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Kingdom Hearts
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Console: Sony PlayStation 2
Region:U
Year: 2002
RFG ID #: U-072-S-01110-A
Part #: SLUS-20370
UPC: 662248902012
Developer: Square
Publisher: Squaresoft
Rating:
E (ESRB): Violence

Genre: RPG
Sub-genre: Action RPG
Players: 1
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: DVD x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 581 of 6963 collectors (8.3%) have this game in their collection
  • 15 of 6963 collectors (0.2%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 3 of 6963 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.
Review:

Sirgin's review:

What would happen if we put many of Disney's famous characters, some random evil guys, a couple of Final Fantasy's greatest heroes and some new spike-haired kids all in one game? That must've been the question Squaresoft and Disney were asking themselves when they were creating the concept of Kingdom Hearts. What made them came up with such a crazy question? I have no idea. Does it make for an enjoyable RPG? It sure does.

No matter which way you look at it, Kingdom Hearts (2002) is a pretty unique game. It shares some common points with the Final Fantasy series, but it's profoundly different otherwise. At the start of the game we meet Sora, Riku and Kairi. These three friends are simply enjoying the little tropical world they live in and spend their days playing, talking or staring at the ocean. One day changes everything when the Heartless, a purple army of toy-like bad guys, attack the island. Both Kari and Riku disappear and Sora decides to go and look for his friends, with the help of his magical Keyblade.

Before the main story takes off, you're placed in a church-like darkness, with only glass windows displaying sleeping princesses to walk on. This area serves as a tutorial for basic combat action as well as facing you with a choice that'll decide your "destiny". Destiny may be a big word, but it comes down to you having to choose a strength and weakness with "attack", "defense" and "magic" as your options. This will later influence the way your character (Sora) levels up, what abilities he'll get first and even how fast he'll level.

Soon after embarking on his quest, Sora will meet up with Donald and Goofy, who will accompany you throughout the rest of the game. You stumbled upon the hilarious duo because they are on a quest of themselves: to find King Mickey, who has given them instructions to assist the Keyblade wearer, which just happens to be Sora. Although the plot may seem quite heavy, it is treated pretty lightly during most of the game, mainly because you'll be working to get all the sub-plots in the different Disney worlds settled out. There's more to say about the main plot but revealing any more story feels like spoiling to me, so I won't. I'll just say that even though the story has its depth, it's clear to see that Square wanted to make this a lighter digestible plot than the average Final Fantasy; a decision that's also reflected in Kingdom Heart's gameplay - but more about that in a minute.

You'll meet many famous Disney characters on your quest to find Riku and Kairi, all living in their specific world based upon their movie counterparts. Funny is how these Disney characters (except Donald and Goofy) don't know anything about the major story, but are preoccupied with their own little problems. Along the way you'll find yourself playing alongside characters like Aladdin and Jack Skellington in worlds such as Wonderland, Agrabah, the Hundred Acre Wood, Halloween Town, etc... Next to that there are some new worlds designed specifically for this game such as Traverse Town and Hollow Bastion.

Now for one of the most irritating aspects of the game: traveling between all these worlds. Rather than just having your party "teleport" to a world, you'll have to play a minigame each time you'll travel to a new world. Your ship, called a Gummi ship, travels along a determined path until you reach the next world. While flying around you'll have to shoot (often unidentifiable) enemies. This is clearly a Star Fox rip-off, and a bad one at that. By defeating enemies you'll receive "Gummi blocks" which you can use to upgrade your ship. Instead of making this easy, Square decided to put in an awkward ship editor in the game that allows you to make your ship stronger by adding parts or even create a new one. This sounds better than it actually is because there isn't any point in doing so. The Gummi levels are so easy, you'll just want to get them over with quickly to advance to the next world; so what's the point of upgrading the basic ship? The whole feature could have been left out of the game for me, but I guess Square found it necessary to let players "experience" how the party travels between worlds.

Luckily, the game is a whole lot better when inside one of the worlds. Unlike the (until then) Final Fantasy series, Kingdom hearts is an Action RPG. This means all combat happens directly in the main environments, without "going" into a turn-based combat area. Your main weapon is Sora's Keyblade, with which you can use to hit the enemies one time or in combo's (depending on the abilities you have). You can also cast traditional FF-style magic such as fire, blizzard, thunder, slow, etc... These can be selected in the "Command menu" in the lower left corner of the screen with either the D-pad or the right analog stick. You can also assign up to three magics to the cross, triangle and square buttons that allow for easy-casting in combination with L1. Lastly, you can summon Disney characters that'll temporarily help Sora out, giving Donald and Goofy a break. The camera can be moved only to the left and right by holding down either L2 or R2, which feels quite restricted. In fact, it's the main thing that bothered me while playing Kingdom Hearts; I find the camera much too close to Sora's back to give a overall perspective of your environment. Oftentimes you won't even see the enemies you're fighting, with the camera struggling to get them into view. If it wasn't for the lock-on function (activated with R1), Kingdom Hearts would be almost unplayable.

