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Retro Recap: Kingdom Hearts

A Disney and Square Enix collaboration that delivers on all fronts

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Jumping into the PS2 era of games, Square Enix made an informed decision into what their next IP should be. Stemming from the popular successes of the Final Fantasy franchise, a new RPG seemed imminent. Who would have thought a collaboration with Disney would spawn such a title that appeals to Disney fanatics and gamers alike? This week’s Retro Recap is none other than Kingdom Hearts.

Skeptical is the word that probably best describes my opinion towards Kingdom Hearts. Although a big Square Enix / RPG fan, Disney wasn’t something I was akin to. After years of avoidance, I finally picked up the game (mainly because I had nothing else to play) and I was pleasantly surprised. Disney aside, Kingdom Hearts stands up well on its own and for Square Enix fans like me, the cameos from the various Final Fantasy character make the experience all the more fun (even if he is referred to as Leon…). I’m sure many of you enjoy the Disney inclusion, and to be honest, I did enjoy how badass Mickey was, and with a golden Keyblade no less!

Mickey

If I had to come up with a major complaint, it would be the Gummi ship. I mean, really? Who wants to spend time between exploring fun and exciting places such as Monstro the Whale and Halloween Town to flying to 3 minutes of shooting next to nothing. Still, aside from this, I did enjoy getting to play on the classic Disney worlds, even if I’m not the biggest Disney fan. The appeal for me did always come from the Final Fantasy aspect of the game, which of course, KH and Square Enix delivered. Oh, and who cannot love a game that has Sephiroth and One Winged Angel? SEPHIROTH!

Want some facts about Kingdom Hearts? Who doesn’t?

  • The only official Disney princesses not to make an appearance in a Kingdom Hearts game are Rapunzel, Tiana and Pocahontas (and now Leia if you count the Star Wars inclusion)
  • “Dearly Beloved” is the titular song in all Kingdom Hearts games, slightly altered for each game
  • Christopher Robin is the only main Winnie the Pooh character not to make an appearance

Sora and Tinkerbell

What can I say? I would never say Kingdom Hearts is the most groundbreaking and amazing game that others make it out to be. It’s a novelty title that garnered a huge fanbase. Still, I can’t deny the enjoyment and immersion you get when playing this game. It’s just one of those titles where you can lose track of time. Whether you’re traversing through (get it?) the vast worlds or grinding those tough enemies, Kingdom Hearts gives excitement and wonder to everything you do. Still, with the inclusion of a number of Final Fantasy characters, it would have been nice to see a few of the worlds to travel to as well. Check out our 6 Things We Want from Kingdom Hearts 3!

Did you play the original Kingdom Hearts, or did you pick up a copy of the HD rerelease? Are you looking forward to Kingdom Hearts 3? Let us know in the comments section below!

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