Review by Riku the Slayer

"Christmas List anyone?"

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has finally arrived. After many months of waiting, fans of the original Kingdom Hearts finally have their wish. A sequel to 2002's Kingdom Hearts landed on the GBA. I am not a "fanboy" but still a fan of KH, but in this review, I will not be biased. Also, remember that this is my opinion. I give Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories a 8.6/10.

Graphics: 9/10
This is where KH:CoM really shines. There are four FMV cutscenes which is in 3D. The character sprites are very well done and look like their PS2 counterparts. Attacking sprites are very well done. Like the Shadows, when they attack, they glow red which is a little nice feature. The only thing that made KH:CoM not get a perfect 10 in the graphics department was it's lag. When facing many enemies, say 10 Shadows, then the screen can lag. Summoning Cloud can also make me lag, especially against crowds of Heartless and on the last boss. Also, entering rooms might take a little long to load.

Gameplay: 9/10
The RPG-Action Adventure in this game is unlike no other. You battle....with cards. This may sound strange but it is actually quite innovative. If you play as Sora, you can build your deck with available cards and CP (Card Points). Your deck can be as big as how many CP you have. More CP = More Cards. Every move you make in battle deals with cards with the exception of Dodge Rolling, moving and jumping. If you want to attack, you have to press A and if your card is "higher" than your opponents, then they will stumble and be left opened for attack. The card battle strategy is very creative but can get repetitive. Sometimes, I would just avoid running into Heartless or escape from battle. The game is set in Castle Oblivion and each floor is a part of your memory. You revisit each world you did in KH except for Deep Jungle. Each floor has three special rooms where "untold stories unfold". Basically, you get a cutscene each time you enter a room with a crown on top of it. That's the problem though, finding that particular room can be frustrating and sometimes, you just get so mad you just open a room and run past the Heartless to get to the next room. The map helps a lot so I recommend you use that.

Sound: 7.5/10
The sound in this game is not original in no way but that doesn't mean it's good. Each world has it's own music and they are ripped from the original KH. I still liked the music and ALL gameboy games have MIDIs so I don't know why people complain about this one. I enjoyed listening to This is Halloween especially. Although it does take a while to load the music in particular rooms. Especially if you use a "Teeming Darkness" card, then the music might take a while to load.

Story: 9.5/10
What can I say? I just love the story of Kingdom Hearts. Heck, it even got the Best Story award on G4TechTV. Diehard fans will fully enjoy the storyline. Many things are introduced in this game. Luckily, you don't need to play KH to know what KH:CoM is talking about. They slowly clue you in on what happened in KH. Also, you don't need to play KH:CoM to get KH2. It just helps to get all three. I'm not gonna spoil things for you, the reader, if you haven't played the game. Basically, the protagonist (Sora) is on his journey to find the King and Riku. On his way, he meets a man in a black robe. The man leads Sora into Castle Oblivion. In Castle Oblivion, a group only known as the Organization are trying to erase Sora's memories and replace them with new ones. Many twists are in the story and some betrayals occur. I really recommend the story.

Replay Value: 8/10
After finishing Sora's story, you can play as Riku. Riku's storyline starts when he is in Kingdom Hearts. He gets guided into Castle Oblivion. This basically fills in some questions raised by Sora's storyline. Besides getting the fullstory, I don't really recommend playing Riku's story. It is SO boring, you can't build your deck and sometimes, they give you a really bad deck. Like in the Coliseum world, they gave me like nine 1 cards. It was really horrible. Half of the time, I was just rushing through the game just to get the story. I don't really recommend playing Sora's story AGAIN. You can level him up to Lv. 99 or get all the Keyblades, but playing it ALL over again? I think not.

Now, if you add up all the scores...
+ 7.5
Divide that by 5 to get the average which is...8.6/10. Since GameFaqs won't let me go into digits, I will give this game a 9/10. Hope you enjoy reading my review and once again, this is my opinion. :)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/30/04

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