Review by Hikusu
"Key to the Games"
The game itself is good, beginning with the opening theme song. You are quickly emitted into a semi-world of Final Fantasy. In the beginning you enter a world made up entirely of glass and towers. It's all pretty neat, aside from the most famous of the Disney princesses being the center piece of all the stained glass. (Snow White also shares with the seven dwarves, whose faces appear encircling her, as the apple rests in her hand.)
It was a bit disappointing to have Sora wake up only to find that this world of glass and darkness was only a dream. In a way, you wished it were a real place (though some may argue and say that it is truly the place behind the door at the end of the game after you beat the final boss).
From there you are at Destiny Island, with Riku, and Kairi, before you are swept away to Traverse Town, an energetic town of refugees. It is from this world that you go out on your journey to the other worlds (oddly enough, you'll often find yourself right back at Traverse Town for some errand, so I suppose you could call it the jumping off point of the game, while the part before that is a long drawn out explanation of how to do things, and a long intro to the game itself).
For me, the plot was rather decent, although I wasn't too entirely impressed with using Disney worlds and characters as a background. It made the game seem more kiddish than it actually needed to be (mostly when you ventured into the world of Whinnie the Pooh). The entire game is centered around the heart, which is good and all, but after about the fourth time Sora reminds that the heart is good and consists of light, you're wanting to side with Riku and his "gang of badies", also consisting of very famous Disney villains. That also took away some of the threat. The only real villains you have fun fearing are Ansem, Riku, and (if you manage to get far enough) Sepheroth (Who makes a surprise appearance).
Donald and Goofy also got on my nerves through out the game. You are always thinking of the two as their main appearances from the old Disney shows of Mickey Mouse and friends, and expect innocent characters. You end up getting what you want (much to a letdown). The two aren't all that entertaining, and (somewhat) take away from the suspension of the plot. They make it seem much more innocent with their presence, and you don't feel as much tension as there normally would be if you had put the same situation without the Disney characters.
I like the idea of taking characters from past Final Fantasy's, such as Leon, Yuffie, Aerith, Tidus, Wakka, etc. If I had it my way you'd have all Final Fantasy and no Disney (Though, I understand that some people like the Disney characters and their place in the story, not to mention the idea is rather appealing if you are looking for a childhood memory-come-back).
Game play is fun. I can't think of another word, but fun. Fun fun. I like the idea of fighting with a key, rather than a sword or a staff like you might have in almost every other sword game. Each key has a rather unique look about it, mainly contributing the world it came from.
Each world has a key (Olympus has two, if I'm not mistaken, and Traverse Town has three. Wonderland has the Lady Luck key, hidden about it. If you wanna know where, go take a look at the Kingdom Heart walkthroughs, if you already know, then good for you). I also like that idea. Each key also has it's certain traits. Such as Spellbinder (Of course, it is special in mp) or Ultima Key (Which, I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure it's just an all around key that kicks booty).
Spells. Spells....Okay, spells. I pretty much never use spells, unless I have to get an item using it. (Which you will if you try for the Ultima Key). The only ones I find myself ever using are Cure, Cura, Curaga, and the Aero's. Those are the only ones, really, of any use.
The combos aren't always so great at first, but once you get up to the larger ones (aka Arcs Acreum, Trinity, etc.) it gets really really fun. Trinity is one Sora can do all by himself, but it steals Donald and Goofy's MP. It can take away (depending on what boss and what level you're at) half of the bar on your scan. That comes in handy when you're fighting final boss.
The camera got annoying. Most games I play you use the right analog stick; here you use R2 and L2, and that, for me, got really really annoying after a while. (That's all I have to say on that.)
Sora's relative commands aren't so bad, like jump, and attack, and magic, but it's stuff like dodge roll and guard that take some getting used to. It's not really that bad once you get a good firm grip on them.
I liked being able to run around and hit things, and being able to dodge, and not hoping I won't get hit. That was a lot of fun to me. I hate to just stand there and give orders! I want to run around and slash at all the heartless I can reach!!!! That is one thing they gave me that I am in love with! Running around and slashing!!
Gummi ships are awful. Don't even mess with them! They're hard to handle, and half the ships you earn won't work, so don't even mess with it. (It won't matter anyway once you get the warp gummi and you can warp from place to place whenever you want.) And what's with Chip and Dale? Chipmunks can NOT build ships! They're too short!! Too small!!! Too little!!!
The soundtracks that go to the Disney worlds aren't so great, but to the places like in the beginning, or the opening theme song, or the World's End are really cool! Although, they're a lot like what you'd hear off of Final Fantasy. Still, they are very good (just not the Disney world soundtracks).
A very corny portion, but I feel worth mentioning. The Disney voices are to be expected, but the Final Fantasy characters, along with Riku, Sora, and Kairi are ones that you may not know (if you've never played the game.) Over all the voices fit the characters very well, as a matter of fact, considering how some games have the worst casting for voice actors, this one did very well. Riku's voice, I feel, fits to the best possible way, as does Sora's. Kairi's I would have wanted to be a little more mature, but beggars can't be choosers. Otherwise, the voices are great!
For the most part, the graphics were to be expected. They were just as well as Final Fantasy X was, maybe a little more detailed, but somewhere at that line. When there were major scenes, like the opening song, and the ending, those were obviously the places were most detail was put, and the most work.
The characters were built to expectations, I think. The Disney characters were made just as they are in their own stories, and the new made up characters (Sora, Riku, Kairi, and Ansem) were also done extremely well.
The animation for the cut scenes were good. The expressions on the characters faces were easy to read, and well done, even if the mouth missed a few movements (But what can you do? It's almost near impossible to fit words to the mouth in an RPG).
I give Kingdom Hearts a good solid 8/10.
The only things bringing down in the end is the gummi ship, and the drawn out wait of getting to something really really good! (Of course, that last part is just an opinion. It doesn't get good to me until you reach Monstro. It doesn't affect the rating I gave though.) And...No mainly the Gummies. The only other part is the script when Sora begins to talk about light in the heart (it gets a bit sappy in those parts). Oh, and the worlds aren't very big. The biggest one I think is Hollow Bastion, or World's End. Thos are pretty large, if you know where to go.
Well, that is all I have to tell. 8/10 is still a B, and it would be an A if it weren't for the gummies (I know I rag on that a lot, but really, it earned it.)
I hope this review was more of an eye-opener than a snore, also more of a review than a spoiler.
Thank you for viewing.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 02/21/06
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