Game: Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~
Genre: Otome, Adventure, Visual Novel
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4, Vita and Android)
Developer|Publisher: Idea Factory / Aksys Games
Age Rating: Eu 12+| US T
Price: US $39.99 | CA $50.39|AU $ 60.00 |£35.99 | €39,99
Release Date: 6th February 2020
Review code used, with many thanks!
Fully Japanese-voiced otome game? YES PLEASE!
Okay okay, so I owned a PSVita back when I lived in Japan. In fact, I went out and bought a really nice, fancy white one when I was living there.
But then, when I moved back from Japan, and saw all my video games sitting in my old closet in my parent’s house, collecting dust and looking sad and unused…
Well… I purged. I purged a lot. Do I have regrets now? A little bit yes, because I purged my whole GameCube collection, as well as MOST of my PS3 games (except for Dragon Age, I couldn’t part with it), but this also included my white Vita.
So that’s what happened. And now I am Vita-less. Which is kind of a silly move for me.
CONFESSION TIME: I had no idea about Otome games when I lived in Japan. I knew I loved games with a romance element (Harvest Moon, Dragon Age, Mass Effect), but an Otome game never entered my radar until I got Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi back in 2013 on my 3DS (AFTER I had moved back from Japan no less!)
But I fell in love with the genre, and now here we are.
So thank the goddess that the Switch’s eshop is (finally) easy for indie developers to put their stuff on! This means that the Vita in North America isn’t the only place to find the games in my favourite genre! Oh, or Steam. (Hey Cheritz, please put Dandelion on the Switch!)
What’s This Otome All About?
So, Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ has you put your cute little feet into the shoes of Cardia. A young girl with a mysterious crystal embedded in her chest, replacing her heart… Oh, and, she is also poisonous. Her skin is constantly releasing a poison that is instantly fatal to anyone who touches her skin.
Ya know, that kinda thing is going to make finding love a little tough.
What makes it even tougher is that one day when Cardia was young, her father left her in a mansion and simply said “Just wait here until I get back. Don’t ever leave until I return.”
And Cardia, knowing that she kills anyone who touches her, says “This is a totally normal and reasonable request Dad, I will do exactly as you say.”
Okay, so I’m being a bit facetious, but our game begins as an elite military group – who reports directly to Queen Victoria – storming this dusty mansion in search of a “monster”.
Yes, you guessed it right, that monster is YOU (Cardia).
SURPRISE! A handsome, masked, sexy-jazz-background-music man storms in and swoops you off your feet and away from spooky army men.
He promises he will help you find a way to remove the poison in your body and blood, and in return would like you to help him find your father.
Bada-bing bada-boom, now we have our story premise, and we can start falling in love with one of the many handsome men who will come to help us on our mission!
The Saxophone Is The Sexiest Instrument
Okay, so I have this thought that of all the musical instruments out there, the saxophone would be the one who has had the most STIs. I don’t say this as a slight to the saxophone, or saxophone players. Just that when I hear saxophone in songs it’s got this super sexy groove sound, and if the saxophone were a person, it has been around.
Bass guitar is in second place, in case anyone is wondering.
But I digress (as I often do); the music in this game is stellar. It’s always perfectly expressing the mood and emotion of the moment.
When Lupin (our first handsome man) busts in on the scene, and all his sexy high-energy saxophone jazzy music plays I just wanted to hop up and down in my chair in excitement and let him take me wherever he wanted to!
When the mood is sad and dire, the music is dark and spooky. When me and mah boys are just out and about enjoying the sights, or they are training me in various combat and survival techniques, well the music is perfectly reflecting my mood!
Or is it that the game’s developers MADE that music in order for me to exactly feel what they wanted me to feel?
If you love video game soundtracks and music, then this one not going to disappoint!
Gameplay : yalpemaG
Code:Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is a visual novel otome game, therefore it is going to be mainly pressing A and reading the story.
I’m sure, by now, you know what kind of gamer you are. So if you know you hate reading, and want a lot of action, then you probably already know this isn’t the game for you.
Otherwise, the production value of this game is off the charts! The story and writing – and I suppose I should say TRANSLATING – is very well done.
I’ve played a couple of Japanese Otome games that don’t have good translation, and it can be pretty hilarious and cringe-y at times. Bad translation can also take you right out of the story, and make you even regret your purchase.
