"One of the most beautiful games ever!"

Now, since I have actually gotten off my arse, and decided to submit reviews again, i have had the pleasure of playing a massive plethora of games. Now i must admit my near biased love for Squaresoft games, and i salivate thinking about their next title destined to have the squaresoft minds incorporating their genius into every little aspect of the game. Kingdom hearts was no exception, and the hype demanded it. As if squaresoft didn't deserve enough attention in the gamer-world, disney (a multi-billion dollar corporation) joined sides with these gaming gurus to create a masterpiece. From the dazzling effects to the submersive gameplay, this game has what it takes to clutch both RPG and Adventure game enthusiasts. While The game may not be for everyone, it is a most splendid ride for the majority of the gaming world.

Visually KH ''busts it out.'' The Colorful worlds not only make use of a wide variety tints, hues, and shades, but the very design of buildings and worlds is ultimately fascinating and creative, not to mention diverse (thank you disney.) The Character design incorporates many disney characters from many movies past, and squaresoft sticks with the ''tried and true'' protagonist with really spiky hair look. The most impressive piece in the visual department is the blending of the graphics. Of the three major systems out now, PS2 is the only one that does not have anti-aliasing capabilities, but looking at this game, you couldn't tell!

Oh, the lovable tunes will most certainly having you hum along in no time (which is no treat for the kid sitting next to you trying to cheat off your math test.) Nevertheless, Squaresoft has always been one to make the music so pleasantly (or unpleasantly) fit the mood. Disney brings old movie characters and tunes back in this game, and even though I like my animated movies with a lot of Japanese violence, the music got the job done. And the voice acting, Very Well Done! Except Goofy is sure to make anyone over the age of 5 go insane after a few hours of play.

The Games controls are simplistic enough to comprehend. Attack&Jump (the necessities) are all right there. While the complex functions take a little while getting used to, mastering them is by no means an unruly chore. Since the game is live action, but still menu operated, using items AND swinging your sword can be a bit tricky. The Camera in this game is pretty good, but has its problems. While it does a descent job of keeping an eye on your character, it unfortunately falls pray to the walls, as if the camera man were really there. Meaning it can't move outside teh walls, making combat in small corner filled areas a tedious engagement. Also the shortcut abilities for spells was an ingenious idea

Now here's where the best and the worst of the game come out. Controls being easy this game is a piece of cake to get used to, hacking and slashing your enemies has never been this cool. Though the game may seem child oriented (since donald and goofy both act like their on stage for a bunch of preschoolers) this game is not for the meek. The Gameplay sets you up against an army of enemies at a time. There are special attacks and abilities that you must assign special points to (think FF9) that you get more of every level gain, so you can spice up your combos and attain more special attacks, some being assigned buttons, and there are Magical Spells that each serve and exploit specific uses, weaknesses, and ranges. All of this mad action tends to cover the screen with billions of colors and explosions, and when its all over there will be another army waiting to appear another ten feet away from you
YES! There is a lot of action, most games seem to either have too much action and not enough exploration, or too much exploration, either way lacking in one. NOT HERE this game seamlessly blends the puzzle exploring aspect of gameplay with the great multitude of enemies that you will eventually be destroying by the hundreds torward the end of the game.
My only complaint, is the lack of direction, there were a few times in this game, where the game does not tell you where to go, usually your mission is clear enough, but how to go about completing it is well...not. There are rooms in some worlds that you must find for yourself, with no help from the game, which can occasionally eat time and subtract from the fun. Overall though, the game will keep you awake at horrible hours and (DON'T TELL YOUR MOTHERS) away from your homework!

This is where a the game is just a bit soft for some hard-core gamers like myself. Don't get me wrong its good and has enough of Squaresoft's twisted drama in it to grab you, but the disney character with the inevitable child-hood appeal may leave some gamers well...unimpressed. The story deffinitely does its job by using every character in different ways, making each of them very unique and deep. It will move you and the story along. But overall, if your not one to really get into the childish Saturday morning cartoons, this may be just a tad bit displeasing.
NOTE: I am an adult, not a teenager, an adult. And though i do act like in six sometimes, i have to (non-arogantly) stand up for my maturity. Nevertheless, The story (at least the squaresoft developed characters) made a great story. It was very moving! If you ignore goofy's completely arbitrary and meaningless comments the story is pretty good (in my opinion). By the end of this game i was in tears (good tears) and it is pretty rare to see me cry during a video game.

Times I've cried during a video game
End of Palom and Porom (FF4)
End of FF6
Death of Aeris (ff7)
End of ff7
End of FF Tactics
0 gravity love scene (FF8)
End of FF8
End of FF10
End of KH

This game (like any good Squaresoft title) Should have some sidetracking, not by any means necessary but very rewarding side-quests. This game is no different. Like other lovely titles it offers *timely quests for better weapons, *a great arena that put your monster-bashing skills to the test with a ton of enemies back to back, with not time to restock on health or items. This game offers also *entire worlds that need not be explored at all, but reap great rewards if you do, *tons of many games to test your skills in EVERYTHING and to compete best times, Tons of hard to reach items which include the best weapons, spells, and items. To top it all off you have 4 INCREDIBLY hard boss battles which will involve tons of strategy and strength (not to mention a lot of time) to beat, and even a hard to get secret ending, if someone is so bold as to try and achive this.
NOTE: For all you classics fans, the hardest guy in this game is non other than the ultimate badass himself, Sephiroth! Yes you get to kill him (again!)

Overall: While this game does have its flaws, it executes its strengths admirably and is sure to eat up way too much of your time! If that sounds like a good investment, than take it from me, i have honestly not been this glued to a game since Chrono Trigger and FF7. While Disney may add some unwanted flavor to Squaresoft's dish, its till an awesome taste for most gamer's palates

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/08/02, Updated 12/08/02

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