Game: Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~
Developer: Idea Factory’s Otomate
Summary from Aksys: Restricted to an abandoned mansion on the outskirts of London in fulfillment of a promise to her father, lonely Cardia lives day to day isolated from the world. Her body carries a deadly poison that rots or melts anything her skin touches, prompting the locals to call her a “monster.” Her last conversation with her father two years ago, telling her to stay out of sight and never fall in love, is the furthest back she can remember. One day, her quiet solitude is interrupted as the Royal Guards break in to capture her. It is then that Cardia meets Arsène Lupin, a chivalrous thief, who helps her escape the soldiers’ clutches. She soon finds herself on a journey with Lupin to locate her father, who holds the answers to her mysterious condition. The two are soon joined by four more interesting and handsome gentlemen…
Release date: Oct. 20, 2015
Official English website: http://aksysgames.com/code-realize/
Platforms: Playstation Vita
Code: Realize gives us a mysterious heroine, Cardia, who can’t be touched unless you want to melt. I’ve not completed the game yet, but I want to see all the mysteries unravel surrounding Cardia and some other characters.
Characters: Cardia is the protagonist in the game. When we first meet her other characters categorize her as a monster, not expecting to find a young woman. Being locked up in her home for two years with no memories prior to that, leaves her with weak social skills. But she’s no wilting flower. She’s active in wanting to take part in finding her father and learning why she’s “cursed.”
The other male protagonists have different personalities to suit most people. You have Lupin, the charismatic and charming thief; Impey, the energetic and troublesome, but funny engineer; Abraham, a serious man with superior fighting skills; Victor, the shy genius; and Saint-Germain, a wealthy count looking for amusement. Somehow all of these characters work together toward a common goal.
Story and gameplay: I really enjoyed the start of the game. The setup is engaging and haunting as we discover Cardia’s circumstances. She’s rescued by the gentlemanly thief, Lupin, and thus starts her adventure to unravelling her entire life. The game does a great job of transitioning between serious and comical scenes, intense scenes and sad scenes. So far there hasn’t been a lot of choices to be made, but you can pick which guy you want to interact with and that might give you points with that guy. I haven’t finished the game but definitely plan to. I’m so curious about Cardia’s circumstances and how the others are connected.
The game also does a good job of weaving in backstory with the current timeline and slowly, as you progress through the game, you meet new characters and learn that Cardia’s situation is very complicated. There are vampires! This is a fun and engaging game with several endings based on your choices. And, from what I’ve read, you need to play through everyone’s route and get the true ending before you can unlock Lupin’s route. Not a bad thing, it gives you something to work for if you really want to play Lupin’s route.
Music and voices: Impey’s voice is my favorite of the bunch. He’s so funny and perverted but not creepy. The developers did a good job of immersing you in the game using character voices and music. It made me wonder what it would be like to read a fiction book with music and voices. This game makes reading more fun.
Art: The art is great, but it’s expected from Idea Factory’s Otomate developer. They usually have me drooling over their artwork and the guy’s are always nice-looking. They set the standard for art in visual novels and otome games in my book.
Replay value: This game is really long. At least it feels that way. But that’s okay. Really. It’s a fun game and I love all the characters enough to do their routes. The story is excellent and captivating. I look forward to getting through all the routes.
Audience: If you like visual novels or otome games and you own a PS Vita, check it out.
Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥♥