Title: Kingdom Hearts
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Consoles Available: PS2
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Rating: 5 out of 5
Kingdom Hearts is one of those games that blended the complexity and great story telling of Final Fantasy games and the lovable Disney characters to create a memorable experience. You play as Sora a young boy with the help of Donald and Goofy go on a journey to find his Friends Kairi and Riku and King Mickey. Your journey will take you to new worlds that will help you get one step closer to finding what you seek but also unravel a plot that will threaten everyone and you must stop this threat before its to late.
Kingdom Hearts starts of as an easy story to follow but becomes more complex as you delve deeper into the game. When you first start the game you will choose the difficulty of the game and watch a few cut scenes with some gameplay to get you familiar with the game which sets up the story quite nicely and the connection between your world and the Disney worlds you have yet to explore. You play as Sora who has lived on a small island with his friends Kairi and Riku but gets separated from them for unforeseen events and meets Donald and Goofy who are on a journey of their to find King Mickey, Sora teams up with them to find both his friends and Mickey. The game triumphs and shines above many if not most RPG’s because of the various Disney characters that appear throughout the game whether they be Allie or foe. Their’s just something cool about meeting Aladdin and Tarzan and helping them defeat their respective villains. They did a phenomenal job in including a good amount of Disney worlds from Halloween Town, Agrabah, Atlantica, Olympus Coliseum and many other worlds. While the story revolves around Sora and finding his friends and Mickey, you eventually find out that there is an evil plot to capture the princesses of the different worlds to open up Kingdom Hearts and rule all the worlds.
I truly enjoyed the story and the characters that you interact with. They did an excellent job incorporating the Disney universe to help move along the story and make it memorable in the process. One of the best characters in the game and it a darker tone was Maleficent, I think she raised the story and made it stand out a bit more.
They did a tremendous job in every world by having a variety of unique enemies. I liked the idea of not only having enemies known as the heartless the main enemies that you fight throughout the game but also including some iconic Disney villains like Maleficent, Jafar, Hades and a few others. I liked how the heartless resembled the world that they inhabit this is especially noticeable in Halloween Town and Ariel Worlds. Just as the enemies seem to resemble their surrounding so do you and your allies. This may not seem like much but it’s just that attention to detail that adds to the allure of the game.
When you first begin the game you will travel to different worlds using the Gummi ships by opening up paths that connect the Disney worlds. Gummi ships are special vehicles that you use that will help you venture across the treacherous journey to reach worlds. You can create or find blueprints to existing ships that will have unique abilities such as take greater damage or being able to have better weapons. Traveling between worlds was a fun mini game but as far as the Gummi menu itself was tedious and often frustrating due to poor controls and bad camera angles.
Kingdom Hearts combat system is different to many of the FF games that had come out at that time. Unlike conventional RPG were you go into battle and each party member takes a turn using an action in Kingdom Hearts you can enter battle at any point and are able to move around freely during combat. I will say this though while I enjoyed how the combat but sometimes the camera had a hard time tracking me making for some very bad camera angles, this is especially noticeable in small corridors. While not being able to take a second to think about your actions the game does provide you with shortcuts for the more essential magic skills. I always enjoyed this aspect of the game because it made the game more fun and exciting than standing in a parallel line to the enemy and hacking at each other. Once you defeat enemies since this is an RPG you gain experience for it and with enough you will increase your level and stats as well as have access to new abilities. Sora also has at his disposal the ability to summon certain Disney characters such as the Genie and Simba once you complete certain task or simply find them.
Kingdom Hearts will give you about 40 hours of memorable story and good gameplay to go along with it. The game does a great job of including the rich and deep history of Disney characters and films into the game and it all feels like it fits together perfectly. The game does suffer from bad camera angles which can be very frustrating during battle and the Gummi ship mini game is fun but the menu system is tedious. Aside from the bad camera angles and the lousy Gummi menu system, the game does have a unforgetable story that will stay with you long after you beat the game.