Kazoku Keikaku - Discussion

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#1 by makenshi
2009-08-01 at 21:33
So, no one else has any thoughts regarding this game? My experience with previous commercial English VNs forced me to set the bar prettyyyyyyyyy low, I decided to give it a try after taking a look on erogamescape. Fortunately, I'm pleasantly surprised. It's a great game from 2001 that holds up very well even today. There are some minor grammar and translation issues as well as some plot inconsistencies (again, possibly due to translation), but, overall, it's an amazing game. I might get around to writing a review for it, if I ever finish the 3 or 4 reviews I have currently lined up.....Last modified on 2009-08-02 at 01:48
#2 by echomateria
2009-08-01 at 23:52
I recently finished every route of Kazoku Keikaku, and I liked it. It was a nice story and Its writter has a great style. But I must say that it's being overrated, my vote for this game is 7 out of 10.

"The greatest Visual Novel of All Time" -Erogamespace Ranking

This tag that Jast USA plastered on their website is outdated and in my opinion is false advertising. Here is a link to the current version of the mentioned Erogamespace Ranking Chart.

That being said; I'd recommend playing Kazoku Keikaku, at least once, to anyone who can take on some harsh reality drama including the themes of crime families, prostitution, drugs, defunct families, child abuse, poverty and more...

I found its replay value low, due to the shared routes being long (with only a few different scenes per heroine) and individual heroine routes being somewhat too short to be satisfactory.

Its graphics were nice, after getting used to them while keeping in mind that they are old that is. :)

It's voice acting cast has some great people, like Wakamoto, and is overally satisfying.

Its hentai scenes were poor and few, certainly not a game that you'd play for its eroticism.

Its story is a great drama, not something that would make you cry, but something that will make you feel depressed during the whole ride. (I didn't like its comedy)

If story is what you want, you should play Kazoku Keikaku at least once. I wouldn't really recommend playing it again and again like I did to see all the other routes though...

By the way, the correct translation for Kazoku Keikaku is Family Planning. Sadly it's a joke lost in translation.
#3 by hikigane
2009-08-02 at 01:22
Well, i must say i agree wit echomateria.
This game has too much hype for its own good.

I haven't finished it yet, but i really think my opinion won't be changing.
#4 by makenshi
2009-08-02 at 01:47
hmm previously I thought I was a fairly pessimistic person but turned out I was wrong. Part of the reason is perhaps I am not overly attached to most of the characters in this game. Maybe that's why I view everyone's futile efforts to fit in with relative indifference. Strangely, I find the entire story progression to be positive (probably because I went through Matsuri's route first, never imagined myself to be the loli type.........)

It has some of the lowest replay value ever for a story-driven eroge. The common routes are so long and there's so little interaction for the majority of the game you might as well make look at a walkthrough and save at the branching point of each individual routes. To top it off, the ONLY scenes you can replay are the H-scenes, not the endings nor epilogues.

That brings me to the biggest downfall in the game's story: the character routes are short. VERY SHORT. As I was playing through the game for the first time, I was thinking to myself: There's no way this game is only 10-30 hours. After all, I've already spent 15 hours and I'm still on the common path! However, 3 hours later, I have gone through the rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution of the Matsuri route and is sitting in front of my computer with the ending credit rolling. The endings felt so rushed it's criminal. Incidentally, it's also where most of the plot inconsistencies arise, which makes me wonder whether D.O. or Peach Princess or both were rushed along to make some deadline.

