Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya (2019)
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

The new remastered version of Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya updates this classic visual novel without messing with the things that have made it so popular. It is still as disturbing as ever, although Steam players will have to spring for the adult patch to get the full experience. The original artwork looks great in high definition and the new engine means it’s no longer a hassle to try and run the game on modern hardware. It’s also good to see that the already great translation has been polished even more. If you can handle disturbing content, and enjoy the genre, then we cannot recommend Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya enough.

Gameplay: Not a lot of choices, but the story is so good that you won’t mind.

Graphics: Still very disturbing, especially when played uncensored.

Sound: The soundtrack is excellent and so is the voice acting

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
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

Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya (2019)

Developer: Nitroplus | Publisher: JAST USA, Kagura Games (Chinese Localization) | Release Date: 2019 | Genre: Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / JAST USA

Anyone who is even remotely interested in visual novels should at some point have at least heard about Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya. It was originally released in 2009, but English fans had to wait until 2013 for the official localization. However, it was more than worth the wait as it features a story that was as mind-blowing as it was shocking. This was mostly thanks to the involvement of Gen Urobuchi, who as fans will know, also played an important role in titles such as Psycho-Pass, Fate/Zero, and Madoka Magica. The Song of Saya is also one of the titles that makes it very clear why fans have given him the nickname “Urobutcher.”

The reason why The Song of Saya is popping up again is that JAST USA has decided that it is high time to spruce up the title a bit. This also marks the first time that the game makes its appearance on Steam, albeit in censored form. Fear not, as players who want to experience all the adult content can simply buy the patch to uncensored the Steam version from JAST USA as DLC. Or, better yet, simply by the version that they sell directly as it is already fully uncensored. Even owners of the original 2013 release are not left out in the cold either as they can download a free patch to update their version to the brand new remastered version.

Before we delve into what is new for this update, let’s first take a look at what The Song of Saya is all about and why it has caused such a stir amongst visual novel fans. Although the story is told from the viewpoint of multiple characters, the protagonist is a young medical student named Fuminori. He is involved in a terrible car accident while traveling with his parents and emerged from the crash as the sole survivor. The only thing that saves his life is the groundbreaking surgery performed on him, but it also leaves him with some unintended side effects. When Fuminori wakes up in the hospital, he slowly realizes that he is suffering from some strange form of agnosia that renders his entire world looking like something that would have given H. R. Giger nightmares.

Fuminori is understandably concerned that telling the people around them that they look like hideous monsters and that the entire world appears to be covered in gory intestines would cause him to be institutionalized. Initially, he decides to suffer in silence, but it takes such a huge toll on his sanity that he decides to end it all. Fortunately for Fuminori, this is when he encounters Saya, a young girl who appears to be completely normal. Seeing her gives Fuminori hope, and in his desperation to keep her in his life, he agrees to help her search for her father who disappeared.

We don’t want to say much more about the story as the game is quite short and deserves to be read without any spoilers. Suffice to say it is darkly twisted, but also manages to include some surprisingly touching elements as well. Everything moves along at a brisk pace, so don’t expect to find any humor or lighthearted moments in the tale. The fact that everything unfolds from multiple viewpoints makes it all the more disturbing as players get to experience some events directly through the eyes of both victims and assailants. Opting to play the uncensored version of the game adds some additional adult scenes to the game, but don’t expect to see anything arousing. Instead, these scenes make the game even more disturbing, especially knowing that what the protagonist is seeing is not reality.

The fact that the first thing you are asked when you start the game is whether you want to blur or dim grotesque CGs should say a lot about what to expect. Thankfully, most of the truly disturbing stuff that happens in the game is only described instead of shown, which is probably for the best. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of disturbing images in the game, so if you are sensitive to blood and gore, then this is probably not the game for you. Although The Song of Saya wasn’t the best looking visual novel on the market when it was first released, the visuals did have a certain charm to them. For this remastered version, JAST USA has wisely opted not to muck around with the art style and instead simply offers everything in a higher resolution. All of the illustrations for the game were rescanned and now look great on HD monitors. However, this means that there is still very little in the way of animations and the way that the text is displayed over the visuals instead of at the bottom of the screen feels a bit archaic. This remastered version also runs on a brand new engine, which means that the game is now more compatible with Windows 10.

