Another Code: Recollection is a remake of a classic game that was previously confined to Nintendo’s older consoles. This revamped version not only features a visual upgrade but also includes significant changes to the writing, visuals, and gameplay. Such extensive modifications make it feel like an entirely new game, though it remains a somewhat unconventional choice for a remake.
As a fan of adventure games with puzzle elements and well-developed narratives, Another Code: Recollection resonates strongly with me. The game centers on an intriguing story about Ashley Mizuki Robins, a young girl whose parents died under mysterious circumstances. Ashley’s fragmented memories and unclear recollections about her parents form the core of the game’s narrative. The primary objective is to help her recover her childhood memories and unravel the mystery surrounding her parents’ lives.
A significant change in the game’s mechanics is the shift from a point-and-click format to a third-person adventure style. This modification is a welcome development, but it brings its own set of challenges. At first, I faced some issues with the camera system, which tended to lose focus and disrupt the gameplay experience. Additionally, the controls’ sensitivity felt imprecise, which required me to adjust the settings in the options menu. Once the control settings were fine-tuned, the third-person perspective became more comfortable and intuitive, enhancing the overall gameplay experience.
Another Code: Recollection starts with the protagonist, Ashley, traveling by boat with her aunt to an island where she is supposed to meet her father, believed to be deceased. An intriguing element introduced early in the game is a mysterious device called DAS, which Ashley uses to capture photos and track the relationships of other characters. This device plays a crucial role in simplifying the puzzle-solving aspect of the game, particularly when memorizing images is required.
The collection includes two games. The first is a remake of the original game from the Nintendo DS, while the second is based on a Nintendo Wii release. In the first game, a younger Ashley unravels the mystery of her past on an island. The sequel shifts the setting to a lake and continues to focus on Ashley, who finds herself entangled in a conspiracy.
One of the game’s strengths is the character development of Ashley. The revamped gameplay enhances her role in the story, enriching the narrative with her inner monologues and reactions to unfolding events. The cutscenes are well-executed, and the art style is visually appealing. Key conversations and events are presented in a comic book-style format, offering players the option to either manually skip through these scenes or let them play out automatically.
However, while Ashley is a compelling character, the game lacks a similar depth in its side characters. Another issue is the pacing, which can feel uneven at times. The story is not particularly long, with the entire collection taking about 15 hours to complete. While the puzzles are generally straightforward, the game provides ample hints for players who might find themselves stuck. Players have the freedom to explore at their own pace, with the option to toggle a waypoint system that guides them to the next location or point of interest. This feature is particularly useful for progressing through the game smoothly. Additionally, the puzzle mechanics are designed to offer hints, aiding players in solving them more efficiently.
The narrative approach in Another Code: Recollection might not appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer more direct storytelling typical of other story-driven games. The game’s narrative style reminded me somewhat of the Fatal Frame series mixed with elements of Life is Strange, though the central mystery in Another Code lacks the compelling urgency found in these titles. The game attempts to build up this mystery as a significant element, but when the truth is finally revealed, it feels anticlimactic. While the ending was enjoyable, the journey to get there was a mix of highs and lows, with many parts of the narrative feeling underwhelming.
The puzzles in the game also reflect this inconsistency. They are not particularly challenging but feel somewhat out of place within the game’s context. The first puzzle, for instance, requires a simple gyro input, while others involve memorizing figures or patterns, with the DAS device playing a crucial role. However, the puzzles don’t always seem well-integrated or as thoughtfully designed as one might expect from a game of this genre.
Despite its shortcomings, Another Code: Recollection can be an enjoyable experience for those willing to overlook its flaws. Technically, the game is well-executed and visually appealing, even in docked mode. The absence of touchscreen controls is a missed opportunity, as their inclusion could have enhanced the gameplay experience. The story’s pacing picks up after a slow start, but the lackluster side characters and unremarkable puzzles detract from the game’s overall appeal.