A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
King Mickey and his friends digitize Jiminy Cricket's journal and jump in to solve a mystery. Here, they tap a second Sora, who leads the fight against those who stand in their way. Sora is brave and noble, but he does resort to violence to defeat various creatures in this virtual world.
Positive Role Models
The protagonists -- coming from both the Square Enix fantasy world and Disney universe -- are "good guys" who band together to fight against evil. They fight frequently, using melee weapons and magic to defeat enemies, but they also display honorable camaraderie.
Ease of Play
There are camera issues and it can be difficult to auto-target enemies (the game tends to select characters you're not interested in battling), but generally speaking this Nintendo DS game is easy to play.
Violence & Scariness
This game contains fantasy violence. The lead character fights against enemies using his giant key as a sword and casts magic spells. He sometimes fights many creatures at once and occasionally takes on bigger boss characters. Enemies disappear without bloodshed or gore.
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Products & Purchases
The game features many familiar Disney characters, including Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.