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I loved Kingdom Hearts so when they released a sequel I was at the front of the queue to get it. Unfortunately I haven't the slightest idea what is going on. Kingdom Hearts II is actually the third game in the series, the second being 'Chain of Memories' released for the Game Boy. Back in the day (a girl my age shouldn't be able to use that phrase) Game Boy games were a means to pass time on a bus and actual RPGs were reserved for consoles (excepting of course Pokemon). So I didn't actually buy 'Chain of Memories' thinking it was a filler game to wet our appetite for the sequel. Much to my dismay upon loading Kingdom Hearts II it starts off exactly where 'Chain of Memories' ends. No problem, I thought. I've played plenty of sequels without playing the former game and managed to pick up the storyline pretty quickly. Not the case here no, and unfortunately, even now on my third play through I am still none the wiser as to who anyone is or what on earth the plot is about.
You actually start playing not as the usual protagonist but as a boy called Roxas. Roxas is enjoying his summer holiday when a bunch of guys in black cloaks show up with white creatures called Nobodies (beings without hearts-the new bad guys) to spoil his fun. As time goes on Roxas realises that something's not right and he doesn't actually belong anywhere. Roxas is actually the Nobody of Sora, created through events in the first game, and he's being kept practically a prisoner until Sora regains his memories (apparently he lost them) and wakes up.
Upon waking up Roxas disappears and Sora realises that all his efforts in the first game were pretty much wasted, the Heartless are attacking again, he still has no idea where his friends are and some guys in black cloaks have decided to invade too. What to do other than jump into the Gummi Ship and seal off all the worlds individually...again?
Once again you can travel between numerous Disney worlds, many reprised from the first game (Agrabah, Halloween Town, Atlantica etc) but there have been some additions. You can now run around as a lion cub in the Pride Lands or sail on the Black Pearl in Port Royal. Twilight Town replaces Traverse Town as the original world and Hollow Bastion remains the chosen haunt of many of the Final Fantasy characters. The worlds and their scenery remain one of the best parts of this game. The images are beautiful and the characters blend perfectly with their changing environments, no easy task considering the difference in style between the Lion King, the Nightmare Before Christmas and Pirates of the Caribbean.
The mini games between worlds remain the same with you piloting your little ship and blasting the enemy ships. That said, the levels are so much harder than the previous game and I still can't get the hang of creating my own ships.
The gameplay has not changed much since the last game. You still control Sora with Donald Duck and Goofy in support. For the Disney worlds you visit you can exchange one of your team with a protagonist from that world (yes, in Port Royal Jack Sparrow joins you *swoon*). Donald and Goofy's support and attack style are defined by what abilities you choose to equip to them so they can concentrate on attack, healing or a balance of the two.
The combat system is extremely fast paced and utilises direct attacks, magic and now features reaction commands (abilities unique to the enemy you're fighting). Unfortunately the action gets a little too fast at times and it is very difficult to use an item during a battle. You can summon particular Disney characters to help you (as in the previous game) though this time there are just a handful and I found it quite difficult to figure out what each one does. Sora is given new clothes, which offer special abilities. With the help of one of your team you can wield an extra weapon, a massive help during boss battles, as the transformation not only increases your strength but also restores health, yay!
=Graphics and Soundtrack=
The FMV scenes have been massively improved and they're beautiful to watch. I didn't actually think there was much improvement in the in-game graphics, but then when you see the flashback sequences (in-game scenes from KH1) that haven't been touched up you really can see the difference!
The soundtrack is brilliant. Once again the action in the various Disney worlds is set to the original soundtracks from those films. Fighting skeleton pirates to the Pirates of the Caribbean music never ever gets boring! I wasn't as impressed with the voice acting as I was in the first game. Though it sees the return of many talented voice actors I thought a few of the characters could have been done a bit better. This is especially true in Port Royal where the stand ins for Kiera Knightly and Geoffrey Rush are, in many parts, cringe-worthy. The replacement for Jeremy Irons as 'Scar' from the Lion King is quite possibly one of the worst impressions I have ever heard.
On one hand the fast paced action is great and the game is very enjoyable, especially if you're a fan of Disney! On the other, even after repeated playthroughs I still have absolutely no idea what is going on or who half the characters are. There is no decent recap of the spin off title that preceded Kingdom Hearts 2 so if you haven't played that then it is very difficult to follow the already somewhat convoluted storyline. A couple of things did annoy me, in Kingdom Hearts to get to 100 Acre Wood you have to search the various worlds for torn pages to complete the storybook. In this game you have to do exactly the same which did annoy me, I'm sure with such a huge production team they could have come up with something slightly more original than rehashing the first game. My only other major criticism is that the game is not as linear as the usual Final Fantasy, which meant I found myself confronting the final boss well before I'd explored some of the worlds, I'd not even visited all of them! When I realised what was going on, I backed out to finish my jaunts only to find that the game carried on as if I'd never gotten as far as I did. The result was I was watching scenes where I was looking for particular characters even though I'd already found them and resolved that part of the plot. If the game was kept linear then this (rather confusing) series of events wouldn't have happened.
