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Now then, raise your hand if you remember the first DS launch games. No? Well this was one of them and boy, am I so glad they did release this game.
Ashley has just had her birthday when she goes to Edward Island in search of her father and along the way meets a ghost boy named D who becomes her companion. Sounds a little cliche? To be honest this plot is a little but I can't really fault it at the same time. I don't want to go into too much detail but the plot is intriguing. I would also recommend doing everything as thoroughly as possible because if you don't, then you could in fact get a 'bad ending' (which caused me to have to complete the game SIX TIMES to get the best ending).
The controls are simple to use, bare in mind this game doubles as a how-to of DS controls since it was one of the launch games. Also since the plot is complicated I would recommend buying this game for a teenager or older. One little annoyance is that the game could be so much more longer! There is so much plot potential here and so many thing could be expanded upon (Her father and mother in particular. And the character of Bill and the Edward family). I can also be really annoying and say the graphics can look a little bit iffy during gameplay but the cut scenes are great. The game can look really beautiful.
All in all, it is a good game but there could be so many little things to be improved upon.
This was one of the first games I bought for the DS. I jumped on the title being a fan of old-school adventure/puzzle games, and in general I was not disappointed.
The plot of the game follows a girl named ashley, who, in travelling to meet her long-lost father must rediscover repressed memories of her past (and those of an unlikely companion she meets along the way) in order to solve myriad puzzles and eventually save the day.
The puzzles themselves are ingenious, and use the functionality of the DS far better than any other game I have played. It isn't gimmicky, it's intuitive and clever. In some cases, the game goes beyond even the vision of the console's designers and involves its actual physical properties in the puzzles (sorry to be vague; trying hard not to spoil the best ones here!)
The main weakness of the game is it's shortness. On my first playthrough, I think my final play time was 8 hours, and that includes any puzzles I got stuck on. Subsequent playthroughs have been much shorter even than that.
On the other hand, the fact that I *have* played through it multiple times is testament to the lovely story and beautifully designed puzzles that this game has to offer.
Ok so I told you about my wonderful Nintendo DS in the previous review so now I guess it is only fair to start reviewing my games that I have. The first up is Another Code: Two Memories which let me tell you I have been addicted to ever since I got the game. I have given it five stars so here let me tell you all of you who are thinking about buying this game why to go ahead and just buy it.
So what is the game about?
Ashley an innocent vulnerable girl is looking for her father. When she arrives at an Island her Aunt Jessica disappears and with her father nowhere to be seen, Ashley must find her way through puzzle after puzzle and code after code to find them both.
Things to know:
Price - £29.99 in shops but £24.99 from Amazon.
Certification Recommended for those aged seven and over.
Characters and Story:
Ok so this game has a great story and one that will grip you and keep you hanging on until you find out what happens. From the start you are thrown in at the deep end with so many mysteries surrounding the island and Ashleys father and throughout the game you find so much evidence and even more mysterious artefacts and puzzles that you just get addicted to finding out what happens next. I am never like this with story games and usually get bored but with this one I cared about Ashley and needed to know what was happening.
On that subject the characters are fantastic and you get a lot of back story and insights into how they are feeling so I cared what happened during the game. I wanted to solve the clues for Ashley which is strange seen as she is just a computer character but I actually felt a part of her life as the game gets you involved that much. The other main character D the ghost also allows you to really get into his mind and you care about him too. I love the way that the game creators have let you get this involved with the character lives as it makes you want to play the game more.
Graphics and Sounds:
This game is fantastic for graphics and sounds. First the graphics are very real and although at first it does look like you are going to be playing a Manga game, the actual graphics of the game are not like this. What I mean by this is that as soon as you start the game you are introduced to a few characters and the actual animation of the characters is like looking at a Manga comic strip so as you can imagine they are pretty cool looking. When you get into the game however this changes and your surroundings look as real as anything. The rocks and trees look fantastic and the buildings have very intricate detail. When you do look closer at some objects it does go a bit Manga like again so all in all the game looks pretty cool.
