Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ Review

A Continuation of a Classic Otome

General Info

Release Date(s):
Switch Version NA: April 23, 2020*
NA Vita: October 22, 2019*
Japan Vita: November 24, 2016*
Rating: Teen
Developer(s): Otomate and Design Factory Co.
Publisher(s): NA: Aksys // JP: Idea Factory
Platform I Played On: Switch
Platform(s) Available On: Switch, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
Genre(s): Otome

*** It was not as easy to find the exact release dates. I think I managed, if they are wrong, forgive me~***

Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ is a fandisc or supplemental content for the game Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~. If you have not played that game play it before this game or any of the other fandiscs. You can find my review of Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth here!

Disclaimer: This is my HOBBY blog with my own opinions, please take that into consideration~

Synopsis

Taken from official Aksys site

Code Realize | Future Blessings | Official Site | (aksysgames.com)

Rescued from a horrible fate, a young woman enjoys a second chance for happiness. As she delves into the dark mysteries of her past, she draws ever closer to her brave new suitors. This alternative version of 19th century London is alive with possibilities… and danger! Will Cardia deepen her relationship with a favored gentleman, or explore fresh adventures with all-new characters? Her future and her heart are in your hands.

What is in this Fandisc?

This fandisc has a few different stories and scenarios. There is something called Delly’s room which you unlock as you play through all the stories within the game. There are three additional stories. One is a story about an event that took place in the main story involving the mafia. The second story is Holmes. The third story is an alternative path involving Cardia’s brother Finis. Finally, we have the most important aspect of this game: The White Rose stories. These are essentially a follow-up story for each of the routes in Guardian of Rebirth.

Why You Should Play: The Shortened Version

>> Continuation of routes from Guardian of Rebirth

>> Really fun and enjoyable stories

>> Additional content, need I say more?

Delly’s Room

Fun // Short Stories // Delly

These are short stories involving mainly everyday life at the mansion that involve Delly. Most of them revolve around Cardia interacting with Delly and various antics he gets himself into. I believe these are unlocked as you progress through all the stories. Though in all honesty I didn’t touch Delly’s Room until I was finished reading everything else… Some of the short stories come with a CG while others don’t. All in all, this is a wholesome sweet portion of content we get in the game.

From here on there are spoilers for some of the events for Guardian of Rebirth. If you haven’t played that game don’t read this review and play that game now~

Extra Story ~Finis~

Needed for Wintertide Miracles // Finis // Cardia’s Family

Finis’ story is essential to a substantial amount of the stories of the fandisc Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~. This one was an interesting read because we actually got to find more information about Twilight and Finis’ reasons for his actions. This was an interesting take as a sequel of a majority of the events from the “prologue” portion of Guardian of Rebirth. His is essentially the route where you don’t end up with any of the love interests. If you are thinking about getting Wintertide Miracles you have to read this story, in fact, I would say it is required reading material 😃

I did enjoy reading this story and thought it was nice to have an alternate ending that wasn’t focused on a love interest aspect. I appreciate it when there’s an alternative route just because it technically is a valid and possible outcome for the heroine. I think despite us having a romantic subplot this story flowed well and contained interesting twists and turns.

I liked the story because of the new information we learned. We also got to meet another member of Idea, Hansel, who is an interesting character to say the least. I liked that Cardia was driven to understand the intentions and motivations of both her brother and father. I liked the emphasis on siblings and what the notion of family meant both to Cardia and Finis. To be honest most of the plot is similar to Lupin’s plot in terms of the things we discover about Cardia, her father, and Finis. The outcome, however, is different due to the story pertaining to Finis and his own personal growth over the course of all the events that occurred.

Extra Story ~Herlock Sholmès~

Should’ve Read it Sooner // Additional Romance // Sherlock Holmes

Aside from, or rather, dare I say it, cringe worthy pseudonym of Sherlock Holmes is our other alternative story from the main events of Guardian of Rebirth. The one aspect that really just bugged me was the interchangeable usage of both last names of Holmes. This isn’t bad per say… but I found it just weird… I do wonder if there was some kind of potential copyright issue but I digress… I actually held off reading this route because I wasn’t intrigued by the character in the main story. I was a fool for doing so because I actually liked the story and route quite a bit.

