Kingdom Hearts User Review
Kingdom hearts tells of the exploits of young Sora a fourteen year old boy who's life long dream of exploring new worlds is granted with the help of some Disney magic. Waking up one night after a day long training session kingdom hearts wastes no time putting the skills you've learned to use. Fighting off wave after wave of shadow monsters just when your exhausted a miracle happens, a weapon known as the Keyblade appears in your hand and after a few minutes of killing off these creatures you then fight the same monster that you fight in your dreams a gigantic creature with a hole in his chest that swallows you up, and brings you over to Traverse Town a land where you are a stranger to and the people are even stranger.
After bumping into Donald and Goofy (Quite literally) You form an immediate bond and must learn the rules of the new world in order to survive. Your the chosen wielder of the Keyblade a group of monsters known as heartless are trying to kill you because the Keyblade is the one thing that can bring an end to them, and Their king has instructed them to Kingdom hearts at its core is an action RPG. You unlock new skills and powers by killing enemies and leveling up. Your abilities start off limited to only the most basic magic spells (Taught to you by Herman the sorcerer from Disney's rendition of the sword and the stone) and through countless hours of fighting you unlock stonger versions of each spell.
Though like many other action RPG'S it offers far more from your standard strait forward hackenslash gameplay. The game has multiple types of gameplay that could easily be a game of their own one of the game's standout features is the ability to customize your own space ship or "Gummi ship" using parts that you obtain throughout the worlds you visit. Constructing a strong Gummi ship is essential in traversing the worlds that you explore. I remember as an eight year old how much fun I had with this mini game of constructing your own ship and blazing through the space shoot em up levels to reach your new goal.
You collect money and items by defeating heartless, and while money is dropped around like candy you should pay extra attention to the items that you collect as you gain the ability to synthesize them later on. While Kingdom Hearts isn't the first game to have item synthesis, it was the first game I played where synthesizing items gives you a great sense of accomplishment other games like power stone may of also had this feature , but here every item that you create increases your skills in synthesizing and can lead to creating some of the games best weapons and items. Some items are so rare that you have to specifically track down the species of heartless that contain them.
The games presentation also deserves mentioning nearly every level is constructed from a Disney cartoon and the attention to detail is top notch fans of Disney movies will love all the Easter eggs and references that square soft put into each level. And if your not a fan of Disney films then this is a great way to get introduced. Or if you've ever wanted to make an impact in your favorite Disney film like you just wished that you could do something to help your favorite characters during their crisis then this is the best way to do so.
Lush colorful environments, accompanied by the ability to interact with certain items not only look cool but add incentive for you to retrace your steps in attempt to find hidden objects scattered throughout each level. The voice acting is also top notch a 13 year old Harley Joel Osman voices Sora the innocent and playful nature of his voice gives off a truly realistic yet cartoon like characteristic. All the other characters may seem average in comparison but I'm glad to see a studio that takes child voice acting seriously
To add to the games presentation just like a summon in a final fantasy game you can summon Disney Sidekicks to help you in battle. It can often be hilarious to see yourself in the middle of a battle against a gigantic boss and then summon Stitch or the dragon from Mulan to shoot fire balls from upon your shoulder.
The thing that makes this game stand out as an art form is its ability bring cheer and joy to the worlds by defeating the heartless and in a poetic sense "paint the empty canvas that is these worlds hearts". The game was simply amazing for the most part, But then I reached the "Hollow Bastin" stage with beauty and the beast and the game became simply perfect. After spending countless hours along side Donald and Goofy as your team mates, and friends they are forced to leave you just because you are no longer the key blade wielder. As an eight year old this scene struck me as heartbreaking.
Your best friends forced to betray you just because you were no longer the one they were intended to help as the creepy music and moody atmosphere of the Hollow Bastin stage just sets in. Then as you keep pushing forward with the depressing atmosphere surrounding you, just when all hope is lost your teammates re join your side because they realize that true friendship matters more than their order past down by even their beloved king. Because if mickey was truly worthy of being their king, they knew he would have done the same thing.
Just like shadow of the colloses' open barren wastland Kingdom hearts' environment was what set the tone for this poetic adventure. With a strong story structure, an even tighter focus on character development, and tight flowing gameplay Kingdom hearts is no less than my favorite game of all time.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.