Originally published May 4, 2019.
“Song of Memories” is self-described as a “next generation romantic adventure game with a story focused on songs and ultimate decision-making.” “Next generation” is a stretch considering the game brings very little to the table in terms of groundbreaking features, mechanics or themes.
Adventure refers to the extremely brief sections of “fighting,” which are bland and uninspiring.
The ‘ultimate decision-making’ is a joke when most of the decisions you make in the game carrying little to no weight. The first 10-15 hours in particular are strewn with 50+ brain numbingly pointless choices.
The fighting mechanic that “Song of Memories” boasts having is just a glorified quick time event. It’s all based around these magical singing girls you find in an odd device. There are five girls and you can pick a few of them at a time to sing a song. Each girl gets a chance to sing and the same button will pop up throughout the song with a white circle closing around it.
The closer the circle is around the button when you press it, the more damage you do to the sexualized female monsters you are fighting. Whenever you win, the singing girls will get experience and level up.
It is one of the most boring things you will ever sit through. However, you do not have to suffer for long. After the first fight you have the option to skip every single fight and the girls will still gain experience.
The story is slow with almost no major developments happening until you’re about 20 hours in. Even after this, the story isn’t that intriguing and the various endings range from waiting at the DMV levels of boredom, to just plain dumb. You can attempt to get the ending you want by following the choices map in the menu.
However, even that is no simple task. There are various boxes with “National Treasure” levels of puzzling info in them that will take some trial and error to figure out what it all means. Honestly, if you’re really into solving puzzles, you might enjoy cracking open the choices map more than the actual game.
Inside this awkward shell of a story is plenty of blatant suggestive content with each of the main girls in the story. This of course includes a short pool scene with each girl in their bathing suits. Unfortunately, one of the main girls in the story is your adopted sister who, according to you, does not know she is adopted.
There are multiple creepy lines that blatantly explain how you as the main character are attracted to her. There are also hints to her having a crush on you very early on in the game. So early in fact, that the come before you are even informed about the prior knowledge of her being adopted.
Song of Memories is not all bad though.
The “E-Mote” system they use to animate their 2D illustration’s is refreshing and the most interesting part of the game. Seeing characters hair, eyes and “features” move and react to the main characters words brings interest and makes the game feel not so static. Though, sometimes the characters and their “features” move too much and unrealistically.
The music in the game is also beautiful and helps to set scenes. The intro song got me excited for the rest of the game, and the fight songs were nice enough for me to sit through more fights than Song of Memories deserved. It’s great that the animation and music doesn’t feel flat considering everything else in the game is.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend wasting time and money on “Song of Memories”. At $60, it feels like you’re being robbed at the register. If you’re honestly still interested, consider trading your copy for an ice cream sandwich.