Imagine walking down the road with your mind off in la-la land, enjoying the crisp, clear night when suddenly *bam* you are out cold and you "wake up" in a dark room. You do not know who you are, where you are, or what you are doing; when you try to think back on all that you have experienced you can remember nothing, just blackness. This is what happens to the protagonist in Amnesia: Memories and you are then forced to recount your steps as you make your way into the future.
There are two things that you will immediately notice upon starting up the game; first is that there is a ton of voice acting and second is that the art is gorgeous. Given that visual novels, especially dating sim/romance types, do not have much in the way of action (or any at all really), the art, story and audio are crucial to the game's success. While the art is stunning and true to the source material (a manga, visual novel, and anime), where Amnesia: Memories really shines is in its story, presentation, and audio.
When I first started the download for Amnesia I was confused and surprised at the sheer size; nearly 3GB. Most visual novels that I have come across range in the 200-400MB range and I was not quite sure why Amnesia was so large. Once I started the game though, I understood; this is a fully-voiced visual novel. The voice acting is fully Japanese with no option for another dub but that is alright by me as I prefer the original audio over dubs. The various seiyu (Japanese voice actors) are as always, top-notch. Though the writing is excellent, the various characters that you will come across really come alive with the works of the seiyu. From pleading to disappointment and anger to adoration and joy, each seiyu brings something slightly different.
As I mentioned previously the writing is stunning; rarely do I come across a visual novel that has as much replayability as Amnesia: Memories. There are five distinct "paths" that you can choose (essentially choosing one of five love interests). Depending on how you treat each particular love interest you can have more than 20 different endings and given that the writing is so good you will actually *want* to go through and play it a second or third … or fourth … or fifth time.
Choice is the name of the game here and whether you want to choose the honest yet blunt Shin as a love interest or you are more into the idol Ikki who is alluring yet a bit of a playboy, the choice is up to you. I personally worked on building a relationship with Kent but am considering going back for another play through, focusing on the protective Toma. With as many options that you have in the game (which, pending your reading speed, could take 10 hours or so, possibly more, likely less to get through) going back for more is encouraged as you are awarded with various interactive extras/bonus content that helps expand the characters.
My first exposure to Amnesia was in the form of a touching and romantic anime and I enjoyed it greatly, however Amnesia: Memories in visual novel form is stunning. Following the path of a nameless heroine who has no recollection of who she is or where she is at as she navigates through the difficulties of love and fear. Gripping, if not overly exciting, each of the various characters will grow on you, in part due to the gorgeous art style, the fantastic seiyu, and the solid writing. Amnesia: Memories is enchanting and worth every second that you spend reading its lovely writing.
|Publisher(s)||Idea Factory International|
|Other Platform(s)||PlayStation Vita|
Article by Robert