Kingdom Hearts II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest. Sora is looking for his lost friends Kairi and Riku, while Donald and Goofy are searching for their missing king. It has been a year since the events of Kingdom Hearts. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself! Together, they will encounter countless dangers in worlds both familiar and brand-new. It seems the Heartless, or at least some form of them, still exist. A new villain also awaits, hidden by a mask. Is it someone familiar or a new opponent to be confronted? This mystery and others will be solved as the story unfolds in a grand adventure.
Staying true to the first installment, Kingdom Hearts II plays as a 'hack-and-slash' rather than the typical 'turn-based' RPG of the Final Fantasy series. Where there were troubles in the first installment, Kingdom Hearts II was sure to improve on. The main problem from the first installment, the horrible camera, was greatly improved this time around. It is now free roaming and controlled by the Right Analog Stick, making it much easier to move around in the heat of combat, which you will also see a lot of. Even though Kingdom Hearts II plays much like the first, there are some key differences in the way combat goes. With the introduction of the 'Drive' system, players can now go about their battles differently, whether it be with the magic based Wisdom Form, the dual-weilding combat based Valor Form, or a combination of the two with the Master and Final Form.
As in the first game, Donald and Goofy will accompany Sora to every world throughout the game, along with a couple world-exclusive party members such as Mulan/Ping, Auron, and Simba. With the large variety of party members comes a variety of different 'Limit' moves, initiated by pressing the Triangle button when prompted. Another addition to this installment, the 'Limit' moves give Sora and Co. a certain advantage in a battle. Most 'Limit' moves either deal out significant damage to the enemy, handicap the enemy in some way, or use the environment to the party's advantage. Also used outside of the battles, 'Limits' are used to interact with certain object scattered around the worlds, talk to other NPCs, etc. Kingdom Hearts became a part of everybody's hearts with its deep, touching story, and Kingdom Hearts II does no less.