While I am in love with the Kingdom Hearts series, my expectations were relatively low for Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded.
Going into it, I knew that the story would be very similar to the first game. This time around Jiminy Cricket notices that the journal he kept throughout the original game has been erased and he wants to recover that data. He gets his Disney friends to help him hook up his journal to the computer and they find that there are a bunch of “glitches” in the pages. So to delete the glitches and figure out what’s wrong with the journal they summon Sora and make the poor kid relive all the stuff he already went through in Kingdom Hearts I (and again relived in Chain of Memories!).
Most of the cutscenes are recycled from the other Kingdom Hearts games, only they’ve redubbed all of Sora’s lines because between Kingdom Hearts I and II Haley Joel Osment went through puberty. His post-pubescent voice on little Sora’s body… it’s so wrong. And it’s all over Re:Coded.
Playing the game itself isn’t as tedious as watching the cutscenes. The fighting system is the same as most of the other Kingdom Hearts games—you run forward and press A as fast as you can, you have a sidebar with potions and spells on it, and you can adjust your camera pretty easily. It’s not turn-based like Final Fantasy, and there’s no overly-complicated card system like in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, so it’s done well in those areas.
There’s also a little grid in the pause screen that you fill up with Level Up! boxes and all sorts of other bonuses—you use it to build up Sora’s power and customize his strengths however you want. It’s supposed to be like you’re modifying a computer or something like that… I don’t completely understand it, but it works.
The fights are all pretty easy and straight-forward, so it may be a little frustrating for gamers who want to actually be challenged by the games they’re playing.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded isn’t a game to get excited by if you’ve played the original Kingdom Hearts game. If you haven’t though, then go ahead and check it out. Hopefully you’ll get sucked into this Disney/Square universe and like just as I do!