Review by Nebodashack

"A game you should really consider taking a look at!"

Hello! This is my first GameFAQs review, so forgive me if I tend to mess up at all! I have broken down Kingdom hearts using a scale from Zero to Ten (0 being the worse, 10 being the best) in the following areas: Story- The overall plot of Kingdom Hearts, Graphics- how the game is displayed, Sound- the various music and sound effects, Controls- the ease of control, Fun Factor- how fun the game was, and Overall- an overall score. I also added in some commentary of my own ( Most useless functions and items, annoying glitch, worse feature, replayability, and of course, a recommendation).

Story: 8- Rather interesting, leaves you hanging.
The story is interesting, but for quite few elements in it remind me of my favorite anime and manga, Rave Master (you should read and see it!). The game involves what would be an ordinary kid had destiny not smashed him clean in the face (Sora) and his friends, living their ordinary mundane lives on a beautiful tropical island (they live on a main continent, but they take a raft to the island each day) that wanted to go on a raft ride. They were hoping to see new worlds while going on this raft ride, so they prepare themselves for the trip. Before the game begins, Sora is having a dream about falling through the air, and getting separated from his friends. After that, Sora begins to dream about a place with stained glass topped pillars in darkness. After some sort of orientation, Sora has a flashback of talking to some friends on his island (Tidus and Wakka from Final Fantasy 10 along with Selphie from Final Fantasy 8), and suddenly fades back into the dream, where he fights a giant shadowy creature. So he flashes back to reality soon thereafter.
During an item hunt, Sora sees a weird cloaked man suddenly appear in a cave. His seemingly happy little world begins to go to to rot.
His island is attacked by a horde of shadowy creatures. The girl he loves is turned into some sort of emotionless zombie, and his ''''best friend'''' Riku starts acting strange.
Riku appears to be siding with darkness, which engulfs both him and Sora. After a nightmarish bout in utter darkness, Sora reappears with a funny key-shaped weapon in his hand, called the Keyblade. Now that Sora can actually damage the creatures (called the Heartless), he begins to go feel anger and slay them one by one. Then, his island is torn asunder by sheer darkness and he is forced to kill a giant heartless that he had a dream about earlier in the game. He is sucked into some sort of portal of darkness. After that, he ends up in a large town inhabited by people that have apparently lost their worlds in a similar manner that he has.
Sora soon meets Disney characters Donald and Goofy, who were told to follow the keyblade bearer.
Sora finds out that he has been chosen by a legendary weapon called a keyblade to destroy the forces of the darkness. Soon after, Sora learns about a craft called a ''Gummi Ship'', which is a means of transporting from one world to another (there are many to explore), and learns that the Heartless are trying to get inside ''Keyholes'' on certain worlds in order to destroy them. After finding out that the keyblade is meant to seal these keyholes, Sora learns a bit more about his heroic task.
Later on, Riku betrays Sora out of some sort of jealousy, claiming that he wants the keyblade more than Sora does (in order to save Kairi). There's also an evil sorceress (Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty) that is attempting to obtain the ''7 Princesses of Heart'', which are all famous Disney characters in order to create a massive portal of darkness. And to top it off, you get a massive revelation about the creatures you have been fighting off. When you come towards the end of the game, you may notice that Riku (Sora's friend) has another change of heart and decides to become good again. It was a ''too little too late'' kind of thing. I have to admit, I laughed real hard at Riku in the end...until I saw...''the smile''. Then I questioned a certain aspect about Riku, and read the manga scans-_-. It appeared that Riku really liked Sora as a friend. Then the rest ending is a bit unexpected and even angering. You begin to think ''Why didn't you just?'' but if you are not new to KH, you know that there's going to be a sequel. A sequel that you most likely cannot wait to get. And there is even a ''secret'' ending movie too, it shows off some excellent graphics and builds a terrible anticipation gut. The trailer alone may make you want to get this game, providing you don't see the movie all over the net.

