Well, I said I’d do this and here it is. I’m also trying out a slightly different rating system, hopefully this is better than the old one.
Created by KID as a part of the popular memories off franchise in 2005, Memories off #5 ~the unfinished film~ was popular enough for it to gain a sequel, novels, and an OVA. However, many fans thought that the series had been going downhill for a while and that this isn’t as good as its the earlier games. For more background information involving the company, you can find it in my review of Memories off~and then~. The game is originally made for the ps2 (with a few ports to other consoles), but I can’t understand Japanese and will instead be reviewing the Chinese PC version.
Premise: Haruto had dreams of being a director and making amazing movies, but he, and the members of the movie club he belongs to, had given up on the whole thing after the previous president (Yusuke), also Haruto’s best friend, died. Asuka, Yusuke’s sister, said that Sendo Mahiro killed him, so what will happen when Mahiro shows up one day and asks the movie club to make Yusuke’s movie with her?
Haruto, the protagonist, is a college student who’s honest and treats people kindly, but he had given up on his dreams.
Asuka is a cheerful high school girl who openly admits that she’s madly in love with Haruto. She clings to him and flirts with him whenever possible while pretty much ignoring Haruto’s friend, Shuji, who happens to be madly in love with her. She’s hopelessly bad at electronics and geography, but excellent at acting. I didn’t like her story much, probably she has (what I think is )an annoying personality and is pretty much useless at everything.
- Mahiro is the main heroine of the story and she has the true ending of the game. She’s very stubborn, but also very forgetful and childish. Asuka saw her at the scene of Yusuke’s death saying that his death was her fault. I really loved her story, which (in the later parts) featured the story from her perspective. An interesting thing to note is that she’s a huge fan of Karin (a heroine from the previous MO game).
- Kazuki is a member of the movie club and a good friend to Haruto. She hates to lose, is reliable and tears up very easily. I liked her path, especially the gooey, sweet ending that featured an over the top confession.
- Haruto’s cousin whom he tutors, she’s endlessly shy and loves to write. I thought her story was very good, but 1 thing just felt awkward: SPOILER, HIGHLIGHT TO READ the fact that she conveniently loses her memory at the exact time that Yusuke dies and repeats it every year.
The manager of the fast food place where Haruto works, Mizuho is a woman who seems very mature but enjoys teasing other people. I liked her story, but didn’t really love it.
While some parts are excellent, others are not, and it feels as if the feelings that the girls has for Haruto isn’t justified, especially with Asuka. There was a lot more fan service in this game than in previous games, but that doesn’t really affect the overall feel of the plot. I think that the whole thing would have been better if the other characters were more connected with the true ending, and that Haruto as a character could have been developed more.
The art had greatly improved from the previous game, and all the characters look great. But, many poses are awkward and the backgrounds are still very cold. I have some problems with the cg because the color balance feels a bit off and many shadows look awkward. Also, many characters are impossibly skinny and Asuka has an impossibly short skirt that makes me feel very uncomfortable. A nice thing to note is that the lines are more defined than the previous games, making for a very nice effect.
Voice acting: 9/10
Excellent. Kid had finally started to record the voices at a decent quality, and all the voice actresses talked their heart out. However, I found Asuka’s voice to be a bit annoying, and that took away from my enjoyment.
There are a lot of techno and piano in the BGM, and I really liked it. The opening song was energetic and nice to listen to, and it served well as an insert song at crucial parts of the game. There’s a separate ending song for each girl, and all of them were sang by the different voice actresses. They are good, and they are written for each girl, so even though some of the voice actresses aren’t really cut out for singing, they are still worth listening to.
The system was awful. It felt as if the company made no attempt to adapt the game to a PC and simply ripped everything from the Ps2. The only things that you can change after you’ve started the game is the volume and the text box’s color. I can’t find the way to go back when I’ve missed a line, and I actually had to Google it in order to find out about how to access the save menu. When the game starts, you are presented with a screen that says: press start button. There’s absolutely no point to that and KID should have taken it out.There are no buttons, and you can’t even use the enter key to play the game. There are some screen effects used, but they aren’t impressive.
The game comes with a configuration tool which lets you change the font, the screen size, and it’s the only place where you can change whether the game runs in full screen or not. However, I find that with certain screen sizes, there’s a bug that makes your mouse appear 1 cm higher than it really is, which can be very annoying. The event cgs only come in 1 size, so if you are playing at a lower resolution, you get badly compressed images. Like this:
The game lets you review all cgs, videos, character images, and music. While that’s all good, the music system was annoying to use as there were no buttons and you were only presented with a list of music. Moreover, when you play a song, a little gallery of game cg starts to run. The problem with THAT is, it shows all cg, even the ones that you haven’t unlocked yet, and I felt that I was being spoiled of the game’s story. Another problem with it is that the songs don’t actually finish playing, instead, they get cut off at around half way. Was that made to try to boost the soundtrack sales? i don’t know. You can also see a list of the scenes and endings that you have went through, but I can’t understand what that can be good for.
The character’s mouths move when they are supposed to be talking, but the movements don’t match the words and they always end a second too late.
Voice acting: 9/10
Total: 79/100 B
A good game, play it if you are a fan of the series, or if you like a good romance with a few plot twists here and there. However, I felt like this was a bit of a waste, as it could have been so much better.