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Kingdom hearts cover Kingdom Hearts Logo
 flag 3-28-2005  flag 12-22-2006 ps2 logo
 flag 9-28-2006  flag 9-29-2006

Kingodm Hearts II continues the story of Sora and his friends, one year after Chain of Memories ended. Sora and his friends are still in deep sleep, while Namine tries to replace their broken chain of memories. Menwhile Roxas has become trapped inside the digital world of Twilight Town. It is not long before the Organization and the Nobodies find him. Time is running out, and everything hangs in teh balance.
Kingdom Hearts II was placed into development right after the completion of Kingodm Hearts Final Mix. But it was not until mid 2003 that everything got underway. Nomura said the reason for the delays, was there was a lot of obsticles to get over, before they wanted to go ahead with the sequal. Being the lacking success with Sequals in Square's history, no one would really blame him. Kingdom Hearts by this time was a smash success, and making a rehash, or somethign that did not exceed the first would be a falure. The same team who did the first set out to remake the entire game, and make it better. They reworked a lot of the game, like making the analog control camera movement, rather than the triggers. The Gumi Ships were given a complete overhaul, and the combat system of the first was tossed out for a completely new system. Nomura stated that because Sora has matured since the first title, he wanted his fighting to also have matured. This prooved to be a great addition to the game. There was also additions in the means of Drive Forms, and Reaction Commands, that made for very customizable, fast-paced battles.
The graphics of Kingdom Hearts II outshines its older borther all the way around. The detail int he worlds, the characters, and even the weapons, accessories, and such are superb. Some of the characters got new outfits, to give a kind of fresh feel to the game. Sora was made to look a bit older, which is great considering not only was the game in a different time, but the voicing had also changed a bit, sounding older. Great care was taken with keeping true to the series, but pushing the graphical aspects to their limits.
The music found within Kingodm Hearts II is a masterpiece of work. Both Yoko Shimomura and Hikaru Utada returned to compose and sing for the game. The soundtrack for the game was released in 2006, and was also composed by Shimomura. Sanctuary, Kingdom Hearts II's theme song was given its premiere on MTV's official website in early 2006.
Reception for Kingdom Hearts was beyond amazing. As of December of 2006, (one year after its Japan release), Kingdom Hearts II had sold over 3.5 million copies around the globe. For America it had sold 1.7 million in just 9 months. It was the second highest selling game of the year, behind only Final fantasy XII.
Famitsu gave it a score of 39/40, while Game Informer and Gamespy gave it 9/10. 1Up gave it an A+. EGM gave it their best sequal of 2006 award, and is #1 on IGN's readers choice for PS2 for 2006.
Critics praised the graphics,a nd voical work found within the game, saying it is close to or the best Square has had to date. There was also a lot of positive reactions for the realistic characters from the live action worlds of Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean. The score also ercieved great reviews, and even garnered G4's best voice over and best score awards.
There was a few complaints on the beginning of the game being sluggish (Which it is), and there being too much in the way of button smashing while fighting. Gamespot said they loved the fixed camera movements, and gameplay, but the game itself was fart too easy.
Even with the small complaints (And they are very small) against the game, it has solidified the continuation of the Kingdom Hearts series. This was confirmed in 2008, with the announcements of Birth By Sleep, 358/2 Days, and Coded. It is truly a marvelous game, and shows some of the best work placed on the PS2 ever. Kingdom Hearts II is one of the exceptions to the rule of sequals are worse than the originals.