Kingdom Hearts II (Video Game 2005) Poster

(2005 Video Game)

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Everything a sequel could ask for
SSJAniFan13 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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Sora's triumphant return
kaboomzor4 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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10/10
Almost 4 years we waited....and Kingdom Hearts II does not disappoint at all
The_Amazing_Spy_Rises28 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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10/10
Absolutely beautiful...
thumpergirl034 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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An amazing game!
moonside29 January 2006
Warning: 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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Kingdom Hearts 2 is going to rule the first one!
dougthehedgehog4 January 2006
Warning: 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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10/10
kingdom hearts does it again
jmz2631 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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10/10
The best of them all
Ref655 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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8/10
A bit of a letdown but worth the money and the effort.
jrmiller144546 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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10/10
Anyone else feel as I do?
lenicoconutty27 February 2008
Kingdom Hearts, this game is truly amazing. The story BEHIND all the running around fighting heartless is indescirbable. People tend to call this a "sad game" which it is, but in the end is all pretty much happy. The words the characters speak are very deep, and really make you think. For instance, "A scattered dream is like a far off memory, A far off memory is like a scattered dream. I want to line the pieces up, yours, and mine" Those are the first words said when the game is beginning when you've chosen what mode you would like to play in. (Might I add that it was 'Soras' voice who said that.) The game itself shows excitement, sadness, complexity, and charm. Anyone with experience in this game knows exactly what I'm talking about, especially when I say that the game is "deep" within someones heart. How does Namura come up with something like this? It's so interesting. If you go on you tube, and type in the Twilight Town song, listen to it, and read the comments - you'll see I'm not the only one who thinks of Kingdom Hearts (1 and 2) can make you cry just thinking about it. It's so tempting that this game makes me feel weird. Heck, if I could, I would want to be able to some how be transported in this game just to interact with the characters. Yes, I know that sounds crazy and stupid, but it's true.

Kingdom Hearts is so unique that I haven't seen anything like it since Final Fantasy, which is obviously why because they were made to be linked together. But as I begin to conclude my review of the Kingdom Hearts series, may I suggest that you *really* listen to what their saying in the story line, and maybe you'll get a sense of what I'm trying to show you about it. Overall Kingdom Hearts is the best game I've ever played, and I would hate to see it fade away like it wasn't anything important.

  • the understood.
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5/10
Severely Overrated.
etherealed22 April 2008
First of all, let me state that I loved the original Kingdom Hearts. I grew up as a Disney child and I still have all of my old VHS tapes. I am also a Final Fantasy lover, so Kingdom Hearts offered the combination of nostalgia and modern entertainment.

An ideal combination of challenging combat, large-scale platforming, and Square's typical top-notch production created one of my favorite games. I eagerly anticipated the sequel for a very long time - and was then severely disappointed.

Kingdom Hearts 2 is nothing but a large budgeted sequel that forgot its roots. The platforming elements are almost entirely wiped away in favor of linear, forgettable worlds that you can usually complete in an hour or less. They offer you nothing. I believe the only level I enjoyed was the first within a massive town that was actually worth exploring.

The combat was severely compromised. I know many will argue with this point but hear me out. Previously we had combat that forced us to make critical choices, learn attack patterns and fight challenging bosses. In this game many of the boss fights can only be won with the "God of War" button timing madness that all mainstream games must now have by some unwritten game developer's code. You can hack and slash the life out of a boss all you like, but the only way you can defeat (some of) them is by pulling off one of these button-timed events. Perhaps it's just me, but I don't feel satisfied killing off a massive hunk of metal 20 times my size just by hitting a triangle like the screen told me to. The Dodge Roll move (my favorite form the original) was removed, and the entire game feels like it takes on the attitude that fighting "guns a blazing" is the only way to do things. It is true that the new forms Sora can undertake are fun and a nice addition, but they are merely flashy show-offs that far too much energy went into instead of developing the worlds.

