Game Review - Song of Saya on PC

Written by VilkaTheWolf on April 28, 2020 @ 4:54 am

Song of Saya (Saya no Uta) is a visual novel, meaning there's not much in terms of 'gameplay', just clicking to continue. The story however is amazing, it focuses on Fuminori who has recently recovered from an experimental neurosurgery. Fuminori's perception of the world changes harshly, every he sees is a hellish landscape now. Even his friends appear to him as Lovecraftian horrors, until he meets Saya. An angel-like being who appears as human to Fuminori, from the very start when Saya is introduced you can tell there's something unnatural about her as the genius composers from Zizz Studio make her theme a very unsettling but beautiful piece I couldn't help but be unnerved by it. The game focuses on their relationship (even explicit aspects).

Fuminori also cannot stomach his food anymore as his tastebuds are also affect by his 'curse', eventually he finds Saya eating something and joins her. It's sweet and he can eat it, (this is where the story starts getting messed up, it turns out that Saya eats people...so does Fuminori now.) That person they're eating? That was Omi, one of Fuminori old friends who he now saw as a monster. Omi's boyfriend Koji begins investigating her disappearance and acts as a secondary protagonist. During Koji's investigation he meets Ryoko, Fuminori doctor who is investigating Saya.

My usual VN experience involves me skipping text a lot because I read so fast, but as this VN is fully voiced (in Japanese only) I found myself reading the text and then listening to the voices and it really adds to the experience, especially in hard-hitting scenes where you can really feel the fear in the voices.

Playing the Steam version of Song of Saya I was disappointed in the amount of censorship, as there were a couple of pivotal scenes that when skipped downplay a side character's torture and transformation. I did however find footage of the uncensored scenes elsewhere online, there is a very explicit r*pe scene that I could have done without.

By the VN's turning point Saya is revealed to be of extraterrestrial origin. The game offers three endings, that are all easy enough to get. At two points in the game the player is offered a choice, depending on what is chosen will affect the ending.


---SPOILERS---
Ending A: Saya cures Fuminori's hellish sight and he his arrested and charged with the murders and dismemberment of Omi and others. Pleading insanity he is placed in a mental institution for the rest of his life. Saya visits him once but does not show her face as her true monstrous form would be revealed to Fuminori, exchanging farewells and "I love you"s Saya leaves.

Ending B: While investigating Fuminori's house Koh finds Omi's remains and calls Ryoko and they formulate a plan to end Fuminori and Saya. Confronting Fuminori, Koh is attacked. Fighting them off, Ryoko comes to rescue and kills Saya but dies in the process. Fuminori, distraught at Saya's death kills himself. Koji, the lone survivor is never the same and from then on suffers from visual hallucinations of his own in the forms of Ryoko, Fuminori and his other dead friends.

Ending C: While investigating Fuminori's house Koji finds Omi's remains and calls Fuminori. Koh goes to confront Fuminori alone and his immediately killed. Saya then 'blooms' and her purpose is to pollinate the Earth is revealed turning everyone into Lovecraftian horror-beings like herself. Sometime later Ryoko is transforming, and admits defeat before accepting her fate.

Now for me, Ending A is my least favourite and seems like a cop out, being the easy way out. Fuminori is institutionalised and Saya is never seen again. The end.

Ending C is next, it seems to be the 'bad end' for all of humanity but the 'good end' for Saya who having experienced true love blooms and spreads her spores across the Earth, just bad luck for everyone else on Earth who now gets transformed into monsters.

Ending B is by far the best. Technically considered a 'good end' because Saya's pollination attempt is thwarted, both her and Fuminori die and the world is saved, but the good guys are never really the same from the experience, Ryoko being dead and Koji constantly suffering from hallucinations afterwards.

To get all three endings I just saved at the choice points and loaded back to them to replay them. All-in-all it took me 5hrs to experience everything and definitely enjoyed it a recommend it to players 18+.

Gameplay Rating: 5
Story Rating: 10
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 8
Sound Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 10

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Game Information

Alternative Titles
The Song of Saya, Saya no Uta, 沙耶の唄
Platform
PC
Developer(s)
Nitroplus
Publisher(s)
Nitroplus, Jast
Genre(s)
Horror, Visual Novel
NA Release Date
May 6, 2013
JP Release Date
December 26, 2003
EUR Release Date
May 6, 2013
AUS Release Date
May 6, 2013
MVGL User Score
7.9
Composer
Yuu Ohyama, Jinbo Shintarou, Isoe Toshimichi, Kawagoe Yoshihiro
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