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Kingdom Hearts
game: Kingdom Hearts
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 12:00 AM Wed Nov 26th, 2003
last revision: 12:00 AM Wed Nov 26th, 2003

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By Matt James

Kingdom Hearts for the PS2 was one of the neatest ideas I had seen in a while (for those of you who haven't given Kingdom Hearts a try, an inexpensive, Greatest Hits version just became available). By combining classic Final Fantasy characters with the near entirety of Disney characters, they managed to create a game that was equally unique and familiar. With the game being geared more towards a younger audience, it makes sense that the next step is to introduce the Kingdom Hearts franchise to the Gameboy Advance. So that is exactly what they are going to do with 2004's Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

So far details are a bit on the light side and they mostly come from what can be gathered by looking at the screenshots. A picture says a thousand words but these ones are all saying Cool?. It looks like Chain of Memories will ditch the 3D look for more Gameboy friendly graphics. Don't be disappointed; the screenshots still look really nice. The Graphics on GBA can't be expected to perform like the PS2, but what we have looks as good, or better, than what we have seen so far from the GBA. The screenshoots look as if the camera system will have the ability to pan-out during fights, for a better view of the battle. Another cool trick that Chain of Memories has up its sleeve is the inclusion of movie footage compressed to fit onto the GBA cartridge. Maybe I am just a fanboy (after all, isn't this the ultimate fanboy game?) but I love those movies. They are like a little bonus and they are something new and exciting for the GBA.

Once again we follow the story of Sora (wielder of the magical Keyblade) and his cohorts, Donald and Goofy, as they collect green orbs and battle the evil shadow creatures, the Heartless. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is set to take place directly after the end of the first game, and before Kingdom Hearts II (to be released later on the PS2). It should begin to answer any questions left after the first game. Very little else is known of the story but I imagine it will remain in the spirit of the first one. One rumor is that Bambi (woohoo Bambi! Yes that is sarcasm.) will make an appearance and that a certain mouse, dressed in ninja garb, will be hanging around. Also it appears that the crew will end up in Atlantis for the first time. On the Final Fantasy side, one screenshot reveals that Cloud from FFVII will be accompanying Sora for at least a portion of his journey. This game sounds to be bursting with even more cool characters and exotic locales than the first installment.

The game should remain true to its Action/RPG roots. The characters will level-up with experience, learn new tricks, and need to collect plenty of those health supplying green orbs. The fighting system looks to be much the same as the first game. The lock-on targeting feature is still present, and Donald and Goofy appear to still fight by your side. A new addition is the card system for special attacks and summoning spells (calling other characters to assist you in battle). I, personally, am beyond tired of the card game as a videogame as a television show as a card game trend that is swarming the globe. Don't people just fight each other anymore? But in this instance it may prove easier for gamers than scrolling through sub-menus in the middle of an intense battle. That is if it is done well. Oh well, just as long as there are no Blue-Eyes White Dragons, I won't complain too much.

Final Fantasy Tactics has proven to be a solid RPG for Square on the GBA, and I hope they can keep it up with Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. This time they have enlisted the aid of Jupiter (the developers not the planet) which could be a good or bad thing. Really we will have to see more of the game before we can tell. There is no solid release date yet, other than 2004, so it could be some time before we can get our hands on it. It should be out before Kingdom Hearts II though, so if you are just dying for more Kingdomy Heart goodness, this ought to be more than ample till its release.