Visual Novels

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(Review contributed by Misya Danielle)

Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is a unique and artistically beautiful otome with a deep story and an interesting cast of characters who bring the story to life. The Code: Realize localization was developed by the increasingly popular Idea Factory and published by well-known publisher Aksys Games exclusively for the PlayStation Vita. It is one of many otome visual novels released locally to North America during the current year with its release date set for October 20th of 2015, the game is available to buyers with options for both physical or digital copy as Aksys usually does with their PSVita titles. Due to its artistic similarities to a JRPG with the combination of literary references, small amounts of witty humor, and a deep immersive story Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is far from being like any of the more typical past otome titles.

The story begins in a 19th century steampunk version of London with a young woman named Cardia who is confined to her mansion by her father's request due to the fact that her skin melts away the flesh of anyone who touches her. She is soon forced to go outside after her mansion is stormed by soldiers who see her as nothing more than a monster because of her strange condition, as the soldiers raid her home one of them comes in contact with her skin as they try to capture her and their skin begins to melt away so they instead request that she comes along quietly.  As the soldiers travel away from the mansion with Cardia in their custody a masked man comes to her rescue and keeps her safe as they travel together. Along the way Cardelia meets many other unique characters who have the potential to become her love interest, and as she continues her journey she begins to uncover the truth about her dangerous condition and her father who left many years prior to the events that forced her to finally leave the mansion. 

As the story progresses the focus manages to stay on Cardelia even as you meet more of the characters who join her along the way without it leaving out details about the other characters completely as she continues to grow closer to them and eventually falls in love with one of them. The game gives a deep look into each character’s personality without straying away from the plot, this makes it easier to decide on who your favorite character is based on their individual lifestyle and personality while not only keeping the story intact but adding more personality to it as well. It becomes increasingly apparent how much each character contributes to heroine’s growth whether you choose their path or not, since she was kept inside the mansion for many years she had some obvious trouble socializing and understanding the world around her but she was also immediately afraid of what could happen to other people if they came in contact with her skin.

From the start of the game detailed description of characters and items are given in text to give a better understanding of characters and items found in the game, this feature is nice and the way it is executed is similar to something from an RPG but unfortunately it seems like they under estimate the player's intelligence occasionally. Another great feature of the game is the ability to set the character's voices separately, it is possible to mute some of the character's voices without having to mute them all which is great if the player finds that only some of the voice acting doesn't suit their taste rather than all of it. The voice actors were well selected and suited each character's unique personality and even added to it. There were a few times the text didn't match the voice acting properly, this issue has come up with many of the recent otome titles released this year but it has only been a minor issue in most cases.

Code Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is highly unique and beautiful game with a deep story and a great mix of fantasy and historical elements. Each character, especially the protagonist herself add to the story with their unique personalities and the emotions they carry throughout the game. Out of the many otome titles recently released so far this would be the one I recommend the most. If you are looking for an otome with a deep story, interesting characters, beautiful detailed art, and a great soundtrack then this is the game for you.

SCORE – 9.0/10

This review is based on a digital copy of Code: Realize on the PlayStation Vita provided by Aksys Games. 

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