Graphics:9- Good and fitting the childish theme
Great graphics. I believe there is a lower polygon count, but that does not matter. If you notice, the graphics in the gameplay and the graphics during the cutscenes are the same. That means, if Sora has a different keyblade, he will in the cutscene. It's a bit hard to explain, but you will see during the game yourself! It appears that Squaresoft took alot of time to put detail in everthing. Sora's keyblade has a shadow that corresponds to whatever Sora is doing. And, the keyblade shadow itself looks accurate! Test this out too, if you decide to buy the game!
Minor gripe with the graphics is the backgrounds in Wonderland. They look real stupid. Otherwise, graphics are as good as they come! One thing you may notice is the use of sprites. Yep. During some parts, if you study the environs, you will notice that some objects are just well placed sprites! Very accurate graphics. They give the game a cartoony feeling sometimes (well, you are in Disney worlds, what do you expect?), but you won't care. One graphic gripe I have is when piloting the gummi ships. Gummi ships really resemble legos. Or candy. Either way, they look bad, having low quality and all.

Sound/Music:7 Merely OK
The sound effects are well done, but some sounds get annoying FAST! Like when Goofy shouts something like ''OOH WHEE OOH!''. The music is good though, but awfully repeatitive. One of the best songs is heard within the first 20 minutes or so of the game-_-. There are other good songs, and they fit their locations well. But overall, I like the sound effects the creatures and spells make on this game.

Controls:10 Easy to learn, fun to use
Simple controls. You can catch on fast. They get my vote as the best controls on a PS2 game! It's set up kind of like Ape Escape, but with more functions. You can cast spells by using 2 buttons, and there's a fast use battle menu waiting for you. You use X to attack, and can use your weapon at all times. Then you learn different abilities, which rely on timing. Some of them can be used while not in battle, and they prove awfully useful.

Fun Factor: 10 Horribly addicting
The controls and overall theme of the game are just EXCELLENT! After learning more abilities, you become a killing machine. And if you need leveling up, you can simply go on a rampage and kill a whole lot of enemies. I eventually just did it for fun! Then I got real sad noting that I was at the end of the game :( But that actually still doesn't stop you. The battle mechanics are real fun and you shouldn't tire out of them real easily.

Worse Feature:
With every game, even the best ones, there tends to be a miserable flaw. The dubbing is the worse feature of KH. The dubbing is so bad, that you will begin to speak dubbed. As you play the game, you will notice that the characters mouths flap at an invariable rate during cutscenes. There is only ONE part in which the dubbing is good (minor spoiler: when Jafar talks to you), and even then, I thought I was seeing things. Compare Kingdom Hearts dubbing to the ending of Xenogears dubbing. You may laugh.

Annoying glitch:
There is one glitch I call ''The neverending jump''. At certain points in the game, if you jump on certain surfaces (usually something you shouldn't be able to reach), you will just hover there in the ''Jump'' animation. You can move off at any time, but I found this glitch particularly annoying!

Most useless functions and items:
You can summon on Kingdom Hearts! But I found the entire thing useless. You really don't need to summon at all during the game, because you should be strong enough or have enough magic to save yourself. Elixers are a particularly useless item, even though they restore all HP and MP. I never needed to use them (relied on cure spells and a few ethers), noting that most enemies drop alot of HP spheres and MP spheres.

Overall: 10
Kingdom Hearts is without a doubt one of Squaresoft's best works. It has managed to sucessfully merge an action game with RPG elements. The game is a general must have, and should keep you busy for days. It never crosses the threshold of annoyance.

KH is a good replayable game. Since I take my sweet time on games, KH took a good 70+ hours to beat (in order to see the secret ending). I missed one boss (a ghost), and have still not beat him at the maximum level with the strongest weapon. Since there are about 3 different paths to choose in the beginning, you might just wanna try them all out. There is also a different difficulty setting to try, if you wanna give yourself a ''challenge''. Chances of you replaying the game on your own free will are high.

Recommendation for this game:
Anyone and everyone should get this game! It doesn't offend religious beliefs or race and it's geared towards a younger age group (that failed miserably-_-, I AM 17!), so it could make a good gift to a little kid, Squaresoft, or Disney fanatic. If you are just curious about this game, you should rent it. If you enjoy it within the first hour or so, the game is for you! You should get it fast! Noting that it is a greatest hit, you should be able to get it cheap (give or take, it'll cost about twenty dollars or slightly even less!).

The final verdict: GET THIS GAME! You will not be let down!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/22/04

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