What a game.
I spent the better part of this week playing, replaying, and reopening Steam’s first “uncensored sex game”. Honestly, such a description hardly does KSotR enough justice.
I’ve already reviewed its English version here, but I felt that it’s still worth talking about. In my mind, visual novels tend to be cheesy stories accompanied by terrible, stereotypical dialogue and awfully drawn scenes, particularly those on Steam. Part of it is that I don’t think I’ve actually played a good visual novel before this one, and so my expectations were fairly low.
I recommend you just read my review, because I can’t say enough good things about KSotR. The pacing, the music, the story – oh, its poignancy and charm! Finishing the game left me with an empty feeling I’ve only felt once before, but at the time I couldn’t remember where. Soon after I realized how much I was still thinking about the game with all its characters and events and stories and little quirks that I had to find something to fill the hole it had left me.
So of course, I played it again.
This time, noting how many people praised the voice acting, I decided to let the voiced sections play themselves out (the first time, I just read the text). Yes, the voice acting certainly brought my experience to a new level; the sex scenes in particular benefited from certain…noises that came into play. I also decided to try to keep track of the date that each event falls on (as the game relies on a planner-type approach to the story) instead of focusing on just the content itself. This allowed me to immerse myself in the story more, though eventually caused me more pain as I finished the game again.
Which is where I remembered the last time I felt such a hole in my heart.
Several years ago, I watched Avatar: the Last Airbender for the first time. I loved it so much that I ended up watching it three times consecutively. Of course, it was after doing this that I realized nothing else would ever compare (Korra wouldn’t be finished for another two years or so), and so I obsessed myself with finding every little Avatar-related piece of media there was available (to which I’m still doing). Similarly, KSoTR is so well written that I’ve been trying to find another visual novel similar in scope and likeliness, but so far I’m stuck with the manga (which, apparently, isn’t even fully translated into English yet). At the time of writing this, I have finished the main storyline twice; I’m planning on going back and locating all of the extra scenes for the sake of completion, but then I have a sneaking suspicion that I might very soon play through the game a third time.