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Another Code R: A Journey Into Lost Memories Review

Nintendo weave a winning story

In its five-year lifespan, the DS has seen a handful of enjoyable story-based adventure games. Titles like the Ace Attorney series and Hotel Dusk: Room 215 have provided compelling storylines that make for games that, while not exactly the most difficult in the world, are engaging and addictive nonetheless.

One of the best examples of this was Another Code. In it, a 14 year-old girl called Ashley Robbins travelled to an island to meet her father who she'd long presumed was dead. It was a fantastic little game, filled with some innovative puzzles. At one point you had to stamp an etching of an object by physically closing the DS and 'clamping' down on it - a genius mechanic later thieved by the Zelda team for Phantom Hourglass.

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Perhaps because it doesn't quite offer the same book-style experience, the Wii doesn't have many games like this. That's now changed with the sequel to Another Code R, the snappily subtitled A Journey Into Lost Memories.

The game takes place two years after the events of the original Another Code, and there's a handy 'prologue' option in your inventory screen which quickly sums up the story of the first game in case you didn't play it (which we really recommend you do, incidentally). Now aged 16, Ashley is getting frustrated with her recently reunited dad who's been working away from home and continuing his research. As a result of this she hasn't seen him in six months, despite his promise that he'd be home every weekend.

One day, however, she gets a message from him asking her to spend the weekend with him at a summer camp. Annoyed at having to give up her weekend for something she's sure she won't enjoy, she reluctantly goes to Lake Joliet to see him, not realising that he wants to tell her more about her past and what happened to her mother (who died when Ashley was three).

The game retains the same graphical style as the DS title, meaning the characters are cel-shaded while the backgrounds resemble watercolour paintings. This time though, everything's in full 3D, so when Ashley and someone else are having a discussion the screen splits and you get to see them actively talking to each other. It might not seem like much but they're so well animated (both physically and facially) that their expressions and body language add so much to each conversation.

This attention to detail extends to everything else about the game. The backgrounds are lovely, the dialogue is well-written, the flashback scenes are extremely well-executed and the whole thing's just really emotional. We defy anyone who's suffered a loss in their life not to get a little choked up when Ashley talks to her dad about her deceased mother.

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Control Yourself

Ironically, the only element of Another Code which seems to have taken a step backwards is the control system, which is purely down to the system the game's been developed for. The original Another Code made use of all the handheld's quirky little gimmicks: the touch screen, the microphone, the fact it can close over. That it was only released shortly after the original DS was launched also helped to give it a fresh feeling. When Ashley was given a DAS (a modified DS) in the original, the DS was new to us too. We felt like we were being given a brand new piece of kit.

These days we've pretty much seen everything the Wii Remote has to offer (MotionPlus notwithstanding), so when Ashley's dad finds a mysterious device which conveniently looks exactly like a Wii Remote with an LCD display at the top, it's not quite so exciting because we just get the feeling it's going to be shoehorned into a lot of different puzzles. Thankfully the Remote shenanigans are kept to a minimum and when it does come into play it's never annoying. The updated DAS (which looks suspiciously like a DSi) also makes things interesting with its built-in camera. A word of advice though. If you're the impatient type who skips through long chats in games and keeps pressing A until the text box goes away, this game is not for you. There is an awful lot of dialogue so if you're not in the mood for lots of reading and would prefer some fast-paced action, this is clearly not worth going for.

It's essentially the equivalent of an interactive novel on your telly, as opposed to the next Smash Bros. If you can appreciate a good yarn though, and fancy having your emotional heartstrings tugged while playing a game that - while not exactly difficult - has a compelling storyline, then Another Code: R is a pleasant, engaging experience that's well worth splashing your hard-earned cash on.

Comments

26 comments so far...
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  1. Ai64 Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 09:48

    Wonderful! Ashley makes her return on the wii.

  2. Gavin Rozee Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 11:26

    Best game on Wii.

    It better sell well, it deserves to.

