Kingdom Hearts

I’ve never gotten into video games in this space before, but I thought I would take a moment to promote the game I’ve been playing into the ground lately, Kingdom Hearts II. Just recently I gave the first Kingdom Hearts to a friend so he could see what all the excitement is about. He came back with a lot of questions: Why are the kids on that island? Where are there parents? And if they don’t have parents, where did they get all those funky-chunky accessories? I had those same questions. They were never really answered in the first game but now that I’ve played the second, here’s the facts: the kids are on an island offshore of their hometown. They do have parents, but you don’t really see them. The second game shows the town and shots of the island off in the distance. That’s out of the way. The Kingdom Hearts series pairs Disney characters like Alice, Mickey and Snow White with Final Fantasy characters like Sepheroth and Cloud. It’s a weird combo. Sometimes its not hard to tell where the Japanese storytelling doesn’t make sense to an American audience. The characters spend a lot of time talking about the importance of their hearts, to the point of nausea. The new game made some especially odd choices; you spend an awfully long time hanging out with Tron, who couldn’t be duller if he was reading the phone book. But then there’s some really great quirks too. Go through a door in the Disney castle and Donald and Goofy revert to their 1930s cartoon versions. Land on the Lion King planet and you become a lion yourself. And just like the last game you get to whack things with a series of big swords, but better than the last game, you can take on multiple forms, use two swords at once and REALLY open up a can of whoopie. I’m pretty sure I play these games mainly to wail on things.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

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