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Kingdom Hearts II Review

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the you've-got-to-have-heart dept.

116

The rich IP backgrounds of Square/Enix and the Disney Corporation were thrown together for the first time in 2002. The Square-developed game, entitled Kingdom Hearts, surprised players with a story that blended two very different flavours into a compelling whole. The extent to which that game drew on the respective company's products made for a breathtakingly large world, and a storyline twisty enough to satisfy even the most jaded RPG player. Unfortunately, weak gameplay detracted from the overall experience of the unique title. The sequel, Kingdom Hearts II, picks up the pieces where the original left off and makes noticeable improvements in both story and gameplay. Read on for my impressions of a solid RPG that does fan service like no other title out there.

  • Title: Kingdom Hearts II
  • Developer/Publisher: Square/Enix
  • System:PS2
The original Kingdom Hearts saw the protagonist, Sora, doing battle with a magical race of evil beings known simply as 'The Heartless'. With the help of Donald and Goofy the young man sought out his friends Riku and Kairi (taken by the villains at the beginning of the tale), as well as 'King' Mickey. When the curtain drew at the end of the tale, there were numerous plot threads left hanging; It was already obvious then that a sequel was in the works.

Four years later, and the next chapter in the tale has been released to the PS2. The title begins in a somewhat confusing place if you've never played the card-battle Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories title for the GameBoy. Suffice it to say that Sora has lost his memory, and the first several hours of the game are spent with an alternate persona for the first game's protagonist. This hours-long ordeal is something of an extended tutorial. You're introduced to the concepts you'll be using throughout the game, and slowly begin to crack into the simply enormous plot that flows throughout the title. If the idea of an hours-long tutorial mode isn't intimidating, you're already set to play this game.

Your patience will be well rewarded, though, because once you're out of the introductory plot there's lot of great story to enjoy. Just as in the original, you'll find yourself traveling with Sora, Donald, and Goofy to various world representing Disney movies. Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King are among the properties on display. The Nightmare Before Christmas makes a return with the more traditional titles, and two new live-action pieces are introduced to Kingdom Hearts' stable of worlds. The Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as Tron, make appearances at points along the road to your ultimate destination. With so many worlds to explore, it's unsurprising that you'll encounter varying levels of quality. At one end of the spectrum, you have Mulan. The Chinese fable is one of the first worlds you'll explore out of the gate, and happily so: it's fantastic. You'll fight hordes of opponents (ala the Mongols in the movie), and battle alongside Fa Mulan to defeat the Heartless. The gameworld not only retells the story of the movie, it draws you as a player into the events of the film in an enjoyable way. Tron, similarly, does a fantastic job of getting you into the story. While you might at first see the inclusion of the MCP's system as gimmicky, it's explained in a wholly reasonable fashion. It also looks great. Of course, not everything can be perfect. The other end of the spectrum is inhabited by The Little Mermaid's world. It's a very dull, and generally disappointing experience. I'm a fan of rhythm games, but the attempt they muster is lackluster at best. Attempting to mash a button in a timed interval is not rhythm, it's muddling your game experience. Overall, though, the Disney elements in the game are tremendously satisfying.

I wish I could say the same about the Final Fantasy characters included in the title. As in the first Kingdom Hearts, the more staid RPG characters are standoffish in general, aiding you only when it suits their needs. Aerith, Squall, Yuffie, and Cid are important plot drivers, and clashes between Cloud and Sephiroth are fairly important battles in the latter half of the story. Despite that, the Final Fantasy characters are in general not as well treated as their Disney brethren. Many of them have odd or simplistic dialogue, and some characters (like Tifa Lockheart) come off as quite confused. It's very neat to see the FF characters step out of their normal roles, but the blend that I felt worked so well in the original title doesn't seem as polished here. The Disney characters definitely get the better end of the stick here, and for those of us who have outgrown some of the 80's Disney films that's more than a little frustrating.

Those (small) frustrations aside, the entire experience of Kingdom Hearts II is an improvement over the original. The plot is tighter, with the older protagonist necessitating a more grown-up story. The ramifications of Sora's actions from the first game are very thoroughly explored, and you get a real sense of connection between the young man and the individuals he encounters on his journeys. The worlds themselves are improved as well. They're a good deal 'tighter', with less meaningless space thrown into the mix. If they built a part of a level in this game, it has a point. This results in the worlds feeling shorter, but more fulfilling. There's no need to wander aimlessly through caverns in the Cave of Wonders; You go there, get what you came for, fight a boss battle, and leave. The level design and story dovetail tightly together. The result is a grand story that is also very approachable; It can be played in smaller bites and more completely understood overall. It's a testament to the team that weaknesses from the first game have been directly addressed here.

One of the big weaknesses of the original title, combat, has also gotten some love since the first time around. In addition to the magic and summons that were possible in the first game, limit breaks, drives, and context-sensitive actions have been added to the battleground. Limit breaks are interesting combo moves you can perform with your partners. Goofy, Donald and Sora can hook up for 'Trinity' maneuvers, and each guest star from the Disney gameworlds offers their own thematically appropriate move to help the spikey-haired protagonist take down the baddies. You use limit breaks by filling up a bar, which is just one of the many meters you fill during combat. Your drive bar also fills as you fight, eventually enabling you to enter a function-specific mode. For example, 'Valour' steals Goofy's strength and turns Sora into a dual-wielding dynamo. 'Wisdom' enhances Sora's magical abilities (by borrowing Donald's) and turns his keyblade into something like as submachine gun. Context actions are new to the game, but have seen use frequently in recent titles, and frequently allow Sora access to the 'Trinity' moves. All of which sounds good ... but at the end of the day these new elements aren't that helpful. They look great to be sure, further fleshing out the fantastic imagery of Kingdom Hearts and giving you the impression of options. The reality, however, is that the air combo moves Sora performs just by bashing the 'X' button are so effective as to make much of this superfluous. Some boss fights can get a little tough, and benefit from use of flashy fireworks, but generally speaking you can achieve victory with your thumb firmly on the attack button. The combat still feels more developed than in the first game, but don't expect God of War complexity to the fighting.

