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Played Out: Kingdom Hearts

Hey ya'll! Ya'll heard of Kingdom Hearts? It's a video game series that intersects the Final Fantasy universe, with the Disney one. Sound strange? It kind of is, ya'll. But that's cool. It's still fun.

The basic premise is that the main character, Sora, teams up with Donald and Goofy to find his friends. The path carries the group through multiple movie settings - including A Nightmare Before Christmas, Mulan, Pirates of the Carribean, and more!!%! - as they battle enemies known as heartless and nobodies. Disney baddies often lead the evil forces as well, with Sleeping Beauty's Maleficient figureheading much of the effort, but ya'll know I'm gonna beat her down in the end, right?

Some people say mash 'em ups don't work, even when put together by the masters of their field, but I disagree. To prove this point, I invited Sean over to watch basketball last night. Ya'll know Sean, right? (If you did, you'd know he actually invited himself). Anyway, we were both watching the TV with incredibly different watching styles. My glare is a more passive one that still tends to bring across the intense muscularity of my spirit. Sean's, on the other hand, darts around in a wormy type of way, demonstrating his awareness and smarts, sure, but also his inability to focus on one true passion. Now, real life may dispute this point. Sean is in law school, and I'm unemployed again. But Sean is setting his eyes on justice and crime. My eyes are set on the one true prize: Basketball.

In any case, this convergence of styles resulted in a rather exciting event. Sean used the phrase "getting my goat" frequently throughout the night, and a news story immediately following the tournament used the same phrase when discussing a Milwaukee resident who is trying to become an alderman so that she can keep her pet goat. It was quirky, it was fun... It was friendship.

And that's what Kingdom Hearts is all about.

Even when the game plot threatens to swallow itself up in confusion, the dialogue hits you over the head with the fact that this mission is about finding your friends and having fun. It's stupidity mixed with awesomeness in the worst and best way at the same time, and it (kind of) works. I'll admit that I had another TV on in the background while playing through some of the more tedious parts. I know how Aladdin plays out, so I don't need to sit through cut scenes that rehash the movie with inferior CGI animation. I did appreciate the voiceovers, though, featuring Haley Joel Osment, Hayden Panetierre, Brittany Snow, and a lot of authentic Disney voices refreshing their parts from a decade earlier (Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid, Belle, Gilbert Gottfried, even Steve from Aladdin, and more!!%!). It was quite a bump from the pathetic Eliza Dushku performance I suffered through just before when playing Yakuza. Yeah, real actors give their voices to games you've never heard of, ya'll. Isn't that cool?

I was disappointed that Kingdom Hearts II went to the Dexter well, attempting to create meaningful characters out of "Nobodies" who supposedly have no capacity for emotion. As far as I'm concerned, so long as a character has inflection in his/her voice and intends to accomplish any type of goal - which is essentially every animate character - this idea that you can create an empty persona is impossible. I don't think Dexter (cough overrated) understands this, nor does Kingdom Hearts. Still, story is only part of the video game story. I fist pumped when I won the game, ya'll. You know it.

Anyway, I'll leave you with the opening cinematic of Kingdom Hearts II, which encapsulates the disastrous excellence of the whole thing.

And yes, Daisy Duck is in the game, ya'll.

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  1. Blogger Sean | 11:11 AM |  

    Whoa, Doktor, you're making me sound bad. This post really gets my goat.

    p.s. it's true, I did invite myself over, in a way. I'm like that neighbor kid in sitcoms. Seanie Gibbler or Sean Urkel. HiJinx!

    p.p.s. Let's hope there are no upsets today in the tournie.

  2. Blogger chris | 11:56 AM |  

    But is Oliver from Oliver and Company in it?

    A student of mine last semester got made fun of for buying this game and liking it. In defence, he said "you don't even know! Donald HELPS me out!"

    I call for more mash-up video games. How about the characters from Doug team up with Starfox?

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