A Disney and Square collaboration, Kingdom Hearts is the end result of one of the most unlikely partnerships in the industry. The simplistic Disney adventure meets the RPG technicality of Square's previous masterpieces as players take full control of Sora and his friends and a cast of classic Disney characters in a quest to defeat the ultimate evil, The Heartless.
Disney's RPG extravaganza begins with an eerie tutorial sequence in which you are taught the basic playing style of the Kingdom Hearts game engine. You will learn how to use a sword, target specific enemies, manoeuvre around the 3D game world and interact with non-playable characters. But then you are awakened in your home world by lead female Kairi, as you succumb to the knowledge that the previous tutorial was nothing but a dream.
The Square and Disney game worlds remain divided for the first hour or so of play, until a wall between the two worlds collapses and you are sucked into the world of King Mickey before meeting with resident toon favourites Donald Duck and Goofy. Then, The Heartless arrive, a race of beings that seem to appear out of thin air to halt Sora's quest. They know his role in Kingdom Hearts, you'll have to wait a little longer to find out.
So as you meet with numerous Disney and Square cameos, you'll be given challenges and side tasks, which all contribute to the greater quest. You'll have to eliminate myriad Heartless and their many bosses to progress, but it is a vital RPG aspect of the game that helps your characters to grow in strength. You'll learn the ins and outs of simple magic such as Ice, Bolt and Fire, and because combat is non turn-based, you have the option to assign extra abilities to the top three buttons on the Dual Shock controller, Zelda-style. Coincidentally, there's even a lock on function for greater ease of use.
So whether you're proving Alice's innocence or defending yourself against super-sized shadows, Kingdom Hearts is everything you might expect from a game created by two of the most influential companies in their respective fields.
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