(Sorry for the long delay, College just started and it’s been taking up my time. Anyway here’s another review for you)
[Overkill was looking inside the brief case he received to find it was filled with various documents and a tape recorder. Curious he picked up the recorder and played the message; and right off the bat something was already strange, the voice recording sounded like Kevin Butler, the character from those PlayStation 3 commercials a few years back.]
“What you’re about to hear may seem unbelievable but it is the truth. Your universe is part of a grand ensemble of universe’s codenamed ‘Beyond’, and in the middle is Greatness City, your current location.”
[Overkill paused the recorder for a moment and processed this information for a moment and took out another object from the brief case, it was a star map with color coated circles no doubt representing the universes in Beyond, one circle was orange/light blue, another was blue/yellow, and in the center was a circle colored green/red/blue/pink, clearly this represented Greatness City; strangely this color combination was identical to the buttons on a dualshock controller. Overkill then decided to continue playing the message.]
“What does this have to do with you? Well throughout the pasts few months there have been confirmed activity across Beyond from a faction of a neighboring universe known as the Helghast.”
[Then Overkill paused the recorder and rewound it a bit.]
Overkill: “Did I just imagine that last word?”
“…a faction of a neighboring universe known as the Helghast.”
[No he didn’t. Quickly pausing the message again he rummaged through the brief case and found a folder with a photo of a very familiar insignia attached to it. It consisted of three arrows pointing away from each other over a red circle inside two larger circles, one white and one black. Looking inside the folder he saw pictures of soldiers clad in black with face masks with glowing yellow eyes. This folder confirmed Overkill’s suspicion; the recording was referring to the same Helghast from the Killzone series. If the nerve gas wasn’t there Overkill would’ve fainted in shock at this information. He once again resumed the recording.]
“The Helghast have been abducting an individual from each universe, eighteen in total, except from theirs and yours. The Interplanetary Strategic Alliance has yet to see thee connection with all of the ones kidnapped or what the Helghast are planning but recent intelligence tells us that you are there next target so you’ve been transported away from your universe for protection. Inside the brief case is documents detailing all the missing subjects when you are ready you can leave the room after you’ve looked over all the information.”
[The recording ends]
[Overkill then took a look at the documents detailing those abducted by the group he once thought were fictional but that wasn’t all, the documents showed him something even more shocking, all of the people in documents were all too familiar to him; they were video game characters, but not just any characters, these were PlayStation characters. Among them were Nathan Drake, Sly Cooper, Jak, and even Kratos. Wait a minute
“They managed to capture Kratos? They had to have gotten lucky…”
[Regardless He knew what all these people had in common even if the ISA couldn’t see it, what was even more puzzling was why the Helghast would even bother with these people, there’s no way they could know that all these characters, including themselves, are all from PlayStation games. It didn’t add up]Overkill:
“The recording said that I could leave whenever I like. I better clear my thoughts first. (takes out his pen and notepad)”
Hello and welcome to Long Live the Game with Overkill_0526. Today we’ll be looking at something that’s almost become a staple in both gaming and Disney, something that stemmed from a very strange idea: what if there was a game which was a crossover with Final Fantasy and Disney movies. That sounds like a really dumb fanfiction idea doesn’t it? But they did it with Kingdom Hearts (only it wasn’t dumb). Released back in 2002 for the PS2, Kingdom Hearts is remembered for its creative story as well as its characters; and while the series isn’t technically exclusive to PlayStation I felt as though it deserved a bit of recognition, this is Kingdom Hearts.
The game begins with a young boy, in red clothing, sporting spiky brown hair and blue eyes, falling in a dark abyss, landing on top of an illuminated, green shaded, stain glass pillar, depicting Snow White, holding the apple of death, with the seven Dwarves and the queen (hag form) all in the background.(D)isney (C)ameo (C)ount: 9
Keep track of this count, it will sky rocket before the game’s intro is even finished.
A mysterious voice tells the boy that there is much that must be done, but there is little time to do it. No pressure though
. Three weapons suddenly appear as the voice instructs the boy to pick one. Of his choices he can pick either:A)
a magic rodor C)
Strangely, every weapon available has Mickey Mouse’s logo on it, there’s another cameo.
After he, and by ‘he’ I mean ‘you’, picks his weapon of choice as well as his specialty, a skill set, from the remaining two options, must be given up as well.
(little side note, I find that picking the shield and giving up the rod is the best combination to use)
After choosing his/your fighting style, the Snow White platform shatters leaving the boy to fall to another stained glass pillar, this time shaded purple with a picture of Cinderella on it. Here he is confronted by giant black ants with yellow eyes, who don’t like him because he’s dressed in red and it reminds them of red ants (not really). With his weapon he acquired, the boy fights of the ants but becomes engulfed in a strange vortex of darkness, which transports him to another pillar shaded pink with no one of any real importance plastered on, just three silhouettes of princesses on it. Nothing real special here, just you moving around a bunch of stuff around and you answering questions that will determine how experience is gained.
