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Kingdom Hearts II Platinum (PS2)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Kingdom Hearts series is renowned for being a thing of greatness. Ever since Kingdom Hearts 1, the once-unfathomable idea of Disney and Final Fantasy crossing over has proved to be a thing of true-creative genius, beautiful presentation and totally enjoyable gameplay.

With this Platinum release, it now means you can treat yourself to a classic at a bargain price. And I can't recommend it enough. Two years after its original release, it's STILL a mandatory purchase.

Kingdom Hearts 2 takes place a year after the events of Chain of Memories. But before Sora, Donald and Goofy make their return, the story starts out in a world called Twilight Town, focusing on a newcomer called Roxas. Roxas is being plagued with dreams of Sora and soon finds himself subjected to weird happenings. It's not long until the Keyblade mysteriously falls into his possession and he encounters DiZ, Naminé and Axel, the only member of the Organization to have survived and returned from the events of Chain of Memories.

Soon, however, Sora, Donald and Goofy are back in the fray, and have to contend once more with returning Disney villains and the Heartless, as well as a brand new threat; the Nobodies and the remaining members of Organization XIII. The events that follow complicate matters and their desire to find their lost friends.

Kingdom Hearts 2's visuals are absolutely stunning. Right from the CGI movies to the in-game graphics. As with KH1 and KH: COM, the game has the feel of a Disney movie and works on every level. It's still amazing that Disney and Final Fantasy crosses over and succeeds. And the fact that the worlds are based on cartoon AND live-action this time around justifies how flawless the presentation is. Nothing feels out of place here.

The sound is, for the lack of a better term, godlike. Kingdom Hearts' music score and voice acting was near perfect. In the sequel, the orchestra and soundtrack is even better. The music for each of the worlds, boss fights and cut scenes are a real treat to listen to. Many famous pieces of Disney music have been recreated brilliantly for the game and the original pieces are full of emotion too.

As with the first Kingdom Hearts, an all-star voice cast is present and there is plenty of greatness here. But there are a few things to be very picky about. For numerous reasons, not everyone could reprise their roles for this game, so sadly, there's no Billy Zane, David Boreanaz, Whoopi Goldberg, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom among others, but the guys who fill in do a very good job nonetheless.

The majority of the voice cast are at the top of their game and it shows. The Disney actors and guests who give life to the original characters naturally go without question. But the standout ones include Haley Joel Osment, who remains brilliant as Sora, this time giving a deep voice to the growing teenage hero. Jesse McCartney likewise is awesome as Roxas, so too Quinton Flynn as Axel. And of course, James Woods deserves all the credit in the world for his typically classic performance as Hades.

But the best voice actor in the game, bar none, is unquestionably the great Christopher Lee, who gives such life to the enigmatic DiZ. There is no other voice on the planet that can give more credit to the character and you'll hear for yourself that I'm not exaggerating.

The gameplay has changed from the first Kingdom Hearts. It's similar but noticeably different. Fights are still in real-time but many new features have been incorporated, such as reaction commands and the inclusion of Drive forms, which make Sora more powerful and are a welcome addition. There are now some cool double-team moves to pull off with party members, and the camera has thankfully been greatly improved from the last game, which was diabolical. Although still not perfect, it's much better and such a relief to use.

The Gummi Ship routes are back this time and also greatly improved. This time round, they are a great addition and are actually purposeful and thus more enjoyable, with extra missions and ships to be unlocked. There are also plenty of secrets to explore, Coliseum tournaments to unlock, and numerous side tasks to accomplish in order, so there is plenty of replay value to keep you coming back for more.

The most rewarding thing about playing Kingdom Hearts 2 is definitely the story. The stories in the first game and KH: COM were awesome, so naturally the story here is truly one of epic proportions from start to finish, right from Roxas' tragic tale to the poignant resolution. Everything comes together and the mysteries regarding DiZ, Naminé, and the Organization are finally revealed. The answers are immensely satisfying and prove that Square-Enix knew what they were doing all along. Startling new revelations also come to light regarding KH1's main antagonist, Ansem, thus making a very interesting villain even more interesting than ever before.

There are also some tremendous sub-plots that are great in their own right. Having played KH1, I still had a few doubts as to what would work and what wouldn't. Kingdom Hearts 2 proved me wrong by showing that anything can work. The Pirates of the Caribbean world springs to mind, as does the Tron world, which plausibly plays an important role in the main story. And like last time, the Winnie the Pooh world fits in perfectly and is absolutely charming and enjoyable.

In closing, Kingdom Hearts 2 remains phenomenally good. There are a few things to nitpick about, so it's not perfect, but like the previous games, it's very close to being perfect. All fans WILL be satisfied.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Kingdom Hearts has returned! I was delighted as the first one is definately in my top 5 favourite games. With improved battle functions, more productive Gummi Ship activities and even handier ability to skip the long video sequences that drove me a bit mad in KH1!

