Memory’s Dogma CODE:01
Gameplay 6
Graphics 8
Sound 9

Memory’s Dogma: CODE1 kicks off with a very interesting premise as far as visual novels go and initially seems like it is going to be an epic science fiction yarn. While the story doesn’t exactly live up to expectations, it remains interesting throughout and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger as one would expect from an episodic release. The visuals and audio in the game are surprisingly good for an indie title, so it is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre. The characters and story didn’t’ exactly blow us away, but does have a lot more depth than all the fan-service oriented slice of life visual novels that are all the rage these days.

Gameplay: No branching paths and the story doesn’t quite live up to its initial premise, but overall very decent.

Graphics: Polished, detailed and featuring some nice character designs.

Sound: The music is varied while the Japanese voice acting is top notch

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

Developer: Young Horses | Publisher: Young Horses | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01 opens with our protagonist, Hiroki, in hospital. The death of his friend, Sorano, has left him in a rather sorry state and sapped him of his own will to live. In fact, if it wasn’t for the intervention of his other friend, Kakeru, Hiroki might have succeeded in the suicide attempt that landed him in hospital. As the game is set in a future Japan, 2030 A.D to be precise, technology has evolved to the point where memories of the deceased can be digitized and archived. Friends and loved ones can then travel to special “Connect Centers” where they can communicate with the departed via these memories. However, all memories are deleted after a short while, which is why Hiroki finds himself convinced by Kakeru that they have to steal Sorano’s memories in order to discover the truth behind her mysterious demise. It is a rather somber way to open a visual novel and quite a departure from some of the lighthearted efforts that we’ve recently seen on PC.

Needless to say that after stealing Sorano’s memories things quickly spiral out of control for Hiroki and Kakeru. Not only do they find themselves on the run from the people behind the Connect Center, but they also become embroiled in some other trouble. While we can’t say too much without spoiling the storyline the game does begin to veer from its initial science-fiction path towards some fantasy elements, which feels a bit unusual. Nevertheless, the action quickly moves from one event to the next and rarely lets up until the credits are rolling. CODE:01 is only the first episode of what promises to be an episodic series, so not all the loose ends are tied up, but it also doesn’t leave players hanging too much.

What we really like about Memory’s Dogma is that a lot of effort has been put into creating an interesting gameworld for the characters to inhabit. Individually, most of the elements have been used before in other games or movies, but together they make for a compelling setting. Unfortunately, the same cannot really be said about the characters as they lack the charm of those found in truly great visual novels, such as Steins Gate. This is a pity, but maybe something that will be improved in subsequent episodes as the characters become more fleshed out.

Memory’s Dogma features some very nice high definition visuals, with detailed character sprites and good backgrounds. It doesn’t look like the budget could be stretched far enough to incorporate much animated elements, but this doesn’t detract too much from the experience. The dynamic looking CGs make up for the lack of animation and the character designs are really impressive as well. It has to be said that the cast is quite an eclectic one and it sometimes looks like they all wandered in from different games when seen together on-screen.

A big portion of the budget definitely went towards the audio side of the game though, as the Japanese voice acting is superlative. The entire cast is fully voiced and you don’t have to be able to understand Japanese to hear that they are all doing a great job. Seasoned Otaku should even be able to discern some big names behind the character voices. The same can be said about the diverse soundtrack, which covers a lot of genres. Just listen to the moving “Memory’s Dogma Theme” and “Tears of Sorrow” to more upbeat tracks like “Tactical Blow” or even the dubstep-like “Brave Darkness” for great examples. Completing the game unlocks a graphics gallery and jukebox section where you can replay your favorite tunes. While the sound effects are a little sparse, they all sound good.

Seeing as Memory’s Dogma is destined to be an episodic title, it also means that the story is fairly linear. The game tries to disguise this fact by presenting you with timed choices every now and then, but making the wrong decision only leads to a bad ending instead of a story branch. You don’t have to worry about constantly saving in order to avoid losing progress though, as the bad endings will automatically revert you to the story segment just before you made the wrong choice. The game throws a lot of technical terms and words at you to fit in with its futuristic setting, but luckily the “Tips” section offers a list of explanations to refresh your memory about what they all mean.

