Review by Jondy

"After the original, I was expecting alot better than this crap."

Kingdom Hearts was a great game. In spite of so many flaws, namely the annoying camera and the cumbersome jump, it managed to really impress me. It's like Final Fantasy in story, but with a battle system that's both fun and challenging, assuming you're not overleveled.

Chain of memories was looking pretty good to me. Heck, fmv's in a gba game? Wow! And it should have all the greatness of the original, only portable, and maybe slightly downgraded.

So I tried it. I played it for quite some time. I played it until I just couldn't stand it anymore. How could they possibly screw up a game so impossible to screw up? First off:

Battle System: 1/10
Mixing card based with real time may sound fun, but it's not. Actually it doesn't even sound fun, now that I read this back. Here's how it works, kind of: You have a deck of cards. When you run into an enemy, you start a battle in a small, boring square. Then you select a card to hit an enemy with. Each card has a number and if the number on the card is higher than the number on the enemies card, you win, you get the card break, and your attacks succeeds. Then depending on what kind of card it was it will do X amount of damage. Sound great? It feels like total crap. Bosses that play like all high cards really screw over someone minded towards an action game. Is it really lack of skill for your deck to have alot of low number cards? Anyways, if the number on your card is too low, and lets just say you have like 10 keyblade cards. You can keep pressing A and watch all of them disappear never to return until the fight is over. And if you don't have cards you can't fight. and once you use all the cards, you can call back the ones that didn't get deleted while you're in the same fight.

It's annoying, and it's not even really because it's hard. I like hard games. But they have to be fun! This isn't.

Story: 5/10
In my humble opinion, they completely screwed up the story line. I think they should have just left it as is for Kingdom Hearts 2 to pick up. They had to incorporate the whole stupid card system into the storyline of course. It just makes the story seem... artificial to the original somehow. If you play it you'll see what I mean. I don't want to give away spoilers. And I don't think you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. The story just isn't that great.

Out of battle gameplay: 0/10
What out of battle gameplay? You walk from door to door and use cards to unlock the doors. There are special doors that require special cards that you get from going to certain areas for storyline. It's far to linear. There is almost no exploration. You can break barrels for health, not that you'll need it. You can jump to higher levels to, yes, you guessed it, open more doors with more cards. Oh what fun awaits those who buy this game! Oh, by the way, swarms of boring card based battles await you on the "overworld." Touch a classic dark black heartless and the battle is on.

Card System: 5/10
I'm feeling generous. The card system may very well be the best aspect of the game, which is really very sad. As previously stated, different cards have different number values. And doors require a certain type of card with a certain number value on it to unlock the door. Which is just a great hard to figure out puzzle let me tell you. Who'd of guessed fighting battles until you get the number card you need? WHO? Man, I'm gonna have to buy the bloody guide for this game.

Graphics: 10/10
Don't judge this game by it's graphics please. The graphics in Chain of Memories, for GBA, are just plain amazing. It has a freaking FMV even! No complaints here.

Sound: 7/10
Nothing impressive really. The music just isn't that great, and the sound effects are dull.

Final Score: 5/10
If you're a big fan of Kingdom Hearts, and you are really looking forward to Kingdom Hearts 2, you probably should get this disapointing piece of bull crap anyways just for storyline's sake. Even though in my opinion they screwed the story up. Everyone else: stay away from this game. Over-freaking-hyped. Graphics deceive.

You most definitely should try it before you buy it. If you can't rent it, borrow it from a friend. If push comes to shove find it used in some game store for $10 bucks. It is not worth the full price.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 04/12/05

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