User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 69
  2. Negative: 9 out of 69

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  1. Mar 16, 2012
    6
    In the story department, Chain of Memories delivers just as much as any other Kingdom Hearts game. The gameplay is a completely different story. The card system can be difficult to understand, punish you at the worst of times, and can be infuriating at times. You'll find yourself dying more than a few times in a row to the same boss due to the card system. The second half of the story, Reverse/Rebirth mode, relieves some of these frustrations due to the fact that it pre-selects your cards, but between the story bits, the repetitive grind of the fights becomes tedious. While the cutscenes and story make it somewhat worth it, I only recommend this for the dedicated Kingdom Hearts fans. For anyone else, you can look up a walkthrough on YouTube, because its better than having to suffer through the battle system. Expand
  2. sLm
    Apr 21, 2012
    7
    It's a very good game, cannot be compared to KH 1 and 2 because this is merely a light bridge between both of them just to understand the storyline, but it's fun and entertaining. The 7 score is because they didn't even bother in releasing a PAL version, shame on them, otherwise I would give this a 9.
  3. Oct 18, 2010
    10
    I may be giving this a 10 because I'm biased due to the fact this is a Kingdom Hearts game, and I am a huge fan of the series. But once you get used to the cards, the rest will be smooth sailing.
  4. Dec 9, 2012
    9
    This is an interesting game. I played it when it first came out on GBA several times and just finished playing through this PS2 version. I love this game because I think it has the single best combat system in any Action-RPG. Period. However, I can understand the polar opposites in terms of reviews. There is an enormous amount of depth to the combat system. The game requires you to think om a wide range of strategic levels very quickly. The PS2 version even more so because it requires more spacial thinking due to the fact that it is in 3D and, unlike the GBA version, you cannot always see everything that is occurring at once, forcing you to predict and anticipate enemy movements (whom you cannot always see if they are behind or above you) on the fly, while also card counting, adding card values, dodging, attacking, blocking, keeping track of your HP and more. On top of it all, the combat difficulty forces you to grasp all concepts and use them or you will die. It is not forgiving in any way. The strategy and customization goes far beyond the standard swing swing block, shoot shoot roll of even some of the greatest Action-RPG (in terms of challenge and strategy it out does even Mass Effect and Elder Scrolls) This depth is what may turn a lot of would be fans away though. It is several times more complex than what Kingdom Hearts folks are used to.
    Other parts of the game don't quite live up to the one of a kind battle system, however. The main overall story is pretty interesting and well done but has many of the trappings of a JRPG which is not necessarily bad but tends to push away some. The small plots in each of the worlds are kind of a throw away though. The world exploration, while very unique, is not it's strongest point. I understand that it is a carry-over from the GBA which had it's technical limitations. What I would like to see happen is for Square to take combat system of Chain of Memories and apply to a Action-RPG with a bigger scope. Something with a larger and more open world to explore. There is a lot Square could do in terms of evolving the gameplay concepts they started with Chain of Memories and I would love to see it happen (I don't care if is within the Kingdom Hearts franchise or not) It seems any people couldn't quite grasp the game. This is apparent by the fact that there are many people on here rating this game a "0" because they don't like the fact that enemies can defend themselves and counter-attack any attack made by the player that is not thought out. Due to the fact that the general attitude of big game developers is that they must appeal to as many people as possible, the chances of Square picking a concept back up that was so divisive is slim to none.
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  5. Nov 18, 2011
    9
    Squareenix re-makes Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories from the 2D realm to the 3D Realm, if you played the original, there isnt much difference as the gameplay and storyline is pretty much the same. The only difference is the plane is 3D and that can be a good thing. Alot of the problems with positioning and aiming in the original has been fixed due to the graphic interface completely changing. The game feels like Part 1 but with less freedom as expected in its card based battle system. Expand
  6. Oct 26, 2013
    5
    sigh, this game is dissapointing and i'm a big kingdom hearts fan. the game feels linear, although you can go back to previous areas, there really is no reason to. the storyline... the only parts i enjoyed were the parts that took place in castle oblivion, the disney storylines though... oh god they are terrible! they are literally the same from kingdom hearts 1, maybe only a slightly bit different. and the gameplay is annoying because now you play with F***ing CARDS! it is especially annoying with bosses, who can easily break your cards to do their own rediculously annoying attacks. and every time you run out of cards you have to reload them, but each time you reload you lose more cards from your deck, until you're stuck with one weak attack card that can't do SH*T against bosses. the bosses on the other hand have unlimited cards, that they can use as they please while you're stuck with your weak attack card. the only part where i started enjoying the game was the last floor in castle oblivion, and the final boss fight, which i gotta say had some pretty awesome music. after you complete Sora's story you can start a new game with Riku, with a different story, and slightly different battle system, playing as riku isn't much better though, the disney worlds have no storyline now, and all you do is run through the same areas you did as sora, and you can't customize your deck, the game does it for you. i suggest just watching the cutscenes on youtube if you want to know the story, because the game isn't worth playing through. Expand
  7. Dec 14, 2013
    8
    First, let me just say, do NOT compare this any other game in the franchise. This game is the black sheep of Kingdom Hearts, but that doesn't have to be bad. The story of Castle Oblivion is ultimately an intriguing one and will be what keeps you going forward. Graphically the game looks good, despite that fact that everything is reused and room layouts don't change dramatically. The reason the game is sometimes disliked is due to it's radically different card-based combat. It's handled way differently than any other thing you've seen. You have to manage your deck while fighting in real-time, keep track of numbers, and use sleights to the best effect. It can get extremely chaotic and difficult if you can't keep up. Now the system isn't bad, if you know exactly what you're doing you can have a lot of fun. If you don't think you'll be able to manage it, play it on beginner mode. Expand
  8. Dec 23, 2013
    5
    The worst RPG on a ps2 the story is a bit bland but the battle system sucked and the gameplay is boring to tell you the truth this game is so bad it made it on my top 5 worst ps2 games of all time and this was number 3.
  9. Oct 25, 2013
    2
    I played the remastered version included with the recent 1.5 HD Remix release. I love Kingdom Hearts: FM, but I’ve found Re:CoM so bad that I felt the need to give it its own review. It is still applicable since it’s the same game from the PS2 release only with sharper graphics.

