Code: Realize ~ Wintertide Miracles ~ is the third game in the Code: Realize series of visual novels otome. The original work, Guardian of Rebirth , told a closed story about a girl named Cardia, whose body possessed a strong poison. Along with a group of characters based on various literary works, she goes through different situations in a steampunk version of London.
Wintertide Miracles follows the same concept as its predecessor, Future Blessings , and presents the content of fandisc. This means that the work is an extra for those who have already played the original to have a little extra time with the guys. Specifically, the work is primarily composed of stories that expand the alternative content of Future Blessings.
When opening a new game, Wintertide Miracles offers a menu of options with multiple stories that can be accessed. The first option is Double Dates, that is, small events that show a little bit of the interaction between Cardia and two guys. Despite the name, not everyone is romantic, and there are also stories with certain NPCs like “Delacroix and Sisi”.
The name also does not adequately indicate the content. It is not really a matter of encounters, but of random moments. All the stories are short, but they work well on the personalities of each one.
Each boy also has a story of his own. However, instead of continuing the events of the original, these passages are alternative epilogues to the route of Cardia’s brother, Finis, presented in Future Blessings. They give the name to the game, taking place during Christmas.
A curious thing is that they all start the same way, but the game considers them as different sections, not allowing them to be advanced quickly with the skip of sections already read. In addition, a novelty of the version of Switch compared to that of PS Vita is that completing these stories frees boys’ beach CGs.
This unlock also happens with two other stories, which also serve as epilogues of Future Blessings. One is a continuation of the detective Herlock Sholmès route, while the other is another continuation of the Finis route, but focused on the boy’s fraternal relationship with Cardia.
While the other boys’ routes are more romantic, these two develop the plot with a greater focus on other elements such as Cardia’s poison or Isaac Beckford’s legacy. As Code: Realize is a story that combines mystery, action, romance and light hints of science fiction in a steampunk setting , this approach is closer to what had been done in previous games.
Finally, we also have a new story introducing the character Cantarella. This story works similarly to Future Blessings in which Cardia met Shirley and became involved with the family of Gordon mobsters. However, it does offer a story directly related to the main events of Guardian of Rebirth, despite being entirely new.
However, the use of relevant elements is a double-edged sword for Cantarella’s story. On the one hand, it is quite interesting, working directly with things already established. On the other hand, they are events so relevant that it is difficult to believe in their lack of impact on the pre-established history. Likewise, the absence of mention of the character in the other Wintertide Miracles narratives devalues the route.
In visual terms, the work continues to demonstrate the usual quality of Otomate very well. The characters are very well designed, there are some occasional special effects and the backgrounds are rich in details, contributing to its ambiance in a Victorian and steampunk London.
The soundtrack is primarily composed of songs from the predecessors, which contributes to the nostalgic feeling of returning to Code: Realize. In fact, even though I originally thought that the compositions were, in general, weak, my appreciation for them only grew by playing both Future Blessings and Wintertide Miracles. The voices of the characters (exclusively in Japanese) are also fundamental to the experience, being very well executed.
It is also worth mentioning that the work has several important quality of life elements to make better use of it. In addition to being able to skip or set the game to automatic, you can save at any time and access a logtext. In this list of last dialogues / texts, it is possible to listen to previous excerpts or return to reread them or test other options, for example.
Even more than the previous game, Code: Realize ~ Wintertide Miracles ~ is a work entirely dependent on its predecessors. For those who have not yet played them, the work has little to offer. However, for those who already love the characters and would like to extend their time with Cardia and her boyfriends / friends, it’s guaranteed fun.
Code: Realize – Wintertide Miracles is a great game for the fans that expand the story and introduces new characters. New players should look to other games in the series first to understand and enjoy the game to its fullest.