Story wise I think this game actually took the series further downhill. I will not reveal anything so as not to spoil, but character attitudes towards each other seem to have altered. Also somewhere along the line Goofy and Donald completely switched roles. Goofy now takes on the smart and sensible roll while Donald is just plain greedy and a little out of touch with the world. The FF characters are even taken down a notch... the voice given to Aerith in this game is absolutely dreadful.

This game is yet another sufferer of Square's modern disease I like to call "Mainstream Flash". Basically this means you give the audience eye candy, a couple of "cool" features and cut back on many other elements. The games seem to be leaning more and more mainstream and that is saddening, because Final Fantasys and other Square originals used to be shining gems in a sea of mediocre attempts. I give this game a 5/10 because of the graphics and what it COULD have offered us. These games offer so much potential, and Square completely ignored that fact in this sequel.
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10/10
A magical masterpiece presented to us by Disney Square Enix
keybladek30 May 2016
The game series Kingdom Hearts reshaped my thoughts on video games. Prior to playing the first game, I had not given much interest toward the medium... However after playing the first game several years ago and inserting myself into the fandom I found out there was a second game released. I played through this game with my mind continuously being blown by a wide array of characters, worlds, and the seamless transition of anime and American animation. This game manages to appeal to all ages while staying clean enough that anyone of any age could play it, the difficulty is well balanced with there being a comfortable setting for any level of skill, and the music is hands down some of the best in video game history. In short buy it for yourself, share it with your children, and make sure to check out the other games in the series.
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8/10
A fantastic and astounding game, but not quite as good as the original.
ramteen8924 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, before I give this game any negative comments, I will confirm one thing: I absolutely LOVED this game and enjoyed every moment of it, but it was not without flaws.

POSITIVE: Longer, more characters, and more places to explore. The worlds were very well done and the characters were brilliantly faithful to their original appearances on the big screen. Furthering the Heart concept also expanded the story, making it even more enjoyable, and I especially loved the fight scenes with King Mickey, my favourite one being where he faces off against Xemnas during the 1000 Heartless battle at Hollow Bastion (I don't take into account the King Mickey-Sephiroth fight: it's fan-fiction with a cheat code and non-canon).

NEGATIVE: The combos and attacks were sometimes a little bit too fancy. Yes, they were well-made and powerful, but still too fancy for my taste. Another major flaw in the game's story was too much irrelevant filler, such as the entire Atlantica world, Merlin's book, the episode in Hallowe'en Town with the Experiment, and Scar's Ghost turning out to be a Heartless in Pride Lands (under the control of neither Maleficent or Organisation XIII). But, in my opinion, the biggest disappointment in the game was the absence of Gaston, the villain from "Beauty and the Beast", the one villain I was looking forward to fighting most. An episode with Gaston attempting to round up Heartless for Maleficent or Pete would have at least been relevant to the story.

Fantastic piece of work from Square-Enix, but not as good as the first game. A PAL version of "Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix" with a Gaston battle would be a perfect version of this game for Europeans.

8 out of 10 stars. I do hope the four upcoming Kingdom Hearts games ("Birth by Sleep", "358/2 Days", "Coded" and the unannounced future game, possibly "Kingdom Hearts III") are as good as the three games thus far.

PS: I wouldn't mind a PAL version of "Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories".
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8/10
A Bit Better and a Bit Worse...
artemis-fowl-sues10 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The game, Kingdom Hearts II merits a praise for upgrading the battle system, fixing (a bit) the camera problem that plagued the previous game and also adding a bit more worlds, thus expanding the time a person can spend exploring the vast universe that is KH II.

