I just finished replaying the first Kingdom Hearts game
, and am currently deciding between continuing with (ported) Chain of Memories or a replay of Kingdom Hearts II. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the pleasant glow that comes with completing a really good video game. And true to my over-analytical form, I come with some thoughts on the game, and how it was to replay it.
Kingdom Hearts was the second console game and RPG that I ever played (the first was Final Fantasy X, which I've also loved and replayed). I played it for the first time some years ago (just after it came out, I believe), never played Chain of Memories (as I don't own a GBA), and played KHII as soon as it was released. I loved both games, but I noticed a gap in informationyears had passed since playing the first game, and since I'd never played the sequel, I was missing a lot of information coming into the first game. Granted, KHII is playable under those circumstances, but they aren't ideal
. So it made sense to come back to the first gameand, well, it's a great game in its own right, and warrants replay.
For those that don't know, Kingdom Hearts is about
a young boy named Sora. He begins on Destiny Island, and has two close friends, Riku, an older male who has always been his competition, and Kairi, a female that often becomes the source of contention for his friendly battles with Riku. The three of them dream about leaving Destiny Island for the greater worlds beyond, but their dreams become reality when their island disappears into the darkness, scattering them on the worlds beyond. Sora awakens in a world-between-worlds called Traverse Town and soon teams up with Goofy and Donald, who have been sent by their King Mickey to track to find the Key: a magical weapon that holds the power to fight the darkness, and to save and seal the worlds threatened by the darkness. Sora is the Keyblade Master, and together the three go off to discover and seal new worlds, and to try to find Riku and Kairi. It's an RPG with real-time "slash and hack" action battles, and a combined effort of Square (who contribute a plot worthy of Final Fantasy and many FF cameos) and Disney (who contribute many character designs and the worlds that Sora and his friends visit).( Some thoughts on Kingdom Hearts, a replay. )
There were definitely some annoyances, but I was incredibly pleased with this replay of Kindgom Hearts. The story, plot, and characters speak for themselves: they are all at once idealistic and realistic, with sights set on concepts such as the Heart of Hearts, Light, and Darkness while struggling through the personal issues of identity, belief, choice, and fidelity. The combination of Square and Disney is remarkable and unexpectedit's a bit foolish and exaggerated, but the plot and the characters still bring it back to the realm of delicate and nuanced. The gameplay is fun, and a friendly mesh of RPG and action, which means that it works well for players that rarely stray beyond RPGs and/or are somewhat lacking in manual dexterity (myself included).
It was a fun game to play the first time, and even more enjoyable this second time. I'm glad I came back to it, and let me tell you, the bittersweet glow at the end of the game is truly enjoyableand it glows all the brighter knowing that I have the sequels sitting there just waiting for me.