Be Armed with a Kleenex...
Shocking as it may seem to a gamer who usually sneers at bishoujo
games, this was the first of its kind that actually made me
cry. (Uh, Kanon does not count because it was the anime version
that made me cry, not the game.) The story is so sad, you
swear you just want everybody dead so it would be over with.
It's not actually far from what transpires in Kana.
The truth of the matter was, I was more depressed with the
supporting characters of Kana than with Kana herself. You
play Taka, a boy with a rather unique family. I say unique
because it seems that a lot of people in his family have different
sorts of diseases that conspire to break your heart. If it's
not some terminal illness, the issue is about unrequited love.
How much more ill-fated can you get?
As I have mentioned earlier, it's the supporting characters
that make the game interesting for me. There's Sumako, Taka's
aunt, who suffers from breast cancer. She has a daughter named
Cana, a cheerful kid who unfortunately has hipatic insufficiency.
There's free-spirited Yumi Kashima, my favorite character
and Taka's first love, who later finds herself head over heals
infatuated with Taka. And then there's Yuta Ito, a gorgeous
bishounen who deems it his place to protect Kana at school.
Taka also has a set of friends, whom I fondly call the F4
because of their similarity to the Hana Yori Dango / Meteor
Garden gang, but they aren't given much emphasis.
I've been going on and on about the supporting cast, so I'm
guessing you're wondering why the main characters didn't leave
much of an impact on me. It's simple, really. Because they
make the tale so
Mills and Boon. The big twist-slash-secret
that's supposed to make me gasp and leap for joy is actually
very predictableso cliché, and so
Like it was placed there to justify all the forbidden desires
and sexual tension that shouldn't have been happening in the
All the endings are tragic, save for the true ending, Ending
1: The First Farewell. Nevertheless, I preferred Ending
6: Live Now over that happy, sappy, spill-mush-over-me
true ending. Masochistic me, you say? Well, it's just that
that was the happy but inconvenient ending, and it makes up
for the convenient twist that would've made everything too
Now for the gameplay. Everything's perfect, except for three
major flaws: (1) that the fastest skip page option is not
fast enough; (2) that I have to hold my finger over the "Enter"
button to skip through familiar dialogues quickly; and (3)
the save data slots have a mind of their own. Flaw number
three bothered me the most since the next empty slot will
also be automatically occupied by your latest save. Meaning,
it moves! And when all slots have been covered, they just
re-write the first slot without your permission. It's a good
thing there are Load Tabs, which divide your saves into folders,
but that doesn't make it less annoying. People save into particular
slots for a lot of reasons!
The artwork is okay, though I kind of expected it to look
as impressive as G-Collections' earlier game, Kango
Shicyauzo. This one feels too much like Precious Moments
to be taken too seriously. I mean, imagine Precious Moments
figurines doing the nasty. Ew. It is similar with Kango, however,
in that there are times when the characters look like they've
been carelessly cut and pasted over a background. You can
see jagged edges around the characters figures. By the way,
there is an option to save the scenes and images you want.
I saved a lot of Yuta Ito poses (he he).
The texts are written over the images, a style that gives
off an exceptionally dramatic effect. And the music! Score
points for a sure winner when it comes to setting the mood!
You just have to hear Shiroi Kisetsu, the opening theme.
It's pretty addictive. In fact, I might just get myself a
Overall, I'm beginning to respect G-Collections for providing
us with yet another game that exceeds expectations. (The first
one I've tried from this company was Kango
Shicyauzo.) Kana just needs some fine-tuning in the story-telling
aspect, but it certainly rises a notch above all other clickathons.
CD-ROM Extras include CG galleries, endings revisited, music
listings, and character profiles.