Review by negativeflame

"Kingdom Hearts: So Much Dispute"

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. What a game, what a game.
This game is loved my some, and hated by others. What to make of it? Well, I found it to be fairly mundane, nothing thrilling was in this really. But on to the review. When the first Kingdom Hearts emerged on the PS2, it was an overall good game-nothing amazing about it, but it certainly held it's own. Many people awaited a sequel, and of course it was given to them. But the big catch here is that it is on the Game Boy Advance-which, needless to say, is slightly more limited than the PS2. Kingdom Hearts: CoM starts out pretty innovative-the whole card-using thing is pretty cool at first, but gets old pretty fast. Let us move on, shall we?

Gameplay in this game is very fun if played correctly, the way Square-Enix (Squeenix?) intended it to be. However, if played as a button masher, you will often get the same result as a strategic approach-this won't do. Sorry Squeenix, but if I take the time to comprise a complicated deck which will flow perfectly together, I want to do better than the guy that just throws some stuff together and mashes buttons. Sadly, this game's many battles can be considered a button mashing festival. The game is still, strangely, an engaging one. When you pick it up, you will not put it down until you topple the final boss. As sad as it is, I played through this game in one sitting-pretty pathetic considering the fact that it's story is pretty bad itself. KHCOM is an engaging game when you get into the whole deck-planning process, and putting together decks to flow well was found to be not completely pointless. I mentioned before that I played through it in one sitting-which leads us to our next point. I think this game is notoriously short-don't expect Final Fantasy X. This game can be played through in an afternoon, if you know what you're doing. This is not good. This seriously hurts the game, because Square RPGs are usually somewhat long, and if nothing else much more fun than this one is. While you could spend hours leveling up to 99, it's pretty pointless when you do it all for nothing. One more point: the Battle Mode. Battle Mode is mediocre-there is no other way to put it. Often, battles can last an engaging five minutes-wow. Great. Bash the heck out of each other like theres no tomorrow. However, Battle Mode is fun if you have enough friends to play with, but of course, it will only last so long.

They truly ruined something here. The story for KH: CoM is very, very poorly written in my opinion-not Square's finest work. The story is very lame and un-engaging-you will often forget what the point of the game is. Square, is of course, a master of decent to excellent storylines-what they were trying to pull with this is beyond me. Maybe they were trying something new, trying to broaden their horizons or something-it doesn't float with me. The good news? Well, there is none, but the next section is the redeeming one.

You can really see Square's influence here-the graphics are pretty sweet. In particular, the few cutscenes are animated to look very good-and by very, we're talking near-Dreamcast here. If you pick up this game for any reason, it's the graphics. The capabilities of the Game Boy Advance are strained, but this game came out looking pretty good-in particular, the few cutscenes that are animated to look great. Square shines here. Sound, eh? The sound is average-it's nothing great, but you probably won't be dissapointed. Overall, this probably isn't the game's strong point (but then, does it have one?), but you probably will be more absorbed in the game's addictive deck building features. You won't be shocked; but probably not dissapointed.

Play Time/Replayability
You'll notice earlier I said that I beat this game in one sitting; which, of course, is very bad news for the Play Time. KH clocks in around 9 hours, not counting the extra mode unlocked after the game is complete-which I found very enjoyable. I found myself coming back to the extra mode more than the main story game. Playing as someone different was great for me; in fact, I couldn't get enough of it. The secondary game is better, in my opinion anyway, than the entire game itself. This game's Replay value? Fairly high, suprisingly. The game can be played in many ways (i.e, button mashing, strategist) and each way offers new possibilities.

I found Kingdom Hearts to be a fairly engaging, though if not fully baked, game. Perhaps Squeenix could have put in a different system; maybe some AI to help you out in battles, some variety in the battles. Overall, this game scores a 7/10-which is to say, it's bad qualities shouldn't stop you from getting this game. It's a fairly half-baked idea; but good filler until KH2. I hope. If you're not expecting much, this game will blow you away-if you're expecting too much, you'll be very disappointed.

So, Buy or Rent?
This game should be rented unless you're dead set on getting all the KH. If you plan on getting KH2, you should probably pick this up. If you're not, rent it-it will provide you with some good, clean fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/01/05

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