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Ever wondered what would happen if the worlds ofFinal Fantasyand Disney collided? It’s an odd concept to be sure, but from the most schizophrenic of acorns the mighty gaming oak ofKingdom Heartshas grown. Legendary role-playing game makers Square have been given unprecedented liberties with the entire Disney universe and have created a game featuring everything fromThe Nightmare Before ChristmastoThe Little Mermaid. This is odd enough in itself when you have characters as disparate as Tarzan and Donald Duck teaming up, but becomes majorly freaky when Square thrown in a variety of their own characters such as Cloud, Squall, and Aeris from the variousFinal Fantasygames. But this incongruity has one side benefit in that the storyline behind the game is by necessity rather vague, which seems to have stopped Square from filling three CDs full of their usual New Age whining about Mother Earth. Instead they’ve spent even more time on the graphics, and the end result is a quite stunning 3-D cartoon.

As for the gameplay, it may come as a surprise to learn that it doesn’t actually feature, as all the Final Fantasy games do, turn-based combat. Instead it's essentially a scrolling beat-'em-up-cum-platformer with exactly the kind of complicated Square-style knobs you’d expect. The game may be a little shallow, but it’s an impressive artistic achievement and to be quite frank any title that allows you to magically summon Bambi out of thin air to attack evil demons of the underworld has got to be worth some sort of recommendation. --David Jenkins

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Details

ESRB:  E - (Everyone), Violence
Publisher:  Square Electronic Arts/Disney Interactive
Developer:  Square
Console:  PlayStation 2 Games
Genre:  Action RPG
Release Date:  September 17, 2002 (NA);
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More Kingdom Hearts for PlayStation... reviews
review by . December 13, 2008
posted in The Gaming Hub
In 2002, Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) released Kingdom Hearts.  At the time, it was a risky endeavor.  A game which threw many of Square's beloved Final Fantasy characters with many of Disney's beloved characters.  It was risky because of Disney's involvement which made many Final Fantasy fans speculate that it would turn out to be a children's game.  To the surprise of the gaming community, Kingdom Hearts became a huge success!      You play as Sora …
review by . August 13, 2008
If you're anything like me, then you grew up totally into all things Disney. As a video game fan, my mouth was watering as soon as I heard Square was teaming up with Disney to create an action/adventure RPG. The best part is - THEY DELIVERED. The game play is fantastic, the characters are pheonominal, and the story is compelling. There were actually times when my eyes would glisten because I was so drawn in to the story along with characters I had known a lifetime. Kingdom Hearts is definitely a …
review by . August 11, 2006
posted in The Gaming Hub
Pros: Great game, wonderful plot, fantastic graphics and characters...     Cons: ...can be a bit challenging, but that isn't exactly a "con"!     The Bottom Line: Kingdom Hearts is a great game, and well worth buying. Now stop reading this, and head on over to your video game retailer!     The mere idea of a Disney RPG game probably sounds ridiculous. But in 2002, Disney paired up with Squaresoft (the creators of the Final Fantasy series …
review by . April 01, 2003
posted in The Gaming Hub
When I first saw the television commercials for this game back in October 2002, I knew that one day I would buy KINGDOM HEARTS and play it (even though I didn't even own a PS 2 at the time). Fast forward six months and I finally have a PS 2 and have purchased KINGDOM HEARTS, played it, and beat it.All I can say is that I found the game amazing. The graphics are great, the soundtrack memorable, and the plot unforgettable. The plot of this game is what really sucked me in. I found myself playing and …
review by . January 18, 2003
posted in The Gaming Hub
Pros: Disney and Squaresoft? Where do I sign?     Cons: The Little freakin' Mermaid section! UGH!     The Bottom Line: The world's greatest animation producers meet the world's greatest RPG producers. Need I say more?     Think for a moment, if you will, about the meanings of such terms as breathless, breathtaking, takes your breath away, et cetera. You think about them, you would normally think of a beautiful woman or some sort of natural …
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