Review by losszoul
"The first Kingdom Hearts I know, and...."
My game-freak pal sure knows a lot of games, that he also told me about Kingdom Hearts a while ago. I'm not aware of this series at all, so I decided to look around the net for some screenshots. At first I was rather skeptical about this game's quality since it features Disney's cartoon mascots (since I haven't ever heard about this series at all, I didn't know Disney was behind this), but my curiosity took me over and I decided to try the game.
The story starts with a 3d cinema showing the hero, Sora, together with Goofy and Donald, being intercepted by a mysterious figure, and then whisked into a place named Castle Oblivion. There, they start their quest through the castle, a quest very related to memories.
The main plot doesn't really stand out, and gets overshadowed by the side plots, since this game features Disney stories as well. And the characters are pretty much what you can expect from such characters from Disney. Unfortunately though, aside from those good guys and bad guys, very few mercenaries are tossed in, but still, that's not a big problem.
The play control is quite good, but the game system is the main worry here. This game has a minor survival element tossed in, and that survival element is your weaponry. Sora can equip a set of cards, each being a one use weapon. What's bad about this is that the cards will dissapear upon use, or in other word, you have to make sure every hit counts, which gets frustrating. Couple that with a semi complicated battle calculations, and the battles will get frustrating after a while.
That's not the only problem though. This game is an action RPG, which means you can obtain new weapons, exp points, currencies etc. What's terrible is that to obtain everything, you have to grab them, even experience points! And what's more, those things to grab are alive; they bounce around trying to literally avoid you. This can get very aggravating during a battle, when you desperately need to level up but the enemies won't let you get the exp points. Bleh...
Still, this game is interesting gameplay-wise in one way: You get to determine your course of adventure. You can summon shopkeepers when you need them (and when you have what is required to cal them), you can start in the hardest or easiest dungeon first etc. This adds up to the replayability.
The rather frustrating gameplay makes this already hard game even harder, so leave it to the experts.
This game is pretty much decent in visual department. Fine backgrounds, fine animations. Nothing very extraordinary.
Ah, the music. This game has nice BGMs to start with, and good sound effects to back it up. Problem is, the voice acting sounds corny every now and then. How unfortunate.
Replay Value: 9/10
Since you get to choose you course of adventure, you'll find that you can make the dungeons as you wish it to be. Plus, you can choose which dungeon to tackle first, and which one to deal with last. Great.
For being the first Kingdom Hearts I play, this surely isn't disappointing, though this game is one of those games which stands in the border of being unplayable and great, so whether or not to take this game is your call.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/30/04
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