It doesn’t sound like much was changed about the audio, but seeing as the original was already good this is not an issue. The game still features full Japanese voice acting for all of the characters along with a soundtrack containing fifteen songs. Most of these songs fall in the “very spooky” category, with “Song of Saya I” in particular creeping us out with its eerie melody. Fuminori doesn’t just see everyone around him as grotesque, but his hearing is also warped, which is conveyed perfectly via the audio in the game.

Although nothing was drastically altered about the story, this release features text that has been polished a bit by the original translator. The original localization was already very good, but now it is even better. We didn’t encounter any issues with the new game engine either and everything from scrolling through the text to saving and loading is very straightforward.

The Song of Saya is not quite a kinetic novel as the game does present players with three different choices over the course of the game, but each of these leads to a different ending. In a nice touch, each of these endings is really good, albeit rather grim. The story is still as captivating as always and we once again played through all three endings. There’s no doubt that The Song of Saya features some questionable content that means it is not going to be a game for everyone, but the Steam version does tone things down a bit. We still recommend opting for the uncensored version if you are not easily shocked to experience how truly horrific the game can get. There hasn’t been anything quite like it since it was released and the game still holds up really well. For those who have never experienced The Song of Saya before this is the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss is about and for everyone else, this release is a good excuse to become re-acquainted with a classic.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 1 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 128MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 600 MB available space

Related posts

The Shapeshifting Detective

The Shapeshifting Detective

Solving a murder mystery should be easy when you have the ability to shapeshift into any person you meet, but all is not as it seems in the quiet town of August. Step into the shapeshifting shoes of Sam and figure out whodunit in this latest FMV release by D'Avekki Studios. A girl has been murdered under mysterious circumstances and the clock is ticking as you put your unusual skills to the test. The Shapeshifting Detective is a solid title that will appeal to everyone who enjoys an unusual murder mystery and the story also provides plenty of replay value, so don't miss out. Gameplay: As this is an FMV game the interaction with the gameworld is obviously limited, but interrogating people is a blast and the shapeshifting mechanic makes for a novel experience. Graphics: Not as much FMV footage as Doctor Dekker, but everything looks great in high definition. Sound: The audio is superb and definitely contributes a lot to the atmosphere of the game.

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship

WRC 10 continues to improve on this longstanding series with new tracks, a new livery editor as well as other tweaks and updates. It is still a lot of fun to play, and career mode is as addictive as ever, but don't expect anything radically new or different compared to last year. Fans who may have skipped out on the previous two entries on the Epic Game Store will get the most out of this one, but even veterans should enjoy the new locations, historic rallies, and legendary cars. Gameplay: Enough settings to make the game as accessible as you want it to be. Graphics: The cars look as good as always, and some of the tracks are very scenic. Sound: The sound effects are authentic, and the co-driver is actually helpful.

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.

Little Inferno

Little Inferno

While Little Inferno is not a game in the strictest sense of the word, it does provide a very interesting experience. There isn't much of a challenge beyond finding the correct combination of things to burn, but the eerie story and polished visuals might just suck you in. Perfect for those cold winter evenings. Gameplay: Simple but strangely relaxing. Graphics: Stylish and polished. Sound: Very eerie.

klocki

klocki

Klocki is a short and relaxing puzzle title that should appeal to all fans of the genre. Thanks to the lack of timers, ratings, leaderboards, and points it's a very calming experience too. Although it starts very easy the game continually introduces new puzzle elements and then combines everything for a bigger challenge. Nevertheless, most players should be able to complete every level in under two hours, but seeing as the game is so cheap this is still great value for money. Gameplay: Somewhat easy, but very enjoyable and relaxing. Graphics: The minimal visuals fit the calming nature of the game. Sound: Just as calming and soothing as the visual style.

Carto

Carto

Carto is a unique puzzle adventure with charming visuals and very creative challenges. The protagonist has cartography powers that allow her to manipulate her surroundings using different map pieces and this forms the basis for most of the puzzles. Apart from a few puzzles that can be a little obscure, this is a relaxing adventure that will keep most players entertained for the seven or so hours it lasts. Gameplay: Moving around map pieces to change your surroundings allows for some creative puzzles. Graphics: The hand-drawn visuals and charming animations make for a lovely looking game. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is great.

Leave a comment

five − 4 =