RELEASE DATE: 2011
PUBLISHER: Idea Factory & Gloczus, Inc.
PLATFORMS AVAILABLE: PSVita, Steam, iOS/Android (English)
Amnesia: Memories – PS Vita [Digital Code]
Amnesia: Memories – Steam [Digital Code]
Amnesia: Memories is the second Idea Factory localised title I played after Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (which I will also be reviewing). I purchased a PSVita just to play the game, as I loved the artwork and the game is very popular in Japan. The PSVita is the main platform for a lot of visual novel releases, so there would be plenty of current and to be released titles for me to play.
Needless to say, it is one of my favourite otome games that I have revisited and played many times. My ultimate bias is Kent, as he is undoubtedly best boy in my eyes and agreed upon by many other players. I own the game both on the PSVita, and the steam platform port. It’s one of the few Visual Novels that regularly goes on sale on steam from $29.99USD to $2.99USD, a whopping -90% off which in my opinion is absolutely nuts.
I don’t usually purchase multiple ports of the same game, but who can say no to a $2.99USD game? You won’t find any visual novel of this quality and length for that price anywhere else. Majority of mobile phone games cost $4 or $5 for a single character route alone.
If you haven’t played the game yet, I highly recommend waiting for the steam -90% or -75% sale ($7.49USD) as it does happen fairly frequently and is an amazing steal. For this post I actually created the custom header using previously released idea factory official artwork so I am quite proud of myself!
A story that takes place in a fictional world…
It was the 1st of August.
That morning, when she awoke, the heroine found herself without any memories from before August 1st…… Everything, from the sort of life she lived, to the relationships she had, was a blank……
A young boy named Orion appeared in front of her, referring to himself as a “spirit.” Under Orion’s guidance, the heroine began the struggle to regain her memories. She searched her house for clues about her everyday life, and received a message on her phone…
What was displayed on the screen was an unknown name to her.
Now, she is asked to meet with him, a boyfriend whose name and face she doesn’t know. In a position where who to trust is uncertain, the heroine must move in a way that her memory loss remains undetected by her partner. Because of this, the story becomes tangled in complex ways.
With no memories of “him,” our heroine will write a new love story starting today…… (Official English Website)
The story of Amnesia: Memories has a very strong and interesting premise. From the very beginning, you select a ‘world’ of your choice based on the symbols on a deck of cards: Clover, Spade, Heart or Diamond World. This locks you into your character route from the get go, rather than the usual dating-sim format where you attain a certain level of affection with the bachelors through varying decision points to eventually access and branch off onto their story path.
The story routes are universally different since you live in ‘different worlds’ so to speak, and as a result there is no general common story. From the very beginning in each world, it is new and unread content.
The heroine has lost all her memories prior to August 1st, and finds herself very alone and lost with her predicament, as her family in all the routes are living far away. Not to mention she has a young boy spirit named Orion taking up residence in her mind where her memories used to be. Orion cautions the heroine that due to her amnesia not being medically related but rather because of his spiritual existence; that her condition cannot be known to others.
A prolonged hospital stay would inevitably lead to her mental state deteriorating, as she is not suffering from amnesia caused by physical trauma or natural means. If she remains bound to Orion for too long, his mental state would eventually encroach upon hers – Orion would never be able to separate from her mind, and the heroine would completely lose her sense of self and the means of regaining her memories.
Her only method of recovery is to regain her memories through interacting with those around her, and living her everyday life undetected in order to avoid questions or suspicions of her unusual supernatural predicament. However, can she really trust those around her? How does she know whether or not they’re genuine and honest? Or will they end up taking advantage of her impaired state upon discovering the truth?
The game involves the use of three parameters: the heroine’s affection towards the chosen bachelor, his affection for her and his suspicion of her condition – if the suspicion meter is too high or affection too low, it can lead to the many bad endings.
