Monday, October 19, 2009
Hello everyone! I'm here again to write a review of a game that is part of one of my more enjoyable series, but first let's get a little bit of history with that.
I started Kingdom Hearts when I was in High School, and found myself overwhelmed with the fact that I actually had to play a more action based game rather than a full scale RPG. Out of Squaresoft, I was not expecting anything of this caliber outside of Final Fantasy, and Chrono Trigger, but they certainly did not disappoint. I do not remember the exact reason why I decided to purchase the game, perhaps the fact that it was a Squaresoft game, or that it might have had some enjoyable things that I remembered from the Disney movies I watched growing up...
Anyway, I digress...
It was fun, there was something magical about it, and it allowed me to think that a party including Goofy and Donald Duck would actually be enjoyable. Oh yeah, and that kid from "The Sixth Sense" voiced the main character too! (I know it's Haley Joel Osment, but consider how you might have referred to him back then)
The story was kind of strange in the fact that there were these kids hitting things with giant keys, but who was I to question that? This game was a success the way that few games are, as I actually consider replaying this gem even now, especially after completing a certain game that I will be concluding with.
Also of note, the character of Kairi is voiced by a certain cheerleader in "Heroes", at one time I cared for this, but that series has degraded in quality to the point that I'd rather not mention anything except the first two or three seasons.
Right, so Kingdom Hearts. Rather than spoil too much of it, it involves all those wholesome things that kids should learn, trusting their hearts and whatnot. In typical Squaresoft fashion, you meld your character from a young kid playing with a stick, to a seasoned fighter capable of taking out many Final Fantasy cameos, as well as the main antagonist.
As you know, there was a sequel on the Gameboy Advance, while I still have not played through the game (the controls were sluggish, an action game must have crisp controls to pique my interest!), I still have a good idea of the story, but as I now have the Playstation 2 remake, I suppose I will get to finishing that one of these days. While it may seem like a side story, the game includes plot points that make for most of Kingdom Hearts 2.
Kingdom Hearts 2, both loved and loathed by many. While it was an easier game, I believe the ease of the game was not in the fact that the difficulty was toned down, but more with the notion that the battle system was refined. What I mean to say is that you could string combos together faster than in the previous games, and someone with especially tight gaming reflexes would be able to breeze through most fights even in the most difficult mode, of course with a few hiccups on some of the boss fights. Why do I say hated? A certain friend of mine said it best: "The first thing Sora does when he sees Riku again is falls to his knees and opens his mouth".
It is not a joke, I assure you. Of course the quote can be taken out of context to the extreme (just read the fanfiction! Or better yet, don't), and has caused sputtering trolls to denounce the game as a failure.
But it is not. The game is still fun, despite blatant yaoi undertones in some scenes, and still remains a favorite of mine (in fact, I will attempt to play an import of the Japanese Final Mix+, though I am not versed in the language at all). Before I go on to my next review, I suggest you pick up the aformentioned games (or the first and the Gameboy Advance/Playstation 2 game, at the very least) lest it confuses you when you pick it up yourself.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (or Kingdom Hearts Math if you prefer to call it that), a curious title, but in my understanding, it chronicles the 358 Days played out over the lives of 2 people. Confused? When you play the game, it becomes a little clearer.
For those of you versed in the second game, you mainly control Roxas in this game. The primary gameplay revolves around doing missions for your Organization (Organization XIII), and eating Sea Salt Ice Cream with your friends.
No, not joking with the end there.
The gameplay is especially smooth for a handheld title, and I consider it a worthy contender for one of the top DS games as of now. The action is the same as the previous titles, and you still go to various Disney worlds, though most of them are more reminiscent of the second game rather than the first. You can pretty much expect more of the same from this title as the others, but the point that I would like to drive home is that THIS IS A DS TITLE.
As far as your RPG staple of leveling up, there is that, but it comes in a sort of Panel system. You place your abilities on empty squares in order to use them, and some of the larger ones come in various tetronimo shapes. Leveling up gives you a single level up panel to place, sure this may seem like a problem at first when you consider that panel space is limited, though you continually gain more spaces as you progress, there are panels that when linked to with level up panels, will double, triple, or even quadruple the effects of the attached level up panel.
As a more encompassing review, if you have a DS, get Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, if you have a Playstation 2, get the predecessors if you do not already have them (two of them are Greatest Hits titles).