Trace Memory DS

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
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  1. Sep 28, 2015
    6
    I actually wanted to like this game. But really? The User score is based on emotion. I played this game after adventures such as 999, Virtues Last Reward, Hotel Dusk, Ghost Trick and some Ace Attorney games. Compared to them, this is bland.

    The premise was what made me want to play the game despite the bad reviews. I played Theresia, and I liked that. Why not this? This was not like
    I actually wanted to like this game. But really? The User score is based on emotion. I played this game after adventures such as 999, Virtues Last Reward, Hotel Dusk, Ghost Trick and some Ace Attorney games. Compared to them, this is bland.

    The premise was what made me want to play the game despite the bad reviews. I played Theresia, and I liked that. Why not this? This was not like Theresia, or any other good adventure game.

    It starts off with little Ashley. She has a constant blush, and makes a cute pouting face. She's confused, hurt and mad. She's found out that her Auntie Jessica has lied to her all of her life. She was under the impression her father was dead, and Jessica reinforced that impression. But daddy was alive. She'd been sent a letter and a strange device very reminiscent of a DS console, telling her to come to an Island where he has been all of her life.
    She also remembers what happened when she was 3. Her mother was murdered right in front of her, and she doesn't know why, or whom by. She is of the belief that she very well may be alive too, despite knowing better.
    Jessica goes off to see where her brother is when nobody is there to meet them, and she doesn't come back. The captain of the boat can't stick around and is ready to sail off after giving little Ashley some candy. So, Ashley is stuck all alone on the Island, perusing it's history and it's secrets, whilst trying to piece together her past.

    Sounds alright, eh? However, between the answer to her personal turmoil and 5 hour adventure is a whole lot of backstory about the island and it's resident ghost boy. I found all of that uninspiring. Lots of talk about Trace, and memories, and blah blah blah. None of it had any depth. Any substance. I found myself getting bored and going 'whatever'.
    All of the intense set-up is generally thrown away. I won't spoil what happens in the mansion, but despite the grim backstory, the rest of the game is pretty light.

    There's a ton of puzzles. Some are fun, some are very annoying. They all utilize the DS's capabilities well in it's early life. The exploration is bland, however, and the game is very linear. Some items can't be picked up until they are needed, D is an annoying fool and... and... ugh.

    It's very boring and uninspiring after you get over the premise is what I'm trying to say. Nothing seems to happen for the majority of the game except for learning backstory that you couldn't possibly care less about. If it was an Island with a gloomy past, I might get that. But it wasn't.

