Yep. Finally another review. The unboxing is also available.
Hoshizora no Memoria is about Kogasaka You (from here on out, I will call him Kogayou to avoid confusing his name with the English pronoun), who returns to his hometown with his sister Chinami after moving to the city for seven years. The reason he moves back is because his mom died, so he has to live with his aunt. But he has a goal after moving back. Seven years ago, when he moved out of his hometown, he made a promise with a girl to meet again. They used to spend much time watching the stars at the observation platform in town. The problem is, Kogayou doesn’t know how to contact her. The only information he knows is her name and that they were supposed to meet again at the observation platform.
Armed with only this knowledge, Kogayou’s only choice is to go to the observation platform, where he meets a girl who looks just like the girl from his past… except the girl is the about the same age as the girl he knew in the past. The girl calls herself Mare and claims to be a shinigami who gets rid of nightmares.
Mare claims to have been waiting for Kogayou for a long time. She says her duty is to get rid of Kogayou’s nightmare, and she claims his nightmare is the girl from the past. Mare uses her power to make Kogayou forget the name of the girl from the past. With even less information than before, Kogayou has no choice but to live a more normal student life while trying to remember the girl’s name. He joins the Astronomy Club and continues to watch stars while trying to figure out who Mare is and how he’ll find the girl from the past again.
Not a completely faceless character, but you also don’t see his face a lot. Kogayou is a pretty likable guy, unlike many protagonists. He’s not a wimp. He’s not indecisive. He’s pretty much a normal guy that’s searching for his lost first love. Being a smart and dependable guy, you can see why some girls would fall for him, unlike some guys in other romances…
Mare S. Ephemeral
As mentioned before, Mare is a shinigami that gets rid of people’s nightmares. She’s also a nightmare herself because she’s pretty much the epitome of disobedient. Mare likes to disagree with or refuse to do anything anybody asks her to do. But she’ll usually do it anyway, so she’s not a bad person. She often gets mad at Kogayou and hits him with the handle of her scythe, just like a typical tsundere.
“May I slash this girl?”
She likes slashing people.
Mare is one of my favorite characters in the game, but that’s not too much of a surprise. Tsundere <3.
Komomo is part of the student council, and she’s a serious person who always works really hard. She’s opposed to the Astronomy Club because she hates stars, but her twin sister Kosame is in the Astronomy Club, so she gets a lot of yuri resistance. Komomo is another tsundere, but she’s not the same as Mare. She’s more the typical kind of tsundere, the type that gets angry easily. For some reason, she also seems to hate her own name.
“If you ask, I’ll kick you!”
Like most tsundere, she’s violent. In a cute way.
Komomo’s path is about her having bad dreams and her ability to face the past. She always has a dream about her falling through a red sky until she hits the ground and dies. Since she thinks this means she’s already dead, her path is about overcoming death. Always facing problems on her own, she finally realizes she needs someone to rely on, and that of course turns out to be Kogayou, which is actually her nickname for him. There’s a lot of deliberate confusion in her path, but her path explains a lot of things about the town and other people.
Komomo is my other favorite character for the same obvious reasons. I think she turns the right amount of dere once you get on her path. Girls who become too dere aren’t attractive to me anymore. Speaking of tsundere…
This is how you pronounce tsundere. Sooo many people get it wrong. Next up on my to do list: yaoi (almost nobody pronounces it correctly…)
If you’ve played Family Project, you can think of Isuzu as pretty much being the Aoba equivalent — a girl with a poisonous tongue who turns extremely dereでれ later on. Isuzu is Kogayou and Chinami’s neighbor, and they usually end up going to school together since they leave at the same time, much to the dismay of Isuzu. She can probably be classified as another type of tsundere (notice a trend?). Like Mare, she’s usually uncooperative.
“You should die.”
She says stuff like this with ease. Ice queen bitch.
“It’s tsurupeta fortune telling.”
Isuzu’s path is about her learning how to get close to people again. In the beginning of the game, she doesn’t want anything to do with others because she’s actively trying to distance herself, but that distance gradually breaks down. Blah blah blah, cliche cliche cliche. Her story isn’t remarkable. Unlike m3rry, she’s not the type of tsundere that I like. Speaking of which, there needs to be a good article about tsundere. Maybe I’ll write one.
Komomo’s younger sister, Kosame is pretty much the opposite of her older sister. Kosame is pretty much always nice, supportive and polite but not deredere. Most people probably wouldn’t dislike her. Her frequent yuri actions makes me think she’s actually bi.
“Penetration is a bit hard, but I can make you feel good and at the end…”
Daaaamn. Kogayou needs to get them in a threesome.
Kosame’s path is closely related to Komomo’s path, and you can’t play it without finishing Komomo’s, so I probably shouldn’t ruin anything.
