Today I did something I almost never do, I stopped playing an almost finished game, forever. That game is Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories

I suppose now's the time for some back story first. About a year ago I finally got a PS2 and a variety of recommended games that included Kingdom Hearts. I devoured the game and posted my impressions on the BK TAY (That's "Before Kinja"). I was lucky enough to have it then featured on the Speak Up segment of TAY. I greatly enjoyed the game and proceeded to jump into the second only to give up when I found I just didn't have a good understanding of what was going on. So I decided that I would finish Kingdom Hearts 2 after I had tracked down and finished the missing link, Chain of Memories.

So I did it, well the first part that is. I finally found the PS2 port, and started to play that. And here we are back at the issue, that I've stopped playing this game. Simply put, I can't force myself to play any more of it, I'm making myself more miserable every time I boot it up, and I'm finding that it simply isn't worth it.

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Every big issue I have with this game comes directly from the gameplay. So the story, while typical KH silliness, isn't what's bugging me here. I find the gameplay tries too hard to make a mash up of two rather different genres. The first is the hack and slash genre of other KH games and the second is the collectible card genre. These two genres mix about as well as oil and water and are constantly at odds.

Basically the game plays like the first Kingdom Hearts, but instead of simply attacking you use the card that you've got selected. Enemies do the same and whoever has the higher card value wins out and continues with their attack, while the loser has their card broken and is briefly stunned. However, any card is trumped if a 0 card is used after your opponent plays their card. So if the enemy has chained together 3 9 cards for a 28 attack you can still beat them by using a 0 card. Naturally the enemy is free to do this as well, which can cause unholy frustration when the chain containing your all needed curaga spell is broken and you're then immediately killed. You're also limited to the cards you have in your deck when a battle begins, so if you're suddenly thrown against an enemy that absorbs ice attacks, and all your magic cards are ice attacks, you're just out of luck.

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When things are going good the game can play great, but if you don't have a top tier deck the game quickly becomes unforgiving and annoying. I've seen so many videos of people just dominating at this game and making all the boss battles I barely squeaked by look like cake walks. The only way to get decks that can do that, however, is to go through a rather large amount of grinding in order to afford the deck packs, and then having enough luck to get the cards you actually need from said deck packs.

I understand that I'm probably just bad at this game, and I'm sure that people will point out the numerous ways that I could be playing better, but at this point I don't think it's worth it. I'm finding myself to become more frustrated with this game then anything I've played in years, and it's doing the opposite of what I want the games I play to do to me, help me to relax. So I'm not playing it anymore. I'll just watch the rest on Youtube in order to understand the story for KH 2.

So that's my story, feel free to share a game that you put down or just point and laugh at me for being so horrendously bad at this one.