Outside of combat, they've continued the push for improved gameplay. A particularly onerous element of the original game was the 'Gummi Ship' rail shooting sequences. They've been revamped from their utilitarian roots into something a lot more enjoyable. It's not an attempt at a full-fledged game within a game; Holding down the fire button will still get you through relatively safely. At the same time, there's a good deal more to do here. Treasures and mini-bosses abound, and the occasional reorientation of the map adds some stylistic changes to the experience. On foot, the camera has been overhauled since the original as well. Fighting with the often asleep-at-the-switch cameraman was another frustration of Kingdom Hearts. The result isn't a watershed, but it's yet another rough edge that's been smoothed out in this incarnation.

For all the complaints that were leveled at the first game, the graphical presentation was a subject avoided by even the stoutest of detractors. Kingdom Hearts looked great, and its sequel goes about improving on the original in a very calculated way. The PS2 just isn't the graphical powerhouse it once was, in comparison to what we're seeing on Microsoft's new console. What were cutting-edge graphics in 2002 look a little dated. The art team has tackled this frustration by honing in on the 'look' of each character, place, and situation with a dead-on push for accuracy. The original's art style tended to blend the game worlds together; The art direction for Tarzan's jungle was generally the same as Alice's Wonderland. With the sequel, the movies are evoked more fully by conjuring the artistic style of the animation into electronic life. The rocky surrounds of Isle de la Muerte have a fundamentally different stylistic base than Beast's castle or 'The Timeless River', the black and white old-timey cartoon world. The game sounds just as good as it looks, the well-earned reputation Square/Enix has with composition once again reaffirmed. The title piece is the most evocative, in typical Jpop fashion, but the moment-to-moment pieces recall the film soundtracks quite successfully. Aurally, my biggest complaint is one I had with the first title as well: Almost all of the musical elements evoke Disney moments and ignore the sound history written by Nobuo Uematsu for the Final Fantasy series. Whether a deliberate decision or not, I would have preferred more than just 'One-Winged Angel' to make an appearance within the Kingdom Hearts series.

The second title to bear the Kingdom Hearts name accomplishes exactly what a sequel should set out to do. It recaptures successful elements of the original, and shores up weak elements of the first game's vision. What we're given, then, is a melding of Disney and Square storytelling in a way that recaptures innocent times through a more adult lens. It's very hard indeed to grow up in America without watching at least one Disney film. That cultural building block makes the image of Sora fighting alongside the Beast, Peter Pan, or Jack Skellington a very hard one to ignore; In fact, it lies at the center of Kingdom Hearts' appeal. For all the fighting and angst, any story that features Mickey Mouse is going to have a happy ending somewhere down the line. In an industry cluttered with amoral vigilantes, objectified women, and escort missions, it's nice to occasionally play a game where you know the good guys are going to win at the end of the day. The game does have a prerequisite though: while the GBA title can be skipped you're definitely not going to get the full effect out of Kingdom Hearts II if you don't play the original. Beyond that, Disney-haters and Final Fantasy foes should look elsewhere; Unless you've got the hate on for Donald Duck you're probably going to find at least one moment in this epic quest that will make you smile like a kid again.

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Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (4, Insightful)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206119)

Play on hard! I played on hard and the game was still way too easy. Significantly easier than the original. I didn't die until the final boss, and I only died once, and it was only because I had no idea what was going on.

Fun game though, if you liked the first one you'll definitely like this one.

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (2, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206235)

actually supposedly playing on normal, is harder than playing on hard, because the requirements for some things are actually harder to complete on normal.

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (1)

Indras (515472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209541)

Not necessarily. There's a secret extra ending video after the last video of the game. In order to unlock it, you must be in either normal or proud (hard) mode. In proud mode, you just have to complete the story of the game (unlock each world, etc). On standard, you must both complete the story and complete jiminy cricket's journal, which includes finishing all sorts of minigames and side missions, and getting good scores on them. The video is impossible to get on beginner level, so you'll always get the regular ending.

As a side note, I'm about 98% done finishing the journal, there's just a few items left to collect and some coliseum battles to do. Sephiroth was a royal pain in the behind, I didn't beat him until level 98 (mostly due to bad timing).

As Napoleon Dynamite would say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206402)

You got mad skillz!

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206568)

Thats the same with every story based RPG. They are really easy!!

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207047)

Not all of them. Some expect you to grind (a lot) between battles and if you don't do that you have almost no chance at getting anything done. Granted, grinding isn't exactly difficult but I do find it very hard to continue such a game.

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206607)

Did you try Sephiroth? He was hard.

Play on hard so that you can get the secret ending without doing spending hours on stupid quests like "push the garbage up the hill."

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206901)

I gave up on sepiroth. The first game, he was hard, but after a lot of practice, I could beat him.

In KH2, he is hard The process was:
1) start
2) block his attack with the reaction command
3) beat on him for a second, then he either teleports away (go to step 2) or
4) he teleports behind me, knocks me into the air, and then kills me before I can touch the ground.

I figured out that with the keepalive skills equipped, he couldn't kill me until after I touched the ground, but he just adds one extra attack almost immediately after touching down that I could dodge about 10% of the time. I've tried counterattack, dodge jump, glide, the recovery skill... once I'm in the air, I'm (almost) dead.

Once, I managed to survive until orbs started appearing around me, mostly thanks to him knocking me into the air, but somehow missing on his next attack... never did figure out how that happened. Ever since then I've levelled up enough to survive one round of getting knocked into the air, but I don't seem to be getting any better.

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208031)

Wait, what? Did we play the same game? Sephiroth was easy. I was only about lvl 70 when I fought him, though I did have Ultima Weapon.

Berserk is very useful, but not strictly necessary. However, you'll need to be good with aerial dodge (the cheapest ability in the game, hands down).

Blocking Sephiroth's charge with the reaction command is pretty easy; you should be able to do this each time without any trouble. He totally telegraphs it.

How are you supposed to deal with his combos? It's actually pretty easy.

As SOON as you get knocked into the air, start jamming aerial dodge. After Sora does his gay little flip to recover, start jamming attack. You'll hit Sephiroth right as he appears. Keep jamming attack, and you'll fall into a combo. If you have berserk equipped and your MP is depleted, you'll spank Sephiroth for almost two full life bars. And by the time you're done, your MP gauge should be up again. What to do, what to do. How about healing? Odds are, you haven't lost any life. But staying in berserk is nice.

