My Year of Gaming: Kingdom Hearts II
I purchased a Playstation 4 at the beginning of 2017 and it is the first time I have had a console since Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out on the Wii. Naturally, I have a lot of catching up to do and my backlog is incredibly massive. During the course of a year, I played my way through 23 games, and I figured I would take the time to share a little bit about each game. Perhaps you’ve played them and want to hear another opinion, or maybe you’ve been holding off on investing in a particular game. Either way, it’s never a bad time to spread your love of gaming.
The second console game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Kingdom Hearts II (2006) once more follows Sora as he tries to stop the powers of darkness from destroying the worlds. This time, its not just Heartless that run amok. They are joined by new creatures called Nobodies, who answer to the mysterious Organization XIII. For many fans, this is their favorite game of the series.
Kingdom Hearts II boasts a revamped combat system that is miles above its predecessor. You can now do special attacks with your team members that are a lot of fun and do massive amounts of damage. Sora also gains the ability to change into different forms that increase his stats for a period of time (including dual-wielding keyblades). New Disney worlds to explore include Tron, Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Beauty and the Beast. Returning worlds include Hollow Bastion, Halloweentown, and Olympus Colosseum.
I love this game. It’s the reason I got back into gaming in high school. This series is the reason I purchased a PS4. Kingdom Hearts II has everything you could want in a game, from an intriguing story to fascinating characters to rich settings, and a whole lot of action. It expands upon the groundwork laid by Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (which you don’t necessarily have to play to understand II, but it helps). Though it is not my favorite game of the franchise, it is an incredibly close second. However, this game does contain one of my favorite sequences in the entire series (which happens in the very middle of the game). It’s incredible.
Kingdom Hearts II is available on PS4 in the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5, which includes six games from the series. It’s a great way to get into the series or remember what’s going on before the release of Kingdom Hearts III (which is theoretically coming sometime this year).
The PS4 release gives you access to content that was not available in the original PS2 version of the game, so it was fun to be able to do some things I had never done before. There are new boss battles (that are insanely difficult) and areas to explore. Plus, the game is in HD and the soundtrack was rerecorded with a live orchestra and sounds gorgeous. Overall, it is definitely worth the investment.