If you're a player who did not have the luck of owning a GBA and thus deprived from "Chain of Memories", do not despair, the game does a good job by explaining everything as the player goes through the story. The graphics are a notch higher than before, however due to an overabundance of cut-scenes the game tends to drag. Especially during the first five hours of gaming before Sora awakens from his sleep and the game truly begins. I used to remember looking forward to cut-scenes, however it either becomes a rather tiresome chore waiting for at least five seconds for Sora to introduce the trio and for the character being introduced to to repeat it again. AND again. For every freaking WORLD. We get their names, ENOUGH ALREADY! The battle system has improved greatly replacing the tiresome, button mashing while trying to figure out what combo you've just executed by introducing the Reaction Command. This feature truly helps on cutting down the time spent on defeating the enemy, increasing the speed of attacks and prevents a player from slipping into a stupor. Sort off. The battle system allows little for a gamer to actually strategise anything and downplays the magic and summon system giving them the objective of "We Need Something to Fill In the Slots". It almost becomes repetitive after a while. Run into enemy, press triangle to activate Reaction, possibly some Drive, mash X, mash, mash, mash...and the next thing you know it's over.

The Worlds tend to vary, some from "Excellent" to "What's The Point?". Some like "The Land of Dragons" falls extremely flat and uninteresting and one wonders why exactly "Atlantica" is brought back. The one that really drew me in were "The Timeless River" and "The Coliseum". I felt that the Gummi Ship Challenge was better, instead of floating and randomly shooting blocks, now you get an adrenaline rush of shooting enemies, and fulfilling missions to gain more gummi ships.

The storyline has become more complex and a bit darker, like any good sequel, KHII expanded the former storyline, incorporating a shocking twist about the Heartless bringing up the existence of the Nobodies, remnants of a person who has been taken over by the darkness. The only gripe I had was the pace of said story being told.

The Voice Acting is consistently good while I was disappointed to hear that David Boreaneaz was no longer Leon but soon grew to love his new, cheery albeit thinly sarcastic voice. That being said, Aerith was bad. It seemed that Mena Suvari had forgotten the acting part of Voice Acting. The dialogue is sharper and some made me laugh, for example during the "Port Royal" Level, the editing was irritating but one can live with it.

The music is a mixed bag. I wished that they had inserted some music into particular cut-scenes for the dramatic impact. Some themes were passable remixes (Port Royal) and some are hauntingly beautiful. It seemed that the makers focused more on the little details, like footsteps rather than the main theme.

Kingdom Hearts II does address the technical problems from before, however they seemed to sacrifice certain elements that makes it great game. It almost reached the perfect game experience but still requires a bit more work.

I give it an 8 out of 10.
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A game that certainly compliments the original...
Blank_Note24 June 2006
The concept of the game was perceived as odd from my mindset when Kingdom Hearts was first released. I remember thinking how bad the game would be, and what a waste of time it would be playing it. Boy, was I wrong. When I finally got Kingdom Hearts, I absolutely ADORED the game. The plot was simple yet unique, and the characters became deeper the more you went through the game. Despite the annoying camera angle, the game play was also superb. All the characters became memorable. In my mindset, Sora was actually a classic Disney character.

Now, following up for such a wonderful game is a difficult challenge to make. Though it is not the "official" sequel (Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is. Though I like to call it Kingdom Hearts 1 1/2.) it still possesses that shaky II in its name. Sometimes the original was so great, that the sequel fails to live up to the original's standard. I was worried it would end up like most Disney sequels.

Thankfully, it was not of that sort. It is, perhaps, better than the first if I must say so. The agitating camera angle is fixed up, and you use the Right analog stick (something I more used to in other games) instead of the Right and Left buttons to control the camera angle. The appearance of the game is sleek and sharp, and the characters (especially Sora and the other 'human' characters) appear a lot less blocky than they did in the original. The opening song, Sanctuary, is just as good as Simple and Clean, sung by the same talented Utada Hikaru. Most of the voice acting was superb as well, though I was a little bummed that Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Kiera Knightly didn't do the voice talents for their characters in the "Pirates" level. They changed Yuffie, Leon, and pretty much the entire Final Fantasy casts' voice actors as well, which I think was not good move. However, the original actors for Sora, Riku, and Kairi remained, however you can tell that SOME of the people went through puberty along with their character...*nudges at Haley*. I also liked the fact that you have the option of skipping the lengthy cut scenes if you've already been through them once before.

