Gamefaq's KS Critique

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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Bara » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:19 am

Well I have not played any of those VN's the reviewer mentioned but the ones I did Google up at random were (no surprise here) all professionally done Japanese VN's. A few of the things she trashed KS for were things I've read the Dev's themselves comment on. (Does anyone else remember a certain little bunker scene that some one put together about 2 years ago? Damn I wish I had saved that to my HD before It got taken down.) Heh, I could see one or two of the Dev's thinking it'd be funny as hell to tweak the newcomers with some trolling on a dormant Gamefaq's account. Face it, they all spent five freaking years of their lives on KS. It obvious that there is "something wrong" with all of them just from that. :lol:

Whatever the case may be as to the author of the review; there is simply no way I can regard it seriously. Whether a case of trolling by Dev's or someone else, or some serious VN geeks attempt to justify their obsession with paying ridiculous amounts of money for frankly fairly badly written VN's that try and cover that innate weakness with glossy art and professional voice acting it is still a case of comparing professional work to amateur. It is like trying to make a comparison between the Sahara desert and the Pacific Ocean and complaining the Pacific is too wet! Not that it isn't possible to make valid comparisons between aspects of them, but it is a fucking joke to attempt to invalidate the Pacific for "being TOO WET!". :lol:

For anyone who seriously thinks this way all I can suggest is, "try some lemon scented lube".

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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Milleykins » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:35 pm

Hi! I know this thread is ooold, so yell at me if it's bad to reply, but I feel like doing so since it's somewhat personal (I'm the writer of the review). Just want to clear stuff up, since there seems to have been discussion about me personally. >_> Some things...

I stand by what was written in the review. I didn't rate it to balance anything out. I am a student of the "5/10 is average" school of thought, so the numbers might look a bit low since lately a review of 7/10 by most people looks "meh" and I consider a 7/10 to be good.

I am not a troll. Most I ever do of that nature is joke around on some internet forums with my friends, who all know when I'm joking or not. It isn't a troll review! I don't really like people saying "oh this person is a troll!" I am sensitive that way. :(

I posted my review link on the GameFAQs boards because I wanted to know the reactions to it. I am not stupid, and was aware that it would likely be somewhat controversial, as a GameFAQs review goes, so I was interested. I feel like this is a natural thing to do, and I would post the link on the boards for any other game I reviewed as well.

Yes, I am a gal. I don't understand why people felt the need to call attention to it several times. The review doesn't change a bit either way, and you're allowed to feel the same way about it whether I'm male female or an eggplant. <_<

If any of the language comes off as harsh, I apologize. The review was written in a specific way, for a specific reason. When playing KS, I honestly felt that I had wasted my time in the long run, and I <i>wrote the review to keep others from feeling the same way</i>. The people that would feel that way... would generally be the people that have the same frame of mind as I do, like the same things, and think the same way. The review is written to appeal to that sort of crowd, so I feel that the people drawn in by it are the sort of people that will dislike KS. There are plenty of 'good' reviews of KS and I feel that people that are drawn in by them are the sort of people that will like the game. I AM HAPPY that some people enjoy KS, as a person, because I like when people do things they like. I'm just slightly less happy as a visual novel fan that it's gotten so much attention in comparison to some others.

Now, I resent some of the stuff said in this thread... especially stuff like the person who said I don't truly "read" visual novels. I am sorry, but just because I don't glean the same enjoyment that you do out of KS doesn't mean that I'm some monster that is less-capable of understanding literature than you guys. >_> I guess that's what I wanted to say...

Also, I understand the feelings. Why, just earlier today, someone was putting Phantasy Star II down, and I was filled with seething rage, since that game is so dear to me... :P

Anyway... yah. Basically what I wanted to say was please tone it down a bit, even this much later. I just found this thread now but it still feels kinda bad seeing people personally insult me for something, when I was just writing a review of something I don't like much. We all have feelings you know, whether we're abled, disabled, GameFAQs reviewers, etc...

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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Oddball » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:47 pm

Now, I resent some of the stuff said in this thread... especially stuff like the person who said I don't truly "read" visual novels. I am sorry, but just because I don't glean the same enjoyment that you do out of KS doesn't mean that I'm some monster that is less-capable of understanding literature than you guys. >_> I guess that's what I wanted to say...
Not liking the same things we like doesn't make you a horrible monster or somebody less understanding of literature.

