Game Review: Kingdom Hearts
Released on November 15, 2002 Kingdom Hearts brought together the worlds of Disney with Final Fantasy to create this truly magical masterpiece of gaming.
The game’s narrative followed 14-year-old Sora and his two best friends Riku and Kairi. This trio of friends long to escape their island home and see what other worlds are out there.
However, one fateful night a supernatural storm and mysterious dark creatures engulf the island in darkness. Riku is swallowed by the darkness while Kairi disappears, leaving Sora the only survivor after he receives a mysterious weapon known as the Keyblade.
Teaming up with Disney’s Donald Duck and Goofy, who are searching for their King Mickey, Sora begins an epic journey fighting the dark creatures known as the Heartless, seeking a mysterious yet evil scientist named Ansem, sealing the keyholes of the various Disney worlds and dealing with famous Disney villains such as Maleficent, The Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, Hades and many more.
All the characters are tied together by something other than light and darkness – Kingdom Hearts itself, the heart of all kingdoms and the heart of all worlds.
The thing that got me about this game was the rich story as it took me on a magical yet emotional journey through various Disney themed worlds such as Aladdin, Hercules, The Little Mermaid etc.
There are a few original worlds too like Traverse Town – a world that appears when people are in need of shelter and Hollow Bastion, a world that was brought to ruin by the Heartless and Maleficent. There are also several cameo apperances by some famous Final Fantasy characters like Cloud Strife and Sephiroth.
Kingdom Hearts relies on several Final Fantasy actions such as using magic spells as a form of attack, and using accessories and armour to power up Sora, Donald and Goofy while learning special abilities once the characters level up throughout the game. The three can also change weapons as Sora can modify the Keyblade to take on different appearances while Donald and Goofy wield staves and shields respectively.
There are several clues and hints that connect to the future of the games such as referencing future characters and hidden cut scenes that reveal more about the game’s overall story.
I have to say I loved that twist, because Kingdom Hearts has so many mysteries across the series, so I’d have to play all the games to unravel the clues and solve the mysteries they present, after all I do love a good mystery.
I particularly relate to the character of Sora since I share a lot of the same personality traits with him – naive, short tempered, competitive but at the same time I have a strong connection with my friends and would do anything for them, even if I don’t know them that well.
So with plenty of magic, hack and slash combat, and a spellbinding story, I’d put Kingdom Hearts at the top of my gaming list.
Next time I will be writing about the second entry into the series: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.