Review by eeyoreluv

Reviewed: 10/03/05

A whole new world.

Kingdom Hearts. Final Fantasy meets Disney. Buckle down and hold on for the ride. Growing up, who doesn’t have some connection to Disney? With a user name like eeyoreluv, it’s no surprise that this game would catch my attention. Unfortunately I wasn’t so familiar with Final Fantasy, but that was all about to change. Basically Disney teamed up with Square and packed the fun into one. In what other game can you combine your childhood memories with what is arguably the best game series around. Of course I picked up the game because of my love for all things Disney and I had no idea that it would open up a whole new world for me.

We begin with Sora, Kairi and Riku, all fresh faces who are all orphans living together on Destiny Islands. It’s here where we are introduced to these new faces and reunited with Final Fantasy cameos. You’ll find Selphie from FFVIII and Tidus and Wakka, both from FFX Sora, Kairi and Riku all dream big and would all love to leave and see what lies beyond their world. The team build a raft to fulfill their dreams, but before their maiden voyage begins, their lives change forever. When the Heartless attack their homes, the trio are split up and it’s up to Sora to take back his destiny.

In other part of the Universe, we are reunited with Donald and Goofy. Both well known and loved Disney characters They have found that their king is gone in search of the Keyblade master. Worried about the king, Queen Minnie and her servant Daisy send Donald and Goofy to assist the king. Jiminy Cricket keeps track of their journey, Chip and Dale maintain the gummi ship that they explore the world in and Pluto goes along as man’s best friend.

After Goofy, Donald and Sora meet, the trio decide to explore the worlds together. While they started off with different goals, they’re fighting for the same cause before they know it. Along the way, you’ll encounter characters from all over Disney. Movies from Aladdin to Winnie the Pooh are represented in Kingdom Hearts. While I’d s ay Disney makes up 80 - 90 % of the this game, Final Fantasy fans will still enjoy seeing some of their favorites back in action.

Kingdom Hearts isn’t a role playing game, but It does share some of the same concepts that make role playing games beyond awesome. Your fighting style starts out pretty basic. Slash, slash slash. After so much experience, you gain a level. But more and more, you are introduced to magic. Spells where you can use things such as fire to defeat your enemies and evening summoning another character to help you in battle..

Throughout the game, you can buy better weapons for Goofy and Donald. While Goofy beats the Heartless up with his shield, Donald is more into using magic to get the upper hand. Sora only has weapon, the Keyblade, as he is the chosen one to use it, but you can buy different key chains to attach to it. These key chains work just like buying new weapons. Once a key chain is attached, it changes the ability and strength of the Keyblade.

Being new to this type of gaming, something that I was introduced was Synthesis. It’s almost self explanatory, but you take items that you have and synthesis them into a new item. Some of the items you synthesis are things you don’t want to miss out on. Synthesis isn’t all that easy though. Some of the things that you need to use for synthesis are very rare and hard to find. I suggest you give synthesis a try.

One of the most interesting aspects that stuck in my mind after playing the game was the Trinity. Throughout the world were trinity marks. These marks were three hearts that I thought resembled paw prints. These trinity marks were different colors and throughout the game, you were given the ability to use the different color trinity. Each trinity mark did something different. Some would unlock doors, and some gave you items.

A part of the side quest adventures were to find 99 puppies. 99 puppies? 101 Dalmatians! So you find Perdita and Pongo alone in their house. But where are their puppies? That’s your job to find out. You’ll find the puppies in sets of three and after returning so many of them home, you’ll receive items for their safety. And you’ll get to see a happy reunion. In the Jungle, you could also play the jungle slider or vine swinging. .You can also take the time and customize your own gummi ship. I personally did not get into this feature at all, but a friend of mine who played Kingdom Hearts, spent hours working with the gummi ship. You want some added challenge? Take on the extra bosses. These bosses are needed to complete the story, but I think everyone should attempt them.

Though I’m sure many would disagree, I have to say that The Hundred Acre Wood is one of the better worlds. There isn’t battles to fight in here, but instead, they packed a few mini games into one location. The adventure starts when Cid has you take a book to Merlin. This very old book just happens to be Winnie the Pooh. You’re free to transport into the very pages of the book at anytime, but the more missing pages you find, the more you can explore.

I also spent a lot of time at the Coliseum. This is where you’re first introduced to Hercules and Phil. You spend a bit of time training and are still refused an Entry pass to the games. No matter, you get your hands on one. Now you’re free to play the preliminaries. While this is the only thing you can do at the Coliseum at the moment, throughout the game, more tournaments become available to you. I suggest going through them all. You never know who you might run into there.

Something that really sets Kingdom Heats apart from any games is the mixture of bosses. Not only do you have your bossed ranging from easy to “Oh my god, this is hard.,” but the bosses themselves are like no other. You are giving the chance to get revenge on those characters who you grew up loving to hate. From Ursala to the Queen of Hearts, this is your chance to show them all who is boss. And they’re only half the battle. You also get the chance to battle with your favorite Final Fantasy characters again as well as a whole new cast of villains!

As far as being a lengthy game, it’s not really. It seemed to me at the time that it was, but after playing a few role playing games, I found that Kingdom Hearts wasn’t as long as I thought it was. It’s still not a game to be taken lightly . If you want to do everything in the game to get the whole Kingdom Hearts experience, you’ll rack up some hours again. Not as many as the Final Fantasy games, but still a reasonable amount.

While it was beyond awesome to see my favorite Disney characters in this game, I think some of the Final Fantasy characters might have lost something in the translation from their respectable games to their new worlds, but everything can’t be perfect, right? I can’t say this for sure as I am just now playing parts of the Final Fantasy series. The over all look of the game is dynamite! Everything is crisp and clear. The worlds are based off Disney movies and closely resemble the movie they are representing. Everything is in great detail and makes you want to journey to those worlds yourself.

As I said before, I wasn’t familiar with Final Fantasy, but I can speak volumes for the excellent voices of ALL the Disney characters. While I haven’t looked into it personally, it sounded to me as if every character was done by their original portrayer. You’ll revisit tunes and sounds from Disney movies and they fit right in with the game itself. All the sounds were enjoyable in this game. In union with the sights of the worlds, the realistic sounds make you experience this game on so many levels.

Alright, I have to tell all sides of the story, though. I’m the type of person that can go through and play the same game twice or even three or four times if I like the game enough.. Not everyone is like that. If you’re the type of person that needs a lot more variety when you go back and revisit a game, then you won’t find that with Kingdom Hearts. Yeah, there are a lot of side quests and mini games, but the games don’t vary that much. Once you do the side quests and play the mini games the first time, they don’t have other things you can do with them.

Let’s do some math here. One favorite plus another favorite plus a whole lot of new additions equals Kingdom Hearts. Whether you picked up the game for Final Fantasy or Disney, you’ll walk away with a lot more than you bargained for. I’m proof of that. After completing Kingdom Hearts, I was opened up to a whole new gaming experience and game series. I have since played Final Fantasy X, X-2 and I’m going back and seeing what I missed out in VII. I’m sure I won’t stop there.

If you’re wondering if you should rent or buy the game, I personally couldn’t imagine not owning it, but I would have to recommend renting it for everyone else. Kingdom Hearts is one of those games that people either fall in love with, or they can’t stand it. I know people of both groups, so you guys might to check it out for yourselves and make up your own mind about the game. If you don’t mind the fact that you don’t get anything new out of replaying it then Kingdom Hearts would make a great addition to your collection. I’ll be the first to admit I came into this game because of the Disney, but I walked away with so much more.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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