The sounds in this game can be annoying at times, especially when the characters are speaking as it is just like this little clicking sound as you read what they are saying. After a while I got used to them though and the music is quite relaxing so when it suddenly changes you know that something is about to happen.
Now getting used to the main controls is pretty easy but then you find out you can do more with this game. As you look at certain scenes you can zoom in on specific objects by pressing the A button and you can also move certain objects around using the stylus. The funny thing about this game though that I found to be a great idea is that the main character Ashley has a DS in the game but they call it a DAS which I found very funny.
Although the game controls are pretty simple to master the actual game is quite hard at times with so many puzzles to explore and codes to master I found that this game was quite challenging and at parts you did have to really think how to complete them. I like the way the game has been made as the touch screen has been utilised well and Ashley even has a camera so she can take the odd picture.
The top screen of the game shows you what Ashley sees and the bottom touch screen is where you will see her as she moves around the island exploring.
I love this game and it is unlike me to follow a story line in a game to be honest which shows how interesting this game is. Usually I play a game and skip most of the talking because to be honest I am not a big fan of games that are eighty per cent dialogue and only twenty per cent game play. This game is different though, yes you do have to listen to all of the talking but in this game you have no choice. At first I was quite annoyed that I had to read all of this writing instead of getting into the game but after a while I realised that there are so many clues to some of the puzzles in the dialogue that you have to read carefully. From then on I didnt mind it in the game and to be honest it has made me think that maybe I would enjoy games if I did pay more attention to the dialogue.
The graphics in this game as I have said are wonderful and the ability to use the touch screen is brilliant and they utilise it to its maximum in this game. I have always liked Manga graphics and the characters look brilliant in the game.
Another code: Two memories is known for being a brilliant game to play and I think that most reviews you will read about this game will all say the same thing, that the game is just way too short. I managed to complete it in just over ten hours which for a game is very short indeed (it does monitor your time every time you save so please dont think I played it for ten hours straight).
I was reading other reviews for this game before I started to play it and was quite disappointed when people were saying it was just too easy to play and that was why the game was short because people were completing it in about six hours. I have to disagree with these people because I found many things in this game to be quite challenging and at one point I even had to search on a walkthrough on the internet as one part was driving me mad.
In conclusion I think that although this game is quite short and I am quite slow at games so for any normal gamer you could probably complete it in half of the time I did but I do think this game is fantastic and extremely fun to play. I am a big fan of code breaking games anyway so I had high hopes for this game and it did meet my expectations. Five stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
The DS may want to pioneer new game styles and ways to play but it is also a console that can suit the old fashioned type of game to the ground. The adventure genre may not be as big as it once was but with the DS it will hopefully find a niche because the console suits the style of it well. Soon after the DS was announced two adventure games were on the tables, Lost In Blue and Another Code (Trace Memory in the US), both using the DS in new ways to breathe a bit of life into the adventure genre.
In Another Code you play as a young girl called Ashley. Ashley has been cared for by her aunt from a young age due to both her parents dying. Before her 14th birthday she receives a package (containing a DAS which is oddly like a DS) from her supposedly dead father and a note saying he is living on a place called Blood Edward Island. Despite the rather foreboding name Ashley and her aunt set sail to the island in search for their father. Unfortunately, after going on ahead of Ashley, her aunt disappears and so Ashley sets off alone. Luckily she isn't alone for long as she soon encounters a young boy called D who just so happens to be a ghost. They team up together to try and solve the puzzles of the island and to piece together not just Ashley's parents past but also D's suppressed memories of what happened to his parents and why he died at such a young age. Those thinking this is going to be a light hearted adventure romp will have to think again. Another Code may not be too sinister but it certainly isn't all sunshine and lollipops. The story has many little twists and revelations throughout the game and it's one of the games biggest strengths as you, along with the characters, find about all the secrets surrounding the island.