Now we’ve reached the genki characters. In my opinion, Asuho is the main regular character as much of the story revolves around her. Asuho is the class president and vice president of the Astronomy Club. When she was a kid, she knew and liked Kogayou, but Kogayou doesn’t remember her since he was anti-social. She works in a cafe that her father owns and she makes Kogayou work with her through her sheer positiveness. So she’s one of those kinds of people (whom Micchi apparently likes). While she’s the most supportive of Kogayou finding his childhood love, she’s also the one most jealous of it.
Since Asuho and Komomo are pretty much polar opposites in everything, they argue. A lot. Komomo likes to threaten to dissolve the club and Asuho can’t do anything but complain. She really loves stargazing and is probably the most enthusiastic member of the club.
Probably the most romance focused path out of the regular girls, Asuho’s path is mainly about her trying to decide whether or not she has the right to go out with Kogayou since hs has the childhood girl. There’s also some family stuff, but it’s pretty unremarkable.
Kogayou’s younger sister, also known to me as the annoying fucker who should shut up. As another girl in the genki group, she easily trumps Asuho in energy and annoyingness.
You’ll hear this about a million times. I want to smack her.
Other outstanding characteristics of hers is that she can’t cook and she’s obsessed with aliens. As expected from her, she tries too hard to get close to people, so she annoys Isuzu a lot. She obviously is a bracon. She keeps observational diaries of her brother for fuck’s sake.
Another example of her never-ending annoying machine gun speak. I don’t even have the energy to translate it.
“I hate you cause you’re noisy.”
Mare says what we all think.
Chinami’s path is mainly about family. Their family has a lot of problems in the past, but Chinami and Kogayou also have to accept their aunt Shino as family. I didn’t really care enough about her to remember much of the path. Also, I’m not going to tell you if she’s blood-related or not.
Route rankings (excluding the true path): Mare > Komomo > Kosame > Asuho > Isuzu > Chinami
It’s SO refreshing to play a modern game after Family Project and Cross Channel.
As you can see, the history screen easily beats those two previous games. Pictures, full screen, and easy (and existent) voice playback!
There’s really not much else to say about the engine. It’s nothing special. The animations are pretty decent. The game autosaves each game day and at each decision point, but it seemed to overwrite my manual saves, which was annoying. I think it somehow got bugged because it didn’t do that in the beginning.
This game definitely isn’t one you should get for sex. Some of the sex scenes seem forced in there to meet requirements. Speaking of requirements, all the regular girls have exactly the same types of scene scenes. Two intercourse (one ejaculating outside, one inside) and one blowjob scene. Checklist, anyone?
On a note related to art, the consistency isn’t very good. The artist obviously changes in the later parts of the game. Compare the above screenshot with shots of Komomo earlier. Her freaking eye color even changes pretty significantly.
Hoshizora no Memoria is a game about students overcoming their past, their nightmares. It’s a story about friends and family learning to rely on each other instead of doing things alone. There is also a lot of stuff about stars and people’s connection with them, things like eternity, existence, and birthplaces. The game can get depressing in certain paths as characters make sacrifices, break down, or reveal their past. If you’re looking for a happy game, you’re looking at the wrong game.
The normal paths vary significantly in quality. The true path easily trumps the rest since it’s the one that deliberately plays with your emotions the most. Unlike some other games, the true path isn’t very dependent on the other paths, though you still need to do all of them (excluding Mare’s) to get the true path. It’s more about getting to know the characters and their backgrounds. Mare’s path can only be gotten after you finish the true path, which I think is the wrong order.
One more thing to note about paths is that the common route is extremely long. The character routes (again, not including the true path) are much shorter in comparison and can feel lacking in length.
Also unlike the other games I’ve recently played, the characters in this game are more likable to me. They’re not the most memorable characters, but they’re pretty easy to sympathize with. Of course, having multiple tsundere probably helped. 😀
If you’re looking for romance, this game might not be for you since romance isn’t the focus of most of the game, but if you want a solid drama, this is a good choice.
Now excuse me while I get a telescope. And move out of the city.
My scale will probably be a lot different from most other people’s scale. My scores will be from 1 to 5, integer only. I don’t understand why people need to use a 10 point (or shit, a 100 point) scale. Do you really care about the difference between a game that gets a 3 or a 4 out of 10? Can you really tell me the difference between a 8.5 and an 8.6? Decimals are usually assigned purely on a whim. My score also is based on the overall game. My enjoyment of the game is the primary deciding factor. No subscores are given.
I also give games scores based on what they’re trying to be. For example, I won’t ding a slice of life game for not having an epic story. It’s simply not what the game is supposed to be.
The meaning of my scores and their rough equivalent in a 1-10 scale.
5 – Excellent. Must play (9-10)
4 – Good. Play if you’re a fan of the genre (8)
3 – Average. Play if something about the game really attracts you. (7)
2 – Below average. Only play if there’s something about the game that really really interests you. You need to have a die hard fetish for it or something to make it worthwhile. (6)
1 – Crap. Avoid no matter what. (1-5)