I really enjoyed the storyline of Amnesia: Memories, as I found it to be incredibly refreshing and different. Rather than getting to know your bachelor and falling in love through regular means; you’re thrust into a situation where you have to juggle part-time work, relearn about your friendships with people and date essentially a stranger whom you know nothing about; but cannot let know that you’re anything but in love with him and play the role of a happy couple in a wholesome relationship.
What I especially liked was not only learning about your surroundings, but the heroine as a person before her memory loss. It created a very immersive game experience where you’re constantly putting together the pieces of the puzzle, and figuring out exactly who you were before the accident; and the true nature of those around you.
Not to mention in every world you choose, the character roles are quite different each time. For example: in Heart World Shin and Toma are your closest childhood friends, whereas in others they’re your university acquaintances or co-workers at Meido no Hitsuji (The Maid Café where you work). In Clover World, Kent is your boyfriend from another university and Ikki an acquaintance; in Diamond they’re both your co-workers.
It feels like you’re reading a completely different storyline every time, and forced to adapt as a player to a completely different scenario whilst taking into account your amnesia and parameters. It honestly feels like you’re suffering from amnesia all over again, despite being on your second playthrough of the game due to the differences between the routes. You feel a sense of empathy and connection to the protagonist, as you too are fumbling around with the pieces of the storyline.
It creates a very complex plot and rewarding game experience, as you’re not just revisiting the same content over and over. Not to mention the fact that every character in every route treats you differently depending on their relationship to you in that world. As a result, certain characters whom can be considered trustworthy in one route; actually aren’t in another.
The overarching plot line that culminated with the true ending in the Joker Route was very well done, and was truly heart-wrenching. I did not expect that twist whatsoever, and was shocked when everything was revealed in the end. If anything, I do wish they spent more time explaining the scenario in greater detail such as the nature of Gods and wishes etc. I felt that although the explanation was good, it could’ve been a lot better since there were still many questions unanswered despite it being the true ending. I also disliked the writing of a particular route, which I will elaborate on in further detail in the character development section.
The game translation and writing were very good, with very little grammatical errors and typos throughout. Amnesia: Memories is medium-length in terms of game time, and would take approximately 20-30 hrs total to complete. It uses a calendar format beginning on August 1st, and the routes finish near the end of August. The player plays through the heroine’s life on a day-to-day basis, culminating to a month worth of in-game content.
Character Development ★★★★
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!
Orion is an important character to touch upon, as he essentially acts as both our guide and narrator in the game; as well as replacing the heroine’s subconscious for majority of the game until she regains her memories. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on Orion, with many arguing that his jubilant and excessively-cheery tone of voice became extremely irritating as the game wore on. I can understand that perspective, as his voice and character isn’t for everyone. I personally enjoyed his presence very much as it was something very different and refreshing in the game; something which I had never seen before.
I welcomed his character because he provided entertaining dialogue and comic relief that set a very light-hearted tone to the game, and made the story more interesting to read on a daily basis. Other readers have argued that it is due to his presence, that takes away from the protagonist’s own personality – since he’s always talking over the top of her; and we’re essentially always seeing his opinions, and his reactions and decisions to many of the scenarios that the heroine encounters.
How I see it is: imagine the whole story without Orion in it. The overarching storyline would no longer make any sense, and the heroine would become even more persona-less without his guidance and humorous banter. She is suffering from severe and abnormal amnesia; having to relearn everything about herself without any help. She doesn’t even know who she is, or what she looks like; how is it possible then to have a personality?
She wouldn’t even know where to start in order to regain her memories. Imagine playing in the perspective of a protagonist grasping at straws to regain some normality and understanding of her life, and it takes all her mental effort and willpower to take in her surroundings and relearn everything about herself. Hard to have a personality then, right?
What I liked about having Orion was his significance to the overarching storyline, and that the heroine essentially becomes a huge puzzle herself that we must solve. As her memories return and we slowly put together the picture of who she used to be; her personality does begin to return. Orion’s voice and narration also painted a better picture of the storyline, making it easier to follow as a reader in his perspective.