    Re:CoM is miserable and tedious. I had thought the switch to a card battling system meant that battles would
    be turn-based and strategic. Instead gameplay is half action RPG like the original KH and half card battler. It fails at both.

    Coming straight from KH you will feel the urge to attack like normal since it seems the same engine has been used for combat. The difference now, though, is that you have to pay attention to what card from your deck is active (displayed in the lower-left) when you hit the attack button as well as if the enemies are playing any cards (displayed lower-middle). Whoever’s card is higher carries out the attack, though everything still occurs in real time and with the same drawbacks found in KH’s combat system, like bad camera angles & hitting people with magic often being a pain.

    The key to success is choosing lots of “CP” when you level up, which allows you to carry more cards. That in turn, though, makes your deck more difficult to navigate through during battles. This means you will want to arrange your card deck in a way that keeps shuffling through it during battle to a minimum, but since you’re constantly getting new cards & more CP to expand your deck, that means you spend an inordinate amount of time editing your deck. Even then, you may have an excellent deck and plenty of cards to stop that attack the boss is about to launch, but you’re only going to have a second or two to sift through your cards and find it.

    You also have to worry about your inventory of special map cards, which are used in moving from room to room in the environment. The map cards have different properties that will be reflected in the rooms you create. It’s another thing that sounds intriguing but ends up being another level of tedium. The vast majority of map cards do nothing but present you with different layouts for grinding levels. And all but two of the worlds are the exact same areas you already went through during KH (Aladdin, Little Mermaid, etc), with the exact same music, so there’s no sense of exploration but repetition, instead. Many of the boss fights are even the same, like Guard Armor & Jafar Genie. The world areas are so redundant, in fact, that I skipped all of their text-only cutscenes after the first area b/c they add nothing to the overall plot of the game.

    Re: CoM’s only saving grace is its introduction of new characters and some pretty interesting, fully voice-acted story material. I originally went straight to KH2 from the first game back in the day and felt lost, so it was nice to finally get those gaps filled in. The problem is that you only get to see this new stuff between worlds, so to see it you need to slog through the 90% part of the game that sucks.

    I beat Sora’s story & am now having a fierce internal debate as to whether or not to play through Riku’s. I want to see what happened with him, but holy crap, I really, really don’t want to play this terrible game anymore, especially if I can’t build a Sonic Blade deck and carve through bosses with my eyes closed. Ugh.
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  10. Feb 14, 2014
    7
    its a good game it adds to the story its kinda good to play through old worlds.The main thing of this game is the card system that adds a lot of strategy to combat. In my opinion its average i like it
  11. Mar 2, 2014
    2
    The main combat system was glorious in the other Kingdom Hearts games, and this one was an unfortunate change. The combat is based on cards, and I couldn't get the hang of it enough to enjoy playing.
  12. Sep 20, 2014
    4
    I love KH and KH2 but this game is the most frustrating piece of garbage I have played in a long time. The card battle system takes all the fun out of fighting enemies. The story and the characters are the games only saving grace I am afraid, I this hadn't had the Kingdom Hearts name, I never would have picked this game up.
Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. 67
    Seriously, though -- for Kingdom Hearts fans who missed out on COM the first time, this is definitely the best way to play it. While the new stuff is small (a few so-so minigames in Hundred Acre Wood, additional voice acting from the Sixth Sense kid, etc.), my memory of Chain of Memories hasn't changed: It's a pleasant little title that reminds me how much I want Kingdom Hearts 3.
  2. 84
    An impressive remake that improves the presentation of the original GBA version by leaps and bounds while simultaneously streamlining the battle system.
  3. 80
    Even though it's not a wholly fresh experience, Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories is definitely worth a try, especially if you didn't play the original GBA release.