KINGDOM HEARTS REVIEW PART 5Â
Every video game has a bunch of optional content. The story may be excellent, but there needs to be a lot more things for the player to do after the story is complete. It could be another optional sidestory, mini games, extra items to collect or an extremely difficult optional boss that pushes your combat skills to the limit. Before we get into that we need to discuss an element of gameplay that was so bad I forgot to mention it in the last part.
Gummi Ships are basically the space ship that Sora, Donald and Goofy use to travel to the worlds in the game. When using a SAVE POINT select Gummi Ship to be teleported to the ship and view the universe map. By selecting a world the player will actually have to control the ship and fly to the destination. This is the most hated aspect of this particular game. Even hardcore fans, myself included donâ€™t like this. The reasons for this are the fact that itâ€™s extremely unimpressive, boring, time consuming (we want the worlds not this 3rdÂ rate outer space shooter) and it doesnâ€™t really fit. Luckily after the first act of the story the ship is given a warp gummi where you can warp to worlds that have already been explored. That is a life saver, but all undiscovered worlds have to be traveled to normally, but it works enough especially after we get that warp upgrade.
EXTRA ITEMS IN THE WORLDS
There are various treasure chests in the worlds that the player canâ€™t get to during the first visit. They can only be reached by equipping various special abilities that increase your travel range such as High Jump, Mermaid Kick, and the most useful Glide. These treasure chests contain useful items that are definitely worth the effort of returning to the world to get them.
There are various tiny marks that have 3 hearts in a distinct design. These are Trinity Marks. These marks can only be activated with Sora, Donald and Goofy in the party. There are various types of Trinity Marks that are given a specific color. For example Blue Trinity Marks once activated will have the trio do a perfectly timed jump to make an item appear for collection while Red trinity Marks have the trio charge at a wooden wall and break it down to reveal a chest behind the wall. The trio only learns one type of Trinity move at a time.
Yes the 101 Dalmatians appear in this game.Â Â In Traverse Town there is a building called the Dalmatianâ€™s House where Pongo and Perdita are refugees that have taken shelter there after their world was destroyed and itâ€™s up to you to reunite the canine family by finding the 99 puppies. By traveling to the worlds the player is able to find them by simply opening the chests that contain them. Each Dalmatian chest contains 3 puppies. Jiminyâ€™s Journal will keep track of how many Dalmatians were found and how many remain in a particular world so you donâ€™t have to worry about that. Some Dalmatian chests canâ€™t be found on the first visit which is why itâ€™s recommended you return to those worlds after the Glide ability has been acquired. By returning to the Dalmatian House every so often after a few Dalmatians have been found Pongo and Perdita will reward you with fairly useful items (even one thatâ€™s needed to complete the 100 Acre Wood). Hereâ€™s a small scene where all the puppies have been reunited.
This is where the Moogles serve a role in the game. Enemies will drop items that are seemingly useless at first, but after the Synthesis Lab is opened after learning Green Trinity Marks the Moogles can take those items and by following a recipe and providing you collect the right amount of materials will create a very useful item for you. The most important recipe of all is the recipe for the Ultima Weapon! That is the most powerful weapon that Sora can equip to the Keyblade and it is definitely worth the effort to obtain.
MINI GAMES OF THE 100 ACRE WOOD
The Heartless actually had the nerve to attack the sweet and peaceful 100 Acre Wood. The book was badly damaged so Merlin gave it to Cid for repair, but the Heartless took 5 pages so the repair job couldnâ€™t be finished. Now itâ€™s up to you to find the Torn Pages to finish the repair job and reunite the community of the 100 Acre Wood. The Pages can be found in various worlds with one being a gift for finding half of the Dalmatians. In this world Sora goes in alone and gets to explore the book and its contents. The various pages are a section of the book that contains a famous 100 Acre Wood landmark and where Sora gets to participate in a charming mini game with the residents of the book.
If youâ€™re too lazy to backtrack for items and cruel enough to abandon the Dalmatians you can always participate in a good old fashioned fighting tournament in the Olympus Coliseum (Hercules world, yes I know the Coliseum is more of a Roman thing and not Greek, but thatâ€™s beside the point). This is an extremely good way of getting experience, items, abilities, weapons and also getting to fight really cool bosses. Chip and Dale will send a transmission telling you when a tournament is open. Go to the world and talk to Phil in the Lobby and he will give you a list of tournaments (depending on how many have been unlocked. Tournaments are unlocked by merely progressing through certain worlds in the gameâ€™s story). There are 4 tournaments the list from appearance and difficulty from easiest to hardest is Phil Cup, Pegasus Cup, Hercules Cup(Hercules is the final round and Boss) and Hades Cup(this tournament has 50 rounds that have 10 round checkpoints so you can take a break without having to start over. Hades is a boss. Rock Titan is the final round and Boss of the cup).
These bosses were added specifically for the American release and these bosses are awesome and EXTREMELY DIFFICULT (to the unprepared)!!!!!! You have to be at a very high level with lots of good healing items and the right abilities and weapons. They are
After completing the Hades Cup talk to Phil to have a new entry in the list called the â€œGold Matchâ€ and the fight between this Titan will begin. He has great attacks, but they can be dodged and blocked for a relatively easy victory, but donâ€™t get used to it because the other fights arenâ€™t so easy.
