Kingdom Hearts 3D is soon coming out and I'm extremly exited. So exited I went and bought Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, the latest game released in this franchise. But what are my thoughts about it?
Alright, I’m not gonna lie, I got kinda excited when I saw the trailers and information about Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (for those who don’t know, I like the Kingdom Hearts-series a lot). I got so excited that I actually went and bought the latest installation in the KH-franchise, Re:coded (Yes, it is spelled that way). The question is: Should you buy it? Also, this:
WARNING! WARNING! SPOILERS MAY BE PRESENT! YOU! HAVE! BEEN! WARNED! (note: you will see where the spoilers are in the text. I’m just too lazy to write spoilers more then once)
So, lets get on with this, shall we?
I know it's japanese, but whatever, this pic is awesome anway!
So, after two/three journeys of Sora, Donald and Goofy, Jiminy Cricket, who have been recording all the events in his journals, looks back at the two books. Still confuzzeled about why the first book still doesn’t contain anything besides ”Thank Naminé”, he now finds a secret message in the book which he hadn’t seen before: ”Their hurting will be ended when you return to it”. He shows King Mickey this (new people: Yes, Mickey is a king in these game), who calls upon Chip and Dale (new people: Yes, Chip and Dale are technical geniuses in these games or something) to create a machine which can read the data inside the book. Not the words, the data. Turns out that the whole journal is bugged up to the max, so Mickey decides to create a program in the journal: Data-Sora. He gives this Data-Sora The_Keyblade.exe (or something), which gives D-Sora his powers and lets him wreak havoc upon the bugs!
…Yeah, the story is sillier then ever. Basically, you visit a bunch of worlds from KH1 (and from KH:CoM too) with Data-Sora while you break ”bloxes” which represent the bugs in the system. My problem with the story however lies in the setup: Since when does a book made of paper contain data? Or better yet: How do Chip and Dale make a machine that can actually read the data of this journal? Oh, and here’s a fun one late in the game: How does Data-Sora get a real keyblade (unlike The_Keyblade.exe, ergo a program, which he had before) from his heart? How can data have hearts? (Note: if data actually have hearts, I want to apologize to all data out there). I probably have missed some plot holes here, but I think that’s enough for the moment.
THIS IS MY ROFLSPINNER AND IT GOES SPINSPINSPINSPINSPIN
Re:coded’s gameplay can be split into three parts. The first part of the gameplay plays pretty much like all the other games in the franchise. Being a Hack n’ Slash RPG, you press/mash the A button to attack, the B button to jump/dash in the air, the Y button to block/dodge roll and the X button to use magic/special attacks, which are called Commands. You can see what Commands you have by looking at your Comman Deck in your lower left corner, and you can scroll through them by clicking the L button. The R button is used to position the camera around you or to move it around. Otherwise, the gameplay functions pretty much like KH: Birth By Sleep. You can choose whatever magic/attacks you want to personalise the way you want to play the game (unlike the other games, where you could use all magic directly, the special attacks comes up a bit randomly at times and the navigation of that screen was a bit clunky). However, it comes with a twist: unlike Terra, Aqua and Ventus, Data-Sora apparently doesn’t have enough gigabyte and have a memory limit. You obviously can’t exceed the memory limit as Data-Sora probably would explode or something and you cannot upgrade the capacity (as far as I know anyway). In the beginning this isn’t much of a problem considering you only have room for 2-3 Commands, but as you level up (I’ll get to that in a moment) you have room for more Commands. The problem? Some of the better commands take up a lot of memory and you can be irritated when you cannot place that specific Command into the Command Deck because Data-Sora will overload otherwise. I suppose it’s Square Enix’s way to make it so you don’t fill up your deck with incredibly cheap commands, but for me it just comes off as annoying. You can have up to 8 commands in you Command Deck, but you probably wont ever have that many commands.
