Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Game Boy Advance


Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
Buy On
  1. AceGamez
    The story is deep and intriguing, with very enjoyable and addictive gameplay.
  2. A really excellent GBA game which pushes the little system to a degree that few games have tried.
  3. Without a doubt one of the best games available for the GBA and one of the best reasons for owning the system. The characters, locales, and enemies from the original are all here, creating a compelling game and story on par in many ways with the original.
  4. For story, gameplay and graphical tasty goodness this is one of the best titles for the GBA this year.
  5. Chain of Memories does a great job of getting gamers who are unfamiliar with the series up to par with the story in preparation for "KH2"...A stellar addition to the Game Boy Advance line up. [JPN Import]
  6. And though the stories are changed to better fit the memory theme of the new game, it is often times a little too familiar, a sort of 'been there, done that' feel.
  7. Yes, you're essentially playing through the events of Kingdom Hearts in portable form, but there's enough content here to make the experience seem new and fresh again.
  8. 80
    The production value alone is worth the price of admission, and even with repeat scenarios, a strategic combat system that turns into a button-masher, and surprisingly linear quest, this game has an engrossing storyline that actually changes up after the adventure comes to an end.
  9. This game is clearly aimed at hooking existing fans of the developing Kingdom Hearts series, and those fans will get the most value out of Chain of Memories.
  10. Although billed as the bridge between the first and second PS2 "Kingdom Hearts" adventures, Memories feels more like a "Golden Girls" clips episode - lots of reminiscing and recapping in lieu of new hijinks. [Jan 2005, p.143]
  11. 45
    Save for a tedious gimmick level in the Hundred-Acre Wood, each stage follows the same basic structure: work towards the first cutscene, which provides the key to the second cutscene, which provides the key to the boss. There are no puzzles or complex paths to work through -- once you've solved one, you've solved them all.
  12. 80
    Combines two much-maligned RPG staples, random dungeons and card battles, and somehow pulls it off with aplomb.
  13. The combat system is card based, but just pressing the A button enough will most likely guarantee you victory regardless of the situation.
  14. A mildly amusing game that half-heartedly struggles to maintain the feel of its predecessor while still maintaining an air of uniqueness. It'll definitely serve to entertain, though those who haven't played the original game may be a little lost.
  15. The levels are repetitive, boxy mazes with nothing interesting in them aside from battles, and the story's for fans only. Still, it's a technically excellent and fun game that begins to wear only through repetition and ease. [Jan 2005, p.84]
  16. Chain Of Memories' biggest problem is the repetitive nature of most of the rooms. In order to build up anything that even resembles a decent set of cards you'll need to repeat fights countless times to earn Moogle Points and experience, and the relatively limited number of different Heartless in each area can make this something of a chore.
  17. Edge Magazine
    This is more than just a cynical cash-in conversion, but in pitching itself as a kind of '1.5' iteration it's never clear if the game is a necessity or a distraction for devotees of the Kingdom Hearts universe. For all but the most ardent follower, its off-target execution will imply the latter. [Feb 2005, p.80]
  18. Pocket Games
    A very solid, fun package that should please both hardcore card-game players and casual RPGers alike. [Spring 2005, p.71]
  19. Though certainly not without its flaws, the most problematic of which being the somewhat mismanaged combat system, this is nonetheless a terrific game that delivers a fun quest, stellar presentation, and an added incentive to revisit the game after it has been completed.
  20. 87
    The presentation is unmatched by any handheld game ever, and overtly competent in audio and visuals.
  21. It is the perfect venue to bridge the story between the two PS2 titles.
  22. If you were a fan of the first Kingdom Hearts title, you owe it to yourself to play Chain of Memories, if only for the addition to the story.
  23. The combat can be a bit repetitive after a sustained amount of play time, but the decent story, characters and card collecting aspects more than make up for it.
  24. 80
    Though the level design is inconsistent and the combat gets repetitive, there's plenty to keep you entertained if you're into the world and the characters.
  25. 80
    I was a little disappointed when I finished it, because I wanted more. A great game that shouldn't be passed up by any Kingdom Hearts fan.
  26. Game Informer
    An enjoyable handheld, but like the direct-to-video Disney sequels, it just doesn't have the magic of the original. [Jan 2005, p.146]
  27. Nintendo Power
    The story is superb, the graphics and music are among the best on the GBA, and the concept is unique and interesting. [Feb 2005, p.112]
  28. Fans of the PS2 game will enjoy their time with CoM. However, newcomers to the series may feel a little lost as the game's story does not update the player accordingly. The lack of a summary screen will leave players feeling lost.
  29. The problem with Kingdom Hearts is it's definitely not the action RPG people fell in love with on the PS2. It doesn't carry the same mood along with the story (though it had a well-written plot), and with the pacing the game has; it can often feel a bit rushed.
