Review by BagelzYo
It's Uncanny How Well It's Been Done..
When Kingdom Hearts was originally released, I was like "Oh cool, Disney characters in a Square game." It was instantly a hit, and inspired several works of fandom and attempt to cosplay the world over. No doubt Kingdom Hearts was great, and Kingdom Hearts II was even better. The bridge provided with CoM was nice, and provided the link that was very well needed, although it never had its own chance to shine. With this impressive remake of the game, players can fully relive the GBA experience in 3-dimensional environments (Fans will recognize some familiar areas from the original KH) plus extra features that were tossed in there to improve the gamer's experience, like the Hi-Jump and Glide which were absent in the GBA version. Sqare Enix has outdone themselves yet again, and after this performance, we'll be expecting great things for Kingdom Hearts III.
Story - 8/10
The game follows a simple storyline, but it is well thought out. This game in particular is especially good because the port actually follows along with the GBA game, and doesn't smother it. It's happened before.
Gameplay - 9/10
The original game followed a "Hack and Slash" gameplay style, which allowed too much button-mashing with the outcome of a rather cheap victory. This game is ran completely on a card battle system. I know that you're thinking - "Cards!? Freaking CARDS." Yes. Freaking cards. However, unlike most other games with this sort of Battle System, Re: CoM does an excellent job, it applies a certain strategy, and it retains the usage of certain special abilities.
Soundtrack - 10/10
For the most part, Utada Hikaru is the artist who plays all of the music for the Kingdom Hearts games. Evidently, the Soundtrack from the first game was superior to that of Kingdom Hearts II in several aspects. So naturally, they went with the KH1 soundtrack. I'm not complaining.
Graphics - 10/10
The lack of space available on a GBA Cartridge makes it rather difficult to render graphics that are of the quality they would more so prefer. Along with the game's style, this re-make is able to successfully maintain the structural integrity the other PS2 games have that is much needed.
Difficulty - 8/10
Like other Kingdom Hearts games, this one offers three levels of difficulty - Beginner (for people who've yet to attain an affinity for the game), Standard (pretty self-explanatory), and Proud Mode. I cleared both Sora and Reverse/Rebirth Mode on Proud Mode, they both came with some difficulty, but not so much that it's impossible.
Overall - 9/10
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain Of Memories is an awesome game, nearly flawless in every aspect. If you've yet to play the GBA version of this game, then buy this one. It is great for people who are long time fans as well as those who are just getting into it. With intuitive gameplay such as this, it pushes the boundaries, and will have players thinking and develop their own strategy rather than murdering their X button. Even if you haven't tried a Kingdom Hearts game, I still suggest this one to start it off. You can pick it up at your local gaming/retail store for just $30.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories (US, 12/02/08)
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