Here comes the big meal! This title is not only my favorite Kingdom Hearts game, it is my favorite game of all time. To all the fans, it is surprising nobody that I am one of the "KH2 is best game surprising nobody" squad LOL Then again, I haven't heard anyone tell me they hated KH2 yet (please comment below whoever you are that hates KH2). There is a good reason this game is praised. Before I settle why, I got some story to tell you.
I mentioned in my KH1 post that the first of the series is luckily how I was introduced to the series. It held some major nostalgia for me in many ways. Then we have KH2. I remember the first time seeing the game advertised in my local Walmart. I was so excited that there was a sequel to a game I loved (keep in mind, I did not know Chain of Memories existed at the time), I had to look up online when YouTube was being born. I don't remember how long it took for my mother to finally buy the game, but she managed to get it for us. I remember me and my sister argued on who will play it first....guess who played first? LOL
Throughout it all, like KH1, I remembered fondly of the play through for the first time.
The prologue was certainly interesting. This prologue was/is controversial. You play as a different character, named Roxas, for at least 2-3 hours simply not because it is a tutorial. It was also small story on it's own. I'll be quite honest, I don't remember my thoughts about it back in the day. I know I was obviously confused and wondered when I would play as Sora. Throughout the years I've played the game, however, I have been too used to this prologue. Heck, I personally loved the prologue. In those 2-3 hours, you learn about Roxas and his struggles of his fate before playing as Sora. If you didn't play this, I recommend you see for yourselves. I'll just leave at that.
Then there was finally playing as Sora again. Playing throughout the game was certainly a journey. The feeling of flying through the gummi ships again, was truly a more upgraded and incredibly fun ride. Visiting new and returning world's was also incredible. Fighting heartless and nobodies was also fun enemies to fight. However, like KH1, the biggest moments I remembered were fighting through all the big bosses in the game (not final mix). They were the hardest to get through and when I was able to pass them, it was sweet sweet victory for my childhood. To this day, I continue to play this game over and over again. I feel like out of all the games I played in general, this was my crowning achievement of being able to fight difficult bosses on my own. I am not perfect at them, but I continue to do better whenever I come back.
The music of this game also amazing. A lot of my favorite songs are from KH2: the other promise, lazy afternoon, 13th struggle, sacred moon, fight to the death, darkness of the unknown, cavern of remembrance, and KH2's take on dearly beloved. Even the music for each world I visit are unique and works in their own way. I can easily identify what world is and they don't play songs from their original film counterparts (exception of nightmare before christmas and a bit of atlantica).
Throughout the time I kept playing kh2, so far, I was never tired of it. There is the fact that it is simply fun. But, I always found something new whenever I come back. That actually goes for the entire series for that matter.
If there was anything that I feel is flawed in the game (yes, even this game has flaws), it's the stories for the Disney worlds. In terms of what messages provided in the game, the plots of the Disney worlds worked. However, a majority of them had nothing to do with the game's narrative, at least during the first visit for each world.
It felt like I was watching a fanfic with an OC added to it. I mean, you could say the same for the other installments. But I think KH1 does a lot better with all the world's plot. Their plots were mildly similar to their film counterparts and still inserting Nomura's OC. However, it was still part of the story's narrative for a majority of worlds served an importance in the game's overall plot. Which is why I am incredibly excited for KH3 because the world's announced, so far, each had a member of the organization which is telling me each world is important to the story. So, KH2 Disney world plots are kinda meh for me. Not terrible, since I think it is more nit picky for me LOL (there is one world that is painfully ripped from the film, the acting was blegh and Sora contributed to nothing other than fighting the final boss with your Disney party member)
That aside, having a chance to play final mix in the remix collections for the first time (on my PS3 back in 2016), I was finally able to experience some new content. Example, I actually went ahead and got into critical the first time I played it since I've always played proud mode in the original. The extra bosses, new cutscenes, new keyblades, upgraded soundtracks to make them sound orchestrated, etc. Let me tell you y'all, it's harder to get back to the original after this. During my time playing final mix, I felt like I was playing it for the first time again but with better content and upgraded music.
Overall, I love this game with all my heart. I come back to this game because it is fun mostly. The story is a conundrum, but the characters are whom we connect with the most. The journey the characters go through, struggles and all, we wanted them to succeed. Everything the game has is what I love, despite the few problems it had. Although most of us can agree that it is the best game in the series.
For me, it is a complete 10/10 for me (or 9.5/10 to make you all feel better LOL)