Kingdom Hearts Re:coded DS


Mixed or average reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 58
  2. Negative: 4 out of 58
Buy On
  1. Feb 1, 2011
    But if you're looking for a game that's filled with breezy fun, excellent graphics, solid characters, and all the worlds of Disney in the palm of your hand with a lot of The Matrix thrown in for good measure, then Kingdom Hearts: ReCoded should absolutely be in your collection.
  2. May 9, 2011
    Thanks to its familiar settings, independent storyline, and range of gameplay styles, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded works well not only as an introduction to the series, but also as a continuation of what is most likely the zaniest storyline in gaming today.
  3. Jan 17, 2011
    The dense, self-serious plot will mystify new players, but they'd be hard-pressed to say they didn't have a good time while getting lost.
  4. Jan 7, 2011
    While Re:coded never does anything that's particularly groundbreaking, it does what it sets out to do very well and adds some fun and interesting twists on the standard formula.
  5. Feb 25, 2011
    A good example of what a remake should be: an enhanced version of a previously non-released game incorporating the best elements from past games in the series.
  6. Jan 13, 2011
    With just over a dozen hours of clever and varied gameplay, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded will appeal to many an RPG fan, including those who are yet to experience the Kingdom Hearts world.
  7. Jan 10, 2011
    The game feels like classic Kingdom Hearts, and it stars all the characters that made me like the first game. I had fun the entire time because the game kept giving me something new to do.
  8. Nintendo Power
    Dec 19, 2010
    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. [Jan 2011, p.82]
  9. Plagued with camera problems, but it's still a decent adventure for Kingdom Hearts fans.
  10. Jan 17, 2011
    Once again, Kingdom Hearts offers a slew of interesting changes to its gameplay system, providing a solid entertainment value. That said, it contains roughly a third of the content of previous titles.
  11. Jan 13, 2011
    Re:Coded is an entertaining adventure for the Nintendo DS, which retains the best values from one of the most celebrated sagas of Square-Enix.
  12. 75
    Kingdom Hearts: Re: Coded is an odd beast. On one hand, it tells a story that will be confusing to newcomers and too familiar to series experts, with some frustrating gameplay elements. On the other hand, the battle system remains as fun as always, the stat matrix is a fun way to develop your character, and the story does have its endearing moments.
  13. Jan 25, 2011
    At no point in the adventure do you ever suspect you're playing a cellphone game, nor do you feel like the experience is ever less than it can or should be. It's fun to play with a cool (if formulaic and linear) tale to tie the various levels together. If you're at all interested in Kingdom Hearts and have a DS, there's no reason to leave this one on the shelf - just make sure you've played through Birth by Sleep before you do!
  14. Jan 21, 2011
    The combat system is fun, the gameplay is varied and the growth system works. Better than 358/2 Days, but recommended almost exclusively for diehard fans.
  15. Feb 8, 2011
    It's a funny sequel, allthough the all times fans should be asking for something more (or new) from the developers. Despite the lack of innovation, Re: Coded is literallly filled with content, and still worth its price if you love the brand.
  16. Feb 8, 2011
    This remake of a Japan-only mobile phone title is a great piece of fan service and a decent RPG to (re)boot, but it's definitely not for the uninitiated.
  17. Jan 21, 2011
    Despite new gameplay features and the visual overhaul, it is still seems quite like the mobile version it was, and it is a pity that its good ideas don't shine as they deserve.
  18. Mar 21, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a game that feels fragmented. It failed to live up to its potential when it comes to treading new ground, as it falls back into the same familiar territory that fans have already visited and seen. It is not a bad game by any means, but this latest Kingdom Hearts game just isn't what it could have been in regards to giving the series a boost and the breath of fresh air that it needed.
  19. Mar 10, 2011
    Still, if you want more Kingdom Hearts, or even just a decent action-RPG, by all means, this is the game for you. But if you want something deeper, whether it comes to Kingdom Hearts in general or the genre as a whole, then perhaps you might want to skip this one.
  20. Feb 14, 2011
    Over time, fans have slowly begun to run out of patience with Square-Enix and these series side-stories while they wait for a fully fledged sequel, and Re:coded does little to remedy that.
  21. Feb 7, 2011
    If you're a Kingdom hearts fan, then I recommend it as a filler to give you a fresh KH injection. The story work was at times great, other times sloppy with the dialogue, and overall they could have brought it a but further than they did.
