Review by Mr. RPG
"I dedicate my left nut to the Devil, my right to God and the shaft to Voltron."
When I first heard about this game last year I thought the idea was very cool, but that it was going to basically be Final Fantasy with Disney characters in it. It turned out I was half right. While the story can be compared to many FF games, the game play is far from it because it turned out this one was going to be an Action/RPG.
Gameplay:7 As I said in the above, Kingdom Hearts is an Action/RPG. In it you will have 3 people with you most of the time, but you only have control of Sora, the main character. Which I think is unfortunate, because it would of been kind of cool if 3 different people could control them. Instead you can just choose how frequently they will do different attacks.
But I can understand why they didn’t do it with the games spastic Camera,which is one of the games biggest problems.
The Battles are done all in real time with you jumping around attacking the enemies and casting various spells. The battles can actually be pretty enjoyable, but there are a few problems that keep it form being perfect.
The first is the Camera as I mentioned before. It can be a real pain during some battles. When you’re in a wide open area it’s usually fine, but when in close quarters it can be a total pain to adjust. Sometimes it can really detract from the gameplay.
And second is the menu system during battles. As I said before in battles EVERYTHING is done in real time. That includes you having to sort through menus trying to find the item you want to use or spell you want to cast. You can assign a few spells to hot keys, so spells aren’t that big of a deal, but it would’ve been nice if you could have more than 3. It’s the item menus that are the main problem here. Most of the time when I lost a battle, it was because I couldn’t find the item I wanted quick enough, which is really frustrating.
And then the last thing is the Gummi Ship which you use to go from one world to another and kind of reminds me of Iridion 3D, only better. Though I will say that this wasn’t near as bad as I thought it would be from the reviews I read. It’s not piloting the thing that bothers me, it’s putting one of those suckers together. It took me well over an hour to figure out how you did so even though the game tries to explain it to you.
It’s all of these things that make this game unnecessarily difficult, and definitely too hard to have an everyone rating on it. I can just imagine little kids asking their parents to buy this game for them, then complaining to them that it’s not any fun because it's too hard.
The coolest thing about this game is that you get to visit a bunch of different worlds from Disney movies. Like Atlantica from The Little Mermaid, or Halloween Town from the Nightmare Before Christmas (Which is my personal favorite place in the game.) Or even the 100 Acre Woods from Winnie the Pooh.
Aside from having Goofy & Donald with you all the time, you’ll also get other people to join you when you go to other worlds. Such as Tarzan or Jack Skellington. My only problem is that you can’t use any of these characters outside of their own world. Of course the game does give a good reason for it.
Besides the main quest you will have a few optional quests Such as searching for the missing 99 of the 101 Dalmatians or finding missing pages to a book.
Just like in most previous FF games there are some optional bosses which can be a real pain to beat. Some of which weren’t in the Japanese version. There are 4 and I couldn’t beat the last one which is a famous FF character, but I wont say who.
Another cool thing about this game is that Square has actually brought in a fair amount of characters from FF games and they all somehow managed to fit them into the story. My only gripe is that I wish they had some non FF Square characters in it. Not that it hurts the score or anything, it just would've made it cooler.
When it comes to length this game took me close to 50 hours to finish, but that was because I was trying to do everything and because I play games at a slower pace than most people do.
Story:10 The story starts out with our hero Sora on Destiny Island along with his two friends Riku & Kairi who are planning on making a Raft so that they can leave the Island and visit other worlds.
On the day that they are going to leave, strange beings known as the Heartless attack the Island. Sora fights them off with a weapon he finds,(The Key blade.) but is not able to save the Island from being take over.
After this our hero is then transported to Traverse town where he eventually runs into Donald & Goofy and teams up with them in hopes of finding his lost friends. From then on you will visit one Disney world after another where in most of them, you are actually squeezed into the plot of whatever movie that world is from with the added threat of the Heartless. I never even liked the movie Tarzan, but this game gave me a whole new respect for it.
Plus no one can deny that it’s cool to fight alongside Disney characters like Jack Skellington and “The Beast” or that fighting against classic Disney villains like Maleficent is just plain awesome.
You should also keep in mind that the story is actually kind of dark and might be a bit over the head of it’s target audience. I mean it feels a whole lot more like a Final Fantasy game than A Disney movie as some might expect it to.
Graphics: 8 Although I do feel that the graphics do a good job of representing all of the games worlds, I also felt that sometimes in certain areas they didn’t look as good as the rest of game. As for the character design, that I have no problem with. You can recognize all of the familiar Disney characters, and it is easy to tell that Sora is a Square and not a Disney character.
Sound:10 I find it amazing at just how many different tunes there are in this game. Not only is there a different tune for every world, but every world also has a different battle tune and I can’t think of one tune that I honestly didn’t like. Some of my favorites are both the normal and battle musics in Hollow Bastion and Halloween Town.
And then there’s the voice acting which is also done very well. Probably the best I’ve heard in a video game. Which is mainly due to the fact that they actually got real actors to do the voices.
And all of the Disney characters that speak out loud are voiced by the original actors, which is good since it just wouldn’t of felt right having them sound different.
Difficulty:10 As I stated in gameplay, this game is way harder than it should be due to the games annoying Camera & the Menu system during battles. And because of this, the game will be more for older people than for little kids and that does kind of suck, because I think this is game that gamers of all ages should at least give a try.
Replay Value:8 The game may not give much of a reason to play through it again, but I think it’s well worth playing through again just for the excellent story and sweet soundtrack.
Rent or buy: If you are either a fan of Square games or a fan of Disney movies, I recommend that you buy this game. But if you’re aren’t either then I suggest you rent it first to at least give it a try.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/03/02, Updated 01/16/04
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