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59 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Everything a sequel could ask for

Author: SSJAniFan from Pine Valley, California
13 April 2006

Arguably one of the most anticipated games since the first shots were revealed in summer 2003, Kingdom Hearts 2 had much hype living up to it. After all, the first Kingdom Hearts was a very enjoyable action-RPG. It combined the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy, filled with a massive story, full-on interaction with the various Disney worlds, quickly paced battles that challenged the reflexes and wits, and fun little mini-games to pass the time. It wound up becoming a hit, despite its shortcomings such as an annoying camera and a series of weak series of "Gummi Ship," shooting levels. In 2004, a Game Boy Advance title Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was released, which bridged the events of the first game and its upcoming sequel. With appetites whetted, fans eagerly anticipated the release of the PS2 sequel over a year later. And now, with it finally out after 3 1/2 years, you may ask, "Was it worth the wait?" You bet it was.

First, the graphics. They are simply beautiful. The designers perfectly captured the animation in the first game, and despite that, the new one looks even better. From the cartoony steamboat of Steamboat Willy fame to the Beast's flowing cape, the movements, designs, and animations can almost be mistaken for a finished animation cel. Its interesting to that all of the returning Final Fantasy characters sans Cid have received all out makeovers, and instead of a more anime-ish look like the first game, they now sport some slightly more realistic designs.

Story wise, KH II is just as good as the first. Yes, a certain major villain from the first is back, and yes, you're traveling worlds trying to beat Heartless, but thankfully, it's not a rehash. It has quite a few interesting twists and turns and even a few very emotional moments, starting with the beginning, which interestingly enough, doesn't feature Sora at all, but an entirely new character. And by the time Sora returns, we wind up caring for this new character quite a bit, and actually wind up missing him. And Mickey fans rejoice: while the Mouse only appeared for about a minute of the first game, this time around he has a much larger role.

Gameplay wise, Kingdom Hearts II excels. Although the platforming is gone, Square has made sure that you won't be bored. Some tasks include a wild ride on Aladdin's magic carpet, helping Mulan join the Imperial Army, singing in a duet with Ariel, and helping an amnesiac Winnie the Pooh get enough honey to eat on an insane adventure that goes throughout the 100 Acre Wood and even on the text of the Pooh book itself. The combat, well, it takes the cake. The new system is incredibly deep, filled with Reaction commands that let you perform new combos against enemies and bosses, Limit attacks that let you perform combination attacks with your various party members, and the drive gauge, which not only enhances the power of your summon monsters, but also allows Sora to merge with his allies into a full blown powerhouse warrior. The Gummi Ship segments are no longer a chore: gone are the slow-moving bland environments from the first game, instead giving us a fast paced blast fest that does a much better job of replicating the old quarter munchers of yore. And did I mention the fact that the camera has improved greatly?

There are many new tunes that each perfectly fit each new world, with the themes from the returning worlds also coming back. I have little complaints overall, in fact, my biggest gripe is I would have loved to hear "What's This?" being played during the Christmas portion of the Nightmare Before Christmas world. Voice wise, well, Haley Joel Osment once again shines as Sora, Christopher Lee is absolutely brilliant as Diz, and of course the usual Disney VAs such as Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, and Bill Farmer, are perfect. Best of all, most of the cast members have voices, including returning ones who didn't in the first such as Chip and Dale, the rest of the Winnie the Pooh cast, and Cid. Only a few do not have voices, such as Uncle Scrooge McDuck(which is a shame, as I would have loved to hear Alan Young) All of the returning Final Fantasy cast members, save Cloud, have new voices though, and range from good(Squall/Leon) to disappointing(Aerith).

Kingdom Hearts II is definitely worth the time we've endured, as well as the $50 dollar price tag. This is a must buy title and it leaves me anticipating just what the unbeatable team of Disney and Square will do next.

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52 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Sora's triumphant return

Author: kaboomzor from United States
4 April 2006

The first Kingdom Hearts game was a genre-defining title. Squaresft had a huge hit on its hands, spawned from its partnership with Disney, that no one really expected. When the sequel was announced, fans of the game (myself included) were overjoyed. And now that it's here, we know that our reaction was justified.

This game is everything it promises to be and more. Everything, from the graphics to the gameplay, has been completely redone, with stunning results. It still shows the same crisp look and feel you expect from Square, but with a new polish that's readily evident.

