Adam Bloomfield

Kingdom Hearts – Chain Of Memories: Review

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The second entry in the Kingdom Hearts saga was released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance (remember those) but was later given a PS2 makeover in 2008.

Continuing the story from the first Kingdom Hearts; we see Sora, Donald and Goofy stumble across a mysterious fortress named Castle Oblivion in the hopes they will find their missing friends, however, they soon learn the higher they go into the castle the more memories they begin to lose.

Not only do they have Heartless to deal with but they have to contend with guys in black coats called the Organization. A mysterious girl named Namine, who shares an extremely important connection to Sora. Meanwhile, Riku arrives at Castle Oblivion too after wandering the darkness and begins his quest of self discovery.

The worlds seen in this game are brought over from the first game but these are just memory based illusions created from cards that were crafted from the memories of Sora. We return to worlds like Wonderland, Halloween Town, Atlantic and Hollow Bastion. A new original world in this game is Twilight Town, a world crafted from the memories found of the other side of Sora’s heart.

A departure from the previous hack and slash command menu of Kingdom Hearts 1, this game relies on a card based system for combat and magic. Different decks of cards are able to be constructed to adapt to a variety of opponents and situations for example, dealing with magic based enemies its wise to build a deck of Keyblade cards which function as Sora’s form of offense.

By stacking the cards in threes, powerful combinations can be unleashed with a wide range of attacks and spells such as Tornado, Stun Impact, Ragnarok and many others; so using cards instead of commands is an interesting twist instead of relying on tried and tested methods.

The theme of this game is memories which play an important role in the series as a whole as Sora’s memories are disconnected and taken apart the higher he goes into Castle Oblivion.

We also see Riku struggling to keep his own darkness within him at bay after the events of the last game, this ties into his role as being the dark side of a heart while Sora represents the light.

Kairi isn’t in this game, with her role being filled by Namine but is mentioned quite frequently and makes a cameo appearance during the end credits. The characters Sora and the others encounter are all memory based projections of the characters Sora met on his previous adventure.

This game is more a recap for players rather than the interquel it’s meant to be and a lot of fans were annoyed by the fact they had to collect new cards to further Sora’s powers but I thought it was a new and interesting twist and the story and its mysteries had me intrigued….

Who exactly is Namine and what’s her connection to Sora and Kairi? Who are the Organization members and what’s their end game? Who exists on the other side of Sora’s heart?

Coming next week is Kingdom Hearts II which continues the adventures of Sora, Donald and Goofy

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