I posted this on the PS3 boards, but got modded for off-topic, so I'll ask it here. Do I need to play COM to get KH2's story or will the story make sense in time? Thanks in advance.
A lot of new characters are introduced in CoM and it may be hard to see how they tie in if you jump to KH2. Quickest and cheapest way to remedy that is to look at the game script guide for CoM, and just read the begining of each chapter (the dialogue while you're in each chapter is unimportant, at least in my opinion).
If you don't, than a lot of things won't make sense. I played KH2 before reading the CoM script, and in hindsight I probably should've done it the other way around. You still have a decent understanding of what's going on without it (I think), but it's definitely a plus.
Minor correction: That link is to the Game Script guide for KH-ReCOM. KH-COM has a Game Script guide posted as well. They are not identical.
Yes, I'd agree. You won't get the full flavor of KH2 without playing COM or ReCOM first. SE advertised COM wouldn't be required, but then they start out showing FMVs from that game, and dig in from there. (In other words, in the end if wasn't the whole truth.)
Some players will tell you it was no water off their backs, of course, if you want an excuse to skip it. Don't recommend it, but what the hey. There's also a synopsis on Wikipedia.org, though it too doesn't carry the same weight as playing the game itself.
For those and loads more opinions on skipping the Chain of Memories story, whichever release is available to you:
BTW, the PS3 board is for discussing hardware issues. It's pretty commonplace for game-specific questions to get modded there or on its Answers page unless it's definitely a PS3 hardware issue. (No karma loss mod IIRC, if you admit guilt, anyway; me, I'll take the karma loss first.) Same is true with any of the hardware boards.
Guides and other contributions: http://www.esque.com/slr/gamefaqs/ FFX, FFXII, KH, KH Re:CoM, KH2, Okage: Shadow King, Secret Agent Clank