Kingdom Hearts 2, although a brilliant game, somehow lacks the magical charm of the first one. I think because it is set in modern Disney film lands, includes modern characters and the dialogue is more Westernised/very American (one character keeps saying "Y'know" and it's very annoying!) than the first one where all the characters use no modern slang and speak a timeless neutral dialogue.

The use of the triangle button throughout makes battles less hard on your hands and it's great how chests can be opened during fights too. The game can be finished a lot quicker than KH1 but I enjoy doing all the sub-games and increasing my stats so you can take as long as you like!

Still, the good outweigh the bad by a long shot. A very playable, charming game that I've never tired of after completing it 3 times already. The many sub-games are a bit of fun and you don't NEED to do them all to complete the game. The musical score is very good and the song "Sanctuary" at the start by Utada Hikaru is beautiful. That and "Simple and Clean" from KH1 are on my iPod!!

Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA)
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on 11 February 2011
When I played this game the first time, I was around 14, and this was my first proper introduction to RPGs (asides from pokemon). Four years have passed and this game introduced me to gaming, and it's still one of my favourites. I played Kingdom Hearts 1 after this (I have to admit, I bought it because of the adverts) because I loved this game so much. The story is brilliant, the characters are great, and the game as a whole is really good. Some people have a few criticisms - the battle system involves very little strategy (mostly button mashing), going to the disney based worlds seems to be a bit thrown together, and some people say that final fantasy and disney shouldn't mix. Frankly, I grew up with disney films and this game brings nostalgia together with some of my (now) favourite video game characters, and the battle system is refreshingly easy to use! This is a great game for people who have never played RPGs before (thought maybe starting with KH1 is better!) and seasoned gamers alike. Great story, great characters, great graphics. What more can you ask?
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on 4 February 2014
Kingdom Hearts II. What is ther to say about this game that hasn't already been said.

I'll start from the beginning. I was introduced to this game by my friend Ryan 7 years ago, when we were both in 4th grade. I specifically remember during the opening sequence, where the player sees Sora's memories being reconstructed, I freaked out, because everything kept going snowy and I thought I had broken the game!

Fast forward a few months, and I'm at a car boot sale. I'm sold most of my stuff and I choose to have a look around. A few rows over, there's a couple of teenagers selling a PS2. I ran back to the car, grabbed my earnings, and snapped it up. Bought Kingdom Hearts II the next day and never looked back.

This game is backed full of emotion, great gameplay and a story that is closer to my heart than words can express. I've been through 3 PS2s in my pursuit of coming back to play this game, and I don't regret it for a moment.
- Strahan W.
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on 1 February 2011
Kingdom Hearts II is the second instalment of the series of games by Square Enix. The game follows Sora, the Keyblades chosen one and Roxas, his nobody. The game starts with Roxas, in the world known as Twilight Town. After Sora's life is restored and he awakes, he, Donald and Goofy once again set sail in the Gummi ship to new worlds.

Kingdom Hearts encorporates classic Disney characters(Belle, Donald, Goofy, Mikey, Ariel) with Final Fantasy characters (Cloud, Leon) and the games own (Sora, Roxas, Kairi, Axel, Demyx) to create one of the best game series ive ever played.
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on 27 April 2011
I just started playing this and the graphics are amazing. It is like watching a movie and playing a game at the same time. The story is great and follows on from the previous Kingdom Hearts games.They have made improvemants from the first game, the camera is better and it is possible to skip the cut scenes. For a ps2 game the graphics are mindblowing, really addicted to this game straight away. Anyone who owns a PS2 should own this game.
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on 9 July 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this game. The Organisation can be bit confusing at times though. Also the prologue drags in (probably because you are so excited to get into it with Sora & co). The worlds are great, no difference there! However the first one is a bit better. All in all it is a very good game, boss fights are challenging & not too difficult (most of them), gameplay & graphics are good as well.
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on 5 November 2013
The first game was amazing, but this one really ups the bar. Not only do you gain a triangle action which can make fight scenes feel more cinematic and huge, but you also have returning places, new places which can be very cool such as the Tron world where they actually got the voice of Tron involved in doing this.

A very nice step up from the first and well worth the money.
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on 7 December 2010
It's an excellent game! The storys a bit confusing if you havent played the games on the gameboy / DS... the gameplay additions are excellent.... if you're a fan of the kingdom hearts series definitely get it!
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on 21 October 2014
The game itself is amazing but was not the Platinum edition. Still a brand new regular edition and it was cheaper than secondhand regular editions so I can't complain!
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