Review by hooi

Reviewed: 12/18/01 | Updated: 03/28/02

Breakups with your girlfriend

INTRODUCTION
Sega Dreamcast's Memories Off 2nd is released by Kid on September 27, 2001, together with the Sony Playstation version for 6,800 Yen. The First Edition of the game contains the Making Disc and 3 trading cards. It is a Visual Novel.

The only voice actress that I know is Kikuchi Shiho-san. She is famous for her role as Tokimeki Memorial's Miharu-chan.

STORY
Background
It's summer. After losing the soccer match in the district competition, Inami Ken-kun automatically quit soccer to get ready for the coming University Entrance Exam. After losing something to concentrate on, Ken-kun felt something missing inside him and changes started to happen in his life...

His relationship with his girlfriend, Shirakawa Hotaru-chan, started to change... Simple misunderstanding and hearts that is not connecting...

Even though they managed to overcome those sad and painful memories, if the girl that Ken-kun wants to be with started to appear... Will Ken-kun be able to make his decision?

Shirakawa Hotaru (Story: 6/10, Breakup: None)
Hotaru-chan is Hamasaki Gakuen Third Year Student. Since last year's Christmas, she is going out with Ken-kun. She likes to be pampered. Since very young, she has been learning how to play piano. Currently, she is training very hard for the Piano Competition at the end of the month (August).

One main reason I don't like Hotaru-chan's story too much is that I don't believe in creating memories based on lies. However, her ending is kind of cool and the story's reference to Teru Teru Bouzu is interesting, though.

Her story is the first one I played, so it is really frustrating, as it is pretty obvious that she is hiding something from you. The scene at the Music Room near the end of the story is a hit on my head. I guess, I really felt exactly how Ken-kun felt at that moment.

Soma Megumi (Story: 10/10, Breakup: 10/10)
Megumi-chan is Sumisora Gakuen Second Year Student. She is working part-time at the same restaurant as Ken-kun. She is very clumsy. Most of the time, she is very cheerful, but once in a while, she seems depressed.

I really like Megumi-chan's story a lot. The story tried to lead to another way and then, surprised you. Probably, my favourite break-up is the one in Megumi-chan's story, cool, nice and less messy. The others are really messy break-ups. *.* The problem is that the break-ups really destroy the mood in the other girls' stories.

However, I am hoping for better endings. Though, this kind of endings is to be expected from a Kid's game. Even that, the first/second endings are still a BIG shock for me. It caught me off-guard because everything is going so well at that point. However, that part is very similar to one scene in Kanaria ~Kono Omoi wo Uta ni Nosete~, as though Memories Off 2nd just copied it.

The third ending is weird. I only can guess what happen in the third ending. According to Memories Off BBS, in the game guidebook, the director of the game said it is up to your imagination to what exactly happen at the end. In additional to that, there are all kinds of interesting theories in Memories Off BBS.

Anyway, an advice to those playing her scenario: Make sure that you observed your VMU screen, every time you see her event.

Tobise Tomoe (Story: 9/10, Breakup: 5/10)
Tomoe-chan is Sumisora Gakuen Third Year Student. She is aiming to become a full-fledge actress in the future. She is very active and cheerful. She showed her emotion very easily. She is also Hotaru-chan's best friend since Middle school.

Tomoe-chan's story is really nice. I, especially, like the exchanges between Tomoe-chan and Ken-kun. Her True Ending is like a storm and the way they calm the storm is way too convenient. *.* However, the breakup is more realistic than the other girls. It is the kind of breakup that drains the energy out of you. I admit, after getting that ending, at that moment, I don't feel like playing Memories Off 2nd for a while. However, her Normal Ending is very funny and extremely fantasy-like. Heh...

Takano Suzuna (Story: 5/10, Breakup: 0/10)
She is also Hamasaki Gakuen Third Year Student. She is in the Swimming Club. She is also Ken-kun's classmate, but they never had a proper conversation before. She is cold to guys, but very gentle to girls. She is extremely popular among the female population of the school, especially her underclassmen.

Even though the ending was kind of touching, this is probably one of the most frustrating stories. The LONG silent treatment by Hotaru-chan is way over the line. In additional to that, Shota-kun is backstabbing you by helping Hotaru-chan with the silent treatment. Isn't he supposed to be your best friend? This is what we called it, Indirect Aggression, you know. :P

Hotaru-chan in this scenario gave up way too easily, unlike in the other stories, which made me wonder what kind of girl Hotaru-chan really is. ???

Shirakawa Shizuru (Story: 5/10, Breakup: 8/10)
Shizuru-san is Hotaru-chan's elder sister and a University Third Year Student. She is very good at cooking, especially making sweets and she is also very interested in wrestling. She enjoys taking care of people.

This story is probably the most boring story among all the stories. However, it is... interesting... when she pat Ken-kun's head. :P Yeah, I agree with her that sometimes in life, you just need a pat on your head.

Minami Tsubame (Story: 7/10, Breakup: 5/10)
Tsubame-san is the mysterious woman who moved into the room next to Ken's at his apartment one day. It is unknown to why she moved there and the purpose of her actions is completely a mystery. She is working, as a temporary teacher at Ken-kun's school during the summer (helping students preparing for the coming University Entrance Exam). She is very independent.

