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Kingdom Hearts II

キングダムハーツII

Developer / Publisher: Square Enix
22 December 2005
Kingdom Hearts II [キングダムハーツII] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.94 / 5.0
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816 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#211 All-time
#10 for 2005
Sora and friends face mysterious new enemies as they continue their journey to save all worlds, and find Riku and King Mickey.
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Leaving aside the fact that this game's intro is an atom bomb of emotion and nostalgia, leaving aside how much of an imprint the story and art have left on me... yeah, it's still effectively perfect.

I normally hate it when people describe a game's style as "cinematic" since, you know, video games shouldn't aspire to be more like a noninteractive medium. But KH2 is definitely cinematic... in a good way. Every aspect of the gameplay, from the Gummi Ship to motion to Keyblade combat, is over-the-top flashy but doesn't deprive the player over control for the sake of spectacle... well, barring some Reaction Commands, but those are far more bearable than the sort of QTEs that God of War popularized. While you can certainly get away with button mashing to some degree, it's on the high difficulty settings that the gameplay really shines. Sora's moveset gives you a ton of defensive options to bail yourself out of the many, many one-hit kills that Critical Mode dishes out, and an equally impressive arsenal to punish any opening you find. Dodge, punish, stagger - it's what all action-RPGs boil down to, but KH2's execution of that rhythm is incredibly satisfying and rewards skillful and precise input to a degree you wouldn't expect from such a casual/childish-looking game.

Of course, good gameplay doesn't matter without good level and enemy design. Thankfully, KH2 is also an incredible game in that regard. The levels mostly eschew the misguided platforming elements of KH1, without being flat and featureless. The real treat is the bosses, though - there's an absolute ton of boss fights, even more of which are added in Final Mix, and almost all of them are exciting and challenging. A few, like the Hydra, are a bit too scripted and unintuitive, but for the most part the gimmicks actually add to the fights rather than detracting from them. The super-extended final boss sequence is a testament to the seemingly limitless creativity and design skill of the dev team, and despite how it never seems to end it's the sort of final boss you play through again and again just because. (The badass boss theme helps, of course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ygh4k2AyBw)

I don't even know what to say about the plot. It's pretty evident that Tetsuya Nomura is out of his mind and is just making up plot elements as he goes along - this is even more obvious in later installments like DDD - but the plot is so loony and takes itself so hyper-seriously that, rather than being the glorified fanfiction cringe-magnet you'd expect from the series' fanbase, it's entertaining to watch the cutscenes just for the sheer fun of taking the piss out of them. If you want to do a drinking game and take a shot every time someone says "darkness", be my guest, but you'll probably die before the end of the prologue.
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Looks like my summer vacation is over.
my favorite of the kingdomheart games

-spent a good couple hours skateboarding as roxas, pretty fun
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1979say10 2021-06-29T21:21:41Z
2021-06-29T21:21:41Z
5.0
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Kingdom Hearts II expanded on the original's fantastical journey. Polished, slicker graphics and heavier cutscene usage accompanied a more focused original story (including a 2 hour prologue with minimal crossover involvement) seemingly fixated on building endless layers of cheesy moments. As a result, this sequel largely abandons the debut's platforming-oriented level design and replaced it with waves of enemies and minigames, constituting a much more linear, controlled experience. However, the creative edge remains - drawing from more diverse Disney influences to help sculpt level and gameplay ideas while refining old ones. Brief sketches of rail shooter, bullet hell, rhythm, racing, and car combat define an extensive stylistic parade.

Combat also received an upgrade, now equipped with an emphatic cinematic flair via a surplus of fashionable QTEs. Despite this, the sheer amount of wave-clearing objectives and further upgrades/abilities only increased the feeling of mindless, yet chaotic repetition - although the boss fight variety in the second half was impressive. Ultimately, this work clearly shows signs of maturity over the original, but is still a little lacking in depth, and one begins to wonder if the production work and disorienting plot is starting to prevail over the game itself.
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Blah_Blee 2021-06-28T13:45:18Z
2021-06-28T13:45:18Z
6.5 /10
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Kingdom Hearts II is a game I remember getting near the end of 8th grade, I didn't really even know it was coming out during that time, I wasn't following it as closely despite loving the first game and it being one of my favorite games of my childhood. I remember just going to Gamestop one day and seeing this on the shelves and just buying it that day, and it proved to be a huge improvement.

