Review by EarthSphere

Reviewed: 12/08/04

Wow. Just wow.

When Disney and Squaresoft's Kingdom Hearts game came out in 2002, it was a big hit. A sequel, which will be arriving in 2005, was already planned by the time the first game was finished. Now, a GameBoy Advance game called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has come out to bridge the gap between the popular Kingdom Hearts and its upcoming sequel.

Story - 9/10. The storyline is darker and less predictable than that of Kingdom Hearts. However, it is still fairly simple. Basically, Sora, Donald, and Goofy have entered the strange Castle Oblivion, where Sora must use cards to fight Heartless as he navigates rooms similar to the worlds he explored in Kingdom Hearts. The story gets better and better as new and surprising developments unfold.

Gameplay - 9/10. In this game, the battle system is still in real-time, but you must rely on cards to attack Heartless and heal yourself. Thankfully, this is much easier than it sounds, and doesn't take long to get used to. Nonetheless, there are a couple tutorials on battling near the beginning of the game. To get from room to room, you must use the cards you have obtained. But when there's a place you need to get to, rest assured, you'll find it.
The one bad thing is that when you go to a higher floor of Castle Oblivion, all the rooms you made on a previous floor are deleted. But you should be able to handle this fine.

Graphics/Sound: 10/10. The graphics were amazing and are currently among the best available on GameBoy Advance. There's even a real cutscene at the beginning, which few or no other GBA games have. The sounds, especially the music, are enchanting and perfectly match the ones from the original Kingdom Hearts. Nothing to be disappointed about here.

Play Time/Replayability: 10/10. Simply excellent. Though the game is a bit long for the GBA, it doesn't drag on and on and take up too much time. The play time for this game shouldn't be a bother. As for the replayability, it's outstanding. It's definitely worth playing through again to see what sorts of rooms you can conjure up this time, and after you beat the game, there's a mode called Reverse/Rebirth where you can play as a different character...whose name I won't reveal, to avoid spoilers.

Final Reccomendation: Chain of Memories is an excellent game that Kingdom Hearts fans will be pleased with. As a GBA game, it's not quite as expensive as a PS2 game, but the price is sort of high. It's not extremely high, though, and you should be able to afford it. Overall, this is an extremely great game.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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