Another Code: Two Memories Nintendo DS Review
I’m an adventure lover myself; you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about this one. I played it… I loved it. Doesn’t mean it is without any flaws however.
You play Ashley, a soon to be 14 year old girl who has been raised by her aunt. Ashley was told by her aunt that her father had died, but now Ashley received a message from her father asking her to come visit him. This message was inside a handheld system; in fact it was inside a silver and double-screened handheld system with touch screen capabilities. This device is called the Dual Another System, or DAS. This handheld can only be operated by Ashley because her fingerprints are the only ones that can unlock it. Her father actually made this himself, but let’s go on with the story. The message asks Ashley to go to a deserted island so she can spend her 14th birthday with her dad. However when reaching this island her father is not there and a few minutes after your aunt goes looking for him you hear a scream: time for you to go investigate.
Another Code: Two Memories plays like a point and click adventure. Of course; the DS and its capabilities are used to the fullest. On the bottom screen you will see an overhead view of Ashley and her direct environment, you can use the touchscreen to make her run around or use buttons if you prefer. The top screen is magical and for some reason reminds me of a Japanese manga I once read. Not only do the characters look similar but also the entire way the game is presented reminds me of these Japanese comics. You will see certain interesting objects from a first person view while you run around. So when you come close to a bed the top screen will show the bed with all interesting things it might have, when you move away, the top screen will show whatever else is close to you or a view of the area you are in. I kid you not: this looks absolutely stunning. With a push of a button you can make the view on the top screen move to the bottom screen, making it possible to investigate certain objects. This is a very important part of the game because the more you investigate, the more you know. The more you know, the easier it is to solve puzzles and eventually beat the game. The beauties do not end with just the visuals, the music is also of very high quality. It is very atmospheric as well. However, the sounds as a whole were merely above mediocre. There aren’t too many sounds in the game, or at least so it seemed, and I think it’s just a shame that a game this beautiful is not accompanied by great sound effects.
D, the Ghost
One of the first things you will discover is a ghost. This ghost lost all of his memories, the only thing he remembers is that he used to be called ‘D’. So this is how Ashley addresses this ghost as well. This guy right here is of great importance, while you play the game some of his memories will come back. These memories help you figure out what to do next. Although very helpful, the long dialogues between these two did become annoying at times. This isn’t a big issue, but the skilled detectives out there will experience some of these dialogues as predictable. To explain a bit more about D, nobody has ever seen him before. Ashley is the first that is able to see him, after decades of being alone someone has finally found D. You are not in this alone anymore either, D is going to help you and you are going to help D. He believes that he will finally find rest when he remembers what happened during his life.
A few interesting features of Another Code involves the player doing the things that usually the character would do themselves. Things like the first person view on the top screen do help, but touching things on the bottom screen makes the entire experience just a bit more personal. Ashley is not the one cutting through a rope: you are. That said there is one gameplay ‘feature’ that I did not like. Often when spotting something important the player would realise that he would need it later on, but Ashley would not. Therefore she would not pick it up, you would first have to find a use for it and then backtrack to pick it up. Often the backtracking would mean moving back a single room, which takes about 5 seconds, but I still found this annoying. So many things made you the main character, except this one. All the same, I can see why this has been implanted; in the old school adventure games the main character would run around with hundreds of items in his back pocket. Only being able to pick things up that you already confirmed a use for has its charms, but I still don’t prefer it.
Without a doubt the biggest issue of this game is its length. It took me less than 7 hours to complete it, although I think most will take 8 or more hours to beat the game. Once finished there doesn’t seem to be much to come back to, but like all adventure games there is a big chance you will start playing it again months or even years later. That said I enjoyed every minute of this game and the story wrapped things up nicely. I found Another Code: Two Memories very satisfying despite it being short.
I loved this game all the way through. It is short, so if you’re still in doubt, pick it up later when it drops in price. But do yourself a favour and try this one out sooner or later. I’m hoping for a sequel, or at the very least more adventure games for the DS. Graphically this game is stunning. The music is excellent but all other sounds were average at best. Fast loading times, interesting story and great use of the DS its functions make Another Code a fantastic game. This is not a very difficult game but thanks to the DS it has several unique puzzles. At the very least one puzzle will totally wow and amaze you once you figure it out, but sadly you don’t need to solve this one to beat the game so I think a lot will miss out on a great experience. In any case, my jaw hit the floor 3 times during this game: once because of the way the graphics are presented and twice because of fantastic and unique puzzles. This is a rare thing, I hope you can appreciate the game the same way I did. Because if you do, Another Code: Two Memories will take you for a ride.