Review by DEUStantus

"A fantastic game with one major flaw."

A game which joins two of the biggest names in entertainment to make one satisfying Action/RPG. Kingdom Hearts will take you on a marvelous, well though out journey through some of the mesmerizing worlds of Disney’s best and brightest. Playing the role of Sora you venture through worlds of enchantment and face some of the memorable bosses of past Disney classics. Overall the game could have reached a perfect 10, if only it had not failed in some major places. Don’t be discouraged though, this game is a gem and will be a lot of fun to play through for most anyone.

Square Soft always brings all their cards to the table when dealing with high quality graphics. You will see excellent graphics in this game, from the haze of spells fading slowly away to the beautiful cinematic sequences starring some of our favorite Square Soft and Disney characters. While the graphics are dazzling I did find a minor graphical mishap maybe twice in the game. When a certain character would speak, their mouth would be off with the voice. Like I said though, this was very minor and probably not detectable to everyone. Above all the graphics are fantastic and are very well done.

Probably my favorite feature of the game, the sound is very clear and crisp. You will hear nothing but outstanding sound effects in Kingdom Hearts. From the clang of metal as you swing your Keyblade, to the footsteps of you and your friends as you walk across different surfaces. If you listen, you can actually tell the difference between walking across old creaky wood to fresher wood. The music in Kingdom Hearts is nothing to frown at, you will hear memorable tunes from some of your favorite Disney classics, as well as new orchestrated pieces for the game. Overall the sound in this game is phenomenal!

The story for Kingdom Hearts is very refreshing and new, considering nothing of this proportion has ever been attempted. The story is the kind that will get you interested and wanted to keep playing, even when you absolutely have to stop. Many times I have said, “I am only going to play for thirty minutes” and wound up playing for over an hour. Though the story line can get a tad bit monotonous at times, it is still very entertaining and fits the game incredibly well.

The controls for Kingdom Hearts are not bad, although there are times when using the controller gets difficult. Say you are in the heat of a battle, and you want to use a nice little item, being that the game is Action, you can’t take your time scrolling down to the item. Often times while using the right analog to scroll down, and the left analog to try and keep from being hit, I was hit and it caused me to have to start over. There are two ways to scroll down the side menu during the game, the D-pad and the right analog. I highly recommend the right analog, though it still can get difficult to manage in a larger battle. Although you may get frustrated at times, the controls are still above average.

Here is where Kingdom Hearts would’ve shined, but due to a major flaw it came down crashing. The game is a very fun and addictive, but unfortunately that won’t save it from the faultiness of the camera. Literally, if the camera were a tire, it would be a faulty Firestone tire. You will really get into a heated battle, and the camera will continually jerk around at odd angles, sometimes hiding the boss completely. At other times you’ll be close to a corner where you need to check both your sides and the camera will not turn a total 360°. This was the biggest fault of the game in my opinion, and while the game is so incredibly fun, that won’t redeem it from the frustration caused by the dreaded camera.

Playing a RPG and expecting a high amount of replay value is like going to McDonalds and expecting good food. It’s just not going to happen most of the time, and when it does, it isn’t all that great. RPG’s were never meant to have replay value, due to the typically long story line. Kingdom Hearts does however have a few fun to play challenges on the side of the main story line (like many of the recent Final Fantasy games have had, these include finding a collection of items or completing a smaller quest) that will reward you with a special ending. Though with more planning, I really think the side quests could have been better.

Here I will give a suggestion for something that could have been added to make the game experience better.
This one is definitely a no-brainer! Fix the atrocious camera, and why not spend a little time adding some extra games for replay value? Maybe some games that can be unlocked once the game is beaten. Just a thought.

While many hardcore RPG collectors will want to buy, I suggest renting. I rented it, beat it, had a lot of fun and only spent $5. So in my opinion: rent.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/01/02, Updated 10/02/02

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