Saturday, April 24, 2021

MAMIYA -Visual novel review


 MAMIYA is a visual novel centered around dark and tense psychological themes. It deals with things related to abuse, self-harm, and gender identity. I'll try to keep this review spoiler-free, but I'll tell you now that I really enjoyed the story. Click 'read more' to get my full thoughts on the game. MAMIYA will be available on Steam starting April 30th, 2021.



Plot




This mysterious click adventure's story has a unique take on the psychological impact on one's mental health. The death of a boy named Natsume devastates not only his own family, but even strangers unaware of his demise. Each chapter reveals how everyone is affected by tragedy, even if indirectly. The game's title, Mamiya, is named after a mysterious antagonist who arrives shortly after Natsume's death. The actions of Mamiya decide the fate of each character, whether good or bad.

Most of the characters in the story are teenagers in high school. It gave me a teen angst vibe, reminding me of my own memories in school. The game impressed me with how relatable it was to my time in school and I can easily see an older audience feeling the same way. 

As depressing as it may seem, the game has a good balance of humor along with the serious tone it presents. I also liked how you can choose the progression of the story by selecting which character you want to experience next.

The decisions on who and what you do will unravel different pieces of the story at separate times depending on you. All engaging and will have you intertwining everyone's stories. Truly intriguing! I don’t won't you to think it's all depressing and dark throughout. This game has a good balance between slice of life humor moment's among the character as well as heart wrenching moments that will get you involved in these characters. I love the choice to explore the character I'm most interested in first as well. Or o summarize, your decisions will change the outcome. Overall the stories and the exploration of mental health really gripped me in this visual novel.  

Gameplay


I believed that the world... 
was filled with mystery and wonder. 
SAVE 
LOAD 
AUTO 
SKIP 
LOG


The gameplay is pretty standard for a visual novel I'd say. As you play along to the story. You'll have options to auto read and or skip. Also screenshots, among others. Which comes in handy in this game. You often have to reply a scene and it's nice to be able to skip or auto read for you if you forget to save. Saving will help speed things up some. There are multiple ending's you get to reveal. So it can be lengthy depending on how much time you take to process all the information. Definitely worth taking your time. Overall pretty standard gameplay you’d expect a visual novel to have. 

SAVE 

LOAD 

AUTO 

SKIP 

LOG 

Music/Artwork




   MAMIYA's artwork and music are some of my favorite experiences in the game. The artwork is styled in anime fashion with a smooth charming finish. They don’t always show the big detailed art pieces, but when they do, I feel ungrateful for wanting more. These are magnificent and fit the time they show up. Usually, during important and emotional moments. So you will appreciate it even more. However, I do find myself slightly bored with the normal backgrounds at times. Though usually there is a lot of dialogue during these times so it is not a big problem overall. The art does an amazing job at showing its world and characters. So ten out of ten for me.  

  Now the music is everchanging throughout the story. It seems each location or even character has its own music. Or, at least it feels that way when playing and it fits well with the moments. This music really gets you in the mood its portraying in those scenes. I often found myself just either rocking to it or mesmerized by the emotion it brought out in me. The opening song is a complete banger by my standard that is. I advise you to use headphones for the best experience.   

  However, I warn you may want to mess with the sound settings or turn it down some. My only complaint to this game is specifically the sound effects. The walking, running, slamming, and rain effects are extremely loud. The sounds aren't super high quality per say, they get the job done but with how loud and random they appear it sort of jump scares you. I appreciate most of them but I did want them to go away sometimes. Not game breaking. This game makes up for it with everything else. Just keep that in mind folks.  

Final Thoughts


MAMIYA is a dark psychological tale. The stories you unravel of the characters are the true gems here, and will keep you coming back to get the desirable outcome. Music and art are somber and yet captivating. Fitting for this game. If you are interested in dark and psychological themes, this game will satisfy you. If not then you might find a new genre or might even help understand loved ones a bit more. My overall rating if we are using numbers would be 8/10 .

If you are interested then keep an eye out April 30th for MAMIYA to hit steam stores and give this dark adventure a try. 

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