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The X Button - Robot Monsters

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Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 31
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:23 am Reply with quote
I am almost certain now that Todd frequents Shoryuken.com and other fighting game sites, he mentions them on a regular basis and has slightly too much knowledge of the genre to be a casual. ;D Saying that, Soul Calibur V is gonna be fun, looking forward to that... :3

As for Katawa Shoujo, I had the pleasure of powering through that the first week it came out, and here are my personal thoughts...

Putting its controversial title, origins and premise aside, I particularly liked the story elements, which are sensitive and considerate to both the main character's and the love interests' predicaments. There are a few clichés in there that anime, manga and visual novel fans will definitely groan at, but otherwise the stories are enjoyable and should get your emotions going (unless you heart's some sort of stone slab). You'll be able to tell that each route had its own writer (you'll see certain characters act slightly differently depending on which story you go through, and the styles will vary in terms of consistency and quality), but it does add to the uniqueness in that regard.

The artwork is good, considering it's a game made on more-or-less no budget. Again, the scenes involving sex are tasteful and do not really play (too much) to potential fetishes. On a side note, you can disable these scenes, but they only come up a couple of times during each route, and you'd be missing out on some interesting dialogue along the way. The music is also varied and well-composed, ranging from the upbeat and the dramatic, to the relaxed and more depressing. Definitely captures the general feel and mood of the game.

Overall, it's a pretty decent and wholly enjoyable VN. There are better ones from Japan, sure, but as a collaborative effort with no money involved, this has made a great impression on me. If you can look beyond the strange premise, there's a few nice stories to be discovered for veteran, casual and new players/readers of VNs alike.


PS - spoiler[Lilly's route is the best route... ;3]
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Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 903
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:27 am Reply with quote
Regarding Katawa Shoujo: I've played it. The routes range from movie-drama-ish (Lilly's route) to the somewhat predictable (Emi's route) to downright unpleasant at times (Rin's route.) I can't really speak too much of the quality of the writing -- I don't really have a lot of VN games to my name -- but when everything is said and done, it's an entertaining and relatively non-fetishy game. I don't think you'll necessarily LIKE it, but you could probably play through it at least once without feeling violated in any way.
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Joined: 14 Jul 2010
Posts: 729
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:29 am Reply with quote
I've only played through Hanako's route so far, and I have to say I really liked the commentary on the dehumanizing effects of continually coddling someone. The ending was also beautiful. I really need to go back and play the other routes...
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Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:37 am Reply with quote
I agree with the above comments on Katawa Shoujo. The subject matter is handled well and certainly not exploited for fetishism.
At its best parts and storylines, I thought Katawa Shoujo is a fantastic game. Some storylines are better than others though. Same goes for the artwork, which ranges from pretty good to mediocre. The game has a really strong mood though.

I'd advise anyone to try it out without bothering with the hype and controversy. KS can be a really powerful experience.
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 718
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:38 am Reply with quote
Hmm... Let me cut to the chase as someone who has read both novels and visual novels before.

More than any other piece of fiction I have read (Yes, that includes classics like Shakespeare, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Pride and Prejudice, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and etc. Please don't start me on visual novels.), the characters feel real.

You don't care for these characters because they are moe and the plot tortures them *cough* Clannad *cough*. Way too many dramas incite emotion by taking a cute girl and giving her a dark and troubled past or use plot events to make her cry. Instead, you care for these characters because you can empathize with them and see them as fellow humans. The plots aren't masterpieces, but the characters are.

I think this picture explains it quite well.
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Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:40 am Reply with quote
..it really sounds like the mercenary guy is played my Cam Clarke. No one else has pointed this out though, so I'm afraid I'm wrong.

