"Kingdom Hearts.. Childish? No. Excellent? HELL YES!"

Kingdom Hearts for the Play Station 2. Quite possibly the best game ever made. Disney had a idea about merging the ideas and companies of themselves and Squaresoft. One of the best ideas of all time. At first, I thought about this game: I mean Disney? When’s the last time they have made a good game, even a game? There is just so many aspects of the game that are great and that I love. One of them, an amazing role for voice actors of several famous actors. Haley Joel Osment will play Sora, the main character. Mandy Moore, Lance Bass, Christy Romano, David Gallagher, Hayden Panettiere, and several others. Another of them, superb graphics that meet those of Final Fantasy X’s. Yeah, I bet you are thinking ''No way, it’s impossible''. Well, its not. And, after playing through Kingdom Hearts, it seems to that nothing is impossible.

Story: (10/10)

The story for Kingdom Hearts deserves a very high score because of its excellency. Kingdom Hearts is about a 14 year old boy named Sora. One day, a reckless storm destroyed his home, scarring his life. The storm separated Sora from his two best friends Riku and Kairi. It seemed that the effect of the storm had thrown the three friends into different worlds. In other worlds of Disney characters, there are other dreadful problems. At Disney Castle, King Mickey is missing and was apparently kidnapped. Donald and Goofy were sent to find him, and get him back. Back to Sora. As he was wandering around, searching for his friends, he stumbled into Goofy and Donald. They tell each other of their journeys and their puzzlement’s. They then figure out what might have happened to King Mickey. They learn about evil creatures named the Heartless. The Heartless are evil demons without hearts, known for making mischief. They are also responsible for the storm back at Sora’s home. As this is going on, the villains from the Disney movies, such as Hades from Hercules, Scar from The Lion King, and Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, team up to use The Heartless and its powers to kidnap all the princesses of The Heart, the opposite of the Heartless. The souls of the princesses are needed to do a mysterious and evil deed. Upon hearing this, the crews of Donald and Goofy know they have to team up with Sora to save Mickey. And Sora knows he also has to team up with them to get back his friends and get back home. And so their journey begins to stop the Heartless.

Gameplay: (10/10)

The Gameplay in this game is AMAZING. The game is a great Action/ RPG, and its amazing how it was made. The main substitution for experience is AP. You receive AP after a fight with an enemy. AP can be used to equip abilities. Good spells and abilities require a lot of AP. So, in conclusion, getting more AP will get you more abilities and magic. But you can’t have all the spells at one time. So there’s only a limited amount of spells per time. To use spells, in a battle, open up the shortcut menu and it will tell you what button to press for what spell. For instance, to use Cure, I would press Square. After a while of leveling up, you’ll have better spells so of course they will change. So, Kingdom Hearts has a very nice battle system! The main objective in this game, which was already explained in Story, is to go through the game to try to stop the Heartless, and through this all you control yourself and have two other companions. They aid you in battle manually, you can’t control them, but they still heal when needed or fight. Here is a brief summary on the three...

Sora

The hero of the game. As I explained earlier, his home was destroyed and he was separated from Riku and Kairi. Fights with an enlargened ''key like'' weapon, and can cast magic and summons. You control Sora, and in battle you run up the opponent and slash it, casts magic, or cast summons to aid you. Use magic like Fire and Blizzard. Cast summons, such as The Genie from Alladin, Mushu from Mulan, Bambi the deer from Bambi, and others. Mushu will use the spell ‘Flare’ to do heavy damage. Simba, from The Lion King, will help to defeat the foe whenever needed. Bambi, when summoned, will give Sora helpful items that will cure HP or have other effects. Genie will grant three wishes to anyone who finds him, so it better not fall upon the hands of evil! And Tinker Bell, from Peter Pan, will have various spells to aid Sora in various ways. You can also target enemies to aim at while you are attacking it with the helpful R1 button. And all this from only a 14 year old…

Donald

The Court Wizard of Disney Castle. Him and Goofy, which was already explained before, were assigned to figure out the mystery of the disappearance of King Mickey. Wields a wand and casts various offensive spells to help you in battle. Donald is not controlled manually, he is controlled automatically by the computer. Also heals if needed, and does some other support spells. Overall a very useful companion to Sora.

Goofy

The Captain of Royal Knights, back at the Disney Castle. Was assigned the journey to relocate King Mickey with Donald as his companion. Of course, as explained before, ran into Sora, having another one to aid them in their journey. Goofy wields a shield to help him and others destroy the Heartless. Can heal Sora when needed, and usually attacks with brutal force if help is needed. Goofy can also cast some offensive magic. Another good companion.