Now we move on to pillar number four, now shaded red depicting Sleeping Beauty and the three fairies. Plus Maleficent sort of appears so I guess she counts as a cameo too. Here, the boy fights off some more ants and steps into a bright light, AKA the game’s save functionality. Afterwards a bright stain glass staircase appears leading to the final platform, shaded yellow with characters from Beauty and the Beast; Belle, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chip, and the Beast.
Current DCC: 22
The boy walks into another bright light when this happens…
His Shadow becomes huge as it rises from the ground making the boy back up in fear. He attempts to run but the stain glass staircase has disappeared, leaving him stranded with a monster that has grown from his shadow; an enormous and muscular black humanoid with stubby legs, tentacle like hair, piercing yellow eyes, and most intimidating of all, a giant hole in his chest in the shape of a heart. Without any other choice the boy engages the monster in combat, defeating it. The monster falls engulfing the pillar, and the pillar, in darkness. All hope seems lost until it turns out it was all a dream.
Normally this type of a twist is a sin against storytelling but it’s only the beginning of the game so we can let it slide.
The boy (okay, screw it, his name is Sora) wakes up on the beach of a small island with palm trees, roughly built wooden structures, a cave with a big door in it (remember this), and a stream. Sora comes from an archipelago named ‘Destiny Islands’, where he hangs out with his lifelong friends, Riku and Kairi, on one of the smaller islands. They plan on building a raft which they’ll use to explore the world beyond the islands. After two days of preparation they are ready to set sail for adventure.
While this is going on in another world, called ‘Disney Castle’ (that is what it is called), we see the brooms from ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ along with the court wizard, Donald Duck.
Yes, I know… that is pretty strange.
Donald is on his way to the oversized throne room to greet his majesty, King Mikey (who else would you think it would be) but he’s missing! However he left a note with instructions for Donald to find “the Key”. Accompanying him is Goofy, Captain of the Guard (wait
They let that
guy be the head of security?), and Jiminy Cricket, the one who will record the adventure in his journal. The three of them say their goodbyes to Queen Minnie and her Lady in Waiting, Daisy. They then enter a hanger with a very colorful rocket called the “Gummi Ship”. They are guided by their ship engineers, Chip and Dale and blast off to find a friend of theirs who may lead them to the Key.
So where’s the number at now?
Current DCC: 30
So anyway, back on Destiny Islands, Sora and his friends are ready to set sail in the morning, however, a large storm has surfaced and it might damage the raft. Sora goes to investigate but the same ant creatures from his dream are invading the island. He attempts to attack them with a wooden sword but it barely does anything. He flees and finds Riku but a dark portal attempts to swallow them both. Riku reasons that this will be the only way for them to see other worlds outside their own. Sora isn’t sure about it but the dark portal consumes them. Riku has vanished but Sora was spared; now wielding a large key that is silver in color, with a golden guard. Sora is now able to fend off the ant creatures with ease. He searches inside the cave, hoping to find Kairi, and he does. The door inside the cave opens, unleashing strong winds and propelling Kairi towards Sora. Before he could grab her, Kairi vanishes leaving Sora to be blown out of the cave. Upon reaching outside, Sora finds a shocking revelation; the island is beginning to deteriorate! The ocean is gone leaving only a speck of land inside a dark void with various things floating around it. Even more shocking is that the monster from Sora’s dream is there too. He fights it off but the island is sucked into a dark vortex.
Sora awakens in a dimly lit town called ‘Traverse town’ where he meets a few characters from the Final Fantasy games, as well as Donald and Goofy.
And this is how we know nothing in this game is realistic. In the game, Sora doesn’t know Donald or Goofy, but if he came from real life he would say:
“Holy Shit! Are you really Donald Duck and Goofy?! This is a dream come true!”
Seriously Sora, you have no idea how many people would kill to be in your position.
Anyway, it’s here that Sora learns that the ant things are called Heartless; beings that were once people that succumbed to the darkness and lost their hearts. There are many different types of Heartless, some with frightening powers, such as a floating suit of armor; and others who are just completely silly looking, like a monkey (a freaking monkey!).
Sora also learns that his weapon is an ancient relic known as the Keyblade, the one thing the Heartless fear most. He must now team up with Donald and Goofy to embark on a quest to save the worlds from the Heartless and find the King as well as his friends. But they will need to be wary for it seems that Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar, Ursula, Hades, and Oogie Boogie have teamed up to conquer the worlds with the Heartless.
Disney Villains teaming up? Finally!
Current DCC: 35
Kingdom Hearts works very much like it’s cousin Final Fantasy, where you walk around an environment and fight enemies as you go along with your party members (who can hardly hurt anything). You have an inventory where you can store potions (restores health), Ethers (which restore magic), and Elixirs (that restores both). You can also store accessories that can improve your performance in combat.
Combat is very straight forward in this game. In the bottom right hand corner of the screen is a small screen where you can chose to attack, preform magic, use items, and a misc section. To attack you use the D-pad to place the cursor on the ‘attack’ section and Press the X button, the same thing works for the other sections as well. But basically your attack is just a three hit combo. Killing enemies helps you level up, which will unlock new abilities for you to use.
