An amazing blend of Disney and Square that no one should pass up!

User Rating: 9.1 | Kingdom Hearts PS2
This game right here is the start of a great series! The first Kingdom Hearts started off a great collaboration between Square and Disney which now spans three games and two systems. This game really caught me by surprise and I can now safely say that this is the best game that I have played on the Playstation 2 and possibly one of the greatest games ever made.

Let's start this off with the gameplay. This game is an action RPG where you must fight in real time battles to gain experience. The enemies are randomely generated but there are a certain number of enemies in each area which reappear once you defeat them if you go over two screens away. You also collect money, health orbs, and magic orbs from these battles once you defeat the enemies. The action is pretty frantic, although you basically can just button mash your way through this game. You can also use items in the heat of battle (as long as you have equipped them) as well as use magic whether it is on your shortcut menu or you have to dig through all of your magic to cast the spell you want. This is pretty crazy since it's all in real time and it makes you think more about what you need to use on the enemy and your health etc. You can also use summon gems and summon characters from Disney movies to help you, although I never ever needed to use them.

Now, for the story aspect. This story is definately different for Square and Disney. It ultimately deals with the main theme of if people are naturally evil or naturally good. If, deep down in their hearts, is there only darkness or is there a glimmer of light? This is deep for Disney and is presented amazingly. You play as Sora, and along the way meet many memorable faces. You'll fight alongside Goofy and Donald Duck, as well as all of the summons you can use such as Bambi, Genie, Mushu, Dumbo, as well as some others. You start out on an island as your friends, Kairi and Riku are getting ready to set sail to see if there are other worlds out there besides the world that they live in. Also on this island are Tifa (FF VIII), Wakka (FF X), and Tidus (FF X) although they look much younger and more cartoony in this game than in their respective games. Soon enough though, your world becomes consumed by darkness and you are plunged into an adventure to save all of the worlds from the Heartless (creatures that are born of darkness) as well as saving your beloved friends. You really get sucked into the story of this one, and don't want to put this game down until you beat it!

The graphics here are awesome! The CG's are truly breathtaking, but I wish there were more of them! The opening scene was just sweet! The characters look great as well as all of the ares that you visit. From Wonderland, to Neverland, the way the Disney worlds are depicted are just awesome. They look great and exactly what I would think they would look like from the inside of the movies. All of the differnt Heartless that you fight are also pretty awesome looking. There is a lot of varied Heartless that you fight trhoughout your adventure as well as bosses and they all look amazing!

The sound is great too! The music can get repitive in some areas which can be annoying since it loops the themes of each world from their movies. This was really apparent and annoying in Atlanitca from The Little Mermaid. The voice overs are very well done though, and the mouth synching is pretty spot on. I liked the voices of all of the characters in the game and thought they all sounded great!

The replay value here is pretty high because you just want to relive this adventure over and over. There are also a lot of extras in this game once you beat it if you didn't beat it fully the first time around. You can fight all of the secret bosses, and try to beat all of the tournaments in the Collesium. You can also find all 99 missing puppies from the 101 Dalmations. You can also find all of the lost pages from Winnie the Pooh's book and put it all back together to get a bunch of minigames. There are also a lot of weapons that you must fight hard to get and some really fun minigames (especially the one in Tarzan's place with sliding down the trees to try and grab all the fruit and open up the next area of the tree tops). Also, once you beat the game, you can then go back and do it again in hard mode as well (if you didn't play it in the hard mode the first time around)! There is just a lot of stuff to do in this game and it's all great!

Now, for some of the bad things which deserve mention as I docked points from there specific categories. On the gameplay side, I docked a point because the game is a little too simple for you can really just button mash through everything. I never had to use a summon once to help me defeat a boss or anything. I also didn't like the fact that some of the worlds were very short. I really wish that I could have done more in Neverland for one. You don't go anywhere but the boat and the clock tower. I would have loved to go to actual Neverland! On the graphics side, there are little graphical blemishes worth docking a point over, but these are still some amazing graphics! The sound is docked two points because some of the music started to get really annoying and some of the voice overs at certain times just seemed out of place. I didn't like some of the voices either, but that wasn't too bad.

Overall, this is a great game that everyone should play! If you're a fan of action RPGs or just love Disney and Square, you should really give this game a go! This is one of the best games to come out for this system in my opinion!