I had not read any spoilers or reviews of this route so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I honestly thought it was going to be along the lines of getting involved with one of Holmes’ cases and a mini mystery. I had no idea this was essentially going to be another love interest route. I was pleasantly surprised and I actually quite enjoyed the route. I do think the whole premise of how Cardia gets involved with Holmes feels a bit random to me but in this game, we simply roll with it.

We get to meet the iconic Watson in this route which was a bonus! I like how he and Cardia are essentially a tag team in handling Holmes’ antics. I will say to fully understand Holmes’ route you should know the core story and characters from the actual Sherlock Holmes books. It’s basically a retelling of Holmes’ archnemesis James Moriarty just in a Code Realize fashion. I really enjoyed this and would recommend playing this story. Don’t be a fool like I was and simply go for it!

Another Story ~Lupins Gang~

Mafia // New Characters // Fun Additional Story

This is a story add-on that took place in one of the “lull moments” of the main story (though was there ever a moment where there wasn’t something going on? 🤣 ). That being said the whole premise is that there’s a sudden rise in crime and it clearly has something to do the mafia. Yes, we get a whole other group/organization involved. Clearly, we were lacking on these in this story haha. Cardia actually gets to wear a different outfit in this story! Exciting! In fact, the whole gang gets to wear new outfits! I liked that we actually got to see a wardrobe change in this story. It was a fun change.

Cardia in the story makes a new friend that’s a girl named Shirley. It’s nice to see her not just associating with a bunch of dudes. We get to meet some members of the mafia, namely the Gordon family. The story starts off with various members of Lupin’s gang including Cardia getting into situations that miraculously these all converge on one major issue involving the mafia. This sparks a great adventure that takes us out of London proper and lots of hijinks ensue.

This story was fun. Does it add yet another element to the “everything but the kitchen sink” trope that Code Realize as a whole has? Yes. Was it a fun read? Yes. I liked that we got a plot line that was removed from the typical topics discussed such as Cardia’s horologium or the organization Twilight. If this story were to be included in the main story it would tip the scales of too much randomness. As a singular story it is a fun. I would say this is another instance of don’t think too about the specifics of the story, just simply enjoy.

After Story ~White Rose~

A Brief Note: These stories do not involve any dialogue choice for Cardia/player. You just get to sit back and enjoy the story~

A Brief Note 2: Something that bothered me in this was that in most of the routes Cardia didn’t get a new outfit to wear. I was upset by this 😤 I really wanted to get rid of the outfit that she had worn in the previous game, I just don’t like it 😭 Give the girl some nice clothes!~

A Brief Note 3: Ahem, WHERE are the outfits that are on the cover of this game? I was thinking we were finally going to get some new clothes but only a few select characters we see wearing the white outfits. Unless I missed something (which is entirely possible) I was a bit saddened to not see these outfits utilized in the stories.

A Brief Note 4: All of the routes essentially contain a problem that both Cardia and the love interest have to solve. The problems usually stem from some sort of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of a situation. The problems can sometimes feel a bit benign or mundane but I think that’s the overall intent of these stories. I think some of the problems are more childish than others. I do have strong opinions on which ones I liked and which ones were average. With that being said I don’t hate any of the routes. I just like some MUCH MORE than others~

The Routes

The routes are listed in the order I played them. Below are my personal rankings of the routes!

Saint-Germain >>>> Impey > Van Helsing > Lupin > Victor

Saint-Germain 😍

So how could I not start with my favorite route from Guardian of Rebirth? Saint-Germain continues his winning streak in that this is my favorite route in this game as well. I feel as though his route contains many consistencies in tone, story, and characterizations from Guardian of Rebirth. As we know, he is not one of the routes in which Cardia was cured from her poison so much of the story does revolve on finding a way to cure her. In this search for a cure, we get to learn a bit more about Saint-Germain’s past and do a bit of travelling.

