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User Info: Darkling183

10 years ago#1
For years after I first played Kana Little Sister in 2004, KLS was 'the' bishoujo game to play - the one that was pretty much always mentioned first when someone asked for a recommendation. Sometimes Crescendo would be mentioned in the same breath, but almost always as an also-ran. And that's the way it was for a very long time.

KLS fandom was more or less healthy. New people would show up at the GameFAQs boards fairly regularly to share their experience of the game. The previous versions of the Kana Little Fanfics and Kana Fanfic Flash threads hosted plenty of discussion and feedback.

Lately, though, I've been noticing fewer and fewer new faces showing up in KLS fandom, and I'm wondering if KLS's popularity may be on the wane.

The game's production values are making it increasingly anachronistic in the modern bishoujo game market. It doesn't have voice acting. The backgrounds are crude by today's standards. It uses a full screen text display that obscures the graphics. So, while its story is as affecting as it ever was, I can't help but get the feeling that new bishoujo game fans are being directed elsewhere now - towards games that more accurately reflect the current state of the art.

The big fish in the pond at the moment, so far as meaningful and emotional content goes, seems to be Yume Miru Kusuri - which is somewhat appropriate, since YMK and KLS were written by the same person (Hajime Yamada, aka Romeo Tanaka). Figures of Happiness also seems to get mentioned quite a bit when people ask for a recommendation these days (probably because of its emphasis on story).

After playing a contemporary game like YMK or FoH, with their voice acting, high-resolution graphics and sophisticated interfaces, I have to wonder if today's bishoujo gamers would feel like they're back in prehistoric times when they start playing KLS? Would it put people off the idea of playing the game?

I can't help but feel that KLS's time is passing, if not already passed. If Family Project is as amazing as it's rumoured to be, KLS will be increasingly marginalised. KLS will become a 'cult' game - a game that you'll gain cred for having played, but not the first port of call for new bishoujo game players anymore.

Thoughts, anyone?

User Info: tehtooya

10 years ago#2
I played KLS years ago... and just dropped by to play it again, with complete focus on the content (especially the endings...)

And I have to say, I think your right. I think KLS is a game that is actually going to be forgotten soon enough, stored away in the box of "classic games" with outdated graphics. When I was younger I played this game mostly because I wanted something to play, and did not give the plot and emotion the due attention it deserved. I revisited the game to feel the storyline, just like I did Crescendo. There has been a huge release of 3D games that give most of the crowd exactly what they want, instant gratification.

I think most users who play bishojo games for the emotional aspect are dwindling down... And those that are just looking for R-rated material can get better quality or even interactive adult content.

As a game with so much emotion, I will always hold this in high regard. I still think the creators should take out the adult content, and attempt to sell it to the younger market.... since there is so much depth in this game... but oh well, not much can be done now it seems. Its a shame its a dieing game, but the market is moving on now.... "/

User Info: MusashiExtra

10 years ago#3
They tried to port it to Xbox. That would have been awesome if it actually happened.

I think Kana will always be up there. The new games will be interesting for a while, but eventually everyone will get bored. Maybe Kana won't be at first place forever, but it will always be in the top 10.
The shining light in the darkness...
Isn't it awful... to have wings... and not know how to use them.... | Tega.

User Info: Darkling183

10 years ago#4
You both raise interesting points.

1) The bishoujo game market is a lot bigger now. The 'sexfest' titles increasingly outnumber the 'emotional' titles. New bishoujo game players are likely to be playing the game for the sex scenes. So they're more likely to choose something silly and smutty as their first experience.

Also, now there's a lot more variety in the content of bishoujo games. We have dark games, catgirl games, some RPGs, and so on. People can pursue their specific interests. The range of bishoujo games used to be so small that KLS would almost always come up when people asked for 'good' bishoujo games.

But now the market is so large that people can ask more specific questions, like "if I liked Let's Meow Meow, what should I play next?" or "what's a good game with some RPG elements?". Sure, people still ask questions like "what do you recommend in general?" or "what should I play if I liked Yume Miru Kusuri?", but the fact is still that if they played almost any other game first, then KLS's visuals will seem so much less sophisticated in comparison.

