Evolution of Game Design: Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom hearts is a large series that currently consists of 4 games, 3 animations, a mobile game and a Japanese exclusive MMORPG. The kingdom hearts franchise is an uncanny mix of final fantasy and disney which would normally seem weird and achievable however square enix managed to pull it off to a large success. I will be looking at the limitations of the second entry in the franchise Chain of Memories for gameboy advanced the  and comparing it to kingdom hearts 2 for the PS2 whilst completely ignoring the remake RE:Chain of memories and how that ruins the game.

Chain of Memories features rather different gameplay as the gameboy couldn’t handle the hack and slash gameplay in the same way that the PS2 could so chain of memories gameplay was quite different.

Image result for chain of memories

Like normal this game looks really good for the console it came out for as you can see by these amazingly well made sprites for the characters.

Chain of Memories starts immediately after the original kingdom hearts as Sora enters Castle Oblivion which is the setting for the rest of the game and meets one of the antagonists of the game Marluxia who introduces the game play mechanic to the player. Due to the hardware limitations of the gameboy, Chain of Memories instead has a trading card game mechanic where you build a deck using cards you find in the world and if you find a moogle card you can make a room that serves as a shop to get more cards for your deck in it.

Kingdom hearts 2 on the other hand features fast paced combat with different combat styles and a myriad of different worlds and a difficult mini-game you have to play to go in between each of those worlds. The gameplay is rather fast paced with a need behind micro managing HP and MP during combat in order to stay alive. There is even Drive forms within the game that change how the character controls and by leveling these Drive Forms up you can get some abilities such as high jump and dodge roll.

These games both expertly use the hardware limitations given to make classic games that bring up great memories for lots of people and even to this day Square Enix make more and more games that test the limitations of hardware and bring the most out of them.

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