Always Remember me is the sequel to the ground-breaking AAA title Remember Me from Dontnod Entertainment published by Capcom...
Actually, Always Remember Me was made by Winter Wolves, a studio known for making exclusively Visual Novels.
I let you know my experience with VNs is rather thin, so your opinion may vary. Again, this is a fresh VNoob review, so keep that in mind.
So let's start. The story.
If this game was a first-person shooter or casual hack and slash, we wouldn't have to comment on that. However, this is a Visual NOVEL, so we definitely have to focus on this aspect. You play as Amy, a girl who has gone through despair after her boyfriend was diagnosed with amnesia, not remembering anything from their past relationship. As Amy you will be working part time, visiting Aaron, the aforementioned boyfriend, and trying to make him remember or worst case scenario: make him fall in love with you again. But is that really the best for both of you... ? Overall I found the story being full of cliches, however enjoyable nonetheless. With characters being well written and surprisingly deep.The gameplay.
You will be also doing various activities expanding one of four of your traits: Culture, Creativity, Romance and Discipline. These are also gained by interacting with one of your four potential love interests. Having maxed out the particular stat needed for the certain partner unlocks the 'special ending'. As you grow familiar with your partner more special events are unlocked, in which you are forced to make a choice that will either advance your relationship or do the opposite. You will find yourself awaiting these events with curiosity and excitement, partly because your daily routine will get boring eventually. The first playthrough may not wield results and you will probably do a second one. And that's okay, the replayability value here is surprisingly high. You may want to turn text and animation speed up, but you will still have fun exploring the other optio... I mean guys. The visuals.
The artstyle is your typical anime stylization. However the proportions belong to the more realistic half of this particular artstyle. Overflowing with vibrant colors and interesting character choices your eyes will definitely not go dry. The animation and city map is nothing particularly impressive, but it fullfils it's purpose. All the work certainly went into the characters and backgrounds. The font is annoying, but typical for VNs, however there are many well stylized VNs out there. Overall, I wouldn't have played it for +5 hours if I was bothered by the visuals, so this is definitely a plus for the game.The soundtrack.
A quite rare aspect in reviews, however I always like to mention them, especially in games such as these. They represent a major part of the narrative and usually expand the experience. Not here. More or less. It is catchy, don't get me wrong, it certainly is. I've been listening to the opening the whole time I wrote this review and I had no urge to turn it down whatsoever. The in-game music gives a very casual vibe, something you should grow familiar if watching sitcoms and other family-friendly shows. It just doesn't leave a mark in my memory (guess I will not Always Remember It, haha). Unlike the game itself it is enjoyable while it lasts, but once you're done you won't feel obligated to pick it up again. The bonus 'remix' of the main theme song is a fun gimmick and amusing, but it does not feel particularly memorable as well.
And now we got to the end of this review. The final question: Should you buy it or should you not?
Well, strongly depends on your preferences. If you're looking for a dramatic heart-tearing ride, you won't find it here. It's a lighthearted and fairly casual experience and the story is pretty straightforward and linear. I don't think it needs heavy plot-twists anyways. You will enjoy this game as it is if you're looking for something fun to pick up and try. I myself had high expectations and wasn't dissapointed, but again, your mileage may vary.
It is certaily an enjoyable game and immensively fun if you can just ease yourself off after a hard day and want to kill time. I highly recommend this to you as a gateway visual novel if you want to get into this genre.