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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 wanted...save 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 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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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 June 2, 2016
Love the kingdom hearts franchise it's my all time favorite video game, and I'm happy to play some of the 3ds games, just wish I didn't have to buy a separate console to be able to enjoy all the games and story. Non the less I love them they are one of kind, it's different ways of game play is interesting but keeps it fresh, a must for kingdom hearts fans!
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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 April 8, 2015
This is the first Kingdom Hearts game I have played. I was a little let down by this title. A lot of things felt repetitive and button smashing was sometimes involved when fighting a lot of heartless at a time. I did enjoy when the game would go into 2D fighting and when Goofy and Donald finally join your team. If you're a fan of the series I would get it, but if you're like me there's better games to invest your time in.
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on August 24, 2011
I have been a long time kingdom hearts fan. I was very excited when this game was released because for #1 it was being released on my birthday and #2 I was bored with the other games... I was only disappointed because the game is real short. I had it beet in like a day or 2 were the other games are so long they take about a week to beat. Unless you play them constantly. I had a friend who like beat it in a day or 2, but I don't like to just play video games all the time. I like it as just a hobby... Anyways, this game is important to the series because it cues sora in on the chain of hearts game because of jiminy's journal and everything...
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on January 13, 2013
The story for this game takes place after Kingdom Hearts 2 where Mickey is trying to piece together the first journal and find out what happened during the events of the first game, since in Kingdom Hearts Chain of memories, Naminé basically re-wrote Sora's memories and cleared the journal.

What happens is that a virtual version of Sora from the data in the book is who King Mickey gets in contact with to find out what happens in the book as they try to unravel the mysteries about what happened. This feels a bit wonkey to me and is a poor idea in my eyes to try to get the journal back to its original condition. The game itself is fun to play, but the story feels a bit off. If you are a Kingdom Hearts fan then I'm sure you'll get this game for the story as I did. But if you are just someone who is not familiar with the story then you will be just lost.
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on April 17, 2012
Kingdom Hearts is a staple on my gaming portfolio. I have played all of the KH games various amount of times and after all that playing, this is probably the second disappointment of the franchise just ahead of Chain of Memories. This game is set after KH II, which makes this the latest entrant in the series chronologically. It has an original story, but it is one that does not hold that KH brand kind of power. The game play is somewhat the same from other titles except each world you go to must be played differently than the last. Not really captivating, it does not have any real memorable moments except when it explains the letter Sora, Riku, and Kairi receive at the end of KH II. The graphics are okay but not better than any of the other instalments. This is a game that is made to a starving fan base for the next game and not meeting expectations (*cough* KH III *cough*)

Pro:
+ Different Kingdom Hearts

Con:
- Not all that good as a whole

Looking at the big picture, die KH fans should get this, but any others out would best spend their money elsewhere.
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