  22. Feb 1, 2011
    Re:coded is ultimately a highly competent action RPG. While it isn't likely to light anyone's world on fire, the degree of quality in all areas is to be commended and those who want a breezy and quickly paced game in the Kingdom Hearts mold for their DS's aren't likely to find the game disappointing.
  23. Jan 21, 2011
    The camera constantly needs babysitting -- my index finger was a near-permanent fixture on the repositioning trigger--and platforming sections can be a frustrating nightmare; floating, disappearing and jump-boost blocks require the sort of precise controls only games with "Super Mario" in the title can claim.
  24. Jan 18, 2011
    Ultimately your enjoyment of Re:Coded will stem from how much you like or loathe the Kingdom Hearts side-stories.
  25. Jan 13, 2011
    It's a good game with some very solid elements – mostly those seen in past KH titles. But its lackluster storytelling, poorly paced stage progression, jarring gameplay changes, and ever-present, misbehaving camera leave it removed from the greatness we associate with some of the franchise's previous outings.
  26. Jan 23, 2011
    Overall, Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded isn't a terrible game, but like all the other spin-offs and sequels, it fails to come close to the greatness of the original.
  27. Games Master UK
    Feb 18, 2011
    Plenty of neat individual ideas, but they fail to combine into a properly engaging adventure. [Feb 2011, p.92]
  28. Jan 27, 2011
    Do yourself a favor and wait until this game hits a major price drop. Honestly, I've never felt so let down by a Kingdom Hearts game. As fans of the series, we all deserve better than this.
  29. Jan 11, 2011
    Despite the new gameplay types, Re:coded's mostly recycled content feels too stale to recommend to anyone outside of the most diehard fans.
  30. Jan 23, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded is one of the low points of the franchise's history. The game has some great ideas buried within, but the execution leaves much to be desired.
  31. Jan 20, 2011
    Unless you're emotionally invested in the series and the characters, this particular spin-off isn't anything to get too terribly excited about.
  32. Feb 10, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts re:Coded is the umpteenth filler in a franchise waiting for a deserved epilogue. This time around however there is not even a solid plot to excuse what's basically a remake of the first installment, made by a mixture of gameplay styles and situations. The game itself is not that bad, especially if you are a devoted fan of the franchise. On the contrary, you can just skip it as it is entirely forgettable.
  33. Jan 12, 2011
    Frustrating platforming and a tepid narrative mar this journey into classic Kingdom Hearts realms.
  34. Jan 11, 2011
    By now, it's clear that the Kingdom Hearts series really needs to move into new territory instead of rehashing the same tired elements that are well past their expiration date. If you're new to the series, there are worse games than Recoded to start out with. Veterans, on the other hand, will be hard-pressed to find anything worthwhile here.
  35. Jan 27, 2011
    Unfortunately, it's like Tron marries Kingdom Hearts. The latest part of the franchise just seems odd, Square Enix has tried much, some things delivered, others failed.
  36. Mar 4, 2011
    It doesn't need much thought to figure out that Re:coded is just a quick cash-in in a long line of spin-offs. Being essentially a smartphone game, not only does it fail in comparison to the exceptional Birth by Sleep, but also fails to justify its price as a DS title altogether.
  37. 60
    Kingdom Hearts Re: coded is a decent product, but that can never be considered an advance in the series. If this is what you want or not, it will depend on each one of you.
  38. Feb 7, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a serviceable recycling of content from other games in the series, but probably the most 'missable' entry in the series to date.
  39. Feb 1, 2011
    Outside the lacklustre story, I can't help but feel that some of its shortcomings are down to the ageing DS hardware that has never really excelled at producing fully functioning 3D environments.
  40. Jan 23, 2011
    The substantial lack of innovations makes Re:coded a game that might be hard to appreciate for both fans and potential newcomers to the franchise. Anyone who's had the chance to play the old games for PS2 might in fact see the same strengths and weaknesses for which the brand as always been known for.
  41. Jan 21, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded is one of the finest games available on DS and gives pride to the action, always carried by an addictive gameplay. However, its wacky scenario that does nothing to advance the story of the saga, and the feeling of replaying the first Kingdom Hearts game in a strangely altered version, will clearly disappoint fans. This episode is still much more fun than 358/2 days and could be a good introduction for those who have never experienced the adventures of the Keyblade bearer.
  42. Jan 18, 2011
    You are looking at about 14 to 16 hours of gameplay for Kingdom Hearts Re: coded, but slogging through the entire story really lacks any substantial payoff.