Playing in the heroine’s perspective would’ve filled day-to-day dialogue with her monotonous thoughts and anxieties, without a clue on how to go about her condition (as we saw her extreme reliance on Orion in explaining to her the logical course of action to take, and his understanding of the human world).
SHIN [HEART WORLD]: The poster boy of Amnesia: Memories, and in his world plays the role of your boyfriend and close childhood friend. You begin the game in a hospital room, as you are recovering from an accident. He quickly notices you’re acting strangely, and begins his interrogation of you as well as immediately going in for a kiss! A girl really can’t catch a break, can she? The heroine ultimately fails his test, agreeing that they had been dating for three months when in reality, they had only begun dating recently for around a month.
Shin then takes it upon himself to do everything in his power to help the protagonist regain her memories. However, there are strange circumstances involved in how the heroine sustained her head injury… perhaps, it was even intended murder? Is Shin truly looking out for her best interests, or was he in fact the culprit attempting to hide his tracks and salvage their relationship? With her amnesia, can the heroine ever truly find out what really happened that night?
From the very beginning, the audience is given a clear picture of Shin’s personality – cold, extremely blunt, forceful and pushy. He is a tsundere through and through, and the heroine is clearly his weak spot. Despite his insistent denials, he often becomes embarrassed and blushes around her. This makes for some very adorable character moments between the two, as the heroine slowly begins to regain her memories and fall in love with him all over again.
Although he isn’t anywhere near as gentle to her as Toma (her close childhood friend along with Shin in this route) nor does he spoil her as much, Shin genuinely cares for the heroine and does everything he can to help her through her amnesia. For example: regular visitations to her house to check up on her, and taking her to places that had meaningful importance to her in the past.
Everything he does is shown through his actions, and always in the best interest of the heroine. To me, this was both what I liked and disliked about Shin. Although it showcases his head-strong, determined and caring personality, at the same time he never asked or considered what the heroine herself wanted. He always went ahead and decided what was best for her, based on his own opinion and decisions.
Although there was plenty of romance in the route, it overall did have a darker and more tense mood than the other stories. The romance played a backseat to the murder mystery in Shin’s story, as he stops at nothing to uncover the culprit to ensure the heroine’s safety. As a result, the reader is always left wondering “whodunnit?” and even Shin at times seemed like the forerunner as the real perpetrator due to the fragmented nature of the heroine’s memories.
Shin himself didn’t exactly do himself any favours to clear his innocence either, as the heroine is constantly kept in the dark about what he is truly up to. However, I did really like how the mystery unfolded and how it was all answered in the end. The scene where he confronts the real culprit was done particularly well, in terms of how it was written and the voice acting. To be honest, I should’ve seen hints of the culprit’s twisted nature already from Shin’s route but I wanted to believe it was only exclusive to this route…oh, how entirely wrong I was (laughs).
Shin had one of the best ending CGs in the game, it was honestly just too cute and I loved the consistent flashbacks throughout his story of their childhood together along with Toma. It gave significantly more depth and history to their relationship, and how Shin knows the heroine better than she knows herself. Besides, who doesn’t want to see how the characters looked as children?
KENT [CLOVER WORLD]: My ultimate bias in the game, and when I mentioned replaying Amnesia many times; I actually meant majority of the time I just replay his route alone (laughs). It’s quite interesting because out of all the characters, Kent actually was the least appealing to me and didn’t really leave much of a favourable impression in any of the other character routes. As a result, I came into his route not expecting much at all and played it just to access the Joker Route.
The heroine begins the route in the comforts of her room, and explores for any clues about herself. Soon enough, she receives a text from Kent demanding to see her at a costume café which Orion remarks is a very strange choice for a meeting (little does the heroine know she actually works there). Due to the contents of her phone and the nature of their previous texts, the only possible conclusion is that Kent is her boyfriend.
Orion frets from the get-go that they’re thrust into an extremely unfavourable situation; if they potentially break up due to the heroine’s amnesia, it would be detrimental to lose someone so important to her once she regains her memories. Yet, avoiding the situation isn’t an option either as they could break up without even talking it through, and lose a valuable source of information to curing her amnesia in the process. From first impressions alone, Kent is condescending, logical to the point of being overbearing, blunt and confrontational.
