Review by Enigma548
"Not Perfect, but FAR better than I expected it to be!!!"
This review is broken down into 7 parts: story, graphics, controls, sound, replayability, fun factor, and my overall impression.
Just because it appears to be a ''kiddie'' Disney game, DON'T judge it just yet! The plot is actually pretty serious and can pull even the not-so-young gamers in. I won't spoil anything, not even the beginning of the game, but anyway getting to the point, all I'll say is that it starts out a bit slow, but as the game progresses, things start getting really interesting. It's a fairly straightforward game so you can't really get lost unless you start doing lots of side-quests at once and forget where you're supposed to be going. Well, since I said I wouldn't spoil anything, I can't really say much more than the fact that the story is good, so moving on...
Square's done it again! The CG cinemas in this game are simply amazing! Even though there's not that many of them, they look just as good as FFX's FMV sequences! The in-game graphics are also fairly detailed. The characters move fluidly, their lips actually move with their voices, the Disney characters resemble their 2D counterparts VERY well in 3D, the environments, although ''cartoony'' in appearance (thankfully not cell-style though, like far TOO many games these days), show little hints of 3D special effects, like shadows and faint reflections in watery and polished surfaces. The different worlds are also very unique, and each Disney world has a familiar feel to it reminiscent of the movies that inspired them. And like all Squaresoft games with summon magic, the summoning sequences look stunning and unique and obviously had quite a bit of effort put into them. Also, there surprisingly isn't much slowdown in the gameplay even though the game is fully polygonal, providing a fluid-moving, action-packed adventure, even with the occasional battle that can have up to 10-15 enemies on screen at once.
Other than the fact that the menu is controlled either by the d-pad or right analog stick, I thought the controls weren't as bad as people make them seem. The gameplay, even though there's lots of button mashing, is still fun and fast paced like an action/adventure game should be. Also, being able to map spells to the L1 menu for quick usage was a nice feature. As for the camera problem people keep complaining about, I didn't think it was bad at all. It's much easier to cope with than the camera problems in the old school Resident Evil games since you can just rotate the camera to suit the situation if you need to. And besides, you have to admit that almost every action/adventure game uses some kind of camera scheme almost exactly like Kingdom Hearts. So if you complain about this camera, you complain about almost every other action/adventure game's camera systems too.
Square definitely did their homework in this department. All of the Disney characters voices in the game are done by their original voice actors and the remaining characters are done, literally, by an all star cast. Practically the entire cast of characters in this game are actors/actresses of some sort and have previous acting experience, so the voice acting in this game is actually really good. The music in the game's various worlds also has little tidbits of the original Disney music to recreate the feel of actually being in that world. Also, the best part about the sound in this game, in my opinion anyway, is that Utada Hikaru (aka Hikki), my favorite jpop singer, sings the theme song, which happens to be the last track of her most recent album (although the English version of ''Hikari (Light)'' was renamed ''Simple and Clean'' when she rewrote the song for the English version of Kingdom Hearts). This is a little off topic, but, she's cute don't you think? *smile* I can't wait for her new English album to come out next year. I mean she's American anyway so she should do pretty well, she can obviously sing well in English. Yeah, that's way off topic, anyway, back to the review...
Not much really, unless you want to play again on Expert just for the hell of it. Considering that there's actually a pretty good amount of side-quests in this game to keep occupied with, you might not want to have to replay it unless you really screwed up bad and need to. So there's pretty much no need to replay this game unless you really want to.
Fun Factor (10/10)
This is definitely a fun game! To tell you the truth, I didn't think it was going to end up being as good as it turned out to be. When I first saw the previews for it in PSM (PlayStation Magazine for all you people who don't know) way back then, I thought the idea of Squaresoft and Disney teaming up would to make a game was kind of stupid, so I pretty much thought the game would suck. I originally bought it only because of the FF characters in it and that Hikki sings the theme song, but the game actually turned out being good and actually worth my money. Kudos to Squaresoft for such a surprisingly good game!
My Overall Impression (9/10)
Good story, graphics, music, voice acting, and just so much fun! It may not be perfect, but hey, what is? Nothing's perfect. All I know for sure is that this game is way better than I expected it to be and that it's worth buying.
Final Score: 62/70 = 89% = 8.9/10
Buy or Rent? Well, I'd say GET OUT THERE AND BUY IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY!!! Great game, well worth the trouble getting.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/29/02, Updated 09/29/02
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