Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Summary: Sora, Donald and Goofy travel down a long road that meanders through endless fields, and come to a crossroads. As Sora stands in the crossroads, he gazes up at the night sky and thinks of his lost friends. Just then, a mysterious man approaches from down one of the branching paths. "Ahead lies something you need," he says, "but to claim it, you must lose something dear." The man vanishes before a single path, leading to a castle that eerily resembles a girl's drawing... In the coming journey, what will Sora and his companions gain, and what will they lose? In addition to Sora, players can control Riku in this adventure that bridges the gap between KINGDOM HEARTS and KINGDOM HEARTS II
    A full 3D remake of the original GBA release, KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories offers a refreshing rendition of the hit title for the PlayStation 2 system. The talented voice cast from the North American releases of KINGDOM HEARTS and KINGDOM HEARTS II, including David Gallagher and Haley Joel Osment, return to breathe new life into the beloved characters. The mini-game catalog has been completely renewed, now with four brand new experiences accompanying the main adventure. [Square Enix]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories for the PS2 is definitely worth checking out, especially if you haven't yet played the GBA original.
  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. Taking a page from other "from the ground up" remakes of other Square-Enix remakes like Final Fantasy IV on the DS, Re:Chain of Memories is a great way to check out an adventure that many may have missed the first time around.
  4. 70
    Considering the source material, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is an impressive effort that is certainly worth playing for every fan of the series that missed it on Nintendo's retired handheld. The game is far more familiar in 3D, and translates into a more addicting and satisfying experience on the PS2.
  5. But in the end, it only feels like a bad idea superimposed over an ongoing good idea. So unless you're a hardcore fan, we say pass on Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and lie in wait for Kingdom Hearts III. Yeah, we still hope it's coming.
  6. This remake is solid fan service, but recycled content and disjointed exploration limit its appeal.
  7. Rebuilding it using the PS2 game's engine just makes it a much more obvious retread. [Jan 2009, p.83]

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Oct 18, 2010
    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. Expand
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    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
  3. Dec 9, 2012
    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.
  4. Feb 14, 2014
    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 Expand
  5. Mar 16, 2012
    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
  6. Dec 23, 2013
    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. Expand
  7. Oct 25, 2013
    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.

See all 13 User Reviews