There are five things that can be expected in any given Kingdom Hearts game:
1. Sora, Riku, and sometimes Kairi will make some kind of appearance.
2. You will be with Disney characters and characters from a Square Enix Property.
3. Your main weapon will be a Keyblade.
4. Gameplay will mostly be built around some new innovative feature.
5. Your worst enemy will be the in-game camera.
The various Kingdom Hearts games (six of them to date, with a seventh on the way) all have this as the general framework, and while the gameplay changes, this core will be the same. And the six games are all completely awesome.
While all of them are differing shades of awesome (i.e. Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is generally seen as a lesser KH game, while Birth by Sleep is considered a greater one), but for the most part, the quality is very uniform and spread out.
The union of Disney and Square Enix (and soon The World Ends With You
), added with lots of original, loveable characters makes for a setting that simply has no equal in the current day and age of gaming. In a medium where brown space marines shoot brown aliens in brown corridors, KH's bright, colorful visuals and simple, aesthetically-pleasing graphics are a breath of fresh air. Gameplay is, for the most part, easy to learn, but requires true skill to master - the hallmark of a great game. Lastly, the all-star voice cast (with most actors from Disney movies reprising their roles), coupled with Yoko Shimonura's amazingly awesome soundtrack, makes for an experience that your ears will most certainly thank you for.
If Kingdom Hearts has any flaws, it would be that the story, while rewarding for those following along, suffers greatly from Kudzu Plot
and Continuity Lockout
. Pick up Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2
, and you'll wonder what a Nobody is or why you should care about the characters. Play Kingdom Hearts II
before Kingdom Hearts
or Kingdom Hearts Chain Of Memories
, and you'll wonder who all the people are in the opening movie. However, for those that are willing to invest their time, the story is one of the best and most fulfilling ones on the market these days, and after playing all six games, you'll look back and go, "That was a great story."
Bottom Line: Kingdom Hearts is one of the best franchises on the market right now, for everything I've said above. You owe it to yourself to play it.