2) For players who do want emotional content, KLS probably will always be up there in the top 10. There just aren't that many 'emotional' games out there at the moment - KLS, Crescendo, Yume Miru Kusuri, Figures of Happiness (bleh), and soon Family Project.

It's just that emotional games are becoming a smaller and smaller niche in the 'mainstream' bishoujo game market, meaning that KLS's standing in the overall market is bound to slip. Sex sells, after all. *sigh*

User Info: TheRealZ3ro

10 years ago#5
Hmmm... I think that Darkling does bring up some good points about the game.

Even for me, when I played the game back in 2005, there was still a fair amount of discussion going on. Comparing that to now, it does feel like the flow of new fans has become slower.

I think that KLS not having voice acting does hurt it some. I never really thought about it before, but I've grown pretty accustomed to having voices in a bishoujo game. For anything new that comes out, it's just expected that there will be voices.

Still, even without voice acting, KLS is still a very powerful game. It has an emotional story that you won't find in every bishoujo game. For example, I recently finished playing Bazooka Cafe, a more recent title. The game actually surprised me, and I found it quite enjoyable to play. And some of the paths did deal with some serious (and realistic) issues. But the game still wasn't as emotional as KLS was for me. There's nothing wrong with that, since Bazooka Cafe is meant to be a funnier game, but the difference between the two is there.

Personal preference and interests will always be a factor. Even if newer games have fancier interfaces and higher quality graphics, some fans may still not enjoy them as much as older titles. For another example, I finally got to try playing Pretty Soldier Wars A.D. 2048. And quite frankly, I can't stand the game. A lot of it frustrated me, namely the battle system. The graphics, music, and voice acting are pretty good, but since the main focus of the game (the battles) is horrible, I don't like the game. KLS may be getting outdated, but because the core of the game is a story that's still just as strong and emotional today as it was back then, I prefer KLS over PSW. Granted, the two games aren't the same type of bishoujo game, but hopefully you get what I mean.

Maybe as new games come out, it'll be harder to get people to give an older game like KLS a try. But if they're open enough to give it a shot, I'm sure that a fair amount of them will find it just as enjoyable as a newer game, if not more.

Meh, I know that I have more that I want to say, but I can't get it out in words right now.

*Gah, Darkling posted something while I was still typing this up.*
-= Kana: Fanfic Flash =- http://www.the-z-projects.com/kana/
-= Kana: Eternity =- http://www.the-z-projects.com/eternity/

User Info: Darkling183

10 years ago#6
Maybe as new games come out, it'll be harder to get people to give an older game like KLS a try. But if they're open enough to give it a shot, I'm sure that a fair amount of them will find it just as enjoyable as a newer game, if not more.

I think this is where KLS's decline is coming from. Gamers these days have very short attention spans. They judge a game on superficialities. And so, fewer people will recommend KLS to other people, and the few people who do try it will have to make a conscious effort not to be deterred by the lack of bells and whistles. Each stage of this process whittles away more and more potential players of the game.


The problem with Pretty Soldier Wars, in my opinion, that almost all of the gameplay elements were half-baked.

1) The battle system
2) Relationships with the girls
3) The sex scenes (both tentacle and otherwise)

It was an interesting experiment, but none of the elements was strong enough to stand on its own. When put together, it was kind of a mildly diverting hybrid experience. But that was pretty much all it had going for it - the novelty. It wasn't good at any of the gameplay elements it tried to include. The graphics were pretty, but that's not everything, as Zero said.

(I have similar problems with Lightning Warrior Raidy, which also tried to tack superficial bishoujo game elements onto a tragically unsophisticated and underdeveloped game engine.)