Both Orion and the heroine lament how they possibly could’ve been in a happy relationship, but apologise in order to salvage whatever they had prior to her amnesia. Kent is shocked at the heroine’s change of heart, but accepts the favourable outcome – with him too apologising for his actions, and expressing his willingness to accept any complaints or opinions she may have towards their relationship.
We soon learn that they had only been dating 3 days prior to August 1st, and as a result were in the very early tentative stages of dating. What I really liked about Kent’s route was because of the heroine’s amnesia, she was able to become more patient and understanding with Kent’s shortcomings and get to know him for who he truly is. Prior to that both parties would be too stubborn to give in, leaving their relationship in a cycle of turmoil and constant fighting; there wouldn’t be a day that passed without the two engaging in a pointless argument.
Out of all the bachelors, only in Kent’s route do we get to meet his parents; to which ensued a hilarious scene. Orion comments that although they had found Kent’s stubborn logic bad initially, it was nothing in comparison to his parents. The heroine realises that he has been raised with the drilled notion that everything must follow a sequence of logical conclusions; and as a result, Kent approaches everything in life in the same manner.
Although Kent is exceptionally intelligent with a bright future ahead of him, he genuinely does not understand scenarios that require the application of common sense and human interaction – looking at everything as though it is a maths equation with logical set steps.
It is not that Kent purposefully wishes to anger the heroine, but he genuinely does not understand her ‘illogical’ thinking process; and as a result he doesn’t know how to appease her, or make her happy. He constantly sets his pride aside to consult Ikki (his best friend in the route) for girl advice. Kent is nothing but earnest and genuine in approaching the heroine, doing everything he can to maintain their current happiness together as a couple.
For example: showing up to the heroine’s workplace with a half-month anniversary cake, sprinting to the train station to see the festival together and creating a math exercise workbook for the heroine which is just so Kent. I absolutely love his character and the writing for his dialogue; it’s actually so hilarious to read yet so incredibly well written. It’s consistent throughout the game, and adds so much dynamic to his personality.
He is also the only route to properly communicate and come to know of Orion’s existence and the true nature of the heroine’s amnesia. This to me was a very unique aspect of his route, and a true turning point in both their relationship and as characters. Rather than him sending her to the nearest hospital, he is accepting of her situation due to the mutual trust they’ve built together – despite the scenario denying all forms of logic.
It was a very cute and meaningful scene, because if it was Kent in the past; he would have never been able to accept such reasoning or adhere to her wishes. The moment when he finally confesses to the heroine at the swimming pool as well as exhibiting clear signs of male jealousy was just all too adorable for me. It is without a doubt my favourite CG in the game.
When he rushes to the heroine’s side during her accident near the conclusion of the game, and gives up on his presentation that heavily weighs on his future; I felt was truly the defining point of their relationship and extremely satisfying to read as a reader. Kent is finally able to see eye to eye with the heroine, agreeing that his actions are altogether too irrational and illogical; and that he had been incorrect about his assumptions on love.
To me, Kent’s route represented what a realistic and healthy relationship should be – despite it being fictional. Kent retains his sense of self throughout the game, but by the end of the story is more than willing to compromise and change aspects of himself to be a better person for the heroine. He prioritises her happiness above all else, and truly loves her both in actions and words.
They both empower and encourage one another to be better and truly reach a mutual understanding. For example: he helps the heroine raise her university grades in order for them not only to be together studying abroad in London, but to have a bright future with one another.
IKKI [SPADE WORLD]: Your co-worker and current boyfriend in Spade World, Ikki is considered incredibly handsome and popular amongst the girls; enough to invoke the creation of a long-standing fan club. Accustomed to the affections of women, he is always courteous, kind, and overly flirtatious; essentially both the enemy and ideal man of every woman. Ikki always knows exactly what to say in order to charm a girl’s heart, and as a result the heroine constantly has her guard up around him. She is uncertain as to how she should respond to his affections, as he is very forward in his intentions towards her.
