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

Shooting Stars!

Shooting Stars!

Save the world from evil aliens disguised as celebrities in this classic arcade style shooter. It is perhaps a little too fond of memes for its own good, but the gameplay is addictive and the large assortment of bosses will keep you coming back for more. Since you face a random assortment of bosses during each run the game also stays fresh, unlike its memes. Gameplay: Classic arcade style shooting with waves of enemies and wacky bosses. Graphics: Nice retro style visuals and the pixel art celebrities are actually very good likenesses. Sound: Features a very catchy and upbeat soundtrack.

Mystik Belle

Mystik Belle

Mystik Belle features an addictive blend of classic platforming, Metroidvania inspired exploration and a healthy dose of point & click adventure style puzzles. The beautiful pixel art visuals are a definite plus and the charming characters as well as varied locations will keep you hooked. The puzzles and limited inventory might not appeal to players looking for a more traditional Metroidvania style platformer, but Mystik Belle is definitely worth checking out. Gameplay: Tons of areas to explore, lots of clever puzzles and some huge bosses to defeat. Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals with large, detailed sprites and memorable backgrounds. Sound: Features a catchy chiptune soundtrack.

Indiana Jones® and the Fate of Atlantis™

Indiana Jones® and the Fate of Atlantis™

This is obviously a must-have title for Indiana Jones and Point & Click Adventure fans alike. Although showing its age it's still a great game from a company that was at the pinnacle of the genre back in their heyday. No self respecting adventure gamer should pass up on this one. Gameplay: Pure point & click goodness. Graphics: Pretty good back in the day but obviously dated now. Sound: A nice soundtrack and good effects for the time.

Montague’s Mount

Montague's Mount

Montague's Mount is a game that left me with mixed feelings. I can appreciate what the developer has attempted here and the game has a wonderful atmosphere but it is definitely not going to appeal to everyone. There are lots of small issues that detract from the overall experience but I still found the game to be engaging and thought provoking. Gameplay: The slow pace and slightly obscure puzzles makes this a niche title. Graphics: The art direction fits the theme but make it hard to spot small stuff. Sound: Excellent voice acting and absolutely brilliant music.

NaissanceE

NaissanceE

NaissanceE is not a game for players that want to know exactly what is going on at all times. Instead of offering any explanations the game simply drops you into a surreal and intimidating gameworld that thrives on your confusion. The result is an experience quite unlike anything else and one that will stay with you long after the journey is complete. Gameplay: First person exploration with a dash of puzzle solving and platforming. Graphics: Beautiful and imposing in equal measures. Sound: Atmospheric audio that greatly enhances the whole experience.

Planet Diver

Planet Diver

Planet Diver is fast paced and very addictive when played in short bursts, but lack of mission variety does mean it can become repetitive. Still, you get a lot of content for a very low price which definitely makes it worth the investment in time and money. Just keep in mind that quick reflexes are required when braving the deep, obstacle filled chasms through which your wing suit diver loves to plunge. Gameplay: Fast paced, challenging and quite addictive although it can become repetitive. Graphics: It takes a while to get used to the retro style scanlines, but the overall effect is quite nice. Sound: The music is a little unusual, but very fitting.

Leave a comment

2 × four =