It's your explanations for not why you don't like certain things that mark you as having no idea what you're talking about.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by ravenlord » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:02 pm

Wow, what an awesome troll, with a 10 month thread necro to boot! Most trolls don't have that kind of patience or determination. I am not sure what your story is, but it must be a pretty sad one.

Anyway I did a KS review for gamefaq as well: ... iew-150683 and obviously it was a little different than yours. It might give you some insight as to why some reviews (and reviewers) are more accepted than others.

As mentioned above, KS is not for everyone. But if you hammer it with non-constructive criticism, don't be surprised if you catch a backlash.

Hope this helps, and maybe we will see you again in another 10 months. I hope you are feeling better by then :)
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by ThatOneGamer » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:09 pm

Not liking something is not a good enough reason to trash it.

I don't like tomatoes. Should people stop eating them? I means, there are a lot of people who have good "reviews" of how good and health tomatoes are. So I am allowed to say that tomatoes are bad because it just balances out the opinions. I think people should not try tomatoes because they might not like it as well.
Also I like apples, apples are definitely better. Look at all theses awesome apples! So much better than tomatoes!

That is what your reviews feels like.

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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Mysterious Stranger » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:27 pm

Milleykins wrote:Hi! I know this thread is ooold, so yell at me if it's bad to reply, but I feel like doing so since it's somewhat personal (I'm the writer of the review). Just want to clear stuff up, since there seems to have been discussion about me personally. >_> Some things...


Anyway... yah. Basically what I wanted to say was please tone it down a bit, even this much later. I just found this thread now but it still feels kinda bad seeing people personally insult me for something, when I was just writing a review of something I don't like much. We all have feelings you know, whether we're abled, disabled, GameFAQs reviewers, etc...
I must say, I admire you for sticking by your words and coming here to the KS forums to clarify things.

That said, I still think your review was trash. To be perfectly clear, I'm not attacking you personally - I have no doubt that you're a lovely, upstanding individual. And I don't really mind the fact that you didn't care for KS, but your reasons for doing so (or at the very least, the way you presented them) were fairly awful.

Edit: I just realized that I was being as inconclusive/unspecific with your review as your review was of the game, so let me get down to brass tacks, as they say.

I think your assessment of the story and the characters are horrifically inadequate.
There is no overarching plot beyond the protagonist being put into a school for the disabled for heart problems. There is no big villain or problem to struggle against. There is no plot after the intro until you get into a girl's route. Most of the routes have extremely generic endings, with no denouement that makes any sort of sense or anything that tells you about what happens in the future.
I get the feeling you have very little experience with slice of life. You lambast the game for its lack of a clear villain and overarching plot, citing them as signs of poor writing, when if anything they're a staple of a well-established genre. You say that you're just as qualified to read and understand literature as anyone else, but your inability to recognize the central conflict of the story indicates the exact opposite (hint: it has to do with the fact that the protagonist is diagnosed with a terminal illness). You also seem to insist upon endings with explicit resolutions, which is troubling, as I can list off dozens of stories (and a handful of VN arcs as well) with ambiguous endings that work exceptionally well. That is not a mark of bad writing. You also criticize the endings that are there of making no sense with regard to their respective arcs - something that completely baffles me, but unfortunately you don't provide any specifics so I can't give you any further criticism in return.
There are many plot threads left hanging from the introduction if you don't play certain routes. This is shoddy writing. For example, there should have been at least a passing mention of the Shizune/Lilly relationship even if you weren't on their routes.

