Review by fawful_X
"Kingdom Hearts, Castle that eats memories, and Cards combined!"
Introduction - Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Often referred to as KH: CoM or CoM) was made for the GBA in 2004. It was remade for the PS2 near the end of it's lifetime. Some say that this is the sequel to the original, while others deem it as an unworthy side game.
Gameplay - This is probably one of the most unique Real-time RPGs to exist, namely because of it's battle system, which involves cards.
You press A to attack, move around with the D-Pad, Dodge Roll (The only ability Sora still knows) by rapidly pressing left or right on the D-Pad, and B to jump. Simple, right? WRONG! Every time you press A, you use a card. (You can see which one is currently selected at the bottom-left corner.) You press L or R to navigate through your card menu (in case you want to save that one card for later) and press both L and R to stock a card. Stock three cards, and the next time you press L and R, you use a Sleight, or powerful attack, which you can learn by choosing Bonus C when you level up or by finding in special treasures. Also take note of the numbers at the bottom right hand of the card, which indicates it's value. Aside from 0s, a card of a higher value breaks a card of a lower value, stunning the character with the broken card. However, 0s break ANY card, even a 9, but 0s can even be broken by a 1, the lowest card value. If you run out of cards, or simply want your cards back, select the card that is just black, the reload card, (which is also the only card that requires holding A) and hold A until the counter reaches 0. (The reload card goes down by 1 every time the black is filled with red.) The card should go red 1-3 times, and give you EVERY card you used except for cards with a gold number, cards that automatically reload other cards (including those that reload unreloadable cards) and the first card you used for a Sleight.
Overall very complex, but easy to understand. 10/10, and bonus points for the innovation.
Story - The game continues from the first one, when Sora, Donald, and Goofy were still looking for King Mickey and Riku. During the night, Sora suddenly wakes up, only to discover his friends were asleep. He then gets up and starts wandering around the grassy wasteland they were travelling through, only to discover a mysterious man in a black cloak. After taunting Sora for a bit, the man mysteriously disappears, and Sora stumbles upon a mysterious castle. Apparently, Donald and Goofy catch up with Sora, and enter the castle. They then discover that the castle's name is Oblivion, (and is called Castle Oblivion) and that they are suffering something similar to amnesia, with their memories disappearing. The man soon disappears, and leaves Sora with only one choice - to go further into the castle.
The story is great, despite copying the storylines from the original KH somewhat. 9/10.
Graphics - ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? This is the ONLY GBA game I know of that has a 3D cutscene! The rest of the graphics are extrodinary as well, but some sprites are too easy for one to tire of. 9/10.
Sound - Wow... It's simply amazing. While not all THAT extrodinary (It also copies music and sounds from KH, but more simplified), it's still quite monumental. 9/10.
Play Time/Replayability - The game is on the long side of the GBA games, and combined with A SUPER SECRET MODE, makes it one of the longest games on the GBA. You also need to replay the game a few times to get everything, but you should still replay the game a few times if you enjoyed it. 9.5/10.
Final Recommendation - I really recommend trying to find this game, but because of how old it is, it's difficult to find a good copy nowadays.
9.7/10: A game so well-designed it's nearly perfect.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/09/11
Game Release: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (US, 12/07/04)
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