Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Square Enix won't deliver its PS2 Kingdom Hearts follow-up until early 2005, but fans can get their Final Fantasy meets Mickey Mouse fix 7 with this GBA semisequel. Chain of Memories begins immediately after the end of the PS2 hit, bridging the gap between the original game and KH2.
Conceptually, this pint-sized progression closely resembles its big brother: You control spiky-haired spunkster Sora, who, alongside his animated pals Donald and Goofy, explores various worlds inspired by classic Disney flicks. Of course, the visuals have taken a hit--you can't very well do full 3D on GBA--yet the static overhead view should eliminate all the nasty camera problems plaguing the original KH. That game's mash-happy battle engine also gets the heave-ho, replaced here by a simplified card-based combat system that could tip the action-RPG scales in the role-playing direction. Amazingly, though, you can still expect fantastic, Final Fantasy cinematics, as this cartridge will feature a special chip that allows it to pack in tons of PS2-quality cut-scenes.