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Review of Slow Damage

SubjectSlow Damage
Slow Damage
ByHelpfulness: 0
Vote: 7.2
Empress on 2024-05-15 last updated on 2024-05-19
ReviewI’ve been a nitro chiral fan for 8 years (I love nitro chiral), it’s hard for me to even believe it sometimes. I’m very invested and to my surprise, this game actually came out when I thought it never would. All of my criticism of this game is from a place of true love. For me, it’s such a shame that half this game is basically unplayable it’s so sloppy and empty. I’ll start with the good. Rei’s route is the perfect BL route and the best route in all of Nitro chiral. I enjoyed this route a lot, it speaks to a lot of real life issues gay men face and Rei has a very powerful yet organic connection to Towa. Taku I also loved. I was deeply touched by the scene where Towa remembers wanting his hand to be held as child. Their love feels very sweet to me and Taku is a wonderfully complex character. Both of these routes are amazing, but I love Rei the very best, no contest.

Second half: Madarame’s route was harrowing and horrible, which is what nitro chiral wanted apparently. I have mixed feelings about it. I go back and forth on whether the degree of abuse depicted is exploitative. I think that’s honestly a call each reader has to make on their own. This route is well written and a chillingly accurate portrayal of abusive relationships. Many people had a hard time getting through this route and I completely get it. At the beginning of the route everything is tense and you can feel Madarame watching Towa. This was intentional and it’s very effective at letting you know you fucked up. I can tell you absolutely nothing can prepare you for the brutality of this route. I actually spoiled it for myself before I played because I figured it out what it was. The reviews were not only inaccurate but seriously downplay the contents of the route. When I actually played it was just as effective as it’s supposed to be. I personally was really triggered from this route. Many people who have experienced domestic violence have pointed out why the existence of the route is wrong or how it feels a bit inaccurate. Some people also use these sorts of things as cope. All of that is valid, I will never dismiss a DV survivor’s opinion of this route.

Fuijeda - This is good example of flying too close to the sun. I absolutely despised this route. It’s so bad it’s almost game ruining (and I love nitro chiral). I am someone who lives with trauma and mental illness; this route was extremely offensive about the way it handled Towa’s trauma and PTSD. He is basically forced into it by the selfish and cruel Fuijeda. I also have no idea why everybody pretends like Fuijeda didn’t rape Towa. Fuijeda isn’t much of a character to begin with but what little he has is a hard pass. Fuijeda and Towa aren’t in love, the game even says Fuijeda realizes what he‘s done to Towa is wrong and he regrets it; lamenting about how he misses the old Towa. The water color ending is the really bad one. It’s retrofitted really badly onto this already shit show of a route. This is simply not how someone with that type of trauma or PTSD works. The message is an extremely harmful one of changing who you are entirely to fit society’s pallet. Towa loses all that is to be loved about him (which tells me a lot of you don’t actually like Towa or this game if you believe this to be a good thing): his paintings, his aura/smoke readings, his connection to the hearts of others, his wit, his charm, his hyperbolic way of speaking sometimes, etc. Towa experiences intense cope that everybody insists is happiness for some awful reason. Towa is forced into remembering trauma without a therapist so he just cooks and melts into it. This also feed into the harmful idea that you have to remember trauma to truly overcome it. Which doesn’t even vibe match the rest of the game (as Towa overcomes his childhood trauma in every route successfully except for Fuijeda’s), even Madarame knows Towa remembering is a bad idea. The pacing is also bad and dread soaked into my brain watching this character I love so much be thrown away. I acknowledge this is a very vocal minority who have these thoughts, I just need to say exactly why this game is not a masterpiece at all. I’ve seen the video that it a masterpiece as well as other reviews and personal conversations about “great” this game is. There is literally nothing new to say to me, it’s flat out media illiterate; the game doesn’t even agree with you. I cannot go any deeper into my issues with this route without it getting personal so that’s all I have to say.

But there is a couple misc things to say: in Dramatical Murder, the way you get a bad end is failure to do scrap right, you can only get Madarame or Fuijeda if you fail euphoria and Ikunia kills himself. Personally, to me this tells me both routes are extended bad ends and nothing more. Nitro chiral is meta, so it isn’t even close to far fetched to think this is the case. Especially since there is a division on whether or not Madarame has a good end at all (I don’t think he does, but I don’t see that as a bad thing). Another note, while I don’t really agree with the haters most of the time (because I have yet to see a review that wasn’t someone trying to be special for preferring Parade games, which are also very popular, or Lucky Dog). One thing I can agree with them on is this: the only way you find this game perfect is if this is your first encounter with something like this. A lot of the reviews of this game say “first visual novel” or “I never thought I’d play a game like this!”. This game isn’t first timer friendly and really isn’t friendly towards non-nitro chiral fans (this game spends a lot of time referencing the previous games, huge chunks of enjoyable details are missed out on if you hadn’t played the others). For all the problems I have this with game I will say: love nitro chiral or hate them, even with its problems, this game is still better than 98% of other BLVNs.

The Art - 10/10, Towa the notable one for his ethereal looks.

Music - Fine 8/10

Story - Basically doesn’t exist but I don’t view that as a problem because the game makes up for that in so many other ways.

Important Note: The translation jast did is accurate and nitro chiral themselves debugged the translation. Nitro chiral was very involved with this translation; they rejected numerous other translations which is why it took so long. And I know for a fact people think it’s wrong because of AI translation, which is actually funny now because that translation the machine gives is identical to Jast’s. I’ve also seen Japanese reviews and yeah, definitely played the same game. This game just has parts of it that are awfully written. Quit pretending nitro chiral is perfect. Towa isn’t the character you all seem to think he is. He doesn’t need to be poorly retranslated by anyone to make him more relatable or whatever. I don’t want want to hear it. This complaints are only from people who do not speak Japanese and that should tell you all you need to know about their opinions.
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