It’s always fascinating to see publishers take risk. Nintendo have done that by re-releasing two pieces of an older, niche franchise with Another Code: Recollection on the Nintendo Switch. For a quick history lesson, this compilation features updated versions of Trace Memory (also known as Another Code: Two Memories) and its sequel, Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories, which released on the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii well over a decade ago. Can these two still attract an audience with an update, or is this one risk that wasn’t worth the reward? Let’s find out.
At is heart, this franchise is your typical mystery/puzzle game, split into two games. The first is Two Memories, which has protagonist Ashley looking for answers to a mysterious letter from her thought to be deceased father, who helped pioneer research for human memories. She meets up with a ghost named D on a journey that brings her to a mysterious island, and has to help him restore his memory while finding out more about what happened to her famed parents in the process. The sequel takes place three years later, and brings her to another locale where she meets a runaway also looking for answers. Ashley’s stories are tied to the technology that only she can use to do research, which is basically her unique talent that brings the character full circle into her role.
Yeah, its a bit cookie cutter into the genre and fairly generic, but the story still manages to feel engaging throughout – despite its simplistic nature. I think the second game does feel more like a “episode of the week” more than a fully packaged release, almost as if it was originally thought of as a DLC chapter of sorts, but despite both being rather short, I do think there is something rather charming about Ashley and this world that the team have put together here.
If you are one of those who cherish either of these little hidden gems from the past, a lot has changed, but more-so for the better. The world is now able to be explored and fleshed out, as while these may be labeled as remakes, they’re honestly a new take altogether on both experiences. Players walk around, speak to characters, and participate in puzzles in order to progress the story. A lot of the game is a point and click, with moments that have you have to resolve the puzzles that come before you. Each puzzle is mostly unique, now featuring hints and prompts to guide you forward without frustration.
Because the touch controls are now a thing of the past, this version features both games with minor motion for puzzles and a standard button format for the bulk of the experience. The puzzles are all very simple to solve and most are spelled out rather quickly for the player, with indicators even guiding the way of where to go when prompted. However, there is still a sense of purpose to move forward and the tragically engaging plot keeps things rolling along without the player concentrating on things being too easy, rather focusing on the narrative over the actual gameplay. This means if you are someone that wants your adventure games to be a bit more gameplay-driven, you might be a bit disappointed as while the puzzles are satisfying, most are over quick and really only exist to keep that tale ticking.
I think with Another Code: Recollection, they could have went two different ways with this release. We could have seen a celebration of the original platforms with touchscreen integration, but instead this feels more of a side project, created by someone who really cared about the source material – simply bringing the best parts together for one updated and fluid package. Its very modernized and slick, and that may be for the best. There will be audiences that this title isn’t for as it is marketed towards adolescence. That said, there is definitely a place for this particular odd piece of history on the Switch, and this compilation has a smooth execution and very little to complain about, as the puzzles and story are just so lovely.
Newly featured voice casting adds a huge layer to both titles in this release and makes it feel modern. The performances are great, and the music comes with equal quality, bringing out an intense and memorable atmosphere that most will love sinking into. The sound effects also add to this, as no pun intended – the past games indeed feel like just a memory with how updated and solid the entire sound design is for this particular package.
The most jarring and welcome change are the updated visuals. The art style here is fantastic, taking the classic look of both games and fleshing out everything with so much more detail. For some games, that would be just acceptable, but for an adventure title with so many little details sewn into the plot, it makes it super satisfying just to finally get to explore these locales on a whole new level. The animations are fluid and fantastic, and nothing really ever feels rushed or clunky, even though the original titles kind of fit in that whole “budget game” category.
This industry has a lot of surprises. Another Code: Recollection fits that description perfectly. While the original games were never the top tier of entertainment from their respective generations, the fact that this title exists in this format is truly fascinating and hopefully opens more doors for quality updates ahead for other “hidden gems”. New players may not have a lot of meat to chew on compared to the onslaught of other titles in this same genre, but returning audiences are sure to find a warm, nostalgic joy of simply checking back up on Ashley and reliving what was a light, gripping little tale from a team that truly cared about re-telling it to a new set of fans.
Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.