I have just finished Clannad VN and Tomoyo After for the first time, I was in two minds about buying it as “Romance/Slice of Life” is not really my thing, (although it clearly offers far more to the player than that) but decided to go for it when it was at half price on Steam. It took a while of playing but I’m glad I bought it and stuck with it!
This is only my 3rd VN, the first two being the Russian “Everlasting Summer” (free to play at Steam so worth a try), and Steins; Gate. Being a senior middle aged male (oldest VN player ever?!) I should have better things to do with my time but I have discovered this game genre late in life so…time to catch up…
First playthrough I played blind and after about 10 hours, mainly following Nagisa’s path, got the generic bad end. Then I found this bookclub with the walkthough and followed that apart from delaying Kotomi to between Sunohara/Fuko. Finished the game at the True End with 100 hours play over 14 days so although I’m a fast reader it can be said I binged quite addictively!
It’s hard to give complete judgement on one playthrough, many times I found the stories seemed to drag and get a bit weighed down with (IMO) overlong / uninteresting scenes - but I can understand that the writers really want the player to completely understand the personalities, issues and mindset of the main characters. A 2nd playthrough would clearly give some more hindsight.
Favourite story is definitely Kotomi and I rate this even over the After Story for emotional impact. Favourite character is more difficult as they all have their pros and cons and it’s more a matter of who you can relate to I guess - but it may be Kyou as I seem to have a thing for tsundere
Can’t say I dislike any of the characters, just some I like more than others.
Funniest moment? So many to chose from : maybe the Fuko or Sunohara pranks…
The bookclub discussion has really helped me get a deeper appreciation of the characters and the story - often very thought-provoking, so thanks for all the contributions. Definitely a few things I didn’t get or think about as I played though. I don’t expect I can add anything of great insight or interest!
I have now got the anime DVDs and am enjoying seeing how it captures/differs from the VN experience. Next VN for me is probably Steins; Gate 0, then after that more “conventional” games on console but I hope to replay Clannad at some future point.