User Info: JPop4Life

10 years ago#7
I think that KLS may be outdated as some point. But I think that point is only at it's beggining stages. Because when people are looking for a "meaningful" bishoujo game there aren't that many out there. People still only mention KLS and Crescendo (and a few others), but they don't give them the emotional impact as these two do. But with Family Project coming out it may push KLS in the shadows. Or, it will boost the popularity of deep story/emotional bishoujo games (instead of funny/sleezy ones) and when people look for a bishoujo game like that after FP (especially since FP and KLS have a huge connection) it may push KLS even higher than it has before. If FP does live to it's hype I can only really count 3 bishoujo games that are of high quality (I'm excluding HoS and Ever17 because they're none adult and some people may not be interested in them. But even so, that makes it only 5).

But over time, if more and more high quality games do make it to English, KLS may fall behind because of the times. Heck, I like Seasons of Sakura and you don't see anything like the classic Jast bishoujo games being talked about. It will become a sign of the times someday, when KLS could fade away.

But, even though Crescendo, Ever17 and HoS are great games there are no fanfics of them. In fact, I really only know KLS to have any following of the sorts. KLS is still very very special and is going to be near impossible to replace. I mean, what game will have 6 endings and have you feel heartbroken over everyone of them (ok... 5 endings, there is ending 4 =P).

Because everyone else is not Japanese, everyone goes with the English translated games. I do hope that there will be a time that KLS may fall behind, because that means that the bishoujo game realm is moving forward. Who knows exactly what will happen. If D.O. and the creators of KLS, FP, YMK, etc. keep making popular English games, they may all lead them back to Kana.

All things lead back to Kana =P

Also... what other game has made you wheep like a baby? Crescendo made me wince a little but that was it.

Also, now there's a lot more variety in the content of bishoujo games. We have dark games, catgirl games, some RPGs, and so on.

That is more true than it has ever been. But even before, KLS, Crescendo, etc. have always been in a different bishoujo market. It's just getting more apparent that there are different bishoujo markets that are now appearing.

People will play what they want to play like before. And the reality we (we meaning emotional bishoujo gamers) are always going to be the smaller crowd compared to the cosplay/dark/horny gamer crowds that exist.

But look in Japan. Some of the most credited games are the emotional ones and it shows the true power of an emotional bishoujo game. Kanon, Shuffle and Air seem to be madly huge in Japan. And if I remember correctly, I believe Shuffle had only a handful (or 2) sex scenes in the entire game. That kind of backing has got to mean something and companies have noticed that.

Hmm... a random thought. I've noticed that the names of the games have changed (at least recently). I don't see names like I'm Gonna Nurse You, (Insert name of step-anything), Do you like Horny Bunnies, or anything that seems really directed towards romp.

Again thinking about it, there's a bunch of both. But as for the new ones, the only thing that could stand out is Bazooka Cafe. And that's a little stretch.

User Info: Darkling183

10 years ago#8
There are a couple of Ever 17 fanfics here, though I haven't read them. (I just found them, actually.)



I do wonder, idly, if Family Project will inspire the same amount of fans longing for a continuation, the way KLS did. My prediction is that it won't. Family Project looks to follow the same 'pick a girl, follow her path' approach as Crescendo or Yume Miru Kusuri.

The special thing about KLS that makes it different (in my opinion) is that the whole game is about Kana, and you never get to end up with her. So the game creates this ultra-special girl who's portrayed in great depth, and then doesn't let you have her. It creates a need for some sort of closure.

I imagine that each of the girls' paths in Family Project will be self-contained. There'll be a good ending for each of them. It's not the same situation.


It's just getting more apparent that there are different bishoujo markets that are now appearing.

Yep, the market is definitely diversifying.

* There's a growing contingent of people at the Otakuism boards who like 'dark' games (Hitomi My Stepsister, Bible Black).

* There are games with alternative gameplay styles (Lightning Warrior Raidy and its sequel, Pretty Soldier Wars, Princess Waltz).

* There are story-oriented games (Snow Sakura, Yume Miru Kusuri).

* And there are still the basic sex romps (Bazooka Cafe, Cosplay Fetish Academy).

As JPop said, the gamers who want emotional stories are becoming a smaller portion of the market. But at least Peach Princess and G-Collections are still catering to us, to an extent. If FP is a success, hopefully we'll see more emotional, story-oriented games being released in future, too.
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