Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories linked to Dec. 2

Redux of publisher's Final Fantasy/Disney mash-up RPG first released on GBA in 2004 will arrive on the PS2 in North America later this year.

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In many cases, mashing together two popular brands is about as effective as shaking up a bottle full of oil and water. However, Disney and Square Enix hit pay dirt in 2002 with Kingdom Hearts, an action role-playing game designed by Tetsuya Nomura that weaves notable Final Fantasy characters into the Disney universe. Thus far, the property has yielded two well-received titles for the PlayStation 2, as well as Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance.

Keys are an underappreciated weapon in modern warfare.
Keys are an underappreciated weapon in modern warfare.

Last year, Square Enix released in Japan a director's cut of Kingdom Hearts II for the PS2 that also included a the card-battling Chain of Memories. Today, the publisher said that North American audiences will now also be able to experience that remake of the GBA title, announcing that Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories will be available for the PS2 on this side of the Pacific on December 2.

In Re: Chain of Memories, series protagonist Sora joins with Donald and Goofy as they investigate a mysterious castle. The game features a 3D graphical overhaul from its GBA inspiration, and Square Enix has also added four new minigame sequences that augment the main storyline. Kingdom Hearts mainstays David Gallagher and Haley Joel Osment will also lend their voices to the game.

Beyond Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, Square Enix has two portable installments in its best-selling action RPG franchise in the works. Later this year, the publisher plans to release Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for the PlayStation Portable in Japan, with the Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days on the Nintendo DS following in 2009.

For an idea of what to expect from Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, check out GameSpot's review of the GBA game.

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