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By otakuman5000 On 25 Feb, 2011 At 02:51 PM | Categorized As Nintendo DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 1 Comment

No GravatarSquare Enix and Disney’s whimsical and magical franchise has now a new remake of past mobile phone game. Many people have only recently rumbled that Kingdom Hearts has gotten stale and redundant with the many spin-off and prequel iterations of the franchise. What those people don’t seem to realize is the top notch quality in both game-play and graphics, as well as the constant building blocks to what will be the inevitable Kingdom Hearts 3. RE: Coded is another great game in the franchise that should not be over-shadowed with such doubts and rumblings, it a game that really stands on it’s own two feet.

The Story Takes place After KH2, Before KH3

At the start of the events of Kingdom Hearts RE Coded, the game establishes itself as a story that takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 2. While Sora and the rest of the Disney cast are featured in the game, most of the plot takes place within a digital rendition of Jimmny’s Journal, a book that chronicled the events of all the previous Kingdom Hearts games. The main premise is that there are events that are featured within the journal that never actually happened, so Mickey and the rest of the Disney gang create a digital version of Sora to fix up the data the journal creates and eliminate the Bugs and Glitches in the system. The Heartless, the main enemies of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, are featured in game, however the premiere enemies players will face are bugged/digitally modified versions of the Heartless.

Classic Kingdom Hearts Gameplay

The story itself might turn some long time fans off, in that it is another spin-off title from the main story established in Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. However, fans will miss out on key important events that heavily set up the stage for the next official console game. This would include character relationships and events that will be the stepping stones for characters to be reintroduced in Kingdom Hearts 3. The worlds themselves are the same settings we have seen for the past few games, but there is an additional remake of Castle Oblivion, the main setting from Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, that is included which gives a fresh breath of air for those that are tired of seeing Aladdin’s or Hercules’s world. There are sections that are true to the traditional Kingdom Hearts cut- scenes, but most of the game is made up of text dialogue and still image animations for most in game cut-scenes. If you can spare the thought of reading dialogue for most of the game in-between the beautifully rendered cut-scenes, you will find an engaging story that sets up many future conflicts to come for the franchise.

The Gangs All Here

The battle system for Kingdom Hearts RE Coded is great. It is very apparent that the team developing the Kingdom Hearts games are trying many ways to evolve and tweak the real time battle system. The fighting in-game feels like a blend of both Birth By Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 358/2. There are a ton of attacks players can find and synthesize as they defeat enemies and reach new worlds. Players can equip a certain amount of different melee and magic attacks to Sora, that will level up as enemies are defeated. Sora will level up now using the Data Chip grid, a new way to customize and level up Sora in a variety of different ways. What attributes to level up and what abilities to acquire is up to the player at any point they should choose, with an option to change up and manipulate attributes later on towards the end of the story.

Different variety of gameplay. Changes with each world.

What makes this game stand out from it’s predecessors is the variety of different game-play moments that occur at the end of each world Sora explores. During boss fights, players will experience a drastic change in the game play that is a different theme for each world. This ranges from a side-scrolling plat forming area, a face paced rail-shooter, and even a traditional turn based battle system similar to that of older Final Fantasy games. These changes in no way affect the game’s original battle system in any negative way, as they are limited to the boss sections for each world. They are however fun and a nice change of pace from mashing the A button for most of the game. The best part is that they can be replayed at a later time for achieving higher scores and better item rewards, which is vital for getting 100% completion.

This is how most scenes play out.

There is a multiplayer aspect to this game that, while not nearly as robust as Birth By Sleep, is helpful in acquiring new items and new challenges for the single player mode. The Avatar Menu allows players to create a custom made avatar sporting different accessories and trinkets gained from completing the main story. New items and clothing can be obtained from using Tag Mode, which allows the exchange of Avatars and items. It is also possible to gain new challenge rooms that are similar to the main game’s digital world, which looks vaguely similar to something out of TRON or Metal Gear Solid’s VR missions. By completing these rooms, even more items can be obtained to use and power up Sora.

Box Art for RE: Coded

Kingdom Hearts RE Coded is a game that at first glance, can be over-looked for being a useless spin-off title. With an open mind however, and a little patience, fans of the franchise will discover many things throughout the game that will excite them for Square Enix’s next installment of the series. New players will find an enjoyable lighthearted, yet deep RPG experience that makes this a must own for any RPG lover‘s gaming collection. The story is enjoyable, characters are lovable, and the game play is just right enough to make this game a stand out from the series it comes from. Hanging out with Mickey and the rest of the Kingdom Hearts cast has not gotten old just yet.