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Kingdom Hearts II review

A duck with a wand, a dog with a shield, and a story that might have you holding back tears ... they did it again

Sora also boasts a newfound ability to literally merge with Donald and Goofy to take on different forms. Among them: the brawling, dual-wielding Valor Type, the skate-footed, spell-blasting Wisdom Type, or the better-than-both Master Type. These are timed gigs, but theforms' enhanced firepowerhas thepotential to satisfy in a big, bloodthirsty way.

The final new spice in the combat stew is a very heavy dose of enemy-specific special attacks, which crop up at the proper time and which Sora can trigger with a quick press of the triangle button. These are the moves that enable you to take a ten-foot-tall knight's massive sword and clobber him with it, or to run up the leg of a King Kong-sized monster and stab the freaky dude sitting between its shoulder blades.

The amazing thing is that Kingdom Hearts II also does all sorts of things that would earn any other game a good kicking. It's just that you don't care.

You don't care that the story starts with a huge swerve (see our giant preview), stalls almost completely for a good 20 hours, then comes back with a hopelessly convoluted vengeance in the last ten action-packed hours of the game. Because when it does come back, you may have no freakin' clue what's going on, but the few things you do understand get you all misty-eyed.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionIt's back: that mystical merger of Disney characters, Final Fantasy cameos and Action RPG combat against sub-human agents of nothingness. Weird? Oh, yeah. But also wonderful.
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Alternative namesKingdom Hearts 2, KH 2, KH II,
Release date30 March 2006 (US), 25 August 2006 (UK)


I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
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