Review by whitehawk1986
"Not perfect, but certainly not a dissapointment!"
For over two years, I had been waiting for a Kingdom Hearts sequel. When I first played KH two years ago, I was blown away by its great graphics, awesome game play, cool new characters, and emotional story. When I heard that not one, but two sequels were being made, I felt as though I would pass out; how could it get any better?
The main question to answer in this review is: could Chain of Memories be any better? The answer is yes, it could have, but the good far outdoes the bad.
The story line is what I believe is the most important element of a great RPG, and Chain of Memories doesn't disappoint. The game starts off right where the original ended, with Sora, Donald and Goofy chasing after Pluto, in search of Riku and King Mickey. While Sora is out wandering the stars, a hooded man says to him: "ahead lies something you need, but to get it, you must lose something dear." They then are brought to Castle Oblivion, where they are told by the hooded figure: "to find is to lose and to lose is to find". Sora then enters Traverse Town (the first floor of the castle using a world card). Sora runs into Leon, Aerith and Yuffie, but none of them seem to remember who he is. It doesn't stop there, as Sora continues to go up the castle, he slowly starts to forget things as well. Will he remember those most important to him?
Graphics, Sound: 10/10
Graphics for GBA don't get any better than this. These are the BEST graphics I have ever seen for a GBA game. The opening cinema seen is crisp and beautiful enough to make you forget you are looking at a GBA. But the cinema scenes aren't where all the hype is. The gamplay graphics are also excellent. Characters are detailed, backgrounds are vivid and clear, and colors bright.
Sound in this game is good to. The music is mostly from the original, but Square did a really good job blending this element into gameplay. Even the character make noises (during battle) as sound just as they did in the original.
Gameplay is the biggest change from the original. The battle system now revolves around cards, which can be found all over the game. It may sound lame, and I was pessimistic about it at first as well, but this battle system is quite entertaining. You can combo three cards to perform powerful attacks (combo 3 Cloud cards to get him to use OMNISLASH!) re-organize your deck, and summon old friend (Donald, Goofy, Cloud, etc.). Entering battle is a lot like "Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga". In order to initiate combat, you must bump into an enemy. Once you do, the screen will change to combat mode. You can start a fight with the upperhand by striking the enemies with your Keyblade. Basically,there are tons of things you can do with the gameplay, making this combat system fun to play.
Replay value: 8/10
You can get up to 50 hours of gameplay depending on how you play. There are two story modes (Sora's is one, beat his to find out who the other is) that offer about 20 hours each, and if you are a KH1 fan, you may find yourself playing this game for quite a while.
This game is a must have for any KH fan, and a good game for all. This game leaves you anticipating Kingdom Hearts II (due in Sept. 2005) even more. Disney and Square have done it again: let's hope they can do it at least once more.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/10/04
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