Kingdom Hearts is the first game that Squaresoft (makers of the popular Final Fantasy series) created in a partnership with Disney Interactive. Kingdom Hearts combines characters from the Final Fantasy gaming series (Tidus from FFX, Cloud from FFXII, etc.) and characters from several Disney movies (Ariel from the Little Mermaid, Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey, just to name a few) mixed with a few new characters specially created for this game, such as Sora (the hero) and Ansem (the final boss). This mix of very diverse elements makes this game a very interesting one to play.
At the start of the game, you are Sora, a young boy who lives on the Destiny Islands with his friends, Riku and Kairi. Kairi isn’t from that world originally, and her coming gets Riku thinking about going to other worlds. This leads to the three of them building a raft so that they can visit other worlds, but before they get a chance to leave, Sora begins having dreams of very strange creatures, that just happens to come true. These evil shadow creatures invade Sora’s world, and suddenly, his wooden sword becomes a very strange looking sword known as the keyblade. After his world is destroyed, Sora winds up in a place called Traverse town, where he meets Donald and Goofy (his companions for most of the game) and learns what it means to be the master of the keyblade. This story is very engaging, even if it gets a little melodramatic at times.
The graphics of this game are very good, especially at the beginning and end of the game. Those graphics during the game are also very good, but the cut-scenes could have used a little cleaning up.
The gameplay is amazing, a lot more detailed than most games. You are very involved with the game from the beginning, where it asks questions, and makes you make choices to determine how hard the game is going to be and how much magic, strength, and defense you will start out with. With the other members of your group, you can choose what weapons and accessories they have (these determine how much strength, defense, and magic they have and how many abilities thay can use), what items they carry, and how often they use them, how often they use their attacks, etc. It can be very time consuming, but if you do not keep close tabs on what they have and what they can do, as well as what you have and what you can do, you could have a much harder time playing the game.
The controls are pretty easy to use. You have a list on the screen at all times that allows you to spells, items, attacks, and special attacks. You can also create a magic shortcut to cast the three most used spells faster.
The sound was perfect throughout the game. Background themes were usually the themes of the movies that the world comes out of, such as “Under The Sea” in Atlantica, home of Ariel, and “This is Haloween” in Haloween Town, home of Jack Skellington. Unimaginative, yes, but it works, and there would be no better themes.
One oddity about the game was that the cutscenes that further the story were split up between actual cutscenes and parts where the people just stood there with little bubbles over their heads telling what they are saying, like those in comic strips. This is to aid in saving space for the gameplay. There are so many cutscenes that there would be nothing left for the game.
Overall, this game was a surprisingly good game. Time to buy Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom hearts: Chain of Memories to continue the story.
One more thing: get the official game guide. This is the first game that this gamer has had one for, and it’s almost impossible to beat Sephiroth (one of the secret bosses) or the other secret bosses without it. Don’t worry about it if you don’t have access to a game guide, though, as these secret bosses are not mandatory to finishing the game