Combat happens frequently, with enemies spawning almost everywhere on the map. Sadly enough the limited tactical options will make fighting the hordes of Heartless a rather boring venture, and feels like "something you have to do" instead of being a source of fun. It isn't so irritating that it'll make you stop playing, but it could've been done a lot better. As I said earlier, Donald and Goofy will accompany you on your quest, so they're also with you during combat; helping out by attacking enemies, using magic or throwing a potion your way when your health is low. You can also opt to temporarily exchange one of the two by an optional character, depending on the world you're in. On a positive note I can say that the boss fights are much more fun than the random battles and can be quite challenging, too. (if you haven't leveled up your characters too much, that is)

Besides the fighting, there's the traditional RPG action to be done such as talking to characters, buying items and weapons in stores and saving your game at save points. There's also a bit of platforming included, which is a nice distraction from the combat but suffers from the same camera problems as well as the not-so-fluid jumping animation. Kingdom Hearts clearly is an RPG with some platform elements rather than a platform game with RPG elements.

In the main menu there are the traditional "item", "equipment", "status" and "abilities" menus as well as a "customize" and "journal" menu. In the customize menu you can set the quick-access magics for Sora and determine Donald and Goofy's combat behavior by selecting if they have to do certain things "constantly", "frequently" or "occasionally". The journal menu serves as a log in which a summary of the story is kept, next to character and world descriptions.

Graphically, Kingdom Hearts is a feast for the eyes, especially if you're a Disney fan. Both the worlds and characters accurately resemble their traditional animation counterparts, something Square can be proud of. You can also enjoy the colorful scenery in first-person view when pressing the select button. Once again, the restricted camera is the only thing that keeps this game from being a sightseers' dream.

Vocally, Square has done their best with much of the dialog being voiced over by an excellent cast of voice actors. Most of the actual Disney voice actors have lent their voices to their respective characters and Haley Joel "I see dead people" Osment gave his voice to Sora. Sound effects are average but just like in most of Square's RPG's, music is excellent. Each world is accompanied by its own theme (often a variation or adaptation of the famous Disney themes) that either sets a happy tone (in the Disney worlds) or a more serious tone (in the non-Disney worlds).

Despite its flaws, Kingdom Hearts is a unique game that successfully merges the worlds of Disney and Square into a unique experience. Whether you're an RPG fan, Square fan, Disney fan or action fan; there's a little for everybody in Kingdom Hearts. 8.4/10

Extra Media:

Official Player's Guide
Official Player's Guide back
Registration card- back
Registration card- front
Manual Back
Variations:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Sony PlayStation 2 A S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum, Square Enix] Square Enix 2006 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 J S Kingdom Hearts [Ultimate Hits] Square Enix 2005 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 J S Kingdom Hearts SquareSoft 2002 Action/Adventure
Sony PlayStation 2 Germany S Kingdom Hearts Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2002 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 France S Kingdom Hearts Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2002 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 France S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum] Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 Italy S Kingdom Hearts Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2002 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 DK, FI, NO, SE S Kingdom Hearts Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2002 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 Germany S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum] Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 Germany S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum, Square Enix] Square Enix 2006 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 A S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum] Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 United Kingdom S Kingdom Hearts Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2002 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 United Kingdom S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum, Square Enix] Square Enix 2006 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 United Kingdom S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum, PEGI] Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 Netherlands S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum] Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 United Kingdom S Kingdom Hearts [PEGI Rerelease - 2010] Square Enix 2010 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 GR, PT, ES, GB S Kingdom Hearts [Platinum] Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 U S Kingdom Hearts [Greatest Hits] Squaresoft 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 J S Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix [Ultimate Hits] Square Enix 2005 Action/Adventure
Sony PlayStation 2 J S Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix [Platinum Limited] Squaresoft / Disney 2002 Action/Adventure
Sony PlayStation 2 J S Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix Squaresoft 2002 RPG
Game Credits:

voice actors
Sora Haley Joel Osment
Riku David Gallagher
Kairi Hayden Panettiere
Ansem Billy Zane
Leon David Bereanaz
Aerith Mandy Moore
Cloud Steve Burton
Yuffie Christy Carlson Romano
Tidus Shaun Fleming
Wakka Dee Bradley Baker
Selphie Molly Keck
Sephiroth Lance Bass
Page Credits:

Michael Collins: Page design, HTML code.
Funk_buddy: Developer
Eddie Herrmann: Perl script.
Kyle Niday: scans, Game Credits, UPC
Mike Swindell: miscellaneous data
Pop Culture Portal: Media Format, Rating
lovablechevy: Photos
Keith Brown (Tan): Photos
Sirgin: Review
NES_Rules: Misc.
audioman83: Developer, Publisher
ApolloBoy: Correct publisher
Zagnorch: Photos
Shadow Kisuragi: Misc
Flee: Photos

Last Updated: 2018-06-28 07:51:33
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