    So, yeah, I was disappointed.
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  2. Jun 20, 2013
    5
    The plot is interesting, the art is good, and the characters are fairly good, if a little unmemorable. My main issue with this game is that it seems to have had a lot more cut scenes and dialogue than actual game play, and, the game play can get VERY difficult, so, it's not a good game for players who aren't very good at puzzles. It felt much more like a novel or graphic novel than a game.
  3. Apr 30, 2012
    4
    Plays more like a tech demo than an actual game. Utterly bland on almost every single account - avoid like a plague! Oh, and if you ever want to show off the DS features to your friends, there are still much better games out there (like WarioWare).
  4. Jun 9, 2011
    6
    I can't say I hate this game or even dislike it, but I really can't get into it. I'm sure there's something greater there, but I personally am not too fond of it. I generally like slower games where you have to really think about everything and take your time with certain things, but something about this already seems extremely predictable and unenjoyable. But that's only my personalI can't say I hate this game or even dislike it, but I really can't get into it. I'm sure there's something greater there, but I personally am not too fond of it. I generally like slower games where you have to really think about everything and take your time with certain things, but something about this already seems extremely predictable and unenjoyable. But that's only my personal opinion. As for the visuals and the art - it is simply beautiful, but besides that I'm having trouble finding anything else about this game that's really worth while. Expand
  5. Jun 1, 2011
    6
    Not bad for a first year DS game, it uses the functions of the DS well. It's prequel, Hotel Dusk, improves upon the gameplay and story and is superior, but Trace Memory should be given a shot if you like adventure games. I will pick up Another Code R, Trace Memory's sequel... if it's ever released in North America..
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    10
    i'm more of a fps gamer, but this game holds a special place in my heart since it was the first adventure game i played... it's one of those underrated japanese games that i tend to ignore on gaming sites and magazines, but sometimes they can be worth the effort
  7. RobH.
    Sep 9, 2007
    9
    What a great little game. It's relatively short, but then again, the story rattles along at a fair pace of knots with brilliantly integrated (and ingenious) puzzles, unlike other longer adventure games that leave you stuck and frustrated for hours on end with illogical puzzles that have no connection to the plot. I should also mention that while the story is merely good, the What a great little game. It's relatively short, but then again, the story rattles along at a fair pace of knots with brilliantly integrated (and ingenious) puzzles, unlike other longer adventure games that leave you stuck and frustrated for hours on end with illogical puzzles that have no connection to the plot. I should also mention that while the story is merely good, the characterisation is superb. Expand
  8. CynthiaL.
    Oct 26, 2005
    9
    I like it a lot it was fun and cool..
  9. PaulScottodiP.
    Sep 26, 2005
    5
    It is true that this game is a pretty interesting, but please, tell NINTENDO to make a game that has a longer life. I finished this game in less than one week, and it's not really re-playable... I give it a 5, because a game that you finish that fast doesn't have a REAL potential... P.S.: I actually brought back my copy to the video game store I bought it at, and got my money It is true that this game is a pretty interesting, but please, tell NINTENDO to make a game that has a longer life. I finished this game in less than one week, and it's not really re-playable... I give it a 5, because a game that you finish that fast doesn't have a REAL potential... P.S.: I actually brought back my copy to the video game store I bought it at, and got my money back... A real STILL! Expand
  10. pablogallon
    Sep 10, 2005
    9
    i really want to have this game now. i want that the 26 of september arrive soon for me to buy this game in my country (colombia). exellent graphics for a ds game good use of mic and touch screen and a very sexy protagonist ( ashley who i want her to be real to fuck her everyday).
  11. OliverW.
    Sep 1, 2005
    9
    There could have been more puzzles and the story should have been longer, but sill a very enjoyable experience. Took me 7 hours to finish.
  12. Eldon
    Jul 12, 2005
    6
    Decent adventure, good story, and Ashley's über-cute but being able to complete the game in just four hours with little to none replay value doesn't warrant high marks. Great as long as it lasts but one afternoon for $40 is definitely a disappointment.
  13. Raya
    Jul 9, 2005
    9
    A very good point and click adventure. Slickly presented with varied puzzles and makes full use of the DS's abilities. Some of the puzzles aren't very obvious to solve and have wacky solutions such as half closing the lid of the ds to make prints from the top screen to the page displayed on the bottom! Once you realize that you have to use the whole ds to solve some you really A very good point and click adventure. Slickly presented with varied puzzles and makes full use of the DS's abilities. Some of the puzzles aren't very obvious to solve and have wacky solutions such as half closing the lid of the ds to make prints from the top screen to the page displayed on the bottom! Once you realize that you have to use the whole ds to solve some you really realize just how much thought went into this - it shows. Nintendo again has to show other developers the way to go let's hope the likes of Ubisoft and EA actually try and follow this lead rather than the poor quality rushed games they are releasing at the moment. Expand
  14. AzraelS.
    Jul 6, 2005
    10
    I vote this game with a 10, because here in germany it´s the not only the best adventure, but the very best game for the DS in whole germany (where i live). this game is very fantastic, buy it...NOW! Nice Greetings from Germany, Azrael
  15. PetteriK.
    Jul 4, 2005
    10
    This is a really good game. It is short but I enjoyed every second of the game. The puzzles really use all the features of the DS. I think that this game has at least two alternative endings, so you might want to play this through a second time. Tha art is great and the story is intresting, a bit boring in the beginning but when you have played for a while, you just don't want to put This is a really good game. It is short but I enjoyed every second of the game. The puzzles really use all the features of the DS. I think that this game has at least two alternative endings, so you might want to play this through a second time. Tha art is great and the story is intresting, a bit boring in the beginning but when you have played for a while, you just don't want to put the DS down. Really recommend to every adventure game fan, and for others too. A must buy for DS owners. Expand
  16. [Anonymous]
    Jun 30, 2005
    9
    Great Adventure! In my opinion the best Adventure for any console. Another Code uses EVERY feature the DS has and most even in a very unique way. No action and only little blood, but a great game!
  17. JonM.
    Jun 28, 2005
    10
    It's graphical excellence is overwhelming compared with most other DS offerings (and very similiar in style to N64's Zelda: Ocarina of Time's occasional stunning fixed camera backdrops). The story pulls you in and immerses you with great art direction and solvable but taxing puzzles. It is the adventure game the DS was built for - get this game - you won't regret it.
  18. Tim
    Jun 26, 2005
    9
    I have the english version, which came out on friday :D! This game is awesome!! its really involving, great graphics and music, really different and fun! the only thing i consider a con is that the controls can be a bit fiddly at times.
  19. KonradM.
    Jun 15, 2005
    10
    Best game ever, in true RPG style.
  20. Jun 1, 2011
    6
    Not bad for a first year DS game, it uses the functions of the DS well. It's prequel, Hotel Dusk, improves upon the gameplay and story and is superior, but Trace Memory should be given a shot if you like adventure games. I will pick up Another Code R, Trace Memory's sequel... if it's ever released in North America..

Awards & Rankings

#16 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
  1. 65
    Less avant-garde than "Indigo Prophecy," far less self-important than "Myst V," Trace Memory is the very definition of a safe, comfortable, middle-of-the-road experience.
  2. It's involved, it's long, it's original, and it represents another milestone in console gaming history - the first time that anyone has truly made a PC-style adventure game work on a handheld.
  3. If you’re not the biggest adventure fan in the world (like myself) then the various puzzles will often have you slamming the DS shut in frustration, but for some strange and unapparent reason I kept coming back for more.