Now the biggest improvements over the first are the controls, combat, design, and gummi missions. The game actually plays a lot smoother, the combat flows way better, you have the drive forms that add to the combat and make it more exciting, and the combos actually feel effective. The first game had somewhat awkward combat and it always just felt a tad sluggish. Areas in this game are way bigger and have more detail in their design. There were some really poorly designed areas in the first game like Wonderland and Deep Jungle, and this game had nowhere near as awful looking as those places. And finally you have the gummi missions, which were pretty terrible in the first game and even as a kid I hated them. In this game they aren't great, but they are hugely improved and actually feel more than an afterthought.

Now there are some flaws too, the story is probably the main one. The main problem is the game expects you to have played the GBA sequel to the first game, Chain of Memories that almost nobody played, including me which I didn't end up playing until a few months after I played this game. So the entire prologue and seeing Sora in a sleeping pod is just incredibly confusing and there aren't even any flashbacks or a backstory summary for those who didn't play the game. I mean yeah now the Chain of Memories remake is included with the HD collection, but I'm rating this based on when it first game out. Other than that, the story does get somewhat convoluted, it introduces new enemies, the Nobodies, and you have new bad guys who sort of feel like generic anime villains. The story is a lot bigger and more fleshed out than the first game, but at the same time, it just tries to add way too many elements and some things just end up being a bit silly and poorly explained.

The other thing is the game is somewhat linear, when you go to Worlds in this game, most just are designed in a straight line, and there isn't much exploration. Granted, the first game had this issue to, but I feel while areas in this game are way bigger, they do suffer from linearity.

Now the Disney Worlds in this were interesting, you had Lion King and Beauty and Beast, both which were done pretty well and among my favorites, along with other newcomers like Mulan and Pirates of the Caribbean (which surprisingly worked okay). Then you have returning Worlds like Hercules, Aladdin, and Little Mermaid. Although the Little Mermaid in this game is just bad, the first game's was bad because of the underwater controls, but this it is just reduced to a giant musical where you time button presses to really terrible music, and it doesn't help that Sora and Donald sing along. It just feels so out of place and makes no sense compared to the other Worlds in the game, its like the developers ran out of ideas so just said lets make a musical World because you know, Disney is all about the music. The thing I like about this though is once you've beaten a World and defeated the main Disney villain of that World, you then return to the World a second time at the halfway point to get even more story that mostly deals with the Organization members going to these places to cause trouble. It really added an extra layer of depth, it was cool revisiting these Worlds for additional bosses and story, even if they were cut a bit shorter than the first visits.

Then of course you have the boss fights, who are decent for the most part. None are really too challenging and they are more fair and balanced than the ones from the first game, especially the Sephiroth fight in this. Unless you are playing the 2.5 version, the game doesn't have a whole lot of side content or secrets, most of the side content is just mindless minigames and you have the Coliseum again, but there aren't a whole lot of optional boss fights or missions, once you've beaten each area 2 times, there really isnt much to do in the Worlds anymore. The final boss in this game isn't quite as good as the one in the first game, he's just way too easy in this and feels drawn out. Then you get an ending that teases the third game.

Ovearll, KH II is a huge improvement over the first game with better controls, design, bosses, and the gummi missions are decent. But then you do have some glaring flaws like some linearity, a convoluted story with some really silly moments, and a bit a disappointing final boss. But I really enjoyed playing this game a lot as a teenager and between the end of 8th grade and my Freshman year in high school it had to have been my most played game of that time in my life, I remember completing everything as a kid, doing all the fusions, fighting Sephiroth, getting to level 99. And with 2.5 in the HD collection you get tons of additional content that can add an extra 10+ hours with extra boss fights, challenge mushrooms, puzzle pieces, and in fact, its the only version of the game I'd recommend playing, it just adds so much extra without taking anything away from the original game. But as it stands, the original KH II is a great game and I enjoyed almost every World and seeing my favorite childhood movie Lion King in this was a fun experience. Hopefully KH III later this year can recapture that experience with the Toy Story World.
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jweber14 2017-07-21T20:38:30Z
2017-07-21T20:38:30Z
4.0
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Leaving aside the fact that this game's intro is an atom bomb of emotion and nostalgia, leaving aside how much of an imprint the story and art have left on me... yeah, it's still effectively perfect.