We soon learn that they have been dating for two months, and their relationship ends by the end of August. This is due to the heroine uncovering the sinister nature of Ikki’s fan-club prior to her amnesia; fans are only allowed to date Ikki for a span of three months before inevitably breaking up with him. They are also to provide daily reports of their activities with Ikki, because no one can ‘own’ him; he must be shared by everyone. If they do not obey these rules, the fan-club will enact severe punishment; and these aren’t just idle threats.
Ikki and the heroine had never been in love to begin with, as she had joined the fan club out of curiosity of his unnatural popularity and to oversee their daily operations. He had agreed to date the protagonist as he could not fathom as to why she was the only woman whom his mystical eyes did not work upon; the eyes that could make any woman fall in love with him at first sight.
Of course, as they get to know one another they begin to inevitably fall in love. What I disliked about Ikki’s route was due to the disingenuous nature of their beginnings and his flirtatious nature, it was difficult for most of the route to decipher whether or not he truly loved the protagonist. It felt like he was just playing a game with the heroine, and constantly using his physical wiles in attempting to charm her.
It took him so long to finally work up the courage to confront his fan-club, and for the most part the heroine endures the severe bullying alone with her amnesia. It’s why his route had some of the darker bad endings, due to how serious these fan-club girls really are in their threats.
Ikki was far too passive in the whole ordeal, never once questioning as to why his relationships only ever lasted for three months. The explanation behind his eyes I felt was very poor, as they just attributed it to him making a wish upon a star and magically, he’s had them ever since. Done. End of Story. You’d think that for such a crucial part of his character and history, they would dedicate a lot more time into the writing and fleshing out his story.
As a result, it leaves very little dimension to his character. What you essentially see in all the other stories is what you get in his route. Only difference is his flirtatiousness in the beginning transforms from a ploy in his experiment with the heroine, to being genuine when he falls in love with her by the end of the route.
What I did like about his route was that he helped the heroine confront her father in her desires on what she wants to do in her life, and her strive for independence. It’s the only story route where we see a part of her family, and a little bit more about her personal life before her amnesia.
TOMA [DIAMOND WORLD]: Surprisingly he is actually one of the most popular characters in Amnesia and often places very highly, if not topping their character polls. For the life of me I cannot even begin to understand this, but to each their own I suppose. Admittedly I did quite like his character design at first glance and I played his route second after Shin’s, as in terms of spoilers and story flow; it made the most sense. Boy, was I in for a wild rollercoaster ride in his story.
Similar to Heart World, in Diamond both Shin and Toma are the heroine’s closest childhood friends. However, rather than falling for Shin; the heroine has always been in love with Toma, but believes that he has never seen her as anything other than a little sister. As a result, prior to her amnesia she never managed to confess her feelings.
In his route, the heroine doesn’t see too much of the rest of the cast outside of Toma and Shin. Upon discovering the bullying inflicted upon the heroine at her apartment due to her close friendship with Ikki, and his suspicions of her amnesia; Toma suggests for her to stay at his place, as he claims he was her boyfriend and naturally would be the best course of action to take.
As the route progresses, their friends begin to express their concerns that they rarely ever see the heroine anymore; and even Shin shows up multiple times at Toma’s home and disapproves of the living circumstances as they’re not actually dating. This causes Toma to fly into a panic, as he is conflicted with having his lie exposed and being hated by the heroine or keeping her trapped by his side in blissful ignorance.
His obsession proves to be the overwhelming deciding factor; as he drugs the MC and purchases a cage to prevent her from escaping and discovering the truth. To me, his relationship with the MC can in no way shape or form be considered love. It is an unhealthy obsession, where he wants to possess her for his own selfish desires.
He distorts and justifies his obsession by veiling it beneath the facade of concern and out of affection, when in reality he has shown to be extremely manipulative and malicious; destroying any evidence for the MC to regain her memories, and fabricating the truth countless of times.
