Douglas's game of the week: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

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Sim Kid
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Douglas's game of the week: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Post by Sim Kid » Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:23 pm

After Kingdom Hearts, before Kingdom Hearts II. Sora has developed a strange form of amnesia, and all his memories are now cards. I had my doubts for this game at first, because just about every card-based RPG in existence has been pretty poor (Though I heard that Baten Kaitos or whatever that Gamecube RPG was done right).

First off, Sora's in an isometric stage. You can see heartless wondering around and can choose to approach them or not. If they touch you, you enter battle, but if you smack them with the keyblade before they can get you, then they will be stunned, thus giving you an advantage at the start of the battle. Then you switch to a side-based view and enter battle. Despite being a card-based RPG, the battle system has been executed very well. Sora has a deck which can be up to 99 cards which he has to use to smash the heartless in his path. Sora's Card Points determine what kind of cards you can have in your deck and how many. Higher value and 0 value cards tend to cost more CP than others, same with other cards, but if you're frustrated with low CP, don't worry. It increases at level-ups. Your deck consists of Attack Cards, Item cards, and Magic/summon cards. You receive your entire deck at the start of the battle, which is an improvement since I'm sure no one wants their moves to be chosen by the luck of the draw. When you attack an enemy, you use a card. Cards have values ranging from 0 to 9. The card values are totally independent from how strong it is, so a 0 card is just as strong as a 9 card. When you put a card out, an enemy can put out a card of equal value to nullify both attacks, and if they put out a greater value card, then their attack will break your card, nullify your attack, and then they will attack you, therefore, it is usually common knowledge to get a bunch of 7, 8, and 9 value cards in your deck, but it's also common knowledge to put a bunch of 0 value cards in your deck. This is because 0 value cards can break any card if the opposing card is played first, but they are easily broken if they are played first. Later in the game, 0 cards are your best friend. Attack cards show a specific keyblade from the game (One Winged Angel and Diamond Dust are included) which, well, unleash an attack. Magic and Summon cards unleash a level one (Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, etc) magic attack, and summon cards summon the ally. Summons are more useful here than they were in the first game. The best summon cards in the game are Cloud. You can combine Cloud cards to produce Cross Slash (3 hit combo), or the famous Omnislash. Higher value Cloud cards are must-haves, but they are oh so hard to get. >:E Items restock your cards without charge times. Potions restock attack cards and Ethers restock Magic cards. Megalixirs stock everything without a charge time, making them ungodly useful. Some enemies will drop their cards behind if you beat them. You can add them to your deck and hit select to use them in battle. They take up a ****load of CP, but some, like Oogie Boogie, Vexen, and Riku are UNGODLY useful in the later battles. There are also Ally cards, which often bounce around on the battle, waiting to be collected. If you get them, they are added to your deck and can be used once. When you use an Ally card, the specific ally appears as a summon and they unleash an attack. Then they disappear, along with the card. They can also be added for ally sleights, which use two or three cards. Ally Sleights summon the ally to unleash a specific attack, such as how two Goofy cards produce Goofy Charge, and three produce Goofy Tornado. They are very useful in some boss battles, and when you're surrounded, but when they're lower value, then they're useless.

Remember how in the first Kingdom Hearts, you could use some abilities like Strike Raid or Ars Arcanum? You can use them here by combining three cards with values that equal a specific number, and some, like Judgment (It's really spelled that way in the game.) and Ars Arcanum can really help you. This comes with a price. The first card that's added in a sleight is removed from the rest of the battle. The Riku card keeps the cards used in Sleights, but it's only temporary. You can also use higher magic by combining three magic cards, such as how three fire cards produce Firaga, two Gravity cards produce Gravira, etc. For sleights, it's best to use Premium cards, which are shiny cards that only appear once per battle.

The first thing you'll notice when you turn on the game is that Dearly Beloved plays. Alot of the music's recycled/remixed from the first. Later though, it has some original music (I like Twilight Town's battle theme and Castle Oblivion's battle theme). It even plays "Simple and Clean" during the credits. If you aren't going to turn the volume all the way down, I reccomend use of the SP headphones, since they improve the soundtrack. (Plus, it's better to listen to Simple and Clean that way. [img]tongue.gif[/img] ) However, some voices are the same from the first game, all the old characters have their old battle cries and other sorts. The new characters, mainly the Organization members (They're the people in the black Trenchcoats), have battle cries and taunts in there. I hate Vexen's voicework. He has a very girly sounding "Ha ha ha" when you fight him.

