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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 19, 2011
The problem I think some are having is that this doesn't really feel like a full Kingdom Hearts game. And truth be told, it's not. It's a pale shadow of its brothers. 358/2 Days is definitely the superior. But this game belongs in the series, for one reason: it ties directly back to Birth By Sleep and extends that story slightly. You also get to see a little more of Castle Oblivion and experience more of the characters that you know and love. What holds the game back, in my humble opinion, is some of the repetitive tasks you must endure to get to the endings. There are also points that make little-to-no sense - some of which are just downright frustrating.

When you fight it's just like any other Kingdom Hearts game. You'll go to a lot of the same areas you're used to and fight Heartless as always. But the game is basically portrayed as a digital version of Jiminy's journal, where you are having to "Fix" the code to get the story back to what it should be. There are a lot of code blocks and such all over the place, and there are hidden backdoors that contain alternate worlds in which you have to fight and put things back the way they were. It's an intriguing approach, and in some ways can be fun, except that you do this a LOT. It gets rather repetitive, and in some cases it feels like you're not really making any progress.

Near the end of the game, you'll find yourself at Castle Oblivion and this is where the true frustration begins, as you will need to complete each scenario three times in order to get the best ending. This isn't hard for most of them, but the very last one, which involves Maleficent and Pete, is aggravating. It's impossible to explain how infuriating it really is dealing with this and knowing that you're forced to unlock all of the scenarios - it basically involves approaching the scenario three different ways, but with the last scenario there only appears to be two different ways of going about it. I wasted many hours trying to figure it out before I went on to Mimana: Iyar Chronicle.

IF you were expecting to fight through with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, or even Riku, don't. There is a brief bit where Donald and Goofy do help out and I believe one boss fight where Mickey shows up, but other than that you're on your own. Also, there are about a third of the Disney worlds represented here and not much depth; no Pirates, no 1000 Acre Wood, no Dalmatians, and no flying around Never Never Land. If the primary appeal to you is the ability to explore the land of Disney, you might skip this game, as it has just enough to be called Kingdom Hearts, but again, nowhere near that of its brothers.

I want to stress that the first parts of the game were extremely unfun. Later, the game got more entertaining once I powered Sora up. It was still repetitious, mind, but the fact that it tied back to Birth By Sleep appealed to me. It also allowed me to try Kingdom Hearts in an entirely different fashion with a better control scheme. Having the DSi XL helped, as the larger screen enabled me to experience the game better than the smaller one by a wide margin.

Definitely recommended you at least try the game before bashing it. Most that don't like it are comparing it to the other Kingdom Hearts games and in truth, it's pathetic if compared that way, but if you judge it as a standalone game, it's really not that bad at all. Superior to Chain of Memories in terms of the battle engine, superior to 358/2 Days in terms of graphics only.
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on March 22, 2011
First, the story. The main story is interesting enough; visiting data-worlds trying to "fix" a journal makes perfect sense (not). Still, it gets the job done, and the job was to create a situation for Mickey to learn "the truth" as the characters put it. The side stories (the individual worlds') are sometimes rehashes and others not. Destiny Islands is still the same helpless place it always was, while Wonderland deals with collecting memories instead of evidence. Hollow Bastion (I) reuses the "Lost Keyblade" story, but in a different way. Olympus is still about bashing Hades, but Castle Oblivion is now relatively non-linear (there are 3 endings for each "world").

Gameplay: Admittedly, the camera took some getting used to, but once I found that I was generally too busy hacking at Heartless to care during battles and had all the time in the world afterward, I couldn't have cared less. Thundaga certainly doesn't. I also found a setting to let the camera follow Sora around, which was more than enough for my tastes. The level/"cheat" system is new, although how much cheating in your favor can really be done is debatable. Commands are decent, the Storms being my favorite. Abilities are okay as well, except you can't tell what they are until you activate them, which requires precious chips that could go towards better abilities on a different route in the Stat matrix. The range of Keys/Finishers available shows enough variety to pick a play style, especially since Keys have to be leveled through usage; you have to at least TRY (and fully level) all Keys to get one of the trophies, which means you may find yourself liking something more than your normal style. The additional game modes were fine, except for the lack of a save feature.

