Title: Amnesia: Memories
Developer: Idea Factory, Design Factory
Release Date: September 20, 2022
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Idea Factory International
The amnesiac protagonist is a plot point that is used in a variety of games. Some overuse it to the point of annoyance, while others manage a good grip on the plot point. Now, this isn’t the first otome game I’ve ever seen that happen, but can Amnesia: Memories take that and turns it into a story that palpitates your heart? Time to see.
Amnesia: Memories has you play as an unnamed protagonist. And…as the name of the game probably implies, she is a “hapless victim” who, unfortunately, has her memories blanked out after meeting with a spirit named Orion. It should be noted that although the game is coming out for Switch in 2022, it has been available in the west since…2015.
Upon starting the game for the first time, you’re given a selection of four different “worlds.” These are named after the trump card suits, such as Spade, Diamond, Heart, and Clubs. You’re immediately thrust into a love interest’s route as soon as you choose a world. In a way, this means you don’t have a “common route” that branches.
Furthermore, each world also dramatically alters how you are with certain characters. So, for example, in one world, you might have an older brother, but in another, you might find out he’s instead your university colleague. In one world, you may have no contacts on your phone, but in another, you suddenly have contacts in the four digits. It’s a rather clever solution, as it allows for greater flexibility in the story without feeling repetitive.
Overall, I enjoyed the history, but some of the routes immediately invoked a sour taste in my mouth, and part of that reason stems from Orion, the spirit. He constantly goes off on and on about the risks due to the main protagonist’s complete lack of memory, not to mention that for certain choices, he’ll just constantly go, “hmm, do you think you were a bit too harsh, maybe?”, when in reality, that choice was the correct one that led you to the good ending in the first place. It’s pretty frustrating.
Further, the translation work is…rough. As far as I could tell, it’s practically the same script as the 2015 Steam release, with no changes whatsoever. It felt very literal, and while I understand that some might prefer that it’s closer to the original Japanese, I just felt like the mood of the scenes was hurt.
While it didn’t bother me initially, the complete lack of a flowchart was a significant downside for me. I wanted to shrug it off, but there are no indicators of where you’re going when it comes to routes, and I felt very lost about where the story was going.
I prefer to know where I am story-wise when it comes to visual novels, especially an otome game. And with no flowchart, I felt forced to rely on saving more often when playing without using guides, as it sometimes came down to just one particular choice leading you to a bad ending or a less-than-ideal normal ending, intensifying my confusion.
Amnesia: Memories is a decent otome, with plenty of its usual heart-throbbing twists and turns, but unfortunately, its user experience ages like a rotten apple on the Switch. I can’t count how often I became frustrated rather than fascinated by the love interests. Still, there’s a lot to be said about the insanity of the routes that motivated me to uncover this unforgettable mystery.
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