Review of Remember11 -The Age of Infinity-
|Subject||Remember11 -The Age of Infinity-|
|By||Vote: 9.5phantom-zero-12 on 2021-02-22|
|Review||An extremely compelling sci-fi mystery story and the pinnacle of the Infinity series. Remember11 may not be as well known as Ever17, but I consider it a massive improvement over it's predeccesor (which was already excellent).|
Remember11's pacing is the best I have seen in a VN, perfectly balancing fast-paced action with long inner monologues about the mystery at hand. The game's route structure is completely different to the previous games. Instead of starting from a common route and branching out based on whatever character you are interacting with, Remember11 has two longer routes, with only one accesable from the start. These routes branch out into short, but important, bad endings. Remember11 has an incredibly large amount of bad endings, and while some of them are quick and uninteresting, there are quite a few that go more in-depth and add a lot to the experience.
The setting may not be as atmospheric as Ever17, but it works excellently in the context of the story. Remember11's main story gimmick is the body-swapping. Every few minutes, the two protagonists will exchange bodies. I'm not going to go very in-depth with this in order to avoid spoilers, but it basically means that Remember11 has two different settings, each very different from the other.
The cast are somewhat pushed to the wayside in favour of the core mystery, but they are still fleshed out enough to be memorable. Kokoro and Satoru are excellent protagonists, with Satoru being potentially my favourite VN protagonist ever. Yuni is another character that I loved, he acts very different depending on the situation he's in, but some of his lines are just excellent. Utsumi is well developed, and the rest of the cast (Yomogi, Hotori and Mayuzumi) unfortunatley go somewhat underdeveloped (although I still like Yomogi).
Visually Remember11 looks great, especially for a VN that released in 2004. The backgrounds aren't a massive improvement from Ever17, but the sprites certainly are. Not only are they more detailed, but they are also animated. Mouth movement, blinking, breathing in cold temperatures, and cigarette smoke are all animated and look excellent. Environemntal effects are also an improvement from previous games. Ever17 had 3D water in the Playstation 2 version, but unfortunatley that was cut from all other releases. Remember11's environmental snow effects are present in all versions of the game, and look very nice as well.
Soundtrack wise, Remember11 is, in my opinion, the best in the series (although if you count 12Riven, well then it's very close). It strikes a great balance between the catchy melodies of Never7's soundtrack, and the deep atmosphere of Ever17's. My personal favourite tracks are Animus, Fear and Insanity, Trickster, Scheme, Nucleus, Will Theme and both the opening (Little Prophet) and ending (Darkness of Chaos). The main theme, All or None, perfectly envokes the emotions of hopeless and sadness that the game is going for, unlike the previous main themes (Once More and Karma) which both featured some sense of beauty in an otherwise sad track, All or None has none of that, just hoplessness and emptiness, which works excellently for this kind of story.
Without getting into spoiler territory, I do think that Remember11's ending is a downgrade from Ever17's. However, it made me think about the story as a whole a lot after finishing it, and I don't just mean in the days after the end. I thought about the ending for weeks until I fully understood everything. Remember11 is a story that will challange the reader to think back over the entire thing and try and find their own answers. Sure, external resources do exist that try to provide some kind of definitive answer, and I would highly reccomend looking at those eventually, but a lot of the fun of Remember11 comes from the fact that, even after the story is over, the reader could spend hours trying to find answers within an already completed story.
Remember11 has my highest recommendation. If you don't mind having to do a bit of thinking yoursellf, it's an experience that deserves to be had. I hope you'll enjoy it.