Name: Princess Memory (84.29% in 7 votes)
Company: Cocktail Soft
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: Lamuness
Let's see...it has been at least one and a half year since the infamous Cocktail Soft went totally silent. Since around fall 1998's With You, Cocktail Soft hasn't make a single "new" game since, due to the fact that their trump card artists Misato Mitsumi, Maduyu Tatsuki, and Charm left F&C and went to Leaf instead. All Cocktail Soft was able to do is make WithYou Toybox which is merely a supplement to With You, as well as remakes and console game ports of their old famous games. It is evident that Cocktail Soft has to start from scratch again, and Princess Memory is their first attempt to regain their status in the Hgame industry.
The setting of the game is a place where it's always sunshine and no night/darkness. In this world there is a small peaceful village where people live quite happily, except for one concern and that is a nearby cave with monsters living in it. Although the monsters never invade the village and vice versa, the villagers are still worried. You are a orphan who is raised together with 2 siblings, Sarian and Porny (yup no spelling error, at first I thought it was Bonnie but I guess I was wrong) who is now running the village inn. One day you are asked to investigate the cave for monsters. However at the entrance you see a emotionless girl standing along idle. You pulled her back to the inn but she didn't say a word. The 3 of you decide to give her a temporary name - Fielia. This is where the game begins with you investigating deeper and deeper in the dungeon, bring back treasures in the cave that might trigger Fielia into regaining her memory and feelings.
The game is a dungeon exploration RPG but is yet another example of a Shiren-engine dupe. What? You don't know what Shiren is? Shiren is a dungeon exploration RPG back in the gameboy and SFC days. Many games (too many actually) followed the exact same engine including Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon series, Desert Time, Farland Odyssey, and Phantom Knight. I personally have no idea why Japanese people like this engine so much....This type of engine involves random generated dungeon maps and treasure boxes and traps scattered randomly by computer. Although you walk around in a grid like the old Zelda series, it's turn based in that u attack/move once and the enemies attack/move once. This frankly makes the game much much less challenging compared to Dvine [LUV] and make it a bit boring. What's worse in PM is that it uses the Shiren engine but much simplified. There are a total or only 20 or so floors and each floor layout is rather simple. Plus the fact that you cannot attack diagonally unlike the other Shiren engine games makes gameplay more simple and boring.
However, one nice thing about PM is that it uses for the first time pre-rendered backgrounds and sprites. Enemies are pretty cute and alpha effects are generally done pretty nicely. CGs. Since Cocktail Soft's trump card artists are gone, they have to hire 2 new guys to do the character designs etc. They are generally pretty nice (above average) but it still cannot match the godly and insane artwork by Misato Mitsumi, Maduyu Tatsuki, and Charm. However, the fatal problem with PM is that there are only THREE girls you can "capture" which dramatically kills the life span of the game. Three girls are definitely not enough for an Hgame these days, and adding to that the fact that PM has very very little events for each girl makes the game more boring and uninteresting. Music are nice, better than Romance wa Ken no Kagayaki 2, but the sound effects although the ones they have are nice, lack variety. Luckily what F&C didn't lose is Doors' excellent voice acting staff, which makes the game not too bad. Like other recent F&C games, once you finish the game you can access to F&C's special website for a wallpaper present. However, this time the wallpapers look rather plain...
Overall, I can't say Princess Memory is a good RPG since it's just another duplicate of the many Shiren engine RPGs (which means a lack of originality in gameplay). The game is too short with lack of events and too little girls. In general, one should only think of PM as a "small" game which might only take up little of your time playing. However, when reading this one should give mercy to Cocktail Soft for the efforts in attempting to start from scratch. Hopefully Cocktail Soft's upcoming games including Can Can Bunny 6 I-mail and Pia Carrot e Youkoso! 3 will give the company a helping hand.
PROS: Nice graphics, good 3d pre-rendered graphics, good music and voice acting.
CONS: Game too short, lack originality, too little events, too little girls = not too attractive.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO: Absolute die-hard Cocktail Soft loyalists, people who like Shiren-engine RPGs, people who want a short RPG to play temporarily.
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