Tsubame-san's character is very mysterious and she is very good at making fool out of Ken-kun using the words that Ken-kun used. She is very philosophical and her logic is very interesting too. It really opened my eyes to many things. Her epilogue is very cute. :P

MAKING DISC
The Making Disc has the voice actresses' interviews, voice actresses' actual recordings, voice actresses' talks, the songs' actual recording and how they made the game CGs. I really like this disc because it is interesting to see the actual recordings and the voice actresses' comments on the stories. Though, of course, they will not say anything bad about the game, after all their careers based on it.

TRADING CARDS
Sega Dreamcast First Edition should contain trading cards number P07, P08 and P09. Sony Playstation First Edition should contain trading cards number P01, P02 and P03. Trading Cards number P04, P05 and P06 are supposed to be given during some Kid's Events. So, definitely, it is going to be tough to collect all 9 cards for people living outside Japan. Possible, but tough.

DOWNLOAD NEW GAME SCENARIOS
Anyway, you can download new fan-written scenarios from their Memories Off Official Fan Site, just like what they did for Never7. Of course, there will not be any voice-over in these downloaded files. In additional to that, all Never7's fan-written scenarios are included in the game disc, so you do NOT have to download a new scenario from the internet every time, you want to play a new fan-written scenario for Never7. After all, one downloaded scenario will take up almost half the space of a VMU.

Basically, a fan can write a scenario and uses CGs that are available. In the Never7's website, there is a list of character CGs and background CGs for your usage in your story. As far as I know, Kid only put up the best stories written on their website. I had downloaded a couple of Never7's scenarios before, and they are pretty good. No voice-over is a minus, though.

AUDIO DRAMAS
There are two audio drama tracks for the DC version (one on the Game Disc and one on the Making Disc) and four audio drama tracks for the PSX version (one on Game Disc 1, two on Game Disc 2 and one on the Making Disc). To hear the other audio drama tracks for the DC version, you have to download files from Kid Memories Off Homepage.

I can only speak for the DC version. The audio drama is very funny and it is always between two heroines. Within the audio drama, one of the girls will read you the usual warning DC message about not playing the first track of the CD in your audio radio.

MORE EXTRAS
One thing about Kid's games is that they are very fan-based. They have a lot of features in the game that should really be in all visual novels, history mode with voice-over, fast-forward mode, story shortcuts, etc.

There are three Omake CGs in the DC Game Disc and of three different sizes. They are basically game cover CGs. In additional to that, in the PSX version, there are supposed to contain the promotional section that has exactly the same thing as the Memories Off 2nd Promotional Disc in Yume no Tsubasa First Edition.

RELATIONSHIP TO MEMORIES OFF COMPLETE
Most of the girls in the game are from Sumisora Gakuen, which is the school where Memories Off Complete (MOC) took place in. In additional to that, Shin-kun, the ''best'' friend of Tomoya-kun (the main male character in MOC) is in Memories Off 2nd and Shin-kun's dog is named ''Tomoya''.

In additional to that, when you go to Somisora Gakuen, you will see some of MOC girls. Furthermore, it seems that Ken-kun met Tomoya-kun before and the painting that Megumi-chan admired is drawn by one of the MOC girls.

FINAL COMMENTS
I expect more from this game, because staffs from Close To ~Inori no Oka and Never7 ~The End of Infinity are working on it. However, it is frustrating most of the time. Though, it is probably part of the attraction of a Kid game.

I went after Hotaru-chan first and Megumi-chan second, both of which are really nice. Then, I got Tomoe-chan's True Ending, which is depressing and Hotaru-chan in Takano-san's story is too frustrating. I decided to stop playing Memories Off 2nd at this point, but then, I read spoiler about the guy who I hate a lot being pitiful at the Official Memories Off BBS. That make me start playing the game again and getting that bad ending make me like this game a bit. Hehe... Man, I am really cruel. :P

Ken-kun, the hero of Memories Off 2nd, is way too thickheaded and lack of pride. The heroes in Never7 and Close to are not that thickheaded, which is one reason I like about those two games. In additional to that, the girls kept praising Ken-kun, as being kind. Those praises are so common in the game that it really gets on my nerve, when someone say it.

Probably, the most stupid thing that Ken-kun kept doing is confessing love to another girl, while he still consider Hotaru-chan as girlfriend. Every time he did that, I said, ''What the $#%?!''. In additional to that, Hotaru-chan's influence on the other girls' stories is too disturbing sometimes.

Also, the guilt factor. I always felt guilty for making choices that I don't believe in, including confessing love to another girl while Ken-kun is still dating another girl and going after another girl behind Hotaru-chan's back.

Of course, for those of you who are buying the game for the CGs, without a doubt, you will not regret it. Sasaki Mutsumi-sensei is probably one of the best character designers around.

The CGs might be very beautiful, but I cannot really enjoy the game, as much as I hope for. Without the ''girlfriend'' element, the stories will probably be one of the best. However, with the ''girlfriend'' setting the mood in the other girls' stories, I just couldn't enjoy the game too well. Most of the time, guilt and frustration are what I felt throughout the game. So, taking all that into account, I am giving it a 6 out of 10.

For those who are looking for more Memories Off 2nd stories, six Shousetsu (Text Novel) written by Higurashi Chaboh will be released. I already read the first novel, and it is pretty nice. It has the full version of Hotaru-chan's cute love confession on Christmas at the beginning.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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