Kana: Little Sister
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Don’t play Kana: Little Sister if you expect a typical Hentei game and don’t play it if you are not a fan of reading and drama. If you can appreciate a good story with well written characters and a lot of heart ache then I can’t recommend this game enough. It’s definitely one of the crowning achievements in its genre.

Gameplay: It’s a visual novel so the gameplay consists of lots of clicking with the occasional multiple choice question.
Graphics: Nicely drawn characters but the focus is firmly on the story.
Sound: Minimal sound effects, no voices but touching music

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Kana: Little Sister

Developer: D.O Corp | Publisher: G-Collections |Release Date: 2002 | Genre: Eroge, Visual Novel | Website: G-Collections Store Page | Format: Digital Download

Meet Taka Todo, just your average Japanese boy with an average life. He’s got three best friends at school and together they are known as the “Big Four.” Taka also has a crush on a cute girl in his class and it looks like the feeling might actually be mutual. All in all life is pretty good for Taka except for one crucial thing, his little sister Kana.

Two years younger than Taka, Kana has been living her life in and out of hospital due to chronic renal failure, a deadly illness that affects the kidneys. Taka starts off resenting his little sister and blames her for being weak and stealing all their parents’ attention, but a selfless act when he’s ten years old changes his perspective and brings him closer to Kana. As they grow older, the bond becomes stronger and Take becomes the most important person in his fragile little sister’s life. With time running out for Kana, it’s up to Taka to help her experience life and make the most of her remaining time. The question is, at what cost?

Kana: Little Sister is a visual novel categorized in the “eroge” genre which means this is a game that few players will want to take on and even fewer will really appreciate. “Eroge” or “Hentai” games as they are also known are notorious for featuring very little gameplay and the focus is usually firmly on nudity and sex. Kana: Little Sister doesn’t go to the extremes that the genre usually achieve but its definitely not a game for anyone under the age of 18.

The subject matter alone, no matter how well it is handled will already make this game taboo for many, and the sex scenes will just be the final nail in the coffin. The kind of people that are usually attracted to this sort of game will also have a lot to moan about. The story is very slow paced and deals more with morbid subjects like death, terminal illness and the inability to protect the ones you love. The sex scenes are quite tame (in comparison to what this genre usually delivers) and few and far between. With so many things stacked against it, it would seem that Kana: Little Sister would be condemned to obscurity but instead it is one of the highest rated games in its genre. The reason for this is one thing and one thing only, story.

While leaning heavily towards melodrama at times the story of Kana is so hear wrenchingly tragic and involving that its virtually impossible to stop playing it. If you can manage to play through this game without at least getting a lump in your throat then you truly have no heart. Spanning ten years in the life of Taka and showing how his attitude and behaviour towards his sister changes from resentment to almost being his reason for living makes for a bittersweet and believable tale that will captivate players. Things start off a little slow but towards the end you will almost be wishing for the story to let up a bit and spare you the emotional trauma. There’s six different endings available but very few of them will leave you with dry eyes. The story is really well written and its virtually impossible not go get involved. There are a few spelling and grammatical errors that creeped in during the translation process, but nothing major. The dialogue during the sex scenes however are as corny and cringe worthy as they are for most games in this genre and a few times I burst out laughing which I’m sure wasn’t the intention of the writers. There have been arguments that the sex scenes add nothing to the game and could have been done away with without missing anything but I’m not so sure. The game doesn’t feature the usual “sleep with every available girl” routine so beloved of the genre and you are shown the consequences of your actions with people’s feelings getting hurt in the process. There’s a very limited amount of characters in this game so you’ll become acquainted with all of them but if you think that all the females are going to be sexual conquests then look elsewhere.

Being a visual novel and not really a game, Kana: Little Sister features text and lots of it. If you are not the type of person that enjoys reading a good book in one sitting then once again this is not the game for you. At first I didn’t like the way that the text was overlaid on the graphics but after seeing just how much text there was I can understand the reason for this layout. A right click of the mouse will hide the words so that the picture can be better appreciated but the focus really is on the text. For such a deep and involving title you are actually given very limited choices and in the entire game there is only something like 33 options to choose from. Some choices branch off into other paths but if you plan on seeing all six different endings you’ll be replaying a lot of the same scenes. There is a text skip option that will fast forward past text that you have already read which really comes in handy.

Although it’s a “visual” novel, the focus is definitely on the novel part as I have seen free flash games with better visuals than this. Scenes consist of static backgrounds with no animated detail and characters are also just portrayed as cardboard cut-outs. For important scenes you will be treated to a special picture and while all of these look wonderful there is an awful lot of recycling going on. For the most part your imagination will have to fill in all the blanks. All the characters only seem to have three poses (happy, sad, normal) and shift through these with a simple transition effect, no animations in sight. With only about nine characters shown in the entire game I would really have liked to see them fleshed out more (and no I don’t mean it in THAT way.) I realize that the emphasis is on the words but with such wonderful characters its almost a waste not to see more of them. It’s really cool to see characters like Kana and Yumi get older as the story progresses but with all the visual recycling things can look a bit low-budget.

