Kingdom Hearts Review: One Of The Best
When you look at Kingdom Hearts on a shelf in a game store, or manage to come across it online, the first thing that probably comes to mind is, "Ahh... A children's game." That assumption is understandable considering who's on the cover of the game. You'd probably think that this game is nothing more than a Disney game that was made to cash in on the Mickey Mouse name. However, that couldn't be further from the truth.
In the beginning, this game seems a bit kiddy. Being on an island and pretend fighting with your friends isn't exactly what every RPG gamer has in mind for the beginning of one of the best video games ever, however, that's exactly what it is. After doing a few tasks here and there for your friend, Kairi, you end up in the middle of a huge storm, which signals the start of the journey, known as Kingdom Hearts.
This game is far from the typical Disney game. Having it made by Squaresoft definitely helped that out quite a bit. Due to this partnership between Disney and Square, we got to have the music of Yoko Shimomura. Who provided us with great pieces throughout this game, such as the Traverse Town theme song. His music really sticks in your mind. When you're in Hollow Bastion, his music makes you feel the urgency of knowing something big is about to happen. His music definitely adds layers to the game emotionally, that would not have been there with any other music composer. Even days after you finish the game, you'll find yourself humming one of his songs.
While Kingdom Hearts came out early in the PS2's lifespan, it's graphics are still impressive, even to this day. It's meant to be cartoonish (just look at Sora's shoes), and it's meant to look like a big, fun, colorful universe, which they achieved perfectly. They took all of these Disney worlds and characters, and incorporated them into a very serious storyline, to create a match many were skeptical about.
Speaking of characters, there's a small story I want to tell here. Prior to Kingdom Hearts, I had always kind of looked down at Final Fantasy games. I never really gave them any attention, and always dismissed them without a second thought. One day, while playing through this game, I came across a character named "Cloud." All it took was the one scene
where he walked past us, to get me hooked. I searched him and found out about even more Final Fantasy characters. Once I knew who they all the characters were, it made Kingdom Hearts even cooler. In the end, it was like the girl in high school that really liked you, but you never gave a chance. Only for her to become a super model. That's me and Final Fantasy.
Kingdom Hearts, despite all of the other great points I have brought up already, shines the most with its storyline. This game provided one of the most emotional, heartwarming, and heartbreaking stories I've ever seen. There were so many ups and downs within this game. Without spoiling it, I'll say that if you're even slightly interested in the characters of this game, the ending will no doubt, break your heart. Especially after having to deal with everything they throw at you before the ending.
To finish off the critical parts of this review, I'll say that the journal is a very nice feature that I spent a lot of time in. I swear, half of my save time was probably just me going through the journal. Very cool feature, that I'm glad was not only kept in the Kingdom Hearts series, but even brought into the Final Fantasy series. Not to mention, Ansem is one of my favorite villains of all time. His role was perfect. Overall... This game is my second favorite video game of all time, behind only one other game (which I will no doubt review).
This game is the biggest case I can think of, where it gets judged, literally, because of its cover. Don't let the Disney characters turn you away. This has to be the most serious scenario I've ever seen them in. By the end, I saw Goofy and Donald as two serious fighters, who would do anything to protect the king and their pals.
This review is only a small piece of the extremely large adventure known as Kingdom Hearts, featuring Sora, Riku, Kairi, and all of their Disney pals.
(Stay tuned, I will be reviewing all three Kingdom Hearts PS2 games in future articles.)