  43. Jan 18, 2011
    The epitome of a cool game.
  44. Jan 14, 2011
    Be prepared to hit that A button a lot over the course of the adventure. But while this latest Kingdom Hearts has its fair share of problems, long-term fans shouldn't find it too hard to forgive and forget.
  45. Jan 14, 2011
    The game has two faces, as newcomers to the Kingdom Hearts series will still love the atmosphere but the fans will feel disappointed with this title. The game is hardly refreshing and the way you have to complete the different worlds is highly monotonous.
  46. Jan 10, 2011
    Overall, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded has a decent amount of polish, and should be interesting for series fans who have managed to keep the story straight so far. If you tackle the handful of side-quests and extra missions, you'll even net a good 15 to 30 hours out of the game -- just don't expect much clarity out of the narrative.
  47. Jan 4, 2011
    A strange brew of the Disney universe mixed with Final Fantasy characters in a platform adventure with a lot of fighting and some RPG elements. Unfortunately, it is unnecessarily complicated and wants to be smarter than it really is. The game gets better after a couple of hours, but it's basically only a must buy for the series' biggest fans.
  48. Mar 10, 2011
    Kingdom Hearts re: Coded is the weakest of the series mostly out of a sense of just existing to kill time until the next 'actual' installment.
  49. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Feb 23, 2011
    Unsuccessful conversion of the mobile phone game suffers from the fact it is actually not focused to any specific group of gamers. The story is confusing and some gameplay elements are literally annoying. [Issue#201]
  50. Feb 22, 2011
    The decision to release a remake of a mobile phone game instead of the original is baffling. Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded is a fractured game, that neither appeals to hardcore Kingdom Hearts fans nor newcomers.
  51. Feb 9, 2011
    You know you're doomed when the game starts its life as a mobile phone game. Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a baffling adventure with a sub-par story, horrible pacing, lack-luster multiplayer support, disappointing levels and the worst camera system I've ever used. Not even the modern combat mechanics are enough to make me recommend this mediocre remake!
  52. games(TM)
    Jan 23, 2011
    Re:coded is content to meander, offering only patronising tweaks to what we once enjoyed about the youngster-friendly mash-up franchise. [Issue#105, p.112]
  53. 50
    Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded is the latest release in a series that looks worse with every releases, as it simply refuses to keep up with the times and fix long-standing and fundamental problems. The camera needs a ton of work, the controls are overly complex, and everything feels recycled in a way that makes us wonder why we should still spend time with this failed adventure.
  54. Jan 10, 2011
    Camera and pacing issues aside, there are few real flaws, but equally there's very little you'll remember once the credits have rolled on the 15-hour campaign.
  55. Jan 21, 2011
    This is a game that tells a story that's meaningful only to people who have played all of the games beforehand, but does so with repetitive, sometimes frustrating gameplay.
  56. Feb 22, 2011
    This is nothing more than a cheap collection of translated cell phone games from Japan (hence the nam re:coded). Feels cheap, is cheap. Don't even bother with this mess.
  57. Jan 25, 2011
    Think about all the mistakes and bad decisions made by Square-Enix in the last years and you'll get a good idea of what to expect from this game.
  58. Jan 13, 2011
    Whether you're a fan or not this is easily the weakest of the series, with an unwanted revisit of overfamilar locations and gameplay faults.

Awards & Rankings

#7 Most Discussed DS Game of 2011
#12 Most Shared DS Game of 2011
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. Jan 14, 2011
    The story does need some work, and it is by far the weakest in the entire series. Not to mention that the game is terribly short and it has aThe story does need some work, and it is by far the weakest in the entire series. Not to mention that the game is terribly short and it has a tendency of dragging on. But good graphics especially for the DS, fun gameplay, and a good amount of replay value despite the convoluted story makes up for it. Full Review »
  2. Feb 14, 2013
    This has to be the KH title I enjoyed the least. The gameplay is good (even if backdoors sometimes frustrate me and are a little repetitive),This has to be the KH title I enjoyed the least. The gameplay is good (even if backdoors sometimes frustrate me and are a little repetitive), it's the story I didn't like much. Seems to me it was just an excuse to visit for the bazillionth time the worlds from KH1. I like avatars though, and some things of the gameplay that are innovative, such as 2D battles or the different endings in castle oblivion. Full Review »
  3. sLm
    Oct 19, 2012
    Worst of the series, no doubt.