That said, I do enjoy this game and I probably will play it again...even though I really don't have the foggiest what is going on or why everyone (including Mickey Mouse) insists on wearing black cloaks.
Where's Sora gone?
This was the first thing I asked myself when I started playing Kingdom Hearts II, the superb sequel to Kingdom Hearts. I could hardly wait to start playing after the agonising cliff-hanger of Kingdom Hearts (don't play this game if you haven't completed it's predecessor, it will spoil a lot) and was full of questions. Has Riku survived? What happened to Kairi? What's gone wrong now so I can bust out my keyblade skills? And so forth.
In stead of addressing all these questions, the tantalising introduction to the game (which involves about three hours of gameplay) means you play as some guy called Roxas, and you don't know who he is. The gameplay around Twilight Town is interspersed with annoyingly (in a good way) unclear flashback style cutscenes from the previous game, memories of Sora and other stuff which is full of hints and leaves you guessing. Now, I won't spoil it, but the plot line of Kingdom Hearts II is even more awesome than Kingdom Hearts and the marriage of Final Fantasy and Disney definitely delivers the goods.
Okay, okay, what is this game again?
As an overview to the game, Kingdom Hearts II involves fighting Disney villains with Disney Heroes in Disney-themed worlds (such as fighting Jafar in Agrabah) whilst meeting Final Fantasy characters, fighting with and against them, and a huge over-arching anime style "destiny" storyline, with loads of twists and turns, involving Sora, as in the previous game, just trying to reunite with his friends. It sounds like it shouldn't work, but it totally does.
So what's different from the first game?
The main differences are now that battlescenes and fighting is much more visually "flashy" involving "reaction commands." These mean you can fight in cool ways you wouldn't be able to do normally on the controller. Also, there are "forms" which Sora can shift into in battle, meaning you have more abilities and can fight with more than one keyblade (!). I thought initially these would be a bit ridiculous and make fighting less engaging but it actually really adds to the battle sequences and is an improvement. Also, there are more Disney worlds like Pirates of the Carribean and Sora is older. There are a few other little things like different quests etc. but it's essentially the same kind of game.
What's so great about it?
The story is so tense you won't put the controller down, the characters are real and exciting, you really feel like you're on a mission to save the world, and the ENDING! Well, I cried. It' so beautiful. It's just a good story combined with good gameplay that makes Kingdom Hearts II practically an experience, not just a game. Also with 90 hours of pretty difficult gameplay, you'll be entertained for a while.
I would recommend this game to fans of Disney, fans of Final Fantasy, and just fans of gaming. Because overall, it is a Very Good Game.
Kingdom Hearts II follows on from the Gameboy Advance game, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of memories. In that game, you are introduced to some of the characters in this (technically) third game in the series, and some of the back story that leads to the events of this title.
In this game, the player starts out as Roxas, a young teen in Twighlight Town. You are charged with having stolen something and set out to prove your innocence. You soon meet the Nobodies, the monsters formed from the souls of people who have been transformed into Heartless, those iconic enemies from the first title. Soon, you are propelled into a strange story, challenging your memories and existence. Shortly afterwards, Sora, Donald and Goofy wake up from suspended animation in the basement of Twilight Town's haunted mansion. As Sora, you lose much of your memories and are tasked with finding out what's been going on in your year of absence.
This game is an improvement on the first for sure, and that's saying something. The first game was a very fun experience, and one which I pull out now and then to relive my first play through. The game sees us controlling an older, but still none the wiser, Sora. Haley Joel Osment is back with a slightly deeper voice for Sora, and all our favourite Disney characters are voiced by their respective official voice actors. It's great to hear all your favourite characters in all their glory, and even some characters who never had voices, like many of the pre-FFX Final Fantasy characters. It's also great to hear Christopher Lee as a part of this game, his iconic voice fits well with his character and having him in the game is a true pleasure.
The look of the game is superb, you are once again charged with travelling to different worlds based on different Disney creations, and the look of each world is tailored to the look of tthe original animation. Some of the worlds from the first game have returned, including Halloween Town (with the addition of Christmas Town), Agrabah and the 100 Acre Wood. Each world is now bigger and better than before, and that's a very good thing. There's much more to explore, much more beautiful scenery and much, much more to do.
The soundtrack, again, tends to be based on the world in which the level is set, but it has that Square Enix sound ad really fits with the game and the place it is set.
