Review by xcamel24

"The Kingdom Is Here."

Okay, so here we have yet another popular sequel game. Kingdom Hearts II, which could be the most highly anticipated and quite possibly overrated sequel of all time. Although the game isn't perfect, it does stack up quite well in the gaming realm.

Storyline: 10

This game does an incredible job of opening up a whole extra storyline in addition to what had been in the previous installments. The game will keep you in the dark of whats going on, and make you want to keep playing to see what happens next. Very reminiscent of a good book. The story begins with Roxas, a young boy whom resides in Twilight Town. He finds that strange things keep happening around the town, and he is connected somehow. After that "prolouge" the game then resumes from where the GBA game left off. Somewhat of worthy of note is the fact that the prolouge contains many events from the previous Kingdom Hearts games, so if you haven't played the previous games you won't be completely lost here.

Graphics: 9

The graphics in this game are really good, but not the best on PS2. But because of the large amount of worlds, you can't really expect much more than was given. The movie scenes although few and far between are really spectacular, which is typical of Square. The game for the most part handles the on screen action incredibly well, especially during battles in the game where you fight large amounts of enemies. Although near the end of the game I did run into a small amount of lag, but it didn't affect gameplay.

Sound/Music: 10

This is Square Enix company. The music is gonna be outstanding. I have never once rated a Square game that scored less than 10 on music. They have some great composers over there in Japan. The music always fits the situation, and is usually fresh and new as well. There are many remixed themes from the original Kingdom Hearts as well, and I must say all of them sound better than their predecessors.

Difficulty/Control: 9

Much was added to the game to make more enjoyable for the player. There is now a fixed camera angle, as well as free camera rotation with the Joystick. However, if you liked to use that stick for your menu in the last game- don't worry! You can change it to the command menu, and use the old camera style instead. It shouldn't be a problem, since the camera is pretty smart in this game. This makes the game not too frustrating since the camera isn't holding you back. There are 3 difficulties to pick from, including Beginner, Standard, and Proud. If you are a young kid who plays the game to see all your favorite disney characters, then pick beginner. If you are a Devil May Cry fanatic, you should probably pick proud mode. Although the game starts off a bit easy no matter which difficulty you select, it will provide challenge in the later portion of the game.

Gameplay: 9

Many people have stated that all you do in this game is mash the X button. That is only a half-truth. Your X button might be hurting, but its not the core of gameplay. Some new additions to gameplay, such as combo attacks, drive, and the reaction button have spiced things up a bit. Also there are a variety of mini games to play throughout the game, and of course the gummi ship to keep things fresh. The Gummi Ship plays a lot more like what you would see in a Starfox game, and is much more enjoyable to play as well. So now, you will mash your X and Triangle buttons for fighting, and mash other buttons when appropriate.

Replay: 8

Although the game is incredibly enjoyable, you may or may not want to play it again, as the game is incredibly linear in each world, and no matter which order you play each world in, the outcome will still remain the same. Also, every item in the game can be reclaimed later on at some point, so you can't miss anything. But because the game is just so fun, you may feel like challenging yourself with your own challenges or playing a different difficulty.

All in All, Kingdom Hearts II is a sequel that will not stand in the shadow of its predecessor, it is arguably superior. Fans or not, you will most likely enjoy your trip through the game. For the average player it would most likely occupy 25-30 hours of your time, for the expert probably a bit closer to 20. Many of those hours are cinematics, however.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/06/06

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