Review by Churro
"Great game. Great Sequel."
The sequel to Square Enix's smash hit Kingdom Hearts has finally arrived on the Gameboy Advance. Being a fan of both Disney and Square Enix I just have to say that the long wait was most definitlely worth it.
The gameplay is similar to KH on PS2 it's all done during real time but the game's battle system is a card system. Sora must use cards to attack/cure/summon during battle. Each card has different pictures to represent what is what (i.e. Donald card summons Donald into battle) followed by a numbering the bottom corner. During battle your deck is on the bottom left corner on the screen while your enemies are on the right. Any card used will be put in the middle to show which attacked was used. If your card has a higher number than your enemy, then your enemies card will break and leave them open for more attack, but be careful as the same thing can happen to you. Grouping different cards together can cause different effects during battle. When you are not in battle you re-visit different Disney worlds to progress the game. Each world has different rooms in which you use your out of battle cards (called Room Creation cards) to open up the doors that lead to different rooms. Using different combination of cards can change the out come of the room. But watch out, as you venture through the game, Heartless appear on screen and try to initiate battle with you, hitting a Heartless with your Keyblade will not only start the battle but they'll be stunned temporarily leaving them open for an attack. But the downside to the battles is that they will get old and repetitive as you go around leveling up Sora and also the lock on system will get annoying if there is a bunch of enemies in one area while trying to lock on the one you want.
After the events of KH, Sora, Donald, and Goofy chase Pluto down a long path until they take a break. During the night, Sora comes across a crossroad and suddenly a black hooded unknown appears and tells Sora that he must gain back what he lost but give up something in return. Just then Sora shows up at Castle Oblivion where Donald and Goofy are turned into cards and his memories are lost. So now he must progress though the castle and revisit the worlds again to gain back his memories and find out what's going on.
The graphics on this game are one of the best for the GBA that I've ever seen. The detailed worlds and characters are truly amazing even during battle. There are also FMV's that play at some points during the game, in which they are good considering it's a GBA game. The sound is fantastic, for example during battle you can hear voice overs from the characters as they summon magic or even attack. The background music from the worlds is kept the same which is a great idea to keep that same vibe feeling while playing through that particular world.
The game is pretty long for a GBA game but the game is easy to master and get used to the controls and gameplay if you take the time to follow what everybody says. The replay value is average once you complete 100% of everything is the game. But the 2 play link up battle could keep you coming back for more when playing against a friend.
Though the game has little annoyances but you'll find yourself spending a lot of time and having fun playing this game whether or not you are a fan of RPGs or even a Disney fan. Don't pass this game up, playing it will definitely be worth it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/18/04
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