Main Image showing Kingdom Hearts 2 Characters.
Gaming Review

Kingdom Hearts II Review: Revisiting the awesome cross-over RPG in 2019

I’ve been meaning to write a Kingdom Hearts II review for a long time. Finding the time to play it again to refresh my memory has been tough. I really enjoyed playing it back in 2005 and I enjoyed it even more this time around. Check out the full review below.

Table of Contents

  1. Kingdom Hearts II Review
  2. Awesome Soundtrack
  3. Kingdom Hearts II Opening Cut-scene Video
  4. About Kingdom Hearts II
  5. Kingdom Hearts II F.A.Q’s
  6. Countless Cameos
  7. Summary

Kingdom Hearts II Review

Released in 2005, Kingdom Hearts II is a Japanese RPG. It sold more than 1 million copies in the week following it’s release.

Kingdom Hearts II is the sequel to the original Kingdom Hearts game but it’s actually the third game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. It picks up approximately 1 year after the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

Charity Shop Find

I never held onto my original copy of the game. Luckily, I was able to find a copy of it in a local charity shop. It set me back £4. I almost decided against buying it but then I remembered how much I enjoyed playing the game the first time around.

If you can’t find a copy at your local thrift / charity shop, you’ll find it on Amazon.

Once I got the game home I booted it up on my slim PS2. The modern TV I played it on really brought the opening cut scenes to life. The graphics are still impressive today considering the game is nearly 15 years old. The artwork and graphics really stand out and it’s an amazing achievement to have created a game more than 15 years ago that looks so good in the modern era

The cut scenes in KH2 are very impressive!
The cut scenes in KH2 are very impressive!

The Plot

For the last 365 days Sora and his associates have been in a deep sleep. When Sora wakes up and begins his journey, he arrives in Twilight Town (a town you visit in the first game).

You begin your journey with new powers and abilities seemingly unaware of the events that have taken place in the previous game (Chain of Memories).

Sora starts that new adventure by unlocking routes to new places and worlds. The Heartless are back, as well the mysterious Organization XIII. As the game progresses, Sora learns about a mysterious boy, Roxas and how much alike they seem to be.

The plot is deep and has many layers, it’s probably one of the most complex PS2 game plots ever and we love it. I found myself gaming for 2-3 hours at a time to so that I could progress in the game and move onto the next world and continue the story. I had to know what happens next!

You’ll need to play the first game to help you better understand whats going on.

Gameplay

It’ll take you about 40 hours to complete the game on the default difficulty setting. The only issue I have with that is, it’s really easy. Before you start the game, change the settings and make it a bit more of a challenge otherwise you’ll regret it.

Changing the difficulty level to ‘Critical’ really makes the game shine! It’s brilliantly difficult and makes combat a challenging experiencing for even the most seasoned KH2 gamers.

Don’t worry though, you don’t need to fear getting injured and taking damage, because any slain enemies will drop health orbs that’ll allow you to heal Sora back to full life.

The game mechanics are similar to the original game. Fans of the Final Fantasy series and the first Kingdom Hearts game will be familiar with how it ‘feels’. To perform a combo to slay your enemies all you need to do is a bit of button bashing. You’ll be able to slay the heartless with relative ease. The combat feels smooth and free flowing whereas in the original it was a little bit more clunky and a bit more difficult to get into a flow when fighting.

As with the first game, there are also magic abilities that you’ll be able to rely upon as you continue to level up your character. Speaking of levelling up, as you continue to grind you’ll unlock ability points which you can assign to different skills. There are a great number of skills / abilities to choose from, it’s quite fun tinkering with the skills to set up your character just as you’d like him. For example, you can make Sora’s abilities more magic based or based purely on brute force melee attacks.

The world exploration is very linear and this is probably the only bit of the game that feels like a downgrade compared to the first one. The game doesn’t have much of an emphasis on exploration but it focuses more on the story line and combat. This may put you off from playing it but don’t let it, the difficulty and the combat mechanics more than make up for it.

In Game Cash

Unlike modern games, you won’t need to stump up real cash to obtain the in game cash.

The in game currency, called Munny, allows you to buy items that’ll help you progress. For example, potions, items to synthesise etc. The more Munny you gather the better the items you’ll be able to buy. You’ll find the in-game cash is dropped by the Heartless after you defeat them. It’s also found in chests that are scattered around the worlds.

The more heartless you kill the more Munny you'll be able to pick up!
The more heartless you kill the more Munny you’ll be able to pick up!

Awesome Soundtrack & Score

The sound track is awesome. The composer, Yoko Shimomura has done a superb job of capturing the magic of the first game in the music. At the same time she has also captured the emotions the main characters go through throughout the game.

It feels and sounds as if she really cares about the game and the music that she’s created for it.

I’ve embedded a Sound Cloud link below of one of my favourite tracks from the game below, check it out.

Kingdom Hearts II Opening Cut Scene Video

About Kingdom Hearts 2

DeveloperSquare Enix
ComposerYoko Shimomura
WriterKazushige Nojima
PlatformPS2
AwardsVGX Award for Best Supporting
Female Performance
The PS2 Game cover of Kingdom Hearts II
The PS2 Game cover of Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts II F.A.Q’s

Countless Cameos

You can see a full list of all of the characters featured in KH2 by taking at this fantastic feature.

As with the original game, KH2 features the Heartless! Here you can see Daffy Duck and Sora tackling a bunch of the evil antagonists.
As with the original game, KH2 features the Heartless! Here you can see Daffy Duck and Sora tackling a bunch of the evil antagonists.

Suggested Reading

I’ve written a review about the original Kingdom Hearts game over at Fullsync. Check it out!

Summary

It’s not a stretch to say it’s one of the greatest games ever made for the PS2.

I really enjoyed writing this Kingdom Hearts II review, I had a blast buying the game and playing it through again. The soundtrack, graphics and game play are all awesome and probably pushed the PS2 to it’s limit. I don’t think you could squeeze any more out of the PS2 so we’re looking forward to reviewing Kingdom Hearts III on the Xbox One.

Overall Score: 8 / 10

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Kingdom Hearts review: Revisiting an epic RPG after 17 years

  2. Pingback: Square Enix & Disney debut Kingdom Hearts Adventures on Xbox

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