There are over 100 more characters, including various Disney characters from the movies. Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan, Hercules, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Chip and Dale, Peter Pan, and even Jack Skelington ALL make an appearance in this game. But it’s not just these characters, there’s SO much more. But that’s not even mentioning the various Final Fantasy characters that make a cameo in this game. You meet eight of the best Final Fantasy characters mostly all in Traverse Town. Squall makes a great appearance with my opinion of cooler graphics, and with an even cooler sword. Tidus makes an appearance, but seems much younger, about as old as Sora. Wakka is here, who also looks about as old as Sora. Selphie is in, with an appearance that makes her look like a twelve year old, that you meet jumping rope. Yuffie makes a surprising appearance working with Squall to also stop the Heartless. Cid and Moogle make a cameo as accessory shop workers with equal humor to their past games. And, to top it off, in my opinion the best appearance in the game: Cloud. His hair is as cool as ever, and his outfit includes a stealth like cloak and a glove with claws on the end. Making him even more impressive is his amazing sword, which towers in width and length. I wish he would have been made that cool in Final Fantasy VII.

Graphics (10/10)

Amazing graphics, easily surpassing those of Final Fantasy X’s. The animation runs very smoothly and the cinematic scenes are simply outstanding. All the towns you visit have very nicely drawn people, including nicely drawn backgrounds. Everything about the game has nice graphics. The Battle system, the Cinemas in particular, and the Backgrounds. Oh, the backgrounds are gorgeous. From The 100 Acre Woods to the oceans of the Little Mermaid to the statues of mythical gods of Hercules, the graphics are down right remarkable.

Sound (10/10)

The sounds and music in this game are just as rich as any music in ANY Final Fantasy game. It was done very well, Squaresoft has brewed up some very good tunes that are very catchy. Usually you would find yourself humming along to it after a minute or so of hearing the melody. To top off Squaresoft’s nice harmony, Disney has added in some of its own music. There is music to every movie of about half of every Disney character in this game. Heh, did that sound confusing, or what? There are no skips in the music, and they have a nice beat. To the other part of Sound, the voice actors. With superb voice actors like Haley Joel Osment, Mandy Moore, Lance Bass, David Gallagher and various other famous stars, how can the voices of the characters go wrong? Goof and Donald, as well as every other Disney character in this game, have their old voice actor from their previous movie, so every thing matches perfectly. Especially Goofy and Donald do nice voices, even in battle. Which brings up another point. The Battle sounds and Battle cries they make in fights are well done, and some even have some humor in it. Of course, Squaresoft is known for their great sound…

Hardness Factor (8.9/10)

Ooh, the weakest point in the game. Don’t worry though. This score is still pretty high. The hardness factor is set to that because of the length. The time of the game, without rushing or doing sidequests, is roughly near 40 hours. With sidequests, and training more makes it 55-60 hours in total. Now that’s not too shabby, but compared to other Final Fantasy games Squaresoft has made, mainly I am talking about Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, it looks as if Squaresoft went a tad bit easy on the length of this game. But don’t worry, this game is nearly flawless in other aspects.

Replay Value (9.8/10)

The replay value truly deserves a high score. With humor, gameplay, and great fun it pulls together for some insane replay value. Other points added for the replay value would be the various mini games. The mini games are great fun, and you can play through them again if you want as you are nearing the end of the game. The mini games included in the game are many ones at the 100 Acre Woods where the characters of Winnie the Pooh are located.

Overall (10/10)

Kingdom Hearts. For Play Station 2. How could they have made a better Action/ RPG? Combines all the perfect aspects of amazing graphics, gameplay, storyline, and replay value to add up and make this wonderful game. I greatly honor Squaresoft for making this wonderful game, and you should to. Just try it out, you will be simply amazed. It is, without a doubt, the best game I have ever played. It is also probably the closest game to being flawless that you can purchase. It’s coming to North America very soon. And I know you will want to get it soon…So do yourself a favor and reserve it, go there on first day, skip school, do WHATEVER you can to get this game.

Buy/Rent/Not? This is hands down, no questions asked, obviously a BUY. This game is worth the fifty dollars it will cost when it is released. Hell, I would have to say it is worth One hundred dollars. Possibly more. Yes, definitely more. Just go to your local Best Buy/ Toys R Us/ Electronics Boutique and spend the fifty dollars. It is worth it.

(Hercules, The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, Alladin, Mulan, Bambi, and Peter Pan are all trademarks of the Disney Company)


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/11/02, Updated 08/11/02


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