Kenji is set up for a story, yet almost nothing is ever explained. The writers should not have started sewing that plot without being willing to follow it all the way to the finish.
Er, why? What more could they have done with the Lilly/Shizune dynamic in the Emi, Rin and Hanako arcs? What could that have possibly added that was, in your opinion, so clearly missing? You don't cite a reason for this at all. Likewise, there are just enough clues throughout the entirety of the game to piece together Kenji's backstory - a bit of subtlety that, at least to me, was very refreshing. However, the point is that the game is not about him, and shifting gears to explicitly showcase his life story would've been (in my opinion) extremely unnecessary. As these are your only two examples of "plot threads left hanging from the introduction," your assertion of "shoddy writing" is laughably weak.
Katawa Shoujo has ridiculous characters. They are over the top. This wouldn't be bad if it wasn't extremely obvious that the writers wrote them based around their disabilities, instead of writing characters and deciding how they would deal with a disability afterward. Granted, this isn't entirely the writers' faults since they based the entire game around some doujin concept art, but it's still a glaring fault.
I know I said that I wasn't being personal, but I will be honest and say that this section of your review does genuinely anger me. You state that the writers wrote the characters around their disabilities. To me, that is a spit in the face. From my perspective, Katawa Shoujo's greatest success is the fact that the disabilities are so tertiary to the characters themselves. The story is not about disabilities, it's about people. It quite seriously ticks me off that this seems to have flown right over your head. Your assertion here is completely alien to me and I would love to hear you talk about in detail.

You also state that the characters are over-the-top - no specifics, so I have to assume that you're referring to every single character. This, again, confuses me to no end. Every character in KS is exceptionally grounded compared to 90% of the anime/VN characters I've seen. The only ones I might place under the category of "ridiculous" would be Kenji, Hideaki, and Jigoro (and possibly Misha). And I would leave it at that, except for the glaring fact that each of these characters is given enough depth so that his or her "ridiculousness" is overshadowed by his or her role in the story (Misha especially).
Now, they are over the top, like I said, yes, but they somehow still manage to be very generic! The writers have watched too much bad high school anime without realizing that they have to put their fandoms aside to write anything other than ridiculous cliches. The shy girl, and the pushy student council president both come to mind as I write this.
Once again, what the writers do with those character cliches seems to have flown over your head. Take Shizune as an example. It's true that at first glance she comes across as the generic student council president type (with the addition of being deaf/mute), but they give her character so much depth, in both her family history as well as her relationship with Misha (and by extension Hisao), that how you could say her character is generic is entirely beyond me. It's true that she doesn't have a real character arc (in that she doesn't change, beyond realizing what she wants to do in life and how her personality impacts others), but the focus of the route is her effect on Hicchan and Misha, and how they change in response to her.

In essence, I can sum up my criticism of your review by saying that you seemed to have skimmed over KS without giving any thought or consideration whatsoever to the game, its stories, its characters, or its themes.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Xanatos » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:52 pm

Milleykins wrote:There are many plot threads left hanging from the introduction if you don't play certain routes. This is shoddy writing. For example, there should have been at least a passing mention of the Shizune/Lilly relationship even if you weren't on their routes.

It's already been stated at length why your review is garbage and you clearly lack much if any experience with any literature (or other media) at all to have missed just about everything going on in the story so I won't reiterate that...Well, I just did but whatever.

I do have to toss my two cents in here though. To paraphrase your comment here: "There are a lot of plot threads left hanging, and I think the best way to fix that is for every route to have another plot thread to leave hanging!" <---That. That right there? That's essentially what you're saying. Inserting their relationship (which is relevant only to their routes) into the other routes would be exactly the thing you're criticizing: A plot thread left hanging.

So your solution to imagined hanging threads is to incorporate actual hanging threads? Others here might have gone out of their way not to personally insult you but fuck it, you just might be dumb as hell. Either that or you're a troll but trolls don't get offended by anger so you'd still be a dumb troll anyway.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by ObscureSmudge » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:57 pm

All I can say on the matter really...

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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Dream » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:11 am

Well i am glad to see we can be such a civil and accepting community, at least i have some comfort in knowing this is very unlikely to bring negative consequences for the forum.

That said, yeah the review has a few flaws in it. I would go into detail why but the Mysterious Stranger already worded it better than i ever could hope to.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Pyramid Head » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:58 am

Mileykins, don't quit your day job. You can't write reviews to save your life. The constant claim it's an eroge, the claim the characters are based around their disabilities which simply is not true, bitching about voice acting in an independent visual novel which is more a story than a video game, and complaining about the lack of a main antagonist?

That was fucking embarrassing on your part. There are valid criticisms to level at Katawa Shoujo, but you just got facts wrong and tried to judge it as something it plainly isn't. Your review is about as valid as the Fox News claim that there's sodomy in Mass Effect.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:50 am

Folks, I agree that the review was bad. I wrote why I think it was bad somewhere on page 2 of this thread, and I don't care to repeat myself, save to say that it has nothing to do with the author being female or the fact that the review was negative. I read a few negative reviews of KS and some of them raise valid points.

