Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Idea Factory
Medium: Digital/Cartridge/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

I don?t think it?s possible for a game to get any more niche than Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~. Consider: it?s not just a visual novel, it?s an otome visual novel, so we?re talking about a subgenre within a genre that — at least on this side of the Pacific — is pretty niche. On top of that, it?s a spin-off of Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~, which itself was a spin-off of Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ — which means that Wintertide Miracles is a spin-off of a spin-off.

Unstated in the above is that to enjoy Wintertide Miracles, you don?t just have to enjoy otome visual novels and Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, you have to be so deeply invested in the Code: Realize franchise that you desperately need to know about how one specific plot thread from Future Blessings can be further teased out.

If that?s not the definition of niche, I don?t know what is.

Don?t get me wrong: I liked Guardian of Rebirth just fine. I liked it well enough, in fact, that I even played through some of Future Blessings (though, admittedly, that was just as much due to my intention of playing every single game on the Vita as it was because I had a desperate need to know what came next for Cardia and co.). And even with all that experience, even having played both previous Code: Realize games — which is absolutely essential if you want to play Wintertide Miracles, because otherwise this game will make no sense whatsoever — I still have no idea why it exists.

This game is basically the definition of inconsequential. One of the game modes is ?Triangle dates?, where you get to see the main character, Cardia, interact with a pair of her possible love interests from the previous games. Each of them are short vignettes that last only a couple of minutes, and they don?t offer much beyond seeing Cardia chatting with her various male suitors. If you love the characters so much that you?re pining for just a few more minutes with each of them, I guess that?s cool, but it?s hardly enough to justify a whole new game.

The same could be said for the game?s other features, which are alternate stories, side stories, and an epilogue, all of them based on specific endings and scenes from Future Blessings. Again, they?re fun if you?re a fan and you?re eager to see anything involving these characters, then that might be enough to justify Wintertide Miracles? existence, but speaking as someone who was only mildly interested in their stories the first time around, I can?t say I needed to have even more details.

I don?t want to diminish the game?s existence for anyone who does need to have more details. People can like what they want to like, and if someone out there loves Code: Realize, I?m glad they get to experience more of what they love. But if you aren?t a diehard Code: Realize fan, then there?s really no reason for you to play Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~.

Aksys Games provided us with a Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C-