Kendo Crush! [BxG][April 2014 Update - Demo/KickStarter]

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG] UPDATED: 29/01/2014

#31 Post by BlueB » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:32 am

I, for one, have always enjoyed things like the kendo in this game. However, I know a lot of people with slower reflexes that might be turned off by the prospect of having their endings change depending on whether or not their good at it, especially if they're completionists. Is there any hope for people who want to get the good kendo endings without getting frustrated?
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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG] UPDATED: 29/01/2014

#32 Post by PixelFade » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:09 pm

BlueB wrote:I, for one, have always enjoyed things like the kendo in this game. However, I know a lot of people with slower reflexes that might be turned off by the prospect of having their endings change depending on whether or not their good at it, especially if they're completionists. Is there any hope for people who want to get the good kendo endings without getting frustrated?
Yep! So on your first playthrough, you have opportunities to "practice". What this gives you in addition to possible events is more time during QTE's. We are also bouncing the idea of having a Game Plus mode in which you get essentially unlimited time for QTE's.

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG] UPDATED: 29/01/2014

#33 Post by Whereas » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:32 am

1) What is your overall initial impression of the project without having played it yet?

It looks absolutely awesome. Professional quality art, a cool character cast and hints of interesting gameplay elements. Definitely one of my most anticipated VN titles for the upcomming few years now. Now looking just through the front page CGs the main character gives the impression of being one of those eroge protagonists that all the girls are attracted to "just because", but fortunately the detail that went into the character designs indicates better thought out writing.

2) What are your thoughts on third person / first person MC's when there are a lot of choices to make?

In my experience first person MCs make the game more enjoyable when you wish to identify with them, but very hard to continue playing when you don't. In this case being able to dynamically shape the MC's personality should make it possible for most players to create a character they want to identify with.

On the other hand a third person MC may invite more experimentation with the different options and allow for more different, yet still likeable MCs over several playthroughs. Also, when I think of a really good solution to some dilemma and the MC doesn't it's easier for me to get over if I don't identify with the character.

Finally I'd say that a third person MC would be rather unusual for a VN, and something I'd
sooner expect from an adventure or a simulation game. A third person MC in games normally means we don't get to hear their inner thoughts, but the MC's thoughts on things are such a common source of exposition in VNs it's hard to imagine being without it.

3) Which character seems the most interesting?

That's a really tough choice with such a great cast, but I suppose I'll say Hitoshi is the man. He sounds like a person to learn from. Being a strong character without any apparent flaws, I'm also wondering how he is going to be used in the story. If he steps out from the sidelines at some point, things are bound to change for the better.

4) Would you prefer seeing what the affection levels are with characters or let it all happen in the background?

I feel that visible affection levels in the sense of a floating affection bar or affection number remove some of the (illusion of) humanity from the characters. I'd say it's not very good for immersion, but makes ending hunting and perfectionist playthroughs easier. Overall I think I'd prefer playing without seeing exact percentages, at least in the first playthrough.

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#34 Post by PixelFade » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:31 pm

Hello LSF,

The playable demo is now released!
PC / MAC

Note that the Demo is different than the Teaser that was released last year and contains significantly more content. Please feel free to check it out!

Also, feedback is very important to us and we would love to hear your thoughts on the game. Here are a few questions that will help greatly if you get a chance to play through the demo:

What was your initial thoughts (within the first 2-5 minutes)?
What did you feel was done particularly well?
Where would you like to see more improvements?
Did you feel the urge to have multiple playthroughs?
Which is your favourite character? (a why here would help!)
Would you recommend this VN to your friends?
And lastly, any other feedback you would like to mention!

Thank you for your time. Happy reading!