One of the updated features is the Gummi Ship mini game. In the first game I found it to be quite dull after a while, but in this game there's much more to do. The environments in which you fly are much more varied and involved, they don't just follow a straight line. There are more varied enemies and even some bosses. There;s also oportunity to replay each level in order to unlock more parts for the Gummi ship and new blueprints. There is a score mode where you must get a certian score and you get grade based on it or a mode where you must collect medals. It's much more fun to create your own ship and fly it through these mini levels to beat your score.
While Mickey and Mini are much more involved in this game, it's still not enough for me. Whenever we see Mickey it's usually a fleeting glance and it still feels like Disney has it's iron grip around the game and how much screen time the iconic mouse gets.
Another dissapointment is the censorship of the non-Japanese version. There are numerous things that provide some hilarity and dissapointment. The most heavily edited section is the Pirates of the Carribean level. The ghostly pirates in the European version hold crossbows, but still make the firing sound of a musket when attacking, as this is the weapon they held in the Japanese version. It's quite funny to hear a crossbow that fires like a gun but it's also dissapointing that such a small thing was changed. There is a scene where Will points a gun to his head and threatens to kill himself, but in the European version this was changed so that the gun is not pointed at his head. In the fight against the Hydra at the Colliseum the green blood is edited out and replaced with black and purple smoke, yet in an earlier cut scene the green blood is clearly visible. These things seem small to me, and I understand that younger players may be playing this game, but I don't think these are things which really need to be edited. While it doesn't affect the gameplay, it's a matter of principle. I'm not a fan of censorship like this, and believe that it's a parent's perogative to make an informed decision rather than any company's decision to remove these things.
There is so much to do in this game, we return to the Olympus Colliseum for more tournaments, but the world is also expanded and story is added to flesh it out, which is great as there just wasn't enough of mighty Hercules in the first game. Also, the 100 Acre Woods is back for some more mini game fun, along with Atlantica, where the whole level is a music mini game comprised of various parts. As mentioned above, the Gummi Ship mini game is back and better than ever, and there is of course the Moogle collection mini game, whereby ou must collect various items to complete lists and these items can be used to synthesise better items and weapons. Also, there is a skateboarding mini game in this title, which is rather short and a little floppy, but still a good way to kill a bit of time, and for one mini game in Twilight Town, necessary. There is more to do than ever, and I won't mention it all, but in true Final Fantasy style the game is rife with mini challenges and it's great for taking a break from the story, and necessary for 100% completion of the game.
The script is great as usual, it has twists and turns, confusion and revelation and jokes thrown into the mix too. It's a perfect compliment to the characters, the game and the voices that read the lines. The story is quite involved though, and at times I found myself getting a little confused, but a quick read of recent events in Jiminy Cricket's journal and you're back in the know. Many games lack this feature, and it's great that they've put it in. Too many times have I taken a break from playing, only to come back to it and not quite remember what I am supposed to be doing or what has happened in the story. This can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration, but not so in Kingdom Hearts II. More games need to employ this method, and many have (I point you towards the Professor Layton series).
To sum it up, fun will be had, no matter your age. We all have our favourite Disney movies and many of the are catered for in this game. It's great to walk through the environments, meet the characters and even become one sometimes, and playing this game after having played either of the other two games will definitely bring back some fond memories. A worthwhile purchase and a great title.
If you haven't played the first Kingdom Hearts, I highly recommend that you do. In this game the characters refer to events from the first game, so that might ruin things if you play the first game after this one. I have reviewed the first game on dooyoo as well, so you'd be better off reading that first.
Kingdom Hearts 2 is set a year after the first game. You start the game as Roxas- the blond guy behind the girl (Kairi) on the front cover- who lives with his best friends in a quiet town. The kids are dreading the end of summer because next week school starts again. A week later everything changes when Roxas discovers the link between him and Sora. After this revelation you rejoin Sora, Donald and Goofy on their quest to track down Kairi, Riku and King Mickey, but a series of twists and turns mean things may not be as simple as they seem.
Spaceship levels: When you visit worlds for the first time you must fly a spaceship through various space shuttles and monsters fighting back. Passing these mini-levels is the only way to reach new worlds. I did not like the spaceship levels in the previous game, and would still rather the game developers had stuck to the role-playing side of KH, but there is no denying that these levels have greatly improved.
In KH1 I never had to restart a spaceship level because it was so easy. All you do is move the spaceship's position as it flies straight ahead, and shoot anything in your way. Now the view from the spaceship switches from straight ahead and either side, the journey is longer, the shuttles attacking you are harder to defeat, and the graphics don't resemble lego blocks anymore.
Worlds: There are new worlds to visit this time around i.e. The Lion King's Pridelands, Jack Sparrow and crew, etc, but you do revisit some of the ones from the last game. Don't worry, you're not forced through the same areas as last time. Now you get to explore brand new areas, so it feels like a brand new place even though it is familiar.
