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another code recollection

Another Code Recollection is a long overdue remake of the original games for Nintendo’s WII and DS given its huge cult following that has built up ever since its cameo appearances on Super Smash Bros. Like before, it is a mixture of point and click adventure with elements of visual novel. The game is developed by Arc Systems Works and while many know them for their action and fighting games from River City to Guilty Gear, they worked on a few games outside of that genre: from Jake Hunter to Hotel Dusk. Many of the former members from CING now work under Arc Systems Works. 

The story focuses on Ashley getting caught up in strange events and then solving mysteries that her family is somehow involved. She travels from Blood Edward island to lake Juliet to discover the truth. This time, the game is one storyline combined so you have to finish part 1 to reach part 2. The melancholic broody atmosphere is still there and it also maintains the setting of the original games.  The tone of the story is a breath of fresh air compared to the over the top and well sometimes cringey comedy from the Spike Chunsoft puzzle games.

 It is much better with more focus on mystery and not on comedy. The second part felt really off key because of the shift of story’s tone to a typical run of the mill Shonen lighthearted slice of life, as if it was written just to cater to that demographic instead of sticking to the core mystery that the first game established. 


Ashley is still as likable as she was before in the original games and since it’s the Japanese version they are focusing on, Ashley is not as an angsty edgy teenager as she was in the initial release. I cannot say the same for the other characters around the lake Juliet scenario as lot of them just came across as cliched. The game has a fairly large cast for a story that's better suited for more intimate storytelling. Some of the characters were a bit of a dud since there were some unresolved plotlines there too that was to initially set up for a 3rd game with it being crossover with Hotel Dusk Room 215 apparently. One of the other characters, from the sequel has oddly been race-swapped which was unnecessary. The game doesn’t have the end of chapter quizzes from the DS games. The game does have a canon birthday date and not the birthdate for the player now for Ashley. 

I found the pacing somewhat slower than the original game and it’s not like the last time where you can beat it in one single day. There are new cutscenes that adds more to the story and both stories are now tied together into one game seamlessly. The game’s second part had at the time an awkward dialogue choice option that is pretty useless and never should have been there in the first place. The remake puzzles were for the most part decent, and it utilizes the switch control system for the puzzle mechanics following the series traditions of Nintendo console gimmicks for puzzles. The puzzles are something new and old fans can enjoy even if the charm of the original DS and WII systems were not there. There are certain times where you have to combine items to form new ones to solve puzzles. 

The voice acting in English and Japanese is surprisingly quite good with huge improvement in the dialogue. since its catered to the original Japanese version than the initially awkward English version when it came out at the time. The graphics and visuals were really incredible, and the art still is as good as it was before. I was really happy seeing the original artist do the cover art for the game too. The updated user interface and level design were welcome upgrades which enhances gameplay. 

I could not find a single technical issue in the remake which is really impressive. There were only a few low resolution textures. The awkward backtracking is still there but it’s a minor irritation. There is a hint system and navigation system for accessibility reasons and you can take them off if you wish to follow the older games style. The game is fully third person in contrast to the previous camera styles from 2.5.d and top view and it’s kind of on the slow side but hopefully a future patch can give some options on how you want it styled. 

The music is just as good too and I was blown away hearing the updated music because of how many years it has been and it still holds up well to this day. There is some replay value such as hidden collectibles like origami cranes  that give further backstory to the events of the game. There are some easter eggs like before as if you look into one of the notes you find in the game, it mentions Hotel Dusk’s main character Kyle Hyde. You can even change into Ashley’s older t-shirt from the original Trace Memory game once you finish it. 

Overall, the remakes were really good and I am very happy it finally did happen after decades now. 

It gets 4 out of 5 stars. 

This is one of the very rare times I ever bought something that was a day one purchase as I really wanted this game be supported as it didn’t do so well when originally released. The norm back then was story oriented games for Nintendo consoles were sort of put to the side and it was gameplay based first. Nowadays, you can find lot of story oriented games for Nintendo consoles. 

Next up is most likely a remake of Hotel Dusk and finally the long overdue crossover of that and Trace Memory. Since most games (except Monster Rancher and Little King story I think) take part in the Cing universe, it would be great to see everything come together in a cohesive manner. 

I think its long overdue seeing Nile from Hotel Dusk be brought to justice once and for all and see Ashley’s musical ambitions finally come true. This is exactly what fans wanted to see along with Paper Mario, A Thousand Year Door, and the Super Mario rpg being remade.  


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