Ok let me get this out of the way before the review starts. If you don't already know I am a huge fan of Kingdom Hearts, to the point where I even own a Keyblade. Ok Now that you know, lets get started! Here's my first review of 2011, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded.
It's only been 5 months since Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep was released and having a new one so shortly after the last one strikes one chord... Cash-in! But is it really a cash-in? Remember that this is a remake of a mobile phone game too.
The story of Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded starts with Jiminy Cricket looking through the journals of the previous journey and find a mysterious message in the first journal(Kingdom Hearts 1's journal) that says, "Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it." So Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Jiminy Cricket, Chip and Dale decide to see what's going on with a computer that turn the book into a datascape and find it's corrupted. So they create a digital copy of Sora out of the data in the journal and thus our journey begins on a similar path to the original game only a little different.
The game plays like Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep so if you've played that then everything will fit like a glove until you come across a few different gameplay types. During a couple of worlds you'll play a rail shooter style section, a side scroller section and my favourite(obviously) turn-based combat for the Olympus Coliseum. Now these section can be annoying, especially the rail shooter stages since they are hard to aim and control. The skills are also similarly done as in KH:BBS but there are a few different ones but the combining system returns for creating new skills but for a unique twist to the game, combining skills will also level them up improving the power of the skill.
The leveling system unfortunate follows a similar path to KH: 358/2 Days with panels making a return but instead of all the hassle of arranging them with enhancers and stuff, you just put them in a spot on the Stat Matrix and follow the paths to also gain access to abilities like Scan and Block and link 2 CPUs together to double the effect of the panels between them. In the Stat Matrix you can also access "Cheats" which are used for altering things like drop rates of items, difficulty, CP earn and HP. These can be both beneficial and detrimental but if you want to earn the trophies in the game, then you'll need to use them... and yes like KH: BBS you can earn trophies but unlike KH: BBS you need to collect 20 for the secret ending.
The game has you traveling through 7 worlds, six from Kingdom Hearts and Castle Oblivion from KH: Chain Of Memories. You will feel like you're treading old ground while playing the game but... it doesn't really wear off. Seriously we've travelled these worlds before and most of you will be sick of them. This doesn't hinder the fun too much but you may be as sick of the Wonderland theme as I am and mute it.
Essentially there is nothing really new here except it's story which isn't too bad but it doesn't feel important until you get to the end of the game. The last part sets up for the next game and it also links the event's of the previous games making everyone important up to a point, even KH: 358/2 days.
Is this game worth a buy? Yes and no. Yes if you're a die-hard Kingdom Hearts fans who needs to know the entire mythos. It's gameplay is familiar and it's story is... ok but compared to the others it's a little less thought out. If you are just in it for what's important in the series then you can skip it if you want and keep clamoring for Kingdom Hearts 3. I enjoyed playing it for the most part but I hate to say this but this game is definitely a hasty cash-in to keep people occupied until Kingdom Hearts 3D.It's also only about 25 hours if you'rer just going through story so it's mobile phone roots show. I give it a 3/5. While this is a good game, the story just doesn't have the same impact as every other entry in the series.