Music: Same old KH music, which means oldies but goodies.

Graphics: I was surprised at the general cutscenes (the stiff ones), but only because I never watched any videos/saw any pictures. As I expected, voiced scenes came in between worlds much like Re:Chain of Memories. Still, I guess what they saved in dialogue scenery was made up for in game scenery. Wonderland, Agrabah's cave, and Castle Oblivion were vastly different, but other than that, worlds largely resembled their previous counterparts, which is impressive for a DS game.

Overall: A very nice game. Simple for most of the game's plot and cleanly executed, save for a few points. There's enough to keep perfectionists occupied for a while and KH fans happy with the plot. Even newcomers to KH would find the game decent. Even if they don't understand the big picture, most worlds have their own story that doesn't depend on it, which is the beauty of the series. I won't say anything about the Avatar section because I don't have any experience with it, but the Single Player mode is definitely worth the time, effort, and money.

Rating: 5/5
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on August 16, 2012
If you love Kingdom Hearts, then you'll enjoy this game. There are some nice cut scenes and a good ending video.

Is it as good as Kingdom Hearts 1 or 2? No. Not even close. The graphics and tiny screen make this so. The story line isn't that great, but, again, if you're a fan of the series then you're going to want to play anyway.

You revisit worlds from the first Kingdom Hearts with a nearly identical map. As the whole premise is about computer glitches and coding, each final battle is different than normal game play due to "computer problems" and "destroying bugs". Currently, I'm half-way through. I'm not desperate to play like I was for the Playstation 2 games, but I find myself still enjoying it enough to be worth the twenty dollars I spent. If you can borrow it or get it cheap, I'd recommend that. Unless you enjoy collecting the games, don't pay full price, because it's probably a game you'll only want to play once.

I gave it 3/5 stars for "fun" and "overall rating" because even though I am enjoying it, it no way compares to the brilliance of KH 1 & 2, or Birth by Sleep for that matter. After this I hope to play 358/2 and Dream Drop, so I can only hope they improve from this game. But like I said, a Kingdom Hearts fan will want to play anyway.

Amazon shipped it quickly, and my game arrived damage free. :-)
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on August 5, 2015
Ugh. Where to begin with this game?

Re:coded is, by far, the weakest entry in the Kingdom Hearts series. It started as a mobile game and quite frankly, it shows. The worlds are incredibly repetitive. The level design is incredibly weak in a series with fairly mediocre level design. The story is laughable and does not really tie in to the main story at all except towards the end. There's a lot of extra content but most of it involves replaying levels and I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that.

Assuming you have played any Kingdom Hearts game before, this game technically takes place almost right after KH2. The story begins with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket attempting to access Jiminy's first journal by digitizing it. Of course, it turns out that the whole thing is full of bugs and thus employ DataSora (i.e. the Sora from the journal) to delete them. Thus, Sora goes from familiar world to familiar world destroying bugs. Frankly, the story is laughably thin and fails to do much more than harp on notes already introduced in previous installments even as it tries to introduce some level of interest.

The level design, with a few exceptions, is literally just older maps with a bunch of blocks (or "blox") thrown on top. The result is fairly ugly (which is the point I suppose) and also manages to suck out any of the charm that the game might possess by virtue of its Disney source material. And of course, the worlds repeat themselves frequently just to make it through the default story; and of course the game wants you to repeat them even more to get 100% which is absolutely infuriating. And who had the bright idea to, towards the end of the game, start replacing the Heartless with poorly designed Blox Spider monsters? The game does introduce one new environment in the form of system servers. Throughout the game, Sora is called upon to enter into digital holes in the datascape to fix bugs, which requires the completion of minilevels. These are also fairly frustrating in their repetition and annoying platforming sections.

