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4.2 out of 5 stars
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format: Video Game
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2011
Format: Video Game
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
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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Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
"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
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
Format: Video Game
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 February 5, 2011
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
At first, I was a tad disappointed and thought I was playing Kingdom Hearts 1 all over again. It took me a little while to get used to the new layout. After experiencing the new battle styles, like side-scrolling and shooting, the game got a bit more interesting to play. I haven't completed playing the game yet, but, unless you're one of the die-hard fans of KH, it may not be as good of a game as one who is a fan of the series would think. Even if, I still recommend playing Re:Coded. It's a pretty good side-story kind of game, not necessarily a direct follow-up after Kingdom Hearts 2.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2012
Format: Video Game
I simply could not get into this game. The graphics were fine and the storyline was mildly entertaining. However, I felt like I was only playing the game because I didn't want my money to go to waste. There was no real enjoyment factor involved. I know other people truly enjoy this game, though, and there was no real issue, so it still deserves at least a 3/5 review.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2011
Format: Video Game
I'm looking at the reviews of this game on Amazon (mostly the bad ones) and they all tell the same thing, it's either better than BBS or 358/2 Days or is the worst one of the series, period. I don't like to compare unless it is necessary, so I'll start by saying this game is great, for gamers and fans alike.

Being that this game is only on the Nintendo DS, the graphics are always limited, but is very good for what the DS can handle. Sora, being the only one you can control in the beginning of the game, is surprisingly detailed and so is the enemies. One thing that is different in this game is many of the cutscenes. Most of the cutscenes are like a Japanese dating-sim, where the characters are basically still images of them and are talking through word bubbles to you, the player. There are animated cutscenes, like the beginning of the game where you get to see Mickey, Donald, Jiminy, and Goofy unravel the entries of Jiminy's book.
So, graphics for this game are about an 8/10, choppy, but hey, it's the Nintendo DS, the only flaw about the DS.

The controls are very good, and I do mean very good. The A button is your main attack button, the B button is your good ole Jump button, X is your Abilities button, and the Y button again serves as your Dodge Roll and Block button. The R button is your main camera button where you hold down the R button and can use the digital pad to scan the surrounding area (or you can just use the touch screen to scan the area too). If you tap the R button, it will center the camera to Sora's POV (point of view). This is a very useful feature as the camera likes to scroll around a lot when you fight all the Heartless in each world. The L button serves as your Ability selector. Holding it down creates a small little menu on the top screen to use your skills via shortcut buttons using the A, X, or B button, or by pressing the L button, you can scroll through your various abilities and use the one you want. Then, pressing both the L & R buttons makes you lock-on to the nearest enemy. The touch screen serves as your map, Clock Tree selector, and other things that are helpful.
The Start Menu is great. The UI on it is very simple and is very easy to navigate and isn't hard to figure out to people that are new to this game or have the worst patience in the world.
10/10, as it's very user-friendly.

Most of the world music has been brought back to Re:coded from all the Kingdom Hearts games. But when you go to the glitched parts of the worlds, you get introduced to....Techno-like music. It's not bad and fits with the theme of where you are. Hikaru Utada is back with her Simple and Clean: -PLANTb Remix- and is heard on the opening of the game along with various cutscenes from ALL the Kingdom Hearts games (1, 2, Re:Chain, 358/2 Days, and BBS) as a way of tell you that this game is after Kingdom Hearts 2.
9/10, -1 because the music is always the same in all the worlds.

I'm only about 3 hours in, and I'm liking the story. It's somewhat original compared to the other games, but the fact that you're going back to many of the Disney worlds again is also how redundant Kingdom Hearts can be. First world, Destiny Islands. Second world, Traverse Town. Third world, Wonderland. The list goes on and on, and it's pretty easy to know what other places you are going to go to if you played the other games. In this game, you are using Sora, but not THE Sora. Instead, you are using a digital version of Sora. Basically, he knows nothing and acts as if he has never been to any of the worlds (other than Destiny Islands). When you go to a world, you see that the world (or map, if you like) is covered in blocks that look like bugs or glitches, and it's up to Sora to figure out why there are these blocks in that world. Now just to note, you'll encounter the same bosses again, like the very first Shadow boss you encounter in Kingdom Hearts, BUT in a somewhat different way. You'll have to play the game to figure out what I'm talking about. I'm guessing it helps with making the game different from the other Kingdom Hearts.
8/10, for a little originality, but Disney worlds being used again for the 6th time!!

It's not bad. The matrixes in this game are unique. Yes, most will say that it was borrowed from 358/2 days, but it's still different. The Stat Matrix is like a gigantic CPU motherboard that upgrades whenever you beat worlds and the empty blocks are all used to put stats and various upgrades you get throughout the game. The Command Matrix is for your Abilities and is used to equip yourself with various abilities and items that you get in the game. The Gear Matrix is basically your Equipment menu and you can equip various Keyblades, different finishers, and accessories. The other menu slots speak for themselves. Also, I love the fact that when you go to each world, the boss battles are all very different. Wonderland is a Space Harrier copy, but oh so fun! Olympus Colosseum is a RPG-like world with you playing as Hercules, Sora, and (yes!!) Cloud. If there's Sephiroth in here, I hope he's the hardest boss to beat!
10/10, good gameplay value for $35.

I give this game a 4/5 stars due to me being a fan of this game. But, not only that, it still is a great part of the series, even though many ideas are being used again. My last rant about this game is....why the Kingdom Hearts 1 version of Sora? Why not Version 2?? Oh well, that's my opinion. Hopefully this is the last game that they do before they bring out Kingdom Hearts 3, if it will ever come out. In my opinion, and yes, it is true with a lot of people, they are RUNNING out of ideas for this series, and now the only way to advance this game is to......advance the story line with Kingdom Hearts 3. I do see the point of the 2 star reviews for this game, but because I don't like the fact that people hate repetitive stuff, they hate this game for that reason. Not for me, since I treat all games separately and equally.
I love all the Kingdom Hearts games, especially Kingdom Hearts 2 and Birth By Sleep. Re:coded is another great game in my opinion, and is worth putting on my collection of games that I have.

And as always, all reviews are opinions, and all reviews (even professional ones) should only be considered as a way of deciding of whether to buy this game or not.
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