Kingdom Hearts II Reader Review
Expectations were understandably high for this game, after all, in the usual fashion delay after delay (Would we want it to change?) I have to admit when I first bought the game I was apathetic about whether it would be everything it could be cracked up to be after it's long development time and many promises that I thought would end up being undelivered on.
I was a little confused at first, having not read many previews, to be presented with somebody that wasn't Sora at the start was a knockback to say the least. However as the plot gradually developed I noticed an uncanny inclusion, whether this was an intentional move by the guys at Square Enix is beyond me, but the first segment of the game in Twilight town was quite, shall we say, distorted, but at the same time aroused a level of curiosity I've not gotten from playing a game before in the past, so it in a way, compelled me to keep going. As a result I felt the plot, while quite distorted and in some places totally abstract, was very defined in terms of keeping the player immersed in it's world. Something Square Enix know a fair bit about doing, especially with Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest most notably.
The gameplay for the most part, remained unchanged in its fundamental aspects. You took control of The keyblade in much the same way you did with the original, x to swing, l1 to lock on, a simple concept most had gotten used to along with the modifying and customisation Square Enix never fail to please us with. However many tweaks had been made to improve the experience further. While nice in material, they served to prove too much help in some respects. Reaction commands for example, made boss fights in most difficulty modes, far too easy. That's not to say they ruined the experience. Just the hardcore fans looking for a bigger challenge over the original, sadly won't get that here in general unless in proud mode, which you have to unlock upon completing the game initially in the first place.
In short. While on the outside a tad too easy, that doesn't cloud over a positively immersive gaming experience I could recommend to any RPG fan, not without it's flaws but certainly worth the moolah to at least complete once, especially for the fans of the original.
Pros: - Immersive and compelling, even if distorted plot. - Same great action elements, and great customisation - Graphically pleasing, good use of the ps2's power, life in the old dog yet ;) - Classic Disney characters will keep fans pleased throughout.
Cons - Slightly underwhelming Gummi Editor, while only a sideplay experience, it could have done with more effort - Won't provide much of a challenge over the original game, in fact it is slightly easier over it's predecessor.
8 / 10