Review: Another Code: Recollection

I don’t remember this.

Posted 18 January 2024 by Zoey Handley
Another Code: Recollection Header

I skipped over Trace Memory when it was released on DS back in 2005. I wasn’t into the adventuresome puzzle-solving genre at the time because I was boring. So, I got to go into Another Code: Recollection with fresh eyes.

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That’s probably fine, because Another Code: Recollection isn’t just a collection of Another Code: Two Memories (Trace Memory) and Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories. Neither is it a remaster that simply heightens the graphics to the Switch’s standards. If you wondered how the puzzle mechanics that were reliant on the DS or Wii hardware got transferred to the Switch, they didn’t. 

Another Code: Recollection is more accurately based on the two Another Code titles. It lies somewhere between a remake and a complete reimagining.

Another Code: Recollection Fountain
Screenshot by Destructoid

Another Code: Recollection (Switch)
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

Released: January 19, 2023
MSRP: $59.99

Even the narratives of both games deviate in parts from their source material in both great and small ways. The basics of the first game are at least all there.

You play as Ashley Mizuki Robbins, who is called to Blood Edward Island by her father, who she thought was dead. That usually sounds like a bad idea, but this isn’t Silent Hill 2. She journeys there under the supervision of her legal guardian, who was aware that her father was alive this whole time but promised not to tell. Of course, once on the island, Ashley’s supervisor disappears. You eventually find yourself in an abandoned mansion full of puzzles. Don’t worry; this isn’t Resident Evil, either.

It’s difficult to really explain the plot without giving too much away, even if I were to assume you’ve already played the first game. To give you the basis in broad strokes, Ashley is joined by a child’s ghost named D, and the two explore to regain lost memories. D has full ghost amnesia and can’t remember anything, while Ashley just wants to know the truth about what happened to her mother.

The second game, Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories, takes place two years after the first game and has Ashley getting dragged out to Lake Juliet, where her bag gets stolen. While looking for it, she winds up tripping over everyone else’s problems. There’s a kid who ran away from home, a strange pollutant in the lake, and all kinds of suspicious characters. A strange event happened in the area five years prior, but in the typical NPC manner, nobody wants to say what it was.

Both titles have a whiff of the young adult novels I barely remember reading in my youth. They’re mysteries involving a youth who is way more capable than the adults. There’s a sense of contained danger and a great deal of sentimentality. I’m not sure if I mean that as a compliment.

Both games in Another Code: Recollection are narrative-heavy. Cutscenes and dialogue outweigh puzzles by a large margin, and this is especially true of the second game. While Two Memories has you progress slowly by gating progress with puzzles, much of A Journey into Lost Memories has you simply walking to a certain spot where you just trigger a cutscene.

The problem is, I can dig the puzzles. They’re often simple, and I never got stuck on any of them, but they’re well-designed, even if they don’t get as exotic as the original versions. The narrative on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.

Another Code: Recollection It's a piano
Screenshot by Destructoid

There are a lot of good ideas in the stories of the games, but I think it’s let down by the characters. While some of them are realistically written, most of them aren’t all that interesting. I suppose that’s somewhat realistic, as well. However, it’s hard to care about characters when their issues are so drab, and their personalities are so monotone. Everyone’s friendly to Ashley in the exact same warm and accepting way. That is until they turn out to be a secret bad guy.

That may be of great comfort for some people. The second game, in particular, has you wandering about a peaceful and weirdly deserted small town. It’s slow in a way that some might find relaxing. In some ways, it reminded me of Deadly Premonition’s take on small-town life, but for all the issues in that game’s storytelling, it at least had interesting characters. I want to know more about the ship captain that appears in the beginning of Two Memories. He seems cool. I don’t really care that some of the teen characters play in a band. Sometimes, that feels like the only thing that some adults know that teenagers do.

Another Code: Recollection Aren't we a nosy one?
Screenshot by Destructoid

As for Another Code: Recollection being closer to a reimagining than a remake, fans of the earlier games may be surprised by how far it deviates. You couldn’t, for example, use a walkthrough of one of the original versions, because everything has changed. Not merely shifted, but completely redone.

Two Memories was played from a top-down perspective on the bottom screen while the top screen displayed pre-rendered depictions of the area you were in. Another Code: Recollection changes this by making it full 3D. Likewise, the plot was redone to offer a better connection to the second game. This is on top of the puzzles being completely different. And, by the way, none of them really feature the inventiveness seen on the DS hardware.

In fact, you may think that the first game was so heavily changed to fit in with the style of the second game, but A Journey into Lost Memories has been largely overhauled, as well. It’s definitely more recognizable, and some of the puzzles are similar, but everything has changed. The original version had a sort of side-scroller movement system, and that was replaced completely with a more standard 3D camera. Most importantly, the narrative has been heavily revised. If you played the original Wii version, the one in Another Code: Recollection will feel familiar, but it’s largely a new game.

Another Code Recollection RC Boat
Screenshot by Destructoid

I always felt like I was on the cusp of digging the stories presented in Another Code: Recollection. I did connect with some of its sentimentality, and while many of the characters are bland, some of them are more interesting. There’s a sweetness to the whole story, and I think there are players who will click with it. To be clear, I don’t dislike the overarching narrative, but I doubt it’s going to stick in my mind.

Having never played the original versions of these two games, I can’t really tell you if the changes made to the narrative and puzzle design are for the best. They largely eschew the hardware trickery of the DS and Wii, and that makes it feel a bit more mundane. The challenges are still well designed, but they don’t give the games a unique personality among other adventure titles. On the other hand, by being such a divergence, the collection doesn’t render the original games obsolete, so they can still be played as a companion.

Yet, despite my apathy, I still admire the earnestness on display here. Another Code: Recollection exists because someone really cares for the original titles, and it shows. The two games that make up the collection were niche to begin with, so it takes a certain passion to completely overhaul them to make them presentable to a new audience. This passion shines through the production.

So, while Another Code: Recollection didn’t really do much for me, I hope that it finds an audience, whether it’s newcomers to the series or fans of the old.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]



Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.

About The Author
Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.
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