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Generally, reception of the Kingdom Hearts series has been highly positive; the titles's success has given the series of games a cult following. Many gaming sites, shows, and magazines have praised the series for its innovation and great RPG style. Before Kingdom Hearts II was released, X-Play had a Kingdom Hearts special.
When Square Enix and Disney announced that they were trying to make a game combining the elements of both Final Fantasy and the Disney franchise of films and merchandise, many were confused, leading to fan responses believing that the project would backfire. But to many's surprise, the series did in fact take off, and was one of the top three highest grossing games of the month of its release.
The reception of Kingdom Hearts was very positive. IGN named it the best game of 2002. It was also listed in an IGN poll to be the 22nd best PlayStation II game ever made. But, the game still had its flaws. Many criticized the Gummi Ship aspect of the game to be pointless and boring, while others noted that the camera angle made it hard for players to maneuver. However, the game still earned many notably positive reviews.
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
The release of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix was limited to Japan. However, the game still did exceptionally well. New features and events, especially the battle with the Unknown and additional cinematics, allowed the game to receive many positive reviews.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories received largely mixed reviews. While the story was highly regarded, and the playable Riku's story was highly praised by fans, the card based battle system was generally disliked. Due to its initial release on the Game Boy Advance, many fans were distraught, as they had to purchase a new gaming system for the sequel. Nevertheless, the game sold well, with 1.5 million copies being sold worldwide.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Although Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories was yet again criticized for the card battle system, it still received positive reviews. It sold extremely well in North America.
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts II has received numerous awards and high ratings. It tied with Resident Evil 4 for best game of 2005. In the highly regarded Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, it received an almost perfect rating: 39/40. The game also received a 9.5/10 in the North American Game Informer magazine. G4 awarded it Best Soundtrack and Best Voice Work. But the gameplay aspect of the game was criticized, as many did not like the AI system or the fact that the game was so much easier than its predecessor; but still, many commented that the game was fun. As of yet, it remains the highest selling game in the franchise.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
The Japanese remake of the second game, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was highly regarded, and all the features were praised by fans. Many in other regions of the worlds hoped for the game to be released in North America and PALs regions, but sadly this did not come to be. The battles against the old Organization members and against Roxas was especially regarded, as well as the battle against the Lingering Will.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
When the Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days demo was released, it was highly praised as being fun and an improvement over Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, its predecessor in the handheld platforms. In Japan, it has received positive reception; in North America, GameStop had many early pre-orders and was received quite well. Game Informer gave it an 8.5 out of 10. In Japan, it had sold 397,000 copies in the last week of May and June.
Kingdom Hearts coded
Kingdom Hearts coded has released eight playable episodes, for Japanese mobile phones. As of yet, the game hasn't received any reviews.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
One of the latest installments, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep has been highly praised by fans. The game was released in January 2010 in Japan and September 2010 for North America and Europe. The game received high reviews in both Japan and North America.
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
Critical reception of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded has been mixed, and is currently the least critically successful game in the series. Many reviewers criticized the game for its narrative, platforming, and its camera. However, it was given good review by quite a few sources, like IGN and Nintendo Power.