Magic is a big part of this game. As you progress you get access to spells like Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder, Healing, and other things. You can get upgrades for these spells which you can practice with your magic teacher, Merlin the Wizard. You have pockets of Magic parallel to your health bar that increase over time. Most spells require only one pocket of magic but if you run out you need to use an ether to restore them.
Another notable Magic Spell is the Summon magic. With this ability you can summon iconic Disney characters to aid you in battle. Examples include: Tinker Bell, Genie, Simba, and Bambi. Summons can be unlocked by collecting special stones and bringing them to the Fairy Godmother. There is a lot of Summons in the game.
Another key thing is if you go to the pause menu, you can configure your ability points. Ability points are stats that you can equip to certain abilities that can be used in combat, or do something simple as just increase your attack damage.
There are market places in the game where you can buy potions and other stuff with the game’s currency munny. No that is not a miss-spelling; that is how it is spelled in the game.“Because poor literacy is KEWL."
I couldn’t resist
Munny is collected mostly by killing a bunch of Heartless; and don’t feel bad about taking it from them, they’re beings of darkness, what are they gonna use it for? Killing Heartless also yields a chance to drop potions and parts for your Gummi ship.
Oh yeah that’s right, the Gummi ship plays an important part of the game. This ship is how you travel across the fabric of space to Disney words. But this is where most of the game’s problems are. First off when you’re in space combat, it is completely slow and monotonous. You have very awkward inverted controls and it’s just simply waiting for something to show up and shoot it. Another major problem is that, in the beginning of the game, once you already discovered a world, the only way to return to it is to go through those crappy space fights again. Thankfully, later in the game, you find a warp device where you can warp to worlds you’ve already been to before; but you still need to do those space fights to discover new worlds.
There’s also a create a ship option where you can design your own ship; but really, your just better off adding more guns to the ship you already have. Why? Because it’s impossible to place a block where you want it to go; the controls are very awkward and it’s very difficult to really make something.
Treasure chests are scattered across each world, these chests hold items such as Gummi ship parts, potions, ethers, and a bunch of other things.
But this is where we discuss perhaps the absolute biggest problem in the game, the camera. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game with more awkward camera controls in my life. Instead of using the left analog stick like you normally would, you move the camera, slowly, by holding the R2 button to make it move right, and the L2 button to make it move left. That is sooo unbelievably awkward I can hardly describe it in words. All I can say is that it’s bullcrap.
But let’s put aside the wonky camera controls and the mediocre space flights, let’s get to the real reason people played this game to begin with, meeting all the Disney characters. Most of the worlds are based off of Disney movies such as: Agrabah (based on Aladdin), Halloween Town (Based on the Nightmare before Christmas), Olympus Coliseum (based on Hercules), Deep Jungle (based on Tarzan), Wonderland (based on the 1951 movie), Never Land (based on Captain Hook’s ship and London), and Atlantica (based off the Little Mermaid). In each of these worlds you can interact with characters in that world (Disney movie) and battle Heartless as you engage in a little side quest that goes with the main story of the game. These missions are sometimes parallel to the plots in the movies they’re based off of, and sometimes they’re not. In certain worlds you can switch out either Donald or Goofy and replace them with a character native to that world. You can have Aladdin on your side in Agrahbah, Jack Skellington in Halloween Town, Tarzan in Deep Jungle, Ariel in Atlantica, Peter Pan in Never land, and the Beast in another world I won’t spoil for you. Certain worlds are very unique in some ways. In Halloween Town the team dresses up in Halloween costumes (Sora is a vampire, not the shitty ones, Donald is a mummy, and Goofy is Frankenstein’s monster), in Atlantica the heroes become hybrid sea animals (Sora a dolphin, Donald a squid, and Goofy a sea turtle), in Neverland you can fly (what did you expect?), and in the Olympus Coliseum you can compete in tournaments against Heartless. I think this is why Kingdom Hearts was so successful; it let us live our dreams of acting in Disney movies.
And that’s Kingdom Hearts, sure it has a lot of major problems, but it was quite ambitious for its time and it still remains one of Video Game’s best crossovers. Although I’m a little shaky to give it an EPIC rating, but I don’t feel like it’s right to give it Guilty Pleasure; I guess I’ll have to compromise.Final Verdict: Guilty EPICness
Join me next time as we revisit another classic.
(that I’ve mentioned):45
[After Overkill finished writing in his notepad, he decided it was time he left the room. He got up from his bed and opened the door to see a waiting room with Sev in one of the chairs]Overkill:
(thoughts)”That’s Sev from Killzone!”Sev:
“Oh good your up. (stands up) I assume you looked over the contents in the case I gave you.”Overkill:
“Yes, I have.”Sev:
“Good. Come with me.”
(Sev lead Overkill out of the waiting room)
Kingdom Hearts © Square Enix/Disney
Sev © Guerrilla Games
Overkill_0526 © Me