In one of his bad endings, the worst case scenario that Orion warned the heroine about from the beginning occurs. Due to the prolonged confinement, Orion has completely encroached upon the heroine’s mental state and she has been reduced to being nothing more than a lifeless doll; the unwilling reciprocal for Toma’s dark desires, and caged in his home for the rest of her life.
It’s so incredibly ironic because all of these events could have been avoided, as it was all based on a misunderstanding. Toma couldn’t bear to let the heroine go because he thought she was in love with Ikki, when she was actually in love with Toma the whole entire time. When he discovers her diary entailing the truth of her feelings before her amnesia, suddenly all is well and they have a happy ending together. To me, that made no sense whatsoever as how could she possibly still be in love with someone who deliberately put her in harms way and blatantly lied for his own selfishness?
How on earth does he still deserve a happy ending, and end up with the heroine regardless of his previous actions? I suppose I can see the aspects which people like about him, because at the end of the day he is still a fictional character. His actions can be interpreted as an out of control passion, the kind of love that ignites oneself into the flames of self-destruction. And I suppose that is what makes for an interesting and different story; of the good guy corrupted by sin and the dark side of loving someone too much.
He had a lot of cute and romantic moments with the heroine due to their seclusion together, and it is shown prior to his crazed cage frenzy that he had genuinely been a positive figure in the MC’s life. Although I still can’t bring myself to like him due to the trespassing of moral boundaries, I can see why many people still do.
UKYO [JOKER WORLD]: The most mysterious character out of the cast, and his route can only be unlocked upon the completion of the other four worlds. He makes appearances in all the stories, with varying screen times. Due to the unveiling of the overarching storyline and Ukyo’s role in each of them, I felt the game routes were best played in the order of Shin → Toma → Kent → Ikki. Ukyo is known as a talented and famous photographer, who often visits Meido no Hitsuji to observe and talk to the heroine.
Although he appears kind and gentle initially throughout the routes, from progressing with the story and bad endings; we come to realise that there is something amiss with his character. He has periods of lapses in judgement and changes in personality. Ukyo turns sinister with continually increasing threats to taking the MC’s life and succeeding in some of the endings.
As players progressing through the story and putting together the pieces of the puzzle from the other routes; we come to realise the grand picture. The other four routes represent parallel worlds on the same timeline continuum, hence why Orion assured the heroine that choosing any world was perfectly acceptable at the beginning of the game. Although she exists in all of them and would not disrupt the timeline by returning to any of the worlds, they may not necessarily be the world she originally came from prior to her memory loss.
Her original place was in the Joker World, where she was Ukyo’s beloved girlfriend. They had met during Spring beneath the cherry blossoms, and shared a loving and blissful relationship together for several months. However, at the beginning of August she attended university where a fatal accident occurred; causing a mass explosion in the classroom the heroine was in. Although she survived the initial incident, she passed away during her prolonged hospital stay near the end of August.
Ukyo unable to cope with the loss of the tragedy, makes a heartfelt wish to turn back time and prevent the accident from occurring; and create a future where he and the heroine are able to be together. A benevolent and powerful God decides to grant his wish, in order to restore their powers. The greater the wish within the heart of a person, the greater the power that returns to the God upon its success.
This leads to the God residing within Ukyo’s body and subconscious, in order to sustain time travelling and the ability to move between the parallel dimensions. This explains Ukyo’s appearances throughout all the routes. However, they soon come to a daunting realisation after countless times of living the same month of August over and over and failing in their attempts.
The heroine’s fate is to die by the end of August, and as a result accidents occur to ensure this event goes through in order to maintain the balance of the world. In Ukyo’s attempts to prevent her death in the different worlds, he perishes in her place. By the same logic, in order to maintain balance within the world; Ukyo’s foreign existence offsets the equilibrium and must be eliminated.