As for the plot, it was still pretty similar. But now the Nobodies have joined up as an enemy. There's a three hour tutorial with Roxas, a boy who you will learn is 'related' to someone familiar. I found that part to be the only annoying thing of the game. I guess it was because you're so used to playing Sora, that it's annoying to be another person. Also, as you carry along with the story, there are many twists that leave you surprised. (For example, you learn something about 'Ansem.' Why I have his name in quotes, is for you to figure out).

Another thing I liked was the reaction button. Instead of pressing X to talk to people, instead you use the triangle button. It is also quite helpful in mini games and battle sequences where you can do special moved to deal out more damage to your enemy. The only real problem I had with the game was the fact that it felt too...short. Despite the fact that the ending was completed, with a little cliffhanger at the end (stick around after the credits) it still felt like something was missing. The levels seemed to be a lot less longer than the originals, though you did come back for a second go at them. Thankfully the Gummi Ship is also redone, and is more fast-paced and enjoyable, keeping your trigger finger happy.

However, though I can go on and on about how marvelous this game is, I feel that I have the need to stop before I ruin the experience for you. Hopefully you will take my word and go out and buy the game. Despite being $50, it is well worth that money.
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4/10
Not even close to the original
blizzrock133 January 2008
When I first finished this game, I liked it. I thought it was good.

I was a blind moron.

After going back and playing the original (my favorite game of all time), the second not only pales in comparison, its a downright ABOMINATION. We waited 4(?) years for this game, and all we really got was a gigantic step backward. After the Game-Boy game (Chain of Memories), I was convinced that this new one for PS2 would be darker than the original, a concept which i liked.

Instead Kingdom Hearts 2 is one of the most childish games I have yet witnessed. People like Sora have actually regressed in mental capacity, and often redefine what it means to be a moron. I almost punched myself in the face when Sora nearly jumped out of his skin about getting a library card.

Once again, the gamer journeys through several Disney realms. Unfortunately, these worlds are not only graphically a step backward from the original, they are also a step backward in complexity. Many are simply a straight street with two turns included. Yawn. In Kingdom Hearts 1 we had realms like Hollow Bastion, which you could explore for quite a bit of time, taking in the visual beauty. No such luck in Kingdom hearts 2.

Kingdom Hearts 2's plot line is also randomly lost for huge portions of the game. It seems the Disney worlds exist only to fill time, as if the designers ran out of ideas half way through the game. They are completely irrelevant to the plot line: for some reason gamers are stuck not only fighting Disney villains with no clear tie with the REAL villains, at one point you're actually stuck in a world where all you really do is SING. In fact, you actually fight a boss with music. I was so embarrassed that I was playing a game like this that at one point I actually had to make sure that everyone in my household was GONE, just to continue playing.

The side-quests really hold no real value. They're flat out boring and are guaranteed to put you into a coma within 20 minutes. The only conceivable reason i can see to complete these is to see a secret video at the end (which you can also see simply by playing the game on hard mode - which isn't even that difficult).

As one final criticism, this sequel is incredibly easy. Don't bother playing it on Normal mode; a better challenge is actually found just opening the case for the game. At one point I actually TRIED to get hit by a boss' attacks, just to see if I was actually being damaged. I can only imagine what Easy mode is like. Hard mode is like Normal mode from KH1.

So after all my criticisms, how does this game get a 4/10? Well, I'm a giant Kingdom Hearts-fan, so that helps. Also, the main villains for this game (when they're ACTUALLY impacting the game at all) are extremely entertaining, and are lots of fun to battle. Unfortunately, most seem to be found only at the end of the game (a world that i particularly enjoyed). The Drive forms are a cool add-in, and leveling them up takes unique strategies.

All in all, however, this is one to be skipped.
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9/10
What happened to David Boreanaz's voice as squall!
boomander24 June 2006
i thought that kingdom hearts 11 was brilliant because it focused a lot on final fantasy rather than Disney.!. however i loved squalls voice in the first one as David Boreanez (angel in Buffy) ! the new guy in my opinion just does not sound like squall .. what do you all think !?!?

secondly. i prefer the whole focus on final fantasy's rather than the focus on Disney. being AA final fantasy fanatic playing all games i felt that the way the characters were portrayed in kh11 was perfect. the inclusion of Auron really added that finishing touch to it in my opinion

now back to the game... i wonder what one do you think is better kh1 or 2 .. don't hesitate to respond loll :) !!!!!
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5/10
Good story, just wish the game was more difficult sometimes.
orinjayce20006 July 2006
That being said. I'm not blasting the game, I liked it. I just wish there was an even more difficult setting or something.