Although Memory’s Dogma ended being a little less thought provoking than we thought it would be based on the initial story elements, it still tells an interesting tale. Some fans will probably find the shift in tone and style at certain points a little jarring while the storyline also becomes a little too predictable. All in all it is a decent start though and we are definitely looking forward to seeing how events turn out in future episodes. While it might not be as engrossing or original as some of the top tier titles in the genre, it is a step up from all the fan-service oriented fluff that are taking over the genre these days.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 or above
  • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 128MB or more of graphics memory
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 7 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Any audio output

Related posts

Avoid – Sensory Overload

Avoid - Sensory Overload

While Avoid Sensory Overload is another mobile title to make the leap to PC it doesn't feel like a cheap cash-in. The gameplay is addictive and on higher difficulty levels the game can provide quite a challenge. The randomly generated levels in endless mode also provide plenty of longevity, especially for the price. If you are looking for a pure arcade experience where you can test your reflexes while listening to some nice tunes then you won't want to avoid this game. Gameplay: A nice arcade experience that is addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. Graphics: Not quite a sensory overload, but colorful and stylish. Sound: Thee different musical genres with some nice tracks.

Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

Among The Innocent features a very unique setting, interesting story and puzzles that are immensely satisfying to solve. It also manages to keep you on edge the whole time, despite your idyllic surroundings, which is impressive for a game with no jump scares. There are some rough edges, but nothing that should deter you from grabbing this game and helping its protagonist crack the mystery. Gameplay: Explore a desolate farmstead while solving puzzles using everyday objects. Graphics: Nothing mind-blowing, but gets the job done and sets the mood perfectly. Sound: The audio is rather low-key, but definitely enhances the creepy atmosphere.

Morph Girl

Morph Girl

Morph Girl combines nineties style FMV and Japanese horror in an interesting visual novel. The game deals with a woman who is mourning the death of her wife, so the story might be a bit too somber for anyone looking for a lighthearted visual novel. It is also rather short and the acting could have been better, but even with all its flaws Morph Girl still offers a unique and compelling experience. Gameplay: Passive for the most part, but there are some choices to be made. Graphics: Morph Girl makes use of FMV to convey its storyline. Sound: No voice acting and a haunting soundtrack keeps things interesting.

Unrest

Unrest

If you value interesting dialogue and moral choices more than loot gathering and monster slaying then you will enjoy Unrest. The game dares to do things a bit differently and for the most it works quite well. The lack of puzzles or any real combat means that the pace of the game is very slow, but just like a good book you will want to know what is going to happen next once you are hooked. Gameplay: The focus is very much on the story, so action junkies might become bored of all the reading. Graphics: The hand-painted visuals give the game an unique look. Sound: Outstanding tunes, but no speech.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Crayon Physics Deluxe is a charming little indie game that will suck in anybody that gives it a fair try. It's loads of fun to just mess around and draw different things to see what contraptions you can come up with. With 70 levels and different challenges you'll be playing this one far longer than you might think. Gameplay: Extremely simple, but very impressive at the same time. Graphics: Intentional crayon scribbles. Sound: Not outstanding, but not annoying either.

Arcadecraft

Arcadecraft

Arcadecraft is a nice take on the management genre, but there is a certain amount of tedium involved. Watching your arcade thrive and grow is very satisfying, but most of your time is consumed by emptying the cash from machines and tossing out troublemakers instead of making in-depth management decisions. Hopefully future updates will add some more locations and customization options. Gameplay: Running an arcade is fun, but your space to work with is very limited. Graphics: Plenty of different machines and ways to customize the look of your arcade. Sound: Manages to capture the chaotic atmosphere of an arcade.

Leave a comment

13 − 12 =