Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review

The second portion of the story of Cardia Beckford and her men is now available for the Switch, so it’s time to relive it!”

  • System: Nintendo Switch, PS Vita
  • Publisher: Aksys Games
  • Developer: Idea Factory
  • Release Date: Apr. 23, 2020

Code Realize ~Future Blessings~ (Official Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer)

Who it Caters to

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
Code: Realize is a Japanese visual novel about an incredibly beautiful girl named Cardia Beckford, who is unable to touch other people because of a strong toxin running through her veins. And though that's already hard for a lady in her twenties, it's even harder for Lupin, Impey, Van Helsing, and all these men who can't help falling in love with this living doll they can’t even hug or kiss.

Simply put, this is an otome visual novel about a girl and all her handsome suitors, so if you like romance stories about a damsel in distress, look no further! That being said, you really have to enjoy reading if you're willing to try this game... and you really need to play the prequel (more like the main story than a prequel, to be honest) for a better understanding of what's happening here.

What to Expect

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
In the first installment, Guardian of Rebirth, we learned about Cardia's situation and the origin of the Horologium (the rose-like stone she has embedded in her chest and ultimately the reason for her corrosive touch). In Future Blessings, we get to see the second part of the canon story featuring Arsène Lupin, as well as several alternate scenarios.

As with most visual novels, all you have to do here is pressing a button to 'turn the page', and maybe pick between two options sometimes (it’s just an illusion, your choices don’t really matter), so don't come expecting a lot of gameplay or anything fun. This is all about connecting with the characters and fangirling at the voice actors!


Visuals

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
Some of the reasons why so many people love Code: Realize are its steampunk aesthetics, how beautiful the designs are, and how clean everything looks. In Future Blessings, all backgrounds are full of details, so they really help you with immersion, and though these images are so bright and colorful, the sepia tones bring the steampunk vibes to life.

Truth be told, it all looks great when playing on handheld mode, but that's not always the case if you're using a big screen. Also, the frame rate is not a problem when you're dealing with still images one after the other.

Sound, Music

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
For those unfamiliar with Code: Realize, let us say that Future Blessing's OST consists of the same songs featured in the original fan disc. That means we have songs like Brightness ~Eternal Pure White~ and My Dearest, both performed by MAO, but also other songs by popular artists like Kaori Oda or SHOJI.

All that being said, Code: Realize gives a lot of attention to voice acting, and who wouldn't do that when you have such an amazing cast of professional heart-melters?! Tomoaki Maeno as Arsène Lupin, Jun'ichi Suwabe as Abraham van Helsing, Yuki Kaji as Finis... and the list goes on!

Gameplay

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ is the first fan disc after Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, so it wouldn't be fair to call it a standalone game or sequel. The purpose of this entry is to tell several short stories that act as an epilogue to Cardia's journey.

The main tale is called After Story: White Rose, and you can play it from 5 different points of view, with Lupin, Impey, Van Helsing, Frankenstein, or Saint-Germain as Cardia's love interest. For example, the one we liked the most starts with Victor Frankenstein creating a cure to Cardia's poison and Abraham Van Helsing kissing her even without knowing for sure if the poison was really suppressed, risking his life just to be able to finally kiss the love of his life. Another fan favorite is Frankenstein's route, great for a cuteness overload, but that’s all we’re saying since we don’t want to give away any spoilers.

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
Then we have Extra Story: Finis and Extra Story: Herlock Sholmès, two original scenarios starring these secondary characters. Finally, there's also Another Story: Lupin’s Gang, the one that the fans of the main game will enjoy the most when connecting all the dots. As you can see, we have hours upon hours of romance and mystery, with all these ikemen having their chance to romance our sweet Cardia


Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review
While the first game caters to a wider audience and not just your average otome lover, this sequel/spin-off is more about Cardia and your bachelor of choice living happily ever after… or not, because life is never easy in fictional Victorian London. For that reason, and since the only thing you can do here is reading without affecting the outcome, only those who feel comfortable with sweet love stories will enjoy it.

Honey's Pros:

  • Cardia Beckford is one of the most gorgeous ladies in the world of visual novels.
  • The music is fantastic, and we have a dream team of sexy male voices!!
  • We all love everything steampunk-related.

Honey's Cons:

  • All you do is reading, and your choices change nothing.
  • Not really a con, but you need to play/read Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ to get the most out of this second part.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Since Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ was only available for the PS Vita, we're so happy to finally see it in a more popular platform. You can still get the feeling of a portable console, but you could also go for a bigger screen if you feel like it. Again, just bear in mind this is more a virtual, interactive book than it is a game, and never underestimate the power of romance literature when it comes to an extremely naive and submissive character like Cardia.
future_blessings_splash-560x312 Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ - Nintendo Switch Review

Author: Yaz L.