Review by TerraHoming365

"Awsome Prequel to the anticipated Kingdom Hearts 2"

Ah, Kingdom Hearts. This is currently the series that, if they continue making FF's like 10 and x-2, Square will have to lean on. Meaning, we have a great chance for an epic series here. First of all, I'd like to say Kingdom Hearts renewed my interest in Square, and even in Disney. In all the Family Guys, and Simpsons, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force's, we can't forget it started with Goofy, Micky, and Donald. Noone will remember Homer J. Simpson in nearly 100 years from now, but we will always rember Goofy. Now, about CoM....while it pushes the limits of the GBA, it still MOSTLY runs perfectly. Now, onto the meat and bones....

Story10/10:Just b-e-auuuuuuutiful! The mystery behind the nobodies, the wonder on whatever happened to Riku, the King Micky, and Sora's quest to save all worlds from the heartless. And the new characters! Axel is pure genius, I'm surprised that even Square came up with someone like that! Larxene is awsome, which is cool. KH needed an original female villan. Sora is the same, just a little more cocky , which is never bad. And Goofy and Donald seem to have more thought into what's happening in the world. Pure perfection.

Gameplay9/10:Like in Golden Sun, you control the main character from an overhead view. In this case, it's Sora. Now, in the field, you can use the A button to swing the keyblade and objects, and the B button to jump. Hitting a heartless with the keyblade starts a battle, but the heartless are dazed when you start, giving you the upper hand. Now, onto battle.

Unlike in Kingdom Hearts 1, which was a button masher, then "Uh oh, better spam cures til my MP runs out", there is a lot more strategy involved into the battles, since you must use cards to attack, cure, summon, etc. And you can also stock cards. If this sound confusing, lets have an example.....

Let's say your battling Axel, and you have a total of 5 cards left before you need to reload (more on reloading later). Your cards are "Kingdom Key 8" "Simba 4" "Cure 7" "Blizzard 9" and "Potion 7". Now, Axel plays a 6 attack card, and you use your "Kingdom Key 8". This cause a card break, and stuns axel for a second, in which you can press the L and R buttons at the same time to stock Blizzard, then Simba, then Potion. Upon moving into position, you press R+L again, then you use these cards in that order. Once the potion hits, you have all your reloadable attack cards back.

Now, note about how, when he played the 6 card, you played an 8 card, and that caused Axel to be stunned? Thats called a card break, and you can do one simply by playing a card higher then your enemies. However, if you have a 0 card, note that, if played last, it can break any card your enemy is using. however, if played first, it can be broken by any card value, resulting in a card break againest yourself. Got the card values and stocking cards down? Good, onto Reloading cards.

Reloading is simple. when your out of cards, you'll see a strange card with a giant number on it. When you try to use it, note how it isn't used, but you see Sora glow, and part of the black card fills up with red? Well, when filled all the way, by holding down the A button, all your cards will come back to you. Note that cards picked FIRST while stocking will be unreloadable. Now, onto Graphics.....

Graphics9/0:I love how each character is beautifully detailed in their GBA form, and what's better? The FMV parts of the game look almost just as good as it's PS2 prequel. The only problem with the graphics is that it's so detailed, when your in battle, and there's more then 10 enemies at the same time, The game will slow down, and it'll run choppy, while the music still plays though. Other then that, flawless.

The only other problem with the graphics is that, while the rooms are randomly generated, they hold the same backround, with slight changes in where 1 pillar of box is. However, the rest of the game makes up for this.

Replay Value10/10: Upon beating the game as Sora, you'll unlcok two new modes. Link battle and Reverse Rebirth. First of all, Link battle is a multiplayer mode where, if you happen to know someone who's beaten Sora's mode, can battle it out. I personally haven't tried this mode, but only because not many people on my street like KH.

Now, about Reverse Rebirth...this is basically Riku's side of the story. that's right, you actually control Riku. While Sora has to deal with memories, Riku has to deal with the darkness within him. Along the way, he faces everyone Sora faces execpt Larxene, Axel, and Marluxia. The added bosses include Lexaeus and Ansem. You basically play the same way as with Sora, but with big differences. One, Riku is much more powerful then Sora, meaning he can run faster, and jump higher as well. His side dodge isn't as good as Sora's dodge roll, because you can still get hit while dodging, but that doesn't matter that much.

Also, Riku plays with a "Closed Deck", meaning he can't switch, nor gain cards in the worlds, but his deck changes with each world. Plus there's no 100 Acre Wood level as Riku. Another cool feature, is that, while in battle, if you break a card, or take damage, you see a counter just below your health bar go up. Once it reches about 32, Riku enters Dark Mode, and can perform all his moves, with some acrobatic flair, and extra power. He also can use sleights in this mode, even the deadly "Dark Aura", which a fake Riku uses againest Sora in their final battle.

My only complaint about Reverse Rebirth is that it's WAY too easy. I've never thought A Riku mode would be this easy, but it was. The only boss that killed me is Captain Hook, but even then, I eventually beat him.

Overall9/10:Aside from some graphic slowdowns, and the overly easy RR mode, SoM is a near perfect sequel to KH1, and a great prequel to KH2

Buy or Rent?:Buy for sure. Sora's mode takes a long time to beat, and even after beating that, and RR, you'll wanna go back and do it again and again.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/18/05

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