If you have slow reflexes and a short attention span, this game is not for you. If you are able to respond to rapidly changing play styles, and enjoy a cute (but long) story then have fun. The story is probably the only reason I stayed involved as long as I did (I'm not a big fan of RPGs in this vein). The story was really good though, with the right combination of Disney fun and Final Fantasy melodrama.

By the way someone posted somewhere that the game would be confusing without having played the other two. I didn't think so, just pay attention and read everything. It does fall into place.

If you haven't played the other KH games don't be afraid to play this one. You will most likely enjoy it on some level.

The only reason I gave it a 5 out of 10 was that I got tired of mashing the "X" key after about five hours.

NOTE: Please forgive the rambling structure. I writes 'em on the fly. I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.
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10/10
A great Kingdom Hearts sequel for PS2
bb123238827 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This game is one of my favorite PS2 games besides the first game. ThiS game had had very good story, acting, gameplay, and graphics. I be brief as best as I can or maybe not. I hope this review will help your choosing of this game

Story- The story was very interesting to watch while I was playing. I mean with Sora Donald and Goofy and the King and the Worlds and nobodies & heartless also having Sora and Roxas being connected to each other and Riku and the two Ansems and Roxas and the Organization XIII and also Kiari. I liked how Square Enix still blended with Disney characters in Hollow Bastion. It was great to bring back many Disney characters from the first game with also new characters from other good Disney movies. 9.2/10

Acting- When I played this game I saw some great acting in this that I normally don't hear in other games. It was great to hear Haley Joel as Sora, the lovely Hayden Panettiere as Kiari, and David Gallagher as Riku. Of course having the three main Disney veterans back: Wayne Allwine, Bill Farmer, And Tony Alsemo as the cool trio: King Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck & Goofy. It was great to have many actors reprising their roles from many Disney films like Robby Benson as Beast and Jonathan Freeman as the great villain Jafar also Ken Page as the cool bag of bugs; Oogie Boogie and James Woods as the fiery underworld leader: Hades. I liked how they got Christopher Lee as Ansem since he was Saruman from and Jesse McCartney as Roxas did okay as did Brittany Snow as Naminé did good as well. Although I never played any final fantasy games the actors did a fine job. The only character I liked was Steve Burton as Cloud. The guys who played Organization did good too. Also hands off to the actors who played the characters of the originals that died R.I.P. 8.9/10

Gameplay- The gameplay did better in this game. The camera view backed on all three people. The drive forms were cool to play with the 2 keyblades. I really didn't get the heartless form but oh well. I didn't like how they got any good summons like Chicken Little and Stitch. Zach Braff and Chris Sanders shouldn't have voiced their characters in the game. I think the group attacks were useful for good occasions with specific enemies. The gameplay did very good. 9/10

Overall- When I first heard about the sequel it was 2004. I pre-ordered it and after many delays of the release date it was worth the wait. The best way I think to play the game is to play the first two games and then play this game or if you don't have the first two then never mind.

Like I said, this game is a great sequel for the Kingdom Hearts series. Too bad about the other ones being released only in Japan. Now I guess we'll see how the PS2 version of CoM will be like then I'll write a review for that too. It's a great game if you like Disney or Final Fantasy or just killing heartless just for the hell of it. So I hope you enjoy the story, characters, and the gameplay of the game: Kingdom Hearts II. Final grade 9.5/10
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5/10
Beautiful action mixed with pre-teen dialogue, and 80% Disney fillers, farcry from KH1 expectations,
Serenit-y16 August 2008
Warning: 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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9/10
fun game
donryujin20 June 2006
I think what made this game fun was the familliarity in the sources of games and movies.. Although I did find it awkward to hear Goofy say Sephiroth and Mickey Mouse authentically swear an oath of vengeance...

