Song of Memories is a romantic visual novel game that is being distributed by PQube. It’s great to see that they are publishing lots of visual novels that usually wouldn’t make the trip across from Japan including Our World is Ended and Kill La Kill based on the disturbing anime series, both of which I can’t wait to play. Song of Memories has a very unique concept behind it as each battle you get into is mixed with a rhythm action style of gameplay.
The story starts out very simple and is centred around a group of friends who all go to the same academy. The first segment of the game introduces you to the group one by one, each of the characters is definitely pigeonholed into a generic stereotype but as they are all written so well you don’t really care. The story is one of love, thrills as our protagonist, Minato, is looking for his soulmate. Throughout this setup, there are little nods going on in the background, newspapers and the nightly news reports about a deadly virus that is taking over Japan.
The infected become violent husks of their former selves after coming in contact with the X-Virus, this story arc then gets put away into the background for a long time. During my playthrough, I got fifteen hours deep before the virus even struck in any form at all. When the outbreak finally happens in the quiet town all hell breaks loose and this becomes a post-apocalyptic survival story. I won’t tell you any more about the storyline as it really needs to be experienced firsthand with no surprises spoiled. There are a number of different endings to discover which are given depending on the choices made during key stages of the game.
You are handed what looks to be a mobile phone early in on which is used as a tool for communicating with a J-pop band known as Dream 4U. The five ladies help you in the rhythm action element of the gameplay, their songs defeat the infected and help to keep them at bay away from the main characters. The scenes are all fantastically rendered and the artwork is stunning.
An interesting part of the art design is that the devs have, umm not an easy way to do this but they have introduced and spent some time designing very realistic boob physics. So while all the girls are moving about their boobs move realistically, it was noticeable to say the least. It’s certainly an interesting direction but after 20+ hours with the game you barely notice it happening as you are concentrating on the beautiful story that is unravelling in this world they have created.
If you are not a fan of visual novels then do not fear as the story will keep you hooked throughout and surprisingly the rhythm action element adds a refreshing new layer. At first, it felt tacked on but with each battle the mechanic starts to make more and more sense. It becomes clear to see why this element has been implemented in this way, the music and the songs are phenomenal. They are very easygoing J-pop so are fun to listen to and enjoyable to press buttons along with the rhythm.
My Time with Song of Memories was special, it really surprised me when starting out and then continued to surprise me all the way through. I fell in love with the characters, the story didn’t rush as it lets you get to know all the characters. The relationships are expertly crafted and the dialogue works perfectly and even though the story ultimately is very silly you will enjoy it. The music is amazing and would love to see the soundtrack get a separate release, although I haven’t checked for it yet. If you like visual novels this game is for you.