miércoles, febrero 15, 2012

Katawa Shoujo (English Version)

This is the english version of this post, because I've seen some visits through google translator, and I did not like that translation at all.

4chan is amazing. Being an infected and depraved hole, the worst hell's kitchen, gives flight to the best content and memes in the net.

A few years ago someone left sketches by REITA (a japanese ilstrator) in the /a/ forum, wich showed several girls with disabilities, each one with a special character, and also a message about how good would be to make a kind of ren'ai (date-sim) game with this background.

The idea permeated deeply, many people began to brainstorm about it, until some decided to take it seriously and formed what would be the Four Leaf Studios (in a clear reference to their origin) with the intention of carrying it out. And hell if they did.

The form chosen is that of a Visual Novel, and as such you must understand that you're going to spend more time reading than interacting. It's like a "choose your own adventure" book, but the decisions are much more sparse and with much more dramatic consequences.

I've only played a couple of times. The first act is where it is assumed that you are inclined toward one of the female characters. As the first time I did not lean towards any (real life invading my entertainment here) the thing ended quick and tragically.

On second attempt I showed some more interest in one of them, Emi, and I followed her line through the "good" end (there is supossed to be a bad one, but did not load back to try other options). I still don't know how will the other lines be, but I'm going to give it a break before I try again (while I'm eager tog et on them!)

I did not expect much from a date-sim mixing bishojo and kaway, that is, with hints of being sappy as hell. But, well, there is the 4chan spirit, the mixture of Western and Eastern developers, and the true love of art that have made this gem. So instead of being a puking experience is a bundle of mature, thoughtful stories, superbly developed and artistically inspiring. Luckily the original texts are in English, avoiding the dizziness of the Japanese translation. The english languaged used here makes very infantile some AAA games out there. The dictionary has thrown sparks (I'm spanish). I did not remember there were so many different types of laughter (in english - in spanish we have only like two or three). Same with the story and elections, not childish at all. Each thread was developed apart, with a different writer but, of course, always in contact with each other. I found fascinating the Emi one, but I have curiosity about the others, especially Rin.

The game contains sex. With disabled girls. Do not forget that this is a 4chan product. But it is not disturbing. They're quite natural, and they pass as an historical fact, without claiming more than what they mean, being that enough. Although originally not recommended under 18, it seems to me an exaggeration. Anyone of fourteen or fifteen can see it without blushing, more with the well bred ones that we have out now.

Whoever that has time to read, curiosity and an acceptable level of English (obviously anyone reading this) will find a jewel, amateur in the best sense, much better than anything professional. Especially the script and the quality of the texts leaves big industry in diapers. Allthrough it's not strictly a video game to compete with those.

For who is not afraid to face questions, who understand that disabilities are not a big deal:

Katawa Shoujo