Review by Dark Link18
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories is what happens in-between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2. It's basically what Kingdom Hearts 1.5. It starts off where Kingdom Hearts ended. Just because it has Disney Characters in it it doesn't mean it's childish.
The story in this is great. It starts off right where Kingdom Hearts left off. Sora arrives at a mysterious castle called Castle Oblivion. As he travels through Castle Oblivion he loses his memories. To restore his memories he has to get to the end of Castle Oblivion. The story is full of twists and turns and it will keep you hooked. You'll be spending a lot of the time in worlds that you visited in Kingdom Hearts so it's kind of like a recap. They also reveal spoilers about what happened in Kingdom Hearts so if you plan on playing Kingdom hearts play it before this.
In this game you use cards. Before you turn away know that the game is set in real time, so it's not like Yu-Gi-Oh. You just use cards to attack. The gameplay is similar to the gameplay in Kingdom Hearts. You cycle through your cards and choose which one to use. Your card has a certain number on it and that is what level your card is. If you and your opponent attack at the same time the card with the higher number wins and the person who had the lower number is stunned. Also you can stack up your cards to perform special attacks called sleights or too just higher your card's level and attack power. There are five different types of cards that you use in battle. They are attack cards which are Keyblades, Magic Cards which you use to cast magic or to summon a friend, enemy cards which produce effects on Sora, Item Cards, and Friend Cards which allows you to summon a friend to aid you in battle. There's something called Room synthesis in which you construct a room. It's not complicated. All you do is select a card and use it on the door. It will have various affects on the room depending on which card you use like weakening the heartless in the room or making more heartless appear. At first I thought the gameplay in this game was not going to be that good, but now I love it. Overall the gameplay is great.
At the very beginning of the game you see a gorgeous video with awesome graphics that by far is better than any GBA game before. I never knew the GBA was capable of that. Too bad the graphics in the game aren't like that for the whole game. The graphics are still good. The game uses detailed sprites. My only complaint is that sometimes in battle when there are a bunch of enemies and you use an attack the frame rate slows down for a second or two.
The sound in this game is great. They use a lot of music from Kingdom Hearts, which is good considering that I loved Kingdom Hearts's music. It's not as good as the music in Kingdom hearts, but it comes close. The only problem is there's no voice acting.
The controls in this game are pretty good. To use a card you just scroll to the card using the R or L button and you press A to use it. My only complaint is that it takes a long time and it's annoying when you have to scroll through your whole deck to just to find one card. Also it's annoying how you use Dodge Roll. You have to double tap in the direction you want Sora to dodge roll to.
Replay Value: 7/10
There isn't much replay value. There's multiplayer where you can link up to another Game Boy Advance and fight them. There's also an alternate storyline called Reverse/Rebirth featuring one of Sora's friends. You unlock both of these by beating Sora's story. Other than that there's not much replayability.
Buy or Rent: Buy
Kingdom Hearts is a great game while it lasts. Once you beat Sora's story and Reverse/Rebirth there's not much to do except battle one of your friends which you'll probably only do a few times and replay the game. The game's also pretty easy, but some boss battles get a little hard. Buy Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. It's a great game and one of the best games on the GBA.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories is a worthy sequel to Kingdom Hearts. I suggest you beat Kingdom Hearts before you play this or you might find yourself lost.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/13/04
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