Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories

Common Sense Media says

Engaging RPG remake with charming Disney characters.

Age(i)

2
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8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Everyone works together in a group to move the story toward its completion. Some characters are on the dark side, but they're never creepy.

Violence

It's fantasy violence so you won't see blood. You can use magic or a sword to defeat your enemies, but even the blade that's used doesn't look like a sword. It looks like an old-fashioned skeleton key. Defeated enemies disappear in a cloud of smoke.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of a series of Kingdom Hearts video games which promote many branded Disney characters (including Donald and Goofy), as well characters from the Final Fantasy series of video games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while there is constant fighting, it's of the cartoon variety. There's never any blood, just action. While the game is full of classic Disney characters, the story is can be dark. Goofy and Donald seem more like maturing teens than kiddie characters. The game also features characters from the Final Fantasy series of video games.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Kingdom Hearts series of games is a strange one that combines Square-Enix's crew of Final Fantasy characters with many of Disney's most well known cartoon personalities, everyone from Donald Duck to Simba from The Lion King. In KINGDOM HEARTS RE: CHAIN OF MEMORIES, this remake of a Gameboy Advance offering sees young warrior Sora exploring a large and mysterious castle where friendship can be regained and memories just may not be what they seem. Joining Sora for this role-playing journey are Goofy, Donald, and Jiminy Cricket.

You'll spend the better part of an hour learning how to play Chains of Memories. Running, dodging, and jumping are simple touches of the controller. But you'll collect cards with various powers along the way, too. Wielding the proper cards in the magical deck that allows you to win in battle takes serious strategy. You can cheat this a bit to regain your card powers by pressing up on the D-pad and the 'X' button at the same time. As the story unfolds with pretty video cutscenes, you'll battle bosses and discover places in which to save your game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you don't think a PlayStation 2 remake of a Gameboy Advance game is worth your time, think again. Not only is there charm to this story, there are so many characters that the twists and turns never seem to end. While the graphics still have some jaggies, they have been redone to the extent that you'll never think this once was a handheld game for an outdated Nintendo system.

Yet there are challenges for the player. Many of the minor battles done in an effort to level up your character are repetitive and, therefore, border on being boring. (The boss battles, however, are generally compelling.) Although voiceover work is done by actors Haley Joel Osmont and David Gallagher, there's not enough of it. Most of the time, you'll be reading lines of text and seeing characters silently mime words. In this day and age, that's fine for a handheld game. But it's lazy and inexcusable for a console game, even when it's a last generation model like the PS2. Still, the joy of exploring various lands, especially the Nightmare Before Christmas environment, can't be denied. Whatever the flaws, you just keep coming back for more.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to live with Disney characters who could cast spells. What spell would you cast to help protect your family? Knowing the more mature personalities of the Disney characters in Chain of Memories, which one would you choose to be and why? Or would you rather be one of the Final Fantasy characters featured in the game? Why?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 2
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Square Enix
Release date:December 2, 2008
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fanasy Violence (PlayStation 2)

This review of Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bysenxakaxv July 24, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

definitely worth playing.

Like the other Kingdom Hearts games, Chain of Memories has an intricate, deep plotline, excellent graphics, and good characters. Sora and his friends are positive, determined people; in short, good role models. There is fantasy violence in the playing part of the game, and some violence in cutscenes- a character throws an unconscious character to the ground, and hits another character across the face, throwing her to the ground. Another character holds a weapon threateningly to a character's throat (the Marluxia-Namine thing near the end, for those wondering). All in all, a very good game. Worth playing.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old August 4, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Not the best Kingdom Hearts game, but nothing of concern.

This game is key to understanding the story line, but the battle system is difficult and annoying. Me and my family are Jehovah's Witnesses so we're very cautious about video games and we have found nothing of concern. I can tell you one thing, your child will ether learn patience... Or smash their controller against the TV. It might just be best to watch a walkthrough on youtube if you want to understand the story.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old May 30, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

THANK GOODNESS IT CAME TO AMERICA!

This game is like the bridge between the 1st and 2nd games, it tells what happened and answers some questions such as "Why is Sora in the egg thing in KH2?" and "Where's the other half of the Organization?". It also has a difficult battle system. I love it!

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