As a result, Ukyo and the God are stuck in a continually looping time paradox due to the wish that binds them together. Until it is granted, they are unable to escape from the time loop. It is an extremely difficult realisation from his painful experiences that even fate itself is against his dearest wish. It is fated and written in the law of the world that he and the heroine cannot exist together.
Countless times he saves the heroine only for her to end up with the bachelor she was meant to be with in that world, and he dies excruciatingly alone by the end of August. If he is able to survive the end of August, the heroine herself meets her own end; leaving Ukyo with the pain of mourning and losing her multiple times over. He then would commit suicide in order to reset the time paradox and reattempt the task in another world.
It is no wonder he becomes so twisted, having met with horrible deaths of both himself and the heroine an unimaginable number of times. He is forced to look on as whilst he’s working so painfully hard for the MC’s sake, she falls in love with another and has no memory of his existence. As a result of the time loop and Ukyo unable to bear with the heartache; his personality splits and forms a new entity within himself: Dark Ukyo. Dark Ukyo represents his sinister thoughts, and murderous intentions.
Why was he trying so hard for her sake, when she would never look his way? She leaves him to die blissfully ignorant, and has the happy ending that he would never be able to have. Why should he continue to love someone, who inevitably falls for another without any semblance of recognition for him? Whilst she has died many times over, she would never remember the pain of reliving death. The scars that Ukyo has been embedded with would never heal; and he has experienced what no human should ever experience more than once in a lifetime.
His story honestly made me so sad, with the knowing realisation that whilst we had our happy ending with literally every guy prior; Ukyo would appear and disappear in the routes. Now we know it was because he met extremely painful ends; whether by tragic accidents or he was unable to wait until the time limit and ended his life by his own hands.
The amount of love and dedication he had towards the heroine and her happiness is unfathomable; the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. The writing in his route was beautiful, and it’s the route where we see the most out of the heroine’s personality due to uncovering the truth and it is where she truly belongs.
When the God and Ukyo realises that he has exhausted all his powers to reset time and travel between the worlds, they decide as a last resort to return to the heroine’s original world with Ukyo and prevent her death. Although she was alive in the other worlds, she was not fated to be with him. The suspense, adrenaline and tension conveyed with the stakes at hand truly made the storyline a rollercoaster from beginning to end.
It was their last chance at being together, and to defy the very hands of fate with their everlasting love. It was incredibly dramatic and heartfelt, and the feels were really too much. It had the most ‘complete’ and ‘satisfying’ ending because it revealed all the mysteries behind Ukyo’s character and the heroine’s true past, as well as Orion’s origins.
However, I still felt they could’ve definitely gone into better detail with Orion and the God; as well as the explanation for the time travel paradox. It is quite a hefty read that the writer unloaded all at once, and I remember the first time reading it I did have to read it several times to fully understand what exactly happened. Although I do really love the time travel paradox twist, it should’ve been explained in greater detail and more clearly. I still felt the whole wish concept and God story could’ve been fleshed out much better, especially as his story is the true ending.
The art in Amnesia: Memories is absolutely gorgeous! Everything is just so crisp and vivid, and it’s without a doubt the main selling point of the game. I loved all the bachelor’s character designs, especially the heroine herself. She has one of the best designs for a protagonist, and I overall really do love everything about her look. I’m a big fan of the hair and beret.
The multiple perspectives where you could see the back of the bachelor was a very nice touch to the game. The CGs are one of the best that I’ve seen, and all the characters just have so many great scenes. I really loved the colouring, shading, and line art as they suited the tone of the game perfectly.
The artist for Amnesia: Memories (Hanamura Mai – 花邑 まい) also did the art for an upcoming to-be-released in english otome game called Collar x Malice. I talked about the game in my anticipated 2017 releases, which for more information you can read about here.
My only criticism as a personal preference would be the bachelor outfits. I found them very odd initially to look at, as they just seemed so out of place and whacky. Although there are fantasy elements to the story; it is still a daily life type of game. For example: all the buckles and straps on Kent’s outfit really just doesn’t make any sense. I’m not entirely sure what the aim of the game producers were in the design, but if it was to stand out and give a different type of appeal; then yes they definitely achieved their target.
