So, I’m a girl named Heather…or maybe my name is Amber…or was it Rebecca? Ever since this damn bug-boy crashed into my brain, I can’t remember a damn thing! There sure are a bunch of girly boys here who seem to be willing to help me figure it out. And that, my friends, is the entire premise of Amnesia: Memories. Tune in next month when I’ll have yet another gripping review for you!
All joking aside, Amnesia: Memories is actually quite an entertaining story, or maybe I should say stories. When the aforementioned bug-boy crashed into your head, he took you to a sort of limbo and tells you that it is a bridge between many different possible worlds and you must choose which one you were from. Of course, since you don’t remember, you just go in blind…sorta. Each world is a card suit (diamonds, hearts, spades, clubs) and each of the game’s boys have one of these symbols emblazoned across all of their gear. It seems that whichever one you choose will be your main romantic interest for that story. I played through the game twice; once in Diamonds and once in Spades worlds. The Diamonds was played on Steam while the Spades was on Vita.
In each of the stories, you’re bombarded with dialog from the annoying bug-boy, Orion. I really dislike his character design, voice, and how much he talks. This is mainly due to the fact that you play a mostly silent protagonist and can only really answer yes/no questions posed by Orion or quizzes to make sure you’ve been paying attention. Once in a while, you’re given the opportunity to answer a legit question that you’ll have no way of knowing the correct answer unless you are great at reading how the characters have been describing you in the past. If you get the answer wrong, Orion and whoever you were having dialog with will be sure to let you know how wrong you were or “different you’ve been acting lately”. In fact, there is no way to know how your story is progressing, and you may be ushered to a bad ending abruptly. To be honest, I felt like the game didn’t explore the characters enough, and focuses too much on Orion and his making me paranoid about every damn decision.
I enjoyed the stories, but I’ve played other visual novel games with both a more substantial plot, and better character development, but there’s a certain kind of charm here. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but despite my disdain of Orion, I did play through the game twice. I can’t imagine going through any of the stories a second time, but there is quite a difference between the four story arcs. I really wish this was more of a dating sim where all the boys were options at once rather than each having their own “world”. The saving grace of the game is the visual style. The characters are high-res portrait sprites with a fair amount of animation to them while the backgrounds are…interesting. They really do look like they were made in Microsoft Paint by an extremely talented minimalist artist. The contrast between the two really do the game well. I also love the menus and text/thought bubbles.
If the above interests you, I just saw that the game is on sale on Steam for $2.99 until December 1, 2015. That’s a 90% price drop, so if you’re into this stuff and looking for a steal, here’s the Steam link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/359390/