Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Disney and Square team up for a bewildering card game.
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Donald Gets all his Magical Powers from Pantlessness
Chain of Memories is a card-based action RPG, with encounter-based battles. Sora can still run around and platform about, but when he encounters an enemy he'll enter a separate battle screen where he has to face his adversaries' party alone. The battle engine focuses on card-based attacks--Sora utilizes a deck of cards to choose his attacks. Sora's battle deck consists of three categories--attack, magic, and character summoning cards, which are used in battle. Character summoning will call a friendly character to aid you with their special attack. In addition to using single battle cards, Sora can also store three cards in a card bank, which allows him to launch a chained attack or convert the cards into a special attack. Each battle card has a numerical value. If your enemy's value is higher than the card you have selected, your attack will be negated. If your attack is higher than your foes, you'll perform a Card Break, which stuns your enemy.
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The card-based battle engine takes some time getting used to and feels awkward. It's difficult to really plan your attack by scrolling through your deck while multiple enemies are pummeling you. Enemies tend to crowd you into corners where they'll negate your attacks, wear down your deck, and eventually destroy you. Also, the graphics suffer from low contrast and the effects are particularly pixilated. Conceptually, Chain of Memories is a good idea but when awkward hybrid gameplay meets plotlines based on afterthought ideas, it's just a perplexing mess.