Many of the boss battles have been replaced by quasi-mini games, such as side-scrolling, shoot em ups, and turn-based RPGs. Compared to the rest of the game, these are actually pretty fun. The actual gameplay itself feels pretty good for a console, especially compared to the clunky interface and controls of Days. However, that is not enough to save this game, though it is enough for me to grant it two instead of one star.

Do yourself a favor and watch the cutscenes or something. It is not worth purchasing and definitely does not stand alone as a game worth playing in any capacity, even for the die-hard KH fan.
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on July 20, 2014
Almost an entire console generation has elapsed since the most recent numbered installment of Square-Enix’s Kingdom Hearts franchise, Kingdom Hearts II. Since then, the company has been content with churning out spinoffs, a prequel, and recently, a remake collection. Among these spinoffs is the Japan-exclusive cellular phone title, Kingdom Hearts coded, the first to take place after the second game. Mercifully for Anglophone gamers, Square-Enix remade the title for the Nintendo DS, titling it Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, providing an experience on par with the rest of the series.

As mentioned, the events of Re:coded take place after those of the second game, with Jiminy Cricket discovering one of his journals to be blank save for two messages: “Thank Naminé” and “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.” Those who have played previous entries will know exactly why Naminé deserves thanks, although the latter message provides for a decent quest when the journal is digitized, revealing several bugs that prompt King Mickey and the gang to create Data-Sora to clean things up and occasionally unlock new messages.

Re:coded, gameplay-wise, is essentially an amalgamation of elements taken from its countless predecessors, with the basic battle system revolving around Data-Sora alone (for most of the game, at least), the player able to equip a certain number of commands ranging from magic to physical attacks to elemental attacks to basic magic to items that need time to recharge after use, the player able to increase these occasionally through a matrix experience system somewhat reminiscent of the Sphere Grid of Final Fantasy X, where the player puts level-up “chips” along with other stat-increasing chips and the occasional blank chips to unlock new abilities.

The gameplay occasionally features some unique twists, with occasional shooter sequences and sidescrolling levels the player must complete to advance the game, and one world even sporting turn-based battles that seem to borrow a little from the Mario RPGs, where there are timed button presses for attack and defense. The variety of combat is the game mechanics’ saving grace, and normal keyblade combat is decent, as well, although even on the easiest difficulty, some bosses can be daunting and even have multiple consecutive forms, and the player might yearn to play it safe by stocking Data-Sora’s command slots with recovery spells and items instead of attack skills and spells.

Interaction is mostly above average, with an easy menu system and control, not to mention useful in-games maps, although there are occasional long periods without save opportunities, not to mention several marathon boss battles (although death allows the player to restart the most recent of these battles). Still, the game interface helps more than hurts.

Re:coded recycles most of its soundtrack from its predecessors, although there are some original tracks that stand out, such as the digital-sounding pieces that play whenever the player enters a digital version of the various worlds. The voice acting is on par with the rest of the franchise, as well, and in the end, despite the recycling, the aurals do more good for the game than bad.

The graphics are very similar to those used in 358/2 Days, which are some of the best on the Nintendo DS in spite of some pixilation at times, and some players may find issue with the static CG portraits used during some cutscenes.

Finally, playing time ranges from ten to twenty hours, and obtaining one hundred percent completion naturally takes more. In the end, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded provides a solid experience for the most part, what with its varied game mechanics, tight control, decent narrative, nice aurals, and superb graphics. Those that can look past the recycled content and series enthusiasts will likely enjoy the game.

The Good:
+Solid mechanics with plenty variety.
+Nice graphics.
+Good voice acting.

The Bad:
-Most bosses have multiple forms.
-Some long periods without save opportunities.
-Recycled soundtrack.

