Reviews

Code: Realize ‘Future Blessings’

Popular visual novels tend to receive a follow-up or a completely new story with the same or similar characters. Yet a follow up is never a guaranteed succes as it requires previous knowledge to enjoy the game. Code Realize is a series with a big fandom on the internet and Future Blessings is the follow-up to the well received ‘Guardian of Rebirth’ which we recommend picking up first before diving in to this game.

Code: Realize tells the story of young Cardia, a girl who melts everything that touches her due to the poison that runs through her veins. Treated like a monster, she was an important piece of a terrorist plan that was presented in Guardian of Rebirth. With the help of Lupine, Impey Barbicane, Frankenstein, Van Helsing and Saint-Germain, the character managed to prevent the worst from happening.

As a result, Future Blessings has epilogues on the routes of each of these allies, who were also the protagonist’s romantic interests. They present new dilemmas and unresolved issues of the original story, but they are in general much simpler than before. They are another way of exploring new circumstances and being able to see the gang reunited again.

Unlike the original game, in which everything started on a common route that led to character routes according to the player’s choice, this time the stories are presented from the beginning in the menu, making the player just having to choose one. There is also no decision to be made in these stories, which is understandable since the conflict was already resolved in the previous game.

Precisely for this reason, this part of the work ends up not having so much value for those who have not yet played the predecessor. For those who already know the characters, however, it is really a lot of fun to see them in a lighter context in which most conflicts are often more of a newly formed couple. The chemistry between the characters is very good and it’s easy to laugh at their bullshit.

However, the game is not a simple sequel to Guardian of Rebirth. Among the options available from the start, there are also three alternative stories. Two of them are new routes with the characters Herlock Sholmès and Finis. Like the tales of the original game, they continue from the middle of the story, when Cardia already knows the secret about their origin.

Being able to get to know the characters more deeply is interesting, since both had little participation in the original story. Finis, in fact, is not even treated as a romantic interest, but his route goes into more detail about how the character’s context and toxic mentality led him to villainous circumstances.

Both are heavy routes, with traumatic events from the characters’ past, which are far removed from the main group. In them, there are decisions to be made that can lead to a bad or good ending. New characters are also presented, such as the young Hansel, one of Idea’s apostles.

Finally, there is also an extra story in which Cardia meets a girl of her age and ends up getting involved in conflicts between mafias. She is very funny and knows how to make good use of what is best in the game, which is action and comedy. The new characters presented combine well with the universe and the relationship of empathy and friendship between the girls is an interesting novelty, since the only other female character with whom she can develop similar ties is Queen Victoria.

As it is an isolated story, contained in itself, I would even say that it is the highlight of the game. After all, its value does not depend on the original game and it has all the elements that make Code: Realize engaging.

Despite the original stories involving the mafia, Future Blessings works more as an expansion of the original than a work of its own. Much of the character development was done in the other game and, even with summaries of the events necessary to understand the stories over the course of flashbacks, a very large part of the work depends on already knowing and liking the characters.

The story, in general, is well written and thought-provoking, especially in moments of greater action. However, there are some typos and repeated terms (“he will grant you aa single wish”, for example) with a frequency that is uncomfortable and difficult to ignore altogether. Considering that the game had previously been released on Sony consoles, it is a pity that this problem was not corrected in the new release.

As for the artwork, there are new high-quality CGs, as in the original, and new backgrounds that catch the eye, like the street in Paris or a hidden garden in London. There are also animations in some new scenes, especially some with petal movements through the air, perfectly symbolizing the context of the love that flourished between the characters.

As the player completes the stories, he releases parts of the gallery as usual, but there is also a new bonus: Delly’s room. On the main menu, stories involving the little vampire are released. They are mundane interactions with the secondary character, but they help to see a little of his experience at the Saint-Germain mansion.

The soundtrack is practically reused from the previous game, but that frankly is far from a problem. Although I originally found it unappealing in Guardian of Rebirth, I have to confess that it is effective and even memorable due to the nostalgia of the previous journey. Listening to Splinter in the Heart or Blue Heart in the saddest scenes where Cardia is heartbroken is heartbreaking, just like A New World brings all the peace and sense of triumph that is so rewarding at the end of the journey.

In general, Code: Realize ~ Future Blessings ~ is a visual novel that knows how to explore the good points of its predecessor. New stories that bring up the good feeling of seeing old friends and being able to fall in love with them all again. For those who had fun with Guardian of Rebirth, it is a very welcome extension of time to bless the future of these characters with an even happier ending.

Future Blessings brings some great storytelling and artwork, but we do suggest you play ‘Guardians of Rebirth’ before this installment.

8/10

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