Review by StickyLlamas

"Incredible game."

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is the game that follows after the PlayStation 2 game Kingdom Hearts. I'm very glad Square Enix and Disney teamed up to make these games. And come to think of it, many people thought this would be a stupid ol' two year old game. This is kinda like a 1.5, because Kingdom Hearts 2 is coming out March 1, 2006.

Story 10/10
It starts out right after Sora, Donald, and Goofy are walking on that road that they were walking on at the end of Kingdom Hearts. They end up in Castle Oblivion, realm of the cards and memories. As Sora progresses through his memories, he keeps on forgetting and forgetting everything he ever knew. He's even remembering false memories, due to a young witch. The heartless are the same as the last game, plus we have 2 brand new worlds. We meet characters we know, and some we don't that will play an important role in KH2.

Gameplay 7/10
Battle 7/10
Ok, you will notice a HUGE difference in the battle sequences. It's kind of sad, really. I was SO disappointed. All of Sora's keyblades, friends, and previous world he's visited, have been turned into cards. Every last one. Even Donald and Goofy! Instead of just attacking people, you use cards. They have different values, too. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. The higher numbers beat all of their lower numbers(obviously) but 0 can break anything but it can also be broken by anything. So you could go through a battle, and die easily because enemies kept on card breaking you so you couldn't attack. But to have cards in your battlefield deck, you have to make room for them. Every time you level up, you can choose one of three choices. Health up, CP up, and learn new sleight. Health up increases your health by 15 points. CP up makes you be able to hold 25 more points worth of cards. And learn a new sleight, well, that's pretty obvious. But every card costs some CP. Normally, a 2 Kingdom Key will cost 10 CP. Although enemy cards range from 20-99 CP. Every time you select a card, you attack or slash once with that card and its value. If you stock three cards up in the sleight position (see below), you will attack with all of those cards, you don't even have to press A. But, 0's can brake a value of 27 or lower. So… 0's can brake anything. At the end of battles, you will obtain either a map card to open doors to other rooms, or sometimes an enemy card. For enemy cards, they cost more than most cards, and enable you different abilities. For example, a Shadow enemy card makes all of your card's values go up 1. 0-1. 3-4, etc.

In the worlds themselves, they are just big squares with 2 or 3 heartless, and if you attack them, a heart appears and you get into a battle screen. Also a big square. But in each square, or room rather, they have things that you can hit or jump on. When you jump on them they either give out small green balls, small red balls, big green balls, or big red balls. Sometimes they give nothing. The red balls are moogle points. If you go to a room using a moogle card, there shall be a lone moogle standing in the middle of the room. If you talk to him, he will automatically give a card that you have to pick out of five. After that you can either sell some of your cards for moogle points, or buy cards from the moogle shop. Attack, magic, or items. The green balls are health balls, and if you get them, they restore some of your health. For both red and green balls, the small one are worth 5, and the big ones are worth 10.

To enter rooms, you use the map cards that you acquire after battles. There are three categories of cards: red, green, and blue. For example, a red card would have an effect on the heartless. If you chose a red card, you chose a green card, say Stagnant Room, the room you enter could just be one small path. Other green cards make your keyblade or magic more powerful in battle. If you chose a blue card, Moment's Reprive, you can save your progress in that room. Sleeping Darkness, you would find that the heartless are asleep. If you chose Almighty Darkness, the heartless have +2 power and enemies are more likely to drop enemy cards. Sometimes when you go to open a door, you will have to add up a total number of cards. If it says 33 with a blue box around it, it means that you will have to add up blue cards to equal 33. Also sometimes, there will be a number with an equal sign next to it. That mean s you will have to get that exact number. That can sometimes be very annoying. You also get Special Map Cards. Those are cards that you get to go into rooms with cutscenes and/or battles in them. Like for example, Key to Beginnings is a card to open doors with crowns above them. Another example of a Special card is Key to Rewards. That is a card that if you use it, there will be a treasure chest in the room with a card inside.

And it will be kind of hard to figure out the controls. A is attack and select. B is jump. R itself and L by itself is nothing. But in battle, if you press L+R at the same time, you put a card in sleight position. Once there are 3 cards in sleight position, if you press L+R again, Sora uses the sleight that you put up there. START is to pause the screen. SELECT in battle shows you your enemy cards. And that's basically it.
The only thing I didn't like was the lack of extra side quests. Like in the first one, there was find all the dalmations, get up to level 100, beat everything at the Olympus Coloseum. But in this game, all there was was get to level 99! Great. Super. Fantastic. Fun. Amazing. We need more!!

Graphics/Sound 9/10
Very impressive. The graphics are high quality in Game Boy Advance style. Everything is detailed down to the last pixel! The movies and movement is very well made. Although, they don't have ANY dialogue in the game. That was a little disappointing. The sounds, too, whenever they jumped or attacked, it would this whooshing sound or something, just very good. The sound is the exact same (almost) from the PS2 version. Except it's more…sloppy. Not as clear and distinctive. Although Simple and Clean at the end was very well done. Every time you break something, that makes a sound. A pretty good sound, too! But I must admit, Sora and all those guys do say some stuff. For Sora, he says “HU HA HEH!” whenever he attacks. Whenever he selects a Donald or Goofy card, he says DONALD!, or GOOFY!. And whenever he uses cure, he says HEAL!.

This would be kind of tough. At some parts, it would be fairly easy. The battles, though I never had much trouble with them. I would a couple of times in battles, but that's it. Some bosses, though, I will admit are fairly tough. Riku IV, 9/10. Oogie Boogie, not hard, just very annoying. Captain Hook, I had problems with that guy. I got really mad after losing a 1,000 times to him. Marluxia, Ansem, and a couple more gave me the most trouble, but that's it. But the final boss, once again, was not hard, just very annoying and it takes you a long time to beat him.

Buy or Rent
Well, you can't really rent Game Boy Advance games… but if you could, definitely buy. No question about it. It's only like, 20 or 30 bucks.

It kind of depends on how long it takes for you to beat this game. If you're REALLY skilled, maybe 10 or 15 hours. Me, well… it took me a very long time. I'd say of course this game is replayable once you beat it! This game will cause you fun no matter how many times you play it! It's just so fun to hack away at heartless! I seriously can't get enough of it.

Final Recommendation
I would definitely buy this. But you don't have to, really. To understand KH2, I mean. I don't want to tell you why, though. Not allowed to do that. Well, if you buy this game, it will have you attached to it for endless hours. Addiction, seriously. I played that game for 8 hours straight, one day. I ultimately suggest buying this game. Like I said before, endless fun. Very Great.

Final 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/28/05

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