I normally hate it when people describe a game's style as "cinematic" since, you know, video games shouldn't aspire to be more like a noninteractive medium. But KH2 is definitely cinematic... in a good way. Every aspect of the gameplay, from the Gummi Ship to motion to Keyblade combat, is over-the-top flashy but doesn't deprive the player over control for the sake of spectacle... well, barring some Reaction Commands, but those are far more bearable than the sort of QTEs that God of War popularized. While you can certainly get away with button mashing to some degree, it's on the high difficulty settings that the gameplay really shines. Sora's moveset gives you a ton of defensive options to bail yourself out of the many, many one-hit kills that Critical Mode dishes out, and an equally impressive arsenal to punish any opening you find. Dodge, punish, stagger - it's what all action-RPGs boil down to, but KH2's execution of that rhythm is incredibly satisfying and rewards skillful and precise input to a degree you wouldn't expect from such a casual/childish-looking game.

Of course, good gameplay doesn't matter without good level and enemy design. Thankfully, KH2 is also an incredible game in that regard. The levels mostly eschew the misguided platforming elements of KH1, without being flat and featureless. The real treat is the bosses, though - there's an absolute ton of boss fights, even more of which are added in Final Mix, and almost all of them are exciting and challenging. A few, like the Hydra, are a bit too scripted and unintuitive, but for the most part the gimmicks actually add to the fights rather than detracting from them. The super-extended final boss sequence is a testament to the seemingly limitless creativity and design skill of the dev team, and despite how it never seems to end it's the sort of final boss you play through again and again just because. (The badass boss theme helps, of course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ygh4k2AyBw)

I don't even know what to say about the plot. It's pretty evident that Tetsuya Nomura is out of his mind and is just making up plot elements as he goes along - this is even more obvious in later installments like DDD - but the plot is so loony and takes itself so hyper-seriously that, rather than being the glorified fanfiction cringe-magnet you'd expect from the series' fanbase, it's entertaining to watch the cutscenes just for the sheer fun of taking the piss out of them. If you want to do a drinking game and take a shot every time someone says "darkness", be my guest, but you'll probably die before the end of the prologue.
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RNG 2016-06-03T03:13:20Z
2016-06-03T03:13:20Z
5.0
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Catalog

deechymarko キングダムハーツII 2022-06-29T09:28:07Z
2022-06-29T09:28:07Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SwitSwat キングダムハーツII 2022-06-28T15:30:01Z
2022-06-28T15:30:01Z
-8
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dumey キングダムハーツII 2022-06-27T00:16:53Z
2022-06-27T00:16:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
knoise キングダムハーツII 2022-06-26T13:39:03Z
2022-06-26T13:39:03Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix playstation plus
howmanysigfigs キングダムハーツII 2022-06-23T15:42:05Z
2022-06-23T15:42:05Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gtmusic キングダムハーツII 2022-06-22T21:55:13Z
2022-06-22T21:55:13Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Blazevoir キングダムハーツII 2022-06-22T08:09:38Z
2022-06-22T08:09:38Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Koopaqueenbowsette キングダムハーツII 2022-06-21T17:18:25Z
2022-06-21T17:18:25Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dimpapalias Kingdom Hearts II 2022-06-20T09:28:48Z
PS2 • XEU
2022-06-20T09:28:48Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
notscrumpyjack キングダムハーツII 2022-06-19T09:45:10Z
2022-06-19T09:45:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Crowleynick キングダムハーツII 2022-06-18T18:08:37Z
2022-06-18T18:08:37Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
skullzxvx キングダムハーツII 2022-06-18T15:09:30Z
2022-06-18T15:09:30Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: All Ages
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x DVD
Franchises
Also known as
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts 2
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • Previous comments (23) Loading...
  • MZZNN 2021-06-30 11:33:39.470389+00
    maybe my favorite combat system of any game. stupid fun
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  • carlos_weed_official 2021-07-28 00:58:57.005731+00
    the combat system in this game would make for an amazingly fun game if it was put into anything else
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  • TheSaltman 2021-10-23 20:29:15.748093+00
    This, MGS2 and Chrono Cross have the best opening intros ever made for a game or anything really.
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  • godspeedthese64emperors 2021-11-11 20:11:10.673654+00
    when Sanctuary comes on AAAHHH BRRR TSHHH GOES HARD
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  • Myriadis 2021-11-12 22:24:59.990655+00
    Great gameplay, if only the maps would be bigger and there wouldn't be cutscenes every 5 steps I would like it a lot more
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  • edvardmunchremix 2022-03-19 17:23:46.731634+00
    The first DeviantArtcore game of its kind
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  • moonisharp 2022-06-19 18:00:35.00376+00
    Critical Mode is perfect. Kinda wish you got second chance and once more earlier tho
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