Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~
The Bittersweet Love Story of a Girl Who Longs to Touch Another
This is the story of a girl named Cardia. She destroys everything she comes into contact with due to her mysterious poisonous touch. She must never know of the outside world. She must never make friends; and most importantly, she must never know of love, because she is a monster.
Code: Realize is one of the most beautiful otome games. For those of you who don't know, "Otome" is a Japanese term, which means "maiden game". It has its place in the gaming world as an obscure genre for exclusively female players. Otome games are centered around a female protagonist and her journeys along with several men, who all have very different personalities and backstories. Though otome games do have a heavy emphasis on developing a romantic relationship between the female protagonist and the male characters of the game, there is also emphasis placed on the heroine's own character development. Otome games are not games where the girl gets the guy and they run away into the gleaming sunset. These games challenge the realms of reality and grab the player's attention by creating a beautiful storyline and introducing characters that are hard to forget.
I was simply blown away by this game. I found it very hard to put down, because I was always wondering, "What's going to happen next?!" Similar to most otome games, Code: Realize gives the player choices that guide their progression throughout the game. The choices that the player selects have an impact on the ending. I can say that I have run into my fair share of bad endings while playing this game. Despite the fact that there a some grim endings in this game, there are also beautiful endings that make this game 100% worth it. For starters, this game took me about a month or so to complete. There are 5 guys in the game that the player can choose from, each of them having their own backstory that intertwines with the heroine's. I must remind those who are choosing to play this game that there is a "true ending". The "true ending" for most otome games references to the heroine's ultimate ending. These endings will usually explain everything and fill in any missing plot holes that the player may have encountered while pursuing other routes throughout their gameplay.
The true ending for Code: Realize is simply beautiful in every way and definitely made me tear up at the very end. I had, in a sense, fallen in love with each of the characters (yes, even the bad ones) and understood them and their motives. It was also super nice to see the character transformation that Cardia, the protagonist of Code:Realize, goes through. Most heroines in otome games are soft-spoken and often get themselves in avoidable situations easily. They sometimes are even regarded as the typical "damsel in distress". I can say with confidence that Cardia is not that type of girl. She is curious by nature and eager to learn about the mysteries that revolve around her existence. Her drive to learn the truth behind her existence as well as the bonds she makes with other characters of the game, really make her a lovable heroine.
I strongly recommend that those who have never played an otome game before, or even those that are looking to try out a new otome game, check out the Code: Realize franchise. Code: Realize is available on the PS4 as well as the PS Vita. In addition to Code: Realize Guardian of Rebirth, there is also a sequel called Code: Realize Future Blessings. I have purchased both games and am currently playing the second! I will most likely leave a review for the second game, so please look forward to it!