Published on January 23rd, 2024 | by Gareth Newnham
Another Code: Recollection Review
Summary: Another Code: Recollection brings together a pair of stone cold cult classics Switch owners wont want to miss.
Another Code: Recollection does a fantastic job of bringing a pair of cult classics bang up-to-date on Switch.
DS adventure, Another Code: Two Memories, and its Wii sequel, Another Code R: A Journey Into Lost Memories, from now sadly defunct developer CiNG, have been woven into a superb modern package for Switch by Ark System works and are well worth taking
Another Code: Recollection is a decidedly slow burn that brings together a pair of beguiling, thoughtful puzzlers that combine elements of classic adventure titles with an almost visual novel-style approach to proceedings that put narrative and character development front and center in this supernatural teen drama.
You take on the role of Ashley Mizuki Robbins, a young girl who receives a package from her father on her 14th birthday, along with an invitation to meet him on Blood Edward Island. There is just one snag: Ashley’s father died when she was three years old.
Not long after arriving on the island, Ashley meets an amnesiac ghost boy known as D, and together, the pair set off to try and help Ashley find her father, restore D’s memory, and uncover the deeper mystery hanging over the abandoned island.
Since unraveling what’s going on is a large part of the fun, I don’t want to spoil it, but needless to say, you’ll want to press on and follow every twist and turn on Ashley and D’s journey. Likewise, the games’ myriad of puzzles are sometimes challenging but never insurmountable thanks in part to some much-needed quality-of-life improvements, including a dedicated hint system, improved signposting thanks to notes that now appear on the in-game map, and a compass that you can toggle with a press of the left stick that will point you towards your next objective.
The biggest change, though, is the leap to fully explorable 3D environments and full voice acting in English and Japanese that really helps to make the world of Another Code spring to life in a way that its previous incarnation, especially on DS, could only dream of, as a fan of the previous titles it’s wonderful to see it brought to life in a more vibrant way and with a beautiful almost painterly art style that fits it’s ethereal tone perfectly.
If that’s not all, Recollection has had several additional puzzles and sections restored that were previously left on the cutting room floor in their previous incarnations.
Using the unique control capabilities of the DS and Wii to solve puzzles was a large part of the originals, and although the Switch does employ motion controls for a few puzzles, like trying to shake a key from a stool, for the best part, they seem to have been dialed back in the remakes. The dual-screen setup from the DS original is obviously gone, and unfortunately, so have all the touch screen puzzles, which is a shame because the Switch has a better touch screen than the DS ever had, and the motion controls don’t quite stack up to the Wii.
Speaking of the controls, you will want to at least double the speed of the camera controls as the default is painfully slow and really does make the game feel a lot more ponderous than it actually is.
If you’re looking for an action-packed romp, you may need to look elsewhere, but what Another Code: Recollection lacks in action it more than makes up for with extremely likable, well-constructed characters, multiple endings and an absorbing journey into a world that ultimately will stay with you long after the credits roll.
It’s clear that Another Code: Recollection was a labour of love for everyone involved. It takes two beloved, if slightly overlooked, classics that have managed to stand the test of time, and with a great deal of care and finesse and modernizes this absorbing two-part tale into an enticing single package while retaining the core of what made them so enjoyable in the first place.
Fans of the originals are in for an absolute treat, while those of you who missed them the first time around and are in the market for an absorbing adventure, that’s the kind of slow burn that most games rarely ever aspire to, let alone succeed at, have absolutely no excuse.