The interface for Another Code keeps everything nice and simple. The bottom screen uses a top-down view for your area where you can move Ashley with the touchscreen and the top screen gives you a view coming from her eyes. When a magnifying glass appears on the bottom screen you can look at an area more closely which will then appear on the bottom screen where items are once again shown as interactive once the magnifying glass shows up which means you wont be dragging the stylus all over the place to try and find objects. Using item is just as simple, they are stored via a menu system in the DAS where they can then be chosen to be interacted with whatever you have put your stylus on. It maybe would have been better to have a button to go straight to your inventory, as the DAS does a 'boot up' sequence each time you open it which can get a bit repetitive but for the most part it's unobtrusive. Talking to people is just as easy, again a button will be on screen whenever you can talk to people, once pressed the person you speak to appears on the top screen and a selection of conversation topics are at the bottom. Conversations are easily scrolled through quickly for those fast readers amongst you but unfortunately if you happen to accidentally tap a one you've already been through you will have to sit through it all again. Other than these few niggles Another Code is well suited to the DS and is a perfect example how adventure games can be played on the console.
Graphically Another Code is quite impressive. The top down view is just like what it says in 3D and while it doesn't have a lot of detail is still good enough for what you need. The top screen hosts some lovely pre-rendered backgrounds that wouldn't look out of place in a Myst game though luckily they don't come with obtuse and weird logic puzzles. Characters are also nicely drawn out in a cel-shaded Eastern style look. What is disappointing is that a lot of the time everything is pretty much static bar the odd animation here and there; it seems Blood Edward Island doesn't get a lot of wind and it also means pre-rendered backdrops are rarely updated if you've solved a puzzle from there. There's no speech in the game but there is some pleasing music even if it can loop a bit too much. Sound effects are kept quite minimal but there are some recognisable noises depending on solving a puzzle etc. All in all it's a nice looking and sounding game, it may not be pushing the DS to its limits but it doesn't really need to.
An adventure game is nothing without its puzzles and Another Code supplies us with some nice head scratching moments. Puzzles, thanks to the interface and subtle (and not too subtle) hints you get from Ashley are normally straight forward affairs. You will have doors to unlock, items to find and mechanisms to work. Also, in fitting with the game, you'll be presented with a memory task at the end of each chapter to make sure you weren't skipping through all that dialogue. While these sort of puzzles may not seem out of the ordinary, it's the way that the game uses the DS for some of the puzzles that is quite unique. The DS features such as the microphone and touch screen are both used to full effect. Its two screens are used in the DAS to line up pictures on top of each other to give you clues in some puzzles. In some cases you even have to flip your DS or close the lid in order to solve some of the puzzles. Of course there are times when hints as to what you have to do next aren't entirely clear which means a lot of wandering around and there's nothing worse than aimless wandering but sticking at it should see you through.
However its innovation is also one problem that people may have with the game. Because of the way it makes you solve puzzles you will think yourself absolutely stuck at some points in the game when, in fact, the solution was staring you in the face all along and it was just the fact you were limiting yourself to convention. This doesn't happen often but at some points during the game these moments do occur and it really is important to think outside the box. Of course being different is not so much of a problem with the game itself or the way it plays and, more or less, Another Code plays well. However one niggle that is throughout all the game is the way the game won't let you pick up items as soon as you see them. For example you've seen a piece of coal and you know you'll need it for later but its only until you've seen the puzzle you need to use it for that you can actually pick it up which can cause a bit of backtracking and wasted time, it also seems a bit too much of a helping hand at times for people used to these sort of games. Finally the only other short fall is the fact it really is quite a short game. It will only take you about 5 hours to play through, though a second play through can reveal a bit more background information about the plot, there is little replay value and a few more hours would have been nice.
Another Code: Two Memories isn't a perfect game and it isn't going to be a killer app for the DS but it's a game that makes the most out of the DS hardware and shows off the future possibilities well. It shows that with a bit of imagination even something as simple and as old-school as the adventure genre can be moulded around the console. Thanks to a promising start this is hopefully the first of many such games on the DS.
[7 out of 10]
ANOTHER CODE: TWO MEMORIES IS
Pleasing to look at
Complete with a good story
ANOTHER CODE: TWO MEMORIES IS NOT