June 15, 2007

Kingdom Hearts II

Sora from Spance Paranoid and Halloween TownI'm more than a little late to the game, but I just finished playing through Kingdom Hearts 2, although I'm not entirely sure if I'm ever going to get around to going for 100% with this one. In terms of gameplay, technical features, and the visuals, Kingdom Hearts 2 is the same as Kingdom Hearts. They kept the same voice actors, which really would be a requirement for something like this, and the story continues where Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories ended. It's not required to have played KH:CoM, but it will help.

The world situation is a little different in KH2. While the worlds in KH tended to be more "dungeon-like" with many passages and places to explore as you tried to find your way around, the worlds of KH2 (some of which also appeared in KH) are more natural. You'll go through hallways and foyers or through mountain paths and towns, but for the most part there aren't any extra halls or rooms created just as something to go through. This also means finding treasures isn't a puzzle; they're all laid out in front of you as you move forward.

You also end up visiting each world multiple times. Each visit is a little shorter than they would be otherwise, but as the storyline progresses, things change on the worlds and you have to come back to find out what's going on and advance the plot. At first, I felt like there wasn't enough meat in each world's episodes. Too short and very straightforward. But after a while it felt more like a book, where the chapters aren't too long and you can read one chapter at a time, letting you then choose if you wanted to stop or continue.

I do seem to vaguely recall the storylines of the movies each world is based upon, being followed to some degree in KH. But it seems odd that coming back to those worlds in KH2, the storyline of the movie is played back again, but with some different angles. I'm not sure though, because I can't remember very well exactly what happened in each world of KH in terms of story.

There were some interesting worlds presented in KH2, which I wasn't expecting. The world of Tron makes an appearance, which was pretty cool. I was pleasantly surprised to find a world based on Steamboat Willie (I think the boat is referred to as Willy in KH2) and they really went out of their way to make it feel right. Luna was excited to see Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, and Beauty and the Beast (I still think there are real problems with that film) and Chicken Little.

I finished my first run of the game in about 55 hours. That included several hours playing through the Gummi sections, trying to find everything. But since it's so hard to know what you need to do to get some Gummi blocks, I ended up with about 95% completion there. I also didn't complete all of the Jiminy journal entries at this time, because it looked like that would take a long time to do. And it did.

I wasn't bothering to use my Drive forms or Summons for most of the game (I also didn't actually know how to initiate a Summon for a long time) and leveling all of those up, and completing the Moogle synthesis stuff, probably took another 10 hours. At this point I reached level 99 and could fight Sephiroth without dying in a few seconds. That battle is one of my favorites, both in KH2 and KH. I'm at about 70 hours now, and the only thing I have left open, besides the Gummi blocks, is the final Paradox Cup tournament. Apparently finishing that cup takes about an hour straight through.

Posted by josuah at June 15, 2007 6:29 AM UTC+00:00

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