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Why is Kingdom Hearts II So Popular? 91

kukyfrope writes "The long awaited sequel to the popular RPG Kingdom Hearts finally hit North America late last month, and in just those few days easily outsold all other games in March. GameDaily examines why nobody can resist the magic of Disney and Square together in Kingdom Hearts II and why the Kingdom Hearts series has been so successful."
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Why is Kingdom Hearts II So Popular?

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  • OMGBISHIES (Score:3, Funny)

    by BitwizeGHC ( 145393 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @02:59PM (#15232917) Homepage
    For kids you have the familiar, lovable Disney characters. For the grown-up crowd you have Nomura's familiar smooth-faced, spiky-haired girly men. Never underestimate the power of bishies and hinted-at shounen-ai when targeting that oh-so-important magnesium-panties fangirl demographic.
    • I'm not gonna lie, that's pretty insightful.
    • For kids you have the familiar, lovable Disney characters. For the grown-up crowd you have Nomura's familiar smooth-faced, spiky-haired girly men. Never underestimate the power of bishies and hinted-at shounen-ai when targeting that oh-so-important magnesium-panties fangirl demographic.

      And the FFanbois get modpoints today. Too bad, cause you're right.

      Just one question: "Magnesium-panties?" Sounds hot(pun intended).
      • As in, extremely volatile and burns brightly. As in, "So-and-so's panties explode whenever she sees Sephiroth."
        • Ugh... you just HAD to use that particular example...

          I just don't get it. He wasn't that cool of a villain. All he had going for him was the whole operatic theme music.
          • Well, he did kill Aeris...

          • I just don't get it. He wasn't that cool of a villain. All he had going for him was the whole operatic theme music.

            I am pretty sure that if you had operatic theme music that played whenever you did ... anything, people would assume you were cool too.

            • But he only had it in the last fight, where he looked like some kind of wierd Dr. Moreau experiment.

              Seriously. Squeenix needs to put the entire FF7 cast out to pasture.
  • The game is just cutscene after cutscene linked together by linear hallways of tiled textures and featureless surfaces. Marketting goes a long way for people who don't know what makes a good game. It doesn't matter that it's complete tripe, just that it's Mickey and Donald and all the bad Final Fantasy game characters.

  • Sure, the gameplay is simple, the point of "Go from world to world" is a little pointless - but there's an interesting story at work here, and it's actually kind of sad one.


    Basically, you have really the story of two people - Roxis and Sora, one of whom only exists because of a mistake from the other one. So right there you have the question - who am I? If my memories and self are absorbed by another, what point does "me" have? And when I choose to give that up for the greater good, will "I" be remembered - or am "I" just a shell, with no real identity of my own?

    So, sure, it's simple and silly and rote at times, but there's actually some good gameplay here (I think the action commands are cool when boss fighting). Not "game of the year", but "pleasant low calorie diversion".
    • Yes, it's simple and rote ... I'd even say most of the time it's very very easy.

      OTOH, I see that as being 'good gameplay' ... there are so many side-quests that it's easy to find something you want to do at any given point. Want a space-shooter thing? Fly around in a gummi ship and blow stuff up on a few dozen courses. Want a platformer? There are plenty of those in Winnie-the-Pooh: find one you like. Skateboarding? Sure, do that in a half dozen courses...

      It really is as simple as 'Hit X mindlessly, a
    • I think the point is, even with the "surprisingly complex and mature story" Why wouldn't someone just go play a game with a complex and mature story AND good game play... say Oblivion? Even still without compelling gameplay it's just a movie with mindless interaction, so why not cut out the mindless interaction and watch through an anime series or something?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @03:22PM (#15233015)
    you hit every market. Boys like the figting, girls like the pastel collars and disney characters, hardcore gamers dig square and the graphics, it's easy enough for casual gamers. Pokemon did the same thing, that's why it was such a phenomenon. If you can make something that appeals to everyone (not po'ing your hardcore fans is an added bonus), you'll make money hand over fist.
  • I'm thinking because kukyfrope is just some industry blogger.
  • by dividedsky319 ( 907852 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @03:32PM (#15233064) Homepage
    I loved the first KH, and was really looking forward to the second. After reading the IGN review, I was somewhat disappointed becuase they only gave it a... 7.something. Not a great review for a highly anticipated game.

