Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ was one of Aksys’ earlier otome localizations. It was unique in that we were presented with a heroine who was surrounded by a harem of attractive and attentive men, but could not capitalize on it. She was a poisonous being who considered herself a monster, was completely unfamiliar with life outside the mansion in which her father had houses her and was pursued by a number of people with questionable motivations. Essentially, it was one of those great Idea Factory visual novels where sure, there is romance, but the primary focus was more on the thrilling situations and watching her adapt to a new life. Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~ is a fuller affair. In addition to the story we are familiar with, PlayStation 4 owners are treated to the Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ supplemental content that handles the “afters” and “what ifs.”
In terms of gameplay, this offers a rather varied mix. Once people begin Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~, they have the opportunity to choose whether they would like to see the original story or jump into the fan disc. These two areas are kept separate, but mostly play similarly. The characters and CG events are big and gorgeous on an HDTV, allowing people to appreciate every detail. The sound, game and saving options you expect from any otome visual novel are all there. Aside from having to return back to this main menu to access the different volume’s content, it is easy to pursue. The Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ storyline is as good now as it was before.
It is the Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ segment of this compilation that can often feel like it really does a good job of nailing more delicate relationship nuances and life experiences. Why? Well, in the original game, things can sometimes feel rather dramatic and thrilling. Cardia does not get as much downtime as someone would need to adjust to life in a mansion with other people after essentially living alone in a single room for months on end. She did not need to do ordinary things like breath, drink, eat or socialize before. But, we do not get to really see much of these adjustments, because the focus is on preparing the home so she can live without her acidic, poisonous touch destroying clothing, furniture and the general environment, learning to protect herself and survive, finding out more about herself and falling in love too.
The After Story segments all covers this. Each of the main bachelors from the original game (Frankenstein, Impey, Lupin, Saint-Germain and Van Helsing) has their own epilogue. This is essentially a kinetic novel that goes into what life is like for Cardia and her chosen suitor after all the events. Now, Lupin’s path is basically, essentially, probably canon due to what happens and Cardia’s condition being resolved. But in these other after stories, we see Cardia dealing and adjusting to lives where she is often not a hazard to people. She just gets to enjoy an ordinary life. Of course, there are other adjustments to consider, due to things about her and the other characters that come up during Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, but these routes tend to show her learning what life is actually like and dealing with complications that come from being in a relationship with another person. We see her working things out. Like with Van Helsing, it is about watching people adapt to daily life with another person. In Frankenstein’s story, there are discussions about how life and go and what would happen if something happened to him and she became poisonous again.
But where I feel the fandisc really shines is with the Finish and Herlock Sholmes storylines. Each of these is basically an entirely new, multichapter route. While there is another original story, which is shorter and follows Cardia and the whole group as they deal with a mob boss and a Herlock Sholmes investigation involving a statue Lupin stole earlier, it does not pack the same punch as these two five chapter storylines. In the Herlock Sholmes tale, Cardia runs away from the mansion and the other men in the midst of an existential crisis, finds herself with Sholmes and Watson, then gets caught up in cases. When going through the story with Finis, Cardia gets to spend more time with the character, understand his motivations and get insight into a whole other faction present in the series. Both of these have decisions that shape the course of the adventure and can really make you feel like they are finally as important as characters like Lupin and Van Helsing.
Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~ is this full package that does a good job of completely covering each one of Cardia’s possible futures. The original storylines are here and look great on a larger screen. The fan disc content does a good job of showing realistic adjustments to being in a relationship, dealing with problems that would come from trying to have life with someone you love after overcoming such serious affairs and finding a happy ever after with existing bachelors. The new Finish and Herlock Sholmes round things out and make these characters that were already substantial more important. All in all, it is a well-rounded collection.
Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~ is available for the PlayStation 4. Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ and ~Future Blessing~ are available for the PlayStation Vita.