Any time Sephiroth is on the ground, do a high jump and then start spamming attack right as you come down on him. Having a keyblade with good range is critical here.

If you pop an elixir right about in the middle of Sephiroth's chant for heartless angel (or whatever it is -- the one that sets you to 1 hp, 1mp), the elixir will go off at just the right time, restoring you to 100%. He seems to always follow heartless angel with a charge, so be ready to block and combo. The timing here might sound difficult, but trust me, it's not that bad.

Occasionally Sephiroth will spawn blue sphere things that home in on Sora. If he does this, just go straight into him, keyblade swinging -- as Sora flails about in the usual way, the keyblade will deflect the spheres while you pummel Seph.

Sephiroth's only other attack is totally lame and totally easy to dodge. He'll head on up into the sky like he's going to use heartless angel, but instead he just fires meteor-looking-things down at Sora en masse. Like I said, easy to dodge. Just run around.

Anyway, the main bullet point here is that you need to go on the offensive. I found this fight disappointingly easy, kind of like the rest of the game.

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208945)

Level 70? Half the walkthroughs were like "oh I beat this guy without a problem without having to power level". I'm around 50 something now and haven't even gotten mp berserk yet. Either way, maybe you're right about playing offensively, I spent all of the battles just worrying about not getting hit and staying alive.

Re:Fun Game, But Take My Advice... (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206942)

Don't you mean [penny-arcade.com] SePoohroth [penny-arcade.com] ?

Evidence the People are trained to hate their Boss (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207653)

Show me one owner of a Intellectual Property (think game) that misuses the verry seal of quality and approval for a good work on your daily labors, "emBossed" is a trademark endowed on a work for it to bear a competent nature in his performance and not that which is to be hated as though an unjust criticism.

So, someone emBosses the Disney Seal of Quality, or the Nintendo Seal of Quality on a game; and yet everyone still hates the Boss because the game is causing the Owner to retrain his experiences from the game and into the living area of the World.

Look at those pictures(c) for Kingdom Hearts; they aren't even the original Disney-style of comic and artisanry. Why does anyone want to accept Japanese softcore comic mixed with some irrelevant Disney characters that have incorporated idiotic personalities and disorders to adapt to the title of presentation? Mickey with a sword? Donald, Goofey, a big tall Japanese inspired Arian man with Grey hair, a young girl with green hair and big eyes? BULLSHIT!

Boycott Disney! Even in the area where I do business, just because to not over-crowed Disneyland at Anaheim California, they modify the Public Schools and Private Schools are set at variance by that DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION to modify Holiday recognition and vacancies as to not overlap. That's how much Disneyland and Disney has affected life. They're just another plundering beast, like Walmart; and Disney is known to steal cartoons and art to incorporate it into its IP without permission.

I must be in the wrong place (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206125)

Aren't there web sites you can go to for game reviews?

Re:I must be in the wrong place (0)

2tonesg (969234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206147)

Yes. Some gamers are geeks, but not all geeks are gamers.

Re:I must be in the wrong place (3, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206340)

Just so you know, you don't actually have to read every single article on Slashdot. If the topic doesn't interest you, you can just skip it.

I don't use Linux. I couldn't care less about the latest Linux release. Do I comment on every one pointing out that not all geeks use Linux? No. If Slashdot only posted articles that would interest every single person reading the site, there wouldn't be a single article here.

Re:I must be in the wrong place (1)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207535)

And also don't forget there is an option in your profile to block stories from certain categories from ever appearing.

Good Game Reviews (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206209)

Yeah, there are so many games reviews sites it's hard to choose! I personally recommend one called Slashdot [slashdot.org] There's a lot of non-gaming stuff on the site, but they do have an entire section devoted to games. Not like in the newspaper where reviews are all lumped into "Entertainment."

piss poor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206148)

How do they choose Slashdot editors?
"the respective company's products"
Jesus, I mean come on.

I've loved both (3, Interesting)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206162)

But I swear, this one's 90% cut scenes. Some of 'em stretch on for 10 minutes plus, and the time between cutscenes is as little as 15 to 30 seconds, sometimes.

It's like watching a bad, low poly CG movie.

If you're a fan of older Final Fantasy stile grinds, it may start to wear on you a little.

Re:I've loved both (2, Interesting)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206271)

I agree. There are WAY too many cutscenes. You can skip them (Push start, then select "skip scene") but then you feel as if you're missing out on part of the story.

However, as a whole, the game is great. I wouldn't say the game is any easier than the first one. Sure, a lot of the battles can be won by mashing the X button... but I'm not necessarily looking for a huge challenge, just a fun game, which it has been so far.

Re:I've loved both (4, Insightful)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206415)

I'm a big fan of GAME-games that test your reflex mettle like Ninja Gaiden and Mario-esque platformers, but game-"games," particular RPGs like Kingdom Hearts, the Xenosaga series, and action borderliners like the Metal Gears should be approached from a different angle. If you don't care for exposition, stay away, but if you accept these as vast, interactive BOOKS, they're a pretty excellent experience.

Re:I've loved both (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207215)

The writing quality in console RPGs is almost always substandard. I had to stop playing Xenogears because the character dialog was so painfully bad.

second? (2, Interesting)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206173)

this is not really the second title to have the kingdom hearts name as you own artile points out there is a game in between called kingdom hearts: chain of memories

If there's no Jessica Rabbit... (3, Funny)

writertype (541679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206181)

It's not perfect. C'mon, best Disney movie ever made.

Re:If there's no Jessica Rabbit... (1)

happysteve (646357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206550)

I agree completely. a Roger Rabbit world you could interact with would be incredibly awesome. Too bad it'll probably never happen due to copyright issues.

Re:If there's no Jessica Rabbit... (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206937)

Submitter needs to look up the term "fan service".

She is in there, I bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207420)

There has to be a 'Hot Coffee' style crack to get to her mini-game.

Re:If there's no Jessica Rabbit... (1)

Ben174 (853174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208627)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit wasn't a Disney movie. It just licensed characters from Disney.

