Video Game Review Tuesday: Kingdom Hearts 1 (PS2)

Oh the memories.

Alright, I didn’t grow up with game consoles well up until my high school years. They were just too expensive. Even used. Libraries were cheaper.

So, I went to a boarding school for a short time. It was for gifted and talented kids. I found that the math course was way above and beyond my capabilities, where as the science, history, and Chinese classes I took were easy. However, you had get through a ton of math and you couldn’t graduate if you didn’t have like Calc 3 or something and no matter how hard I struggled and the multiple “math-help” extracurriculars I took, I just couldn’t grasp pre-calc 2.

So, for getting a 99% in Chinese and passing the rest of my classes with an A, I wasn’t going to be able to graduate. While there though, I had to take a PE class every other day. A kid brought his ps2 and ddr mats for the “off-days” and was allowed to set it up in the gym. I loved that thing. My folks noticed, because I was losing weight playing that over flag football and the other things. So, they buckled and bought a ps2 for me at the house when I finally came home from boarding school and returned to public school.

This was about the same time I came into possession of Kingdom Hearts 1 – I think it was used? That following April, instead of using the money my folks had set aside for my prom ticket and outfit, they let me use it to buy Kingdom Hearts 2 new and I played that all weekend. Best money spent in high school ever.

So, Kingdom Hearts has that special spot in my heart where I finally got to do the things my other classmates all seemed to have access too. It also wasn’t “violent” so I didn’t have to justify it. The number of music cds I had to give away to classmates because my folks figured out there was cussing or questionable content. (And yet they let me watch Logan’s Run, Hollywood Knights, Pitch Black, Alien vs. Predator, The Thing – all of which I loved) I’m still a bit pissed about a collectible Green Day disk.

Played the whole of Kingdom Hearts and loved every minute of it. I also died so many times in boss battles. Gummi ships are the freaking bane of my existence. I despise that feature. Space flight video games are not my happy place. Give me slap em, bash em, but don’t make me have vertigo, thanks.

Kingdom Hearts 2 was even better with the graphics. The one painful thing I distinctly remember though is getting to the final boss battle and realizing I had a couple side quests I wanted to finish. I figured I’d start a second game up and see if I could figure out where some of those hidden treasures were. I literally saved over the one file that would have put me into the boss battle with a level two character. I didn’t rage quit. I did cry though. I have not gotten that thing all the way through since.

Opening up Kingdom Hearts 1 way later in life. Oh. Oh that’s…hmmm, how do I describe pain in a way that makes sense? It’s really blocky. Actually, it’s kind of amazing how much better your memory makes things look in your head. I played through it once Wren helped me figure out how to get it sized to the screen properly (I am not proficient at the whole electronics thing).

Youtube is excellent for game play throughs when you get stuck.

That’s the thing. I don’t understand just how badly Kingdom Hearts could actually be until I got to Boogey’s house and quite literally went up and down that thing several times before buckling and going to the wiki and going “wtf where are all the things?”

How did we survive those years before youtube and wiki? Oh right, I borrowed someone’s book on how to beat KH1 way back. And that’s when I felt really old.

For the nostalgia and story line, it is still worth playing. However, if you’re comparing the mystery elements to modern games, this thing is actually a real pain to play. It’s scattered for being heavy on the rails. The freaking whale. OMG that place is infuriatingly annoying.

I love it and I hate it. It’s everything that was me finally having something I enjoyed doing that I could share with others, and finding it incredibly difficult to wrap my head around. Maybe that’s why I loved it though. I didn’t understand, but I had friends who would pat me on the shoulder at lunch and just nod going “yeah, mate, that spot just freaking sucks. Now, Halo with me.” – I was spawn camped so much with that game because the controls were completely different between an xbox and a ps2 and I was a newb, let’s not go into it.

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Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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