Computer vs Xbox (vs Computer)

It's gone, it's all gone...

As of May 27, 2005, Panther Software has pulled the plug on their Xbox remake of Kana Imouto. The Xbox is notoriously unpopular in Japan, and that unpopularity carries over onto any game developed for it. I was kind of worried that a Kana Imouto for the Xbox might run into this problem from day 1, for the exact same reason. Kana Imouto for the Xbox isn't ever going to come out now, but we can still look back on what was planned for it...

But hey, it was not a complete loss. A lot of the effort that was going into the Xbox version has made itself into the Kana Imouto remake for the computer, Kana Okaeri!

All the pictures you see here were ripped off of Panther's website plus the Japanese Xbox previews and fused with screenshots from the current game published by G-Collections. Seems they decided to make Kana look a little more like a real Japanese girl instead of the current brown haired, violet eyed Kana. The new Xbox (and Okaeri) Kana has black hair, brown eyes, larger cornea's, and a smaller head. Definitely more cartoonish. Almost all the characters in Kana Okaeri have been changed to have those four attributes.

In some ways the graphics are an improvement over the original Kana Imouto. For instance, many of the new screenshots show a Kana Todo that looks more her age at the time the event happens. Still, Xbox (and Okaeri) Kana looks more like a true anime character and might feel less like a real person, unlike the original Kana Todo.

The graphics planned for the Xbox are almost exactly the same as in Kana Okaeri, with only a few small alterations in the coloring schemes and patterns.(example) By looking at the Xbox screenshots below you pretty much know what it's going to be like in Kana Okaeri. It's unfortunate the high definition widescreen display didn't make it over as well (example), but Kana Okaeri at least has a higher resolution than it's predecessor. Kana Imouto ran at 640x480, while Kana Okaeri is 800x600

There are a lot of voiceovers in Kana Okaeri as well. Not for every line of text, but enough to give you and sense of atmosphere. (Which helps when you can't read Japanese.) The voices can be a little cheesy in parts, you know - in the kind of way a girl would speak strait out of a super-cute Japanese anime, it doesn't seem to fit in a game like this. But with those few exceptions the rest of the voice acting can be well done and emotional, especially at the Sumanko storyline. It's probably only emotional with voices to me because I already know what's happening from playing though Kana -Little Sister- in English. Weak as my Japanese may be, I can still pick up some of the easy stuff. The cartoonish look kind of has a negating effect on the passionate voice acting of the game for me though, but that's my personal opinion.

Kana Okaeri's music track is exactly the same (so far) as in Kana Imouto. The music doesn't play directly off the CD in this version though, which is a blessing for those that had sound problems with the original game. But you can't put the Okaeri game CD in your stereo and listen to it either.

It's crudely animated in a few select spots too - and only animated in the parts where you would expect them to bother with it in a bishojo game.