Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA)

By Gavin "Blayd" Keating

Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Graphics: 9.50
Sound: 9.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 8.50

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (KH:CoM from here on out) is the highly anticipated sequel released on the GBA to the wildly popular Kingdom Hearts, which was released on Playstation 2 some time ago. Produced by Square Enix, masters of the RPG genre, it takes place directly after the first KH. Using an entirely new Card Battle System, Square Enix continues to revolutionize the genre with games like these.

As said earlier, KH:CoM takes place right after the original. With Ansem defeated, Sora, Goofy, and Donald wander through an unknown world and eventually come across a mystical castle known as Castle Oblivion. Thinking that their friends Riku and King Mickey are inside, they wander into the castle. Before long, a hooded figure greets them and tells of the power of Castle Oblivion. The deeper they go, the more memories they will loose and only the true memories remain. The troop ventures through Castle Oblivion while Sora remembers less and less about his past, and more and more about his “true” past.

Gameplay is in the traditional RPG format. Wander throughout the areas, avoiding or engaging random battles and collecting items to defeat the boss at the end of the dungeon. Being Card Based, all items are in Card format. There are two types of cards: Battle Cards and Map Cards. Map Cards allow you to affect the next area you go into. By using a Map Card to open a door leading to the next area, special events occur based on that specific card. For instance, to gain a Treasure Chest you would use the Treasure Chest card when entering the next area. This system allows for a highly immersive style of exploring the different levels of Castle Oblivion. It also allows you to control the growth of the main character Sora more.

The Battle System for KH:CoM is a Real-Time Card Based Battle System. Confused? The concept is simpler then the title. Basically, every physical and magical attack are represented by Cards. Even Items are Cards. When attacking, you use the Card. The Card has a “Power Rating” as well. If your Power Rating is higher than that of the Enemies Cards Power Rating, then you can “Break” the card and counter the enemies attacks. You can even stock up cards and preform a “Sleight”, a special combo using certain Cards. Proper management of your deck and cards are essential in KH: CoM.

Graphics of KH:CoM are the best to be released on GBA. Environments, Characters, and Enemies are vibrant and colorful. Even on the GBA, it does justice to the incredible Character and Enemy design. There are even Playstation quality movie sequences in the game! Sound is on par with the graphics, perfectly synthesizing pianos and other instruments for an accurate, and beautiful, sound.

KH:CoM is one of the best games released on GBA. It follows up the incredible Kingdom Hearts with a worthy sequel. Fans of the series will love it, and new comers will definitely enjoy it.

Overall Rating: 9.00

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