The game feels longer as well because you play through the worlds more than once. This is not boring or repetitive because events lead to new areas you were locked out of the first time round.
Battles: The battles are just as varied as they were in the first game. I don't remember any battle that was similar to another, and the battles are always manageable. When they do verge on being impossible, you get help from a little friend...
Inventory: One hitch in the first game was the inventory. It was irritating replacing potions, ether, etc once it had been used in battle, but the developers fixed this. You can set certain items to be replace automatically so you don't have worry about them. For example, if Goofy uses his potions in battle, the game will automatically remove some from the inventory and give them to him. A word of warning, make sure you have enough in your inventory otherwise there game will have nothing to fill each character's stock with. This will result in your characters being disadvantaged in battle, and you won't realise until it's too late.
Another great feature is the NEW label next to inventory items you haven't looked at yet. This means you can easily find new weapons, items, etc that you've just obtained. However, this label is only allocated the first time the item enters your inventory. This means the next time you pick up that item it won't have the NEW label beside it.
This game comes close to perfection, but just misses out...
Slow start: The game's start with Roxas was a bit slow for my liking. It is building up to Sora's re-entry into the game, and the slow pace does reflect those final days before school starts again, but it was just too slow. The scenes in between the kids' day to day activities were far more interesting than life with Roxas and his friends. I got bored delivering papers, swatting flies or sticking up fliers for pittance money, but it had to be done.
Please note that I finished KH1 and started KH2 a few minutes later. The slow, almost boring, pace may be due to the transition from KH1's loooooong, difficult final battle in darkness to a calm town at summertime in KH2.
I highly recommend this game to everyone. Disney and Square-Enix definitely improved since last time, which has produced a fantastic game. If you see this game, snap it up before someone else does!
Kingdom Hearts 2 is the next instalment of the Playstation 2 exclusive Role playing game developed by Square Enix.
The plot takes place after Kingdom Hearts: Rechain of memories which isn't the first Playstation 2 game, it is a Gameboy Advance game. The plot follows our hero Sora who they have attempted to turn into a Heartless by Organisation XIII! Roxas, Soras Nothing (the body that remains behind when a person becomes a Heartless) must find reunite with Sora so our hero can be saved. Sora is saved and the old team of Sora, Goofy and Donald are back together to stop the Heartless, investigate the mysterious Organisation XIII and find his friends Riku and Kairi. The plot does sound rather confused when described but when you play it, it does fit together nicely and it is engaging.
The game will take you through numerous Disney themed worlds and some original creations of the game. Each world has its own theme and the Disney world's are particularly enjoyable as they make you feel like you could be taking part in your very own movie!
As it is a joint creation of Square Enix and Disney you will find yourself seeing some familiar faces such as Cloud Strife and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7, Auron from Final Fantasy X, Yuna, Rikku and Payne from Final Fantasy X-2. You do find some more characters but the Square element seems even further scaled back that the previous games giving more time for the Disney ones.
The gameplay is still all in real time, to attack you press the buttons to attack away and you can do some magic moves and summon characters to fight for you. The game introduces the Drive Gauge which when powered up allows Sora to merge with his party members and become super powerful for a brief period of time. The Gummi ship segments have also been made more enjoyable this time around with more control of your ship it feels better.
Graphically Kingdom Hearts 2 is improved from the original and has some great CG cutscenes, the voice acting is of a high standard and many original Disney voice actors reprise their roles as the in game characters you will meet.
Kingdom Hearts 2 is an epic role playing game though to get the most of it you may want to attempt to hunt down a copy of the GBA Chain of Memories!
This is the second games in the Kingdom Hearts (KH) Series and by far much better than the last one.
The storyline is brilliant as you play as Sora and battle your way through different realms and defeat many different creatures to obtain your goal.
The graphics have been masively enhanced in this second installment of KH and you can really tell. The cut scenes are much more detailed than actual gameplay but that is only to be expected.
The game is a good length and they have managed to make KH2 the exact length unlike they did with KH1 in which is was much too long.
Although the game follows it's quite childish stereotype there is something quite sinister about the game which gives it that interesting egde that many games do not have.
This game feels extremely realistic when you are playing it and you can really get caught up in it.
Although this game is quite old i feel it is one of the best games that has been made for a long time. If you are looking to buy a PS2 game then this is the one but just be aware that it is sort of childish.
Disney and Square Enix struck it lucky with the first Kingdom Hearts - they successfully combined two disparate worlds together into a convincing whole. Can they strike again?
Fortunately, the answer is mostly yes. The narrative is structured in a far less-linear way than the previous game, because it covers the story of Roxas, then it diverges to cover Sora, Donald and Goofy from the first game, and then returns to Roxas. This structure could very well have alienated fans of the first game (considering that games rarely go the route of such a segmented narrative), but it works. The game does make it very clear that there is much more left to be tied up at the end, so I just hope that Square Enix crack on with a third game soon.
