Plot. Sora and his companions have been sleeping for a year after the events in Chain of Memories. They arrive at Twilight Town, where a mysterious boy named Roxas once lived, but then suddenly disappeared. Gaining new clothes and powers, Sora began his journey anew, not knowing what happened after the events in Chain of Memories. During his journeys, he still searches for Riku, while he travels to new worlds, battling the Heartless, and a new enemy known as the "Nobodies". He also battles against the remnants of Organization XIII. As the story progresses, Sora learns how much he and Roxas have in common.
Concept. The concept is as much the same as it's predecessors. Players must guide Sora throughout different worlds of Disney, and learning more about the Nobodies, the Heartless, and also about Organization XIII. Players level up while fighting many battles, in order to become much more stronger. There are new Disney worlds from movies such as: Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, and so on.
Voice Acting. Haley Joel Osment, David Gallagher, and Hayden Panettiere reprise their roles as Sora, Riku and Kairi. Tate Donovan reprises his role as Hercules, and also Susan Egan returns to voice Meg. Sephiroth is once again voiced by George Newbern (Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Final Fantasy X-2), who also voiced him in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Mena Suvari (American Pie, Sugar and Spice, American Beauty) replaced Mandy Moore (The Princess Diaries, A Walk to Remember) for the role of Aerith, Mae Whitman (Johnny Bravo, Independence Day) voices Yuffie, and Doug Erholtz replaced David Boreanaz as Leon. Most of the voice actors of the original Disney movies reprised their roles, which was great. In terms of Kairi's voice, Hayden Panettiere was later replaced by Alyson Stoner, but in Birth By Sleep, she reprised her role. Some of the original voice actors did not return to reprise their roles. Corey Burton replaced Miguel Ferrer, as the voice of Shan-Yu, and Mark Moseley replaced Eddie Murphy as Mushu since the first game.
Design. The graphics made quite the change since the last game, the CGI rendered cutscenes are much more improved than in the last game. Tetsuya Nomura's work with the sketching and design had us all very impressed. My favorite design has to be from the world of the 1930's Disney Movies, in which the retro looks fitted those of the movies like "Steamboat Willie", "The Wise Little Hen" and so on. Bringing the Disney characters of it's early days had me very impressed and reminded me of my childhood. Oh the memories.
Music. Yoko Shimomura and Takeharu Ishimoto are behind the music of the game. Utada Hikaru once again provides her singing for the main theme of the game, which is titled "Sanctuary". Also, the songs such as "Beauty and the Beast", "He's a Pirate", and so on, brought me so many memories of the time I saw these great Disney movies.
Characters. There are more Disney characters that were not included in the first game, which is awesome. Also, I was pleased to see Seifer again, remembering that memorable scar he had. Rinoa was originally going to appear, but it was only a rumor. Also, the game included Tifa, and Sephiroth has a much larger role in the game.
Rantings. The Heartless that pissed me off, where the ones from the Land of Dragons. The Assault Riders were a major pain in the ass, ever since the Large Bodies and the Fat Bandits from the first games. Also, I did not like Setzer's look, I found it pretty stupid. I still don't like the 100 Acre Wood, since I never had much love for Winnie the Pooh. In the Timeless River, I can't stand the Hot Rods, at all. I really hated them, and always ended up getting killed. They always put my gaming skills to the test.
Good Aspects. My favorite battle scene was the one of the 1000 Heartless, because it is a definition of an epic scene. In that scene, you have a backup of Donald and Goofy, and also Final Fantasy characters. The Reaction commands were amazing. My favorite Disney Worlds are: Port Royal (POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl), Space Paranoids (Tron), Olympus Coliseum/The Underworld (Disney's Hercules), and Beast's Castle (Beauty and the Beast). The designs were very well made, and very similar to their movie counterparts.
Overall. Kingdom Hearts II is one of the best titles in the series. This game gets a 9.8 out of 10