But please, can we lay off the personal insults here?
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Guest Poster » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:15 am

Nightydreams and MysteriousStranger already gave very well-written breakdowns on why your review did such a fantastic job at rubbing people the wrong way. What you essentially did was take an orange and say: "This apple's color is abnormal, it's way too soft and the rind tastes so horrible, the slightly sweet insides can't save it. 2 out of 10!!!" And then you wonder why people roll their eyes.

Your argument that you were severe disappointed and wanted to save others from making the mistake of trying it would probably be more convincing if KS was a commercial project and people who might not like it would risk wasting money on it. The worst thing that can happen to someone is that he downloads it, tries it for an hour or so, doesn't like it and then uninstalls it.

You probably COULD have done better. A few examples:

About the art: "I get the fact they had no art budget, but there are non-profit teams in existence which do manage to get a consistent style spanning their project so while it may be unreasonable to compare the art to commercial products, I still think they could have done better."

About the writing: "I'm personally a fan of epic storylines and a story without big world-spanning conflicts or scene-stealing villains bores me. You might like it if Slice-of-Life is your thing, but it couldn't hold my interest. This Kenji dude is too longwinded and random for my tastes too."

About the sound: "Sure, producing voices is a massive task, potentially costly and is a hit-and-miss even in commercial products, but all the VNs I've played had voice acting and something really feels amiss for me without it. Bad voice acting makes for a worse product than no voice acting, but IMHO the team should have taken the shot. It might have improved the final product."

It's possible to make negative points without that cocktail of attempting to push the square game into a round mold, refusal to judge the project on its own merits and the self-righteous tone. Acknowledging the limits the team had to work with and judging the project within those limits is an important part of writing a credible review. Fail to do so and you'll come across as that unfeeling jerk who lamblasts the winner of the local high school marathon for performing WAY under the level of the average Olympic athlete.

So yeah, it's not so much the conclusion itself but rather the way you got there that turns people off. I don't think you're a troll or even a terrible person and people shouldn't throw personal insults at you, but the review was really, really, really bad.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Anonymous22 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:48 pm

What a stupid thread.

If someone posts a review you don't like, there is no need to draw attention to it and go "hey, look, someone's saying something stupid that I don't like! We should all gather around and complain about it!" Who cares?
It seems like the person who posted the review made a point of telling everyone they posted a review, so what they wanted was attention. In this case, is the smart thing really to give them more of it?
It doesn't matter how dumb the reasons were, you're all going in against someone's opinion. They can say whatever they want. Get used to it, because this game isn't going to be all things to all people.

I'm not going to lock the thread, because I trust you aren't all stupid and can figure out for yourselves what to do next.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Auratus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:59 am

That's bold... or honestly, foolish move. A critic who reviews a "game" as terrible one trying to clarify her name in that game forum (or fandom)

If I were you. I would not done what you've done. People have his/her own opinion and you just come here to get even more flames for people who strongly disagree with you.

I will not insult you because you are probably have enough of it. Tell me if you aren't.
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Re: Gamefaq's KS Critique

Post by Beoran » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 pm

Well, it's very brave of you to come in and talk here, and I agree that personal attacks are uncalled for.

But the review you wrote is not very good. Why? Because to anyone who has actually played Katawa Shojou in depth, like most of us have here, it's pretty obvious that you have either 1) not played the game very extensively or 2) have not read the texts very well, or 3) haven't understood the contents very well. Or at least for some reason, you only have seemed to grasp what KS is about very superficially because the review is full of factual errors. The review is so incorrect at times, it seems to me like you reviewed the game based on hearsay and maybe quickly clicking through the first chapter just once. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but that is just how your review makes you come off.

Furthermore I think it's sort of unreasonable to apply the standards of a commercial game to a non-commercial one, especially with regards to voice acting. Now you are free to dislike this game, but actually, I suggest that you play all 5 paths again, but that this time, you actually read slowly and carefully, and try to understand what is written. I hope you will find that you were much too hasty in your judgement. :)
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