CODE REALIZE: GUARDIAN OF REBIRTH
Release Date: October 20, 2015 (North America)
Publishers: Aksys Games
Platforms: PS Vita, PS4, Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Steampunk! Steampunk! Steampunk!
One factor I really liked about Code Realize is its steampunk theme. The game is set to London’s 19th Century Victorian Era and all of the main characters are uniquely based on famous fictional personas in this period.
Read the game plot here.
Art and Music
The game’s art style was phenomenally done by the artist Miko. The steampunk outfits were drawn in intricate details and I wouldn’t have it in any other way. The CGs were absolutely gorgeous! I guess one of the main treats of playing this game was unlocking all of the CG’s (including the bonus ones which I think was solely for fan-service! ha!)
The soothing BGMs were on point during story transitions and the track “Floatable” would have to be one of my fav. otome game OP themes. I love how its tune matches the industrial theme the game portrays. Listen to it below!
“Impey” Morikubo Showtaro– Musica (Fairy Tail), Okita Souji (Hakuoki), Shikamaru (Naruto), Toa (7’scarlet)
“Van Helsing” Junichi Suwabe – Jae-ha (Akatsuki No Yona), Kaname (Brothers Conflict)
“Victor Frankenstein” Tetsuya kakihara – Shin (Amnesia), Toki Tanba (The Charming Empire), Karasuba (Psychedelica BB)
“Saint Germain” Daisuke Hirakawa- Ukyo (Brothers Conflict), Laito (Diabolik Lovers)
“Lupin” Tomoaki Maeno – Son Hak (Akatsuki No Yona), Natsume (Brothers Conflict), Keisuke Sanjou (Collar x Malice)
For best gaming experience, below is the recommended play order:
2) Van Helsing
3) Victor Frankenstein
4) Saint Germain
5) Lupin – his route only unlocks after clearing the others’ (happy ending)
Cardia (Best Girl) – Cardia’s development as a character was so well written that it was so bracing to play her as the protagonist. This heroine can hold her ground during a fight (Van Helsing’s training), can sneakily escape when caught or cornered (Lupin’s training), can maneuver steam engine vehicles as well as understand their mechanics (Impey’s training), can distinguish chemical properties (through studying with Victor) and has the wit to think quick in hopeless situations or when being chased (through studying with Saint Germain).
Unlike most otome MCs (the generic sass mouth damsel-in-distress type), Cardia is the exact opposite. She can take two or three mean punches and would still be able to get up on her feet afterwards.
- Genius Engineer
- the “lovable idiot”
- Best Cook.
Impey’s route was a nice ride. This man is just a darling of a character. Impey is usually the comic-relief of the bunch and the most energetic. Despite being barraged with playful insults by his comrades, everyone seems to respect Impey’s engineering expertise as well as his exemplary cooking skills. Impey is also the only guy among the bachelors who falls in love with our heroine, at first sight.
I really enjoyed playing Impey’s route. It was lighthearted and very refreshing (a route that kind of prepares you for the train wreck you’re about to experience as you later on progress on other routes lol). If I had to nitpick on this route, there were a few revelations regarding Impey’s character (e.g. his past life) that was pretty much cut short since his story didn’t go deeper with it which to me, was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, this route was very well paced, action packed and it made me like Cardia and Impey even more.
- Unlimited Ammos
- Worst Cook
- Best Ass.
Van Helsing was the last to join Lupin’s gang and Cardia’s harem. Van’s introduction in the game was perhaps one of the most intense scenes in the common route as he started as an enemy who hounded the group and threatened to kill them if they don’t surrender the “secret weapon” Lupin stole from London’s elite soldiers, (not knowing the weapon he’s referring to was Cardia all along). He reluctantly joins the group with the common goal of finding Isaac Beckford, although his main concern was initiating his plan of revenge to someone connected to Isaac and Cardia.
Van Helsing is also the most distant among the group but initially opens up to his comrades in the long run. His combat skills are god-tier which basically lives up to his famous title as the “The Human Weapon“.
Playing Van Helsing’s route was one emotional roller coaster. At some point I got so infuriated on the fact that he kept pushing Cardia away but his reasons for doing so was thoroughly explained in the middle of his route. His character development was very well written and the story of his past life will put a pang in your heart. I love how cute his after story turned out and I was thrilled to unlock his bonus story (plus CG) which I believe was the best part! *grins*
- Best Doctor
- alchemist boyfriend
Victor is a well-known alchemist who’s incredibly knowledgeable in his field. He’s sweet, adorable and exceptionally smart, it’s hard not to like him at first glance. This humble and gentle-hearted man is also the group’s reliable doctor. Despite his nonviolent nature, he is very capable of defending himself on a fight, and would rather sacrifice himself to save the group (his friends).
His route tells a deeper story of his past experience working for the Royal Society (under Queen Victoria) and working with Isaac Beckford himself, Cardia’s father. Because his route delved on a huge backstory, I felt that there was a lot to take in during the downpour of events. His story pacing, however, was consistently good, even though I think it needed more chapters. *shrug*.
- Filthy rich
Because not much is revealed on this character other than the fact that he is exceptionally skilled in combat, (as Van Helsing remarked) and that he’s very knowledgeable around London’s routes and paths, playing Saint Germain’s story was definitely a wild treat. Brace yourself!
His route consist of a whole different setting as well as different sets of new interesting characters. It felt more like a side story to me, since the game touches on a new plot line (Saint Germain’s history) rather than continuing the events in the common route (Cardia’s story). I also liked how this route offered a fair amount of interactions with Lupin. Since the Count’s story was a little grim and darker, I think it’s a good idea to play him last, prior to unlocking Lupin.
- Dorobo Shinshi “Gentleman Thief”
- Best Boy?
This gentleman thief was obviously the main guy our heroine’s supposed to end up with, canonically. He prides himself of his crafty skills of escapism and has a lot of clever plans up his sleeve to retort to when faced danger. During the common route, he made a promise to Cardia to grant her her wish, of wanting to touch and feel the warmth of another human being. He also promised to help her get rid of the poison in her body. In his route, He kept all his promises and did so, with style!
Lupin’s story was the true route in Code Realize Guardian of Rebirth. It’s where everything was put together, concluding the rest of the other character route’s cliffhangers. It’s also, the only route that had “Code Realize” as the chapter title. To put it simply, his route was the grand finale. Although I felt that his past story lacked in depth as it only touched on a few events of his life as a gentleman thief in training, I love how the romance never took a back seat in his story while it brought about the perfect conclusion of the game’s plot, all at the same time.
Code Realize would have to be one of my favorite Otome / Visual Novel titles. It’s one of those “play it once ~ and become a fan for life” type of games. I pretty much got fully invested with the characters quickly as each of their story pacings were consistently good, every route.
Perhaps its only downside was that the game was too long, it probably took me 40-50 hours to finish the entire thing. So if you’re not very fond of lengthy gameplays, it’s narratives may turn you off. This, however, was not an issue for me because there was never a dull moment during my playthroughs and I believe all the narratives were necessary to get a full grasp of the game’s story. It also helps the player get to know more about Code Realize’s characters and their individual motives.
Would I recommend this game? YES
Code Realize was actually one of the first few titles I’ve played that sucked me right into the otome niche. I want to recommend this game, not only to otome fans but also to visual novel junkies like myself who enjoys gorgeous art, amazing storylines, and very likable characters (consider the hot male sprites a plus).
Chlo’s Rating: 9/10