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Kingdom Hearts RE: Coded TGS hands-on impression

By Heath | September 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Kingdom Hearts RE: Coded is the DS version of a game that was originally released for cellphones. And it shows.

Story segments in the demo of RE: Coded were not the voice-acted cinemas gamers have become accustomed to, but rather still frames with text dialogue. I was placed in a series of small areas in which I had to fend off some weak heartless and find keys/switches to open doors. The areas I experienced were pretty small, and reportedly, another demo area took place in comparably small sections of Wonderland. My demo time took me through some futuristic places and dropped me into Traverse Town, which was pretty cool to see again after all these years. The I ran around town for a bit, easily fighting off Heartless when they showed up. The town looked very close to the original PS2 version, which impressed me.

Having just finished Birth by Sleep this past summer, I was used to my Kingdom Hearts gameplay controlling well. At no point did RE: Coded really feel “right.” I never got into any natural groove with it. This was partially due to frequent, awkward camera angle changes (which seemed to be a problem in several portable titles at the show). We’re talking about very abruptly finding yourself holding the wrong directional button and going the wrong way. Very annoying, and not comparable to the minor quibbles about Birth by Sleep‘s camera. Combat was also very easy, as the heartless required only taps of the A button to be stomped out. I had no need for special moves, even though they were available. At no point was I threatened, even though I set the DS down a number of times to yawn or stroke my beard. The ridiculous level of easy and overall boring nature of combat may have just been for the demo.

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Maybe RE: Coded didn’t feel right because…being the younger Sora in those same places just seems out of place. Birth by Sleep was a prequel featuring completely different characters, and for those that saw the secret ending, well…you know what I’m getting at. You don’t want to get back into the old red and white Sora outfit again, you want to take control of Sora in NEW adventures, go to some NEW places, meet some NEW people. RE: Coded brings a tiny¬†twist, but not enough of one. Series fans have already taken Sora through these places and fought these enemies in Kingdom Hearts, and Chain of Memories, and RE: Chain of Memories.

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A friend who retired from his English teaching job and was moving out of Japen said to me, “But if I do leave and come back…I can’t come back and be an English teacher again.” I was surprised. I was all like “Why not?” He said, showing wisdom, “Because that would mean I haven’t progressed. I haven’t gotten anywhere.” It’s a good point. The Kingdom Hearts series is jerking me around here. It confused me with 358/2 Days, won my pure¬†love with Birth by Sleep, but is making me shake my head with RE: Coded.

And on the way out of Twitter and Facebook, RPG Land slams the door.

Topics: Kingdom Hearts Coded, Previews, Tokyo Game Show 2010