Review by digimax

"Brilliant in many ways"

Kingdom Hearts for PS2 is a great game. Expect the same for Chain of Memories. A brilliant combination of graphics, music and gameplay awaits.

The entire 3D worlds of Kingdom Hearts have changed to fit into the Gameboy Advance system. You can now wipe out the Heartless in the palm of your hands. The story of Chain of Memories picks off right after Kingdom Hearts. The main character, Keyblade Master Sora, wakes up from a dream to find himself at the crossroads. A mysterious hooded man appears, and speaks in riddles.

"To find is to lose, and to lose is to find..."

You then find yourself in Castle Oblivion, a castle that is strange itself. Upon progressing within, the characters starts to lose memories, and yet find something else. "You forget everything but important memories". What is important to Sora?

Sora is put into our control, and so are the returning sidekicks, Donald and Goofy. As we navigate around Castle Oblivion, strange things starts to happen. The entire world within the castle is ruled by cards.

Moving around the castle, you will have to use a world card to get to a higher level. Each world card will create a story, or a scenario. In each world, you will have to use Room Creation cards to create a room. Using different cards will create a room with special conditions. Maybe a room with weaker monsters? A room where you can find special cards? It's all for you to decide.

For battles, it's back to the cards again. You can summon your friends for help and special events allows you to perform certain magic against your enemies, which are the Heartless. Special combos can be used to cast classic Final Fantasy magic like "Thundaga, Firaga" to Disney magic like "Genie x3 Summon".

The graphics in the game is nice and colourful. There is an option to make the screen brighter or darker, which is useful for GBA SP and Nintendo DS players. Backgrounds are colourful and easy to navigate around. Sora and his friends are also brightly coloured and their animations are quite smooth in both battles and in worlds. There are even short video clips scattered around the game, which is impressive if you don't know that your Gameboy advance can play videos.

The music in the game are majority from the original Kingdom Hearts. Players who have played the original Kingdom Hearts will like the music, which is both sweet and nice. Sora's voice is also crisp and clear in the game.

However, there are some flaws to the brilliance of Kingdom Hearts. The gameplay can get repetitive at times, although battles are usually filled with very different looking enemies which have different weaknesses and strength. Each level in the game is simple. You have to use event-specific cards on special doors and continue doing the same thing, whilst fighting battles as you move.

However, there is a lot to play around. There's more than 10 worlds, and after finishing the game you can replay as another character.

Not bad for a Gameboy advance game, really. I'd recommend that you buy it if you can afford it.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/10/04


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