Review by Deviljin3

"Square has managed to capture the magic of Disney and Square all in one game."

Kingdom Hearts is a joint production between Squaresoft and Disney Interactive. What Square and Disney together? Yes it's true. The game focuses on Sora the main character who embarks on an epic journey to find his best friends Riku and Kairi. Despite its flaws Square has managed to capture the magic of Square and Disney and bring out the best of both worlds.

Gameplay 9:
Kingdom Hearts does not play like a Final Fantasy game as you would expect. The game plays very similar to The Legend Of Zelda. The combat takes place in real time and is not turn based. There are many gameplay elements that help Sora in his quest. There are two other primary characters that fight along side with you. They are Donald Duck and Goofy. Their A. I. is pretty impressive as well. There is also a lock-on feature that has Sora lock on the enemy so the attack is guaranteed to land a successful strike. They heal when needed and are prominent attackers. There are magic spells that Sora casts as well as Summoning spells and special abilities and combos. There are also moves that involve all three of your characters called trinity moves. There various types of trinity moves that are unlockable as the game progresses. The game basically flows in the way of travelling through the various Disney worlds and discovering secrets behind what plague the worlds and these mysterious beings called the ''Heartless.'' The game does not suffer from linearity like Final Fantasy X suffered from. It offers free will and travels to many different worlds.

gameplay overall:
+ magic, abilities nearly everything's intact
+ Explore many different Disney worlds
- when you use an item or cast a spell, the screen does not pause leaving you extremely open to enemy attacks

Controls 7:
Kingdom Hearts controls take a little getting used to. The most gripe that comes from this game is the really terrible camera angle. The camera always focuses on Sora and nothing else. If you lose sight of the enemy activasting lock-on will help you see the enemy. It will also take a little time to battle and than use that little sub-menu from your lower left. basically every button on your PS2 controller has a function. Some of the buttons though do have the same function.

controls overall
+ controls dead on
- takes time getting used to
- really wacky cameras sometimes make you dizzy
- the flaws take time getting used to

Sound 10:
The sound is just plain amazing. The voice actors are dead on and the background music isn't to shabby either. There's not that much to complain about in the sound factor.

Sound overall
+ original Disney voices return
+ cast comprised of some of Hollywoods biggest stars
+top-notch voice acting

Visuals 9:
Kingdom Hearts' visuals seemed slightly toned-down from Final Fantasy X. That's mostly because the characters take on the very unique ''Disney-Like'' style in other words very cartoony. The game runs at 30fps, but don't let that fool you it is a very fast paced game especially when it comes to fighting your enemies. There's still Jaggies apparent but they won't be noticed if you don't purposely look for them. All in all Kingdom Hearts packs a visual punch.

graphics overall
+good looking game
+Disney characters look right on
-a step down from FFX

Longevity 10:
There's plenty to do in the game. It's about 30hrs long and that's without doing the side-quests with them I'd say you're looking at 40-50hrs. There's also various difficulty levels! Expert mode is pretty extreme. Other than that there's not much else besides some hidden optional bosses.

Rent/Buy?
It depends. just so you know, THE GAME IS FAR FROM ''KIDDY''
the difficulty in this game is pretty hard. It may look kiddy on the surface, but I guarantee you it is a much deeper game. If you really can't stand the cutesy Disney characters I'd say a rent. But if you're a fan of adventure/rpg's. and don't mind the Disney elements Kingdom Hearts is definitely a shot you should take.

Conclusion:
Kingdom Hearts delivers a great experience for a fan of adventure/rpg's. The game looks good. plays good. Despite its flaws it is very playable. It will just take some time getting used to the controls and the camera angles. Overall
Kingdom Hearts is a game that captures the magical spirit and imagination of both the Square and Disney worlds that we grew to love.

''Square has managed to capture the magic of Disney and Square all in one game!''

Overall 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/22/02, Updated 09/22/02


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