Developed by Future Tech Lab Co.,Ltd. Published by PQube, Future Tech Lab Co.,Ltd. Reviewed on PlayStation 4 (also available on Steam)
There is nothing more than I enjoy more than coming home from work and enjoying a good cup of coffee with a good visual novel. While the flavor of the coffee doesn’t matter the visual novel I sat down with is Future Tech Lab Co.’s Song of Memories. The version of the game that I played was the PlayStation 4 version but this is also available on PC. There was also a Switch version announced and but it was canceled. Is Song of Memories a song that players can really sing to? Check out what I thought of it!
You know when you drink too much coffee and get a stomachache? I feel like Song of Memories is the video game version of that feeling. Song of Memories tries to fit too many elements during it’s play time. I’m not really sure what kind of game it’s trying to be. The results are a visual novel, an adventure game, RPG, and a rhythm game wrapped up into one seemingly generic package. The story starts out pretty run of the mill like any other slice of life anime or visual novel and is filled with tropes that lowered my experience of Song of Memories.
I’m going to touch on the story lightly because I don’t want to spoil anything for people who want to play it. The pace of Song of Memories is uneven and this makes the twists in the story seem out of place. Like the first twist happens a couple hours into the game after it already established itself in my mind as a “tragic school life” visual novel. Then it goes in a completely different direction with the introduction of D4U, a pop idol group, and the introduction to their new gameplay features. If felt really out of place to me especially because after their first appearance it seems like the game doesn’t pay any mind to this gameplay mechanic until hours later. The player might not even see this again depending on the route they are on. After more hours of playing the tone changes again and the gameplay changes drastically so it almost feels like it was an afterthought.
Song of Memories does have a pretty impressive seiyuu cast with performances from Yui Horie (Super Sonico of Super Sonico fame), Mai Fuchigame (Sadayo Kawakami in Persona 5), Sayaka Senbongi (Trish in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind) and many more! The character come to life through Live 2D animation that makes the sprites more interactive with the story unlike other visual novels that use static character sprites. Another aspect that is super important for a visual novel is its translation. While Song of Memories doesn’t have a bad translations by any means it might be a little too literal in some cases and lacks the nuances of a normal conversation. An example of this is how no matter what school they are talking about it always described as “academy” instead of school. For the most part though the translation is pretty solid.
Overall, Song of Memories tries to do too much and ends up with uneven pacing. However the excellent seiyuu cast does a fantastic job bringing the game’s cast to life. They makes it worth playing the game. If anyone is looking for a visual novel that tries to change up formula and like it when games do something different than I would recommend Song of Memories to them!