Being the 3rd game in the Kingdom Hearts series, I feel I’ve missed the boat on this whole set of games. With that being said, this will help keep a completely non-biased review on this portable version.
Graphics: Graphics during the game itself are pretty standard. The sprites are quite large and well animated. Every Square/Enix character is easy to recognize as well as all the disney characters.
Gameplay: The layout is done in an isometric view so the movement is a bit quirky when you are trying to jump over and avoid Heartless. Those looking for a standard turn-based RPG in the vein of many original Square/Enix games, need not apply here. The battles, though fun, are not what you would expect. It’s done in real-time and played like an action game rather than an RPG. There is also the card battle system that has been enstated so it’s not a button mashing hack and slash. The card system is a refreshing change as well as the bane of the whole experience. The card system is handled with the L and R buttons so you have to flop between attack cards to magic spells and specials. You can combo them with like cards (known as slating) to create a massive attack or larger magic effect. Cards have values so a high card will trump a low card with the exception of a 0 value card. When played right, it will act as a wild card. If played wrong, it’s worth 0. So needless to say, button mashing might work to a certain extent but none of that is worth it if your deck isn’t setup properly.
Sound: Sound, like the graphics, are pretty impressive. The game just doesn’t stop talking. All the voice samples of Sora, Riku, Cloud, Goofy, Donald, “His Majesty” and the rest of the cast just keep on delivering through all the battles.
Overall: If you want to stay true to the whole series, this is one to not pass up. If you are looking for a game that’s an RPG, standalone game, just try it out since it’s not a full on RPG.