A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game has a lot of (mostly bloodless) action-packed fighting scenes. The plot does demonstrate the importance of friendships, loyalty, and kindness, but the characters and backdrops are from Disney movies or the Final Fantasy series of games. Parents also need to know that the GBA version's cartoonish graphics are more realistic in the PS2 version, making the violence much more in your face. The biggest difference between this game and its previous installments is the introduction of creepier enemies, and there are some pirates who drink.
What's it about?
Players familiar with the first Kingdom Hearts installment and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance will recognize the characters and plot style in KINGDOM HEARTS 2. Once again, memories, the parting and uniting of close friendships, love, and mystery are all intertwined in the complex plot. Sora returns as the protagonist (here a teen), and characters are either from Disney movies or the Final Fantasy series of games. Chosen by the "keyblade" (a magical key/sword), Sora and his friends Donald Duck and Goofy are tasked with a number of missions, some set in Disney backdrops such as Aladdin's Agrabah or Beast's Castle (from Beauty and the Beast), as they fight to defeat an evil, mummy-wrapped king. Players defeat the enemies in action-packed fighting sequences, which continue to be bloodless and gore-free.
Is it any good?
A deep, involving storyline and outstanding graphics make Kingdom Hearts 2 a worthy sequel. From flying to missions in a fully customizable "gummi ship" (co-piloted by no less than Chip and Dale!) to talking to Minnie Mouse or traveling through the 100-acre woods, this game has a lot of fun surprises tucked up its sleeve -- including great mini-missions. Overall, with a playing time of easily over 30 hours, Kingdom Hearts 2 offers a lot of value and a lot of entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this game's unique mixture of Final Fantasy and Disney characters. Does the use of existing and familiar characters diminish or increase the game's appeal? If you were creating a video game, would you make up your own character, or use one that you already liked?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.