You won’t have that issue with this game! So, bonus!
In-game choice-wise, this one seems to be on the very light side. I am having trouble finding the proper words to describe what I mean. Usually, in most Otome games I’ve played, I will be making a choice about which direction to go, or which romantic-partner to side with, somewhat regularly.
Code: Realize, I find, is only giving me a choice very rarely. I suppose it does feel like (and I think I am) getting one choice per chapter; perhaps the story and chapters are just a lot longer than what I’m used to, which wouldn’t be surprising considering the quality of the game, and therefore I feel a little less involved and more like I am just being taken for a ride.
I think I realized, just now, that that makes me a little bit sad. I like the story a lot, I just don’t feel like I’M that big of a part of it. It’s that feeling of not really knowing if my choices are having an impact on the story at all.
For example, the first man you meet – who sweeps you off your feet – (haha that rhymed) Arsene Lupin was the one I wanted to try and romance first. But every time an option came up on which direction to go, he was never an option.
Maybe it’s one of those things where you can only unlock his story after playing through the stories of others. For example, playing Mystic Messenger on my phone ages ago, you can only play through the hacker and the CEO’s stories after you’ve done the other three characters story lines.
Anyway, my point is: I fell for the adorable little Victor Frankenstein (yes, yes that Victor Frankenstein).
Setting, Characters, GO!
So the story takes place in a steam-punk version of Victorian-era London, UK. (I don’t know what the Japanese obsession with London is, but it is a THING).
Everything runs on steam, and everyone has really cool, flowy, tuxedo, cute-hat, costumes on.
Cardia (your character) has special clothes that have been reverse engineered for her so that her body poison doesn’t eat through them. It’s a hard-knock life, for her!
That doesn’t matter though, the considerate gentlemen help create you some real cool and sexy clothes – and now I just want to go make cosplay outfits!
This fictional London is full of mystery and secrets, and it is during the time when everyone was obsessed with creating the philosopher’s stone. Turning any metal into pure gold and creating the elixir of life.
People believe that your father (yeah, that big-old-jerk-wad who put this crystal into your heart and made you poisonous and segregated you from society) hold some kind of information around this, and that’s why everyone is looking for him.
Your cast of handsome characters feature some very familiar names. I’ve already mentioned my boo Victor Frankenstein, but then we’ve also got Van Helsing, St. Germain, Lupin, Herlock Sholmes (haha, hahahahah), and even Dracula.
So, get ready for a wild ride through a history full of the sexy anime versions of all of these old story-book characters!
So, Is This All Worth It?
It’s not the best otome game I’ve ever played, but it definitely is the one with the highest quality.
I can tell that a lot of well-spent money went into this game. From the amazing artists who created all of the characters, costumes, and backgrounds, to the Japanese voice actors who brought very distinct voices to each character, to the amazingly recorded orchestral music, this game has all the bells and whistles.
Looks sharp, great story, amazing characters. It is a pretty high price point, but if you are in to Otome games (and you haven’t already played this one) then you’re likely going to pick it up.
Just like being on a train with an unknown destination, I would, personally, get those train tickets on sale.
All in all:
Final Verdict: I like it!
Hi, i need help here. I started playing the game a while ago and finished up to chapter 1(only tried it during my free time) . While playing through, i keep using the quick save feature. However when i went back to it later on (after shutting down my switch) it says there is no save to load. Did i do something wrong here? Or am i supposed to read until some point before i am able to save ‘properly’? I tried redoing it and exiting via main menu. It says ‘saving the game’ but in the end no save file was saved 🙁 what can i do here to save/load my game progress? Please give advice.
I could be wrong, but I THOUGHT that quick didn’t make a permanent save. I don’t quite recall though.
However, at least on the Vita, this game is very easy to speed through. So you could just put it on auto text and only pay attention when it needs something answered. Then after chapter 1 you’re good to go.
That feature is very handy when you want to go back for the different endings. The first so many chapters are the same, and it’s pretty boring to keep reading the same stuff.
Yeah, I think a quick save is just going to save it temporarily while you are playing; just in case, you know, you make a choice that you want to renege on right after you make it (as otome games can make me do).
To actually save you have to go into the system menu, select a file, and then save.
Hope this helps!