Review by willmenth

"Disneys magic, and squares gameplay"

Kingdom hearts was one of the first games released under the afformed "square-enix" banner. The game was heavily anticipated due to the amalgamation of the final fantasy universe with disney.

Gameplay (8/10)- The gameplay does not follow the trend of most square RPG's, instead it is more of a "hack-and-slash" style game. Elements of the RPG are retained such as a level up system and equipment customisation, but they are simplified to an extent and this works very well. The only minor problem with gameplay is that it can sometimes become repetitive during combat.

Story (7/10)- The story tries its best to capture the "magic" of classic disney films, and it succeeds to an extent. Each level plays as one of the films including aladdin, alice in wonderland, peter pan and the little mermaid to name a few. The storyline however is given a twist as the main character (Sora) with helpers Donald and Goofy attempt to save the worlds from an evil group of minions known as the "heartless". The story is fairly solid and will please both disney and square fans alike. It does become a tad cliche at its close however as the words "friendship" and "beleive in yourself" are thrown around all too often

Graphics (8/10)- The graphics of Kingdom Hearts may not be anything to write home about, but they retain a great sense of charm even to this day. Square have made a great effort in bringing disneys films "to life" so to speak. Fans will be familliar with at least one or two of the locations. Wether its the vast jungles in Tarzan, or the bleak gothic town in nightmare before christmas

Sound (7/10)- This score is entirely dependent on your love for disney music (or lack of). Sadly the music is often a few minutes looped around constantly for each world, so if you dont like the tune, it very quickly becomes annoying. One which springs to mind the most is the little mermaid, in which "under the sea" is played throughout, once again this is a matter of musical preferrence

Play time/Replayability (9/10)- One thing Kingdom Hearts boasts is a great deal of side quests. While the main game itself is fairly adequate (20 hours or so), their are plenty of reasons to revisit previous world in order to discover hidden treasure, boss fights and much more. Their is even an extra world (the hundred acre wood) which is completely optional. The crowning glory of the bonus features however must be placed at the colloseum. Their is a lot to do here and the opponents you face will add a smile to any Square fans face. (sephiroph anyone?)

Final recomendation (9/10)- Fan or no fan, RPG gamer or no RPG gamer this game is just as rewarding and accessible to even the most inexperienced of gamer, and its unlikely that players wont have heard of at least a few of the disney classics on offer. While their are a few final fantasy refferences, they are moderate and rarely detract from the gameplay, this game has been out for a while now and can be found fairly cheap. Giving you no excuse to not go out and buy this fantastic title while you still can. A must have in any PS2 collection!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/19/08

Game Release: Kingdom Hearts (EU, 11/15/02)

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