Anima: Gate of Memories (PlayStation 4) Review

By Eric Ace 01.07.2016

Review for Anima: Gate of Memories on PlayStation 4

Anima: Gate of Memories, developed by Anima Project, is an action-RPG that focuses on exploration in a dark, mysterious world. It is a tale of two characters unwillingly bound together as they discovered why the world is falling apart. Most of it revolves around exploring various locales of people's memories, and slowly learning the story that ties it all together. There are some basic RPG elements, a serviceable combat system and a story that has much depth to it.

Anima: Gate of Memories is nearly in the exact same vein as the Drakengard games, which is either a good thing or a bad thing. This means it is generally a button-masher, lots of running around, and a dark story rarely seen in gaming. It primarily differs in that there is a large element of exploration, and there is a level of customization allowed other games like this generally lack. There are elements that remind the player this is not a big budget product that serve to drag it down somewhat, but overall it offers a decent package for people wanting this specific type of game, though those eager for a regular RPG may find some elements to be off-putting.

Screenshot for Anima: Gate of Memories on PlayStation 4

The story literally follows a 'Nameless' girl who lost part of herself when she made a pact with a demon book named Ergo. The story is told in a very slow, open-ended way that can be commended for its subtlety, even if other aspects of the dialogue often come across ham fisted. There is a grand sweeping story involving ancient churches, apocalypses, and the world ending, but all told in slow ways of learning about this person or that person, and how it all ties together. Arguably, the main character leaves the most to be desired, because, even though she talks, she mostly bumbles her way through the story showing little initiative, drive, or curiosity, for the large world set out for her.

The game is set in a large generally open world hub that the player can go into various 'memories,' which are different mini-worlds such as grassy fields of a kid gone bad, or a creepy puppet mansion. Within these small worlds it's possible to explore around, fight, and ultimately collect enough memories of the person, so that they can be "resurrected," in order to talk with and fight them. It's a formula that works in general, as there is enough linearity to not be lost, but it's also fairly open for the player to do what he or she wants to.

Screenshot for Anima: Gate of Memories on PlayStation 4

Combat is both the strength, as well as the most aggravating thing in here. Compared to others of its type, there are far more combos, moves, tactics and other things that can be used. Compound this with a skill tree the player can decide on how to unlock new moves, there is a level of customization others in the genre lack. However, this can get very hard, and often these elaborate combos are simply traded for dodging until a quick poke over and over, reducing any complex or flashy gameplay to hit-and-runs with the basic moves. The game can become frustrating incredibly quick, with very tight platforming that has to be done, with a single mistake sent back to the beginning, or enemies that will attack at the right rhythm to nearly stun-lock the character into death.

There are other issues such as a really shocking moment of having conversation scenes with the characters not moving, literally frozen 'action shots' of which there is dialogue over it, before switching to a new 'action shot' and more talking, (I thought the game was glitched the first time it happened). Other inconsistencies, for example, is the cover art of this title, which looks very much like a man instead of the feminine character you actually play as.

Screenshot for Anima: Gate of Memories on PlayStation 4

The biggest pros are by far the different worlds and the slow uncovering of a long story. There is some banter between the girl and the demon she is bound too, but she comes off far too flat for the banter to work, and it feels like a one man show that makes even his lines not so good. The interaction between them offer a large amount of potential development but in the end most of this is squandered and the main girl feels ultimately as faceless as she is nameless.

Going in, it is clear this is not a flawless game, or even close to it. It does have some heart, and excluding the somewhat frequent flaws of precise platforming with loose controls or randomly destroyed by bosses or mobs, it is decent for those drawn to its type. There are elements that are jarring or feel massively out of place for what feels like cheap/underdeveloped aspects but overall, Anima: Gate of Memories is decently well done for an unknown studio.

Screenshot for Anima: Gate of Memories on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Anima: Gate of Memories is going to appeal to those who enjoy dark action-RPGs, as it has many of the necessities, along with some improvements that make it comparable within the genre. It's tainted because there are many inconsistencies between quality throughout it, which are notable and many times hard to forgive, and which drag the game down. In the end, the best parts of the game are the exploration and the story, and while the battle system is okay (if not randomly frustrating at times), it often is simply getting in the way of the better parts of the package.

Developer

Anima Project

Publisher

BadLand Games

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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