Thank you Sekai Project for sending us this game to review!
Memory’s Dogma CODE:01 is a 2D visual novel that takes place in 2030. Technology has advanced quite a bit and everyone in Japan wears mobile augmented reality devices (MRDs) that are used for communication and payments. With the built in GPS signal they can be used for directions or for being tracked by the government. Another technological advancement is the e-memory system that allows people to communicate with the deceased’s memories which are stored for forty-nine days until they are deleted/digitombed.
The main character is Hiroki, who is taking the death of his girlfriend pretty badly. He’s in the hospital for another attempted suicide. When he comes to, he’s greeted by his hacker friend, Kakeru. After much procrastinating Kakeru persuades Hiroki to communicate with his girlfriend’s memories before they are deleted in six days.
At the Connect Center where the memories are stored, they learn about some of the rules regarding talking with the deceased. The biggest rule is that you cannot ask them how they died. Unfortunately, that’s the biggest question that Hiroki wants answered because his girlfriend was not suicidal and it was unlike her to throw herself in front of a moving car.
As Hiroki skirts around the question and tries to get some answers, his friend Kakeru is busy hacking into the Connect Center’s data center and begins copying her memories along with other suspicious files. Once their shady activity is detected, they spend the rest of the visual novel avoiding detection while making some unusual alliances as well as enemies.
There really isn’t much interaction in this visual novel. Half of the time when the main character asks what he plans on doing next, the dialog just keeps on going without seeking input from the reader. There are a handful of choices to be made and I must have answered them all correctly since I did not experience any bad endings. I’m sure they’re there, but the choices seemed pretty obvious to me with exception to the one asking which finger to cut off of somebody. Even when I made a selection, the game ignored it.
There are torture scenes and plenty of violence eluded to. Some blood is shown in certain scenes, but it’s described more than shown. Other issues to be aware of is the harsh language. There is blaspheming as well as every cuss word in the book including the F bomb.
The artwork is top notch and the characters look nice and change their facial expressions along with the dialogue. If a character is hurt, they’ll have an eye closed. If they’re described as bleeding it won’t show in their avatars. There are lots of different background stills and they’re very colorful and nicely detailed.
The background music is fitting when it’s playing though it often stops and causes awkward moments of silence. The voice acting that is present sounds good and conveys emotion really well despite being in Japanese and not being able to understand it. Fortunately, there are subtitles.
Overall Memory’s Dogma CODE:01 is a well-polished science fiction visual novel that’s bound to entertain mature gamers for roughly ten hours. The asking price is a reasonable $14.99. If you don’t mind not making too many decisions and having some of them overlooked, there’s a solid story being told here.