Title: Song of Memories
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Pure Wish
Genre: Visual Novel
I didn’t actually know much about Song of Memories before I started playing it. I knew the facts like there were cute girls and a load of choices that the player can make, but I didn’t truly understand what kind of story the visual novel was trying to tell. Thankfully, PQube has brought this strange adventure to the PlayStation 4 and after completing a few routes, I’m still as confused as I was before, and yet, I still want more.
Song of Memories tells the story of Minato Kamishiro, a student that lives with his younger who are both left orphaned following an accident involving their parents. Although the open hours of the game are relatively slow, the pacing lets you understand Minato’s struggle with dividing his attention between his friends and sister and also dealing with issues of his, which aren’t that big at all. To be honest, this opening of Song of Memories is basically a group of friends hanging out and goofing around.
Each of the main heroines falls in a particular trope, but it’s not extremely exaggerated outside of a few instances. Normally, I’d be one to write off visual novels with little to no direction, but I ending up having a lot of fun with Song of Memories and the comedic dialog between characters. With that said, the story does have some moments of serious tension as the group deals with pretty adult issues like one of the girls who must be hospitalized from time to time.
Song of Memories is an insane story that can literally be played a handful of times through with different outcomes. The choices that are up to player are many, and the branching scenes offer new insights into characters as well as topics that will be brought up in the later moments of the game. The story surprisingly stays consistent throughout and does address moments that happened previously. The reason why I’m surprised by this is that so many things happen in this game that I could barely keep track of what was going on.
After the general opening, things get really weird and the visual novel shifts to a rhythm game where players must fight off monsters that appeared. I personally thought these moments were really well done, and the surprise of this feature even being in the game revitalized my interest in the story if only to understand what the heck is going on. However, that’s not all, Minato finds a cell phone device that he can use to summon AI companies to talk to, fight in rhythm battles, and heal people. If you think this all sounds messy, well then you’re right, it is, but it’s also a crazy enough plot to make you stick through it until the end.
The various routes in the game are determined by the choices that players make. Being that there are so many choices, players will need to decide things like who to walk to school and home with and what to do after school. Other choices can be a little more daring like choosing who to hang out with at a water park where you’re sure to see a little more of the girls. Since we’re on the subject, Song of Memories is extremely perverted and you should know the main reason that you’re doing anything in this game is to find romance. Sure, there are some speed bumps, as in monsters, along the way, but ultimately this is a story about love and seeing your female friends half naked from time to time.
Song of Memories isn’t the type of adventure that needs prefacing, I believe it’s one that players just need to jump head first into and see what they think. I had a great time with the game based on the quality of CG and character illustrations, which move during conversations. I was also excited to find out that the main protagonist has an audio track and each character’s dialogue is extremely well done to the point where I was laughing along with them as they all interacted and made fun of Minato’s best male friend.
As fun as Song of Memories is, it does lose track of whatever it’s trying to accomplish with the story. With so much going on, I often felt lost and confused when the actual story took off and the themes of viruses and apocalyptic events came up. There’s a huge payoff here and I knew it was coming, but the path to get there wasn’t an easy one to handle. However, I could honestly say that this is one of the greatest cast of characters since they all interact with each other as real friends would and the story balances time between them based on the choices that the player makes. Sadly, not all the routes pay off as much as others, but there’s a really unique story to be found in the game’s more well-rounded routes — yes I used the words “well-rounded”.
Song of Memories made me question its quality of storytelling in the first few hours of the game, but it does hit a nice stride after the first rhythm battle and takes off from there. I’d say I had an interesting time with Song of Memories, and I couldn’t deny that there are some true moments of brilliance in its features when the game handles so many different branching narratives based on player choice.
Song of Memories is messy, confusing, and a whole lot of perverted fun. Perhaps that says a lot about me, but I enjoyed learning about these characters and unlocking CGs just to witness some entertaining dialogue between characters or have the chance to walk in on one of the girls changing. Song of Memories is definitely a strange supernatural story with some apocalyptic undertones that no reader would expect.
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