I still recall the days in middle school when the rumor of Disney and Square were working on a game and how absurd it sounded.. turned out to be pretty good.

Anyway.. I really don't think pronouncing it finetically with a Japanese dialect is necessary... it's still spelled "Kingdom Hearts" In Japan... they don't put kingudam Hatsu on the box in Japan...

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy the game....
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3/10
An unpopular opinion.....
knowledge2 January 2007
Square and Disney fans world wide will want to see me pinned to a mickey mouse edition crucifix for stating this opinion , but im going to go ahead and say it anyway: kingdom hearts 2 just isn't that good.

The product is something of an enigma, too convoluted and unengaging to work as a movie yet not playable and well designed enough to function as a game. So what does kingdom hearts 2 have to offer? Not much really, other than seeing mickey mouse dressed in a ganagsta looking coat , and donald duck hitting people .whoopee do.

It might seem like im being harsh on this Disney/squaresoft collaboration , but i have good reason . A game that offers you a chance to to travel to the many fascinating worlds of Disney and square characters has tons of potential for gaming greatness, and yet none of that potential is realised in KHII. All you get (besides stunning graphics and great music) is repetitive hack and slash battles, frustratingly linear level design and TONS of pretentious story bits that constantly interrupt the already unengaging gameplay.

Kingdom hearts 2 looks amazing, and sounds amazing but the end product is far from amazing. That is unless you like basic gameplay and mercilessly boring, pretentious story telling (which many obviously do, judging by how many millions it sold).Poor.
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5/10
Disney kills whatever mature,character and story driven potential the KH series could have had.
soloriamagic089 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Hi, My name is plot and character development. Will you find me in this game? Answer: Don't bet on it.

Plot: A year has passed and Sora, Donald, and Goofy,wake up in pods with no clue how they got there in a strange mansion. After about five seconds of debating on why and how they got there and why some strange girl's name is written in Jimmy's journal. They don't mention it again. NOT ONCE. Even after Sora meets said girl at the end of the game. Before that though you play for 3 to 6 hours(depends on how slow or fast a player you are)as a boy named Roxas. He has a strange connection to Sora as does the girl who's name is in Jimmy's journal. Don't get attached to Roxas though because he will get snatched from you, and will only appear again in about three more cut-scenes in the entire game. After Sora wakes up his sob story of wanting to find Riku and then later the Mary-Sue in his life Kairi begins YET AGAIN, (Apparently TWO games of him doing the EXACT same thing is not enough),but is slightly derailed by new beings called nobodies(who barely appear in the game I might add)and Organization 13. Beings with no hearts.

Anyway you get to the main *STORY* after about 30 to 40 hours of BORING, CHEESY, Disney filler,but will you understand it. Two words HELL NO. Then after those cut-scenes you are right back to the fillers of the Disney B.S until the end of the game. There are so many plot holes in the KH games that if I were to list them all and go into detail I would have a mini term paper on my hands. Case in point: Is Chain of Memories the game before this one and after the first one needed to understand this game. NO. Why? Because 9 out of 10 you STILL want understand a d*mn thing. I have played and watched the cut-scenes of all 3 games and I still don't. That's how plot-holey it is,but of course Enix/Disney thinks that if they throw in a bunch of confusing images and symbolism , give some vague and equally useless term for why something happens(or doesn't happen) and call it a story it'll sell. Apparently their right if judging by the sales of this over-hyped, overrated series is any indication.

