Kingdom Hearts 2(2005) Review

Good morning everyone.

Today I am pleased to finally bring you a review that I have been wanting to do for a very long time.

A gem of the Playstation 2 exclusives.

Kingdom Hearts 2.


To me personally, this is my favorite of the Kingdom Hearts series. The handheld prequels are good as well but to me, no other entry in the Kingdom Hearts series is as good as Kingdom Hearts 2.

Let's begin.

Story

The game takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories.

Sora,Donald and Goofy are suspended in animation in order to regain their memories they lost in the events of Chain of Memories. The group wake up and is tasked to visit worlds old and new to prevent a new force known as Organization XIII from taking control of the worlds and Kingdom Hearts.

A new enemy is revealed, the Nobodies. A heartless shell left behind when a person with a strong heart is turned into a heartless.

In this time, Maleficent is resurrected to use the heartless as a way to also conquer the worlds like Organization XIII.

Sora,Donald and Goofy must stop the Heartless, the Nobodies, Organization XIII and Maleficent from taking over the worlds and send them into darkness.

Presentation

Kingdom Hearts 2 has a very colorful presentation.

The atmosphere of the different worlds you visit are unique and bring unique art styles in every world you visit.

Most of the worlds you visit are based on many Disney movies and some unique only to the Kingdom Hearts series.

These worlds are based on Disney movies such as Mulan, Aladdin, Hercules and Pirates of The Caribbean.

Each world will bring a unique art design and atmosphere when you visit these worlds. The enemies will also get a unique design to them as they will be designed to represent the theme of that specific world, even Sora's attire and appearance will change based on the worlds you visit.

When you visit a new world it will not be like the last one. You can visit one world then to visit another world filled with new architecture and freedom to explore the many layers that makes the world different from all others.

The presentation can best be summed up by saying "Disney meets Final Fantasy with a hint of stylized anime." If you like any of the 3, Kingdom Hearts 2 will be nothing but eye candy.

The voice acting is also well done, in fact most of the Disney characters you come across are voiced by the original voice actors, some of course are not voiced by the original voice actor such as Genie being voiced by Dan Castellaneta(Homer Simpson) and Maleficent being voiced by Susanne Blakeslee, Doctor Julie Langford from the original Bioshock.

Surprising actually is the casting of Christopher Lee, a name that should be familiar to most as he is the actor who plays Saruman from the Lord of The Rings movies, Count Dooku from the new Star Wars trilogy and Dracula.

And of course James Woods as Hades.

Each voice actor does a fantastic job of playing their part, it is great to hear the original voices of these iconic characters come back to reprise their rolls.

Gameplay
Kingdom Hearts 2 is an action based RPG.

Combining hack and slash stylized combat with RPG elements.

Defeating enemies gain you and your allies experience points which either grants a bigger magic gauge, more health, defense or strength as well as unlocking new abilities to use on the battlefield.

You as the player have an RPG like menu bar to attack with the keyblade, use magic attacks, use the new Drive ability or summon characters to take out a group of enemies.

Kingdom Hearts 2 does play very similarly like the original but with many changes and improvements in combat.

The combat is more fluent and although at times can get tideus can be spiced up and changed with the inclusion of the Drive Forms and Summoning of characters. The Drive Form allows Sora to become more powerful and enhances his combat abilities, this makes the combat more dynamic with Sora being able to dish out powerful combos in quick succession making the combat intoxicatingly fun.

You are not invincible though, you can still be hit and you can still be defeated by the enemies.

The Summons also do the same with you and the character you summoned being able to take out a large group of enemies with ease and speed.

Progressing through the game is done by completing episodes of the worlds the player visits in order to unlock another episode of a different world, completing one episode could unlock 2 or 3 new episodes for the player to complete, players will face the Heartless, Nobodies and members of Organization XIII. The order in which these events occur and the order of which you face these enemies is entirely up to the you.

When you visit a world and want to complete the episode of said world you will do so in a linear playstyle, getting from point A to point B. Normally a linear playstyle does mean repetitive combat situations, although this is true that you will be in a combat situation similar to the last, a new enemy type might be brought into the mix that will force you to change your approach to the new situation.

These enemies can have certain advantages through the environment they're in or they're own abilities and strengths will make it difficult for you to defeat them.

So you may be caught of guard with said enemy, you will be seeing a familiar face but sometimes the new member of the group is going to be immune to your past strategies.

Certain combat situations can force the player into a disadvantage by not allowing them to use the Drive or Summon ability or sending the player in alone without any help.

The Gummi Ship travel and levels have been given a very good upgrade. The Gummi Ship missions are designed like an on-rail shooter with the excitement of a Disney Land theme ride. There is also a deep depth into the Gummi ship customization, allowing players to create their own Gummi ship making the ship strong in shields, health, power and mobility.

Game length?

You are looking at over 20 hours of gameplay and if you're a fan of action RPGs with stylized combat, then this is the game for you or if you're a Playstation fan, then buying this gem for your console is highly recommended.


The Verdict

Kingdom Hearts 2 may be 8 years old but even to this day is still a great game.

The story is great, the voice acting is great, the visual presentation is fantastic and the gameplay is too much fun.

That is why I give Kingdom Hearts a 9 out of 10

If you have a PS2 and enjoy the exclusives of the system, then you must acquire this gem of the exclusives.

It's a treat not only for gamers but also for fans of Disney and Anime.

Thank you for reading, stay tuned for my review of Star Wars Battlefront and Left 4 Dead.





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