Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 381 Ratings

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  • Summary: Kingdom Hearts is the story of Sora, a 14-year-old boy whose world is shattered when a violent storm hits his island-paradise home, and is separated from his two closest friends, Riku, a 15-year-old boy, and Kairi, a 14-year-old girl. The storm scatters the three to differnt and unknown worlds. At the same time, there's turmoil in Disney Castle. King Mickey is missing, and Court Wizard Donald and Captain Goofy set out to find him. On their travels they meet Sora on his own search for his lost friends. The three are told of ominous creatures known as the Heartless - beings without hearts derived from an unknown dimension and as it turns out, manipulated by Disney villains and the ones responsible for the devastating storm. Upon discovering the link between the Heartless, the storm and the disappearance of King Mickey, Sora, Donald and Goofy join forces and help familiar Disney heroes to save their worlds. [Square] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. In the end this is THE game of the year as far as I am concerned and even exceeded the amount of fun I had with "Final Fantasy X" a year ago.
  2. I really don’t think anyone else could have woven as complex and enthralling a story into such enjoyable gameplay and kept it as true to both Square and especially Disney fans.
  3. 91
    This is the kind of game you'll play obsessively until you get to the end credits - and then you'll play it again to find all the godies you missed on the first go. [Oct 2002, p.46]
  4. Such a well-crafted, polished (aside from the camera), and entertaining experience that it managed to win over this jaded gaming cynic, inevitable merchandising tie-ins and all.
  5. Works surprisingly well on a creative level...Much less successful, however, is a poorly conceived in-game camera system that often gets stuck behind objects and orients itself in the wrong direction. [20 Sept 2002]
  6. A fun and refreshingly accessible RPG that fuses Japanese storytelling and game play with an unprecedented repertoire of recognizable Disney icons.
  7. Gameplay is probably the most unremarkable aspect to Kingdom Hearts. The real-time combat consists of mashing the X button repeatedly as your one and only attack move, and also using magic once and a while.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 152
  1. May 21, 2011
    Is Kingdom Hearts a flawed game? Yes it is. The combat is lacking and simple and the set camera is atrocious. But there's a quality to it that can't be explained. The worlds can only be described as magical, the characters are timeless and the story, although just typical Japanese crazyness, is beautiful to behold. Its a package that is much more than the sum of its parts and it gives me a feeling of wonder and serenity that nothing has given me before, let alone a video game. Expand
  2. Mar 1, 2013
    This is my favorite game of all time and always will be, and I have good reason for it. Almost everything in this game is perfect. Fun, engaging gameplay will keep you playing it for hours upon hours until you beat it. The soundtrack is one of the most beautiful soundtracks in all of gaming, good voice acting too with great voices for all of the Disney characters and the main characters. The environments in the game are crafted beautifully, especially for a PS2 game, the Disney worlds gave SquareSoft a lot of diversity to put into to the games graphical style. The game should easily be fun for everyone with a challenging difficulty that's not too hard, but it's not very easy as well, any gamer would like the difficulty. The best part about the game is the story though, it should please any gamer. I'm not going to give anything away about the story because I feel that if you're going to play the game that you should experience it for yourself, because that can make just a little better. I will say that the story is very depressing and sad, but in my opinion that's the best kind of story, the kind that make you emotional and make you care about it. I literally have one, and only one problem with the game, and that's the camera. The camera is a bit weird in small areas and is a bit disorienting, but it's not really a big deal. You'll only get annoyed by it in a few areas of the game that are just small areas, but you don't really need to go to places like that a lot. As I said before, this game is nearly perfect in every way, and it's an easy recommendation for any person who likes video games. Your life is not complete until you've played Kingdom Hearts, and I mean that. Expand
  3. Sep 25, 2013
    This game is by far one of my all time favorite games around! It was the game that actually made me buy a PS2 in the first place. It has such an amazing storyline, fantastic characters, and takes you inside the world of Disney in a very interesting and unique way. I was crazy over this game for so long and still love it to this day. I would rate it so much higher if I was able to. It deserves any praise it gets. Expand
  4. Dec 16, 2010
    This game should not work and probably shouldn't have sold so many copies. Its just mad that this got through. Until you play it and get sucked in. All lets go through this and cover all the bases I can. Plot: You really wouldn't believe me because its Japanese. Its not racism (at least, not intentionally) but to a tiny-minded westerner like myself, this stuff is bonkers. After waking up from a strange dream, Sora and his friends - Riku and Kiari - plan to get away from their still lives on a tropical island in the Destiny Islands. To do this, they build a raft. This all gets kicked in the head when Riku opens a portal of darkness (because anything else wouldn't be reckless or hard enough), sucking him, Sora and the rest of the Island with it. Sora lands somewhere new with a new weapon, the legendary Keyblade. He must find his friends and solve the mysteries surrounding his new weapon. That's the simplified version. There is so much more stuff in there to fry your brain and its fantastically presented. I've left out the games own spirituality because I'll sound like a lunatic. The word 'heart' is used to much, it might actually be being used as punctuation. It's a little nuts to a westerner but in a good way. While the inclusion of Final Fantasy VII characters is nice because its a J-RPG with all this pseudo-spirituality mushiness, some players may be turned off. Others maybe turned off further by the Disney characters running around. All the characters are written quite authentically but they all appear to have been affected by Square Enix's presence. Even the colourful Disney characters have hints of the same unrealistic hollowness that seems to effect Final Fantasy characters when Square removed a portion of their emotions. But, the characters still have their charms, it just depends on which you are in the company off. Jack Skeleton is the agreed high point with Pooh and Ursula actually having any real appeal. Gameplay: This is odd. Kingdom Hearts looked at the RPG norm but then screwed in hack and slash elements instead. This does actually work quite well as a basher of the RPG norm. If you can't be bothered to fight, there is a chance you can escape without being killed by simply running away. If you were ever annoyed with randomly missing in Turn-based RPG's then Kingdom Hearts challenges you to catch the git yourself. Want to hit someone? Push X. No need to let the computer do anything. If you do, simply mash the X button like a manic woodpecker, you run the risk of constant attack so you can gain extra moves to pull to avoid and defend against attacks. Avoiding works well but defending requires practice. Otherwise, a normal RPG but be warned. This game might look cute and cuddly but its difficulty curve is there to make you think otherwise. It can be pretty nasty and does require some grinding for some of those massive bosses. Although, not all the bosses are massive. The developers must have realised that a normal sized boss is just as, if not more of a threat than a larger one. Asthetics: It looks lovely more or less through out. Its bright, colourful and appealing. Overall: Very good. Agreed, Disney characters aren't always the best to hang around with but its good but to smack Yuffie in the face with a massive key. Didn't I mention that? Expand
  5. Jun 9, 2012
    A great, fun game. The story is fun and enjoyable and the combat is pretty good. The gummi ship and camera are kinda meh but overall its one of the best PS2 games. Expand
  6. Jan 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When you put Final Fantasy characters and Disney Characters together in the same game and try to make a masterpiece of epic proportion, you get Square Soft's Kingdom Hearts. This unlikely action RPG has been getting heads rolling and some tilting in confusion of this strange crossover between two franchise you would probably never see together. But the game has created a huge fanbase and sparked many sequels and prequels into the series. Story: The main character of the game is Sora, a 14 year old boy who lives on Destiny Island who dreams of venturing to different worlds due to the fact that his best friend Kairi was originally from a different world. They were all set to go until a storm sent him through a wormhole and he was forced to face off against the creatures of the dark known as the Heartless. Sora also obtained the mysterious weapon known as the Keyblade and teams up with Donald Duck and Goofy to find his friends, the missing king of Disney Castle and save the worlds from being destroyed by the Heartless.