Best Regards,
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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#35 Post by LordRevan » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:31 pm

Hurray for the demo being released. *Insert trumpet noises here*

What was your initial thoughts (within the first 2-5 minutes)?
About 3 minutes in or so I literally exclaimed out loud (in a voice that reverberated throughout my house) something along the lines of "AHA! Take that Japan! The west can make awesome Visual Novels too!" Beyond that, at first I thought that Nikki's voice acting was a bit awkward but either it swiftly improved or it grew on me very quickly as I had no issues with it later on. Of course, things beyond that were pretty much as I expected it to be: Nice art, good writing, interesting characters etc etc.

What did you feel was done particularly well?
The writing is absolutely fantastic. The entire time I was playing this I had a massive grin on my face which I can't recall happening ever since I picked up my first VN. Also, the choices in Kendo Crush actually feel meaningful. When people started frightfully giving me a wide-birth after roundhouse kicking that Ken kid in the face there were actually moments where I thought "Man... maybe I should of thought that one through better." Plus whenever the game asked me how I wanted to spend my time and who I wanted to spend it with I was actually torn. This VN actually managed to impress upon me the idea that I couldn't "Have my cake and eat it too." I can't be everyone's friend and I probably will not have the time to do everything I want to do... at least in one play-through. :D Also the quick time events were very well done. Everything from kicking Ken in the face to the first Kendo duels were definitely tense and heart-attack inducing as they should be. The clock quickly counting down on the left seemed to impress upon me the sense of utter doom and humiliation upon failure. It also inspired natural reactions from me as even though I was playing through as a completely friendly Protagonist when I saw that Ken was approaching the MC to beat him up I immediately reverted to fight or flight instincts and moved to beat him up instead.

Where would you like to see more improvements?
Don't know if it was just me but it seemed like there were one or two times where the writing and voice acting did not seem on the same page? I'm having trouble recalling any specific moments right now but it seemed like occasionally the writing implied a subtly different mood then what the voice acting delivered. Beyond that, the only thing that really stands out are the occasional inconsistencies between what the text says and what the voice actors say. For example, I think towards the very end of the demo where Kaori is explaining how to hold a Shinai the text says something regarding holding it with the last three fingers but Kaori's voice actor says the first three fingers. Or something like that. Of course, this is only a demo and I'm certain such small issues will be cleared up before the full release.

Did you feel the urge to have multiple playthroughs?
Definitely. Some choices were so ridiculously hilarious that I was incredibly tempted to pick them. But as I had already dedicated myself to make my first play-through as a polite and friendly MC I stuck with the more mundane options. I shall definitely do a second play-through on my first opportunity to do so. And, I am definitely looking forward to seeing how things would have changed had I not roundhouse kicked Ken in the face and I'm also looking forward to seeing how hilarious the scenes become when picking the more... esoteric options.

Which is your favorite character? (a why here would help!)
Shou. Definitely Shou. The guy practically screams "Bro for life!" and without him the start of the MC's rocky relationship with the Kendo club (specifically Kaori) would of been downright depressing. Without his over-the-top friendliness I would have developed a legitimate loathing of the Kendo club just based off of Kaori's initial brush off. Honestly, I felt about as annoyed as most people would in that situation and it was one of the only times I broke character as a completely nice and polite protagonist in favor of storming off without a word. Suppose that also shows the excellent writing. Plus the dudes definitely a funny guy. The scene in which we discover Shou's dango addiction was one of the funniest in the demo.

Would you recommend this VN to your friends?
Absolutely. Indeed, this may just be the right sort of VN to get them to start reading Visual Novels as it doesn't have the whole "Voiced entirely in Japanese" issue about it.

And lastly, any other feedback you would like to mention!
The moment in which Ken moved to fight our wonderful Protagonist is in my opinion the best in the game. The lead-up to the confrontation is definitely nerve-wracking and kicking the guy in the face is amazingly satisfying despite only having known him for a few moments. Indeed as soon as the quick time event was correctly passed I just stared at the screen for a few moments as my heart calmed down and I soon started laughing hysterically. If Kendo Crush can deliver more moments like that in the full version I can easily say that this will end up being one of my favorite VN's of all time. Also, as a final thought/prediction the demo ends upon the appearance of the enigmatic leader of the despised Martial Arts Club and I'm just going to take a wild guess here and say that he's going to be a massive douche. One even worse than Ken. Stories need a good Antagonist after all.

