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Kingdom Hearts 2: The saga continues...
Company: Square Enix

They tempted me with the 'Secret Ending'...

They taunted me with the 'Deep Dive' Trailer...

Now Disney and Square Enix are outright torturing me.

A sequel to Kingdom Hearts was pretty much a known conclusion. I mean, the game's ending was so open ended you could have fit a virtual herd of Hefulumps and Woozles through it. The only question was when the sequel was coming. Early rumors stated that the game wouldn't even begin production until at least 2004, while some said it would be on the PS3, while still others had the game being unveiled at E3 2003. As it turns out, the later rumors has something too them -- they were just off by five months. Although E3 is usually the prime time to announce new games, Square Enix instead decided to wait until this year's Tokyo Game Show. Again, this was something we knew was coming, but what no one expected was the announcement of a GBA version of Kingdom Hearts entitled Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

Although not much is known about the game's plot, the GBA version picks up immediately after the events in Kingdom Hearts and once again revolves around the adventures of Sora, Donald and Goofy as they search for the lost door. Judging from the few screens I've seen, Chain of Memories is already shaping up to be a graphical masterpiece on the GBA. Square Enix also promises to deliver an unsurpassed gaming experience by implementing elements never before seen on the GBA. Early speculation is rampant, but there are a few whispers that the game will feature some CGI cinemas. The game is slated to ship next year in Japan.

Kingdom Hearts 2, which is for the PS2, will pick up a few years after the original and will finally answer many of the questions left in the original. All of the main characters from the original will appear in the sequel and their character designs have been updated to reflect the passage of time. The game will also feature a host of new characters from both the Disney and Final Fantasy worlds. Early artwork suggests that Mickey Mouse (decked out in Neo-like black leather and a hood) will play a greater role this time around, whether he'll be playable remains a mystery. Who knows, we may even get a chance to return to Midgar.

For those who doubted the original's appeal, Square Enix also announced that Kingdom Hearts has been added to the PS2 Greatest Hits line. Sales of the game have topped 3.3 million -- with over 2 million sold in the US alone. The new Greatest Hits branded version should be in stores on October 6. Regardless of your feelings towards Disney, the new price point makes it hard to pass this game up.

Just think -- two new games means twice as many Kingdom Hearts articles. Keep your browsers pointed right here folks...

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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