What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game encourages reading and strategizing, and it has a positive message. Parents should note that despite being blood-free, the game does contain some fantasy violence. Additionally, it uses well-known Disney and Final Fantasy characters, which creates some inherent commercialization concerns.
What's it about?
KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN OF MEMORIES mixes well-known Disney and Final Fantasy characters for another card-based adventure. Led by a mysterious stranger, Sora and his friends Donald Duck and Goofy enter into Castle Oblivion, and he discovers that Castle Oblivion is actually the memories of friends he met and places he visited during the adventures of the first Kingdom Hearts game. The stranger explains that Sora will need to use special cards to defeat enemies and gain access to other memories.
Enemies change depending on Sora's location -- for example, they turn into palace guards in Agrabah. Sora uses real-time action (moving and jumping) and special cards to attack and defend. Players need to select the right card or cards from Sora's deck throughout the battle. Special moves can be created by grouping cards and using the right combinations of cards at the right time.
Is it any good?
Parents should know that battles are bloodless and free of gore. Enemies simply disappear when defeated. Also, the game's story is uplifting and positive, focusing on the importance of friendships, of being helpful and kind, and on being true to oneself and others. Finally, much of the story is told through text, which encourages reading and imagination.
This sequel to the successful PS2 game Kingdom Hearts proves to be fun and challenging to play, making it easy to see why it has become a hit in its own right. While there are Disney and Final Fantasy tie-ins that may warrant discussion, this is a creative and challenging title. Good readers ages 6 and up will get the most out of the game. Even for older players, the card-based fighting is a refreshing change from the simple mayhem of first-person shooters.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about marketing with even their youngest children. Is playing a game featuring familiar characters and locations more fun? Does it make you think about these characters more? What do businesses like Disney have to gain by putting their characters in video games, or putting their images on other products like cereal, TV shows, or T-shirts?