When you enter a world, you are taken to a square room with heartless in it and after smashing the heartless, you can reach a door which requires a map card of a specific value to open. The cards are like magical keys, and different kinds can alter the next room. For example, Moogle Room cards have a moogle shop in the next room, Teeming Darkness has a bunch of Heartless in the next room, Lasting Daze makes the keyblade-induced daze last longer, etc. You also have yellow cards which are required to open specific doors. This is the major downfall of the game, since you may be smashing heartless for hours looking for the card you need.

The most unique thing about Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is that it features handheld Full Motion Videos. Yes, you read right-Handheld Full Motion Videos. While there aren't many, the few that exist in the game are very impressive, especially given the limits of the Game Boy Advance. The other spritework's done very well. Running motion's very fluid, and other special effects (excluding Atlantica's Trident, which is just a sparkle. >=( ) look very great. Backgrounds are also good, except that they get repetetive. The moogles are also as cute as they were on the Playstation2. Sora's keyblade movements are a bit stiff, but that's all because movement speed's low. Also, in the Hundred Acre Wood, Pooh moves VERY slow. Grrr... *Insert the Author Space comic about how slow Pooh moves here*

The storyline consists of Sora, Donald, and Goofy following a man in black (No, he's not Sephiroth.) into a castle called Castle Oblivion. In Castle Oblivion, you lose your memories as you progress further into the Castle. The Organization also exists inside Castle Oblivion, and they play the role as the villians. They all specialize in a specific attack style. Larxene, the blonde *****, uses Thunder (Ever wish Dumbo could short her out?), Vexen, the girly guy, uses Ice and hides behind a shield, and Axel uses fire (I believe I have seem him in a few Kingdom Hearts 2 screenshots). I'll just let you figure out what Marluxia uses on your own. The storyline is very dull and most of it's just recycled Kingdom Hearts material until later (Around Twilight Town), though there are some occasional moments where the storyline deepens. Also, when you clear the game as Sora, you can use Reverse Rebirth mode, where you play as Riku.

Reverse Rebirth's harder than regular mode. Riku can only use a preset deck and can't use any recovery cards other than Mickey. When he gets enough DP (Any Doctor Pepper comments will be treated with a smack in the face.), he can go Dark Mode (Remember when you fight him in Hollow Bastion?) and can use sleights. Remember when you fought Riku with the keyblade in the first one? Remember when he used that move where he zips back and forth then makes dark energy explode out of the ground? It's here, and it's called Dark Aura. When you use it, allmighty pwnage. When the Riku clone uses it, 0 CARD!! QUICK!!!

The games a bit on the easy side. With the exception of a few hard bosses (Captain Hook, Dark Riku after Destiny Islands) the game's very easy. Rejoice, as Atlantica's not hell here. I beat the game in less than a week, but I haven't yet beat Reverse Rebirth, since it's harder.

Overall, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories certainly isn't the best game out there, nor is it better than the original. It is still worth playing if you're a fan of the series, and I don't exactly know if you'll be in a plothole if you skip this game and progress right to Kingdom Hearts 2. When it comes out this year, we'll find out. 7.90/10

Pros:
-=Very good graphics=-
-=Some good music=-
-=A very fun battle system=-
-=Moogles!!=-
-=You get to play as Riku in Reverse Rebirth=-
-=Excellent FMVs=-

Cons:
-=With the exception of a few bosses, too easy=-
-=A bit too linear=-
-=Storyline doesn't really get too deep until Twilight Town=-
-=Encounters are at Breath of Fire 3-like Proportions=-
-=Defenders, Fat Bandits, and Large Bodies are INCREDIBLY annoying to fight=-

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Rainbow Dash
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Post by Rainbow Dash » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:28 pm

Originally posted by Christmas NiGHTs:
When he gets enough DP
When he gets enough Dr. Pepper?

=P

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X-3
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Post by X-3 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:53 am

I might get this game.

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Mr.Hammermap
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Post by Mr.Hammermap » Sun Jan 09, 2005 11:19 am

Twilight Town? (I know its not the one in Paper Mario 2)
I've never actually considered getting this game. I doubt I will get it because I don't have the original.
Go to Chompmaster\'s advice! I need people to post there!

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Sim Kid
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Post by Sim Kid » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:01 pm

Later in the game, Sora is given a card that changes one floor of Castle Oblivion into Twilight Town, which was created from Sora's memories, but he doesn't remember at all. Riku also visits Twilight Town in Reverse Rebirth (Yuck), but neither of them remember Twilight Town at all.


I think it may be explained in Kingdom Hearts II.

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The Amazing Tazy Ten
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Post by The Amazing Tazy Ten » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:07 am

I hate Captain Hook

IhateCaptainHookIhateCaptainHookIhateCaptainHook

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Calamity Panfan
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Post by Calamity Panfan » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:25 pm

lolzomg uber bumpin'.
and that's the waaaaaaaaaay the news goes

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