Overall, the characters within the Kingdom Hearts series have been well received and have garnered praise for the quality of their voice acting as well as their visual style. IGN, GameSpy, and Game Informer all praised the animation quality of the characters. IGN's David Smith's impressions of the characters were very positive, referring to them as an "engaging cast", and stating the "characters' acting is helped immensely by the facial expressions and body". The design of the characters created specifically for Kingdom Hearts was seen as the highlight of the first game, stating "the majority of its best visual moments are based on original designs". One complaint he expressed was "the odd bit of cheating with the lip-synching, where textured facial features are substituted for full 3D animation". GameSpy stated the Disney characters "slide perfectly into Square's visual style", and complemented the realistic characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, describing them as "remarkably accurate".
GameSpot commented the first game created a "fascinating world" using the Disney and Final Fantasy characters. Gaming Age commented the combination of Final Fantasy and Disney characters worked very well and outweighed any design problems in the game. For the third game, they stated Square Enix "captured the look and mannerisms of the various Disney characters" very well. GameSpy stated the inclusion of the Disney and Square Enix characters was handled well. The main character Sora has also received press comments. In January 2007, Sora was listed the 4th biggest dork of 2006 by Game Informer, citing the Atlantica singing portions of the game. IGN listed him as a possible character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl; though he was not chosen as the "reader's choice".
GameSpy praised the voice cast and voice acting in the first and third games. G4TV awarded Kingdom Hearts II "Best Voice Over" in their 2006 G-phoria Awards. Game Informer praised the voice acting of the third game, particularly performances by Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Lee, and James Woods. They also stated the voice talent "shines across the board." Gaming Age praised the voice work in the first and third game and the localization of the dialogue. They commented the voice acting in the first game was one of its best features. For the third, they stated the voice actors did an "admirable job" and given the amount of characters, the small number of complaints was impressive. Reception towards the voice acting in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, however, was decidedly mixed, with praise aimed at the performances of Jesse McCartney, Mark Hamill and Leonard Nimoy, while Willa Holland and Jason Dohring's performances received a more mixed reaction, with GameSpot referring to Dohring's performance as "abysmal".
Read more about this topic: Kingdom Hearts Characters
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