Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

01/19/2011 at 4:43 PM | Posted in Nintendo DS | Leave a comment
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Kingdom Heart Re:coded Review

Only a few months since the latest Kingdom Hearts fix thanks to Birth by Sleep, Re:coded was released last Tuesday. When Kingdom Hearts coded was first announced for Japanese mobile phones way back when alongside 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep I was both excited and disappointed. Excited for a KH game, but for Japanese mobile phones? That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for ever getting to play this game. Thankfully Square Enix sought to remedy this by remaking coded.

Side Note – I won’t be mentioning the specific differences between coded and Re:coded as naturally I haven’t been able to play coded, or see much of it anyway for that matter. However, know that Re:coded is definitely a REMAKE and not just a port.


Re:coded takes place shortly after the events of Kingdom Hearts II. Upon reviewing his journals and flipping through
the seemingly empty journal from Kingdom Hearts (remember this one got erased upon entering Castle Oblivion) Jiminy see’s the only entry in it he knows about; “Thank Naminé” upon further inspection though he see an entry he never noticed before “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.” Upon showing King Mickey the message, Mickey enlists the help of Chip and Dale to digitize the journal which causes them to see all these bugs in the journal’s data. In order to fix the bugs and find out the meaning of the message they need to enlist the help of yet another person, and Mickey thinks no other person is better for the job than the digital version of the one and only Sora.

The story here is fairly minimal as your going through past Disney worlds, replaying the same basic scenarios albeit the data bugs in the worlds or “blox” serve to alter the story a bit. The main story however upon completing these worlds and then of course in the final climax of the game. The groundwork may be small, but at least it’s set in place for what I can only guess will be Kingdom Hearts III

Score – 7.5


Like all KH games, Re:coded’s gameplay is reminiscent of all the past games with slight twists here and there exclusive to the game. Re:coded borrows a page from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as the command deck makes a triumphant return. Re:coded features around 100 commands although in all fairness a good chunk of those are simply elemental versions of the same attack. Again like Birth by Sleep your regular attacks are on the A button and you can cycle through your command deck and execute the command with X. Dishing out all of these attacks will result in your “Overclock” gauge to rise. Each weapon grants you with benefits or abilities depending on how high the Overclock gauge has risen to. Once it reaches the max you can dish out a powerful finish command. After that the gauge resets and you lose those temporary abilities until you work the gauge back up again. Even though 358/2 Days’ system wasn’t that bad, this system works so much better for the DS.

Naturally with a command deck, command melding is back but with a Re:coded twist. Each command has one bar of CP to fill, after it’s filled it’s ready to be combined with another command. Each time you meld a command the command created increases in LVL. There is also a chance that the command will “Overspec” and jump a decent number of levels or a “C” will be attached to it meaning that it makes the Overclock gauge rise faster, or an “R” will be attached to it meaning that it reloads faster than it normally does. A completely maxed out command will be Mastered at Lvl100 and be attached with a C and an R. One complaint I did have was that getting a command to Overspec seems a little too random and as the abilites gained with Overspec seem somewhat vital, it just doesn’t happen often enough.

You can temporarily use an upgraded command by placing two commands in one slot.

Another big addition is the Stat Matrix which is inspired in part by many different titles including Final Fantasy, it’s a little bit command board and a little bit FFX sphere grid. You’re given a “circuit board” like thing and you start at a “CPU”. A pathway of nodes are spread out before you and you’re meant to put ” Ability Chips” you gain in progressing through the game into the nodes in order to connect the CPU to various objects on the board. The ability chips are such things like HP+2, Strength+1 and even Lvl+1. You can connect the CPU to other CPUs in other sections that become available over time or to ability nodes and even large contraptions that serve as game cheats. The first cheat device available to you will be the Difficulty modifier which makes it so that at any one point, you can change the difficulty if things are proving to be too easy or too hard which I thought was quite genius (although personally I was Critical all the way :] ) Later on, you’ll get access to even more Cheat Devices which alter things such as the drop rate of items or prizes and even how much HP Sora has allowing you to easily initiate a “1 HP Challenge”. All of this proves to make the Stat Matrix a pretty fun thing to play around with and at the same time, your developing Sora and giving him the abilities and attributes you want him to have. Being able to customize is always pretty nice.

You can turn each ability on and off as you choose after activating them.

Score – 9


In my opinion Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is one of the best looking games on the DS platform and Re:coded uses the same engine so naturally it looks just as impressive. All of the effects associated with all the different commands, heartless appearing and their attacks as well are all quite flashy and the DS handles it all pretty well. A few slow downs can occur when too many enemies are in the process of appearing at the same time, but once there all there everything seems pretty fine.

Cutscenes are shown to you in 2D with speech bubbles which works out better than I thought it would, I really had no problem with this as occasionally you are treated to a PS2 quality movie scene.

Score – 8.5

Final Note

So is Re:coded just a Re:hash? Well it is and it isn’t. One the one hand, this game is so much more than a port of the original coded on mobile phones. All of the new content added makes for a really fun experience. The bug blox included in the worlds creates more platforming challenges and the new data world challenges your skills in combat. offering a little glimpse of another Japanese exclusive Kingdom Hearts Mobile in the form of the Avatar Menu, and honestly dressing up your avatar and fighting through challenge rooms to get more parts is kind of fun.

My own personal KH Avatar

On the other hand, this is yet another Kingdom Hearts games where you are travelling through the same worlds, fighting the same enemies, and listening to the same music that you have been since the first Kingdom Hearts, although to spruce things up, the landscape is modified a bit. KH 3D seems like it will be the last side-game to come before Kingdom Hearts III is released and things are already starting to shape up as the trailer for it already features a brand new world. So honestly, playing through the older worlds of the series again never really gets me down, I love Kingdom Hearts just too much.

Overall Rating



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