The Bottom Line:
A good spinoff.
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"their hurting will be ended when you return to mend it"

Don't know what the above means? That's okay because neither does Jiminy Cricket, the faithful keeper of the two journals detailing Sora's past adventures. Who is Sora? Anyone who's played a previous Kingdom Hearts installment on the Game Boy, the PS2 or the PSP knows that he is the main character who, armed with his powerful Keyblade, travels across worlds, fighting the hordes of darkness while searching for his lost friends. It probably helps if Re:coded is not the first Kingdom Hearts episode one plays but it's not essential. I am not playing this game but my 8 yr. old girl, the owner and operator of our family's DSi does and she just loves her first 'big' RPG where she can level up, do boss battles and feel in control more than in any other game she played so far and... get her acquinted with 'the other side of (King) Mickey (Mouse)', they real one she she says.

This installment is about the 'data' version of Sora with help from Goofy and Donald cleaning the real Sora's digitized journal's datascape of 'bugs', hoping to learn about the true meaning of the mysterious message above.

The game plays just right on the DS, taking advantage of the lower touch screen where the map and all the housekeeping 'stuff' is shown while the main action takes place on the top display. I can't say that the game is specifically made for little kids but the DS rendition makes it a lot more kid-friendly than a PS3's so thsi is an opportunity to let the younger kids (8-9 yr. olds, boys AND girls) enjoy a good game with a good story, featuring many familiar Disney characters.

I will grant Re:coded 4 stars (mean's "I like it" as opposed to the 5 stars' "I love it") mostly because anyone 'new' to the series has a lot of catch up to do to fully understand what's going on and not all the background can be find in game or in the manual. Other than that, it's a great game.
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on February 10, 2011
This is the game I have been waiting for, for months! Most people anticipated Black Ops and Fable 3 while I longed for the American version of the Japanese cell phone game "Kingdom Hearts Coded" to be released here in the states. I remember at the New York Comic Con seeing the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded and thinking to myself "I need this game right now!!!". So finally after months of waiting I got my hands on the game and couldn't have found a better reason to dust my DS off.
Firstly this game is flawed. The first pretty big for me was the weird type of "cartoon" cutscenes where the Characters just stood on the top screen and had cartoon bubbles do the dialouge while once in a while they moved a head or arm. It seemed out of a bad comic book and while I understood that it was probably just trying to remain faithful to its original cell phone version I think it took away from the overall story. Seeing a beautiful cut scene with music and excellent graphics is fantastic but then jumping to the "comic book" cut scene takes you right out of that cinematic mood. Eventually however I did get over this issue.
The second however I COULD NOT forgive. The camera is HORRIBLE. I have always heard people complain about the camera movements in the KH series but until Recoded I have never encountered such issues. I had numberous times during the 20 hours I played the game that I just got quickly frustrated and wanted to shut my DS because I couldn't get the camera directly in front of me. I remember running away from a boss but the camera would not adjust and I couldn't see where he was coming from. By the time I locked onto him he hit me and I died. This game has one of the most awkward cameras I have ever played with in my life. Basically its you move then adjust the camera and keep repeating the process everytime you move. It can be very annoying. This issue alone almost made me give the game 3 stars.

The story however for Re:Coded was something that seemed particularly interesting to me. Basically Jiminys Journal from Kingdom Hearts has been erased and in its place is one single entry "their hurting will be mended when you return to end it". So King Mickey decides to digitalize the journal and try to find out (via some weird matrix/tron type machine) the meaning behind the strange entry. I dont want to ruin anything else with the game so I wont delve too much into the story but let me say for starters, Unless you have played Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 you will not have any idea what is going on in the later of this game. While I do love Kingdom Hearts it really monopolizes its fans to buying every system to keep up with the "story". Every Kingdom hearts story ties into each other and the games have been spread across 4 different consoles.

Kingdom Hearts > Playstation 2
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories > Game boy advance
Kingdom Hearts 2 > Playstation 2
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 > Nintendo DS
Kingdom Hearts Birth By sleep > PSP
Kingdom hearts Re;coded > Nintendo DS

I have personally played EVERY single game but it is almost impossible for new players to jump into the series and have any idea on what exactly is going on.