The music consists out of CD audio and most of the songs fit their scenes really well. There’s even a few tracks that feature spoken lyrics which is a nice touch. There’s no voices but this is a good thing as it would only have detracted from the experience if the acting wasn’t up to scratch. The game does have a few sound effects but nothing that will make you sit up and take notice plus its very annoying how you have to wait for sound effects to stop playing before you can continue clicking through the text.

Kana: Little Sister is truly a game that players will either love or loathe. It’s a crying shame that due to the subject matter and game genre this games wonderful story will be missed by a lot of players. If you can stomach a bit of controversy and nudity then by all means give this game a try. While it hasn’t “changed my life” like some people claim it definitely made a emotional impact that will be hard to beat.

Review Written: 10/2010
VMLite running Windows XP OS

System Requirements

Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista
Pentium 166Mhz Or Higher
48MB
640×480 True Color
DirectSound Compatible
Latest Version
CD-ROM
240MB
Keyboard, Mouse

Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista
Pentium 166Mhz Or Higher
48MB
640×480 True Color
DirectSound Compatible
Latest Version
CD-ROM
240MB
Keyboard, Mouse

Related posts

Icebound

Icebound

With its Steampunk fantasy setting and fleshed out characters Icebound is a Western visual novel that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. The writing is for the most part very good and the story features plenty of intrigue. The visuals are a bit rough in places, but the excellent soundtrack deserves a special mention. It is a must for visual novel fans, but the puzzle elements and great story will appeal to other players as well. Gameplay: Icebound features a great story, interesting setting and even some nice puzzle mini-games. Graphics: Good, but rather uneven. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is superb.

The Hong Kong Massacre

The Hong Kong Massacre

The Hong Kong Massacre is a top down shooter with an addictive blend of all out action, slow motion dives and bloody destruction. It will receive a lot of comparisons to Hotline Miami and Max Payne, but the addictive gameplay and John Woo elements ensures that it makes its own mark on the genre. The cut-scenes could be a little better and the game lacks some polish here and there, but overall it is a great shooter that has plenty of thrills to offer for those who are up to the challenge. Gameplay: Challenging and unforgiving, but very addictive and rewarding. Graphics: Plenty of blood and destructible scenery along with some interesting locations. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack and sound effects are good.

Plantera

Plantera

Plantera is a very straightforward game with simple, but addictive mechanics. You simply grow your garden, harvest crops and sell them to repeat the cycle. It is a casual clicker title with plenty of things to click, but you can also kick back and leave it to its own devices. If you are not a fan of clicker titles it can become repetitive, but considering its price it is hard to fault. Gameplay: Very straightforward to play and features a bit more variety than typical clicker games. Graphics: Bright, colorful and quite charming. Sound: Nice, but could have benefited from a few more tunes.

Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning

Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning

With its Steampunk setting, great characters and intriguing storyline it is easy to get sucked into this visual novel. However, it is not perfect as the pacing slows down considerably in later chapters and too many superfluous characters with little impact on the story keep getting introduced. Stick with it though and you’ll find a great visual novel with characters that are truly memorable. Gameplay: Some chapters drag their feet, but the overall story is quite captivating. Graphics: Great visuals, but the relatively low resolution is disappointing. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting, great sound effects and very nice music, but some tracks repeat too often.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Crayon Physics Deluxe is a charming little indie game that will suck in anybody that gives it a fair try. It's loads of fun to just mess around and draw different things to see what contraptions you can come up with. With 70 levels and different challenges you'll be playing this one far longer than you might think. Gameplay: Extremely simple, but very impressive at the same time. Graphics: Intentional crayon scribbles. Sound: Not outstanding, but not annoying either.

>observer_

>observer_

Observer is a slow-paced, cyberpunk themed thriller from the same developers that brought us Layers of Fear. Despite the change of setting, Observer shares a lot of similarities with LOF, especially during the surreal hacking sequences where you invade the thoughts of other people and experience their worst fears. The incredibly detailed visuals and gripping environments make Observer a game that is hard to put down, but the slower pace and lack of control beyond observing your surroundings and scanning things might deter the action crowd. Overall, it is a title that all fans of the cyberpunk genre will enjoy and it offers an enthralling experience despite some technical issues. Gameplay: There is little to do apart from exploring your surroundings and scanning things for clues, but the game remains engrossing nonetheless. Graphics: The abundance of post-processing effects might be a bit much for some players, but there is no faulting the highly detailed visuals. Sound: The soundtrack is just as tense as you’d expect from a title like this and it is great to hear Rutger Hauer lending his vocals to the lead character.

4 Comments

  1. Zamomin January 28, 2015
    Reply

    As someone who has read the first chapter of “Higurashi – When They Cry” with the original sprites, I think that the art looks decent enough ^^
    Thanks for the review. I’ve nearly forgotten about his VN, but now I want to read it.

    • GAMERamble January 28, 2015
      Reply

      You might want to wait for the total remake of the game which is coming soon. It will have update visuals and full voice acting.

  2. Sesema August 20, 2015
    Reply

    wow. I thought this was a realy old game. Is it really in the process of a remake?

    • GAMERamble August 20, 2015
      Reply

      Yes, this is quite an old title, but the remake has already been released. Check out the review here: Kana Okaeri

Leave a comment

20 − 3 =