Aurally, just as the first game, things are fine but a little stale after a while. Again, the game could do with some theme tunes from the various Disney characters in the game rather than a few leitmotifs scattered around, but once again, one must be fair and recognise both the expense of such a feat, and the logistics of securing all of the royalties. Otherwise, though, the magic sound effects and voice work is as stellar as the first game. There are also far more soundbytes for each character than there was in the first Kingdom Hearts. The Gummi Ship also has some awesome sonic effects as it whirls around.
The visuals are a strong suit, just like previously. The opening cut-scenes in particular stand out as exceptional, and the final cut scene of the game also is mind-blowingly impressive. All other cut-scenes are good also, but those are the stand-out ones. It would be fair to assert that the graphics aren't that far evolved from the likes of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, but nevertheless they do a more than adequate job.
Where the game really shines is in the gameplay department. It is incredibly addictive, and like any good RPG, has a wealth of extra content to keep you playing for up to hundreds of hours at a time. Aside from the numerous quests and the often difficult bosses (although never too hard to totally frustrate), there are mini-games, levels you can traverse with the Gummi Ship, and even a journal that you can read through. The difficulty has been noticably steeped up since the last game, which some younger players (given the Disney theme) may find a bit cumbersome. Nevertheless, they're never impossible difficult, and can be beaten after a little while and some strategy.
Kingdom Hearts 2 is a surprisingly challenging outing that even the most ardent RPG players will have to work to beat. That said, it's a sufficient and welcome challenge, seeing how much easier games have become in recent years. The storyline is involving and leaves you wanting more, and the presentation is top-notch, with as much authenticity to the Disney aspects as the first game had.
Kingdom hearts 2 is a follow on from the first game - its by the makers of disney and square enix that is the the creators of the final fantasy games!
However, this is no disney movie or follow on. It actually has a suprising story which is hard to follow but revolves around a weapon called the 'Keyblade' that can unlock any door - which proves to be quite useful.
In the game you visit many disney worlds such as pirates of the carribean, hercules, mickey mouse castle and old style disney cartoons and much moer. (which i wont tell you it will spoil the game).
This game is not for very young children as it is confusing and does contain some themes that they probably wont understand and the gameplay is a little tricky in terms of potions and the like.
If you like watching disney films and playing final fantasy then this is a game with the two!!
One of my online friends recommended Kingdom Hearts to me one day and sent me a copy of the game. I was hooked straight away. Im a big final fantasy fan, so the mix of characters and Disney was a good concept in my eyes. I did, however, have a few problems with no. 1.
SE fixed the not being able to jump and cure at the same time problem, and made casting spells a lot easier in KH2.
As with the dalmations in KH, KH2 has a lot of a side games to complete and if you complete Jimmys journal 100% you can see an alternative ending to the game, which im working on now.
A hard fight with Sepheroth wins you the best weapon in the game and also a heart warming scene with Cloud. The mix of old and new disney characters made this a lot better than KH but i wish the did something better with The Little Mermaid compared to the first game. I wanted to kick Ursulas ass again!
Hours of gameplay involved and lots to do will keep you from getting bored.
After loving the first one so much I was so excited to see a 2nd one coming out, and after viewing the ending of the first I knew they would do it and they had to or I would of cried! haha.
This game I consider it an improvement on the first, battle wise, I noticed in the first you can not jump and cure, but in this one you can, something I really liked.
The thing I loved most about this one was the story, the whole Organization XIII thing was really interesting, more so if you had not played the GBA kingdom hearts: chain of memories game as when you start 2 you get a feeling something is missing, that's true, a lot of people did not play chain of memories and by the time you play kingdom hearts 2 half of organization 13 are...erm gone shall we say to stop the spoilers? haha.
I tried to keep this as close to the end as possible, I have an obsession with anyone in a game that can DUEL WIELD!! (2 melee weapons in one hand) and when I found out you can duel wield 2 keyblades I was like come on!! give me this game now! it was great because I love it and I just thought i looked amazing but it wasn't actually that good in terms of fighting, you where just as strong with one blade, or was it that the game was too easy, this game was much easier than the first one, even on expert.
I did like the way you could change costumes and have different abilities though, that was pretty awesome and I love the start of the game where you are another character for a few hours...or is it another character...I won't spoil it and end the review here...
I am severly addicted to this PS2 game !! It has something for every kid. For the older and maybe more mature there's the final fantasy characters with star appearances from Cloud, Tifa, Cid, Yuffie and even Sephiroth. Along with the original disney characters we are introduced to other worlds and other characters including the Nobody (you will have to play the game to understand what a nobody is :D) of Sora, our hero from the first game, (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) who is none other then Roxas voiced by the lovely Jesse McCartney. For younger children there is also the return of Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck. Any person who has watched the Disney films will be hooked on the exciting game world of Kingdom Hearts. With a plot that has so many starts and endings you cant help but be inspried by the genious that is Square Enix !
I bought this after seeing a friend play a couple of levels, and was totally addicted. This game is a mixture of Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters, set in different Disney worlds such as Halloween Town (The Nightmare Before Christmas), The Pride Lands (The Lion King) and Agrabah (Aladdin). You play as Roxas, and have Donald and Goofy as your sidekicks, who help you out along the way. Other Disney characters from the worlds you are visiting sometimes join you along the way too. You can fight with the Keyblade given to you, and can also learn and perform magic spells. Your aim is to defeat all the "Heartless" you come across on your journey, and seal those worlds with your Keyblade. This game I think is the best computer game I have ever played, the storyline is great, the characters are brilliant and the different worlds you visit are all from Disney films. Of course it helps if you are a fan of Disney and fantasy like I am! I can't wait for the release of the third one.
Kingdom Hearts 2 is an action role-playing game. It is developed by Square Enix and also published by them and Buena Vista Games, which are now known as Disney Interactive Studios. It was released to the playstation 2 in 2005. The game is a sequel to kingdom hearts. It is actually the third of the series as Kingdom Hearts: chain of memories was released to the game boy advance.
The game is a collaboration with Disney and square enix. All games involve characters from various Disney films and the final fantasy series. The game became so popular that it now has a novel and a manga series.
Story: The only ting I have to say about the story is that you have to of played chain of memories to know exactly what is going on, but even still if you haven't you will still get the jist of things and get into the game just as much.
The story of kingdom hearts two begins one year after chain of memories. Sora, Donald and Goofy have been asleep for the past year in order to regain their memories. Meanwhile, Roxas (sora's nobody - a body left over when someone's heart is turned into heartless.) is trapped in a make believe world in twilight town. For a while you follow Roxas's story of his life and how everything around him starts to change.
The changes are due to the Organization XIII's (a group from chain of memories) threatening the world. Eventually Roxas merges with Sora, and after a year of sleep Sora, Donald and Goofy finally wake up, this time in the real twilight town. Here they meet king Micky, and is given another journey. They are sent to find Riku and to stop the plans of the Organization XIII, who have kidnapped Kairi.
After all of this you see a cut seen of maleficent (the witch from snow white) is resurrected and joins forces with Pete. Sora, Donald and Goofy, travel to different disney worlds, both old and new resolving the trouble that the Organization XIII, Maleficent and Pete have caused joining forces with different disney characters and learning the secrets of the heartless, and the Organization XIII.
Anyone who has played the kingdom hearts series will know that it is actually a very deep story line, you still get into the story line like any other game, if not more! If I remember rightly this is the only game that I have ever cried out due to the story line, believe me I was shocked myself!
Game play: The game play of kingdom hearts two is very much like the first kingdom hearts. Playing Sora in the third person camera angle. However you can play in first person, which personally I find to be quite annoying, though I know a lot of people prefer it like that. Most the time you are with Donald and goofy while travelling, however when in a disney world a character joins you and you have to pick either Donald or goofy to leave the group while playing or completing a mission in that world. Most of the game takes place on an interconnected field; here is where the battles take place.
Battles in kingdom hearts two take place in real time. You again play as Sora. In most battles you are accompanied by two characters, most the time Donald or goofy. However the computer controls these. You as Sora can press buttons on the control pad that initiate different attacks up on an enemy. You also have battle menu, like the ones you have in final fantasy which have different commands in. The commands include, using magic, summoning for them to help you in battle and combination moves with other party members.
A new feature in battle in kingdom heart two is the reaction command. You must press the triangle button at the right time during battle and you do a specific attack on a special enemy. Though you can also do this on ordinary ones or to avoid damage. This is sometime necessary to use when in a boss battle.
Like any other role-playing game when defeating enemies you gain experience points which help the character to level up. Levelling up helps you increase your stats and learn new abilities.
Something new to the game is the drive gauge. This helps you transform in to a drive form or summon a Disney character. There are many different drive forms Sora can take. He must bond with arty members and they in turn increase certain attributes and make you more powerful. Some forms also allow Sora to battle with two keyblades. As well as in battle you have special skills out when in drive form. When you start to use the drive form you can only form with one character, later thought the game you can form with both creating different forms.
Just like the first game Sora can summon characters to help in battle. When the Disney character comes out to help the remaining two characters controlled by the computer disappear from battle leaving only Sora and the Disney character left. The character is only out as long as the drive gauge allows. However in KH2 the summoned character now has a menu of its own and can either attack on its own or attack with Sora.
Also with KH2 we have the return of the gummi ship. It is still used as a means of travel from world to world. You control the ship from the world map from a top down view and fly to the world that you wish. The worlds are no longer open from the beginning you must unlock them by travelling there in a third person point of view and battle enemy ships. However once the route is unlocked you may go there whenever you want unless it is blocked by a plot event.
The battle system may sound a little complex but it is easier that it seems, and quite simple to get use to I like the fact it has the drive gauge and I enjoy using it and seeing what each Drive force does. The gummi ship is a lot more entertaining, battle with it while driving to the next world. However this can be annoying when wanting to get on with the game.
The story is mainly shown through cut scenes for you to watch, and in some parts you may have to read. There are also a few side quests if you wish to complete them, though they don't really have anything to do with the main part of the story.
The universe of KH2: as I have mentioned you travel from world to world in the game. The worlds consist of Disney films, and the worlds especially made for the game series. Each of the Disney worlds varies in appearance due to the setting of the Disney film, which it represents. There are old and new Disney characters and worlds introduced in this game, some which include:
Beauty and the Beast
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Lion King
The Nightmare Before Christmas
KH2 has released up to 3.5 million copies and is still going worldwide. The game is absolutely amazing; with a story line that keeps you hooked to the game, leaving you wondering what's going to happen next. I'm not normally a fan as this type of fighting in a game like this, but this is easy to control so is nothing to worry about for me. I give this game five stars, the story is touching, the game play is amazing, and the theme song - sanctuary by Hikaru Utada, may I say to both games is absolutely amazing.
The original Kingdom Hearts was one of those games where you would ponder to yourself "What were they thinking when they made this game?" The Disney/Square combination seemed doomed to fail from the very beginning. No one thought those two completely different worlds would be able to live together in the same game. Well as things turned out, they were all wrong. Kingdom Hearts went on to sell tons upon tons of copies and quickly vaulted itself into the position of one of Square's biggest franchises. Everyone wanted a sequel, and after viewing the secret ending in the first, everyone knew there would be one. The first sequel, Chain of Memories for GBA, was nothing more than filler that helped link the story between Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. A lot of people were disappointed, as they wanted a true sequel. Patience pays off; and now the fans finally have what they wanted. Kingdom Hearts 2 delivers almost everything anyone could want for a sequel.
Graphics - The graphics were one of the more notable things in the original Kingdom Hearts. At the time in the PS2's lifecycle, they were awe-inspiring. Kingdom Hearts 2 continues that tradition by delivering the same gorgeous graphics. The character models are extremely detailed, with almost no rough edges to be seen. All the moves any of the characters make are incredibly fluent and there is no lag to be seen anywhere, even when there are hundreds of heartless on the battlefield. The environments are perfect, right out of the Disney Movies from which they spawned. Even the new worlds introduced in the game look spectacular. And the FMV sequences are second to none; granted, there are very few of them to behold, unfortunately. Kingdom Hearts 2 may very well have the best graphical capacity of any PS2 game to date, and that really says something.
Story - The story on Kingdom Hearts 2 take a big leap up from the original game. This time, it centers on the Organization XIII, introduced in Chain of Memories, as the main antagonists. Overall, the story is far deeper than that of the original Kingdom Hearts, which is a blessing as well as a curse. The problem here is serious tone of the story, especially near the end worlds. It's great to see some interesting storytelling, but for some reason, it doesn't quite mesh with the Disney theme. It detracts from the mood because it's hard to take it seriously with Disney characters running around here and there. That's not to say that it completely ruins the feel of the game, but there were some scenes that were meant to be serious that just can't pull it off due to the characters that are in the situations.
Another problem here is the pacing of the story. It doesn't flow like it should. You start out getting about 4 rather boring hours of story shoved down your throat, then goes straight from that to a good 10 hours where you do nothing but go through the Disney-themed worlds, with no hint of the main story to be found. That is followed by another hour of heavy storytelling, again followed by 10 more hours of Disney. By that time, you're at the end of the game and it feels like half the game was filler. It certainly could have been spread out a bit better, and while it does detract from the game a bit, the gameplay is still fun enough to get you through those long filler hours.
In addition, a lot of the characters didn't seem to get as much development as they should, especially the Organization members. Only one or two of them get decent character development, and most hardly get any screen time at all, as opposed to Chain of Memories, where the showcased members had a purpose and seemed to have a bit more personality than the remain members here in Kingdom Hearts 2. It certainly would have been nice to see they key members of the game flashed out a bit more, but it doesn't make as much of a difference as you'd think.
