i loved the first kingdom hearts a ton. i was initially weirded out by the whole concept. a melding of the disney universe and the square (now square-enix, or squenix) final fantasy universe? that sounds like putting milk and sugar in tea! preposterous! but then i read a bunch of really good reviews, and there's really no way i can avoid getting a widely-publicized square or enix game (i've been playing final fantasy and draqon quest since i was so small) with final fantasy characters in it, and of course, the prospect of seeing my beloved disney characters in 3d was just too enticing, so i ended up getting it. it was everything i expected out of it and so much more. talking to pooh bear and piglet, swimming thru the mermaid kingdom with ariel, and battling maleficent in dragon form like i'm in fucking sleeping beauty! this is the stuff of dreams.
so when kingdom hearts 2 finally came out (it seems forever since they announced it) this past week, i had to go get me some. i'm only a few hours into it, but already it's exceeded my expectations. the beginning was a little bit weird tho. it starts out with a long prologue in which i had very little idea what was going on (and i still don't even after the prologue was over). i spent a lot of the time thinking, hey, where's sora? but other than that, it's been a lot of fun. i can't wait to get into it more, but i'm afraid it'll be slow-going because i just have so much schoolwork this quarter. no worries. there's always room for kingdom hearts.
one of the things i love about the fact that disney has a stake in this project is that they get familiar actors to voice the characters. like, most of the voices for the disney characters (barring mickey and goofy and donald, et al) are voiced by the actors who did them in the original movies. so that means king triton, aladdin, mulan and beast sound like they should sound, and geoffrey rush actually voices captain barbossa, zach braff voices chicken little, and bruce boxleitner comes back for tron. and the voices for the squenix characters don't sound horrible as they often do in anime voice-overs for tv shows, because they get real actors to do them. in the second one, haley joel osment is back for sora, david boreanaz for squall, and david gallagher for riku, and then christopher lee, ron perlman, jesse mccartney and brittany snow voice new characters. these are actors i have actually heard of and whose movies (or tv shows) i've seen! amazing! anyhow, what i'm really saying is that i'm a sucker for characters voiced by jesse mccartney.
of course, then when people don't return for their roles, i wonder what's wrong with them. maybe robin williams (genie), eddie murphy (mushu), and danny devito (philoctetes) feel like video games are beneath them, but billy zane, mandy moore, and lance bass? what do you got that's so important you blew off disney? was it over money? seriously, billy, the last time i saw you in any movie was probably titanic, and lance, come on, man, the astronaut thing fell thru and it doesn't look like your boy band is getting back together any time soon, so what gives? well, whatever, you do what you want to do.
anyhow, i'm still at the beginning of the game, but i felt a need to let everyone kno how much i'm loving it. not that i'm going to convince anyone who wasn't already going to get it to get it, but i wanted to add another positive voice to those who enjoy disney and square-enix and whatever mixes come out of the two.