Characters: Sora: Better clothes, more adult-like voice. BIG A** EGO. Riku barely in the game until the end. Kairi gets herself kidnapped like all good Mary-Sues do. Organization 13:The *baddies*and who Sora has decided he is going to MURDER because some cheese-ball Disney character, and some old man bent on revenge said they are EVIL. Of course NO HEARTS=NO EMOTIONS and that automatically means TIS EVIL, DIE.Let's not mention that at almost every point in the game the so called villains being TIS EVIL is contradicted.Sora hypocritical,naivety kills me. It's okay for Riku(HIS BEST FRIEND) to turn evil,and try to KILL him,but incomplete people who just want their hearts back automatically are evil because they want to be complete again and don't have emotions?! Of course the game tries to give you a vague reason why Sora must kill them,but trust me the reason is so vague,confusing, and plot-holey it's not even funny. Sora nd Co. are walking hypocrites.Out of the 7 surviving members ( 6 were killed in Memories) only 2 of them (this is not including the final boss) get any character development. 6 cut-scenes each for only 2 of the organization(Axel,Saix) is hardly what I call character development,but whatever. Final Mix tries to rectify this,but fails badly. I hardly call 4 new cut-scenes with the organization discussing basically what we already know from the original game character development.

Gameplay. HUGE UPGRADE from the 1st game. Stll real-time,but Sora is practically a god in this game. His combo's are unbelievable. He also has something call drives. They look (Duel wielding key-blades,clothes change)flashy,but are pretty useless. You CAN win the game without them and they have to be leveled up under certain conditions which is time consuming and boring.Don't listen to the people who who say this game is two easy even on proud mode. I played on standard and died so many times I have lost count.I didn't start heavily dying on the first game until the END(and this was not against ANY of the final boss forms) Of course a game is not worthy to people like them until they die from a boss 20+times.

Visuals:A SLIGHT upgrade. I say slight because if you look at the Hallow Bastion on the first game and then this one you will be going W.T.F. has happened?! It is a lot of worlds on this game where the first game graphics looked better than this one. Which is real sad.

Music: Most Disney music= EAR BLEEDING. Original Music= VERY GOOD. Loved listening to it.

Bottomline:Disney kills the KH series.The FF parts are bad to,but at lease they are just cameos. Disney is this series Achilles heel.You literally have to go through boring,Disney cheesball filler just like the other games in the series to get to the main WAY MORE interesting(albeit confusing and plot-holey) story. The dialog(Velveeta) on this game alone(while way better than the first game's dialog) will d*mn near kill you. If these games took the base of the plot, took out Disney and Final Fantasy, and added more originality they would be the mature and dark stories they have the potential of being. But with Baby Disney at the helm that'll never happen. Pity. Example: New KH2 final mix trailer has it all dark atmosphere, dark music,and some dark action, and then when the trailer is coming to an end MICKEY appears with his a stereotypically girly(Mickey's male RIGHT?!)STAR-SHAPED Keybalde.D*mn near RUINED what could have been an epic portrayal of what the KH series should have been in the first place.
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Jesse McCartney!
danigrl199223 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
For all you JMac lovers out there here is one good reason to buy the game. Our beloved Jesse McCartney is going to be voicing for the blonde haired kid...

Roxas. I just found out in a magazine article in Electronic Gaming Monthly. There probably still is a chance that he won't be in it but that's like a 1% chance. I am so stoked. There will be other famous voice overs like Rachael Leigh Cook, Mena Suvari, Zach Braff, and Brittney Snow. Then you have the same people. Haley Joel Osment, David Gallagher, and Hayden Panettiere. I think this is going to be even better than the first. Also the magazine said that there is going to be 8,000 lines of dialogue.
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one of the best games ever made.
CloakedSparrow10 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. I enjoyed the first game immensely, but now I know the guys at Square were just warming up. The story is even better and more immersible than before, the game play is exceptional, the voice acting and music is spot-on, and it offers more diversity in the game play then before. Atlantica is the only level I was disappointed with, but it's one of the worlds you don't have to play through to open a new path. Some favorite worlds & characters returned and some great new additions were added. The addition of drives(which should be familiar to Final Fantasy fans), forms, and cooperative attacks, as well as an improved party system adds a lot to the game play. The gummi ship has been changed as well, so customizing is easier than before. The characters Sora, Riku, and Kairi have really come into their own in this installment too. This is (arguably) the best game of it's genre.
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