With Kingdom Hearts 2.8 nearing its release date on January 24th, I took the time to not only find a way to procrastinate studying for finals, but to rediscover the life and love that is Kingdom Hearts II.
Through all the pushed back release dates (or lack there of) it’s sometimes difficult to remember why you’ve waited over 10 years for the successor to Kingdom Hearts II. Being the strange offspring between Disney and Final Fantasy that goes together almost like bacon and pringles, it’s the magic between character relationships, darkness and light, and contrast between these 2 very different worlds that makes it a wholly unique experience.
Unlike most Final Fantasy games, the kingdom hearts series takes on real-time battle sequences that combine the stress of tactful turn based RPG combat with the likes of hack and slash godly combos present in games like God of War & Devil May Cry. Throw that together with Summons from your favorite Disney universes and your compatriots Donald and Goofy, and you’ve got yourself a unique RPG that takes a twist unlike any others.
While gameplay mechanics are great and all, the story is what hits me with nostalgia. From a 3-hour intro sequence with a brand new character Roxas, you’re confused, wondering where the hell any Disney people are, and why you’re not playing as the guy you saw in all the trailers. Kingdom Hearts II took its baseline story and turned the dial 5,000 notches, expanding the enemy factions into Heartless AND Nobodies, which created duplicates of people, different traits, different motives, and overall an expanded look into the motivations between both factions.
I could rant for hours about the beautiful moments in Kingdom Hearts II but instead, here’s my top 10 moments.
WARNING: SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW
- Sora, Donald, & Goofy discover Ansem was not the real Ansem, but a Heartless of Xehanort, the true protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts Saga.
- Roxas realization that he is Sora’s Nobody.
- “Why the hell does Riku look like Ansem, Seeker of Darkness?”
- Turning my controller sideways to mash triangle and X in order to stay alive for Xemnas’ final attack.
- Kairi’s ability to wield a Keyblade in the final act.
- Aurons appearance in the Hercules Underworld.
- Fighting together with Tron in Space Paranoids
- Sephiroth boss battle.
- DRIVE FORMS DRIVE FORMS DRIVE FORMS DRIVE FORMS
- The dangerously addicting Winnie the Pooh level where you slide on the honey pot.
If you’re new to the world of Kingdom Hearts, confused, or just need a slight refresher before 2.8 releases, click here to get a simplified look at the universe!
This is just a small sample of my favorite moments from Kingdom Hearts II. What are yours!? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook & Twitter @WTFGamersOnly!