Chain of Memories is the first Kingdom Hearts game I've played. As a teenager I emulated many GBA games (they were just the right size to download with my slow internet at the time.) I got this Kingdom Hearts game without knowing anything about the franchise.
So I played the game with my brother and cousins with the five of us sitten around the small PC Monitor. We didn't know who is Sora and why he was in the castle in the first place. We skipped most of the dialogue because my cousins didn't want to wait me to translate (English isn't my first language but I could understand something at this level at the time.)
At first I loved the art and detail which was unusual for a GBA game. As we played I thought the idea of mixing Disney characters with others (Original and Final Fantasy ones,) was cool! I loved Disney and while I didn't understand why Donald and Goofy hanged out with this new kid, I never questioned it.
In the first world "Traverse Town" I thought Leon was cool! (Didn't care about Yuffie.) For reasons I don't remember, I knew Aerith was a character of Final Fantasy VII. (I'm sure I didn't play FFVII before, so probably I was just aware of the fact.)
I remember loving Aladdin world, and Olympus. The latter because Cloud was in it and he looks very intimidating with his KH attire.
The first time I played the game with my brother and cousins we didn't reach many worlds. We stopped playing in favor of other games which were easier to understand. (Let's face it, you need to play every Kingdom Hearts game to understand the story.) But the idea of continuing this game remained in my mind.
So after few years (now, finished Final Fantasy VII) I re-played Chain of Memories by myself. This time I understood the story better and found some appreciation of how they changed Disney stories to be related to the "memories" concept (I loved what they did with Alice world.)
I enjoyed fighting with Organization XIII members and became fan of Axel (I'm really glad he got promoted to a recurring character in the series.)
Even with this playthrough ended without me finishing the game. I got stuck in one boss (I think she was Maleficent,) and couldn't beat her no matter how many times I tried. I may needed to level up my character but for some reason I didn't go through with grinding and slowly forgot about the game.
It's been a long time since then, and I played every other Kingdom Hearts game (one way or another.) Now I have Re:Chain of Memories with other games sitting in my PS4 Disks shelf. Hopefully I'll make a complete playthrough sometime in the future.
What do you think?