “Visual Novel” is a game as well but for argument sake and to avoid debates, let’s just call this a “Visual Novel”.  I found out about this game over at plus10damage while I was perusing some new published articles.  They were doing a comparison between Grand Theft Auto V‘s portrayal of violence, sex and this game Katawa Shoujo which portrays sex in a cartoon format.  Special shout out to Jamison Miller for an excellent article and if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have experienced such an amazing story.

You can read the full article here:

Monday Mourning:  GTA fans are more disturbing than Katawa Shoujo fans

Katawa Shouja was developed and published by Four Leaf Studios, a small team of exceptionally talented people who have managed to tell an incredible story that I would honestly place in the same ranks as The Notebook and The Vow.  Yes, I’m a guy and I like romance movies, deal with it.  This game took five long years to make.  That is commitment and it shows in the story.

Katawa Shoujo tells a remarkable, dramatic and most importantly, a believable story about love, life, friendship, acceptance, and coping with problems when life deals you a crappy hand.  You play as Hisao Nakai, a young man still in high school who  gets diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia which completely shatters his world.  He gets transferred to  fictional school Yamako High School which is a school for people with life changing disabilities.  Here, he learns to accept his condition, make new friends and perhaps even find love.

I would love to describe how intricate the gameplay is but the only thing that is required is for you push the space bar button or a left mouse click to continue the story, occasionally the game will give you choices to make which will affect the path and ending to the story.  There are multiple endings that can be explored and getting through one complete, possible scenario can take from six to seven hours.  That’s a whole lot of replay value if you don’t mind sifting through the dialogue again and again.

The true meat in Katawa Shoujo is how intricate and deep the characters are.  There are probably only  three characters that I can think of that are one-dimensional but the rest are refreshingly deep.  Each character has these layers and as the story progresses another layer is  revealed, depending on the choices that you make. Every person has their own personal demons that they are dealing with and it is so interesting watching how these characters react to certain situations.  I felt connected with nearly all of them.  It was a bit slow at first and in the first hour I was wondering if that was all to this game, just reading text with some pretty pictures which it was, but honestly, I found myself so engrossed that four hours later, I had to force myself to go to bed.

(image courtesy of www.funnyjunk.com)

(image courtesy of http://www.funnyjunk.com)

OK, so I think I’ve pitched this game well.  So what If I told you now that this gameVisual Novel is also classified as Eroge“.  That means erotic.  So, I’ve just pitched a game that is actually an erotic tale?  Yup, but it’s not that bad.  You see, during my play through I only saw maybe three pictures with nudity in it.  All of them were the chest area and nothing below the waist or nothing that I noticed anyway.  So it’s classified as an “Eroge” simply because it shows a bit of nudity?  This game takes a lot of flack for even having this kind of material in it and it’s here that I think that the exceptionally fantastic story gets seriously overlooked.  In a world where I see nudity on regular scheduled programming, I don’t see why this should take the brunt just because it’s in animation, which is supposed to be for kids and for some reason can’t possibly be used to convey a more mature story but that’s just my opinion.

If you enjoy stories delving into human nature with characters that are deep and fully realized, I recommend you try this game.  It might not be for everyone but wouldn’t you at least be happy that you tried it?  Oh and before I forget, if the Adult content does bother you, you can turn it off.  So with that said, I suggest everyone play this game.

You can download the game for free here:  (don’t worry, it’s totally legal and free too 🙂)

Katawa Shoujo Download

2 thoughts on “Katawa Shoujo Review (PC) A Casual Review

  1. This is one of the better VNs I have read. I liked the burnt girl the most. If people are concerned about the nudity there is an option to disable it.

    Like

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