Two things: (3, Informative)

Millennium (2451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206219)

The Kingdom Hearts series is many things, most of them good, but "difficult" isn't one of them. If you want a challenge, then only play KH2 on the hardest difficulty level it offers. This holds true for the rest of the series.

On one other note, the GBA game Chain of Memories was not a card-battler. Although cards were used as an interface metaphor, you never once set out for any remotely-traditional card game. It feels more like Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles than solitaire.

Re:Two things: (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206407)

Agreed. I've played card-battle RPGs, and they almost universally suck.

Chain of Memories is an action RPG where your deck determines the sequence of your available actions and their strength. It's at heart a game of jumping and swinging a sword, though, and not a stragetic card game. To call it a card-battler means that Zonk either hasn't played KH:CoM or hasn't played a card-battler.

The challenge level is almost non-existent, though, from after about the second stage until the end if you stack your deck almost exclusively with strength 7-9 cards. The end, though, gets a little rough. I'm still trying to beat Marluxia with little success; going an entire game without having to develop skills makes you too soft for the end.

Re:Two things: (2, Informative)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206483)

Here's a quick, mostly offtopic solution for you:
Build a deck of about 15-20 keyblades, organized in the pattern (9, 9, 0) over and over. This will give you powerful hits and breaks available at the tap of a shoulder button. The last 6 cards should be all basic cure, (9,9,0,9,9,0) again. Use friend cards at the beginning of a sleight to form Cura (Friend, Cure, Cure).
You can always sacrifice a Cure if you need Curaga on the spot.
This setup will make Marluxia about 10 times easier.

Re:Two things: (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209928)

Sounds like a card-battler to me.

Re:Two things: (1)

Mixel (723232) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206601)

Speak for yourself, it took me hours to catch those fishes :/

Rise of the "Brawler" (4, Interesting)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206259)

Ignoring some of the other elements of KH2 I feel the most distinctive thing in this game is the "brawling" action. There are some parts of the game where you are surrounded by hundreds of opponents that all want to take their portion out of you. Now granted they aren't as burly and strong as you are but that is still a lot of opponents to square off against especially if surrounded with no escape.

This game shows a refinement of the idea of mass brawling which seems to be a cathartic experience found in many movies and TV shows anyway. The Hero is surrounded by The Bad Guys and some how he fights his way out. Who wouldn't want to play this roll? Hopefully Ninty-Nine Nights and a possible KH3 will refine the idea even farther. The fights in KH2 aren't a "gimme" but I feel with some tweaking it would turn from a "fighting off the mindless horde of attackers" to a more pitched battle which feels more exciting and satisfying.

Re:Rise of the "Brawler" (1)

bynary (827120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206869)

Ever played Shenmue for the Dreamcast? Best brawler action ever.

Re:Rise of the "Brawler" (1)

grahamdrew (589499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207530)

If brawler equates to surrounded by hordes of enemies I've got to say that Serious Sam takes the cake.

Re:Rise of the "Brawler" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208647)

The best brawler ever is Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006 [selectparks.net] .

Well I wish it was a real game anyway.

Re:Rise of the "Brawler" (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207838)

Can you break a chair over someone's back? Or failing that, a bottle or vase over their head? That would be cool. It's not a brawl unless chairs get broken and tables overturned. Marshall M. Dillon would agree.

A Serious Game? (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206331)

From the review, this looks like a game I would let my 5 year old neice play.

Re:A Serious Game? (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206590)

I wouldn't, unless you want her to pick up sticks and beat her 4 year old brother to death!

Me, I'm 29, and I'm shocked at the amount of violence in this game. It felt like watching the Matrix series of movies!

Of course if you let your 5 year old neice watch the Matrix series, you're all set!

Re:A Serious Game? (2, Insightful)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206604)

Yeah, I would let my 5-year-old niece play this game too. I'd also play it with her, or even myself. Just because a game features Disney characters, don't automatically assume it holds no other intrinsic value. Statements like, "A little kid would like this game, so I shouldn't" only make yourself out to be an asshat.

Re:A Serious Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208299)

Disney's market is children (and parents buying things for their children). I can't believe any normal adult would want to ride this RPG on rails. Control characters like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Goofy?? Do you wear diapers and play in the ball pit after you get home from work?

Re:A Serious Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15209534)

This should have been released for the Gamecube, where all of the children's games are.

Oh fuck this jap shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206345)

only shutins and pedophiles play this Nip shit.

Darn! (2, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206358)

I was excited about a new RPG until hitting the line "Just as in the original, you'll find yourself traveling with Sora, Donald, and Goofy to various world representing Disney movies. Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King are among the properties on display."

Disney has over-merchandized itself for years. Just don't have the heart to help them do it some more.

But, enjoy...

Re:Darn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206552)

The idea of mixing all the disney movies with final fantasy in a giant fanfic clusterfuck of a game is a terrible idea. That the game is good in spite of the cracked-out premise is,IMHO, a large part of the the appeal

Re:Darn! (1)

Aidski (875851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208779)

If the "over-merchandise" by making an enjoyable game, all the power to them. Don't dismiss something instantly because it involves over-merchandized characters or ideas.

Buy the good stuff like this game and ignore the crap (and there's a LOT of disney crap), and maybe they'll learn to make better merchandise for their films.

But they probably won't. But still you get to stop whining and enjoy something.

Fan service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206371)

When "fan service" was mentioned, I first thought of typical anime, but then I realized there would be no nekkid Disney characters.

"Fan service" -- I looked it up (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206399)

Hardly a sterling recommendation: [wikipedia.org]

Fan service (Japanese simply "saabisu", "service"), sometimes written as a single word, fanservice, is a vaguely defined term used in visual media -- particularly in anime fandom --to refer to elements in a story that are unnecessary to a storyline, but designed to amuse or excite the audience. ... This term is, however, occasionally used in the video gaming community, most notably in MMORPGs. The meaning remains mostly the same, content added for the sake of fans and not for any actual gaming value, and is almost always derogatory.

Re:"Fan service" -- I looked it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207100)

The term "fan service" as used in anime has always meant "animated pornographic imagery."

This is clarification, not redundancy...

It would be very awkward to read about "fan service" in a game with disney characters.