  3. Sabrewulf Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 13:23

    I've had this on pre-order for a while, so looking forward to finally playing at the weekend. This will be a fabulous game if even half as good as the DS version. Apparently it is not to everyone's tastes (although can't understand why) so it probably won't sell as well as it should!

  4. funmaker11 Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 14:21

    Shame it's very linear, but I don't mind if I will buy this, it must be good. :D

  5. Gavin Rozee Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 17:57

    http://twitpic.com/8dyiu Proof for the Twitter thing! I made a Twitter account as fast as possible but I don't know how to send you the pic on Twitter ONM! I hope I win the fake book cover thing!

  6. Icarus_Kid Thursday 25th Jun 2009 at 20:33

    Beautiful grahics and it supposedly has a good story to it but i'm put off from the reviews and metacritic so far. Metacritic score is 73 and the highest scorring review is yours, hmm still tempting.

  7. Luchia Friday 26th Jun 2009 at 17:39

    Just got it today.
    Quite possibly the most beautiful game ever.
    The jukebox makes a return as an mp3 player, meaning I can sit for hours listening to my favourite tune~

    Buuuut... I'm already stuck. ><
    I can't light the charcoal in Chapter 2.
    If anyone figures it out, give me a shout, eh?

  8. nicktendo Friday 26th Jun 2009 at 19:54

    i am quite literally EXPLODING with excitement! it was my favourite ds game ever and i cant wait to enjoy the wii version. unfortunately i couldn't get it today :-( but first thing tomorrow! ANOTHER CODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

  9. bobmarleypeople Friday 26th Jun 2009 at 20:00

    Just got it today.
    Quite possibly the most beautiful game ever.
    The jukebox makes a return as an mp3 player, meaning I can sit for hours listening to my favourite tune~

    Buuuut... I'm already stuck. ><
    I can't light the charcoal in Chapter 2.
    If anyone figures it out, give me a shout, eh?

    What do you do to encourage fire to burn?

    Anyhoo, I got the game at half 9 this morning after having a pre-order going for ages. The game is graphically more stunning than any other Wii game. Yeh SSBB had that 3D thing going, but all seemed rather generic in style. Another Code is very arty in visual style and I'm loving it.
    Story doesn't disappoint either, as expected by Cing.

    I'm kinda stuck in chapter 4 though. Arg how do I fix the hose >_<

  10. Gavin Rozee Saturday 27th Jun 2009 at 05:42

    Just got it today.
    Quite possibly the most beautiful game ever.
    The jukebox makes a return as an mp3 player, meaning I can sit for hours listening to my favourite tune~

    Buuuut... I'm already stuck. ><
    I can't light the charcoal in Chapter 2.
    If anyone figures it out, give me a shout, eh?

    What do you do to encourage fire to burn?

    Anyhoo, I got the game at half 9 this morning after having a pre-order going for ages. The game is graphically more stunning than any other Wii game. Yeh SSBB had that 3D thing going, but all seemed rather generic in style. Another Code is very arty in visual style and I'm loving it.
    Story doesn't disappoint either, as expected by Cing.

    I'm kinda stuck in chapter 4 though. Arg how do I fix the hose >_<

    Look around Ashleys Dads desk ;)

  11. bobmarleypeople Saturday 27th Jun 2009 at 13:19

    Look around Ashleys Dads desk ;)

    Arg! How did I not see that before!!! Thanks XD

  12. D3KU_JUDD Saturday 27th Jun 2009 at 20:40

    Got it today, awesome game!

  13. Luchia Saturday 27th Jun 2009 at 22:34

    Just got it today.
    Quite possibly the most beautiful game ever.
    The jukebox makes a return as an mp3 player, meaning I can sit for hours listening to my favourite tune~

    Buuuut... I'm already stuck. ><
    I can't light the charcoal in Chapter 2.
    If anyone figures it out, give me a shout, eh?

    What do you do to encourage fire to burn?