  30. And as a videogame, there's not much in Chain of Memories that I haven't seen before…except card breaks and room synthesis.
  31. Play Magazine
    The plot is basically a device to rehash the stories of the original Kingdom Hearts. [Jan 2005, p.86]
  32. 80
    A disjointed storyline that seems more driven by gratuitous cameos than compelling gameplay won't please everyone, but die-hard Disney fans won't mind.
  33. Cheat Code Central
    It's not important that you be familiar with the original, in some respects it may be better since you visit the same places over again. There are new characters and missions and the storyline will keep you intrigued and entertained.
  34. The story is engaging, enhanced by terrific characters, pleasing animation and memorable tunes. It's a pity there are not more puzzles to solve.
  35. 70
    Conceptually, Chain of Memories is a good idea but when awkward hybrid gameplay meets plotlines based on afterthought ideas, it's just a perplexing mess.
  36. Pelaaja (Finland)
    The card-combat mechanic does not work quite as well as it could, and the game is a bit too linear and the combat repetitive. Still, the magical union of Final Fantasy characters and Disney's different fantasy worlds give the game enough appeal and charm to keep you playing until the end. [June 2005, p.77]
  37. Perhaps the nicest aspect of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is that it appeals to both those that played the first and those that've never heard of it.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
#9 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Jan 5, 2017
    Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
    De Ja Vu
    Chain of memories is a direct sequel to kingdom hearts… This time your search for king Mickie
    Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
    De Ja Vu
    Chain of memories is a direct sequel to kingdom hearts…
    This time your search for king Mickie takes you to the castle of oblivion…
    Your objective of the game is to make it up this castle 1 floor at a time…
    And conveniently each of these floors revisits your memories as the higher you go the more you forget and remember at the same time..
    Perfect opportunity for developers to get lazy and just recycle… and that’s exactly what they did…
    Chain of Memories is Just the original kingdom hearts put into a card combat format with the excuse of memory loss…
    There’s nothing new to see here other than a few characters in the kingdom hearts lore…
    But as for Disney characters and worlds.. its revisiting the exact same places in the original… this is one of those rare instances where you’re better off watching all of the cut scenes for the story on YouTube than actually spending 20 hours of your life playing through.. which is a shame because the game is actually really good and has potential to be addictive…
    Unlike the hack and slash meets 3d platformer style of the original, chain of memories is more of a dungeon crawler meets hack and slash card game… you go into a room.. kill some heartless for xp and at the end of the fight they also drop a card… you use these cards to open new doors in these dungeons…
    And what’s in these rooms are dependent on the card you play…
    The only rules to the cards you can use on the door is that the number has to match or be higher.. And rarely you’ll need to match or be lower for the card value... and each card has its own perk such as more heartless, treasure room, a shop to buy cards for combat among many other things…
    and for combat you attack with these cards in real time…
    The highest value gets the hit.. It’s very fast paced and rarely requires any thinking... but definitely requires bit of strategy… but it’s all very accessible preventing you from raging during battles…
    You build up your deck with attack, summon, and magic cards you get throughout the world in breakable items, shops, and story progression… but your deck does have a max amount of cp.. so it’s going to be a while until your deck is full of 5 plus value… and as you level up you get to choose if you increase this cap, your hp, or learn a new slight move which is pulled off by stacking 3 weaker cards together for a more powerful attack… which gives reason to not just toss the weak cards to the side or sell them.. And you do have allies by your side, but you have to catch their cards mid battle to call them in to do an attack much like a summon… they aren’t there fighting with you the whole time like in kingom hearts 1.. which is fine as the battles are miles easier here…
    It’s a great concept but again... the worlds and the story....even the boss fights, theyre just compact versions of the real thing..… it’s all recycled from kingdom hearts 1…..which kills this game…
    Kingdom hearts 1 is the superior game.. If you want to experience these Disney world’s play that one instead... you do play as someone else in the final chunk of the game that I’m not going to say for spoilers... But even they are revisiting the same spots too…
    Chain of Memories is included in the collection and is definitely worth at least checking out... But don’t be surprised when boredom kicks in as you never see anything new…
    I give Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
    a 7/10
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 13, 2016
    Avoid this game at all costs. The trailer looked great, I enjoyed the PS2 game from what I played, but this is unfogivable. There is noAvoid this game at all costs. The trailer looked great, I enjoyed the PS2 game from what I played, but this is unfogivable. There is no tutorial. The game took me 4 or 5 worlds to understand what the hell everything was, and I still don't know what every card means. Full Review »
  3. Nov 12, 2014
    This game is a lot of fun. It has elements of a deck building game mixed with RPG and beat 'em up styled games as well. You can get the gameThis game is a lot of fun. It has elements of a deck building game mixed with RPG and beat 'em up styled games as well. You can get the game for $5 now. It is totally worth it. This is one of more underrated GBA in my onion. Full Review »