Review by Kingdom_Hearts2
"The best PS2 game ever."
The game Kingdom Hearts first came out in Japan in March 2002 but still didn't come to light until the American version was released in September of the same year.
In those 6 months that the American version took to be done, some other changes have been added to "relish" the gameplay by adding a few more bosses battles. However, if you are looking for the most refurbished version of Kingdom Hearts, you should check out the Japanese only version "Final Mix", which adds a lot more depth to the storyline with more detailed graphics, a longer and improved version of the secret trailer and a new optional mysterious boss fight that definitely link this game to many mysteries that will be answered in the sequel.
Gameplay - 10
This fabulous game is a completely revolutionary mixture of Adventure gameplay and RPG game style that makes Kingdom Hearts a one of a kind installment that offers dozens - and even hundreds, for die-hard fans like me - of fluid gameplay and intensive fights like in any amazing adventure game you may think of. But the drill is that you also have to rely on your level, techniques and abilities to get through this game, so the RPG part is not left behind by any means.
It's probably hard to say whether this game is either an adventure game with RPG inclinations or the other way round; but the result was sure a perfect one.
The best part is, of course, that you don't get to be dragged to a monotonous battle field that has nothing to do with the environment where you're running, but battle in the same place where you find the enemies - called Heartless - and have the choice of staying on the spot and battle or just ignore them and keep on your way through the game.
The storyline is simple but very interesting. Your Sora a fourteen year old boy who uses a keyblade as his weapon. You are seperated from your two friends Riku and Kiari as the day before you try to leave "Destiny Islands" a storm comes and monsters called the Heartless appear, thats when you are seperated and try desperatley to find and reunite with your friends and meet Disney characters along the way
Your main weapon is the keyblade which replaces your wooden sword that you have on Destiny Island. You can upgrade it for each level you lock and it had characteristics and look depending on where you lock. Like the Deep Jungle level one looks crude and sort of weird and the Halloween Town one is darker, sleeker and sort of emo looking.
As you level up you get more strength or hp or ap and many more upgrades, some of the bosses you may fight may require you to go out fight some heartless 'till the cows come home and then fight them. The choices you pick at the very beginning of the game reflect on how you level and fight throughtout the game.
Kingdom Hearts revolves around the levels as Sora, Goofy and Donald all search for the king and his friends. When you choose the next stage to go to you fly the Gummi Ship to the destination blowing up asteroids and other ships to reach it or once you get a certain chip installed by Cid you can warp to places you've already visited. All the levels are basically from disney fairytales and have all the main characters in each level that play a vital role to the completion of the level.
Graphics - 10
What else could we expect from a game developed by Square-Enix? Naturally, the graphics are breath-taking and even though the game shows only 2 FMV sequences (unlike FFX or X-2 where you get plenty of 'em), the videos are pretty amazing and the in-game video sequences speak volumes about themselves.
Another feature that caught my eye in this game is the fact that all the characters from Disney have been perfectly portrayed into the 3-D animation and have been brought to life in a very sensitive way.
Sound - 10
I've been playing this game for far more hours than I'm able to count with fingers and toes and still I find the music very original. The fact that you don't get bored so easily with the songs of the game is because, unlike any FF game, you don't get the same stupid music in every single battle along the whole game. Instead, you have a different song for each world when you're not in battle and when you're in one, plus another song that plays during boss battles.
On top of that, there are many other songs that fit in perfectly with the animated sequences in the game and help create the perfect environment along with the suspense and thrill that the plot is supposed to produce.
Value - 10
Kingdom Hearts is such a great mixture of these two genres that its fluidity makes this game deserve a whole 10 score in value. Too bad there's not an option in the review scoring that says I've spent 500+ hours on it, because if there was, that would be the one I'd be choosing.
Even though you may reach the very end of Kingdom Hearts by 20 - 40 hours of gameplay in your first game, you will still find that there are many other stuff to fulfill.
There are four special boss battles that require you to be at a decent high level and many other challenges as well, such as taking Sora to level 100 with full Strength, Defense and AP.
Another reason it should be classified as an rpg is because the game takes a long time to complete (just the storyline), and then there are hundreds of extra things to do. I myself clocked 105 hours finishing every single thing in the game (including finding all the items, weapons, trinity marks, and dalmations), and i was using a strategy guide for help. That was on normal, i am now trying expert, and so far there aren't any dramatic changes to the storyline it just makes the game harder. I highly reccomend this game to any rpg, squaresoft, or disney fan.
Also, don't forget that if you played the game under Normal difficulty level the first time round, you'll find yourself eager to go through the Hard difficulty level and get the secret ending video (which can also be obtained on Normal mode meeting the same requirements) plus a new artwork picture towards the end.
There's so much to this game that certainly caters for the taste of any gamer who's into either RPG or Adventure or wants to try a whole revolutionary, spicy, and wonderful masterpiece.
The special effects are shocking, and the characters are extremely well animated. The score is, without a doubt, one of the most beautifully crafted in any video game, ever. The sound effects are great, by all means, and the actors deliver a convincing performance, but the music is simply mind-blowing. Whether being soothing or intense, tear-jerking or warming, it will always amaze; you cant help but smile when you beat the game, and a little theme rises up after the credits end. However, those who are fans of Square shouldn't be all too suprised; They've always delivered top-notch in this category. Also, for those who have been looking for a ridiculous challenge, look no further; Sephiroth will make you bash your head into your wall and doubt your skills as a gamer. Disgustingly, yet entertainingly difficult. The replay value is that of your average RPG, meaning that it will take you over 50 hours to finish the whole thing. After that, you've got tons and tons of extra quests to accomplish before you get 100% done.
Kingdom Hearts is simply one of the best Action/Adventure/RPG's ever made. However, since this combination hasen't been done very often, let's just say its one of the best games in history. Period. God, Im dying for the sequel.
There are so many countless of mysteries involved in the Kingdom Hearts universe that will grapple you into its immersive storyline and will not let you go. Of course, if you are looking forward to resolving all these complicated questions, you will surely have to wait until you play the long awaited sequel which is scheduled to come out in North America soon enough.
Being a game with Disney involved, you have to have some memorable faces and there are plenty, Donald and Goofy are your two fighting friends in the game; and you'll come across Tarzan, Alladin, Hercules and plenty more well known Disney faces in a well fabricated story- gripping you into it's immersive and extremely fun Battlesystem. But a misconception that the game is Childish is totally wrong- it's the complete opposite- it's a game full of emotions and darkness, while the main characters need to find themselves- they battle through tremendous evil and dark; and especially when you have Heartless taking the Heart's away of people well, you can hardly call it Childish.
This game is so beatiful, action-packed, heart-warming Adventure - RPG game that is without a doubt one of the best games ever created. Evidently, it goes without saying that without the invaluable help of Squaresoft, this Disney project would have never even seen the light, and boy it did, and in an astoundingly successful way.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/06
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