- Nov 6, 2009
Popular magazine Nintendo Power has just published its January 2011 issue which does contain a review of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded! Can you believe we only have one month left to wait until the game's release?
Now onto the article:
Source: KH Media
Now onto the article:
Overall, the game was given an 8/10! Share your own opinions below! (Sorry I couldn't have the pages scanned--my scanner's broken at the moment. v.v)Digital Magic
Since its debut in 2002, there's been something special about Kingdom Hearts. The winning combination of Disney worlds and Square Enix properties--supported by fast action, a surprisingly complex story, and Tetsuya Nomura's eye-catching character designs--has captured the attention of millions of gamers around the globe. Each game in the series has been a delight, and the latest chapter, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, follows suit.
In many ways, Re:coded is the best Kingdom Hearts game to yet grace a Nintendo platform. Though the game engine appears to be identical to that of the previous Nintendo DS handheld title (Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days), several refinements make the gameplay even better. The integration of items, attack techniques, and spells into a single category called Deck Commands makes it much easier to use skills effectively during the heat of battle, while the ability to manipulate the camera via the Control Pad and R Button is far more convenient than controlling the viewing angle with the touch screen alone. This, of course, is on top of an already excellent real-time combat system that's flexible enough for strategists and button-mashers alike.
Even the level-up system is enjoyable. The Stat Matrix in Re:coded is similar to the panel system in 358/2 Days in that you must power up your hero by placing chips into slots. But whereas the 358/2 Days panel grid felt like it was always restricting you from reaching full power, it's quite the opposite in REe:coded. This time there are plenty of locations to put your chips; the trick lies in placing them in the most effective spots possible. This is one of the few times I've encountered an atypical level-up system (as opposed to a traditional experience-points-level-up) that acutally adds fun to the game.
Although the combat and game systems have taken a few steps forward, the story (and, as a result, the selection of worlds you travel to) feels stagnant. The plot isn't bad or anything--in fact, delving into the secrets that were lost in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (for Game Boy Advance) is a pretty neat concept--but it results in a been-there-done-that feeling. You can visit Destiny Islands, Agrabah, or Olympus Coliseum only so many times before they start to get stale. There are merely a half-dozen or so worlds to explore, and none of them are new; if you've played through then in the original Kingdom Hearts, Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days, or any of the other titles in the franchise, you'll probably find yourself longing for something fresh. (And would it have killed the composers to remix the music? Sure, the Kingdom Hearts series has an excellent, high-quality soundtrack, but if I hear the Traverse Town theme one more time, I'm gonna mute my DS and whistle the tune to the Main Street Electrical Parade.)
Despite the familiar scenery, the developers have made the most of the tried-and-true locales. Since you're in a digital re-creation of the environments, there are plenty of twists to keep things interesting, not the least of which are the data blocks that appear all over the place, just begging to be smashed. The System Sectors--dungeon areas that look unlike anything else in the Kingdom hearts universe--also keep the action fresh and help drive the story forward in a satisfying way. (In fact, the story-based game progression is much more fulfilling than the mission-oriented structure of 358/2 Days.)
But it's the varied gameplay you encounter in each world that really adds appeal. Most of Re:coded consists of the third-person exploration and fighting that Kingdom Hearts is usually known for, but at the end of each world (or throughout the entire world, in the case of Olympus Coliseum) the action undergoes a dramatic shift--you'll suddenly find yourself playing an auto-scrolling 2D platformer, a third-person shooter, or a turn-based RPG. And these gameplay styles don't feel tacked on; they're every bit as fun and polished as the rest of the game. As I mentioned in last issue's cover story, the RPG combat, especially, stands out thanks to its fast pace and emphasis on timed button presses for attacking and defending. In any other game these battles could be the main play mechanic, but in Re:coded they're merely the icing on the cake
Ultimately, where Re:coded falls on your personal Kingdom hearts quality scale will depend on whether you place more value on gameplay or story. Even with a few cool surprises at the end, Re:coded lacks the narrative depth and emotional resonance of 358/2 Days, and the whole virtual-reality setting makes Re:coded feel somewhat insignificant in the series's overall mythos. But when it comes to action, variety, and the sheer fun of obliterating Heartless with a Keyblade, Re:coded is a more-than-worthwhile entry in the beloved Kingdom Hearts saga. --CHRIS H.
Source: KH Media