Amnesia: Memories is an otome visual novel where you play the nameless heroine who has lost her memories. The reason given in the opening scenes of the game is that a sprite named Orion has collided with you and takes up the space in the brain where your memories used to be. A cute notion, but as the storylines unfold, you begin to find out alternative explanations as to your new state of mind.
The game offers the chance to play four storylines and to, ultimately, date four boys. The dateable characters range from the scary to the sweet, and each of their stories are engaging and different. During each plot path, there are a number of parameter bars which fill up depending on the answers that you give in the prompts. These always include your level of favour to the current boy, the level of trust between the two characters, and the suspicion that you've raised. Depending on where the bars are at the end of the storyline, you'll elicit either a good, bad, or normal ending, giving plenty of reason to replay each narrative multiple times.
Offering a 'rewind' feature, it's possible to go back in time before a choice was made if an interaction doesn't go how you expected it. You're then able to see the choice that you already made highlighted in green, which is a feature that pulls over to subsequent playthroughs of the same story, and helps keep track of the choices that you've already made, steering you towards unlocking different endings.
The soundtrack of the game is largely inconsequential and inoffensive. Any music that you can hear is drowned out by the vast amounts of dialogue (Japanese subbed in English for those wondering), and as such, it's pretty forgettable. What the game lacks in audio prowess, however, it makes up for visually. The art style is simple; there's little animation, and the game mostly relies on a still image of a character while they're the focus of the scene, with rolling dialogue across the bottom of the screen. When your character recalls a forgotten memory, a scene unfolds which takes over the whole screen, but it's presented as a full sized image, and during these moments, any movement or change between scenes is illustrated using a series of different images rather than an animated progression. It's simple, but effective, and gives you plenty of time to admire the art design of the characters and backdrops.
Between each storyline, core themes remain largely the same, such as relationships between characters, the different environments, and the cast themselves. While some details change slightly, such as small personality traits of the heroine, the important ones remain, and you can gather information from other narratives which can cause you to view characters in a different light, which, in turn, may make you alter your stance during other stories.
Outside of the main gameplay, two mini-games are on offer; Hit'N'Guard (that's rock, paper, scissors to everyone else) and Air Hockey, both of which are mentioned briefly during parts of plot. Fully utilising the Vita's touch screen capabilities, each mini-game offers a slice of extra-curricular entertainment which has no bearing on the main gameplay itself. Both games use the front touchscreen, either tapping to attack in the first game, and to slide the puck in the second. The mini-games serve as welcome distractions when a break is needed from the sprawling dialogue of the main story.
Weaving a complex tale of deception and love, Amnesia: Memories is an engaging visual novel which will guarantee multiple playthroughs to squeeze all the content that it has to offer. A pleasure to play, the game gives heartfelt emotion as well as frivolity throughout, earning its status as one of the best visual novels that the Vita has to offer.