Let’s just say the drama returns in Saint-Germain’s route and I enjoyed it 😃 Of all the issues presented in the various routes I saw this one as a bit less childish and had some valid worries and concerns. The way it was presented had the typical classical romance novel vibe and I was here for it! Despite the moments of drama, the actual story as a clear progression and reads really smoothly from beginning to end.

I also think Cardia in some ways is the most mature version of herself in this route which I appreciate. She is enjoying expanding her own knowledge and learning about the world she knew so little about. Overall, I really appreciated the story of this route and liked the variety of topics, places, and personal growth we got to see in the short story. I really just loved this route and definitely had to reread again once I was done with all the others 😍

Abraham Van Helsing

Poor Van Helsing, I read this route after Saint-Germain’s and boy is that a hard one to follow! I think when I first read Van Helsing’s route I was a bit underwhelmed ngl. After I read the other routes I actually that I liked Van Helsing’s route a lot more than I thought. This realization bumped him into my third place of this batch of routes! This route has a fair amount of natural progression and definitely contained more CGs that felt more fanservice oriented (but not cringeworthy). His route has him working as a bodyguard for a Marquis and he and Cardia live at the mansion. This route is also one of the routes that Cardia was not cured of her poison in the first route so there are some story elements that tie into that.

The story itself revolves around dealing with this newfound lifestyle and figuring out what the future holds. I think the drama was a bit weird when I first read it but upon reflection it wasn’t unfounded and actually made somewhat sense. When I wrote about Van Helsing’s route in Guardian of Rebirth, I said I felt like there wasn’t too much romance due to the sheer amount of trauma and drama. This route makes up for that lack and simply feels like a continuation of the romantic moments we didn’t get the first-time ’round.

Victor Frankenstein

This route is one I was not expecting the tonal shift from the events that occurred in his previous route. This is the other route in which Cardia is free from her poison self. Cardia and Victor for all intensive purposes are quite happy in this route and don’t have huge communication breakdowns like some of the other routes.

The story isn’t a bad one, BUT I felt like it recycled a lot of plot devises from Saint-Germain’s route in Guardian of Rebirth. The organization Idea is brought back in this route and takes a large role i nthe story. Whenever there’s Idea lurking about, we know there’s going to be some level of drama and this route definitely gave of the Idea dramatic treatment. In some portions I thought Saint-Germain stole the scene from Victor which I am not really complaining about 😂 My overall gripe is that I really wished there would have been more separation from the other routes’ plots and Victor got something that was uniquely to him. All in all, I wasn’t ready for such melodrama from Victor’s route and really was hoping for some other storyline than the one we got. For the people who are not opposed to having more Idea drama but don’t like Saint-Germain’s route (which I cannot even fathom why 😱) this would be a very intriguing story line.

Arsène Lupin

This route was alright. It didn’t wow me like some routes and a large part of the story premise just wasn’t my personal taste. The whole confusion/miscommunication as a couple thing got a bit boring by this point because I had already read other routes which dealt with a similar theme. There is no poison aspect in this route because Cardia has already been cured. I think Lupin is once again the breadwinner in terms of plot variance in that we got two whole separate storylines opposed to one overarching one.

Lupin’s route is pretty much divided into two parts. The first is in a similar vein to some of the other routes in that there is a focus on dealing with the fact that all the danger is in the past and getting accustomed to everyday life. The second is actually really sweet in that Cardia gets to find out more about her father and what kind of man he was. I liked the second part much more than the first due to the more investigative and discovery aspects. As a whole I didn’t mind this route, it had really fun and sweet moments.

Impey Barbicane

This route was a pleasant surprise! Impey’s route is another route where Cardia is not cured from the poison so there is some of his storyline dedicated her poisoned body. There is less drama about a misunderstanding in Impey’s route. In this portion you get a sense that Impey has truly loved Cardia this whole time and that takes the edge away from “new couple drama” which honestly, I am happy about because that theme was far too common in the routes. I think like Saint-Germain’s route, Cardia gets to experience more of the world and bolsters her own personal knowledge. Rather than her knowledge being universal and cultural it has to do with science and discovery in Impey’s route.