The game feels the same, but different - like an old car with a brand new engine. Sora jumps and attacks with speed and flourish, just as he did in the first game. Only this time, they've thrown in a couple new features for you to play with - the Drive and Limit functions.

The Drive command is a stroke of genius on Square's part - when selected, you transform into one of 5 forms with the help of your allies - Valor (Goofy), Wisdom (Donald), Master (Both), Final (Both), and AntiForm (All allies). The first three are gained as the story progresses, but Final form and AntiForm are random occurrences. The Drive forms imbue Sora with new skills and abilities, allowing him to take down his enemies in ways never thought possible.

Anyone who's played Final Fantasy will recognize the Limit command. Sora teams up with his partners to unleash a flashy, devastating combo attack that decimates the enemies around him. Limit attacks do ridiculous damage and are often graphically stunning. Each ally (including those specific to the current world) has his own limit attack, and each one is completely unique.

As with he first game, the story is a brilliantly crafted and well-told narrative. All your favorite characters from the first game are back, including some new faces, like Stitch, Tifa, and, of course, the three stars of Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna, Rikku and Paine (making their appearance this time as three mischievous fairies that inhabit Hollow Bastion).

Overall, this is a fantastic and well-thought-out game that anyone who even mildly enjoyed the first. Games like this really only come once in a great while, and this should definitely keep you busy until the next ground-breaking new hit is released.

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36 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Almost 4 years we waited....and Kingdom Hearts II does not disappoint at all

Author: The_Amazing_Spy_Rises from United States
28 April 2006

I have no idea where to start with Kingdom Hearts II. What stands out is the excellent graphics, catchy voice actors, the amazing gameplay, and a wonderfully mysterious story.

I will do my best to explain the plot of KHII. It's been a while since Sora, Donald, and Goofy defeated Ansem, and it appears that the Heartless are back to their old tricks, but before we learn of them, we see a new, and mysterious enemy: The Nobodies. Also different, the first 4 to 5 hours of gameplay are spent playing as a new character, Roxas. For a while, the story will seem confusing, but once you reach the end, it will ALL make sense. After a few hours of gameplay, you'll play as Sora once again, and you'll meet old and new friends alike. Also going on as a side story, Kairi has forgotten all about Sora, but is eager to learn more about 'the boy I used to have so much fun with', and Riku seems to be gone without a trace. Meanwhile, Roxas (who sounds eerily like Jesse McCartney *wink*) has been dreaming about Sora, and his past adventures, despite never having met him before, and while all this is going on, a mysterious new force called Organization XIII is taking shape....

The gameplay behind KHII is phenomenal. Rather than the basic play behind KHI, the system has been overhauled with a new thing called drive form, which allows Sora to increase his power for a limited time. The MP gauge is also different, which isn't that great. It's the only flaw of KHII. You'll be hooked within minutes of playing this game.

With appearances from the Disney classic characters Beast, Belle, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, The Peddler, Iago, Chicken Little, Peter Pan, Stitch, Mulan, Captain Shang, Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Chip and Dale, Hercules, Megara, Phil the Satyr, Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, King Triton, Tron, Jack Skellington, The Mayor, Sally, Dr. Finkelstein, Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Disney's villains are also back, including Captain Barbossa, Jafar, Shan-Yu, Hades, Scar, Commander Sark, The Master Control Program, Oogie Boogie, and Ursula. Square's Final Fantasy heroes are back as well, including Squall Leonhart, Aeris (Aerith), Cloud, Auron, Yuffie, Tifa Lockheart, Raijin, Fujin, Seifer, Yuna, Rikku, and Paine, not to mention the most evil villain in video game history, Sephiroth is back.

Kingdom Hearts II also has some cool voice actors, including Haley Joel Osment, Hayden Panitierre, David Gallagher, Sean Astin, Jesse McCartney, David Boreanaz, James Arnold Taylor, Tara Strong, B.D. Wong, Mena Suvari, and Robbie Benson.

This is one game you cannot afford to miss. If you play one game on PS2 this year, Kingdom Hearts II should be that game. Don't miss this clever blend of fun, epic battles, romance, action, adventure, humor, and gripping suspense.

10/10 --spy

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely beautiful...

Author: thumpergirl03 from United States
4 July 2006

I love this game! As a huge fan of KH1,i must say that KH2 carries on the story perfectly. The graphics have improved, and i must say that i like the extended version of The nightmare before Christmas. It also has more songs from the movies, including Part of your world, and Beauty and the Beast (after you defeat Xaldin). I think Hailey Joel Osment is perfect as Sora, Christopher Lee is brilliant as Diz, and all the other voice overs are good as well. And there's more worlds too including the fabulous Pride Lands, and Mulan just to name a few. The only complaint i have is that you don't hear the Circle of life in the Pride lands. By the way the new characters are just as likable as the familiar ones.

