Review by RPG_Crazy

"Good, not great"

Intro-

At first the idea of using cards in battle may sound weird for a Kingdom Hearts game. Well, it is weird, but that doesn't mean its bad. People complain about this game being redundant. But can you imagine how incredibly, horribly redundant it would be if it had used the original Kingdom Hearts battle system? The fact is this game has little to no exploration. The environments aren't that interesting anyway, so I see little need for more exploration. So why did this game get an 8? Because despite all that, its still a good game.

Gameplay 8.0-

With each world there are 3 event rooms which you open using the cards required to open that specific door. All you have to do to complete a world is to go into each of those rooms. At the final room there will normally be a boss fight. That's pretty much all there is to each world. In between events, you go through the world and engage heartless. This is done in a 'Tales Of' style where as you run around the room you can see heartless come crawling out of the walls or fly out of the sky. Once you touch one of them, you enter a battle. Once in battle you use cards to attack you enemies, heal, cast magic, ect. If you run out of cards you can reload them. But each time you reload you will lose one or more of your cards. Don't worry, they'll still be in your deck, you just can't use them for the rest of that battle (unless you use an item card to get them back!). Its all very in depth and yet anyone can pick it up and be fighting in no time. Outside of battle you can decide which cards you want to bring into battle by adding or exchanging cards from your deck. This adds a little replayability because it adds a 'build the perfect deck' attraction. Also new to Kingdom Hearts, when you level up you can choose to gain more room for cards in your deck (CP), get more health (HP... duh) or learn a new sleight (basically a new ability). Once in a while the game will lag (like during a big battle where heartless fill the screen or during a boss fight) but it's no big deal.

Story 8.5-

There's not much I can say here without spoiling the game for you, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Its very well done. It can get confusing at times but in my book thats a good thing. I wouldn't say its as good as the original Kingdom Hearts but all well. This one's story uses the strong foundation of the original Kingdom Hearts' story as the base for its story. So if you haven't played the original Kingdom Hearts then its going to be very confusing and you'll have a hard time following what's going on.

Graphics 9.5-

Down right beautiful. IMO, best graphics on the GBA. With beautiful sprites and FMVs (a first for the GBA), this is the best looking game on the GBA. I had no idea the GBA was able to produce graphics this.It blew me away. And while graphics don't make a game, you can't help but gawk at these. Really incredible stuff.

Sound 8.0-

Not quite so with the sound. While everything is crisp and its nice to hear sorry shout when he swings his keyblade there are very few sounds. The music is sounds alright but it gets repetitive (especially if you played Kingdom Hearts). But, when the FMVs come rolling along (and while they are incredible), the sound take a MAJOR blow. So much I found myself wincing while listening to the soundtrack get destroyed by the poor quality.

Replayability 8.0-

After you beat the game there is a special mode you can unlock where you play as another character. I won't say who though. Besides that though, you probably won't want to pick this up again.

Overall- 8.5

I'm sorry to say it but even though I gave it an 8.5 it doesn't deserve to be rounded up to 9. Its a good game and its earned its place in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Just not that high a place. Its enjoyable and while the gameplay may be appealing for some I think it probably ends up driving away more. Its a good game and worth the $17.99 it costs but... if it were say... $30? I'd say wait for it to go down in price.

Final Recommendation-
Unless you liked the first one I doubt you'll like this one. Its a good game that should be played by fans of the Kingdom Hearts series and not many others. Buy it if you like Kingdom Hearts, but if not you should probably look elsewhere.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/25/08

Game Release: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (US, 12/07/04)


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