Last year there were a couple of games that brought up the question of what actually counts as a game. One of them shouldn’t have, because it is – Modern Warfare 3 (the nuance of “un-game” is lost on the world, sadly). The other was To The Moon, which occasionally teetered on the edge of that which people were willing to tolerate. The debate is mostly unhelpful – it generally comes down to a person’s expectations of the game, and those not being met. I found MW3 to fall far short of what I would expect of an FPS, and not fill that absence with anything new, meaningful or worthwhile, thus my condemnation. To The Moon replaced a perception of choice with wonderfully vivid narrative, deep characters, and an exploration of subjects poorly explored by any medium, let alone gaming. So where does that leave Katawa Shoujo?
It’s a visual novel, a format with which I’m not overly familiar. But heck, I like a novel, and I like pictures, so let’s see where this takes me. This is not a review, it’s an account of my experience of playing the game/reading the novel.