Another Code: Recollection Review – Good Memories

Another Code: Recollection Review

Another Code: Recollection is a remake of two existing games: Another Code: Two Memories for the Nintendo DS and Another Code: R – A Journey Into Lost Memories for the original Wii. And having experienced the remake, I’m now kicking myself for having missed these gems. If you like character development, complicated families, and relatively simple puzzles, you can’t miss this title.

Another Code: Recollection opens with two murders taking place about 50 years apart. Years later, 13-year-old Ashley Mizuki Robins receives two things from her presumed-dead father. One of them is a DAS, a device that looks like a game console, with an invitation to Blood Edward Island. The other is a birthday card. Her Aunt Jessica encourages her to give her father a chance, so Ashley goes to the island to find her father. When she’s separated from her aunt, she finds an amnesiac ghost and a mystery instead.

The second half of the game picks up two years later. 16-year-old Ashley investigates her mother’s secrets in a resort town. There, she teams up with a young runaway named Matthew who’s looking for a missing family member. In both sections, she grapples with the secrets her parents have kept from her while deciding what she wants to do with her future.

Memory is the Key

Another Code: Recollection is a short but engaging story of troubled family relationships, trauma, and the complicated bond between parent and child. The remake streamlines the plot of the original games quite a bit. This is to be expected when fusing two distinct games into one. And a fair bit of new content has been changed in both sections. I’ll be talking mainly about the first half when I touch on the narrative to avoid spoilers.

Another Code: Recollection Ashley and D.

In the first half, Ashley finds herself on Blood Edward Island. The family that used to live on the island died, leaving it deserted. However, a specter calling himself D lingered alone for 57 years. D asks her for her help regaining his lost memories as she searches for her family. The secrets of his past can solve the mysteries of her present. A tale of family, betrayal, and repressed memories unfolds.

This game is incredibly story-driven. The cutscenes are frequent and lengthy. You may want to let the game advance automatically through them. Otherwise, you’ll have to do a lot of button-mashing. There’s a ton of dialog to get through and most of it is quite charming. Ashley is clearly going through a lot, but her teenage angst doesn’t overpower her curiosity and compassion for her companions.

Another Code: Recollection is a Solid Remake

When Another Code: Recollection isn’t a parade of cutscenes, it’s a third-person adventure game. The player must advance the story through choices, solving puzzles, and using the DAS. You can take pictures of interesting objects and scenery. Some of these can help with puzzle-solving. There are also secret messages hidden in each game. Scanning them with the DAS reveals more pieces of the story.

Another Code: Recollection scribbles.

The DAS also contains a map of the cast, complete with notes that update when Ashley discovers something new. This is very handy for keeping track of plot twists. Each half of the game offers an engaging mystery story. I saw more than one major twist coming, but watching things play out stayed fun.

Constantly flitting between the past and present gives the game a dream-like quality. The graphics are adorable and brightly colored, and the reworked visual style is soft and expressive. The environment design is grand and atmospheric, perfect for investigating an abandoned mansion with a friendly ghost. Or a pleasant resort town with dark secrets.

Another Code: Recollection Lake Juliet.

I really like the character designs. They’re all very endearing. Ashley’s perpetual blush isn’t always fitting for the situation, though. And the voice acting is quite solid and expressive, though Ashley’s grunts are a bit loud. The soundtrack glides from soothing to foreboding easily, but some sound effects are a bit loud in comparison.

A Story Unfolding in the Past and the Present

As I played Another Code: Recollection, I was overcome with a deep and potent feeling of nostalgia. Not only is this a remake of two older games, it’s also about rediscovering the past. Abandoned rooms full of once-cherished items and severed relationships waiting to be understood. It’s a really interesting mood and I can’t recommend the experience enough.

However, like in many adventure games, this title requires the player to go through a series of specific steps to solve some puzzles. It can be really irritating to have solved a puzzle only for the game to stop you from using the solution until you’ve jumped through the right hoops. The cutscenes are fully-voiced, but in-engine text tends not to be.

Another Code: Recollection puzzle.

Also, the camera moves really slowly. I kept having to examine items and rooms from different angles and it was a pain every time. And even with the built-in DAS camera, some puzzles still required me to take notes. The game only lets you save 10 pictures at a time, so you need to be quite careful with what you photograph.

There were a few strange choices made when stitching the original titles together. For some reason, there’s a single first-person POV exploration section. And the game is fairly short, only about 14 hours of gameplay. The puzzles aren’t too difficult, either–I solved a few just by trial and error. If you’re looking for real difficulty, you won’t find it here. The game offers navigation assist and puzzle hints, so people who aren’t good at puzzles should be fine.

All in all, I had a great time with Another Code: Recollection. I recommend it to fans of interesting stories, mysteries, and puzzles. It won’t provide a real challenge, but it has a great atmosphere. And if you haven’t played the original games, this is a great opportunity to fill the hole in your library.

***Switch code provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Interesting story
  • Thick atmosphere
  • Nice art design
  • Fun puzzles

The Bad

  • Short
  • Lots of cutscenes
  • Some odd gameplay choices
  • Sluggish camera