I liked how there is a continuation of Impey’s engineering escapades. The story does revolve around a project of some sorts, and I really enjoyed that story line. Cardia is not confined to a house setting and is actively involved and present in the project. Even if she does not have the engineering brain Impey does she is there to help and seems so have an aptitude for understanding machinery. I knew I really liked this route when there was a wholesome moment at the completion of the project. It was one of the best executed moments of the routes. It really embodied the wonder of science and how Impey and Cardia were now a team experiencing these natural wonders. I was really not expecting this level of story from Impey’s route and rank this one as my second favorite route! Just does to show you cannot judge a book by its cover!

Our Heroine: Cardia Beckford

Similar to Guardian of Rebirth // Cardia is a Great Heroine

In this game Cardia retained her personality of the first game, which is a great! I really liked Cardia due to her smarts and observational skills. She never comes off as totally naïve or stupid and acknowledges her own weaknesses and strengths. I would say her overall growth depends on which story of this game you read. Some stories there is minimal character growth while other really showcase her journey and newfound skills and perceptions of life. I would argue in Finis’ route she possibly is her strongest character wise just because of her sheer willpower and perseverance. I really like Cardia as a heroine and glad they gave her the same respect in the game as the first!

Game Ambience and Gameplay

New locales // Similar Vibes as Guardian of Rebirth // Skip Issue?

The overall ambience of the game is just as beautiful as the first game. We get to see a few more locales in visual form which is always appreciated! Everything else is pretty similar to Guardian of Rebirth if not improved upon. The menu has all the typical features most otome games have. Pretty straightforward and no complaints!

As I have mentioned throughout the review that while I question some of the lack of new clothing the new clothes that we do get are really nice and are appropriate for the situation and fit every characters’ sensibilities.

I did encounter one curious element of gameplay. I may be dumb, but it seemed as though the skip feature wasn’t working for me? When I maybe failed at Holmes’ story line… I had to replay a considerable amount of story. The best I could do was speed up the texts and constantly click the button to continue the dialogue. Like I said maybe this is how the skip feature is supposed to work? Or maybe I didn’t have the correct settings. It wasn’t game breaking or anything, just simply different from the skip mechanics I’m used to.

Would I Recommend?

Honestly this game was on par to its predecessor Guardian of Rebirth. While there are some chaotic plot elements and suspension of belief just as the last game overall it is simply really fun to read! Everything that people love about this series from the stories, characters, and ambience is fully present in Future Blessings. They did not skimp out story or visually wise in this fandisc!

Obviously, the major draw for this game is the continuation of the routes from the first game! And the routes are really enjoyable as a whole. I am surprised my personal rankings were different from those of the first game. I honestly was kind of expecting all the characters to be type-casted into a certain role and that didn’t happen! I was pleasantly surprised about some of the individual routes’ stories. If you are here for the continuation of the routes you will not be disappointed!

The extra stories in the game were also an unexpected surprise. I went in pretty much blind and didn’t know what to expect. Afterall, my main reason for purchasing this game was the continuation of the routes. I ended up really enjoying all three stories for various reasons. All were different and had enjoyable moments. I especially like we got an unexpected sixth love interest, didn’t see that coming!

Cardia as a character retained her overall personality of the first game. While she differs in every single story her overall demeanor and smarts are still there. I really respect her as our heroine of the series, and she doesn’t disappoint in this game!

I wouldn’t recommend this game only if you didn’t like Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~. Honestly, that’s all I can say…

I would recommend Future Blessings if you loved Guardians of Rebirth and simply want more story. The overall quality from the first game remains intact and makes for a great supplemental reading material for Code Realize. I would say I didn’t dislike any of the stories and found them all engaging and had a really fun time reading them!

Haven’t Played the Previous Game?