I sincerely did enjoy this game alot but as far as for continuity sakes, it isnt important. Unlike 358/2 Which introduced us to Roxas, Axel, and Xion (who were a huge part of Kingdom Hearts 2 and Probably will be part of Kingdom Hearts 3 due to teasers) Re;coded offers no situations of characters that will ever be carried over to another Kingdom Hearts game. I mean your not even playing with the "real" Sora. Your playing with "Virtual" Sora and I thought that right there made me even like the game a little less because I didnt care about this computer version of the Hero I love.

Overall for a fan of the series your gonna really enjoy this game. If your on the fence about it, trust your gut and let this one slip past you. If you do play it, Enjoy!
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on February 8, 2011
Set after the events of Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded begins with Jiminy Cricket looking over the journals of the journeys he, Sora, Goofy and the rest of the gang went on when he notices that all the entries in one of the journals is gone except for a single message. To investigate things, King Mickey has Chip & Dale digitize the contents of the journals but finds out 'bugs' have filled the landscape. To correct this problem, they have a virtual Sora go in and take care of the problem. A cloaked figure begins to appear in these infected world, prompting Sora to follow him. That's where things get interesting.

While I've been a Kingdom Hearts fan since the beginning, I'll be quite honest in saying that not every game (since the first) has moved me in anyway. I did like KH:358/2 Days but only because it had mission-based gameplay(like FFVII:Crisis Core on the PSP) and I like that kind of gameplay. When I purchased Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, I wasn't expecting too much from it as (seeing screenshots on the game) I was expecting it to be the first Kingdom Hearts all over again with a little new gameplay added on. I'm quite surprised as it's quite different than what I was expecting. Sure, the environments are recycled and the story is a little thin but the gamplay is what saves the day with this game. There's quite a bit of variety in the gameplay in this game and that's what's the saving grace in the game. You have 2-D platforming, turn-based battles and more. I've had a great time playing the game as it provided me some good challenge. Square needs to explore this alot more in future KH titles.

As for the graphics, I don't know how Square Enix keeps on doing it. They did faithful recreations of the worlds from the first Kingdom Hearts and it looks absolutely stunning, easily besting 358/2 Days.

The only quibble I have with the game(which seems to be everyones' gripe) is with the camera. You'd think, after so many KH games, Square Enix would finally get the camera right. Nope.

Honestly, in my opinion, this has be the second best game in the Kingdom Hearts series. Whoever said this is 'the most skip-worthy title in the series' is just silly.
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on March 10, 2011
This is a great new entry in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. The story is a bit inaccessible if you're not familiar with the plot of the other games. And I do mean all the other games -- re:coded is full of references to KH1 & 2, CoM, even 358/2 Days and BBS. Unlike some other entries in the series, though, this one has a tight storyline and answers (or at least hints at the answers of) questions raised by earlier games. I won't give any spoilers, but in my opinion, the last few hours of the story are truly chilling, and I'm more impatient than ever for the next game in the franchise.

The gameplay is interesting and keeps you engaged. The mandatory challenges and the inability to save while exploring the corrupted data was a little annoying for me, but not so much as to put me off the game entirely, and it didn't detract from the story. More gameplay-oriented or hardcore gamers would probably find it enjoyable, but for story fans like myself, it's interesting, and it's not necessary to play a perfect game in order to get the plot elements. I'd say my biggest beef was probably that the camera angles were overly tedious to manipulate; I'm used to the KH franchise letting me spin the camera in a full circle just holding down L or R, but in re:coded you can only tap L or R to make the camera face in the same direction as Data Sora.

Overall I'd say that this is one of the best entries in the KH franchise so far, if not THE best, in terms of fun gameplay in conjunction with a tight, interesting, and at times heartwrenching storyline. I highly recommend it to anyone familiar with the franchise.
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on May 25, 2015
This is my first kingdom hearts game and I am not disappointed ! For people who want to try the series out and don't have a
PlayStation 2 this is perfect ! AWESOME game can't put it down !
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