So about a decade ago I purchased a video game. It was a game I had been reading about in the Official Playstation Magazine for a few months, now that it had finally released it was nowhere to be found in my usual gaming stores. A month after its release I finally dug it up at Toys R Us in the electronic toy section. I purchased it with what little money I had and ran home.

Now that I finally had it in my hands I couldn’t help myself, I tore that bit*h open and threw the disc into my fat ass PS2.
I played for what seemed to be hours only to find myself at the middle of the game, I smiled and shut off my PS2 then went off to finish my homework.

Fast forward to the weekend, I was excited to get home from school, all I could think about was playing this amazing game that I had to put off because of homework. My friend calls and says, “Hey I’m going to come sleep over.” Which was cool of course, I was all for it. We stayed up that entire night playing Final Fantasy X and DragonBall Z Budokai.
It was a fun night but I was a little irritated that I didn’t get to play my game. The game I’m talking about by the way is Kingdom Hearts, a huge crossover game from Squaresoft (at the time) and Disney. I have to say, at this age I even thought that it was the most spectacular idea that anyone could come up with for a game. Final Fantasy characters mixed in with Disney characters? Sold!

I would even get giddy reading stories about how Tetsuya Nomura met with a Disney executive in an elevator and conceived the idea. I mean, how magical is that to begin with?

So of course I’m a big Final Fantasy fan and I also support the Disney animated features fully so, particularly this was a game that was made for me and I had to have it in my collection.
So I wake up the next morning and do my usual, I have breakfast and asked my mom when my friend left, apparently he left real early in the morning and I was still sleeping, which is cool.
I go back to my room and look around, something’s missing. Okay my Digimon game for the PS1 is gone, big woof. That game kind of sucked anyway and I didn’t really enjoy playing it.

But also, Kingdom Hearts is missing. I’m frantic, I’m hyperventilating, where did it go? Well, of course my friend stole it but at the time I didn’t know what to think. All I could worry about was that I would have to wait and get the crappy greatest hits version, I don’t know why but the snob in me hates those ugly red boxes.
So me and that friend don’t talk anymore of course and I’m pissed as hell.

Now I never really got to beat the game or experience it in all its majesty.  So I didn’t bother with it, I left it for later so to speak, I just didn’t think later would be 2012 of this year.
So I find both games but they’re both in those ugly red boxes, I could care less though because I had an urge to play both of them.
Luckily once I purchased them I also forgot that I still had my Kingdom Hearts save on my memory card, GREAT!
So I played through the first one and what more could I say? It was an excellent game, it was everything I had hoped for all those years ago. The final boss was also an acceptable challenge and comparable to some of the greatest Final Fantasy boss fights. All the characters mashed together and this great dynamic between them and this tightly weaved story, perfection. Although I could probably beat the game just by pressing the X button continuously I still found it rather challenging. So I went through it again on the hardest mode and I still can’t believe what an experience that was. Now, to the meaty part.

Once I was all done with that game I decided to take a breather and play the other games on my back log, I had also purchased Final Fantasy XII because I never got to experience that game either. Which is good because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

So I finally boot up Kingdom Hearts 2 and I’m immediately greeted by that amazing main menu music. Also this wicked cool song by Utada called Passion. It was way better than Simple and Clean but for some reason Simple and Clean will always bring out those emotions I had as a kid playing this game.
The first half of the tutorial bored me to hell, I wanted to just jump in and play as Sora. Also I forgot to mention I played Chain of Memories on the GBA, so I’m not totally lost, still a little head scratching at times during Roxas’ intro. Now that I forward myself through the game I am again loving everything about it, everything that seemed a little lonesome on the first game was now paired with exceptional perfection. The gummi ship is one of those things. I always found traversing through worlds kind of boring and ugh, but now the gummi ship has this kind of Panzer Dragoon feel and I loved every minute of it, I even found myself going back and doing those missions over again from time to time. The story on the other hand was a little confusing but once I hit the midway mark I understood what was going on.

I still can’t get over how cheesy Organization XIII was, but I dealt with it like any good trooper and pushed through them like a solid brick. Also being able to change forms and use dual keyblades? Flawless, best idea to throw into the mix of new additions into the game. I also found the 100 Acre Wood mini games fun! Actually every little mini game in Kingdom Hearts 2 was fun. It felt like a really good Final Fantasy game, you know those Final Fantasy games that had a good mixture of story and fun in-between? Yeah, those ones.
Again, Kingdom Hearts 2 was a challenging game, a little short but very challenging in key points. The final boss battle though was a little lacking and felt too easy compared to the first one, but who am I to complain right?

I’m not really reviewing these two games though, this is really just a recollection of what I experienced with the two games I was missing out on for over a decade.
Now, 2012 and 23 years old, was this experience worth it? Did I make the right choice in buying these two games to finish what I started all those years ago?

Yeah, I think I did.


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