Review by KeyBlade999
"The start of an excellent series"
A popular game series, Final Fantasy, has mixed with Disney, popular kids stuff. Bad combination, right? WRONG! The two mixed to become one the greatest RPG series of all time. In 2002, the original, Kingdom Hearts, was released. Later, its sequel, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, was released for the Game Boy Advance. It was later remade for the PlayStation 2 as Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories. A while later, Kingdom Hearts II was released, also for the PlayStation 2. Then it seemingly stopped... Then, in late 2008, we got Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, which was released for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite, and Nintendo DSi. And now, recently, Japan got a game I hope is great: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, which was released January 2010 for the PSP. All of these are excellent games, which make one excellent series. They have all have become my favorites, but this was the first I got. Back then, I played absolutely nothing else, not even the great Final Fantasy VII for the original PlayStation. Not even that. Not even the equally great Final Fantasy X. That was for the PlayStation 2. Yes, not even that game. Yes, Kingdom Hearts is that good and more. Back then, Kingdom Hearts was worth $30. After a few years, I thought it should've been worth $1,000. Yeah, back then, I didn't have many good games. I do now, but this still will be one those on the top of my list.
Kingdom Hearts is similar to other Final Fantasy games. This is still a RPG. The graphics remind me of Final fantasy X, a game released not long prior. An RPG, as you well know, means you go on some quest to usually save something, maybe a town, maybe a planet. These types of games are usually characterized by a level up system that allows flexibility and the ability to power up. Kingdom Hearts is no different. The level up system is still just as before, and just slightly exploitable with your action that seems to have no effect on the game. I won't tell you this event, though. So, back to the subject. This level up system is one that allows flexibility by not forcing you to fight very many battles. This allows you to choose whether you want to end at level 20 or level 100, you see?
Kingdom Hearts's combat system is real time. A real time battle system is like you playing football. You can take a break, but the football game will continue. Or, say you are starting a fire. You can take a break from the fire, but it won't stop. The same exact concept is in this game. That is what makes Kingdom Hearts challenging. You have to be fast and nimble with your fingers to play this like a master and beat every extra boss. To remedy the fact that it can take a while to change a command, a shortcut menu was incorporated. This was also incorporated into every future sequel, except Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which made that game TOO challenging. However, the enemies are put to a level at which that the game won't kill you just because you want to choose a different command. This allows some challenges, but not too many or too difficult to take the fun out of playing.
The story in Kingdom Hearts is easy to understand, as no previous game is needed to be played. You are simply taken from home and sent into a town where friends are met, then you go on a quest. A massive quest that ends up saving many lives. The quest then continued in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. Then, once you have played those games, you have been introduced to someone whose past in shown in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The story is somewhat similar to most Final Fantasy video games, but softened with Disney elements.
The game has excellent graphics. If you have played Final Fantasy X, you'll know what I mean. There is excellent detail. The game has some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a PlayStation 2 game. The enemies are vibrant and colorful, as are the characters and the environments. You can zoom in on any object and see excellent detail in it. The enemies are cool-looking as well as tough, especially those Disney and Final Fantasy characters, including Cloud Strife and Sephiroth. There is no jumpiness or jerky movements. The characters and enemies have movements that flow like quicksilver. The graphics are even better than those I saw in Final Fantasy X.
Kingdom Hearts has nice music. Following the tradition of previous Final Fantasies, the music will change from area to area and situation to situation. Kingdom Hearts's music has excellent composition and is great for a PlayStation 2 game. This music is decent, but obviously cannot be danced to. Very few games have music that can be danced to. But, nevertheless, I like it. Whoever did write and compose the music did a great job. The music will fit the theme of whatever or where ever something happens. Up-tempo music plays during battle. Music is calm outside of battle. And the music at the start is also awesome. As a young kid, I'd reset my PlayStation 2 just to listen to it again and again.
Kingdom Hearts, being fairly straightforward, doesn't take long to finish. It will take 20 ~ 40 hours to finish the final boss. However, there are a few sidequests and random extra things that you can do that can add many hours to gameplay. A main one is one that involves the highest power and highest HP boss in the game. That alone is very long and hard, but fun. The game, in general, is worth replaying many times. It isn't exactly fresh or as fun as the first time, but, believe me, it is still very fun to play.
Kingdom Hearts is a decent gift, as are the games in the series. Kingdom Hearts worth a lot to me, and will be to you as well. If you don't get it as a gift, and you probably won't as I haven't seen many recently, you might be able to buy Kingdom Hearts at local retailers such as GameStop for about $15 ~ $25. It will be worth it entirely. In fact, in a year, it was worth to me ten times more than at the time I bought it. Being released eight years ago, it will be cheap. Kingdom Hearts shouldn't be. Maybe the demand for it has gone down, but why? Yes, people have moved on. You, the reader, are one of those hardy ones who didn't and are looking for an excellent game. Well, Kingdom Hearts, and the rest of the Kingdom Hearts series, is the game you are looking for. You should buy Kingdom Hearts, not rent, as it is a waste of money. You will want it, so don't waste the cash. Believe me, you will want Kingdom Hearts a lot. I don't care if you do hate the old games, you will probably end up buying Kingdom Hearts. No need to be embarrassed, it is great.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/22/10
Game Release: Kingdom Hearts (US, 09/16/02)
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