As a portable device, the Switch lands itself perfect for more story driven games that wants to grasp your attention for a longer time span. Visual Novels are the perfect category for this, and with Nintendo’s handheld as popular as it is it’s not surprising that some games are being ported over from other devices from the past. The Vita received a ton of visual novels in its life. But with the much larger install size of the Switch it is the perfect opportunity to reach a new audience with Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth.
Cardia Beckford lives lonely in a property in the middle of a forest. She stays there because she doesn’t want to break the promise to her father. She should keep away from other people and, above all, never fall in love. Because her skin is highly toxic, just one touch melts or rots. But one day the royal army comes to catch Cardia. On the way to London she also meets Arsène Lupine, who helps her escape and takes her to the capital of England. There she goes in search of her missing father and the truth about her special body and the horologium that is implanted in her breast.
It is not easy for Cardia to get used to all the new impressions and dangers at the same time. At least she, Lupine, and the mechanic Impey Barbicane find shelter with Count Saint-Germain, who sees them as some kind of personal entertainment. Before that, the scientist Victor Frankenstein and a little later also the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing joined this illustrious group. They all protect Cardia from the Twilight Secret Service, led by her brother Finis. But the guardians of time, Idea, also have something against Cardia’s existence. However, Cardia and her friends survive all odds, even if each member of the group has their own motives for why it is there.
At the beginning of her journey, Cardia looks like a doll, both visually and character. But through the lively company of her five protectors, she learns a lot of things about life and her own emotional world. But also how she can defend herself against others. She also uses her poison here, but only if there is no other way out. This is also necessary in the search for the truth. But sometimes it may be better not to know them. Cardia finally finds the answers to her questions in her father’s underground laboratory, but they don’t make her happy. What happens next would be a huge spoiler, but be assured that the story of the game completely shifts thanks to her discovery.
Cardia’s path is funny at times, but surprisingly serious at others. Especially when the truth comes out, she asks questions about her own existence. In London she learned right from the start that the horologium is a very scary thing, but she didn’t care much at the time. She still believed that she was normal. In Saint-Germain’s route, Idea leader Omnibus Cardia throws at her head that she doesn’t have a soul, she just imitates her feelings. The girl really has to put up with a lot in the story, but she can’t be stopped and also fights for her love.
The heart of one of the five men can be conquered throughout the game. For this, decisions are made as usual and after the eighth chapter the route that has been reached is determined. However, caution is required afterwards, because an incorrect answer can already lead to the bad ending. There can be quite a few of these within a route: there are a total of 15, Saint-Germain already has four of them. There is also the normal and a true end in every route. However, the story can end much earlier. The very first answer could already spell a game over.
The game has a really strong protagonist, who sometimes seems a little out of this world, but you can forgive her for that. After all, she was alone all the time and has to get used to a completely new way of life. Even if I really had to smile a few times, I think that the story has a serious undertone. However, I bad ends can be quite violent. So I advise everyone to save from chapter nine before making a decision. Every hero character on your side also has it’s flaws and their good parts, so it is really interesting to see them develop and who you might end up with is completely up to you. In all regards the visual drawings are wonderfully crafted and Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth is currently one of the better visual novels available for the Nintendo Switch.
Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth is a very intriguing visual novel with a ton of endings to explore and a great story that keeps your attention at all times.