Completed Game #20: Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories [PlayStation 4]
Chain of Memories is one of the few Kingdom Hearts games that I never properly got my hands on. While I have a Game Boy Advance I had never bothered to pick it up, heck at the time I was actually not a fan of the series due to my rage-quit with the first one back when it first came out. When the 1.5 HD ReMIX came out I figured it would be my chance to have a go on it but I never bothered. Years later with the PS4 collection I decided to properly tackle every Kingdom Hearts game in release order in preparation for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III release this January.
Chain of Memories was released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance and was eventually remade for PlayStation 2 exclusively with the Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix release in Japan back in 2007. This is the second main instalment in the series, set after the events of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, and the first in the series to change the gameplay style from a basic action RPG to a card-based RPG.
The card mechanic in this game can be pretty complex. It will throw a lot of stuff in your face and it will take some use to because this mechanic is more-or-less luck based. The idea is that the numbers that your cards have need to be higher than the enemy's card in order to get the attack or item to work, otherwise they will break your card and ruin your plan. This is an interesting move but when it comes to boss fights it can make or break your experience because the chances of getting through these boss fights rely solely on what cards you have in your deck. Thankfully you can customise your deck to the way you want to use it, though this only applies to Sora's campaign.
That's right there are two story campaigns, the main one focusing on Sora and the second one unlocked after the main one called 'Reverse/Rebirth' which focuses on Riku instead. Both campaigns share the same concept with some minor tweaks to their gameplay, however both share the same common issue - the gameplay is repetitive. While Action RPGs is as you expect the Kingdom Hearts series at least adds some fun to their gameplay combat but with Chain of Memories it's similar to 'Tales of' where you hit an enemy and it goes into a box where you have to fight a number of other enemies. This is fine at first but when you get through the game where there are increasing number of rooms to navigate it can get pretty tedious. I can see why a lot of people gave up on this game as a result. Now another issue I have is the difficulty since this game can be tedious at times due to the spike with the boss fights here and there. Thankfully the game's sleights are a miracle because these do a lot more damage than you would expect. Sonic Blade, Ars Arcanum, Lethal Frame and Trinity Limit are saviours for the combat and thus makes your life easier especially with the boss fights. Riku's campaign does not have these type of sleights but his campaign is much easier to tackle so I have no issues with it especially as the campaign is only 10-12 hours long compared to Sora's 22-25 hours.
Now for the story. The story is pretty good and I like how it connects with the franchise's lore. The characters were better than I had expected though they don't get that much screen-time compared to the others featured in Kingdom Hearts II. The English version does have the annoying issue where they didn't add lip-syncing to the characters unlike the other games (basically the mouths will match the Japanese voices than the English voices in Re:COM).
Overall Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is an interesting and different game in the series however it's repetitiveness and the tedious luck-based combat can make or break your experiences. In fact you could literally skip this game entirely and focus solely on the cutscenes that occur between each floor because that's where the story parts are in this entire game (aside from some bits in the final few floors in each campaign). This game is only recommended for the hardcore fans and if you're that desperate then play it at least once per playthrough.
I'll be taking a break from the games to get through my anime backlog but once that's sorted I'll be starting Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix on PS4 at some point. Meanwhile more titles have joined the backlog list including some Ys games!
My backlog so far:
Nintendo 3DS: Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson
Tales of the Abyss
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes
Soul Calibur V
Tales of Xillia 2
White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles II
Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash!
Star Ocean V: Integrity and Faithlessness
Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Finished Persona 5 (Playtime: 114 hours and around 5 hours for reloading etc. Started 8th June and finished 30th June) This is a much bigger game than 4G in size and scope, though I did prefer the characters of 4 for the most part.
The combat here is refined and the plot and ideas just as creative as ever. I unfortunately had troubles with the first dungeon and the last one was underwhelming and dragged but otherwise this was a fun experience. Despite taking so long to complete it didn't feel like a slog at all.
I'm curious to see what comes next for the franchise (likely another remake of 4) and what Persona 6 could bring to the table. 4.5/5
Started playing fate/extella I can deal with the game being built a little like it's VN roots but without English voices and translations for many things, it just seems like the price the series has paid for very rarely getting a western release for the games. I'm really trying to avoid games with a massive amount of reading and getting through my volumes of berserk until I get my glasses. Apparently my prescription makes a lot of difference
Beta testing the English beta patch for Ao no Kiseki/ Trails to Azure.
The second Crossbell game of the Trails series.
Getting the legal PC version was a pain in the butt but got it in the end XD.
SInce it was a Chinese port I ran some tests and scans on it and the exe had malware in it so I informed a friend and he gave me a clean version of it so can play it on LInux now XD.
SO far the patch is good, minor text and text box spacing and typo's but running fine.
Did have a problem with a save file but got fixed when reported.
I've tested out all the places and stuff in Crossbell city so a good start as I was able to finish Chapter 1 day 1 in just over 5 hours.
Mainly spent testing and checking every area out.
Finally made a start on some of my PC backlog. So currently working on Va-11 Hall-a which i bought on recommendation from @Teapot and currently really enjoying. I need to own the soundtrack at this rate too. Only into chapter 2 so far, but it's enough to get a good idea of what to expect.
Secondly, i'm playing Nier Automata as well now. Mostly i'll be streaming it, at least for the first ending playthrough, so if you're interested in someone semi-decent at gaming doing their thing, beating the enemies, then it might not be a bad idea to stop by and say hi.
On the portable end of it. I've FINALLY, made progress in Xenoblade Chronicles, i'm sure i'm nearing the half way to two thirds mark now. it's only taken 76 hours to get here. And Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Switch, which is still an absolute joy to play.
Completed Final Fantasy IV PSP (Playtime: 27 hours.) This is a fine game and entry in the franchise, it seems to be where the stories and characters started to develop and grow, which would culminate in FF VI. Unfortunately my enjoyment was greatly hindered by the worst random encounter rate I've experienced in an RPG. 3.5/5