kingdom hearts review

Asking me to depict my favorite aspects of Kingdom Hearts as if it were just any other game would be like asking a movie critic what their one favorite scene from Citizen Kain was.

TitleKingdom Hearts
Publisher(s)Square, Square Enix, Disney Interactive Studios, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media
Developer(s)Square, Square Enix, Jupiter, h.a.n.d., BitGroove Inc., Success
Genre(s)Action role-playing, hack and slash
ReleaseMarch 28, 2002
esrb-rating-everyoneEVERYONE - Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

You just can’t answer that question because everything goes together so perfectly that in order to just take a single aspect of it as opposed to looking at it as a whole, then there’s just no way that it will be able to impress as well as.

Kingdom Hearts tells of the exploits of young Sora a fourteen-year-old boy whose lifelong dream of exploring new worlds with the help of some Disney magic. Waking up one night after a day-long training session kingdom Hearts wastes no time putting the skills you’ve learned to use.

Fighting off wave after wave of shadow monsters just when your exhausted a miracle happens, a weapon known as the Keyblade appears in your hand. After a few minutes of killing off these creatures, you then fight the same monster that you fight in your dreams.

kingdom hearts characters

A gigantic creature with a hole in his chest that swallows you up. It brings you over to Traverse Town a land where you are a stranger to and the people are even stranger. After bumping into Donald and Goofy, you form an immediate bond and must learn the rules of the new world in order to survive.

Kingdom Hearts at its core is an action RPG. You unlock new skills and powers by killing enemies and leveling up. Your abilities start off limited to only the most basic magic spells (Taught to you by Herman the sorcerer from Disney’s rendition of the sword and the stone). Through countless hours of fighting, you unlock stronger versions of each spell.

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Like many other action RPGs, it offers far more from your standard straightforward hack ‘n’ slash gameplay. The game has multiple types of gameplay that could easily be a game of their own one of the game’s standout features is the ability to customize your own spaceship or “Gummi Ship” using parts that you obtain throughout the worlds you visit.

Constructing a strong Gummi ship is essential in traversing the worlds that you explore. I remember as an eight-year-old how much fun I had with this mini-game of constructing your own ship and blazing through space shoot ’em up levels to reach your new goal.

You collect money and items by defeating foes. While money drops around like candy you should pay extra attention to the items. You collect them as you gain the ability to synthesize them later on. While Kingdom Hearts isn’t the first game to have item synthesis, it was the first game where synthesizing items gives you a great sense of accomplishment.

kingdom hearts gameplay

Other games like Power Stone may have also had this feature. But here every item that you create increases your skills in this department. Some items are so rare that you have to specifically track down certain enemies in different worlds to get the material you need.

The thing that makes this game stand out as an art form is its ability bring cheer and joy to the worlds. All that by defeating the heartless and in a poetic sense “paint the empty canvas that is these worlds Hearts”. Okay, that last line was kinda sappy but it’s true.

The game was simply amazing for the most part. But then the “Hollow Bastion” stage with beauty and the beast and the game became simply perfect. After spending countless hours alongside Donald and Goofy as your teammates, and friends they are forced to leave you just because you are no longer the key blade wielder.

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As an eight-year-old, this scene struck me as heartbreaking. Your best friends forced to betray you because you were no longer the one they were intended to help. The creepy music and moody atmosphere of the Hollow Bastion stage just sets in.

You keep pushing forward with the depressing atmosphere surrounding you. When all hope is lost your teammates rejoin your side. They realize that true friendship matters more than their order past down by even their beloved king.

Because if Mickey was truly worthy of being their king, they knew he would have done the same thing just like the Shadow of the Colossus open barren wasteland Kingdom Hearts environment was what set the tone for this poetic adventure.

Kingdom Hearts comes with a strong story structure. Even with tighter focus on character development and tight flowing gameplay, Kingdom Hearts is no less a great game to play.

FUN FACTOR - The variety of gameplay mechanics and the way they are integrated together with the story is incredible.
GRAPHICS - The way the game can seamlessly transition from the colorful world of Winnie The Pooh to the dark Hollow Bastion is wonderful; it’s a feast for the eyes.
SOUND - Weather it be classic Final Fantasy or modern disney; the soundtrack is nutella for the ears.
SINGLE PLAYER - So many memorable moments make this an unforgettable adventure.
CONTROLS - I recommend getting the PS3, or PS4 versions for better camera control, but even on PS2 I rarely had any issues.
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