Developed by LizArts – creator of Resette’s Prescription, Memory’s Dogma is science fiction visual novel that places in an alternative future of earth where humans have gained the knowledge to make the memories of the deceased digitized and interactive personalities. For Kusuhara Hiroki, the memories of his friend, Mizunashi Sorano is the only thing keeping him going. However, there does seem to be more than meets the eye between Sorano mysterious passing and the string of events to follow…
Title: Memory’s Dogma CODE 01
Genre: Visual Novel (Science Fiction)
System: PC (via Steam)
As the name suggest, Memory’s Dogma deals a lot with the power of perception and how it relates to Hiroki as he and his new found comrades try to figure out the truth behind Sorano’s death before her memories are deleted. Combined with a health dose of imagination that can only come from science fiction and real life concepts, the world building for the novel is actually very enticing and creates some tantalizing food for thought. Some of the concepts might be hard to understand, yet thankfully, the game does provide a neat and minimal glossary that makes it easier to grasp. Of course, while the world building is excellent, the narrative and overall flow is also thrilling, creating a fair amount of tension and mystery as things go on. For a game that you can easily read through in its entirety (around 6 hours), I do have to say that the flow and pacing is one aspect that makes it worth sticking around for even if you find the conclusion and twist somewhat lacking. That being said, for title that is so short-lived, I really can’t go into that much in the way of specifics.
Besides having the content to back up the well-written narrative, for a visual novel, Memory’s Dogma’s isn’t that different or does much different to set itself apart from its peers, but do like some of its ideas like how its deals with branching paths. While most of the choices in the game leads to bad endings (one that are easy to avoid), if you happen to pick the wrong one, the story will end, yet resume before the last critical choice. Even though it is a given and most players will know when to save, I’m glad that its something that you don’t have to worry about that much in case you forget or new to visual novels. Another noticeable aspect (for a smaller studio like this anyway), is that the game is voiced acted and by some pretty well known blood from the Japanese side of things. As for the aesthetics, artist Torase Kuno does a great job with the character designs ranging from the typical bishoujo to relatively normal. And while most of the character designs don’t buck the traditional anime style things found in others, when combined the backgrounds and set pieces, they almost appear to have to ethereal quality to them that goes well with the overall theming of the game. However, with most of the characters being limited in what they do, some of the designs I personally liked the most (Ema for example) didn’t get as much screen time as I hoped.
With the finale of Memory’s Dogma ending on a hesitant (albeit, satisfying) note, there does seem to be room for some sort of continuation based on what is mentioned, however, I believe that as a whole, things are at an end. With this being LizArts second product (and first visual novel) introduced to English speaking audiences, they have definitely shown that their work is distinctive and unique – both in terms of quality and content from what the market currently has to offer. With any luck, hopefully, we will be able to see more from them in the near future, yet as of now, I think Memory’s Dogma is not a bad place to start.
Pros: Science fiction elements nicely implemented and give substance to world, narrative well-written and flows at smooth pace, cool/cute character designs, nice soundtrack, a nice start for beginners to visual novel.
Cons: Some character roles short-lived/utilized, might be for those looking for a non-linear story approach.
Final Verdict: Short, sweet, and full of science fiction suspense, Memory’s Dogma CODE:01 is another nice entry from LizArts and one that any fan the genre and medium should check out. A nice choice for beginners who want to get their fill of the genre and pleasing enough for veterans looking for a quick and well-written story.
Disclaimer: In no way, shape, or form was I compensated for the composition or publication of this review. This by my own volition. A review copy of the game was kindly provided by Sekai Project. All images and rights to them belong to Sekai Project/LizArts and only for review purposes.