My favorite villain and the main villain of FINAL FANTASY VII is another Coliseum Boss that you can enter by talking to Phil and by selecting the Question Marks in the list for the Platinum Match. Sephiroth is extremely powerful. When I first went into that fight and he made his entrance and I heard the awesome them called â€œOne Winged Angelâ€ I knew I was going to die multiple times and I was right. All I can really say is good luck!
After sealing the Hollow Bastion Keyhole two very powerful Heartless emerge. One in Agrabah and the other in Neverland. The one in Neverland is the Phantom and appears at Big Ben and has the ability to use the clock hands to countdown the time when the character will have his heart taken (you canâ€™t revive characters that have their hearts taken and are removed for the duration of the battle). Also the Phantom only has one weakness at a time. If the heart in his design is Red only fire harms him. If the heart in his design is blue only blizzard hurts him. The only way to slow the countdown is to cast Stop on the clock hands so you can buy yourself more time. All this is instrumental to surviving this fight.
Youâ€™re probably thinking thatâ€™s a weird name for a very powerful boss. Well there was a marketing event called â€œName In Game Sweepstakesâ€ where the winner would have a character named after them. Apparently Kurt Zisa was the winner and this Heartless now has his name. This is a very powerful boss that has a specific pattern, but itâ€™s very hard to counter that pattern. Hereâ€™s a video of the fight.
One of my favorite aspects of this series is the incredible music by Yoko Shimomura! She utilizes only a handful of established Disney music all the rest is her beautiful pieces that accompany the worlds. This is probably the most dramatic Disney score ever written and has the great epic clichÃ© of the choir in all the right parts. Plus there is an excellent theme song written by Japanese popstar Utada Hikaru (she was raised in New York so she does the English Version too). Here are prominent themes.
This is the main theme of the entire series. It always plays at the menu where you select New game or Load a Saved game. Itâ€™s simple and beautiful and is one of the most soothing and Beautiful pieces of music Iâ€™ve ever heard and it only gets better with each installment. Here is Dearly beloved mark 1.
This is one catchy theme. I guarantee that youâ€™ll be humming this theme within a few minutes of playing through the world and itâ€™s just a ton of fun!
This is the traversal theme to the final world and itâ€™s basically a remix of the music that was used in the tutorial taking us full circle and it shows the darker and more serious aspects of the game and it treats its audience like adults that want a well written story and fulfilling gameplay and artistic integrity. This piece is the culmination of those goals and ideas.
SIMPLE AND CLEAN
This is the theme song and itâ€™s a great one! This song is beloved by fans and I do agree with them.
Tangled can claim to have brought a 2D look to 3D animation, but that is wrong because as youâ€™ve probably seen from the videos that Kingdom Hearts did this. It looks like 3D, but it doesnâ€™t feel like 3D it feels like 2D animation and itâ€™s just beautiful to look at! The translations of 2D to 3D and the attention to detail are amazing especially considering this is 10 years old.
DIVE INTO THE HEART
Itâ€™s unclear what this world is, but itâ€™s the tutorial section of the game and it has beautiful imagery of the princesses immortalized in stain glass platforms.
100 ACRE WOOD
END OF THE WORLD
Bald Mountain Concept Art
FINAL MIX CONTENT
In 2003 a Directorâ€™s Cut of the game was released only in Japan and featured new scenes and fights plus the content that was for America. I really wish Final Mix was here, but alas it isnâ€™t. Thatâ€™s why we have the internet so we can look and find out what weâ€™re missing.
Here is a video of Riku waking up in Hollow Bastion in the beginning of the game and Maleficent looks on. Riku is calling out for Sora and Kairi.
Here is a subtitled scene that takes place after beating Sephiroth. The two slug it out and itâ€™s awesome!
This takes place after Hollow Bastion and it has Riku talking to a disembodied voice. It is later revealed to be Mickey Mouse. The scene is subtitled. (if the subtitles donâ€™t come up automatically then press the close caption button)
THE UNKNOWN FIGHT
Thereâ€™s a Sith Lord in this game!! When returning to Hollow Bastion after the Keyhole is sealed the Princesses tell you that there is a very dark and powerful presence and Sora, Beast, Donald and Goofy investigate and run into a mysterious new opponent who challenges them to a fight and he is no push over. He is very swift and fast with his attacks and has such diversity that he could defeat any Sith Lord with his twin lightsabers as well as the power of Nothingness.
Iâ€™ve been pretty much praising this game non stop since the beginning, but itâ€™s not perfect. With the Gummi Ship and an occasionally wonky camera, but even those flaws are negligible and I love this game! It is the best Disney story ever told and itâ€™s a load of fun to play and explore the Disney universe.
VERDICT: 10 keyblades out of 5 (It would have been 15, but the flaws do lower the score)
Next time Iâ€™m going to give a short post on what I thought about seeing my favorite Disney movie Beauty and the Beast in 3D!