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Kingdom Hearts II (PlayStation 2)

86
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Yuzo Kanomata (4)
Written on  :  Apr 29, 2006
Rating  :  3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars

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Summary

Fun, but not quite as fun as the original

The Good

Kingdom Hearts II brings back the set of playing characters that made the original fun. The story line fits in well with what happened before, but if you have not played the original, the story seems to run all right on its own (more or less).

The battle system and controls are pretty much just like before with a few new add-ons. This makes it fairly easy to get up-to-speed.

The new worlds are probably the best new thing in this game. As can be seen from the square soft website, you'll get to see some new characters from Disney movies pop up. There are some surprise worlds and new villains to cope with that definitely made me smile.

Traveling between worlds on the gummi ships is a lot more fun this time round. There are a lot of challenges and rewards that are associated with traveling through the asteroid fields multiple times. Plus you can now zoom between unlocked worlds which decreases one of the biggest pains in the original Kingdom Hearts.

The CG cut scenes are really nice and quite well done.

The Bad

Where the game falls short is that it just seems to play very sequentially. You kind of get to a world and follow on a more-or-less well defined path.

Absent are really spatially challenging worlds where getting to treasure chests takes a whole lot of careful planning and maneuvering. There just isn't the same level of challenges in this game. You don't get to fly around or really swim that much.

Battles are pretty much unchallenging IMHO. You sort of get in one, mash the X button until you get the job done. And unlike the original, most boss battles and level clearing challenges are pretty easy to get through the first time.

Also the new add-ons don't seem that useful. I only used a summon twice in the game, and that was only to figure out what it did. Team-ups tend to be annoying because you tend to call them up accidentally when you meant to do a reaction command on the same button.

The Bottom Line

This sequel is something a lot of Kingdom Hearts fans will jump on. I just had to have it. If you are like me then you'll like some of the new things but also feel like you aren't challenged enough for most of the game.

It's fun, yes, but it just feels like a bit of a drop. Not as bad as FFX to FFX-2.

Nice CG, okay story, fun worlds with some nifty surprises, boring challenges and battles.