One quick question as well. When the choice comes up to study/pay attention in class/take notes or to play a reaction intensive game what does the studying do? I assume from previous statements that the games will make quick time events easier. But what will the studying actually gain for us? As you have already stated that this game is at least somewhat inspired by the Persona Series my first thought was something like getting higher test scores... but if that's the case what do higher test scores gain us?

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#36 Post by NeumanProductions » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:17 am

Sorry, have not been on the forums often in awhile, but Syd somehow caused me to click on facebook link and it had my icon as the icon for the link so no idea why that happened but peaked my interest again.
I stream VNs and I think I can set a time to stream the trial and get the chats opinions of it, as recently my weekly streams are the only times i've made open to go through many of the more recent VNs i've come across and/or been requested to try out.
I shall do the same with this demo.
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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#37 Post by PixelFade » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:06 am

LordRevan wrote:Hurray for the demo being released. *Insert trumpet noises here*
8)

Thank you LordRevan for the comprehensive feedback. We are ecstatic that you enjoyed the demo so much!
LordRevan wrote: One quick question as well. When the choice comes up to study/pay attention in class/take notes or to play a reaction intensive game what does the studying do? I assume from previous statements that the games will make quick time events easier. But what will the studying actually gain for us? As you have already stated that this game is at least somewhat inspired by the Persona Series my first thought was something like getting higher test scores... but if that's the case what do higher test scores gain us?
Studying (or the lack thereof) will allow you to see different events. Let's take the following as a very simple explanation. Say you are not particularly studious, then you may encounter scenes where some (or one) of your friends will help you study. On the other hand, if your intel points is high, people may actually come to you for help. Both ends of the spectrum provides different content (not necessarily better or worse), it just depends on how you choose to be.
NeumanProductions wrote:Sorry, have not been on the forums often in awhile, but Syd somehow caused me to click on facebook link and it had my icon as the icon for the link so no idea why that happened but peaked my interest again.
I stream VNs and I think I can set a time to stream the trial and get the chats opinions of it, as recently my weekly streams are the only times i've made open to go through many of the more recent VNs i've come across and/or been requested to try out.
I shall do the same with this demo.
Great! We are looking forward to your streaming playthrough.

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#38 Post by Whereas » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:17 am

What was your initial thoughts (within the first 2-5 minutes)?
The game looks nice and polished, and the atmosphere really does have a bit of a Persona vibe to it. Having the characters voiced is refreshingly cool as well. But I also immediately noticed that the game doesn't have readback... far from it to keep me from playing, but it makes me save even more often than usual.

What did you feel was done particularly well?
The characters and story I guess? There have been a couple of memorable scenes already - the scenes involving the ruffians and Yoshiro explaining himself, as well as smaller things like the phone message and occasional fun options. I also really like the usage of .../! in the QTE events, though it took me way longer to figure it out than it should have.

Where would you like to see more improvements?
I'm guessing your issue is with readback is something like not being able to hide the QTE menus from it? Maybe there's some sort of workaround for that. Readback is a standard VN feature - it'd be nice if you could get it to work.

Did you feel the urge to have multiple playthroughs?
Yes - even though I often try out several choices immediately before settling on one, it should take several playthroughs to find my optimal route.

Which is your favourite character? (a why here would help!)
So far that'd be Nikki. She's cheerful, she's cute, she's family. She livens up the story.

Would you recommend this VN to your friends?
When this comes out it's going to be one of the best free VNs around, so sure!

