March 1st, 2006, 18:33 Posted By: wraggster
Lik Sang have a big article on the release of Magical RPG Kingdom Hearts 2:
Now that there's less than a month to go till the US release of Kingdom Hearts II, we take a look at exactly why this game deserves your attention. Last December the Japanese edition came out to score a truly amazing 39/40 from Famitsu magazine, only a breath away from being just the sixth game ever to receive a perfect 40/40 in 20 years.
Selling 727,591 copies in its first week alone, there's no doubt the untouchable RPG experience of Square Enix combined with the magic of Disney resulted in one of the greatest team ups of videogame history. Rather than have their hands tied by a specific story from a certain movie, the developers were free to create an entirely new adventure including all of Disney's most famous works, not to mention a couple of Square's too! Due for release on March 28th, pre-orders can be placed anytime, and of course the game ships free worldwide.
Set after Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on the GBA, the original lead character Sora, and Disney comrades Donald and Goofy have slept for a solid year while regaining their lost memories. Waking up, Sora puts on some fresh clothes (we should hope so!) and continues on his quest to seal the keyholes of each world, protecting their innocence from the dark forces of the Heartless, Organization XIII and Nobodies. With a much more complex plot development than that of the original awaiting you, players of the GBA sequel will get the absolute most out of this title. The developers however have gone to great lengths to ensure you won't feel left out at all if you haven't played the portable adventure, and newcomers who missed both that and the first game need not worry either, you'll quickly be brought up to speed.
The original drew content from Alice in Wonderland, Hercules, Tarzan, Aladdin, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, 101 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast, and more. Here there's more of those classics, plus Lilo & Stitch, Chicken Little, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron, The Return of Jafar, Fantasia and others. In fact they range all the way back to 1928's Steamboat Willie, which of course takes place in black and white.
Despite some movies being used again, every level is brand spanking new, often taking place in completely separate settings than before. For example instead of on the streets of Agrabah for Aladdin, you'll be exploring the Cave of Wonders. Some franchises like Beauty and the Beast and Mulan which were only represented with characters in the original have been fleshed out with entire worlds here too.
At least 16 different Final Fantasy characters will appear here, including Auron, Yuna, Rikku, Cloud Strife, Yuffie, Sephiroth and more. Taking on a larger role, Cloud also has his own side quest now, and each of the FF VII stars take their looks from the more recent Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children movie. The Disney side has its fair share of cameos too, such as Scrooge McDuck, Yen Sid from Fantasia, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty and a whole heap more.
The all star English voice cast is just as impressive as it was in the original, with almost all actors reprising their roles once again here. Highlights include the now 18 year old Haley Joel Osment, David Gallagher, Dan Castellaneta, Sean Astin, Mena Suvari, Christopher Lee, Rachael Leigh Cook, Jesse McCartney, Zach Braff and many others.
Moving onto gameplay, at certain times Reaction Commands will pop up, which with good timing let you pull off bonus attacks with different moves for specific situations. Also while you could summon characters in the first game, these play a larger part in this round, and you can bring in the likes of Peter Pan, the Genie from Aladdin, and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch. Working together with his fellow team mates, Sora can now pull off linked attacks with each combination resulting in a different effect.
Also by merging with Donald or Goofy, Sora can unleash other styles of play. For example merging with Goofy has you wielding dual Keyblades with extra attacks, but takes away your ability to perform magic. On the other hand, intertwining with Donald greatly boots your magic, increases the length of your Keyblade, and has you gliding through levels instead of running. Or if you prefer the best of both worlds, what's known as the 'Master Form' can be achieved by all three characters joining, and along with two Keyblades you gain the ability to fly. Such power comes at a price however, as your drive bar will be drained faster. Lastly there's the 'Final Form', although we won't spoil that for you
Certain levels like Atlantica, and gameplay moments like summoning Stitch, will now make use of music and button coordination, again bringing new elements into the already winning gameplay. The soundtrack is also again composed by the brilliant Yoko Shimomura, famous for past titles like Super Mario RPG, Legend of Mana, Parasite Eve, Street Fighter 2 and more. Likewise even for this English edition, the Japanese pop music star Hikaru Utada returns for the new theme song "Sanctuary". We still have the full Japanese soundtrack in stock now, boasting almost 150 minutes of music across two discs.
As an RPG packed to the brim with memorable characters bursting with personality, this continues on the fantastic Kingdom Hearts style with that magical spark and humor that made the original such a fresh surprise. At the same time with all new levels and characters, advancements in gameplay and a deeper storyline, it's no wonder fans have been salivating for years over this. Eager to deliver the best experience they can too, Square Enix have greatly polished the game, right down to the little touches like individual themed command menus for each world. Games like this only come once in a while, but as players of the original will testify to, you remember them for years to come.
More info at Lik Sang
For more information and downloads, click here!
There are 1 comments - Join In and Discuss Here