    I still decided to pick it up. Now, while there are a LOT of cutscenes which can get annoying, I actually enjoy the gameplay. Sure, it isn't the hardest game in the world, and a lot of it is just mashing of the X button, there's still something satisfying about going into battle with 20 enemies and taking them all out.

    Now, while the stories for each of the "sub worlds" (Agrabah, Halloween Town, etc) technically just follow their particular movie, it all ties into the story fairly well. Now, I am a Disney fan, but as a 24 year old I don't exactly go out and buy every piece of Lion King memorabilia or see every new Disney movie... so I definitely didn't buy the game based on the fact that Disney characters are in it. But the story is enjoyable.

    So, put a good storyline, great characters, and fun, simple gameplay together and you have a quality game IMO.
  • I'm not sure why it's so popular. I just finished a four hour session downstairs working on it too. But I think part of it has to deal with the friggin two year delay. As Ctrl+Alt+Del [ctrlaltdel-online.com] put it.
  • Easy ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by medeii ( 472309 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @03:52PM (#15233170)

    The reason KH2 is so popular is that there hasn't been a decent RPG out for almost a year -- not one that I've wanted to buy, anyway. More, there won't be another big-name RPG out until FF12, which is supposedly delayed until Thanksgiving.

    That said, it's a very great game in its own right. But it's arriving in the middle of a giant drought for the RPG market.

    • Re:Easy ... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The reason KH2 is so popular is that there hasn't been a decent RPG out for almost a year

      What dought?

      FFIV Advance
      Mother 3

      All have come out very recently, Im just about done with FFIV advance, and have just started Oblivion. Maybe you need to broaded your catagory from PS2 RPGs to just RPGs in general.
    • Re:Easy ... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yosho ( 135835 )
      Dude. Radiata Stories, Wild Arms: Alter Code F, Wild Arms 4, Dragon Quest 8, Suikoden Tactics, Advance Wars, Suikoden 5, Tales of Legendia, Oblivion, Grandia 3, Romancing SaGa, Fable: the Lost Chapters, Magna Carta, Atelier Iris (1 and 2, although 2 was just released)... well, ok, a few of those won't appeal to everybody. But seriously, the only way you could say there hasn't been a decent RPG out for almost a year is if you only pay attention to Final Fantasy games.
    • No decent RPGs for almost a year... cause you know, Oblivion isn't decent.

      I hate it when people consider these story-heavy action adventure games "RPGs", especially when they discount the rare real RPG that is occasionally released! The point of an RPG, for those who have forgotten the meaning of those three letters, is to play a role. You make meaningful choices that define, at least to some extent, who your character is, and then enjoy the story that unfolds around your character. Sora is not your ch

    • We finally had an RPG released, the first in quite a while. You may not have heard of it, it's called Oblivion.

  • I have no urge whatsoever to play it.
  • 1) It's a sequel from Square/Enix and Disney, two well known brands

    2) The actual gameplay of the game and the level design received hardly any coverage prior to release

    3) Most fans pre-ordered to make sure they received a copy, not knowing what the game was like

    4) EB and other stores received bonus gifts for employees if they sold enough KH2 strategy guides and games

    5) The game appeals to many, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron, and many other popular franchises are featured in the game. Every level i

    • They may just want to live out their Tron fantasies, or see such a world realized in a video game, even if they have no idea how such a game would play.

      Well, Tron 2.0 played pretty well.
  • It's popular because the Walt Disney Corperation has a monopoly on childhood happiness. The hopes, dreams, fond memories of your most cherished time were all provided from the sterile bosom of a soulless incorperated fantasy factory. Your aspirations, your comforts, the very roots of your being were all, almost without exception provided in the form of a one size fits all childhood, carefully scripted by that organisation.

    This game is simply another act, shamelessly tacked onto the prostituted play that is your emotional life. You love Kingdom Hearts because it is Disney, and without Disney, you know no other happiness. Outside the warm succor of your donald duck duvet and mickey mouse pyjamas, joy, contentment and love are cold and distant concepts which you cannot hope to achieve alone.

    So come! Gather once again to suckle and the great and monsterous teat of one of the most terrible enterprises to have ever existed. Let Kingdom Hearts II once again show you the pleasures of being a shallow false happiness junkie. All the while Mother Disney will smile with her sweet and duplicitious grin.
    • That's too true to be funny. It really bothers me that Disney tries to infiltrate its characters everywhere and anywhere — but not as much as the fact that people seem to welcome that infiltration. In the process, everything gets blanded to death.

