Wow. 2 Kingdom Hearts posts in 1 day? Crazy, I know. My vacation time has been kind to me and I’ve had the chance to finish both Birth By Sleep and Re:Coded. Re:Coded wasn’t as long as the other games (well, my game time clocked in around 24 hours). I think this is mostly because Re:Coded started it’s life out as a cell phone game in Japan released in multiple episodes over time. Eventually Square decided to bring it over here to North America on the DS. It was a fun little game. Not overly deep, but was very easy to play through.
The game starts out right after the events of KH2, where Mickey, Donald, Goofy & Jiminy discover something bad has happened to his journal and only a single message appears. They discover the journal has been corrupted and in order to fix it (and discover the meaning of the mysterious message), they enlist a data version of Sora to help. Sora travels to various worlds (all from KH1) like Destiny Islands, Traverse Town, Wonderland, Olympus Coliseum, Agrabah and Hallow Bastion and help them be rebuilt from all the Bugs that are corrupting them. You get help from a data version of Riku as well (which he himself gets into trouble and you have to rebuild his mind by re-assembling smaller versions of the worlds you’ve been to). Eventually the quest leads Sora to Castle Oblivion (from Chain of Memories), where, as Sora goes through simple versions of each of the worlds yet again, forgets everything. After being told from a mysterious black figure that he’ll never forget the important people and to not let the sadness consume him, he fights this mysterious figure, who actually turns out to be a data version of Roxas. After the fight, Sora finally meets a data version of Naminé who explains everything that she did to the real Sora while he was in the Castle Oblivion, and gives him a message that 3 other people (who turn out to be Terra, Aqua & Ventus from Birth by Sleep) also need Sora’s help. Mickey is by his side and promises to tell the real Sora everything. Data-Sora also sends his one message he has to Data-Naminé, and that is Thank You. At the end, we see Mickey writing a note to Sora (that we see him reading at the end of KH2 and Birth By Sleep) explaining everything and asking for his help one more time.
The secret movie this time around has Mickey back at the Mysterious Tower, telling Yen Sid that they think Ven might be close to waking up, but Yen Sid warns that Xehonart is going to be revived because Sora defeated fake-Ansem (Xehonart’s heartless) and Xemnas (Xehonart’s Nobody). Yen Sid suggests that Mickey call up Sora and Riku to perform the Mark of Mastery and become true Keyblade Masters.
The story is somewhat thin throughout the main game, and we get most of it there at the end, which is fine (knowing how this game was originally released). It ties in the events of KH1 & 2 and Birth By Sleep together, and as far as I can tell, sets up the next game in the series (Dream Drop Distance), which hopefully will start answering some of these questions about how Sora is going to actually save Aqua, Terra & Ven.
The gameplay this time around is similar to the rest of them, as it’s a regular Action RPG. Much like 358/2 days, the camera control is garbage, as you have to hold down R in order to control the camera (since the DS didn’t have 2 control pads). It’s normally not too much of a problem, but when they are asking you do to hard platforming sections, it gets very annoying. Character growth is a very nifty mix of the previous 2 games. For stats, you have this Stat Matrix, in which you have to place these stat chips in in order to increase your stats. These are things like Level Up Chips, +Strength, +Magic, etc. Somewhat similar to the tetris thing from 358/2 days, but you don’t have to play tetris this time, as all the slots are actually laid out for you. you just get to choose what chip goes into what slot. Commands are back and grow much like they do in Birth By Sleep (equip them and combine them to make stronger versions). You can also equip keyblades and accessories. Pretty fun, once you get the hang of it.
A lot of the post-game content this time around is in the form of these quests that each world has, and to complete them, you need to go into these hidden System Sectors and earn SP. Now, in order to earn SP, you need to complete these challenges inside, like “Don’t miss more than 8 times” or “Leave the level in under 60 seconds”. Some of them are stupid hard to do, and it doesn’t help that the camera doesn’t cooperate. I made it through most of them, but eventually just gave up after the 5th time failing a challenge because the camera decided to lock onto something behind be. This game would have worked wonderfully with just 1 extra camera control (which I realize was impossible given it was on the DS).
Oh well. Not a perfect game, but does tie up a lot of the loose ends from the previous games and focuses everything down to the next game in the series, which I’ll be starting in on shortly. After that, it’ll be the long wait until Kingdom Hearts 3, which will probably come sometime before 2025 (I hope).
Until next time…