I expect at least one post about disney characters without pants or shirts, yeah, har har, hush up and get back to work.

Re:"Fan service" -- I looked it up (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208707)

No, it hasn't. Fan service is just something that was put in to cater to the fans. This could nudity, or panty-flashes, but it could also be (and often is) flashy mecha scenes, hints of romance between two characters, excessive violence, etc.

Re:"Fan service" -- I looked it up (1)

Creepyguywithastick (934101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207135)

I believe the "Fan service" part was the completely irrelevant battle between Cloud and Sephiroth, and the insight into their connection.

Need testers! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206404)

dear internet: i have hobbies. a couple friends and i have been working on a GBA game, the engine is up & running, i'm in charge of the graphics- it's not that hard, since it's one of those 'tribute' games, so i don't have to use my imagination too much. we're calling it Megaman3X [like megamanx3, you know, but reversed, how clever] i put a beta up here [rapidshare.de] if any of you want to try it. it runs in VBA and on actual consoles.. it's not done yet, there are no enemies and the engine is a bit sticky at times, but it's looking promising.
 
try it out and tell me what you think.

Re:Need testers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15209119)

It sucks. Give up.

Metaverse? (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206413)

Is bringing these disparate worlds together successfully in one game a point in favor of a Metaversehttp://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid= 06/03/24/1646249 [slashdot.org] ?

Copyright killed the metaverse (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206542)

A metaverse based on cross-licensing among a few large companies would cover only a tiny subset of MMOG space. Anything larger would require the support of the U.S. Congress and other national legislatures to roll back the scope of exclusive rights under copyright. Given that The Article is about a game that takes place in Disney's world, and that Disney was the major corporate backer of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and has supported all the MPAA's pet legislation, will this happen?

Re:Metaverse? (1)

Creepyguywithastick (934101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207211)

There are plot elements that imply that Kingdom Hearts takes place in a parallel universe from the canon universes. The most obvious hints are the fact that characters from the same worlds are completely different ages, species, and art styles. There are also implications that the story in it's entirety may not be real (the first line of KH1 was "I've been having these weird thoughts lately, like, is any of this for real, or not?") and there is a point later on in the game where a character seems to be making a 'digital copy' of the entire universe, even though this has little baring on the rest of the plot other than to alert you to the idea that he may have done it.

nowhere near as good as the original (5, Interesting)

bbkingadrock (543696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206471)

This game pales in comparison to the first, in many ways. Mainly:

-The level design isn't "tighter", it is a complete phone-it-in effort. You go from one square room to another, with absolutely no element of exploration. Gone are hidden chests or doorways, or anything hidden for that matter You will easily get every single treasure chest in this game without much of an effort. You walk into a room, and you can see them plain as day.

-The difficulty has been reduced to nill in every manner. Any enemy that would present a challenge is instead defeated very simply by a 'reaction command'. Which means you press triangle once, and watch Sora kill the enemy in ridiculous fashion. Side quests for glory have been vastly simplified and reduced. (Not that I am sure I have encountered everything in KH2, i am not using a strategy guide). The best weapons in the game are quite simple to synthesize, it is extremely easy to get to max out your level due to the incredible amount of experience you gain from basic enemies, the colliseum levels are incredibly easy, and optional bosses are taken down with some simple X-mashing (with the occasional triangle press....when the entire screen lights up green, a triangle appears on the enemy, and your command list adds a new triangle command to the top).

Re:nowhere near as good as the original (2, Informative)

ink (4325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206936)

I would agree with the level design; but then again, there wasn't much exploration outside of Traverse Town in the original (just as there isn't much exploration outside of Twilight Town in this one). I think in KH1 there were 2 branches in Tarzan, and practically just two rooms in Neverland. I wish that they had spent more time developing a smaller number of worlds.. I mean Mulan and Beast's Castle...?? WTF?

Tron Sora was fun; and the light-cycle minigame was OK. But then, Square almost never has good mini-games.

As for the difficulty; if you play it on 'hard', it's about the same as the first game.

I really, really enjoyed this game. The music was incredible; the story is solid and the surprises abounded.

Re:nowhere near as good as the original (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207394)

The original Kingdom Heats levels felt just like Disneyland to me, actually. Disneyland always bugged me because it's designed to give the illusion of being big and full of neat stuff, but explore for a bit and you quickly realize that the various branches off the main path quickly lead to either dead ends or back to the main path. KH1 seemed to be afraid to let you get lost, while other RPGs aren't. Hell in Morrowind you spend a huge portion of the game lost and looking for a tiny mine about the size of a postage stamp in a huge range of mountains! THAT's exporation!

Oddly though, I actually liked the KH1 old combat system. It was a twitch video game combat system that that wasn't too complex but required a lot of reaction against frequently large numbers of enemies. Sometimes I just want to go clear out rooms of bad guys. I still prefer it to pretty much every other PS2 RPG combat system I tried. The one in magna carta sucked so hard that even though I was interested in the story line I just couldn't play the game.

Re:nowhere near as good as the original (1)

nova20 (524082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209391)

Well at least the triangle key is used. That seriously bugs me about the first one (which I've just gotten around to playing recently).

This new finding leads me to believe that the control is improved. Cycling through menus is time-consuming and inefficient.

Also, it seems to me that the D-pad could have been put to better use than doubling the operation of the right control stick. I'd say make the constrol stick move the camera and leave the pad for menu options, but that would *seriously* affect gameplay at times.

Re:nowhere near as good as the original (1)

galfridus73 (873250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209897)

Then you aren't looking (or maybe playing on easy?) - I've found numerous hidden chests already and I only just unlocked Port Royal and Atlantica.

I agree that there are portions of it that are simpler (such as the quick reaction moves), but I don't think you are giving credit to the points where it's due.

YOU FAIl IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206496)

Numbers. The loss OVER THE SAME part of GNAA 1f large - keep your Users With Large BefoIre playing to us the courtesy United States of

Cut Scenes (3, Insightful)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206521)

Dear god please stop with the cut scenes. A cut scene is a crutch used when you are not creative enough to mix story with gameplay. Silent Hill is another great example of this where you do little else than kill stuff and find items to view the next non-interactive cut scene. Seems like they finally got it right and made it into a movie like they should have in the first place.