Gameplay - Gameplay is the one area of the Kingdom Hearts series where it truly flourishes. Sure, it's quite a bit simplistic, but it is fun, and that's what makes all the difference. This time around, it's essentially a refined version of the original, and that's not a bad thing at all. All battles are in real-time, and play out rather Dynasty Warriors-esque; that is to say, you are faced with a group of enemies and you button mash your way to victory. There's no denying that the game is a button masher at heart. Only boss encounters require and sort of strategy, and a very small amount at that. That doesn't detract from the fun, however. Kingdom Hearts is actually more enjoyable as a simple button masher than it would be if every battle required mass strategy. It's what the series is, and it's not about to change. In addition, "reaction commands" were added this time around, in which you are required to press triangle at given moments to perform some type of special action. They usually play out as mini-cinemas that are fun to watch, but don't particularly add anything to the battle.
Some of the other issues from the original Kingdom Hearts were taken and completely re-worked, namely the camera. While the original's camera wasn't quite as bad as many people make it out to be, it certainly did become a nuisance at critical moments. This time around, that problem was addressed and the camera is nearly flawless. It's far easier to control and it won't be swinging around in crazy directions as you fight large bosses and hordes of enemies. Also, the gummi-ship sequences have been completely revamped. They play out almost exactly like a modern day shoot-'em-up, only with less options. While this is an improvement over the last game's attempt, they still feel like last minute add-ons, and the interface for creating your own custom ship is very difficult to navigate, result in neglect of that feature throughout the game. It's a nice diversion, but hardly anything worth going crazy over.
Sound - The music in Kingdom Hearts two is indeed quite good. There are many songs that you will find yourself humming as you hear them in-game. While none of the tracks stands out above the rest as spectacular, the majority of the songs are still well composed and nice to listen to. Remixes of old Disney themes (Disney Castle is worth nothing in particular) are great to hear and will often make you nostalgic for the movie from whence they spawned. The sound effects, while never a huge part of the game, are still nice, and nothing seemed out of place, and none of them gets overly annoying if you are forced to listen to them repeatedly.
The voice acting in the game is top-notch, perhaps the best of any game on any platform. Many of the actors who voiced characters in the first game return to keep their roles in the sequel, and do a fantastic job. Only a few actors tanked on their roles (Mena Suvari as Aeris, namely) but luckily, those few have very little screen time and thankfully, the rest of the cast far makes up for it. Lookout for Christopher Lee who voices DiZ. Overall, you really can't ask for much better.
Lasting appeal - This is an area of the game where it falters slightly. Compared to the original, the replay value here isn't all that great. After completing the main storyline, there is a single optional boss and that's about it. This is slightly disappointing as the original certainly had far more things to do after beating it. The game is also rather linear. You really can't go exploring throughout the length of it, and even when you can, there aren't many places for you to go that you haven't already explored. In addition, the game feels rather short. The main storyline should only take about 30 hours to complete and you only get to spend a meager 2 or so hours in each world. Some of them even less. There are three difficulty settings to play on, which can boost the replay slightly, should you choose to play the game again on a more difficult setting, but overall, this is one are of the game where it disappoints.
Kingdom Hearts 2 is a great sequel that certainly does the series justice. It does have a few flaws that prevent it from being perfect, however. In addition to bad pacing a low replay, the game just doesn't hold the same charm as the original did, likely because the concept isn't as new and exciting as it used to be. In the original, the Disney/Square concept was something fresh. This time around, it feels not stale per se, but it doesn't quite have the same impact that it should. These are easy to overlook, though and Kingdom Hearts 2 can stand proudly next to the original. It is certainly worth getting for fans of the first, but anyone can enjoy this game, and it should certainly be given a look, regardless.
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I'm not really a big fan of computer games and the lark where you have to play it for hours and days and weeks before you even get to the good bit but I loved..and I mean ADORED this game!
Of course I ended up playing this game before I bought the first one and I felt unimpressed by the original in comparison to this one. (Even if it filled in a few of the gaps)
The game starts with a great song by Utada Hikaru called Santuary which you should check out as I really loved it! and goes on to you being a guy called Roxas who lives in Twilight Town.
Now of course this is an introduction and you get into the game properly later on and it can get a bit confusing to those of faint heart but really it is a great game.
It includes all those favourite Disney characters we know and love such as Hercules, Jack Sparrow, Areil and Belle and the Beast. Plus new characters such as the nobodies and those from Organisation XIII.
You should seriuosly give this game a try though because the graphics are great and its suitable for people of all ages.
Myself..I'm going to carry on playing thisw until they decided to bring KH3 out...
Now thats it really something I'm willing to wait for!
The wacky but fun collaboration between RPG masters Squaresoft, and Disney Interactive returns in Kingdom Hearts II for the PlayStation 2. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are joined by a Jedi-cloaked Mickey Mouse as they continue their adventure into other worlds and battle the forces of an evil mummy-wrapped ruler. Whether or not Mickey will be a part of the battle team, however, remains to be seen, though it was revealed that Sora and other characters will see costume redesigns to solidify the game's more advanced timeline.