Review by KingContributor

"Kingdom Hearts, an outstanding RPG that is heartless at times."

A lot of people have fond memories of growing up with the Walt Disney movies. You have Micky Mouse, Aladdin, Toy Story, Tarzan, and a whole bunch of other great titles. Now, imagine if a bunch of classic Disney movies were thrown together, and you got to fight alongside your favorite Disney characters. Well, that's basically what this game is.

Story
You take the role of a young boy named Sora. Far away, a lone island sits on the ocean. This boy, Sora, and his friends Riku and Kairi wish to go see other worlds. After constructing a raft that will take them from the island, it is attacked by dark creatures called the Heartless. Sora is then separated from his friends, and all the worlds are linked together. An evil witch, Maleficent, needs seven princesses to open the lock that leads to Kingdom Hearts, where she is hoping to find the true power of darkness. Sora, along with several other Disney characters must defeat the Heartless and stop their evil plot. This story is done rather nicely, and it makes for a satisfying RPG.

9/10

Controls
Control mechanics aren't that special. Controlling Sora isn't too difficult, and it's not hard at all. You have the X Button to attack, Circle jumps, and Triangle uses a power that Sora learns. However, the battle controls are severely bad. The major problem with the mechanics of battling is the camera. If you are not directly locked onto an enemy and run to dodge an attack, the camera will shift behind you and block the enemy. This isn't good because you can't see what is going on behind you. Another annoyance is that this causes you to continuously use the R2 and L2 buttons to spin the camera. This is the part that's a pain. Other than that, the controls are simple, but you have a lot to remember with button maneuvers and special powers.

7/10

Graphics
Kingdom Hearts' graphics are phenomonal and greatly compare to that of a Final Fantasy title. The worlds are nicely designed and capture the environments that are displayed in the Disney movies. You feel like you are actually in the movie. For example, Atlantica. The environment was so perfect that I felt like I was watching the movie. Also, the enemies and boss battles were amazing. Each battle had cool effects and epicness. The battles were fun to play through because they were done so well. I really don't have a gripe about the graphics. Each graphic was well suited for its environment.

10/10

Music
Another place where Kingdom Hearts shines. The music is incredible, contains some great classics, and it never gets old. Each world has it's own piece of music that is memorable and enjoyable. Trust me, you don't want to play through a level with crappy music because that takes away from the game's fun.

10/10

Content
This is where Kingdom Hearts really shines. It is packed with content and makes a nice, long RPG. You play through different worlds, fighting alongside other Disney characters. Sometimes, you have to revisit the worlds to perform sidequests and tasks to get new items/abilities. Kingdom Hearts is your standard RPG. You whack the crap out of a few enemies, gain some experience, and level up. Leveling up is very important in Kingdom Hearts, as is your equipment. All you really have to do, is play through each world, help the Disney characters in trouble, and defeat some cool and familiar bosses.

While Kingdom Hearts is spectacular, there were a few errors that really took away from the fun for me. First of all, cutscenes. Sure, you want to get the story and everything, but you can't skip them. I was fighting the final boss and died like five times, so I had to keep watching the same cutscene over and over and over again. That takes away from the fun because it got so bad, I was able to memorize what they were saying. It gets annoying after awhile.

Another thing is, the difficulty. I'm not here to whine about how hard the game was because I love challenging games, but I don't like ridiculously cheap so that you have to keep doing stuff over and over again. That's one of the things that makes me mad. This game can be so heartless {no pun intended} and cruel sometimes with the difficulty. You have enemies pounding into you without mercy. You can cure and heal all you want, but sometimes you aren't fast enough to cure your HP. That being said, I like how this game is actually difficult. Overall, Kingdom Hearts is above average.

8/10

Replay Value
This game is packed with replay value. You have a 30 hour quest + another 5-10 hours to complete sidquests in the game. Basically, you are looking at a 40 hour + game which is a great amount of time, especially for an RPG. Trust me, you have plenty to do. On a first playthrough, using no help from an FAQ, it may take more than 30 hours. All in all, very high replay value. Also, this is a game that you will want to play over again because it's so great.

9/10

Fun Factor
The game is very fun to play, but the nit-picky errors take away from the fun factor to the point where you want to throw the paddle at the TV or break something. I got frustrated a lot because of some flaws, but hey, the game was fun simply put.

9/10

Rent or Buy?
Buy this game. It would be a mistake to rent this game because it is a great, fun game that should be added to your collection. When my friend first told me about this game, I was skeptical because I thought it would be "cute" like a Disney movie and a cartoon. Boy, was a wrong. This game is far from "cute" and should be given a chance. If you like the FF series, you will like this game. It probably wouldn't appeal to very young kids who want to play through because of the challenge. They might be dazzled by the Disney characters, but it isn't really good for kids who like to beat games. Still, little kids would probably like it.

Conclusion
Kingdom Hearts is an outstanding game, and it will appeal to both RPG and Disney fans. However, it does have it's flaws, so I'm going to give it an 8.8, which is a 9 due to GameFAQs' review system. Give this game a try because it is amazing, fun, and deep.

Recap
Story: 9/10
Controls: 7/10
Graphics: 10/10
Music: 10/10
Content: 8/10
Replay Value: 9/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
Overall: 8.8/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/07/08

Game Release: Kingdom Hearts (US, 09/16/02)


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