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About the product
- The latest installment in the beloved Kingdom Hearts series, Re:Coded unites Sora, Mickey, Donald, Goofy and a host of familiar faces from Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy once again for an exciting new adventure
- All-new features include a new character growth system created specifically for the Nintendo DS release, building on the series' immersive blend of action and role-playing elements
- Guide Sora like never before through exciting new boss battles
- Players can design their own avatar using over 800 unlockable parts and trade playable maps with friends
- Varied gameplay inspired by side-scrolling, shooting and classic Final Fantasy games
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Sora's journey in Kingdom Hearts II has drawn to a close, and now a new tale is set to begin. Jiminy Cricket is looking over the journal he used to document his first adventure with Sora when he discovers a mysterious message. He didn't write it - so how on earth did it get there? King Mickey is determined to find out, so he and his friends decide to digitize the journal and delve into its deepest secrets. Inside this “datascape” dwells a second Sora who is about to embark on a grand adventure of his very own.
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a unique Kingdom Hearts adventure for play on Nintendo DS and DSi. A retelling of the earlier episodically released Japanese title, Kingdom Hearts Coded, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded contains all eight episodes of the previous game on a single game cartridge. The game is an engrossing mix of gameplay types, including turn-based RPG, RTS, action and side-scrolling platforming. Other features and functionality include: diverse and entertaining boss battles, over 800 unlockables, auto-aim functionality and more.
Following the events of Kingdom Hearts II all appears well in King Mickey's realm, but is it?
With Organization XIII defeated and order restored to the worlds, it was just another day in the Kingdom until Jiminy Cricket noticed lines in his journal that he did not write. Realizing these to be computer like "bugs" in the journal, King Mickey calls upon a digitized version of Sora for help. The only person that can be counted on to save the glitch-filled worlds, in the datascape Sora discovers a truth that not only links him to the past, but also opens the door to his next journey...
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded tasks you with debuging/clearing bad data from the game journal by defeating enemies and completing objectives. The journal contains several worlds which must be explored in doing this. Different, or at least varied rules exist in each of these worlds, which in turn require varied types of gameplay for success. Gameplay types encountered include: adventure play, turn-based RPG play, side-scrolling platforming and turn-based battles. Throughout these, players utilize a variety of features and functionality including Sora's Key Blade, auto-aim, special abilities/attacks and unlockables acquired through successful combo execution, which together make Kingdom Hearts Re:coded the perfect game for both longtime fans of the Kingdom Hearts franchise and those coming to it for the first time.
Key Game Features
- The future of the Kingdom Hearts series arrives on Nintendo DS. From world-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura comes the latest installment in the beloved Kingdom Hearts series. Sora, Mickey, Donald, Goofy and a host of familiar faces from Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy unite once again for an exciting new adventure.
- All-new features include a new character growth system created specifically for the Nintendo DS release, building on the series' immersive blend of action and role-playing elements.
- An assortment of diverse and entertaining boss battles. Guide Sora like never before through boss battles inspired by side-scrolling, shooting and classic Final Fantasy games.
- Endless possibilities in the avatar menu. Players can design their own avatar using over 800 unlockable parts and trade playable maps with friends.
A new "digital" version of Sora.
Combo driven action.
Level up to gain abilities.
Maps and special abilities.
Top customer reviews
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Once I got through listening to that song against my will for yet another spin-off (read: cash-in), I'm greeted to what may be the worst excuse ever for a rehashed title. Oh no, Jiminy Cricket's journal lost it's text! Time to relive it all with some sort of boring twist! This means we get to go back to all the same old locations from KH1, fighting the same old enemies with the same old soundtrack with a combat system that sorely needs the analog/d-pad pairing that made other KH games more tolerable to play.
Fine, maybe I can just enjoy it for the new cutscenes, right? Nope! Cutscenes are mostly absent in favor of boring and crudely cropped cut-outs of characters quickly changing expressions and poses in the form of different cut-outs, with awful looking speech bubbles and vocal grunts that would make even Banjo-Kazooie fans cringe. It looks awful, and really pulls me out of the experience when I see a fully 3D area just turn flat with cut-outs scrambling all over the screen. Product of a low-budget cash grab, and nothing less.
Maybe the combat system would be its saving grace? Nope, not that, either. After playing Birth by Sleep for over 50 hours, which presented what I feel is the best, most refined Kingdom Hearts battle system ever, going back to this is just feels like a bland chore, especially when having to use the L button in conjunction with face buttons to properly scroll through my abilities/magic list. It feels awfully dated and boring.