Half Life on the other hand never once in either game takes you out of your character. You are a part of every cut scene. While it seems impressive they didn't really have to change much.

Silent Hill and Half Life are two different extremes, but the game industry should try incorporating these together a bit more.

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206580)

Hit pause and "Skip Scene"

Do that for the whole game, however, and you'll quickly discover that the cut scenes are important. They are the impetus for playing the game!

Re:Cut Scenes (4, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207542)

Well, yes -- that's his point. The plot movement should be in the game itself: If skipping the cutscenes stops the game from being compelling, then the plot isn't sufficiently well-integrated with the rest of the game.

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208582)

Having played the game, I honestly don't see HOW you could do that.

How do you integrate into gameplay the scene where Axel goes, "Silly, some of us don't have next lives," or where Sora cries and says, "You know, I'm sad,"?

Movies and text are legitimate story telling mechanisms; games that utilize movies and text are richer than games that do not utilize movies and text, though not necessarily stronger.

Of course all that means is that KHII is a vehicle in which you play the game in order to see the movies; if you don't want to see the movies, there really is little point to playing the game*

*I love the Gummi Ship game, so I actually play the game to unlock more Gummi Routes and create cooler Gummi Ships.

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208680)

How do you integrate into gameplay the scene where Axel goes, "Silly, some of us don't have next lives," or where Sora cries and says, "You know, I'm sad,"?

Just because the player retains control doesn't mean NPCs can't engage in scripted actions, so one can have scenes where NPCs express themselves effectively.

Movies and text are legitimate story telling mechanisms; games that utilize movies and text are richer than games that do not utilize movies and text, though not necessarily stronger.

Yes, they're legitimate storytelling mechanisms -- but part of the point of a game (as opposed to a movie) is the player's immersion, and taking away control (particularly for a fairly long period of time) reduces that. See Deus Ex for an outstanding example of a game conveying a complex and involved plot without nontrivial use of cutscenes.

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

ShawnDoc (572959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208121)

But the cut scenes are horrible. I agree, skip them and you have no idea what's going on, but they are so painful to sit through. Long, tedious, and for the most part with horrible voice acting and writing. I wish there was a way to turn off the voiceovers and just have the text pop up on screen where I could accelerate it by hitting X. In all honestly, they'd be much more bearable if the pacing of the cut scenes was sped up a tad. I often find myself waiting tearing out my hair as I wait for the fricken camera angle to change or whatever before someone responds to someone else.

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206773)

The problem with games like Half-Life and Halo, which do the "cut scene" dialog while you're playing, is that frequently, I can't focus on the dialog (or even hear it) because I'm too busy gunning down aliens. There has to be a happen medium.

Re:Cut Scenes (2, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209330)

While I can't say I really had that problem, I know what you mean. I think the Final Fantasy series really has it figured out (or at least with VII and VIII, X seemed to overdo it a little) - use a cutscene to glorify an important event, not force along the story. Think all of those small subtle moments with cutscenes - first time you see the Highwind, for example. It didn't need that five-second CGI clip, but it glorified something that becomes quite significant. When cutscenes become something that limits interactivity to show off how leet they can be with graphics, it really can become a crappy movie to an extent.

Re:Cut Scenes (3, Insightful)

Temposs (787432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206778)

I actually like cut-scenes greatly if they're well-done, and I do look at games like this as sort of an interactive movie or book. You simply will not get the same type of experience if it's interactive all the time, and being interactive constantly should not always be the highest goal for a game to have.

And until games start having sophisticated linguistic and other communication involved, constant interactivity will always be second rate.

Re:Cut Scenes (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208595)

Silent Hill is another great example of this where you do little else than kill stuff and find items to view the next non-interactive cut scene.

Uh which Silent Hill did you play? SH1-3 at very least have very few cutscenes, not a lot of dialog (as there's almost no one to talk to!), and really very little killing: you don't get anything for killing a monster, and you're more likely to get hurt.

Instead, you get a very creepy interactive atmosphere... there's a door. What's behind it? If you go through, will it still be there when you turn around? Will you even be in the same world? As you progress, and the sanity of the world itself degrades, what will be left? That's what Silent Hill is about.

Also (up until 4, at least, from what I've heard), another bit of gameplay is solving riddles, from easy to very difficult (the Shakespeare puzzle on hard mode in SH3, for example).

Sounds like you heard about the movie then assumed the game was the same way.

Utada Hikaru's music (3, Interesting)

courtarro (786894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206547)

The theme song for the game by Utada Hikaru, titled "Passion", is awesome as well. I recommend everyone find a way to listen to it if you're open to Japanese music. If you like the song, check out the music video.

Re:Utada Hikaru's music (3, Informative)

Parham (892904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206695)

The one thing I took out of Kingdom Hearts 1 was the main song for it by Utada Hikaru ("Simple and Clean") and the same thing has happened with "Passion" in Kingdom Hearts 2. The game might not be up to par with other, more familiar RPGs, but the music is definitely worth a listen.

Re:Utada Hikaru's music (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207031)

She is my favourite japanese artist for a reason ;)

It makes me glad that more people are being introduced to her music. Try Google Video for the japanese version of the song, it's excellent :)

More of a movie than a game... (1)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206665)

Especially at the beginning. Every once in a while you would have a brief break from the cutscenes, where you might be given the choice to walk into the right area (and no other area, lest a text box come up saying, "no not this way!"), and just as soon as you walk into that area, BAM, new cutscene.

It honestly feels like you have absolutely no control whatsoever. As has been stated earlier, it's also a little too easy. All that said, this is still a pretty good game. Just a warning to those who don't like to ride the RPG rails (ie. fallout and morrowind fans), minus some minor character modification, this game allows 0 degrees of freedom.

...does fan service like no other title out there. (1)

Dr.Altaica (200819) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206728)

For some reson I can't see Disney doing a game with loads of T&A shots it in.
Does anyone else remember the _White_Fang_ disaster.

Nice review (2, Informative)

Dacmot (266348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206756)

Overall this is a nice review, and I agree with most of it.

The new worlds are very fun but Atlantica is my worse nightmare of boredom coming true. I really thought they would take advantage of the new right-analogue-stick floating movement and make us use it in a "real" world... but no. Instead we get "finny fun". Thanks for nothing.