    Not exactly the sharpest crayon in the box here. ;-;
    I'm pretty much the stupidest AC R player ever.

  14. bobmarleypeople Saturday 27th Jun 2009 at 23:04

    I consider the game well and truly completed (though I didn't get the prize from the gumball machine...maybe next playthrough).

    EDIT: @Luchia, look around the cardboard box. there might be something you can use...

  15. primula Sunday 28th Jun 2009 at 11:33

    i'm stuck on this charcoal section.
    i can't pick anything up around the campsite to make the match light the charcoal. arghh.
    any help would be muchly appreciated :)

  16. jgri8105 Monday 29th Jun 2009 at 10:43

    one of the most prettiest games on the wii (after okami). will be getting this as soon as i have some money. played through the fist one around 2 times and loved it. don't care if it's linear as for me it's the story and how it's presented that counts :D

  17. ChrisONM Monday 29th Jun 2009 at 13:04

    i'm stuck on this charcoal section.
    i can't pick anything up around the campsite to make the match light the charcoal. arghh.
    any help would be muchly appreciated :)


    Bit of an annoying one this, because it's actually much more obvious than it looks. You literally point the match over the blank area on the charcoal, which is actually a piece of paper. Hold the match over it for a bit and it lights.

  18. Ubahquiet Monday 29th Jun 2009 at 14:49

    I hope to get this as soon as I have money, I loved the first game and this one sounds awesome too.

  19. kushti Sunday 5th Jul 2009 at 12:02

    I started playing the game and now I can't stop!!! I think it's great. I've had been really sick this weekend and it's been my saviour, it's also stopped me from snapping at everyone!!

    I have gotten stuck at one point and I just can't crack it I've been trying to solve the problem for some time. How do you get to Ryan' house? It's the 'truth about the lake' chapter. There is that damn landslide in the way and I've gone around every way and nothing seems to lead to his house. What am I missing?

    I hate cheating...but this is really bugging me.

    Thank you

  20. kushti Sunday 5th Jul 2009 at 15:16

    I got it.. I could of bet my left arm that I knocked on that door twice and nothing happened. I must be going with delusional with fever!!!

    It's probably a good thing I didn't bet my left arm :o

  21. Onna76_NL Tuesday 21st Jul 2009 at 06:44

    I find it one of the best story based adventures I've played. Ow and its Lake Juliet not Joliet ;)

  22. Issun2765 Friday 14th Aug 2009 at 20:28

    Wierdly, I'm waiting till my B'day next year to get this. I was 14 when I got the 1st game on DS (Ashley was 14). Now I'm going to get the sequel on my 16th B'day simply to enhance the gameplay a bit...

    :wink:

  23. Kail Sunday 23rd Aug 2009 at 23:11

    I am so psyched for this game, I bought it after soely because the artwork is so beautiful.

    Looking forward to something a bit different ;)

  24. maxmatt Monday 24th Aug 2009 at 06:50

    What I've played so far has been great the graphics, the puzzles (the difficulty level is just right not ridiculously easy but It doesn't have you pulling your hair out shouting " I DON'T GET WHAT THE HELL I'M SUPPOSED TO DO!" either) and I've been sucked into the story.

    I don't know if they have left it open for another sequel but I hope so we need more games like this on the wii.

  25. eleanorminimew Wednesday 2nd Sep 2009 at 11:38

    Love the game but hate it when I was stuck! Speaking of that I'm stuck now. Can anyone tell me how many times to turn the keys in the clock tower?! :lol: Thanks!!
    Love the music and artwork. :)

  26. Mous3y Thursday 11th Feb 2010 at 15:20

    I bought another code when I first bought my ds. I was blown away by the graphics, story and the fact that they used all aspects of the ds including closing it.(which ninty sneakily copied for phantom hourglass which I also love) I'm quite sad i'll never play this cos I sold my wii cos I wasn't keeping it for like the 5 games that are good. Oh well..Maybe one day, another code..

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