      Like many office buildings, the one in which I work gives its conference rooms names with a common theme. In this particular building, the theme is Disneyland Attractions, and the biggest conference room is name "Mickey's Toontown." Now, when Gary Wolf inve

      • Disney bought the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise, and decided to kill Christopher Robin.
        Thats right: They're replacing him with a girl! [bbc.co.uk]

        Disney is evil, and this is just incontrovertible proof. If they get Pixar to do a film with the girl, Pixar is evil, too.
        • Actually, nowadays Pixar and the animation division of Disney are pretty much the same thing. In any case, they didn't need to kill off CR in order to make their adaptations of WtP evil. I'm old enough to remember when they first got their mitts on this "franchise" and I only needed a couple of TV commercials to know that I'd hate it for corning up the books. I've carefully avoided the Disney version of WtP ever since.

          Back to Pixar: I've only seen one of their movies, A Bug's Life. It wasn't bad, but it t

          • Back to Pixar: I've only seen one of their movies, A Bug's Life. It wasn't bad, but it totally used up my capacity for cutsy 3D animated talking animals -- and that's all Pixar seems to do.

            Have you seen The Incredibles"? Of the Pixar movies I have seen, it was clearly the best. It's still a kid's movie, but there was plenty for me to enjoy too.

  • Most of the replies here are trying to work out some conspiracy theory or Grand Unified Theory of Marketing to answer why it's so popular.

    Anyone stopped to think that maybe Kingdom Hearts was just a lot of fun to play?
    • I purchased the original KH, I loved the graphics and I really want to explore all the Disney worlds--but, by the time I got to that Tarzan level, I just got sick of wandering around lost in the forest with a camera system that made various jumping puzzles really annoying. Maybe KHII is different, but I'd just like to report at least one sale of of KH was not in fact due to it being fun to play. It was fun to watch. Not fun to play.
  • Tron (Score:5, Funny)

    by writermike ( 57327 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @05:12PM (#15233502)
    My theory is that people are sincerely starved for anything Tron. They just can't help themselves.
    • Personally, I've waited for this game for a couple of years. I know, Disney charcters, what could I be thinking? Well, I got hooked on the first game (I didn't know Disney produced the game until I was deep into it).

      When I saw the worlds of the sequal, I wanted to try them all out (with the exception of the Little Mermaid world, what's worse they sing in this game) but riding a light cycle and battling the MPC were both entertaining.

      Additonally, rather than just playing in the world, you interact with t

  • To answer the question as simply as possible...

    Everyone can relate to love and hate. Someone above also put it very well in saying that there's something for everyone in this game.

    In addition to that, this game is being judged with great intensity... only games that have the power to incite this kind of adoration (or in the case of a few people, loathing) are truly timeless.

    Being able to get through the game by mashing X? I call it the "Street Fighter effect" - you certainly could do this if you
  • I admit, I'm a Disney fanatic. I'm sure the 90s produced more than a few of us. It's so rare to find a Disney game that's not borderline unplayable. Kingdom Hearts has its fault, but I'm willing to ignore some just so I get a chance to play with some of my favorite characters.
  • Because it's FUN. Wonderful, sweet, funny, uplifting fun. Something that the market tends to lack 99% of the time.
  • 1) It's a sequel to Kingdom Hearts that took years to come out. So that gives you those who liked the original.
    2) Square Fanboys + Disney Fans adds some more to #1
    3) OMGMINIGAMEZ!!! For the ADD crowd (disappointing to at least 1 member of group #1)

  • Put "heart" in the title of any game and it will sell.
    Look at the kind of music that sells. It's all "I love" this and "lady lumps" that.
  • I dont get why KH2 is doing so well, guess there are so many PS2's out there people have to buy something. My PS2 has not been hooked up for a long time now. Too be honest it hurts my eyes to play PS2 games.
  • I really do wonder how people love it so much. Let's go over this. Graphics: Graphically, the game is only so-so. In actual cinema, the game is beautiful. Gorgeous even. Outside of that, characters' mouths move like robots, hands are made of four giant polygons and textures are bland. Sound: Shimomura's done some great work. This isn't part of that. Low quality resamplings of Disney songs are not fun for everyone. Atlantica has one of the worst songs in gaming history. Voice acting is good and some places

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein