Review by Zalagren

"Don't be fooled by blind fanboy praise, this game has some very definite problems."

Don't let the fanboys fool you. This game has flaws. I love KH1 but I'm not going to give out biased crap just because I like a game. Here is the real deal, and while I may be a harsh judge, I prefer informing people about the flaws they can expect with a game. Sure, knowing a game's good points are important, but it's my belief that any game can have good graphics and moderately fun gameplay. What you want to know ahead of time as a consumer is what could possibly make you NOT want to buy a game. If something is exceptionally good I note it though.

As a last note, 5/10 for me means average. Most people seem to think 7/10 means average, and that is incorrect. We're not grading report cards. 50/100 is middle, and this game is simply average and should not be expected more of.

Difficulty: Medium

Graphics: 9/10

I really can't tell you a lot here, it only takes a look. While I wouldn't say the animation is the most pleasant, the game has some of the best graphics on the GBA as far as standalone. I also believe it's the only one to feature CG sequences, which actually look extremely impressive. Square is always known for their graphics and this game doesn't fall short on them.

The only reason it doesn't get a 10 for graphics is because the level design is EXTREMELY BLAND and the animation is fairly choppy in places. Rooms are basically randomly generated and painted over with cookie cutter graphics throughout the entire game, giving worlds a sense of complete deja vu. You feel like you're playing the same levels over and over. Not to mention it's about as interesting as fighting heartless in a paper box.

Gameplay: 6/10

Ok, the game overall requires very little strategy. Basically all you really have to do is get as many high level cards as you can and stuff them in your deck, and toss in a few 0 cards to counter combos. There are plenty of strategies and combos, but all of the deck combos are so simple that you're unlikely to be intrigued. You CAN create deck combos and nicer decks with better moves, but to be dead honest it's just not necessary or even implied.

Deck building is too straight forward to be interesting, and the whole battle system just feels kinda irritating. You're required to do quite a large amount of tedious leveling up as well. The battles are actually quite fun at first while you're getting the hang of it. The problem is...

You're playing levels that feel exactly the same over and over. You're fighting encounters that feel practically the same over and over. The story adds nothing new for several floors. You're playing the exact same scenario every level. The entire game has a washed out feel to it. Nothing has any personality because everything is the same. Jack=Alladin=Alice=Ariel etc. By the time you hit world 4 you'll realize that the game is not going to change. It's just not fun.

Everything from the battle system, story, level design, etc ALL scream tedious. Tedious and no feel. The only interesting fights are the Boss Battles fought in Castle Oblivion.

Story: 5/10

Bleh. I played this game in Japanese, and while I'm certainly not fluent I understood enough to know it wasn't amazing. Despite this, I got the usual fanboy blasting saying that I'm braindead and to wait for the game to come out in English. Anyhow...the story, like many other elements in this game, is too repetitive. The formula for EVERY single level goes as follows:

Meet person who needs help in world x
Go to the next story triggered room and work out a plan to solve their problem
Go to the last story triggered room and beat up the big bad guy
Go back to Castle Oblivion where Sora will forget something new and remember something new.

That's it. That's what you'll be doing for 12 levels. Then FINALLY you get some story at the end of the game. But don't hold your breath. There are slight variations sometimes, and some boss battles at Oblivion which are a nice change of pace.

Controls: 10/10

No problems here, controls are spot on.

Music: 7/10

Mediocre, not a lot to say here. Midi versions of KH1 music and some new MIDI songs. It fits but it's nothing to gawk at, there are certainly other games with much better music on the GBA. Not bad either though, just fits in.

Fun Factor: 5/10

I had fun about half the time in this game. The problem is that the game is just too repetitive for it to be truly fun. Story is slow, gameplay is repetitive, level graphics/design are repetitive and cookie cutter, blah blah yawn.

Replayability: 3/10

This game has no "real" replayability to speak of. After you beat it you open up doing a sort of secondary quest. But as for playing it all through again there is absolutely no point and there's no way you'll ever want to. You can easily get everything the first time around. And as I'm sure you've figured out, the game is repetitive.

Overall: 5/10

I know I've said it throughout the whole review, but this game is just repetitive times a thousand. There's nothing else I can really tell you. It's fine at first til you go through 4 worlds of the exact same crap with no feel or flavor to it. The game just screams bland and boring. If you thought KH1 was hack n slash, this game is basically the same thing except they try to discourage it in an extremely annoying way. And it's a thousand times less interesting than KH1. Do yourself a favor and rent before you buy. Don't buy into fanboy praise, this game is not epic or the best GBA game.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 12/13/04

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