Again, this story is still so confusing. Not sure why Oogie Boogie x Cloud was a thing that spawned from this game, but I digress, Kingdom Hearts 2 is quite frankly a wonderful game. It’s a real adventure from beginning to end with, albeit a confusing story, has all sorts of fun platforming (albiet less than the first game) and minigames that entrap you for hours (The Winnie the Pooh world is as fun as it is adorable). It has a much better structure than Kingdom Hearts 1 as well as better controls, platforming and feels much more natural overall. It’s gameplay is much improved, it’s story is fun and even tearjerking at times, albeit confusing, and the graphics aren’t anything out of some modern PS4 game with these godlike graphics but it definitely looks nice and is an improvement over the PS2 version.
Kingdom Hearts 2’s gameplay, as mentioned, is definitely a step above the first game. The horrid platforming segments and laggy controls are mostly gone from this game. While KH2 does have problems such as, again, the lack of platforming levels, leveling up different drive forms was somewhat tedious in parts and, sometimes, even felt like a complete chore. The partner characters are a bit annoying too. Regardless, KH2 is a definite improvement gameplay wise to KH1 despite a few flaws.
The story of KH2 was unexpectedly great. It’s still very complicated, yes, but it ties off everything that happens in Kingdom Hearts 358/2. Every loose end was tied up, especially what Organization 13 was. Hell, this story is even a tearjerker at times. I cried like a baby when Axel sacrifices himself. Also when Namine rejoined with Kairi and Roxas rejoined with Sora. But most importantly when Axel and Roxas disappeared during the last cutscene while sharing one last sea salt ice cream together like, fuck me, how did I end up in a pool of my own tears? All in all I’m glad all the plot points from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of memories and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days were all tied up in a nice neat bow at the end of this game.
There’s not much to talk about in terms of graphics. They’re better than the PS2 as said before, a huge improvement over the first game but that’s to be expected for PS4 remakes nowadays. The cinematics actually look pretty great (everything regarding textures was improved), yet pretty similar to the first game because in that regard both used remastered upscaled textures and the game itself runs at 60fps on console. But yeah, there’s not much to comment on the graphics overall.
To sum it all up, Kingdom Hearts 2 is an overall game when compared to its predecessors. I highly recommend the series overall, especially giving Kingdom Hearts 2 a 9.5/10 with no real glaring issues besides a few small gripes. Its graphics aren’t anything special but it’s gameplay is pretty great and a solid upgrade from the first along with a story that is surprisingly enjoyable and coherent this time. I can’t wait to play Kingdom Hearts 3, if it doesn’t live up to at least the standards of KH2 I’ll be sorely disappointed.
(I felt I needed to give some offhandish thoughts about Kingdom Hearts 2 as I just finished playing it not all that long ago, this was intended to be a more informal review than anything else. Expect a much longer, proper review in the coming days.)