And lastly, any other feedback you would like to mention!
The demo is quite polished. I don't even remember having noticed any mistakes during my play, other than Jun saying at the student meeting four days a week (presumably of five) where previous story implied five (of six).
The third person protagonist seems to work really well now that I see it - it actually makes the story look/feel a bit more like anime.

If the demo is any indication, this game is going to be epic. You guys rock! :D

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#39 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:22 pm

All right . . . so I've played through this one twice and experimented with some different choices. I'm quite optimistic about how it will turn out.

The writing was solid, but I noticed more than one word omitted in the text that ended up being voiced, at least one non-intentional grammatical error (it was in the middle of Yuuna's speech to the student council and was a subject-verb disagreement problem, from what I remember), and probably some other blips which currently escape my brain. But I plan on replaying the demo to pick dialogue choices I have thus far avoided. I might even swallow my pride and let my main character get his behind whooped by Ken. (So far I've beaten him up in two different ways. That poor delinquent!)

The characters are pretty standard for this type of plot: school kids, club in trouble, main character with a past, etc., but it's the execution that I expect will make them shine. I really, really like that the main character gets to interact with characters besides the supposed love interests (I'm guessing Yuuna, Kaori, and Mayu), and is able to do so in different ways. I wonder if that will have any bearing on endings and such. I hope so. I'd hate for Nikki and Uncle Kaito to end up as only window dressing.

The voice work was decent---quite good compared to that of most indie VNs--- but I remember a few lines sounding like they could've been delivered better. Don't get me wrong, though! I didn't feel there were especially glaring problems here, but one or two lines sounded off to me.

So far I think my favorite characters are Nikki and Uncle Kaito. Family dynamics that aren't just one-off scenes seem to be underrepresented in works of this type. (By the way, if anyone hasn't tried being formal with Uncle Kaito yet, do it now! It's hilariously awkward and impacts future interactions with him for the rest of the demo. I love it.)

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#40 Post by Jaff » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:55 pm

Just got finished with the demo, and i have to say that i cannot wait until the full game is out.

Is there any confirmed release date? Or if not, is there an estimate?

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#41 Post by NeumanProductions » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:07 pm

Will be livestreaming the demo and running commentary on it with my gf.
I normally stream 18+ so pardon any extensive critiques from my fans if you show up today at 10:30pmCST.
http://livestream.com/neumanplaysvisualnovelsmore

Otherwise, I will be having a video uploaded for my review within the week.
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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#42 Post by CyanDrake » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:06 pm

What was your initial thoughts (within the first 2-5 minutes)?
I love it how well done the art is. I really like it how the sprites blink and the way how they move in the screen or the screen moves. The voice acting is a very nice touch too.

What did you feel was done particularly well?
The amount of choices we have. It's incredible how much we can control the story and the MC's personality! And like I said before, the details like the characters' movements.

Did you feel the urge to have multiple playthroughs?
Yes, I have done one playthrough and I'm going to do some more, I'm really curious to see what happens if I make different choices.

Where would you like to see more improvements?
I'm sorry, I don't know. I know how much constructive criticism helps, but I'm kind of new to the world of visual novels and I can't spot anything in particular that bugged. I think I would like to see more depth for the characters, but since this is just the demo, I understand it wasn't long enough to show their backstories and seems like they are already planned, right? (I don't want to read the spoilers now, I'll wait.)

Which is your favourite character? (a why here would help!)
Uncle Kaito. He is really fun and pleasant.

Would you recommend this VN to your friends?
Of course! You guys are doing a great job!

And lastly, any other feedback you would like to mention!
I would like to congratulate you guys for all your hard work! This VN is going to be great, and you said it's going to be for free? That's amazing! Good luck with this project!

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#43 Post by BoopProc » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:23 pm

What was your initial thoughts (within the first 2-5 minutes)?
My God. This game is fabulous.

What did you feel was done particularly well?
Honestly... Everything. The art was fabulous, the voicing was amazing, the story was great for the start to a VN.

