People seem to think Summer ends after Labor day, truth is, Autumn doesn’t start until September 22nd or 24th pretty sure. What PS2 journey would be complete without tapping into the Kingdom Hearts series, the unexpected combination of characters from Disney and Final Fantasy. Just enough time for one more in the Summer of Playstation 2 and I’ve committed to finishing this sucker.
Kingdom Hearts (1) is a fantastic starter JRPG. One that requires patience as well as skill, it’ll be a good three hours before you even encounter a Disney character. Interacting with the Disney folk and reliving your favorite Disney stories through the eye of a JRPG is what this game is all about.
For those of you that turned your nose up when I wrote JRPG, relax, there is no turn taking. Kingdom Hearts is a action-oriented, combat game, combining swordplay and magic. Combat is a weird word to describe it though, as everything has metaphorically, rounded edges. Your sword is a giant key (known as the Keyblade), your travel companions Donald and Goofy are hardly armed, even FF’s Cloud has his sword wrapped in bandages as to not really hurt anyone.
Interesting characters, whether you know them from FF or Disney or not. This is however a dated game with jagged pixels and awkward platforming. At times it can feel a little like a dumbed down Final Fantasy. That said, if you put in the time and embrace your inner child you will be rewarded with some beautiful and memorable moments. I was particularly moved by the moment with Wendy at Big Ben in the London sky.
The best Kingdom Hearts has to offer is the challenging and memorable boss fights. These boss fights really ramp up in difficulty towards the end of the game. I’m reaching close to the 40 hour mark and am currently a bit stuck. As (King) Mickey Mouse might say “If you can dream it you can do it” so rest assured, darkness will fall.