Saturday, 29 December 2012

Always Remember Me Review

Always Remember Me is a visual novel/dating sim by Winter Wolves. This charming little game is set around a rather tragic tale: you, Amy, were riding home on your boyfriends motorbike one day, when you were hit by a drunk driver. After awaking in hospital, it soon becomes clear that your boyfriend, Aaron, struggles to recall you in his memories, suffering amnesia from the crash that day. Devastated, you try and make sense of the situation. To make matters worse, the person he does remember is a catty ex-girlfriend from his distant past, who tries to make new moves on him.

Will you try and rekindle the memories that your beloved boyfriend has lost? Or will you seek comfort in the arms of your closest friends and accept that things will never be the same? The storyline of Always Remember Me is indeed very engaging, and somewhat different from the norm. Starting off in a relationship makes it very difficult to move on, and as the scene is very well set at the beginning of the novel, you do start to feel very connected to the main protagonist. The story is beautifully written and realistic, adding to the depth of the game. The story is very romance focused, and doesn't derail from that, so you may consider that a positive or a negative point.

All the characters are different but likable. You have the option of multiple partners to pursue, Aaron is not the only one you can try and date, although most people make that their first and primary goal. The gameplay is based on stat building, but you can also visit various spots around the city to boost your morale and increase your energy. You work part time at an ice cream shop, to make enough money to spend doing various activities or the mall. The cash flow is well balanced and you can do overtime if you want to be a big spender, which can help you get items that may make courting your chosen lover easier. The game plays for an amount of time that is just right, and each character has a normal and special ending. For extra challenge, the difficulty can be increased, and if you fail to win the heart of anyone on the first playthrough, you get a stat boost to make it easier next time. It's likely that if you hesitate, you'll end up alone! It can be a close call if you don't pick someone fairly early on, but it's good to play it through once to get a feel for the game, and then pick it up again later.

The game can get repetative, but there is a range of activities you can participate in and you can expand this range by purchasing items. I played through the whole game twice in one day and wasn't bored, and will likely play through it again later, too. I think it's because of the way you feel for Amy and the way you need to explore the different outcomes and options, it's so easy to put yourself in her shoes.

As always, this game is meant to be played through multiple times, and so if you do want to get all the unlocks you'll get your moneys worth. Also, the artwork is beautifully done and the music, especially the introduction theme is a really nice addition.

Overall, this is one of the more memorable (oh the irony) visual novels out there, and one that you'll probably feel more connected to. I wouldn't say it's very light hearted though, but sometimes that can make a change. Also, I'd say that it isn't cheesy which a lot of novels attempting to talk about a serious topic are. I don't have many negative points to make about it, I got it on sale so it's definitely worth the money I paid.

Overall, I'd give Always Remember Me a 8.5 out of 10. 


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