All in all, this is my most favorite PS2 game and like KH1 it's a good game for Disney and FF lovers alike.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

An amazing game!

Author: moonside from Canada
29 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kingdom Hearts II took what the fans love about the original, twisted it around into something entirely new (yet familiar!) and added onto it. Honestly, it is one of the best games I've played in a long time! I just can't put it down! I won't give away too much of the plot - but it picks up right where KH: Chain of Memories left off, with Sora on a desperate search to find his friend Riku. However, he seems to find trouble with strange, hooded enemies who call themselves the XIII Order (Japanese version). The "witch" girl Naminé from CoM also makes an appearance, along with Roxas, a blond kid who, strangely enough, seems to have memories of Sora and his friends.

The gameplay itself is stunning. The battle system has been upgraded from Kingdom Hearts, and while it still contains abilities, magic, and the basic style, it has several add-ons. KHII introduces the "drive" system, which allows Sora to morph with another character and wield dual keyblades- trust me on this, it's amazing. :) Furthermore, there are "reaction commands" available when fighting certain enemies that allow Sora to do some pretty cool moves (riding on some Heartless, throwing them in the air, dodging them, etc). And, if that wasn't cool enough, Sora can now do co-op moves with his support characters, which can inflict massive amounts of damage.

The game is most definitely worth a play. It is far longer than the original Kingdom Hearts, with more than one visit required to the worlds. It has new worlds (including Timeless River, ingeniously done in black and white) and new characters, both from the Final Fantasy and Disney worlds. The graphics are stunning, upgraded from KH, yet still remaining its cartoonish charm.

Expect to put in 60+ hours on this game, when it comes out. Everything about it has captivated me, from the characters, to the story, to the mini games, to the battles. I can't wait to see how Square handles the North American release (or how the English voice actors compare to the stunning Japanese voicing I've seen so far). I would definitely recommend people to play this game, when they get the chance!

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25 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Kingdom Hearts 2 is going to rule the first one!

Author: Doug Danmana ( from United Kingdom
4 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kingdom Hearts 2 was only just released in Japan. Already it has captivated the American and European market, and people cannot wait to get their hands on it.

Kingdom Hearst 2 is more anticipated than Square-Enix other upcoming game Final Fantasy XII.

OK so you have completed The first game, already stormed through Chain of Memories? So you should know about this strange cloaked order called XIII

Sora is on his quests again to find his friend Riku, the only problem is it seems his memories of Kairi are slipping and hers of him also, she turns to Selphie and gone on to say "Me,Riku and that other boy used to play all the time, but i'm starting to forget his voice"

The XIII are after Sora, but for unknown reasons. A young boy who lives in twilight town has a dream about Sora. This "Blond haired Kid" has been said that his name is in fact "Roxus".

Has Namine had any effect on the actions that are now taking place? And what is Diz really doing?

Sora along side Donald and Goofy, travel to many different worlds such as: Ancient China The Underworld Beast's Enchanted Castle Pride Rock Atlantica Cyber Space (Tron) Christmas Town & Steamboat Willie

There are still many unknown worlds too and new modes of gameplay make KH2 a must own Game for 2006!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

kingdom hearts does it again

Author: KHFAN1 from United Kingdom
31 December 2008

this game is fantastic

the first game was awesome, i heard about it from my friend and i bought it So i thought will final fantasy and Disney work? the answer: of course

after i played the first game i couldn't wait for the second the game play was fantastic as were the characters, voice actors, graphics, story everything was brilliant I personally think that this game is 100% perfect and it will always be my favourite game kingdom hearts rules

if you love Disney you'll love this game

if you love final fantasy you'll love this game

You will instantly love the characters like Sora, Riku and Kari

Also there are some brilliant enemies like the heartless, nobodies and organisation xiii

Be prepared for the best game you'll ever play

Did i mention that there will be a third game

Enjoy the game its impossible not to

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A bit of a letdown but worth the money and the effort.

Author: jrmiller14454
6 December 2010

I realize while starting to write this that it saddens me that most people are too stunned with the actual game itself to write a critical review. I shall try my best to do otherwise.