I'm not sure who Cam Clarke is, but I actually thought the mercenary guy really really sounded like it was Troy Baker. I'm like, 90% sure and very curious if it is.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 264
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:59 am Reply with quote
Joining in on the KS commentary. I was really pleased with this game, even beyond being a visual novel fan. It's well written, even though each path had a different author, and the characters were superb. I was slightly worried there might be some "oh, woe is me I'm not normal" from the characters, but aside from the main character in the first chapter it's practically non-existent. The disabilities aren't fetishized at all, even leaving out a rather obvious action from Rin, the girl without arms. It's really a remarkable project, from the idea itself to the fact that the odd idea is so well executed.
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Eternal September

Joined: 08 Apr 2011
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote
That surface-impressions segment about Katawa Shoujo was so consistently astray, that for any other story, I would have believed it to be done on purpose. Though Katawa Shoujo is indeed a bit misleading in it's premise, so I will overlook this one.

Actually, a review would be pretty amusing, with Todd expecting to protect "adorably moe and shy" Hanako. Laughing
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Joined: 26 Jul 2008
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:29 am Reply with quote
Lokking forward to Neverdead, nice to see a new IP. Come to think of it, this year is looking pretty good for new IPs. Neverdead, Gravity Rush, Asura's Wrath, Little Deviants, Binary Domain, Dragon's Crown, Frontline, The Witch and the Hundred Calverymen, and The Last of Us, all come to mind, and there are probably a few other promising titles I'm forgeting.

How many RE games douse Capcom plan to release this year, we already have Revalations and Operation Racoon City planned for a 2012, release, Now RE6. Well I guess it could be worse knowing Capcom. At least they arn't three different versions of RE5
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Joined: 23 Aug 2011
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote
A game with Orphen in it? Damn it~ TT_TT;;

I'd like to speak up in defense of the fandom for Katawa Shoujo; that bloke you linked is a vocal minority. We are not detached from reality like him.

That said, it really is a game that subverts one's expectations made when taking a quick look at the premise and thinking it's a fetish game. In fact, the people who get into this game that are looking for that sort of thing will usually be disappointed, as the level of sexual content in it is equivalent to that in R-rated films and is more tasteful than one would expect. I can't really say more without parroting what the others have said, so I'll leave it at that.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 278
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:03 pm Reply with quote
Oh Todd, you couldn't be more wrong about Katawa Shoujo.

They don't fetishize the disabilities of the girls at all. Hisao(the main character) doesn't fall in love with them/want to bone them because of their disabilities. He wants to because he loves them for who they are as people.

As already said, the characters in KS just feel....real. I don't think I've seen any game with characters with such lifelike personalities before.

And Todd, if you think Hanako is moe and shy.....hoo boy, you are dead wrong there.

Hanako is a perfect example of the game's characters, as she is the exact opposite of what you think she is, Todd.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 376
Location: East of Eden
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:07 pm Reply with quote
*Sigh* Gonna try out this Katawa Shoujo, and do my best not to get weird-ed out by the premise.
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Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 3011
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:07 pm Reply with quote
A fair amount of positive comments about KS here, it seems. Haven't played the game myself, but I did read this review over at the Fandom Post that was also fairly positive.

Sounds like something that could have been totally horrific somehow turned out not to be.

Last edited by Mad_Scientist on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:10 pm Reply with quote
If I can voice a mild complaint with the portion of the article regarding Katawa Shoujo, I find the evaluation offered to be not fair at all.

To the visual novel players? Possibly, but I wouldn't care enough to post this if that was all. Rather, you're unfair to actual disabled people.

Are disabled people not allowed to live a life and fall in love because some might have disturbing fetishes? Calling this a fetish game is a greater insult to everyone who still lives fulfilling lives with disabilities than it is to anyone who actually played the Vn.

You're almost insinuating that someone cannot fall in love with a disabled person without in some way enjoying their disabilities. I doubt it's intentional on your part, though it is somewhat present.

I end this post by echoing what has already been said: give Katawa Shoujo a shot. You'll probably find your 'fetish fears', if you will, are mistaken.
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Mesonoxian Eve

Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 1858
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:13 pm Reply with quote
A couple of weeks ago, I saw FFXIII for $8 at GameStop.

If it's truly terrible, I will lose less than a lunch at Chipotle.

Then again, I am one in the minority who enjoyed XII. I loved that automatic system.

It truly made RPGs fun for me again.
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