Kingdom Hearts II combines classic Disney characters and worlds into a new story with new characters and environments created in the renowned Square Enix style. The game shipped to North American retailers nationwide on March 28 and was received with overwhelmingly positive response from both gamers and critics alike.
“Kingdom Hearts II has sold through one million units in just one-third the time of that of the original, proving that fans were waiting to get their hands on the sequel,” said Daishiro Okada, President & COO, Square Enix, Inc. “The winning combination of Disney and Square Enix has done it again and we couldn't be happier with the results.”
“Kingdom Hearts II is the result of great creative teams coming together to make one of the most successful console games of the year,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “The success of this game is very exciting and we look forward to our continued collaboration with the team at Square Enix.”
Since its release in September 2002, the original Kingdom Hearts for the PlayStation 2 has shipped more than 2.6 million units in North America. Bridging the gap between the original and the sequel, Kingdom Hearts: CHAIN OF MEMORIES followed in December 2004 for the Nintendo® Game Boy Advance® system. With the release of the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts II in December 2005 (one million units shipped during the first three days after the release date), the series has shipped in excess of 8.5 million units worldwide.
Kingdom Hearts II features an all-star ensemble voice cast led by Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense,” “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”) as the main character Sora, joined by David Gallagher (“7th Heaven”) as Riku, and Hayden Panettiere (“Racing Stripes,” “Raising Helen”) as Kairi. Kingdom Hearts II will also feature the voice talents of Jesse McCartney (“Summerland,” Recording artist, “Beautiful Soul” CD) as the mysterious boy Roxas, Brittany Snow (“The Pacifier,” “American Dreams”) as Namine, Christopher Lee (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”) as Diz; Steve Burton (“The Last Castle,” “Taken”) as Cloud, Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That,” “Josie And The Pussycats”) as Tifa and Mena Suvari (“American Beauty,” “Rumor Has It”) as Aerith, all characters from FINAL FANTASY® VII; and Hedy Buress (“Boston Common,” “If These Walls Could Talk”), Tara Strong (“Fairly OddParents : Shadow Showdown,” “Teen Titans”) , Gwendoline Yeo (“Desperate Housewives,” “24”) as the popular female-trio Yuna, Rikku, Paine from FINAL FANTASY X-2. In addition, many of the original Disney film voice actors are reprising their role for this project, including Ming-Na (“ER,” “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”) as Mulan, James Woods (“Be Cool”) as the villain Hades and Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) as Chicken Little.
In Kingdom Hearts II, players will travel through the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat Willie and Tron as well as revisit worlds from the original, including Aladdin, Disney Castle, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The game features more than 100 Disney characters, including the new additions of Chicken Little, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and one of Disney’s favorite villains, Pete. The game also also introduces new, original characters such as Roxas, members of Organization XIII and the Nobodies, all designed by Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura, director and character designer of the Kingdom Hearts series. Nomura is best known for his creations in the top selling titles Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X and X-2.
Kingdom Hearts II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest, after the events of Kingdom Hearts. Sora is looking for his lost friend Riku, while Donald and Goofy are searching for their missing king. The story begins in Twilight Town, a quiet burg nestled between night and day. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself. Together, they will encounter countless dangers in worlds both familiar and brand new.
Kingdom Hearts II features a new and improved real-time battle system which provides an increased selection of commands, such as performing special attacks and cooperative attacks with members of your party, adding strategy to the gameplay. Players can also perform the “Drive” to transform main character Sora into his various forms, altering his skills and abilities. Examples include the Brave Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of Goofy allowing him to use two Keyblades; the Wisdom Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of Donald allowing him to increase his magic power; and the Master Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of both Donald and Goofy and increases both his attack and magic powers. These new features bring additional challenges and excitement to players and further enhance gameplay.
Kingdom Hearts II is available at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD).
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