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Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. Review

Author: Zach Potts | Files under Nintendo DS, Reviews
Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. Review

I am not familiar with the Code Lyoko series, but have been told that it was first an anime series featured on Cartoon Network, so it was hard for me to follow the game’s exact story, however, the gameplay was still satisfying.

The game doesn’t really explain things to you, so if you are unfamiliar with the show as I am, then you won’t completely understand everything. I do know that you transport yourself to some virtual world to fight the powers of the X.A.N.A. or something. I’m not sure who they are or what their goals are, or who you play as, but yeah. Right when you start the game, you are thrown into the world, and expected to know what’s going on and who the characters are. You start off at the university, where you can scroll through three screens and talk to people. They will tell you about things in their lives, and isn’t really interesting or important and as far as I could tell, didn’t have anything to do with the actual story of the game. From there, you can choose to go to the lab, where you can go to the Holomap, where the actual game kicks in.

The Holomap is the virtual world in which the main game takes place in. There are a variety of environments to explore, each with its own color and structural theme, however, each has set paths from which you cannot stray. This drastically cuts down on exploration, where some places have you simply walking on the track they want you to go, which makes the game seem a little childish and easy. However, there are still a variety of instances where you can choose a path and search around multiple areas to find the place you are trying to get to, or to hit a switch to unlock a gate to progress further. Around every corner or in each area, there is normally one enemy. Generally, you cannot go around this enemy and are therefore forced to fight it. The game is an RPG, so once the enemy spots you, it will strike, placing you into a battle sequence.

Here is the university. You can scroll from scene to scene and click on people to talk to them.
In the battle, your characters’ options are displayed on the bottom touch screen, while the action takes place on the top screen. You can choose from Attacks, Powers, Functions, and Items for each of your characters; up to four. You click on one of the aforementioned options, which brings up a screen to select one of the moves or items. Then your character will perform that action on the top screen. While your character is attacking, you can choose another character to do his or her thing as well, and once you know what you are doing, you can select all of your characters’ moves in about 5 seconds. Once your character does its move, you have to wait about 10 seconds before you can use that character again. This makes the game more turn-based, although technically, it is not. I believe some strategy comes into play here. Only one character can move at one time, so if you space the moves out by a few seconds, you may be able to limit the moves the enemies can perform. If you simply choose all of the moves for all of your characters instantly, then you’ll be defenseless for 10 or so seconds, as they will all have to recharge, giving the enemy time to attack. However, mostly with bosses, you can slow it down a bit, making it much harder for the boss to attack, as you will be constantly attacking. Also, I believe that the move you choose also effects the time it takes to recharge.

The attacks are your standard moves that you can do as much as you like. You automatically learn new moves as you level up. Powers use up DP and range from a variety of things, such as powerful attacks to analyzing enemies to view their HP. Functions use up FP, or function points I believe, which are slowly racked up during battle. These functions also range from a variety of things, such as powerful attacks and huge HP boosts. Items of course, is the option where you can choose to use an item, which can recharge your HP, FP, DP, or could be an attack such as a fireball or lightning. Also, there is a tension meter, and when you get attacked, it goes up. When it fills up, you can perform a Tension attack, which is a special attack that uses one of your standard attacks, but does more damage. Also, to perform the attack, you must do a little mini-game in which you either have to tap on a bunch of dots, do other timing mini-games, which are easy once you understand what you’re doing.

You can see your characters on the right of the top screen, with the enemies on the left. You can also see the FP meter in the top left of the top screen. On the bottom screen, you have your HP, DP, and that yellow meter is the tension meter. Waiting is the character “recharging” after attacking or using an item, while action in progress is your character doing the action. Simply click on one of the four options shown to bring up the menu, and then tap on a specific move. That’s all there is to it.
When wondering around the Holomap, you will run into a lot of yellow gates, which require you to run over a switch to open it. This is the only real puzzle element in the game. Aside from that, there are also some warp points that warp you to another section of the area, but these are mostly required, so they don’t really add to exploration or anything. Your goal is simply to get to the end, which can seem simply sometimes, and boring, as some areas are very linear, and you ask yourself why? What is the point? But others areas give you multiple paths to choose from and are more diverse. Aside from doing the aforementioned, you can also go after these blue diamond jewels, which contain items and plug-ins. Plug-ins are power-ups that you can assign to a character. Each character has a few points and each plug-in requires a few points to equip. These plug-ins range from upping attack or defense, to the ability to see hidden jewels or seeing enemy HP. They are all very useful, and as you get more and more, you’ll have trouble decided which ones to use.

The graphics aren’t the greatest, but they aren’t horrible by any means. Some of the areas of the Holomap are bland and boring, but others, like the Forest area have more going on. The battles have interesting looking enemies and the actions of the attacks are all unique and cool. Every now and again, you’ll be hit with an anime-style cut-scene. There only seem to be a few of them, and they are repeated. For instance, whenever you go back into the Holomap, you’ll see the same cut-scene, which looks nice, but once you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it.

The top screen is wasted, in my opinion, and could have at least served as a map. That guy is annoying too. He says the same line after each fight or after using the pause menu. To move your character, simply have your stylus held down in the direction you want him to move. That Tie-Fighter lookin’ guy is an enemy.
Overall, Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. is an interesting game, with some flaws, but some good things as well. I really enjoyed the battle system and thought it was unique and different from a simple turn-based game, and very easy to use and intuitive. There is a good variety of enemies and areas, however, those areas are sometimes bland and don’t lend themselves to exploration, making the game a bit simple without puzzles or thought provoking gameplay. Also, the story went completely over my head, as I have no understanding of the series and therefore didn’t know what was going on. In a market flooded with RPG’s, you may want to pass on this title, but if you are a younger gamer and a fan of the series, then you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up.

*SECRET GIVEAWAY*: If you happen to be reading this, then post a comment. At the end of next week, I’ll have a drawing with the names of those who commented, and whoever’s name gets drawn will win a brand new, unopened copy of the game.


STORY – 6/10

A decent story, however, if you aren’t familiar with the series, then you won’t understand a lot of what’s going on, as the game doesn’t explain the things you “should already know” from watching the series on tv.


A really decent battle system wrapped around a bland overworld with not a lot of depth elsewhere. You can add some plug-ins to your characters for some strategy, but otherwise, there isn’t much although there are a variety of attacks to choose from.


Standard looking graphics, with sometimes blurry cut scenes, but otherwise nice with a variety of effects and animations for moves in battle.

MUSIC – 7/10

Again, I didn’t really pay attention to the music, but the times when I did, it was cool and bumpin’ to get you into the action, although it’s possible that it was all the same, or at least the same during the whole of the area, which would seem normal.

OVERALL – 6.5/10

A decent game, but nothing that will blow you away. The battle system is good, but overall, it didn’t seem like there was that much strategy that could be used, as there is with other RPG’s that use more defensive moves, classes, magic, etc. However, if you happen to be a fan of the series, then the game will probably be many times more enjoyable as you will be familiar with the characters, areas, enemies, and story.

2 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. baron
    Jul 18, 2008 at 20:55:22

    this game sounds prety good i might get this game

  2. Zach Potts
    Jul 19, 2008 at 04:28:38

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are a winner!!! For posting a comment in this review, you have won a copy of the game!!! I will email you right now, and you can give me your address and in a week or so, you will receive your factory sealed, brand new Code Lyoko DS game!

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