Review by mystic4life

"Mind going back into your childhood? If not, you got to give a try to this game"

Intro :
Who would have thought that a Disney & Square game would be that nice? Just when I start playing it, I was totally swallowed in the game, it was really great.

Gameplay
Kingdom Hearts' gameplay is practically unique in his genre, it's totally different from all the other games I know! There are things really original from that game, you have two difficulty mode at the beginning and if you die, you can load or revive at the place just before you died. Quite useful for hard bosses.

You're traveling in Disney worlds with a gummi ship. Well, as if meeting up with you favorite Disney characters wasn't fun enough, you also get involved into many different quests. Shows it isn't only fighting and switching worlds. This is hilarious because you're venturing familiar worlds which come from your childhood. Examples: Agrabah(Aladdin), Atlantica(Ariel),Halloween Town (Jack Skellington), and others.

When you complete a world, you are not only taking your ship and teleporting to the next world, you're flying in the space, shooting enemies, collecting items for your ship. You can also work on your gummi ship in your gummi garage, you can add cannons, change colors, creating a new gummi ship, etc. If you are getting tired of the time it takes you to go the place you want to go, you can choose the Warp Drive option to make you quickly teleport to the world you wanted to go. Yeah sure lot of people dislike this little feature, they say it's boring/annoying and everything. It's sort of fun at the beginning but later on you start to dislike it.

You're not totally invulnerable guy killing everyone in his path with a simple slash of his ultimate keyblade. You can choose from a large assets of useful spells such as thunder, blizzard, stop, aero to help you vanquishing the Heartless. Later in the game you'll be able to upgrade your magic(Thunder to Thundara and Thundara to Thundaga and so on) and also be able to summon Disney characters like Bambi, Simba and more. Something new about summoning is that if you're using an offensive summon, you are controlling it; you make him-her attack and move, an interesting aspect might I add.

In KH, you're able to use special abilities like swimming in Atlantica and flying around the Big Ben in Neverland was so fun!

When you get a level up, you can learn a new ability sometimes. There are tons of abilities you can learn such as being able to guard, to dodge, to glide, etc…

When you're fighting, it's really nice because you're controlling yourself in the battle; you move, jump and attack. like a real fight! In other words, if you like action rpgs, you'll definitely like it.

I must admit this game have a lot of side quests, I mean by that that there is lot of optional things you can do like collecting the 99 Dalmatians or whooping Cloud, Squall, Sephiroth and Tidus.

Story
Kingdom Hearts has a simplistic story. It sounds a little bit kiddy but you'll just like it if you don't mind light-hearted stories and going back into your childhood.

You are Sora, a 14 year old teenager who lives in ‘Destiny Islands', a paradisiacal island with your friends Riku and Kairi. A day, you both decided to explore the other worlds by making a raft. Suddenly, the day before you were going to leave with the raft, some Dark shadows came to your world and destroyed it. The Heartless have began their conquest of the universe. When you were trying to harm the Heartless, a light appeared from the sky and you obtain a keyblade.

A little bit before this incident, in another world, Donald and Goofy received a letter from King Mickey which told to search and ally with the key wielder.

Now you wake up in a strange place and an epic adventure begins!

Controls
The controls are really easy. You can quickly learn how to move objects, jump, examine, use special abilities, etc. I hope you are familiar with the analog because you'll be forced to use it for the whole game. If you're not, then it'll teach you how to use it!

The only nasty point is the camera view. Sometimes you will have trouble to control the camera when you're attacking since sometimes, the camera will auto-lock on an enemy even if you're about to attack another one, making you miss attacks. Damn, it's buggy! Maybe you will have the reflex to use your lock on command but it rarely make the view better…

Length
If you're not using a FAQ this game can take you between 40-60 hours to beat the game which is a lot considering other action games like Devil May cry. Also you can do lot of mini-quests that can take keep you busy for a while. I didn't even talk about the optional bosses, they need real strategy and sometimes take a few time to beat

Challenge
This game got some real challenge. When the game asks you what difficulty you want (normal or hard), don't think normal mean easy and hard normal, it's really what it means. Depending on some choices you made at the beginning of the game, the game will be harder or easier. You can have problems at the beginning of the game if you are not totally familiar with controls. The first bosses are really easy compared to the challenge waiting for you in other worlds. Don't be surprise if you die several times during the game. Finally, I hope you're ready for a hard game.

In this game, you need good strategies because this isn't as simple than it looks like. For you it's probably just a fight and you'll be using some abilities but you often need strategies. You'll probably realize that only rushing on monsters can't defeat them, you need to use certain tactics to damage your enemies.


Graphics
The graphics are simply beautiful. If you know the Disney characters, you'll realize it's totally the same in the game and in the movie. Other characters of square games are more detailed and practically perfect. The backgrounds are so beautiful in each world, it's like if you were in the movie.

In some games you can see that there is not a lot of details on the characters but this game have all the details that make a normal looking character to the nicest person ever. You couldn't even add other things, this game got all the details, and from the details you're getting nearer from the perfection.

If you just imagine the backgrounds with reality colours, you'll realize that it's the same as in the real life.

Sound & Music
I must say I was highly impressed by the cool sounds and I was totally enchanted by the music. In the game you'll notice that when you walk around in a world, the music is calm and peaceful, when you engage enemies, the music change and accelerate and when you are at a boss, the music is even more exciting and faster.

And the theme song…wow. That's the only thing I have to say. When you will finish the game, during the credits, you'll hear the most beautiful music ever with an enormous amount of expressions during all the music.

The sounds of all the actions including the miscellaneous ones sound like if we were in the real life, so realistic.
If you are enough good, you will certainly realize that there is some sounds from the final fantasy series at some moments. But that's not all, the sounds in a world correspond exactly to the sounds in the movie.

Replay Value
When I completed this game, I definitively wanted to do all the * mini quests * only for the heck of it. Normally I rarely start a new game just when I finish the game for first time but this game has a secret influence making you want to play it forever!!! Also if you do all the optional quests you can unlock a secret movie at the end. That's so cool!

The only thing that I found a little boring when you start another game after you finished it, it's that you always know what to do and where to go.

Fun
I just wonder if there is a mysterious power in the DVD which makes you play for hours and hours or something… I didn't want to stop playing; I was waking the morning, didn't even take my breakfast and I was pushing the switch to open the Ps2 to play Kingdom Hearts.
This game is a funny, although it is *kiddy * when you start playing it but it quickly addicts you for days. It's not only an RPG where all is taken seriously; it's sometimes really funny and makes me laugh.
I'm sure it will make you remember your childhood with Disney characters and their exciting adventures!

Rent or Buy? (worth the shot?) Buy

Don't hesitate a moment if you are the owner of a playstation 2 and if you got money, just buy it!!! Really I found the price low for that game, it really worth the shot! You will probably play it again in a while or simply when you will be older, I'm sure of it, except if you hated it but it would be surprising. Kingdom Hearts is not really expensive, I bought it 70$ (Canadian dollars). If you are not the owner of a Ps2, you really owe to get one!

Overall

Gameplay:10/10
Story:10/10
Controls:9.5/10
Lenght:10/10
Challenge:8/10
Graphics:10/10
Sounds & music: 10/10
Replay Value:9.5/10
Fun:10/10
Rent or Buy: 10/10

Total: 97/100 - 9.7/10

Final comment

Maybe you can think I'm the kind of immature guy from the fun I had playing this game described in this review but I'm not. If you let yourself go back into your childhood, you'll quickly get addicted to this game but if you don't, well you'll find this really bad and you would say it's only for kids of 7 and less.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/16/03, Updated 07/31/04


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