Kingdom Hearts gameplay details
[03.17.02] » Spoiler warning: Almost no bizarre Disney /
Final Fantasy juxtapositions within!
With the Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts a week
away, Square is following its usual "just short of a text dump"
policy of releasing plenty of details right up until a game ships.
While most of the past information has focused on the many cameos
from both Final Fantasy and past Disney movies, Square has now had
to resort to disclosing some actual gameplay details.
Kingdom Hearts will employ an ability system similar
to the one used in Final Fantasy IX. As in that game, new weapons
and armor will give characters access to new skills. Characters earn
Ability Points in battle, and those points can be spent to permanently
learn the skill. Some of these special skills are are default abilities
for "guest" characters which join you in the game. Learning
them permanently will give you access to these skills even after the
characters have left the party.
New magic spells in the game are attained by defeating
certain bosses or solving puzzles. All spells will level up with use,
growing stronger as they do, while their casting cost remains the
same. In addition to the previously revealed summon spells, Dumbo
and Mushu (from Mulan), Sora will also be able to summon Bambi to
heal the party in battle. Much to Disney fans' chagrin, still no mention
has been made about a possible Aristocats summon.
Square also revealed new details on Kingdom Hearts'
magically delicious mode of travel, the Gummi Ship. The ship is constructed
out of modular Gummi Blocks. Once the player has gathered enough blocks
and found the necessary Designer Diagram, different ship configurations
will become available. New ship shapes will enable the vessel to travel
to specific areas of the game world. For example, configuring the
ship in the shape of a Chocobo will allow players to travel to Tarzan's
jungle. Disney's Chip and Dale will deal with manning and reconstructing
the ship, leaving the GIA with the nagging question, "Just where
Kingdom Hearts is due out in Japan on March 28th.
Look for full impressions from the GIA then.