A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is a fantasy role-playing game with fighting, platforming, and strategy elements. The action takes place in an alternate world inside of Jiminy Cricket's journal, but there is plenty of combat. This includes hacking and slashing using Sora's giant key sword and casting spells. Defeating enemies -- which are usually black and non-descript "Heartless" creatures -- causes them to disappear, with stars and circles bubbling up around them. Or they might leave prizes behind.
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What's it about?
KINGDOM HEARTS RE:CODED is a remake of a Japanese-only mobile phone game called Kingdom Hearts coded. While it can be difficult to follow at times, the story begins with Jiminy Cricket discovering a line in his personal journal he didn't write: \"Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.\" To find the meaning behind this cryptic message, King Mickey digitizes the journal and summons the help of an alternate Sora, who is also in the digital world. Sora leads an adventure through multiple environments to find the source of the cryptic data in order to fix it, returning the journal to its original form. The story is told primarily through still images and text, but there are also some animated sequences featuring the voices of familiar Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck.
Is it any good?
It isn't a perfect 10, but Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is still quite good. It offers many different kinds of gameplay types -- action, turn-based and real-time strategy, and platforming, to name a few -- spread out between multiple Disney-themed worlds with recognizable allies and enemies. It's a traditional fantasy role-playing game, which means you can create an avatar (in multiplayer Tag mode), gain experience points, view character stats, unlock new skills, follow a map, upgrade abilities, speak with NPCs (non-player characters), visit shops, and so on. That said, the third-person combat and strategy sequences are noticeably more fun than the platforming elements. Plus, there are some camera issues that prove frustrating at times. Overall, however, this colorful adventure keeps thing fresh with its varying game types, cute characters, and diverse locations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the notion of fusing characters from different universes. Do you like seeing Square Enix fighters like Sora and Riku alongside famous Disney characters? Do you enjoy fighting against familiar foes from Disney movies (such as Jafar and Maleficent) or should they be kept for the silver screen instead?
Families can also talk about how they feel seeing Disney characters in a game that features frequent (if mild) fantasy violence. Is perpetual combat congruent with the image Disney has traditionally fostered for these characters?
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