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Column: 'Critical Reception: Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts II

Critical Reception returns this week from the GDC break with a look at Square-Enix developed and published sequel Kingdom Hearts II, featuring a return to the suce...
Critical Reception returns this week from the GDC break with a look at Square-Enix developed and published sequel Kingdom Hearts II, featuring a return to the sucessful mish-mash of Final Fantasy characters and the worlds of Disney into an action-RPG which drew in casual and hardcore players alike. With the majority of reviews in, Kingdom Hearts II drew an 87% average according to review compilation website GameTab.com, drawn down by the notable outlier review from IGN which gave the game its lowest score thus far, at a 79% equivalent. The reasoning behind the relatively poor score, according to IGN reviewer Jeff Haynes, is that despite the game maintaining its high production values and stellar graphics, "Combat is literally reduced to button mashing, and the newly included abilities aren't even necessary for the game. This is a big step back from the action/RPG mix of the original." He went on to say that while "the story is definitely a great one... the lack of difficulty and the hack and slash will probably keep everyone except the hardcore from returning to this adventure." You can read the full Gamasutra column, including additional insight from 1UP's James Mielke and Gamespot's Carrie Gouskos (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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