What's more is that, more than likely due to the nature of this originally being a cellphone game, S-E decided to add an Auto-Jump feature that causes Sora to jump automatically at any ledge, much like Zelda, and let me tell you that it's not a welcomed addition at all to me. Whenever I just want to drop down a ledge, my character always has to jump first, and delay the inevitable every time. This sucks! I've later discovered the option to turn it off, thinking that would ease that particular gripe, but it worked out to be the opposite. The emphasis this game puts on platforming as an awful choice, and one that brings much unneeded frustration to the game. Leave the jumping to Mario, Sora, you just aren't that good at it.
45 minutes in, I was greeted with what might be the lamest boss battle in KH history, which is just a rehash of the huge firs boss in any KH game (the one that pounds his fist in the ground to spawn little enemies to fight off as you smack his wrists, but with an awful twist! This time, his final form consists of a bunch of "blox" that swirl around and try to crush you, occasionally opening up and revealing his weak, discolored "blox" to hit in order to deal damage and ultimately finish him off.
By the time that was done, I felt more than ready to put this game back in the box and go back to better titles that don't reek of inferior de-ja-vu. It's high time that Square-Enix learns how to properly budget and develop in HD, so that they can finally deliver the long overdue Kingdom Hearts 3, and quit dancing around in unnecessarily convoluted rehashes of the same old events over and over again. I'm done with this garbage game until the awesomeness that was Birth by Sleep starts to fade, and I can put up with retreading through this lazy effort one day in a future portable game drought.
For comparison's sake, 358/2 Days is by far and away the superior game between the two KH DS games, because it packs the benefit of being developed as a DS game first, rather than a cellphone game. This includes benefits such as better production values, cinematics, menus, controls, level design, features, and multi-player.
This game is the furthest thing from 358/2 days in any way other than it being a retread of old levels repeatedly. There's no mission-based structure, and generally very little in common with any aspect of 358/2 days. This game is by far and away the worst KH release on any major gaming platform yet, and you can see that first-hand or heed my advice, and the advice of many game critic's reviews.
It's possible for extremely forgiving KH fans to find redeeming values to justify the cost of admission, but that's going to be a relatively rare case as far as this game is concerned.
I'll give the game's fun-factor a 3/5, simply because it at least tries it's hand at different gameplay elements (side-scrolling, turn-based battles, Space Harrier-esque shooting stages), and I can see the appeal it could have for players who haven't played through all of the other spin-offs already.
That said, I'd have to give this 2/5 overall, given how low-budget a package and a lazy cash-in this turned out to be. This may be the first Kingdom Hearts game I never finish, and that says a lot coming from a die-hard Disney fan, and a once faithful Square-Enix fan.
If we keep supporting these lazy and recycled "spin-offs," we can kiss the idea of ever seeing a true sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2 ever again. What motivation does S-E have to spend tens of millions of dollars on developing Kingdom Hearts 3, if they can just recycle the same old game they made in 2002 with any little excuse, and have the die-hards eat the up each time? Well, you've been warned!
The plot was a little convoluted (like nearly all the KH games to me). Basically, Jiminy finds a mysterious message in his journal. So he uses a machine invented my Chip & Dale to "digitize" the contents of the journal. And then Mickey, Donald, and Goofy recruit the virtual Sora to find out the meaning behind the message. Moreover, someone tampers with the journal, so Sora has the task to also "debug" worlds. The plot of the game reminds me of Chain of Memories. You're playing as a clean slate Sora, visiting the familiar worlds but in the context of this journey. I'm not going to lie, this game confounded to the mysticism of Kingdom Hearts, but that's the least of my issues with this game.
The reason why I hated this game is for one reason only: the HORRENDOUS camera controls. Like this is by far the worst camera controls I've ever encountered in a video game in my life. You cannot move Sora, and rotate the camera at the same time. I don't have any idea how Square Enix could release this game like this. This game is very big on platforming, more than any other KH game before it. The fights can also be just as intense. You just have to play it to understand this pain. It can't be that it's on the DS, because 358/2 Days had simple camera controls. I understand they wanted to make commands simpler to use, but come on. What's the point of having these command shortcuts if it's a mission just to FACE an enemy?
And about the different gameplay styles I mentioned, the only one I enjoyed was the side scrolling. The turn-based level was horrible. I don't get how Square Enix of all companies could mess it up. Yes, it's not at all a focal part of the game. But have you ever played a turn-based game where you can't even choose which enemy you want to attack in battle? The 3D shooting levels weren't as bad, but I feel that these levels could have made great use of the touchscreen. Especially since there's only one button to shoot. Holding the button locks on to enemies, so when you're not locking on, you're mindlessly bashing your thumb to fire.
All in all, this game had great potential. I felt like it would have been great on the console, since there could be more freedom with the controls. I understand why they wouldn't though because the game is incredibly short. Then again, it was originally a cell phone game. But I still give it no excuse.
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. :-)