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Kingdom Hearts II

Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Release Date: March 28, 2006

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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17. 'Kingdom Hearts 2' (PS2)

by Rainier on Feb. 13, 2005 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

Kingdom Hearts II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest to find their friends and King Mickey. It has been a year since the events of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, 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! In the effort to help Mulan and stop the villain Hades' devious plots, they will encounter countless dangers both familiar and brand-new.

Geson Hatchett: Squaresoft? Disney Properties? You're bloody kidding me. But no, the facts spoke for themselves; an edgy reinterpretation of timeless classics, great gameplay that fused beat-em-up action with console role-playing, and a story and cast that gripped the player from beginning to end. Kingdom Hearts gave many people the ability to do something they always secretly wanted to do – immerse themselves in the Disney productions of old. The ones they grew up on, the ones they watched on VHS (for you whippersnappers, that's that stuff that came before DVDs) over and over again, the ones that touched their minds and hearts and had them singing their theme songs on the way to school. Companies, take note: this is how you utilize your franchises. You either go all the way, or go home. It's also an example of the true potential of the video games medium. And now we're getting another one. Oh, what an age we live in. Darkwing Duck and Kim Possible in KH2, please. Thank you.

Tim "Rabbit" Mithee: Kingdom Hearts surprised me, initially. I honestly didn't expect much from this odd fusing of superpowers; instead of some limp sell-out on both parties, I got an action RPG with style and polish. Sure, it was silly, wandering around with Donald and Goofy while smashing shadows with a key. At the end of the day, however, it was fun, sort of a spiritual successor to the old days of Zelda and such -- the worlds were unique and wonderful to explore, the fights were exciting, and with some exceptions, it was a blast. I'm a sucker for a sequel to a game I really loved. If KH2 has the same feeling as the original, it'll be something no one can stand to miss. Maybe some of the odd flaws can even be worked out (ridiculously hard boss fights and the controls in Atlantica, for instance), pulling together a tighter package than before. At some level, too, I just want to see what's happening to Sora now, to see the continuing story of the Keymaster. It was great writing, and I want to see more of it.

Thomas Wilde: Almost against my better judgment, I'm curious what Square Enix will do with another go at Kingdom Hearts. The first game wore out its welcome early on, with a disobedient camera and a storyline that couldn't decide whether it was meant for children or not, but Square is usually pretty good about fixing its own mistakes. That, and I want to see Nomura's redesigned Rikku and Auron.


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