Another Code Recollection | Demo | Impressions - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Another Code Recollection | Demo | Impressions

The Switch era has brought a number of classics from back in the day to the system ranging from the Super Mario RPG remake to more oddball stuff, like Famicom Detective Club. Well, Nintendo is at it again, this time revisiting the DS and Wii library and Trace Memory or Another Code. This new compilation features both games and is set to release on January 19. Thankfully for those on the fence, a free demo is available. We checked it out and are here to let you know our thoughts on this remaster. Let’s get into it. 

Before we get into things properly, I wanted to point out that while I was aware of Trace Memory/Another Code back in the day, this is series that I have never tried out. While I could try to go and make comparisons to the DS and Wii games, that is not the purpose of this article [video]. Here, I’m just taking a look at this remake and all that it has to offer in this Switch demo.

Story & Gameplay
The demo available on the eShop for Another Code Recollection lets players go through the prologue and first chapter of the first game. Depending on how fast you go, it can last anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half. 
In Another Code, players take on the role of Ashley. In the first game (and this demo), it’s the eve of her fourteenth birthday and she is on her way to visit her believed to be dead father. Ashely and her aunt, Jessica, make the trek to Blood Edward Island with a plan to meet him and to learn more about why he’s been away from her life for years. As a birthday present, Ashley received a tablet/game-like device from her father called the DAS (Dual Another System). This device can be used to take/save pictures and also serves as a hub for information about all of the characters that she’ll come across in the adventure. This is essential for exploration of the island and is helpful for figuring out puzzles.
Most of the demo will have you interacting with other characters and the environment in third person, however, a few puzzle elements are also implemented. For the most part, these are pretty interesting and require you to check your surroundings for clues. Generally, it feels pretty good. However, one in particular really stood out to me - in a bad way. With this, Ashley realizes that there is a key stashed away under a stool. She needs to use this key to get through a locked gate. Here, she must grab the stool and turn it around in order to free it. I was playing on the TV with a Pro Controller. This method of play requires players to turn the controller around until they are able to free the key. It’s an interesting idea, but honestly, this felt very clunky and sometimes just didn’t even make sense based on how I was moving the controller. I eventually freed the key, but this was not fun. I would have preferred to simply use the right stick to tilt the stool. Aside from this, my only other complaint is that the camera feels a little bit too close to Ashely, which can make it a little difficult to check the environment for clues. It’s not always an issue, but sometimes the environment can force the camera to zoom in rather closely, which I found kind of annoying.

Visuals, Audio & Performance
The overall visual aesthetic for this remake is pretty nice. Recollection sports an anime/manga like visual style that is sharp and looks great. Character models look great, however the most underwhelming part of the experience are the environments. Walls, buildings, and the ground are made up of very simple, blocky polygons with a very low amount of detail. This isn’t super noticeable from afar, however, once you get up closer for further inspection, you can clearly see the lack of detail. It’s difficult to say if this is intentional - it very well may be. The main focus in Another Code is the story, which could be the reason why the visuals are pared back. It could be constraints on the budget. We may never know. At any rate, this is something to be aware of before forking over your money for the game. 
Even with that said, the audio here is pretty decent. Recollection features both English and Japanese audio with a liberal amount of voice acting. Even from my short time with the demo, this sounded pretty great. The game’s performance was also pretty consistent and I did not notice any slow down. Of course, this is just the demo so it’s hard to say if the entire game will be the same. However, aside from the underwhelming look of the environments, I walked away impressed with the audio and general performance. 

When it comes down to it, I am glad that Another Code has another chance at life on the Switch. This demo is a perfect way to determine whether or not this game is something that you think is worth throwing down your cold hard cash on. Although I think the story is interesting and the overall aesthetic is cool, outside of the character models, the environments are very basic and lack detail. Additionally, the puzzles are okay, but turning around objects with the gyro functions of a controller is something that I will never get used to or like. I haven’t played the final version of the game, but I would venture to guess similar puzzles will appear in other parts of the game. Overall, this demo is fun, but left me with the feeling that this game might be a bit flawed and just not for me.

But let’s turn things over to you. Did you try out the demo for Another Code? Did you play the game on the DS or Wii back in the day? Are you / did you pick this up on the Switch? Be sure to sound off in the comments down below. We’d love to hear from you.

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