(This article was updated to fix some grammar and structure errors)
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. (which I will refer to as Code N) is a fantastic game. I bought Code N a couple years ago at a bargain sale, I thought why not since it is so cheap. I never got around to playing it, I just had it shelved, gathering dust. What a mistake that was. Now that the issue regarding the long waiting time of enemy turns has been fixed through an update (enemy turns increased double the speed, four times faster on New 3ds models), there’s no reason to rely on old reviews that greatly emphasized the waiting time.
Now, I’ll shortly review the aspects of Code N
Oh, the graphics look amazing on the aging 3ds. The comic style art direction that Intelligent Systems (developers of Code Name S.T.EA.M.) decided on is simply stunning, reminiscent of Borderlands. The character models just pop and scream to be praised (Abe Lincoln design is a real highlight). Every unit has charm that their design shows at first glance. Henry Fleming, Lion and Tiger Lily and even the Fire Emblem amiibo look incredible (though I might bias there since I love Fire Emblem).
Screenshot: Intelligent Systems (digitalspy.com)
The levels themselves aren’t something to talk about. They do their function of creating an overall difficult and complex setting where we need to take unit placements and enemies into consideration. They feel handcrafted, very tightly made in my opinion.
The music, again is nothing to praise about. It promotes the game overall theme of steampunk and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Intelligent Systems (gamingbolt.com)
The gameplay in my opinion has no drawbacks. If you’ve played the Valkyrie Chronicles series you’ll feel right at home. You move your character in an over the shoulder view with a steam gauge (stamina) dictating your actions. It represents how many squares you can move, your ammo and special attacks. To attack an enemy you need to manually aim at them. Its a fun touch and makes for a more tense approach since you can miss your shot. This creates a sense of urgency and calls for thinking ahead unless you want to lose your favorite unit and make progressing missions a more difficult endeavor.
Cut scenes are something of an acquired taste. They’re mostly presented in a comic strip fashion, with static images as presentation. But there is a saving grace this. The voice acting in this Code N is phenomenal, every unit in this game has some dialogue in between battles and cut scenes that really bring life to the table. If not for the amazing work that the voice actors provided this game would just be a solid turn based strategy game without much charm. The art is great but with the added personality this game asks to be heard. And heard it is, I can’t remember any other game in the 3ds that has so much personality radiating from it.
To end this opinion piece, which I’m sure many will disagree with, (based on online comments) Code N is an award winning game; it has a solid gameplay, a superb art direction and best of all, it has a hella rad cast of voice acting behind it. Too bad that it was highly criticized for an issue that was patched rather quickly, but it wasn’t enough to clean its reputation. I can only dream of a sequel. Based on its extremely disappointing sales its highly unlikely that it will happen.
Tell me your opinion. Do you agree with me or are laughing at my thoughts. Either way you are welcomed to comment.