Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
The world of Kingdom Hearts unfolds on the Game Boy Advance, bringing forth elements from the Disney universe with incredible Square gameplay.
While exploring a scary castle trying to find clues to a mystery, it's good to have familiar faces to help you out on your journey. That is, of course, if they remember you. In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, you take control of Sora, who has to make his way through the Castle Oblivion and his past to uncover a dark secret presented to him. However, he'll be able to call on his friends to help him, after they remember who he is.
This key is my sword!!!! Chain of Memories looks great, especially with the opening FMV. It's really amazing to think that this video is being rendered on the Game Boy Advance, and a true pity it didn't occur over a year ago, when it would have been a shining achievement on the GBA, and not playing second fiddle to the graphical technologies present in the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable.
The rest of the game looks really sharp too. From Halloween Town to Olympus and beyond, there are plenty of locations you'll get to explore through again in this game. The only difference is instead of having a larger map, locations are broken up into rooms where you need to have a specific card combination to open them. If you don't have them, prepare for a headache. Early on you'll need to battle until you can find the magic number and open the door for yourself. It's a rather troublesome procedure that kind of messes with the flow of the game. There could have been a lot of other ways to approach the passage of one area to the next, and unfortunately games have been beset with a dumb idea.
The combat in Chain of Memories serves to be the most monotonous aspect of the game. You get access to various types of cards which allow you to attack, heal, or call on your friends to aid you in battle. You can also chain cards together for a combo. While this sounds like it could be a really complex and deep gameplay element, it's far from it. Instead, you can more often than not zone out during a fight, hit the A button repeatedly and win without having really done anything to warrant your success. It's rather ridiculous that they still get away with producing games as easy and mindless as this today. It's the most disappointing aspect of the entire game.
The gang's all here! Though, the story is good enough were you'll find yourself busting through these areas to see what is going on with Sora and his friends. Serving as the bridge between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2, both for the PlayStation 2, it's easy to see why fans would be excited about this game. Those who never played the original Kingdom Hearts might find themselves confused at times, and the game really doesn't offer a refresher course to get new players onboard before the onset of action.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has one thing going for its, and that's the cast of characters. While the game is the standard fare, it's the cast and locations that really make it truly enjoyable during the downtime. Yes, there are things that could have been done better, but that's always the case. Fans of the series will enjoy this game immensely and rightfully so.
What's Hot: Excellent character design and involving clips.
What's Not: Gameplay seems slightly tedious, unlike the PS2 edition.