Combat for me is hit and miss. I like the drive forms and the limits. The summons are awkward compared to KH1 though. As for fighting, just mashing the X button usually does the trick: I feel like you have less control over battles. In KH1 dodge-roll and glide were tactics I often used to get around enemies and avoid hits. In KH2 there's not much you can do to avoid hits. On the other hand you can bring up some amazing combos if you hit SQUARE at the right time instead of keeping to X. It somewhat compensate for the lack of control over the character.

Overall I would say it's a great game.

Re:Nice review (1)

Indras (515472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209574)

The new worlds are very fun but Atlantica is my worse nightmare of boredom coming true. I really thought they would take advantage of the new right-analogue-stick floating movement and make us use it in a "real" world... but no. Instead we get "finny fun". Thanks for nothing.

Not to be a nitpicker, but you actually do use the right analog stick to control altitude in one very large part of Agrabah, while flying on the carpet. And it's not just in the minigame, you can go there and fight like that anytime you want. But it's got lots of graphical glitches... for instance, if you lower all the way to the ground and jump, the carpet disappears down under the sand. Oh, and enemies randomly appear and disappear if you fly around too fast.

Definitely not worth using on a regular basis.

Buy it here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206804)

You can buy the game here: Kingdom Hearts 2 [amazon.com] . And if you use the "secret" A9.com discount [amazon.com] , you can save an extra 1.57%!

Hate Disney, but love the Disney babes (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206814)

And how can you hate a game that lets you teleport directly into Belle's bedchamber (from Beauty & The Beast)?

I'm so lonely. :(

The review missed 1 MAJOR point... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15206824)

The 3 hour (playable) intro was WAY too boring. Everything you do in the 'intro' is pointless. None of the mini-game scores are kept and you don't actually have to even play them.

My friend's girlfriend (he's not a geek, sadly) bought KH2 without playing KH1 at all. She was bored stiff and I offered to buy the game from her. She accepted, but then I had an idea. I'd buy KH1 again and trade for a while, instead of buying KH2. She LOVES KH1. And after the first 3 hours, I loved KH2.

Re:The review missed 1 MAJOR point... (1)

movieman200x (903104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208623)

Not everything you do in the intro is pointless. I spent time during the intro leveling up Roxas and collecting mass amounts of munny and items. When I became Sora, after the intro, I kept it all. Made the game even easier than it's already obloingmade out to be.

Re:The review missed 1 MAJOR point... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209028)

I would have preferred continuing as Roxas. At any rate, I quite enjoyed the intro--you actually got to explore a new world from a reasonable perspective, not from the point of view of that world's savior. Compared to having a cutscene to introduce Nobodies, it was a clear choice.

Lacking outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15206828)

Square's shit hit the fan when they buddied up with Disney, and ceased competing with Enix (THEIR GAMES WERE BETTER WHEN THEY WERE COMPETITORS -- simple as that). At least they seemed to warn us in advance of the decline of the quality of their games as of FF8 -- it was all downhill from there. I'm just surprised that I seem to be in the minority of people who have a problem with Square making games with... DISNEY, of all companies. Disney is the epitome of mediocrity in filmmaking -- all eyecandy, but with mediocre and childish stories, afraid of straying off the path of the conventional. Disney's reputation is one of the reasons that animation is still seen as a primarily "kiddy" genre here, as American filmmakers who aren't Matt Stone and Trey Parker are afraid of handling mature themes in the animated paradigm. Any other time you see cartoons being used in mature situations, you get the moral minority right-wingers and the big government lefties crying "you're trying to sell drugs and alcohol to our children". See: Joe Camel.

By the way, "Heavy Metal" was a Canadian movie.

Can someone help me??? ^________^ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207035)

Im looking for a bento box, it cant be pinku (thats japanese for pink) or any girl color. It has to be of 2 or more kotoba (thats japanese for 2 compartments) and has be be chibi (small) sized. And has to be really kawaii (cute). Also It has to be about 10-20 bux. And you have to post pics of it first (i want to make shure it's kawaii (cute)). And it would be nice if it came with matching chopstick holder (WITH chopsticks). OH! and it CANNOT have any cartoon pictures, or be made out of plastic. It has to be made of ceramic, or something like that. Also it would be nice if it was made in japan. and not in china or corea (korea) or whatever. I have found a bento box similar to the one im describing in e-bay, but it was 1 kotoba, and i dont want my gohan (rice) to touch my other things (it can get wet and i would not like that, plus 2 compartments looks more kawaii)

Just Kairi ist enough reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207082)

<3 <3 <3

I disagree (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207094)

The gameplay between the first and second game is dramatic. The first Kingdom Hearts had a very solid gameplay, and some very difficult levels. The second Kingdom Hearts is more like an interactive movie. So far, I am in the Atlantica level, and I feel I have had more cutscenes than gameplay. The gameplay is overly simplistic, the first game required strategy on most of your oponents, the second game is a button masher. You equip your abilities, and then just lay on the X button. While the story is great, there is just too much of it, too much is revealed too early in the game, and interaction with the enviornment is misrable. The minigames are extreamely easy, I usually beat the scores in the strategy guide with my second or third attempt. With the first Kingdom Hearts, I could not put the game down, with this game, I have not picked it up in two weeks, I have spent more time playing We Love Katamari, which has excellent replay value. Truthfully, Kingdom Hearts 2 would have been a great game if there was less focus on story and more on gameplay, I bought a game, not an interactive movie. The levels are also MUCH smaller than they were in the original Kingdom Hearts, I can usually beat a land in an hour on the new game, whereas I would spend about 4-5 hours a land on the original Kingdom Hearts. And I am not alone with this, I know three other people who have played the game, and 2 of them are more annoyed with the endless story boards than I am. The third thinks its the greatest game ever made. So, in the small community of people I know, 75% of the audience was disappointed in it. This is not to say its not a good game, its just that Square rarely disappoints on delivering sequals, and we were expecting Kingdom Hearts 2 to be at least as good as Kingdom Hearts. I will have to admit, it is MUCH better than Chain of Memories. I am not complaining about graphics or anything on Chain of Memories, for a GBA game, it was excellent, but to go from an RPG to a card battle game was the stupidest move Square ever made.