Music and Voice Acting ★★★★★
The music and voice acting was yet another stand out point of the game. It is composed by Manyo, who is one of my all time favourite Visual Novel music artists. The BGMs were just so soothing and lovely; they suited the mood and scenes of the game wonderfully. The other Visual Novel OST composed by him that I am a big fan of is for the Kara no Shoujo series. The opening theme of Amnesia: Memories is quite popular, and the different ending songs of each bachelor route were a nice touch.
The voice acting cast is very famous, and all solid veterans. Needless to say it was no surprise that they were all top notch, and perfectly emulated their character roles.
- Kent | VA: Ishida Akira | 石田 彰 |
Naruto series as Gaara, Danganronpa series as Byakuya Togami and Black Wolves Saga series as Zara Skeens
- Shin | VA: Kakihara Tetsuya| 柿原 徹也 |
Code Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ as Viktor Frankenstein
- Toma | VA: Hino Satoshi |日野 聡 |
Naruto series as Sai, and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K as Kineshi Hairo
- Ikki | VA: Taniyama Kishō | 谷山 紀章 |
Yo-Jin-Bo as Kasumimaru Fuuma, and Black Wolves Saga series as Guillan Guinor
- Ukyo | VA: Miyata Kouki | 宮田 幸季 |
Danganronpa series as Chihiro Fujisaki, and Nightshade as Ieyasu Tokugawa
I really liked the design interface and system of Amnesia: Memories. It was clean, crisp, easy to navigate and suited the theme of the game. You can just see the attentiveness to detail in the design and ease of use. It incorporated a gallery, music record, opening and ending select, and access to several short stories and extra content. You can even play cute mini-games with your favourite bachelors, and attempt to beat them for some interesting interactions!
What I particularly liked was the art transitions in between chapters and scenes, the chibi illustrations were very cute and matched the events of the storyline. My favourite would be the one of Orion struggling in the day-to-day duties of the Maid Café.
Another strong point was the inbuilt mobile system in the game, as it is one of your main sources of information and communication due to your amnesia. You often receive texts and calls from the characters that progress the storyline, and it added that extra dynamic to the game.
Overall, Amnesia: Memories is a great and solid game. It’s different, refreshing and interesting in comparison to the other otome games on the market. Besides, how often do you see a game of this quality writing, art, music and voice acting on sale for $2.99USD? I personally bought it full price when it came out on the PSVita, and I don’t regret it one bit.
Although Orion’s presence over the heroine is not for everyone, it added dynamic to the overall storyline and created a more complex protagonist for the players to discover. One of my personal enjoyments of the game was the presence of the heroine’s female friends, which actually doesn’t occur too often in otome games. They proved to be very supportive of the heroine’s condition in many routes, and were friends she could rely on in times of need.
The girl talk session they had in Kent’s route was hilarious, and it was nice to see there was at least some normality in the heroine’s life. Sawa and Mina are the types of girlfriends whom anyone would love to have in real life. My only criticisms of the game would be that some routes definitely felt more lacking in certain respects in comparison to others.
For example: although Ikki and Kent shared similar routes to one another, Ikki lacked a lot of the character depth and progression that Kent’s route had. In Toma and Shin’s routes, then they were the complete opposite of one another despite having prominent roles in both worlds. Although the game’s strong point were the different storylines, not all of them were executed to the same level of quality.
Ukyo’s route had amazing promise from beginning to end; but slightly fell flat in it’s concluding explanation on the fantasy elements of the game. However, in spite of my mixed feelings on some of the routes; I was still satisfied with all their good endings.
I definitely recommend the game (be on the lookout for those steam sales!) and would love to see Amnesia: Crowd, Amnesia: Later or Amnesia: World localised. I personally would like Amnesia: Crowd out of the three, because it gives a more concrete, holistic future ending and complete tying up of the Amnesia series.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Written By Cherry