What’s in the Box: Song of Memories – Encore Edition

Is it Limited Edition time again? Why yes, yes it is!

I actually wasn’t expecting this one quite so soon; Song of Memories has been delayed so much from its originally anticipated release date that I was very surprised to get a shipping notification the other day, and find it showing up on my doorstep a day later. Still, I’m not complaining!

Song of Memories’ limited edition, known as the Encore Edition, is an exclusive to Funstock subsidiary Rice Digital, who have partnered with publisher and localiser PQube on a number of previous titles. Let’s take a closer look.

According to Idea Factory International, Sony Europe recently implemented a policy where when it comes to limited editions of games, the actual game itself must be shipped outside of the box that contains all the other goodies. I have no idea why, but Rice Digital and PQube have used this format for a few previous games, including Valkyrie Drive Bhikkuni for Vita.

What you essentially end up with is the game itself ready to put on your shelf, and then a box of additional goodies to go separately. Since I tend to take my games out of their LE boxes and put them on the shelf for easy access anyway, this isn’t a huge issue for me.

So here’s the game box itself. This was originally slated to come out on Switch as well as PS4, but the developer cancelled both the Japanese and localised versions of the Switch port a while back. Apparently it simply wasn’t up to snuff, which is fair enough; no-one wants an inferior product.

One may question how you mess up porting a visual novel, but it seems that Song of Memories is a pretty sprawling game in a variety of ways, and it also incorporates rhythm action segments. While specific details haven’t been forthcoming, I suspect performance and/or timing in these latter elements proved to be too troublesome for the port, which is a bit of a shame. But at least we still have it.

Here’s the back of the case, featuring multilingual blurb and giving a few hints about what to expect from the game. I don’t know a lot about this game, but the concept sounded intriguing; from what I understand, it starts as your fairly conventional sort of high-school drama visual novel with all the obligatory romancing of cute girls, then halfway through the apocalypse happens and you’re fighting demonic monsters from beyond time and space with the power of music or something. I don’t know specifics right now… count on there being an extensive Cover Game feature on this later in the year, though.

Rated 16+ for Sex. PQube claims that Sony didn’t get its mitts into the content of this one, so what we have here in the West should be the same as what Japan had. And indeed what Japan had shouldn’t be festooned with the dreaded Holy Beams of Light. We shall see, I guess!

If you like discs, Song of Memories sure has one, sporting all the main heroines in varying states of cuteness. There’s no manual, but there is a promotional leaflet highlighting some of PQube’s other releases. Evidently this was printed quite a long time ago, because…

…well, it promotes Song of Memories as coming in “spring 2018”, which it most certainly is not any more, and also lists Punch Line (also on the Cover Game list) as coming in “summer 2018”, which it also most certainly is not any more. Punch Line did at least come out on time, however.

Also, please pour out a stiff drink and mourn the fallen. Sob. Omega Labyrinth Z, we never knew ya, but we sure hoped for the chance to love ya.

Right, enough dicking around with PS4 cases, onto the goodies. Here’s the box that contains said goodies, lovingly shrink-wrapped and adorned with one of the heroines whose name I don’t yet know, but who I’m sure I’ll get to know very well in the near future.

Here’s the backside of the box, for those of you who are “hometown” types. Subtle but pretty. I always like when the underside of these boxes isn’t just plain white, even if there’s not a lot to look at there.

All right, enough, let me in and, my goodness me, what on Earth is going on here?!

Well. That’s certainly one way to make a first impression, isn’t it? I… well, maybe we should take a closer look.

Yep. Yep. She’s certainly spilled cream/frosting/spunk (probably not spunk) all over herself and her massive tits. This is a “screen cleaner”, if you were wondering — probably would have been more useful for the cancelled Switch version, but since it’s printed on nice cloth you could actually frame or mount it and use it as a piece of art if you so desired.

There’s two of these in there, both erring on the side of “lewd”, which is absolutely 100% fine with me. I’m not sure quite how lewd the game gets — though obviously being a console game there’s not going to be any full-on bonking in it — but, well, these certainly set a few expectations.

Whew. Let’s calm down a bit, shall we? Here’s the gatefold cardboard sleeve that houses the soundtrack. There are four CDs! This is probably the most substantial soundtrack collection I’ve seen in one of these editions, and I love the gatefold case.

Look at it! So lovely. I’m looking forward to giving these a listen; each one is “themed” — the first contains theme songs, the second battle songs, and the third and fourth other background music from throughout the game.

Here’s a track listing for those curious. This is disc 1 and 2. It seems there’s a decent amount of music on each disk; they’re not just split up for the sake of it. There do seem to be a few repeated tracksfor some reason — disc 1 has two tracks called “Song of Memories”, and disc 2 has six tracks called “get well”. Presumably these are different mixes or versions of similar songs.

Here’s the listing for discs 3 and 4. It seems we’ve got a character theme leitmotiv thing going on, which is cool with me — a signficant part of a visual novel’s appeal to me is having a good soundtrack, the individual components of which I can come to associate with the characters involved.

Besides the CD, we have this… penguin thing, which is a phone charm. I’ll likely dangle it off something in my living room as a decoration rather than actually using it as a phone charm — at least partly because your average smartphone these days doesn’t really have anywhere to hang a phone charm!

And then finally, the art book, which is a lovely large, glossy affair, adorned with the key art on the front cover. What could be within?

Spoilers, apparently. Uh-oh! Consider yourself warned. I made a point of not actually reading any of the text while I took the subsequent photos.

The book opens with some four-page character profiles for all the major players. The first two pages show their various bust shots and full-body sprites, as well as providing some basic biographical information.

The second pair of pages for each character incorporates a “monster” design — not sure of the context of that, but presumably something to do with the “apocalypse” chapter — as well as a selection of event CGs and a comment from the voice actor.

The protagonist (who is voiced, from the look of things) only gets a single page to himself. Because who wants to look at icky boys, after all? Alternatively, it may simply be that because the story unfolds from the protagonist’s perspective, you simply tend not to see him much because you’re looking out through his eyes.

Then we’ve got some lovely high-quality prints of the main key art for the game, incorporating both of its “sides”. I’d have loved these as glossy art cards to frame.

And finally we close off with some commentary from the developers of the game, explaining where the various concepts and designs came from, and what they were aiming for with the overall experience. I’ll be delving deeper into these comments when I cover the game itself in detail later this year.

And that’s Song of Memories! My interest is most certainly piqued, and I’m looking forward to checking this out a month or two down the road from where we are now. Please look forward to it!

More about Song of Memories

Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve been writing about games in one form or another since the days of the old Atari computers, with work published in Page 6/New Atari User, PC Zone, the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, GamePro, IGN, USgamer, Glixel and more over the years, and I love what I do.

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