Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER – PS5 Review

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is a point and click visual novel from developer MidBoss and publisher Chorus Worldwide. It’s a sequel to 2017’s 2064: Read Only Memories that our man Steven reviewed way back when. Unlike the two-year delay between the PC and PS4 versions, all versions of Neurodiver released simultaneously across all formats.

This reviewer didn’t play the original, we confess that visual novels aren’t really our thing. One notable review we did upset the weebs, to that we say add a point to our review if you’re interested in this sort of thing. If you’ve still got a problem with that, go pick fights on Reddit or something.

You play as newbie operative ES88 aka Luna who is an Esper, that is, a human with ESP powers. These are latent and allow her to pick up background chatter, at least that’s what the plot says. Practically you’ll go into peoples memories as a sorta psychic detective, not to be confused with the thirty-year old game of the same name.

The titular Neurodiver is a mulligan of sorts that acts as an amplifier to allow a memory dive to someone afflicted with amnesia. You’ll find objects to allow you to repair fragmented memories. This mechanic is fairly well implemented, though we found ourselves running into problems during the third chapter when we missed a critical object to progress the story. ROM:N could make these objects slightly more obvious if you’re intended to pick them up.

As you progress further, you’ll have memories that have three slots to match with the respective clues, so you’ll have to systematically go through the clues you have to descramble the muddled memories.

The plot is fairly well written with well done voice acting. In common with 2064: Read Only Memories, the devs are very much pro-LGBTQ+, with appropriate pronouns to match. Those people who veer to the right politically are likely to roll their eyes. Anyone else with a brain that’s willing to not swallow Telegraph and Daily Mail culture wars nonsense will be nonplussed.

If you’re LGBTQ+, these are your people. Additionally, ES88’s companion/bodyguard Gate spends much of the game trying to hit on her, it’s all very earnest and blushingly done.

Despite our misgivings and aversion to VNs on the whole, we largely enjoyed our time with ROM:ND. This is very much a game about identity with no small amount of allegory to the current TERF nonsense that’s going on. Live and let live we say, don’t be a bigot.

In conclusion, Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a well-done visual novel that follows on from the prior game, though it doesn’t need you to to have played 2064: Read Only Memories. There are a few shoutouts to the prior game, but nothing that will affect your enjoyment otherwise.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver
7 Overall
+ Well done voice acting
+ Earnest plot
+ LGBTQ+ sympathetic to its core
- Not much here for those that aren’t fans of visual novels
- A little on the short side
- Some of the memory sequences can be a bit obtuse to unlock
Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a good VN that follows on from 2064: Read Only Memories, but worked just as well for us in isolation having not played the first game. As visual novels go, it is one of the better ones we played, due to the decent voice acting and well done plot. It’s not massively long, but that may come as welcome relief to the trophy hunters that want low hanging fruit.

About Ian

Ian likes his games weird. He loves his Vita even if Sony don't anymore. He joined the PS4 party relatively late, but has been in since day one on PS5.

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