Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix

released on Oct 02, 2014

An HD remaster of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, which was originally exclusive to Japan. It was released globally for the first time as part of the collection "Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX".

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It controls and plays like an absolute dream, and despite how goofy the premise seems, you really can't help but to engage yourself in this game's plot and world(s). Here's hoping 3 lives up to that same charm.

This review contains spoilers

Kingdom Hearts what a game. This is what every sequel needs to be like. Great story, amazing gameplay, banger soundtrack, and fun mechanics.
The plot following on after Chain of Memories with Sora appearing a year older and having to defeat a new threat called Organisation XIII was sweet, but it got a little convoluted further down the path (which is what I expect from here on out) with the talks of Nobodies, light and dark being passed around here and there, hearts, and everything. One thing I didn't quite grasp with was Roxas as a whole for the first 3 hours of the game, and then sprinkled in later on in the story, but I'm guessing it's like a Torna situation where they show the character in one game with no detail on them as much, but they explain them even further in another game.
Some of the worlds that reappear from KH1 are all different and expanded upon with more story content to boot, but now we have new worlds which were fun to play, with worlds from Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King, and they were so much fun to just waltz through. Shoutouts to Timeless River, a throwback to the 1940s Disney cartoons.
The combat is the same as it was in KH1 but it's been tweaked. Sora, Donald and Goofy still function the same way, however they all have access to new moves. Some are even mechanics to the game. First off, summons are back but there's only 4 in this game compared to 6 in KH1, with Genie being my personal favourite alongside Stitch. Next, the added drive forms were great giving Sora a boost in either strength, magic, giving him his moveset from KH1, or become a literal death machine. These were so good when mastered, but one downside being you can't rely on them as the game places an antiform in once in a while. Finally, they added limits into the game, which are super powerful moves that use all of Sora's MP but deal insane damage. Some of them are good for certain situations, but others like Donald's Duck Flare were broken.
The music is once again great as Yoko Shimomura always nails several of the tracks in this game. And if I thought the game was great, the post game was even better, having Sora compete in tougher cups with the new Paradox cups, the Mushroom XIII side quest, and now 15 superbosses to fight! Sephiroth having a tougher rematch with Sora is iconic for this game, the rematches with Organisation XIII from both the story and from Chain of Memories was fun, except the bosses Xaldin, Demyx, and Saix, they were not so fun to battle. But the true superboss, Lingering Will, was the best superboss in this game. Yes, he was hard and kicked my ass a few times, but once I learned his moves by surviving and gliding around, I beat his ass and was over the moon about. Oh and I tracked the death count for the fight, and it was only 9 deaths for the fight. Pretty impressive.
As an RPG fan, this game is absolutely recommended for most of the things I have said. My top Kingdom Hearts game as of this review, and I can see why a lot of people say this is their favourite game.

To many this is the best game out of the entire Kingodm Hearts series, and to be fair there's a lot going for this game. As with many Square Enix games, they always deliver when it comes to music & overall aesthetics, especially when compared to KH1 & other Final Fantasy titles. The gameplay is greatly improved upon over Kingdom Hearts 1 in almost every regard: camera, movement, combat, platforming; everything that was good is better and everything that was bad is pretty much fixed. With that being said, this is where the story begins to take a nosedive in every direction. I personally skip all the cutscenses just to enjoy gameplay, which while great is very slow to pickup in the beginning due to the Roxas portion of the game. Without skipping cutscenes, it's going to take a long time for the gameplay to come together into something really enjoyable.

Wow. Just wow. Compared to the first game this was absolutely nuts. So much to unpack. For a PS2 game this is crazy.

If I had to give a spot to a #1 for my favorite game ever, this would be it. Not only being an amazing game, it opened the gate for me to get into FF and more Japanese media as well. Everything started here.

Legitimately one of the best action RPGs I've ever played, and I doubt anything will top it in terms of being an all around solid experience, aka having a decent story and fantastic gameplay that's honestly some of the best in the entire medium. As much as I love Tales of the Abyss, I have to admit that's more of on story merits moreso than gameplay, 2 Final Mix has it beat for me in terms of having a good balance in both asepcts.
I know people give Kingdom Hearts' story crap, and I won't deny that it has its flaws and dumb writing decisions, especially in the entries following this game specifically, but I still will defend the story of 2 itself, because while the Disney worlds don't really have much cohesion for the plot, the actual meat of the plot involving Roxas' dilemma and Sora trying so hard to save the worlds for good and find his missing friends is done so well and has such good payoff from what KH1 and Chain of Memories set up that I can forgive that.
As for the gameplay, the Final Mix version improves upon everything the original version was lacking in terms of challenge and flexibility in combat, as 2 already was a major step up from 1 in terms of that as is. Critical Mode is balanced incredibly well to provide a strong but fair challenge, and all the new abilities given in this game contribute to that well. Manuevering around enemies and platforming has never felt better, and 2 Final Mix honestly feels like one of the few games I've played where the playable character actually feels like his abilities and power are on par with the insanity you'd expect from JRPG bosses, and it's incredibly thrilling and exciting. The satisfaction I got from beating the secret bosses of this game is something I've rarely felt in most games I've played.
2 Final Mix isn't perfect of course, the story has some shortcomings as I've said before and it does take awhile for you to get all of the flexibility in combat that makes the 2nd half of the game so fun, but the payoff both in story and gameplay is just so worth it that I can easily forgive it. It's very much a game that I'd recommend anyone to give a shot, whether it's for fun or for something a little more. KH2FM is one of the best games I've ever played, and I will die on that hill.