Let's all face it we were all damn excited to hear of the sequel to the Kingdom Hearts series. I myself had bought and played Chain of Memories just to keep up to date with it. And as you could expect, I was thrilled when this was finally in my hand.

Graphics: Terrific! There is not much to critique on this, the graphics are smooth and very nicely done. As someone mentioned in an other review, Port Royal is the only world that is a bit pixalated and rough. But that is to be expected of course, considering the game designers were trying to get as close to possible with the real thing. I felt that the facial expression were Superb, Sora's mouth as well as others are now 3 dimensional, and actually attempt to go along with their voices.

Voice Acting: I felt like this could have been loads better. Considering the success of the First Kindgdom Hearts, you would think they could be a little more original with the voice acting. Don't get me wrong, they chose the best possible people to voice act the real thing, but it just wasn't cutting it....Butchering Captain Jack Sparrow, and Will Turner, I rather wish they would have just used text bubbles. Some others I was disappointed in was Leon, Simba, and Mulan. But, all in all they did a decent job at trying to get similar voice actors.

Battle System: This was definitely an improvement, anyone could see that. Sora's movements are nice and fluid, and there are a TON of new abilities, making the battle system highly more strategic, and instead of mashing X the whole time you can use other buttons too and coordinate your attacks, the Limit attacks, and the Drive ability were ingenious! There however, was a GIANT hole in this system...This made the game is ENTIRELY too easy! All of these things combined made the bosses look like cupcakes...Even Sephiroth was a joke to me.

Content: Now this is what really got me...For some reason I keep feeling like the worlds are way shorter than in the first one. It never really dawned on me until recently, that it was because, again they made the game too easy. The treasure chests are no longer hidden, and are in plain site, there are hardly any mini-games that actually give you something for all the frustrating times you tried doing them, and there isn't NEARLY as many secrets...No secret bosses except for...Seph-Cough cough...And the paths you walk all throughout the game are linear. No secret rooms with treasure chests, and no dungeon to explore, you go this way and that is it. There arn't nearly as many weapons and equipment this time around unless you want to synthesize....But by the time you get all your materials it's pointless anyway because you can kill everything with a flick of your wrist by then. I miss trinities, because it gave you a REASON to go back to the worlds. I feel like you main goal in this game it to get to next cut scene....There was hardly any satisfaction with the replay of this game.

One thing I was excited about was the gummi missions, they are addictive and extremely entertaining, I spent hours one time trying to get them all S rank.

OVERVIEW: Honestly, I love this game. But it seems to me that they tried to appeal to both an older and younger crowd this time around, throwing in the fun factor....But with no difficulty, and no thinking process.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful action mixed with pre-teen dialogue, and 80% Disney fillers, farcry from KH1 expectations,

Author: Serenit-y from United Kingdom
16 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The following is whats wrong with kingdom hearts 2

1. The Diaologue was unambigiously for 8 year olds, Disney loving pre-teens, by the time you get through most of the game you'd hear the repeat of the word "Friendship." "Dont be sad we can do it cause were friends" it'd make you re-think playing the in the midst of mature friends.

2. The main storyline is just about 10% of the whole game. The rest is simply Disney fillers, some good a lot boring and redundant.

3. The worlds aren't complex in the least, not much chance of exploration.

4. The game progress itself is redundant, it's pretty much, go to worlds, kill heartless boss, go around a second time kill a stronger boss, then go to the final world and kill off organisation 13.

5. The final drive systems, master and final are a bit too powerful and uncontrollable in that the moves you do aren't selective, your simply tapping the x button and watching fire works, it gets boring.

good parts

- Amazing moves - Nice music, - Cool Bossess, - Real Time fighting - Sephirot

thats about it, thankfully the storyline, and the above, as well as a good mix of characters make this a far more than average game.

Conclusion - Not a bad game though, falls severely short of my expectation. When i played the game a second time due to boredom, i skipped about 90% of the scenes, just stuck to improving the drives and killing Bossess.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The best of them all

Author: Ref 65 from Ireland
5 January 2008

Kingdom Hearts2 (in my opinion)is the best game I've ever played.The animation and graphics really impressed me.It's a sequel to Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts:Chain of memories.In the game,Sora is still continuing his search for Riku but evil awaits....

I have played this game over again and I still love it.If you haven't heard of this game then I suggest you play the first one.Then play this one.

I don't know how people hate it 'cos I don't see anything wrong or bad about it.Kingdom Hearts fans won't be disappointed or maybe they will because I was not.Enjoy the game!

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