The ultimate make-or-break, though, is probably the characters. If you love the cast, then you'll probably love the game. I personally loved everyone besides Masumi and Aoge before playing through her route. Hiroshi feels like a nuisance at first but turned out to be one of the most memorable characters to be produced under a pen (or maybe keyboard in this case).

ps not to nitpick on the Erogamescape quote or anything, most of the games before it are rereleases (I say this while the highet ranked Kazoku Kekaiku game being a rerelease, heh), and then there's the whole question regarding mean vs median as being the more accurate representation for average. Funny coincidence because I just made a somewhat post earlier today.
link

In a way Jast USA's over the top self promotion both worked and backfired for me. On one hand, it caught my interest enough for me to play it, yet at the same time it made me walk in with almost zero expectation given their past track record and the fake ring to the punchline. I would say that Ever17, Kazoku Kekaiku, and Yume Miru Kusuri are probably the 3 best *ENGLISH* (ps don't know how I missed that) visual novels I have played to date. Perhaps I am being too lenient trying to judge it with a decade old standard, but I feel like it was a genre defining title where you can see many of its elements take root and extended in later visual novels.

Damn I might have as well written a review....Last modified on 2009-08-02 at 02:01
#5 by hikigane
2009-08-02 at 19:15
I view everyone's futile efforts to fit in with relative indifference. Strangely, I find the entire story progression to be positive (probably because I went through Matsuri's route first, never imagined myself to be the loli type.........)
I'm very surprised to find someone who had the SAME exact thought/action as mine.

Seriously. I think the same.Last modified on 2009-08-02 at 19:15
#6 by makenshi
2009-08-02 at 20:35
Not to defend myself against my awakening loli instincts but I would have been totally fine if they lived on as sibling.... Matsuri had a LOT of potential if they even more in depth regarding her past, not that she's not my favorite character already. Damn the game really awakens your maternal instinct.... Wait I'm a guy ffs ;_; Only other time I even came close to considering a loli first route was Mai in August's Yoake Yori Ruriiro na, which I finished up on the third playthrough.Last modified on 2009-08-02 at 20:43
#7 by hikigane
2009-08-02 at 22:02
Damn the game really awakens your maternal instinct.... Wait I'm a guy
How about paternal instinct? It makes it sound less worse. lol

Well, i'm a real 2D lolicon already. (Only 2D!) so i have no excuse.

I decided go through Family Project on the following order
Matsuri > Masumi > Aoba > Jun(?) > Haruka (Chunhua)

The reason is:
1. I tend to always leave main heroines for last.
2. I tend to do the first girl that i set my eyes on (Execpt when she fits on reason 1)
3. I leave stories like Jun's for last.
4. I like to leave Tsunderes for the middle of the game. (People say save the best for last. I say "Save the best for the middle")
5. Extra routes (Like Sunohara's on Clannad) always before the main heroine's one.
6. Characters that don't fit any of those categories, are randomly picked up during my game play.Last modified on 2009-08-02 at 22:03
#8 by darkmac
2009-08-04 at 06:14
Do Jun's route last and Matsuri's first. I think that works best for the flow of the game.

I was pretty disappointed in the game overall. Tsukasa's way too wishy washy and spends a frustrating amount of time hesitating and saying no before inevitably saying yes. I didn't really like most of the rest of the cast either, and wasn't impressed by the way Matsuri was introduced as a strong, intelligent, resourceful, forceful pervert before degenerating into the generic loli who cries all the time and can't do anything on her own.

The only part of the game I really liked was Aoba's route (Chunhua's was also quite nice). The drama was a lot less forced than the other routes, and Aoba's motivations made more sense than the other characters'. I wouldn't say it even comes close to being one of the better translated VNs. All the others by the same author (YMK, Cross Channel, KLS) are much better, and Clannad did the family theme much better too.
#9 by echomateria
2009-08-04 at 11:13
First playing the route of the heroine that you like most is the best way to enjoy a game, in my opinion. Because when you are playing the game again for the other heroines, 'you are playing the game AGAIN'. It is not as exciting anymore and you have an idea about the outline of most of the events to come. Games that has early branching routes are an exception to this.

On an another point, most games have an obvious 'main heroine'. A heroine that you can clearly identify that the game is designed around, rest of the heroines being alternatives.

