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To have characters as disparate as Tarzan and Donald Duck teaming up is odd enough, but it becomes very freaky when Square throws in a variety of its own characters, such as Cloud, Squall and Aeris from the various Final Fantasies. We are, in short, talking Incongruity City. But this has one side benefit in that the storyline behind the game is by necessity rather vague, which seems to have stopped Square from filling three CDs full of new-age whining about Mother Earth, as is its usual wont. Instead it has spent even more time on the graphics and the end result is a quite stunning three-dimensional cartoon.
As for the gameplay, it may come as a surprise to learn that it doesn't actually feature--as all the Final Fantasy games do--turn-based combat. Instead it's essentially a scrolling beat-'em-up-cum-platformer with exactly the kind of complicated Square-style knobs you'd expect. The game may be a little shallow but it's an impressive artistic achievement and any title that allows you to magically summon Bambi out of thin air to attack evil demons of the underworld has got to be worth some sort of recommendation. --David Jenkins
Kingdom Hearts is the first project from Squaresoft and Disney Interactive. This revolutionary relationship has created an entirely new genre of game--an action RPG that combines classic Disney characters and worlds with new elements created in the renowned Squaresoft style. Kingdom Hearts tells the story of Sora, a 14 year old boy whose world is shattered when a violent storm hits his island home. The storm separates Sora from his friends, Riku and Kairi, and they are scattered to strange and unknown worlds. While searching for his friends, Sora meets Court Wizard Donald and General Goofy. They are the protectors of the magical Disney Castle and are on a mission to find King Mickey, who has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. They learn that some sinister creatures - known as The Heartless - are placing all of their worlds under threat. The Heartless are on a mission to recruit Disney villains to help them steal the pure hearts and souls of others. Now Sora must join forces with Donald, Goofy and many more Disney heroes to fight The Heartless and end their reign of tyranny. But his path will not be easy, and before he is able to return home, he will be forced to make the hardest decision of his life... Kingdom Hearts is an epic tale of adventure, heroism and, ultimately, sacrifice. Squaresoft and Disney invite players to embark on a fantastic journey, explore strange and familiar worlds, meet old and new friends, and make amazing discoveries at every turn.
Coming from the makers of Final Fantasy, you may expect a serious story of passion and war, with moving cut scenes and complex turn-based combat. Kingdom Hearts ditches this po-faced approach, gets itself a sense of humour and fun, plus features real-time combat. Its still an RPG, albeit one which is action-based. The graphics are excellent - Disney has never looked so good. The variety and depth of the environments and their inhabitants is stunning. Sound is also good, featuring most of the best Disney tunes.
Kingdom Hearts is relatively simple. There isn't much variety to the gameplay and some people may find this off-putting. But the different environments and wide range of characters means that you probably won't notice.
Squaresoft have created a gem. Kingdom Hearts isn't an all-time classic, but it is a fantastic game, despite the Disney input. I'm 18, and still love it.
the fighting is a little simplified from the Final fantasy games, you just control Sora they main character and he hits things, and can cast spells . you can even do a few summons!! the other 2 in your team usually donald and goofy, are left to their own devices. they can even cast spells to heal you! Always handy in a spot of trouble! And it's quite amusing hearing goofy and donald getting beaten up!
The different worlds are wonderful. Broought back memories of my childhood! It's quite fun exploring wonderland, and the jungle and things like that. you also get to have a character from that film join your team. Pretty cool.
Also there are some voice overs, was expecting the whole thing to be spoken like final fantasy x, but it's a mixture of the earlier ff games and number x. the characters have speaking dialogue in the bigger events of the game. the smaller ones like shoping for items is just dialgue boxes. The voices of the characters are well known! Like the guy who playes Angel in buffy the vampire slayer. And sora's voice is haley joel osmet. Or something like that. the kid in the 6th sense. Kinda fun.. And the disney characters voices are the sound the same as they do in the films! cool.
All in all its a pretty amazing game!! It's enjoyable and the different worlds are very true to the films and pretty cool to explore. I can see kids enjoying it for the disney factor and the more simple way of the fight scenes. But i believe it will be best enjoyed by the young at heart!!! Very adictive with a gerat story line to follow. Definatly worth buying.
When you start the game up, the title screen looks fairly inconspicuous, but given a couple of minutes the opening sequence starts where you are treated to a wonderful piece of music accompanying some beautiful cinematics.
The story itself takes place across some of the 'worlds' that Disney created, such as Wonderland and the Jungle from Tarzan, and Squaresoft have included some of the top characters from the Final Fantasy games (now you can find out just how depressed Squall from FF8 sounds!!). The plot: stop the Heartless from destroying all the worlds with the help of Sora, Donald and Goofy. The wonderful thing about this is that on certain worlds, certain main characters join your team to help you.
The story is rather well thought out and some of the sideline plots are so sweet! Hey, when the 101 Dalmation puppies are scattered throughout each world, you just have to go and do something about it (or not if you don't like dogs...) The graphics are fantastic, with some of the best vioce acting I've seen in videogaming to date. The music is fantastic, with some of the most moving pieces I've ever heard in a game.
If you've played games like Zelda on the GC, then the lock-on battle system will be familiar to you. One unique twist (to me) is the ability to use the D-pad or the right analogue stick to choose your commands such as fight and magic in the middle of the battle, while you move Sora with the left stick. It's a little tricky to get used to but it doesn't take too long.
As an RPG adventure game, this is rather simple compared to the Final Fantasy games. There are only a few stats to get used to, with levelling up increasing only one stat at a time (plus the occasional ability learned). The magic system is simple, select the spell and cast! And then there's the Gummi ships, where you can spend quite a large proportion of the day just designing and building your own ship to fly between worlds. There's plenty of mini-quests, and millions of enemies to fight (which isn't that bad, considering you're building up you're experience that way...)
But there are a few bad points with this game, unfortunately. The camera is atrocious. You rotate it with the L2 and R2 buttons, but there's no centering the camera and it has a bit of a tendency to wander when you're against the walls, making it difficult if not impossible to gauge you're jumps correctly. Edge detection is also a bit iffy for jumping too. Both of these make the game more frustrating than it should be. But it's worth it, if only to be able to summon Bambi (or Simba) to your side during a battle!
Overall, this is an excellent game. For all it's flaws, this collaboration between Disney and Squaresoft has made this a wonderful experience. I highly recommend this game to all RPG lovers, Disney fans and people who don't get too frustrated with bad camera systems... Here's hoping KH2 is as good, or even better!
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