Most of us gamers know Kingdom Hearts, most of us love it, some of us hate it, but there is no denying that the franchise is one of the most acclaimed, along with Final Fantasy itself.
Hey! As much as some don’t like it, it’s true.
The game begins when Sora, and Riku are staring out in the distance from their hometown in Destiny Islands, looking like their younger selves, for no apparent reason…. Ok… Trying to confuse us from the get-go, huh?
Well, it worked.
Then, after having a tutorial battle with Ursula, both teens fall into the ocean at which point summon their Key blades (the game’s sacred weapon of sorts), in order to seal the world’s keyhole.
Then, the game’s main plot is revealed through a flashback, one of the things I liked, is that you are asked whether you want to see it, or not, but most are important, so I would recommend watching them in order to understand the plot.
Apparently, Sora and Riku are taking the Mark of Mastery exam in order to become Keyblade masters, this exam is given to them by Yen Sid, the wizard.
The exam consists of waking 7 sleeping worlds one of them being Traverse Town, in which both Keyblade wielders wake, ready to begin a new adventure.
The 3D itself is nothing to write home about, but it works, and is actually useful on the parts where you dive into the worlds, which I’ll explain later on.
In terms of level design, the worlds are much open than before, and there are tons of hidden treasure chests this time around, that will have to be searched for thoroughly, a task done before, but expanded upon thanks to the Flowmotion system which I will talk about when I get to the gameplay.
The music is, well, “ok“, Yoko Shimomura is well known for her incredible musical skill, and don’t get me wrong and raise a riot, but her previous works were amazing, which is the reason why I’m bummed out by the lack of memorable themes in the game, although, there is a fun idea with the music in a later world, which I personally loved, not to mention the tracks played near the end of the game that I just find great.
The gameplay is divided in 2 different parts, Diving is a minigame that allows you to enter the worlds by fulfilling certain conditions while free falling, such as destroying certain number of enemies, or getting a number of orbs.
Also here, is the combat system that should be familiar to people who have played this series before, containing a mixture of classic action/RPG combat, which is destroying an enemy, get experience, level up, the usual, combined with the now well known deck command system, which consists of different unlockable command attacks via Dream Eaters (more on that later), or at the store which can be fun as you combine different commands to unleash hell on your enemies, you also unlock extra key chains that affect your Keyblade’s stats by finishing a world, and get healing items, customization materials (for Dream Eaters), as well as Droplets.
Speaking of Droplets, they are used in conjunction with the new Drop System in which you switch characters automatically after the Drop bar runs out, the droplets will power up the character about to be used allowing boosts in attack, magic, and so on, although it can get annoying, specially if you are fighting a boss, since the battle will reset, but this can be remedied by using the item Drop-Me-Not, which restores the Drop bar.
Dream Eaters will be your Donald and Goofy in this game, from the Spirits section, you can play with them, or feed them in order to level their stats, you can also create more Dream Eaters by using recipes or choosing an item and using it with others randomly in order to create a new creature.
The problem with the Dream Eaters is that they hold your abilities belt, only allowing to unlock abilities only if you level them up and use points to unlock them, which can get annoying if you don’t have the right Dream Eaters to get the abilities you want OR need.
Other additions are the Flowmotion and the Dive system, flow motion allows you to bounce on walls, grind on rails and spin in poles each time giving you a different attack pattern that is unblockable by most enemies, this may lead to the overuse the ability making the combat repetitive at times.
The Dive system though, can be quite fun at times, giving you different ways to interact with it, whether you draw lines towards enemies to attack them, play a small rhythm game, and doing a finishing move afterwards, or even hacking into a computer or even enemies, helping to change the outcome of the battle, note that the minigame depends on the world you are in, but that helps keep everything fresh.
I give the game a 4 out of 5, because even with its flaws, it doesn’t detract from the fun, but get ready to be slightly annoyed trying to get the one Dream Eater that holds that coveted command, still, this is a great game that will bridge to the anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3, that hopefully, will be released this decade.