Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
In September 2006, Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, featuring new scenes and gameplay elements. Like the first re-release, this version would combine English audio with Japanese text and also use the "Sanctuary" theme song instead of "Passion". New cutscenes, however, used Japanese voice acting, as they mostly featured Organization XIII members from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories who did not yet have English voice actors; these scenes were later re-dubbed into English for the HD 2.5 Remix release.
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I am here again for a second review because my heart longs for this game. I think I'll become a poet for the next 5 minutes. There may be a few things wrong with me since I love it so much. But first let me say 75% of it is because of Roxas. I really love the game in it's entirety but Roxas is the reason I can't get over it. And maybe Riku. But mostly Roxas because the prologue is absolutely devastating for me. I did 358/2 days first which I sometimes regret, but knowing what happens in 358 makes it all the more devastating to me. The KH2 prologue made me feel so at home. I felt like a true teenager. I have spent most of my summer inside and this game has been what's gotten me through it. The time we play as Roxas is nostalgic, heartwarming, and so terrible. It's so terrible and makes me so sad. I replayed it and have rewatched all of the cutscenes too much and it is still just as sad. Maybe I am taking this Disney game too seriously!!!! Roxas has the perfect life in Twilight Town. He has amazing friends and an amazing place to live. It's so terrible that he has to leave it all behind for Sora, a boy he doesn't even know. He had to come to terms with the fact that Sora was more loved, needed, and important than himself. I love Sora, but it does make me feel a bit bitter towards him. That's only natural. And Roxas has never been told sorry. I do think there are reasons for that, though. It only makes sense for someone who is unloved and unimportant to sacrifice themself for someone who is loved and important. And to make matters worse, it was all basically a simulation. He was set up and this was all meant to happen. He was meant to save Sora no matter how loved himself was, and that's what's so terrible. I love Roxas and I think the prologue is so amazing. It's only one small part of the game but I just adore it and think it is peak gaming.
Extremely hard game for me to rate. The highs are so unbelievably high, but I think people tend to gloss over how mediocre some parts of it are when they hail this as the best in the franchise. The Disney worlds in this game are so bland and uninspired compared to KH1 it almost feels like a joke. The beginning, climax, and ending are SO, SO strong in terms of their writing, but everything in-between is a slog to get through. Like I said, the parts that we all know are great are seriously phenomenal, and everything about playing through the ending portion of the game had me so crazy hyped I was losing my mind. Still, it's not enough for me to completely overlook how totally meh a lot of the in-between gameplay was due to how lifeless and filler-y the Disney worlds felt. KH1 managed to make them feel a lot more magical, while keeping them relevant enough to the story that it didn't have me constantly tapping my foot waiting for the story to get to the good part like it did in KH2. Still a really great game overall that I also love, but personally, it doesn't quite beat KH1 for me.
Banger game that heavily improves upon every part of KH1. Huge fan of reaction commands, drive forms were cool although getting them to level 7 for abilities sucked and they made summons basically useless, and the new characters and worlds were all neat (esp. Twilight Town with the amazing opening & Hollow Bastion). Atlantis was a huge downgrade though since the music sucked and I was one of the few people who actually enjoyed playing it in KH1.
Gummi Ships were my least favorite part of KH1 so not super happy that they returned, especially since only 2 of those levels I actually found cool (highway & castle raid).
Very mixed on the final boss since parts of it are cool, parts are underwhelming, and the finale I found frustrating.