When I was playing Kazoku Keikaku at first I thought every heroine had similar amount of coverage. Then main roue started to lean on Jun more and more and while I was aiming for the Aoba route, I started to wonder if I made a wrong choice somewhere and landed on the Jun route instead. Even though I understand that Jun is connected to Tsukasa's past in a very solid way, I didn't like common route turning that way at all.

Keeping that in mind, I'd recommend playing Jun's route first, (then others based on your tastes) but please do not play Masumi's route, you'll regret it if you do...
#10 by hikigane
2009-08-04 at 11:20
I agree about most you said there darkmac, but somehow i still think Matsuri was a interesting character.

Sure, i've seen those before, but her route was pretty much above mediocre. (IMO that is)

I'm seeing alot of good feedback from Aoba's route, so far i didn't see anybody complain about it. Well, who doesn't like Tsuderes?
(Don't answer)Last modified on 2009-08-04 at 11:20
#11 by makenshi
2009-08-04 at 16:16
I played Matsuri and Aoba's route back to back and honestly I liked Matsuri's better, for reasons explained above. everyone showing up to the fire at the same time is lol... and matsuri living on attic for 2 weeks without anyone noticing? dot dot dot

I agree that in this particular game it's probably better to play through your favorite characters first. Even though the heroines branch out fairly early in the game, 90% of the material are the same regardless of which route you choose. Honestly, if they have the endings in the scene replay, I wouldn't bother going through more than 1 route.

@Kazoku Keikaku being much inferior than kana, clannad, cross channel, and yume, that's very subjective. Out of those mentioned, Clannad is the only game that ranked higher on erogamescape (Kazoku Keikaku ~Kizuna Hako~ was highest out of those, but unsure whether there's actual gameplay difference or rerelease filter; doesn't matter since the English is based on the original game).

Personally, Clannad>Yume Miru Kusuri=Kazoku Keikaku (but longer)>Kana. Never played Cross Channel. It does a lot of things well but doesn't really excel at any one aspect (except Hiroshi), but you can see a lot of the later games build on top of the ideas present in Kazoku Keikaku.Last modified on 2009-08-04 at 16:37
#12 by hikigane
2009-08-05 at 16:31
Keeping that in mind, I'd recommend playing Jun's route first, (then others based on your tastes) but please do not play Masumi's route, you'll regret it if you do...
QFT.

So far i think th best order to play the game is either
Aoba - Matsuri - Jun - Chunhua (Haruka)
Jun - Aoba - Matsuri - Chunhua (Haruka)

I think Aoba is the first route to try because it is pretty interesting, and doesn't lean much part on the common route.
Then Matsuri, because her story is the complete opposite from Aoba, therefore, you get pretty much a lot of different texts.
And finnaly Jun, who you will probably using RightClick+F until you get to the ending.
As for Chunhua... well, i didn't play her route, and i seriously think i wot be playing it, therefore i can't actually say anything bout her route.
#13 by makenshi
2009-08-06 at 08:57
... hmm I'm guessing it's not just me but how much stuff actually got changed during the localization? Occasionally I hear anime references and wordplays that didn't quite make it into the English sentences on screen, and if it's bad enough I can hear some, I don't want to know what else I'm missing.
#14 by hikigane
2009-08-06 at 13:24
So far, there are pretty much a lot of things that weren't translated because they didn't know how to make it in english.

Also, there were other Jokes that were compleatly changed.Last modified on 2009-08-06 at 13:25
#15 by gabezhul
2009-08-07 at 18:54
Uhh... Dammit, I didn't want to play this game, but you guys got my attention (three different discussions...). Now, the only question is... how the hell should I get enough money, to mail-order this game... I'm broke...:'(
#16 by hikigane
2009-08-08 at 00:59
You could try the usualy places...
#17 by zionerias
2009-08-18 at 18:42
I'm finding the game a tad too long in terms of progression - I still have one choice left on the Masumi route (taken first, I didn't like the look of her route when I got the game), and I've probably spent 20 hours total on it.

