Archives for : Visual Novels

Cinders Review

MoaCube’s Cinders is an interesting visual novel, based on the fairy tale Cinderella. Cinders artwork is really well done.

Cinders main gameplay aspect is the development of Cinders by the choices you make. Whether you choose to follow the fairy tale story or exact revenge on your wicked sisters and stepmother the choice is yours. The game isn’t incredibly long but has reason for multiple playthroughs, with 4 main types of endings but multiple variations to each of those 4 endings. This allows for endings that are very similar, but with interesting differences based on your choices.

The main thing that really stands out is the artwork. It really is well done and sets the scene well.  There are some grammar issues, but not many. The music is nice and fits the game, but after the second playthrough you will probably no longer want to hear it. Cinders also has trophies you can unlock for accomplishing certain events in game. Some of these are really hard to figure out.

After playing the game multiple times through I would say the one thing in the game that bothered me the most was the language. It didn’t feel like it really fit the time frame that the story seems to impart.  Which made it a little off putting. Another thing that I really didn’t like was in some scenes the characters mouths move when they speak but it just looked odd.

In the end I would rate this visual novel a 3 out of 5, if you like twists on fairy tales or vn’s you would probably like this game.  If those aren’t your thing this game isn’t the one to change your mind.

Katawa Shoujo Review

Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel created by Four Leaf Studios, a group initially formed from the 4Chan forums.  For those of you who don’t know what a visual novel is, I let you in.  It is a sort of game that is mainly story over anything else. What Four Leaf Studios created was a very large and interesting VN. The name itself means Disability Girl and you would think that with that title coming from the 4Chan community it would be entirely depraved, but it really isn’t.

First off as a VN this is not a game for those who seek adventure or action packed gameplay. No, you are looking at a lot of reading, making some choices that will affect events, and watching the events unfold to create a story. I had never played a VN until Katawa Shoujo and it was a great introduction to the genre.

The idea of the game is you play a teen who has a heart attack and is sent to a school for disabled teens. The story tells how he comes to terms with his own weakness and that of others, all the while finding love. Although you can fail at getting the girl you are attempting to woo, and get a not so good ending. I found an ending that was the absolute worse possible while attempting to get on one of the girls’ path. Within Katawa Shoujo there are 5 girls you can attempt to have a relationship with; Emi, Hanako, Lilly, Rin, and Shizune each with their own story and endings.  This is a feature common in VN’s, giving you multiple paths and endings adding reply value to the game as you seek to see the story of the other girls.

Now don’t get me wrong as much as I enjoyed this game and have completed 3 of the 5 paths as of this moment, this is not a game I can see a large majority of people being interested in.  I should say it is a niche genre. If you like reading and those old choose your own adventure books this game has that feel to it. The animations, character art, and music are all well done.  I wasn’t a fan of the photograph backgrounds used for many scenes, but at least they fit the scenes well.

Katawa Shoujo is a free game, so if you’re mildly interested I really recommend giving it a go.  I rate this game a 4 out of 5 and only do so because it is a game that many would find hard to get into.