Did you feel the urge to have multiple playthroughs?
My God yes. I think I've probably played through the demo at least five times by now.

Where would you like to see more improvements?
There isn't really anything. Even the demo is one of the best VNs I've ever played/read. I can't get enough of it.

Which is your favourite character? (a why here would help!)
It's got to be the main character. He's a badass. (The choice for the combat was incredible. I couldn't resist the roundhouse kick.)

Would you recommend this VN to your friends?
I already have, and I still will.

And lastly, any other feedback you would like to mention!
I have to say... This is the greatest project I've seen yet. I made an account here just to try and support you. Honestly, this is an amazing job -- even if it is just a demo. The fact that it's going to be free... Mind blown. I hope this sees it's way through, and I wish you guys luck.

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#44 Post by bellice » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:54 pm

What was were your initial thoughts (within the first 2-5 minutes)?
Love the backgrounds; character art isn't the best I've seen, but still quite nice; main character actually doesn't make me want to stab myself in the face; not particularly excited to have the game play in Japan, since I see no reason for it and because I am, quite frankly, tired of it (plus, I simply prefer the western setting)

What did you feel was done particularly well?
The fact that you can mold the MC's personality as you see fit. This is very important to me, especially with a male main character, as 'regular' MCs end up annoying me pretty much every time.

Did you feel the urge to have multiple playthroughs?
Yes, actually. I was a very nice fellow in my first playthrough and I really want to try out another one where MC is a grumpy son of a gun to everyone but his sister.


Where would you like to see more improvements?
The available love interests have not caught my attention, at least not in the demo. They bore (or annoy) me more than anything as it stands, so I would be happy to have the girls break out of their character mold (shy, studious girl and tsundere) in the full game. (Either that or make it possible to romance the teacher. :wink: )

Which is your favourite character? (a why here would help!)
It's hard to say. I liked the teacher very much (maybe because it was fun to see her so surprised when MC turned out to be a really polite guy) and I'm looking forward to getting to know Ken. He seems the type who could end up being a great friend once you beat some sense into him (figuratively, of course...maybe).

Would you recommend this VN to your friends?
Probably not, but that has less to do with the quality of the VN and more to do with the kind of friends I have. A brutal murder mystery might interest them, but this? Probably not. :lol:

And lastly, any other feedback you would like to mention!
I can see that you guys are putting a lot of work into this and I wish you the best of luck. I hope my criticism doesn't sound too harsh or anything, because I really did genuinely enjoy the demo. A lot more than most other games on this forum (though maybe that's just because I'm sick and tired of Otome games... :mrgreen: )

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Re: Kendo Crush! [BxG][Fully Voiced Demo Released! - 09/02/2

#45 Post by PixelFade » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:06 pm

Hello LSF Community!

Sorry for the late reply, we've been busy with a bunch of bug fixes and modifications (yay, rollback is back!)... and of course working towards the full release.

@Whereas

Yay for Persona vibe 8) . We did re-introduce rollback. Our initial thoughts were that people would rollback to change QTE outcomes. But... you can do that saving a million times over so we'll leave it in the players control on how they wish to play (instead of enforcing restrictions at the expensive of convenience).

@Mad Harlequin

Thank you for the feedback! Awkward choices are the best choices :D. We'll be sure to continue the troll-ish MC options.

@Jaff

The length will be determined by our resource restrictions and the length would tell us how long the game would take to make. Because of this, it is difficult to give an accurate release date.

@CyanDrake

Kaito is actually modelled after me 8) . Well, not really... but I can dream at least...
Thanks for the feedback!

@BoopProc
Thank you for your kind words!

@bellice
Your criticism was not harsh at all, don't worry. Thank you for taking the time to check out the demo! :)


In other news, we've launched our KickStarter / Steam Greenlight campaigns! Please feel free to support us, we'll be forever grateful :D !!

Support us!
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Best Regards,
PixelFade - Dishu

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