Disney games have a habit of leaving me extremely bored. Final
Fantasy games tend to grab on and hold me through to the
inevitable end. Care to guess which side this game came out
on?

Company Credits

Title: Kingdom Hearts

Developers: Disney Interactive and Squaresoft

System: PlayStation 2

Release Date: 2002

Game Type: Adventure/RPG

Premise

Something has connected the worlds of Disney to the worlds of
Final
Fantasy, and you need to set things right. Sora, a new character,
allies with Goofy, Donald Duck, Squall Lionheart, and an
assortment of
other familiar faces to save the worlds.

The voice cast that came along for the ride is very, very
impressive.

High Point

The introduction of a surprise guest at the Colesium.

Low Point

Who decided Lance Bass was worthy of voicing Sephiroth?

On a more serious note, I don’t quite see the point of the “Normal
Drive” on the Gummi Ship. Did I miss something, or was that just
an
excuse to throw in a space shooter minigame?

The Scores

I never would have thought to combine Final Fantasy with
Disney, and I
really didn’t see how it could possibly work when I heard it was
coming. Even then, I assumed it would be aimed at the very
young. I
can’t think of anyone who has done anything like this, possibly
because all logic says it couldn’t possibly work. Well, here it is,
and it works very, very well. The game mechanics themselves
are very
familiar, though. I give the originality 5 out of 6.

The story is fairly well developed, and avoids the
trappings
of jamming all these characters together by leaving most of them
exactly where they belong. There aren’t the major plot twists
you’ll
see in Final Fantasy VII, but it far more developed
than,
say, Mortal Kombat or Super Mario Bros.
III
. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The graphics are very good, particularly when
translating the
established Disney characters. Motion is fluid, but sometimes
you’ll
pass partially through solid walls or objects. I give it 5 out of 6.

The sound effects and music were extremely well
done. The
voice acting was surprisingly good, too, considering how bad
some of
these actors are in front of the camera. (David Boreanaz was a
particularly nice surprise.) I give it 5 out of 6.

This is a highly playable game, and I expect to run it
from
start to finish several times. Controls are simple, responsive, and
described in-game for those too lazy to read the instruction
manual.
I give it 5 out of 6.

The immersion works very well for those of us
who’ve seen
most of these movies. I admit that I actually cheered out loud
when
Merlin showed up. (The Sword in the Stone is my
favourite
traditionally animated Disney movie.) The familiar characters
sucked
me right in. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an excellent game I recommend without
reservation. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Kingdom Hearts receives 35 out of 42.