Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
   
  Review of the game Kingdom Hearts logo  
   The player enters the game as Sora, a 14 year old boy who lives on a small island. Tired of this pleasant, but monotonous life, he decides to build a raft to sail away with his two friends, Riku and Kairi. However, a terrific being appears one night and destroys their island. Thrown into another world, Sora finds himself alone, in a place riddled with shadowy creatures who steal people's hearts. He meets Donald and Dingo, sent by their king to help the bearer of the Key to stop the darkness which is destroying all kingdoms one by one. As Sora has this Key, they accept to help him look for his friends. In return he must lock all the doors that separate the worlds, in order to prevent the darkness from invading them. Though unable to find Kairi, Sora quickly encounters Riku, but the latter seems changed. Cold, distrustful and aggressive, he accuses him of various things then walks away...
   Breathtakingly beautiful, the most amazing are the minutiously rendered worlds and characters, as well as the amount of them! Each world counts many backgrounds and characters! Disney's familiar 2D sceneries have been wonderfully and faithfully conceived and modeled in 3D. There is a profusion of CG sequences, all gorgeous, and some quite funny. It is difficult to even conceive the amount of work all this universe represent. There are so many worlds and characters it is unbelievable!
   The music is quite nice throughout the game, sometimes reinterpreting Disney's themes, sometimes creating new tunes. The beginning song, though, comes from nowhere, and ruins the whole previously built delicate magical mood into some kind of clubbing event with its aggressive techno tune. As to the ending song, it is a bit bland, but then it's a question of personal taste. However, that is really the only reproach I could make, that and a little difficulty with the camera work often left to the player, as well as the pathetic part played by the only main female character (Kairi), which may make girls players feel a bit left out. Apart from that, the game is absolutely close to perfection! The playability and enjoyment value are at their best!
   The game is based on an original idea, developed into an interesting and involving story, with some psychology and reflexion. Some words and repeatitive expressions may seem a bit too much, but then the adult player should keep in mind the audience aimed at are primarily children. And the best thing about KH is that it offers them excellent quality entertainment.
   The voices (I have the game in French so I am only able to comment on this version) are absolutely brilliant. I was thouroughly against the use of voices in games until I played KH. The actors are truly talented and dedicated to their work. The children voices of Riku and Soria especially are a real success! You may have been put off by some quickly and badly dubbed voices in other games, but in KH, they are perfect. Also, it is quite unusual and nice to have the characters express themselves in your own language and in a convincing, everyday way, instead of in some caricatured version of the English language (ie, "come on, let's fight!" and other cliché with big or silly voices, which are just an insult to this beautiful language by the way).
     
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All images I captured from the trailers on FFX's bonus cd. All property of Squaresoft/Disney.


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