    Gameplay: Like an other type of RPG, you have to level up your player character and your party, Sora is the only character you can play with in the game since he's the main protagonist of the series. Like in Final Fantasy, Spells and Items have been brought into play, and also character classes as well. Donald is a Mage, while Goofy is a Knight. On the journey after finishing a world, you will receive a new Keyblade to a equip which may give you a certain type of bonus that might affect your status, strength, health, or magic. Also depending on the world you are in you might get an ally who is native to that world (ex: Peter Pan, Tarzan, or Beast). As an Action RPG, the game isn't too difficult and easy to figure out, even though you can mash the x button to keep attacking your opponent, there is still some strategy to the game like adding equipment, healing party members, and using magic against certain enemies, it is also important to change in variety of strategy to attack enemies because some enemies might not be easy to just bash in the face the entire time. When fighting the Darkside Boss, I found using the Thundaga spell easier then waiting to hit the boss in the face.

    Music: The music of the game is very good, and memorable as well, I find myself humming the theme to Kingdom Hearts from time to time. Also in the Disney World, some recognizable to tunes can be heard.

    Difficulty: The main campaign of the game isn't that hard as long as you know how to play an RPG in the right way, to newcomers, you may 2 or 3 times against a boss. Optional things might prove to be a challenge later on like the Phantom Boss, you can not be hit by physical attacks.
  7. Apr 4, 2011
    Gameplay is incredible, but the plot is nothing more than a 10-year-old's crossover fanfiction. Would be 8-9, but none of the dialog or movies can be skipped. Expand

See all 152 User Reviews