Fight And Away
Normally in the game, all you do is destroying the Heartless in your way, continue the story and get stronger. Nothing special here. Then you get to the second part: The Glitches. In the main story, Data-Sora will find that something just doesn’t seem right. Maybe a bridge is gone, a door is blocked or some guards move very quickly. Data-Sora then goes in to ultra-glitch-scanning mode, where he looks after a backdoor to a System Sector so he can debug the glitches inside them. Yes, I’m being serious. Maybe the Heartless inside the book work like ants, getting into your electronics and f*****g your shit up. You have to go through a set of floors, destroy the Heartless and the Bug Blox in them, debug the red rooms (because bugs are apparently all red) by destroying bugged Heartless, who are either blue (goes invisible at times), red (much stronger) or yellow (MUCH faster), and obtain Sector Points (SP), which you in the end of the sector can spend on various items and experience points or Munny (the universal currency in this game). You can earn more SP by doing challenges in each sector, where you bet 10 %, 30 % or 50 % of your SP and do something specific, whether it is to defeat a set amount of Heartless or to play The Floor Is Lava and don’t stay on it for a total of 60 seconds. The challenges vary in difficulity (one challenge requires you to play at night!), but are always the same for the sector you’re currently in. Finally, a floor can be attacked by a virus, which means that you have to bet ALL of your SP, which can both be a curse and a saving grace depending on what the challenge is, and that all the bugged Heartless are stronger. Fail the challenge or die and you lose all the SP you bet.
Finally, we have the Keyhole sections. What, did you think it was gonna be as easy to just open the Keyhole and be done with everything?
I remember this meme!
The Keyhole parts basically change everything gameplay wise. Well, most of the time anyways. For example, in Traverse Town, the game becomes a sidescrolling hack n’ slash, and in Olympus Coliseum, the game becomes a Turnbased RPG! It definitly is interesting, as it creates diversity in the game… Although, if you want to play these special sections again, you have to go through the entire ”episode” (it’s explained in the story, let’s just say that Sora goes illegal). Still, they are fun and interesting and everything.
DATA-SORA IS GONNA DELETE THE_HEARTLESS.EXE WITH THE POWER OF THE_KEYBLADE.EXE
Graphically, this is probably not the best looking game on the DS. I mean, it looks good, but there’s something that doesn’t rub the the right way when looking at it. If there’s any game I could compare it too, it would be Okamiden, which while it looks very good, it still seems like the graphics doesn’t catch up when you start running and smacking stuff up, which sometimes leads to some slowdown. However, that’s only with the ingame-engine. Cutscenes looks good and doesn’t use the ingame engine as most other handheld KH-games. Going with the comic manga style of cutscenes (the characters pretty much move as if they were in a manga), these cutscenes look and feel better then for example 358/2 Days (also, almost no creepy Mickey face ftw). Then we of course have the fully animated cutscenes (AMV’s right?), which looks pretty much like any other KH-game.
Most of the music in Re:coded isn’t new, as most have appeared in previous games (with this being a ”remake” and whatnot). With that said, it is still pretty good and it’s fun to listen to most tracks (which have been slimed down to fit the DS’s soundcard or something) and there are actually four new tracks! Sure, it's a ctually only two new tracks and the other two are remixes of the first two, but still! They're awesome nonetheless! (atleast the battle music)
Wonder of Electron
Wonder of Electron -Bug Version-
No More Bugs!! (yes, there are two exclamation marks. Not one, not three, but two.)
No More Bugs!! -Bug Version-
As you probably have guessed by now, the new music is from the System Sectors, which obviously makes them new. They are good though and if you compare them to the other music in the KH-series, they're definitly standing out. I suppose it just shows that Yoko Shimomura, creator of the music, is extremly talented!
Kingdom Hearts: Now in TWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
As in most Kingdom Hearts games, there is stuff to do outside the main plot. However, they take it to the extreme in Re:coded! Not only are there extra Sytem Sectors which you need higher levels of Scan to find and obtain extra Keyblades, there’s also extra long versions of the Olympus Coliseum (you’ll understand me when you play it) and the bane of my existence, Trophies. Yes, they are in this game as well and yes, most achivements are crazy hard. It get’s worser when you realise that in order to obtain the Secret Ending in this game, you need to obtain 20 trophies all in all. Doesn’t sound too hard you say? Look up the trophies and tell me that you don’t need to play atleast 50 hours for most of the trophies. Not to mention that you can play through the levels in different versions as well. Also, if you feel like grinding, which you probably will, you’ll notice that it’s wuite fun to do, which it better be, considering how much grinding can be done. Levels, Commands, heck, even the Keyblades can level up! As you probably understand, there’s more to this game then just the story.
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a very good game all in all. Sure, it’s not the best game of all time, but it sure as hell is fun. If you can find it in a store somewhere, I’d suggest that you buy it, considering its price probably should be lowered by now, even if you don’t like the story. After all, that can easily be skipped over if you don’t like anime stories. I mean, it’s still a good game, despite its story.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10
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