Kingdom Hearts II
Review by Def Freak7
"This is a great game, but there's still something missing."
In 2002, Square Enix and Disney released a game called Kingdom Hearts, and a lot of people thought at first that this one was not gonna work. But, soon everybody played it and loved it. Then comes Chain of Memories for the GBA, which continued the storyline, but wasn't much in the gameplay department. Now, in 2006, 4 years after the original (for those who suck at math), we finally get Kingdom Hearts II. This game greatly improves over the original, but even at that, there's still something missing to keep it from being the best.
Let's get one thing straight first. The PS2 is not considered the graphical powerhouse of the consoles (even though some titles have been proving them wrong). This game doesn't change anything as far as realism goes. But, they do pay a great amount of attention to detail. Every Disney-movie-themed world looks exactly like the movie did, even down to your menu screen. Every movie character looks exactly like they should (Exhibit A: Capt. Jack Sparrow). Also, any other characters look pretty good too. The cut-scenes are very well done. The opening one specifically is great. This game proves that even if the characters aren't very realistic, attention to detail is always better.
Utada Hikaru did the theme song for the last one, and she does it again with the song "Passion" this time around. I kinda like the last one better, but this is still a good song. The music in general is also very good, because it's also one of those things that pays attention to detail more than anything. Most of the music from each movie has been adapted a little bit to fit the style of this game. You can recognize from the music where you're at. This is a job very well done for this game.
This is Square making this game. What'd you expect? If you haven't played the first Kingdom Hearts or Chain of Memories, you'd better before playing this game. You actually don't start as the main character from the first one, Sora, but instead as Roxas. You learn your connection to Sora soon enough. Anywho, after playing as Roxas for a while, you pick up as Sora and must journey to other worlds to stop an evil race called the Heartless, and figure out what's the reasoning behind the evil Organization XIII. Trust me, if you don't like confusing stories, this one ain't for you. It's actually one of the least confusing stories ever. Still, people who have played the other games will fit right in.
GAMEPLAY: 9/10 (almost 10)
They have definitely changed a lot since the last one. Firstly, there is a new button called the Reaction Command, which, when pressed at certain times, will do different things. This comes in handy with boss fights. Also, there's a new feature called "Drives". This allows Sora to combine himself with one or both party members to become a two-keyblade wielding ass-kicking machine. Drives also have their own meter to use. Summons are also used with this meter. Now then, all these new features are nice, but here's the main problem: THIS GAME IS TOO EASY! You can just button mash and win most of the time (exception is a few boss fights). I didn't have to use offensive magic ONCE. Another new thing is the gummi ship, which they thankfully revamped, and while it's better, it's still a little bit boring. All in all, this game has definitely changed for the better, but there are still these little things that keep this game from being perfect.
Almost every aspect of this game is incredibly well done. There are still a few gameplay elements missing from this game to make it the RPG of the year. It's still an incredible game though. Definitely worth picking up.
FINAL SCORE: 9/10
BUY, RENT, OR AVOID?: Buy definitely!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/06
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