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User Rating: 10 | Kingdom Hearts II PS2
After a 3+ year wait, the third game in the Kingdom Hearts series finally makes it's way to American shores.

But, is it worth it? The answer is very simple.

YES.

Kingdom Hearts 2 is, quite possibly, one of the greatest games ever made, no questions asked. The story is deep, the visuals will push the PS2 to the limit without a trace of slowing down, the sound is fantastic, and here is why.

Gameplay: Kingdom Hearts 2 brings back the same style of gameplay from the original game, with a few, excellent enhancements.

The first are reaction commands. It seems obvious that someone at S-E had some time with either God of War or Zelda, since this feature is pretty much the same thing as those two. Reaction Commands bring another dimension to the combat, which keep it from being tedious in it's button-mashing glory. These commands allow the player the chance to get an advantage on the boss or enemy they are fighting, and it fulfills the function well, whether it is just to outmanuver an enemy, or bring down a giant boss.
It is an excellent addition to the style of gameplay.

The second are Drive forms. This allows Sora to merge with one, or both of his partners for enhanced magic, attack power, or both. These are not only useful to use, they are just down-right kick ass. There are four forms to attain, plus one secret form that appears randomly and could be harmful in the long run, but they are all a wonder to see. Plus, they will help you against some of the harder enemies and bosses in the game (Maybe not ALL of them....).

Third, we have that blasted camera! Oh, how it infurated gamers in the first game! If you are one of those gamers, then good news! They have fixed just about all of the camera problems. The camera does a much better job of capturing the, and keeping up with the action. And if you EEEEEVEERRRR (to quote the great Chris Jericho) have a problem with the camera, hit R3, and it will go back to behind Sora, just like the first game.

The fourth, and final gameplay addition I will mention is the Co-op. Now, this is not in reference to playing with another human player, although admittedly, that would be badass, but with teamup moves with your allies on screen. These are similar to the Drive forms, in that they are very helpful in a tight spot, and you can use these on all but a few bosses. They are an awesome sight as well, seeing all of the different moves you can use with different allies (Tron, Auron, and Jack Skellington come to mind quickly, but the others are great as well.). They are a sight to behold, but if you saw a lot of videos about KH2 on youtube, then you've probably already seen them.

But I digress...

Graphics: They have really stepped up with the visuals, so even the most rabid graphics fanboy can appreciate this. The graphics are lively, vibrant, sharp, and are some of the best on the PS2, if not the best. There are no jaggies, and little to NO slowdown. You will become amazed at that fact when you run into a battle where there are more enemies on screen than one thought the PS2 could handle. This particular battle only happens once, but there are also times where there are upwards of 200 Heartless on screen as well.

It is a beautiful game, so if you are looking for demerits for graphics, you will not find it here.

Sound: Beautiful compositions for every world, and they never get stale. Even those in the first game have been touched up a bit, and some were just downright remixed (Dearly Beloved). Some of the new music is just as good, if not better. Plus, Passion/Sanctaury is an awesome song, and really fts with the game. You will not be disappointed here.

Story: I could go on and on here, but for all of our sakes, I won't. The story is very deep and complex, in solving all of the mysteries of the first Kingdom Hearts, dealing with the plotlines of each individual world, while creating it's own questions you will ask at the end.

You start off with Roxas in a very long, playable prolouge. After, you take control of Sora for the rest of the game. And from there, you find out all about the Order XIII, which was revealed in Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance. You will also find out the consequences of Ansem's mettling with the darkness, and of Sora turning into a Heartless in the first game....which may be interconnected....I won't tell you how though, and will just say to play it yourself.

Final Thoughts: There is no reason not to get this game. It is worth every penny at 50 dollars, and it will be worth every penny when it eventually falls down to 20 dollars. You will have 40+ hours of enjoyment with this game, and you will be intrigued, and maybe even moved by the story. Do yourself a favor, and buy Kingdom Hearts 2.

Revewier's Score: 10.

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