What would I have done differently in Kingdom Hearts 2 if I was on the design team? Bigger levels for starters, the underworld, China, and Beast's Castle are WAY too small. I mean, the first level is freakin China, they could have done some really amazing stuff with this level. (First level, that is, after the game officially gets started, roughly after about 8-9 hours of play and storyboard, or 2 hours if you skip the story board, I know, we tried both). A little strategy needed on the bosses would have been nice, they are way too easy.The coolest level so far has been timeless river. I would have loved them to do more with this level, the animation and boss fights were simply amazing. I was really disappointed that this level took me 20 minutes to play. Puzzles would be nice. The first game had a few puzzles, the second seems to have none. I have litterally found myself falling asleep late at night playing this game, wake up 10 minutes later, and still be alive. I mean, I can litterally play this game in my sleep.

I know my opinions do not reflect everyones, but I do not think anyone would complain if the game had just a bit more depth to it.

A couple of beefs I had with KH2 (2)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207178)

(1) I'm carrying around this HUGE FRIGGIN' KEY that can BASH enemies who have THREE HEADS and can unlock PATHWAYS between WORLDS, and yet I'm stopped by locked gates?

(2) People who live in RPGs like to own small treasure chests. In one they'll put a healing potion, in another they'll put a ring of fire protection, etc. I'm glad they still don't mind me wandering through their homes and looting them.

(3) This game's a real button-masher. The battles are fast-paced and well-animated, and the battle engine allows for jumps and attacks and blocks and spells and special moves; but when there are ten characters dukeing it out in a small space, I find it really hard to see who's doing what. There's many a time I've ended up standing a distance away swinging my keyblade at empty air until the camera swings around to show me I'm not part of the action.

(4) The plot is interesting, but I'm getting tired of the pointless side-quests. Not just in KH2, but in *all* RPGs. "Yes, I will give you the combination to the safe so that you can recover the Amulet of Quendor, but first you must journey through that dark mountain cave in which lives a terrible dragon, because I want you to fetch me a sandwich from the little deli on the other side."

(5) The voice acting in KH2 is a mixed bag. Christopher Lee is good, really good. Most of the rest of the actors are obviously just reading lines from a script without any real emotion. The pause between lines is really awkward - even when a character is interrupted in mid-sentence, there'll be a second or two before the character who's interrupting him says anything. But the real nadir of the voice acting in this is Mena Suvari as Aerith - she's just hideously terrible; she sounds as if she's reciting lines while she's doing her hair. I'd much rather imagine Mena Suvari in a bathtub with rose petals.

I beat the game, and I wish I'd played it on the hardest difficulty level instead of on Normal; it was just too darned easy. Gameplay consisted of cutscenes followed by wandering around fighting random attacks until I reached the next cutscenes. None of the treasure chests were any difficulty whatsoever to find. I hardly made any use at all of the synthesis Moogle; I never had enough stuff for him to make much with.

And neither KH nor KH2 ever reach the emotional heartaches or plot complexity that any of the Final Fantasy series reach, but the original KH's ending was wonderfully bittersweet, whereas KH2's ending kind of fell a little flat for me. Tacked-on opening left for KH3, anyone?

Re:A couple of beefs I had with KH2 (1)

Prosthetic_Lips (971097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209255)

Ok. You're a MMORPG or Morrowind-type person, right?

(1) Point conceded. Do you have a better way of keeping people away from places they aren't supposed to be, or are you advocating that all games should be Daggerfall / Morrowind?

(2) It's this way in most RPG games. You didn't even mention that enemies are carrying money and valuable jewels!

(3) Did you experiment with the helper character AI? You can make them fight someone other than the enemy you are fighting ("team battle" I think?).

(4) I don't remember too many fetch quests here. It was mainly that you can't even see a world until you beat this other world -- because you haven't opened the path with your keyblade.

(5) I agree, some of the voice actors are really just actors, and don't seem to relate well to the "demands" of being a voice actor, where people have to *hear* you emoting.

Re: synthesis moogle - of course you didn't have stuff, because you didn't try to collect everything. I felt that most of the synthesis was for the completists, who would run around for hours just to collect a weapon that was dropped by a book.

KH2 seemed to want to wrap everything up as it went along, instead of a few climax scenes -- FF7 comes to mind, with a few key scenes that really stick in your head. And yes, KH3 was left wide open, just like KH1 had an ending that hinted at a larger story (the "dive" video). I guess they are taking lessons from book writers, who include chapter 1 at the end of a book to draw you into the next book.

Gamecube... (1)

w1z7ard (227376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207266)

Why, oh why, did they not release a version for the gamecube? Fire emblem was great, but one good RPG just ain't enough (Crystal Chronicles hardly counts). I thought Nintendo and Square Enix "resolved their differences"?

Re:Gamecube... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208155)

If you like Old-school RPGs, check out Skies of Arcadia: Legends on the GCN. It's a remake that fixes a lot of the problems of the original DC Version (which I also bought).

What of the fanartists? (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207401)

This Kingdom Hearts stuff is a bit of a poison pill for fanart, isn't it?

Square's one of the most fanart-friendly companies out there, and suddenly they're collaborating with one of the absolute least friendly. It's inviting trouble.

Am I the only one here who hated the first one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207567)

I had the highest hopes for it too.

I rented it when it came out way back when and while the production values were impressive, the god awful camera and boring levels killed it for me.

A friend of mine thought I must have been nuts to hate on the sure-fire Square "masterpiece"...until he played it. The guy tried to like it but it was just too dull.

Anime sucks ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207619)

This game blows.... Anime is for tards....

Re:Anime sucks ass (1)

chemguru (104422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208347)

'Cause anime is teh suck.
                  [adult swim]

yuo 7ail i7. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208571)

stupid. To the another folder. 20

IP (1)

Zeal0t (473231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208729)

The rich IP backgrounds...
Just hearing the abbreviation IP (when it doesnt mean Internet Protocol) makes me sick lately for some reason...

Well now we know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15209012)

What zonk's been doing instead of reading story submissions for the past month at the slashdot offices.

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