And augh. Hiroshi loses his charm after a while, I mean, for once, he could just answer NORMALLY. But no, it seems better having Tsukasa talk to a brick wall.
#18 by echomateria
2009-08-19 at 00:39
Hiroshi is voiced by my favorite male voice actor, but even that doesn't help when his lines and jokes are so annoyingly repetitive.
#19 by hikigane
2009-08-19 at 03:15
but even that doesn't help when his lines and jokes are so annoyingly repetitive.
Yes, there are jokes that repeat way too many times.
Sometimes it made Hiroshi look boring.
#20 by sagittax
2009-08-20 at 03:32
I think I may already be reiterating what others think of Kazoku Keikaku... But WTH..

The only thing annoying the hell out of me was, that 80% scenario is shared and 20%(a number which is then distributed to each heroine) and it all sums up to disappointment.

I've been looking forward to this game for almost 2 years after watching a video of its OP(which is one of this game's saving grace in my books) then... sith happens..

Despite all that, the game is still satisfying, you just need a lot of self control to not bash on your desk while playing this game...
#21 by gabezhul
2009-10-24 at 22:31
Finally, I could get my hands on this game. Again, it was a torture, but... Whatever, I won't bore you with the details...

I started off with Aoba's route, and I must say, I really liked it. Sure, the game is not the best I've ever read, but I still thought it's good. The characters were interesting, I liked the two comic relief guys, and even the protag was a little better than average.

Aoba's route was also great. Although the tsundere-switch was a little too sudden for me, I liked the twists of the route, and she was an interesting character too. And the epilogue... It's been a long time since I've seen such a fulfilling ending. So, I thought; "Wow, this game is better than what I expected...". BUT...

On my second playthrough, I went on Jun's route, because she seemed like another "out of the ordinary" character. But... Guh.

I had to spend almost 30 minutes by skipping the common route, and even after that, 1\4 of her route was the same general setting as Aoba's! So to say, her route was half as good as Aoba's, and the ending... Bleh. It was anything but a proper conclusion.
I might be a little too sensitive about it, but for me her ending came right after Aoba's, so, I had to compare them:

-Aoba: They had properly gone crazy about each other, went through a near-death situation, then went to the countryside, got married, and lived happily ever after... NICE CONCLUSION!

-Jun:Well, she... Run away, then just... Somehow pops up again, and then... She is suddenly found by the protag, and after that... The whole family comes together, and she... eats...? WTF?!?!?!?!


So, after two playouts, I decided to give this game an 8. I think I'll play Matsuri's route too, but not any time soon. Just thinking about the 30min skipping makes me feel sick...

Anyway, this is a little depressive game, but not bad. It has a good concept, and I like family-centered stories anyway. But the bad pacing, the hellishly long main route and some character issues (like that Aoba constantly acted like a crazy b*tch, witch almost made me regret going after her...) can really kill the replay value of this game.Last modified on 2009-10-24 at 22:39
#22 by hikigane
2009-10-26 at 04:15
I encourage you to play Matsuri's route,and i belive that with that you are done with this game.
Belive it.

Aoba's and Matsuri's routes are the only ones worth it.
#23 by gabezhul
2009-10-26 at 18:23
Oh my god, AHAZKUN is recommending a route for ME!?!?!? Wow, I feel like I fell into some twilight-zone, where everything turned upside down... =P

Anyway, thanks for the advice. :D

But to be honest, I never wanted to play Chunhua's and Masumi's routes on the first place. ;PLast modified on 2009-10-26 at 18:25
#24 by hikigane
2009-10-27 at 01:27
To be honest i'm quite puzzled with your reaction.
So what that i recomended you something?

I never wanted to play Haruka's route either.
She's simply not appealing.
#25 by gabezhul
2009-10-27 at 08:38
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I really appreciate your comment, but it just felt simply ironic that you tell me to do a route, when usually I'm the one who does that all the time...