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Kingdom Hearts II Review

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Not a huge step forward from the first one but this is still a great concept well realised.

★★★★★

Fusing the sublime skills of Square Enix, the renowned developer of Final Fantasy, with Disney’s evergreen world – including Pirates Of The Caribbean and Nightmare Before Christmas – Kingdom Hearts is a stroke of marketing genius. But while no one could fault the game’s intricate storytelling or stellar production values, this highly anticipated sequel fails to build on the solid foundation established by its predecessor.

While Square Enix has gone to great lengths to refine the combat and offer nifty new moves, the battles are so extraordinarily easy that you’ll never feel the need for a crippling special attack or offensive spell. Abundant health orbs also mean you’ll rarely be knocking on death’s door, and while you can evolve your hero into a badass killing machine, the monsters never get any smarter and there’s no sense of accomplishment in the game's cheap victories.

But for anyone with an unconditional love for the worlds of Disney and Square Enix, Kingdom Hearts II is still worth a look: the sprawling Disney-themed worlds are beautifully realised; every character boasts incredible depth, allowing you to become better acquainted with everyone from Captain Barbosa to Goofy; and the voice acting is amongst the best ever heard in a video game, with contributions from Christopher Lee, Haley Joel Osment and Geoffrey Rush.