Kingdom Hearts 2 Review: End Of The PS2 Trilogy
Kingdom Hearts 2 starts you off literally, right where Re: CoM left you. Remember that cut scene I told you about? It showed Roxas and friends in Twilight Town, just having a good time. That is where you start Kingdom Hearts 2. Roxas and friends are wanting to go to the beach before school starts up again, so you have to go around and do jobs and such. Like delivering mail by skateboard, and putting on a show for people in the street, using a ball. In all honesty, I found this part really... Boring. It went on for far too long in my opinion. However, after coming across DiZ, he goes back to being a part of Sora. Ending his part of the story (for now).
Now this is where Kingdom Hearts 2 gets interesting. After getting to see some cool Final Fantasy characters in Twilight Town like Vivi and Setzer, you eventually end up having to change clothes (Sora got taller in that year he was locked up), these clothes however, give you special abilities. Sora and the gang also got a lesson from Yen Sid about what was going on in the Kingdom Hearts universe. After all of this, you're off on your next journey, and little did we know, our final main console journey for almost 7 years.
First thing I want to bring up is how much easier the gameplay is in Kingdom Hearts 2 than in the original game. There were new reaction commands added in to battle, where all you have to do is hit the triangle button at the right time, and a certain move will happen. I'm not necessarily against it, but it did make the game a bit too easy for me.
Also added to gameplay were drives, which when leveled up, can cause some massive damage, even later in the game. Kingdom Hearts 2 also offers a whole lot of Keyblades, including a Fenrir Keyblade, which can only be obtained by defeating Sephiroth (yes, he's back!). Kingdom Hearts 2 brought in some new journal features, such a treasure map, where you can keep track of which treasures you have/have not gotten, and even where they are. I thought this was a super awesome feature, and it made the original Kingdom Hearts feel really naked. Along with this, you can track how many times you've done a double team attack, and keep track of the in game mini games. Most worlds have a mini game of some kind, and if you beat it, you get a golden Mickey head next to it in the journal.
Characters were everywhere in Kingdom Hearts 2. We get to see original characters in Hayner and Pence, as well as some more new Final Fantasy faces, such as Tifa and Seifer. Of course, you also get the main characters, such as Donald and Goofy, who still
accompany you to battle, and even help out with some boss battles (Knocksmash for the win! Take that, Demyx). Let's not forget, we get to see the remaining Organization XIII members who were not in Re: CoM. I'd say the graphics in Kingdom Hearts 2 were about the same as in the original game. Maybe with a little less pixilation around the edges of clothes and hair. Other than that though... Not much different to me.
Kingdom Hearts 2 gives us another fantastic bundle of music. Since we had to move on from Traverse Town at the time, we got this beautiful song for Twilight Town. Other notable songs include Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden's theme song, which makes me feel like the world is ending and I have to say goodbye to everyone. Also, any music from the Winnie The Pooh world is just awesome. I love the Pooh. Well...
Now it's time for "the big one". Kingdom Heart 2's story was the beginning of the end for this series. Now, I'm not saying it's completely terrible, in fact, it's far from that. It is. however, a very chaotic story. All of the simplicity for the original Kingdom Hearts is now gone, and replaced with... Nobodies. We now have Nobody's, Heartless, Ansem, Ansem The Wise, Xemnas, Xehanort, I mean, really. Kingdom Hearts 2 kind of spiraled everything out of control. It's getting hard to keep up with the timeline of events that have happened in the series, and all the fingers can be pointed at this very game.
With that said, Kingdom Hearts 2 is still a very good game. One of the best that the PS2 has to offer. Would I say it's better than the original Kingdom Hearts?.... No. I still feel the original is better. However, this is still a fantastic game that has a whole lot to offer. Whether you want gameplay, story, graphics, or music, this game has it all. I recommend it to not only Square Enix fans, but all video game fans.
(Now that I've finished the PS2 trilogy, I'll need to eventually buy 3D ^.^)