What happens when you take a team of people who make the best RPG's ever, and put them in a room with a team who work in the most successful animated films in history? You end up with Kingdom Hearts. The brilliant thing about Kingdom hearts is that after about 15 minutes in to the game, you'll suddenly say to yourself “Oh my god there's Wakka!” And a few minutes later, “And Selphie!” Even if you're not a FF fan, with over 100 Disney characters to be discovered, you'll still say, “Oh wow there's Aladdin!”
Just because it appears to be a ''kiddie'' Disney game, DON'T judge it just yet! The plot is actually pretty serious and can pull even the not-so-young gamers in. It starts out a bit slow, but as the game progresses, things start getting really interesting. It's a fairly straightforward game so you can't really get lost unless you start doing lots of side-quests at once and forget where you're supposed to be going. I won't spoil anything, so moving on...
I thought the controls weren't as bad as people make them seem. The gameplay, even though there's lots of button mashing, is still fun and fast paced like an action/adventure game should be. Being able to map spells to the L1 menu for quick usage was a nice feature. As for the camera problem people keep complaining about, I didn't think it was bad at all. It's much easier to cope with than the camera problems in the old school Resident Evil games since you can just rotate the camera to suit the situation if you need to. And besides, you have to admit that almost every action/adventure game uses some kind of camera scheme almost exactly like Kingdom Hearts. So if you complain about this camera, you complain about almost every other action/adventure game's camera systems too.
The CG cinemas in this game are simply amazing! Even though there's not that many of them, they look just as good as FFX's FMV sequences! The in-game graphics are also fairly detailed. The characters move fluidly, their lips actually move with their voices, the Disney characters resemble their 2D counterparts VERY well in 3D. The environments, although ''cartoony'' in appearance, still show little hints of 3D special effects, like shadows and faint reflections in watery and polished surfaces. The different worlds are also very unique, and each Disney world has a familiar feel to it reminiscent of the movies that inspired them. And like all Squaresoft games with summon magic. The summoning sequences look stunning and unique and obviously had quite a bit of effort put into them.
All of the Disney characters voices in the game are done by their original voice actors and the remaining characters are done, literally, by an all star cast. Practically the entire cast of characters in this game are actors/actresses of some sort and have previous acting experience, so the voice acting in this game is actually really good. The music in the game's various worlds also has little tidbits of the original Disney music to recreate the feel of actually being in that world. Also, the best part about the sound in this game, in my opinion anyway, is that Utada Hikaru (aka Hikki), my favorite jpop singer, sings the theme song, which happens to be the last track of her most recent album.
I initial thought the idea of Squaresoft and Disney teaming up would to make a game was kind of stupid, so I assumed the game would be unappealing. I originally bought it only because of the FF characters in it and that Hikki sings the theme song, but the game actually turned out being good! Kudos to Squaresoft pulling off an otherwise impossible combination.