Square Enix Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

When Square Enix re-releases RPG games, they often tread a fine line between creating thoughtful remakes or hatred-inspiring rehashes.

Square Enix Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
  • Square Enix Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
  • Square Enix Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
  • Square Enix Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Challenging combat, addictive card system, overall game is paced very well

Cons

  • Frustrating camera makes battles harder than they should be, looks pretty much the exact same as the first Kingdom Hearts game

Bottom Line

For people new to this title, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories takes place during the timeskip between Kingdom Hearts and KHII. More importantly, the story sheds some light on the origins of Namine, Organization XIII, and why the heck Sora, Donald and Goofy were encased inside of weird bubble capsules prior to the events of Kingdom Hearts II. If you only played the PlayStation 2 KH titles, KH Re:COM ties everything together in one nice big (if slightly convoluted) package.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

When Square Enix re-releases RPG games, they often tread a fine line between creating thoughtful remakes or hatred-inspiring rehashes. I'm happy to report that Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, a PS2 port of a GBA game, falls in the former category — it's a worthy addition to the much beloved franchise as well as a compelling choice for diehard fans as it sheds some much needed light on events from past entries in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Series noobs, however, might find themselves a little lost in the intricate plot that Kingdom Hearts has spawned thus far.

(Not) A Whole New World

At first glance, Chain of Memories looks a lot like the first Kingdom Hearts, but don't let its aesthetic overhaul fool you. One of the biggest differences between the two is the way the Disney-themed levels are mapped for Sora and company to explore. This time around, each stage is made up of a series of rooms connected through an overworld grid known as Castle Oblivion. The game's battles are still played out in real time as in past KH games but are treated with a card deck scheme, allowing you to choose separate cards for certain attacks and tactics, constantly switching out your cards in order to build the most effective deck for each encounter. Back-tracking through the Castle is also a cinch: defeated enemies don't respawn after their defeat, allowing you to take the time to level grind and explore secret rooms you may have missed the first time around.

Still, it's obvious that Chain of Memories didn't get as much polish as it could have. New cutscenes, while nice to look at, are sparse and mostly absent of voice acting, and the graphics aren't anywhere near the special effects madness that was present in Kingdom Hearts II. However, my biggest gripe with Chain of Memories was the frustrating lack of a coherent battle camera. Even though it can be manually adjusted with the analog stick, trying to do so while playing attention to hordes of Heartless and your card deck is a downright hassle. If Square Enix more or less fixed the rampant camera issues in Kingdom Hearts II, why couldn't they have spent some time programming those corrections into this release?

King of Hearts, Ace of Keyblades

Even so, the schizophrenic camera may be the least of your worries in Chain of Memories. Even on the easiest difficulty, this game offers a good challenge. At the other end of the scale, it's one the hardest action RPGs you'll ever play. Enemies will often appear in groups, and dodging in real time while choosing the right counter cards takes a fair bit of concentration. Personally, I feel like it's a HUGE step up from the lazy "hit the X button, rinse, repeat" combat of the original Kingdom Hearts. Building decks gets very addictive early on in the game, and with so many cards to collect there was a part of me that wanted to repeat certain areas just for the loot.

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. There's hours of gameplay in this title (even after beating it once) and the challenge alone should keep things interesting for both hardcore and casual gamers alike. With the series third instalment still a ways off and 2006's sequel a fleeting memory, Chain of Memories may be just what ailing Kingdom Heart addicts need to tide them over until the next release.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?