I finished Kingdom Hearts yesterday, and it was quite an enjoyable ride. There was no Psychonauts-style Insane Difficulty Jump at the end, the Disney-themed villain in the last world was a really nice surprise, and even the Patented Square Multi Stage Final Boss Fight wasn’t too painful. Like pretty much every other encounter in the game, it boiled down to “How well can you heal?”
Not having the story, well, finish or anything is a minor quibble and one barely worth mentioning.
That’s a little harsh; you do get some closure and sense of accomplishment. You’ve thwarted a nasty villain and saved lots of innocent people, reunited friends, restored hope, so on and so forth. You’ve Done Good. It’s just that all that is stuff you’ve done along the way, as kind of side benefits of your actual goal, and in the end you’re not really all that much closer to the goal your character started the game with.
The Super Secret Ending, while a little hard to understand, gets some significant Cool Points. It was worth doing a little dog hunting to see.
A final word on the hated Gummi ship:
I went into the game knowing that something called a “Gummi ship” was going to be painful, which prepared me a bit for it when it happened. I didn’t know that it meant that there was a jammed-in 3rd person shooting game every once in a while. I also didn’t know that there was a whole meta-game revolving around collecting parts for new Gummi ships and building and customizing Gummi ships. I went into the Gummi ship garage a total of ONCE, got trapped in a godawful tutorial, and turned off the console in order to escape.
When I rebooted, I stayed the heck out of the Gummi ship building section, pretended it didn’t exist, and finished the game using the same Gummi ship I started with, no customization needed. If you are thinking about playing this game, I strongly recommend you do the same.