Most of the weekend was spent with this game. I am so far amazed by this game. The camera is better and the Gummi Ship minigame is more exciting. The story is highly confusing early on even if you've played Chain of Memories on GameBoy Advance before this, but everything goes back to normal after the multiple hour prelude (yes, the KH2 logo is not shown until hours into the game).
There are a lot more cutscenes in this game and I would dare say this game comes close to matching the Metal Gear Solid games in the amount of cutscenes to gameplay time. As many of you know, I love the MGS games, so it should come as no surprise that I absolutely love this game as well. I'm about 11 game hours in so far and don't see myself dropping this game because it just sucks me in. The best thing about this game is that my wife can grab the controller and look around for treasure chests and do a lot of the legwork while I am employed when big fights or boss fights come up.
There are some reviews out there (especially pointing toward IGN) that I shake my head at. The difficulty is indeed not much, but then again the first game wasn't all that difficult either. Maybe some people have been skewed by Chain of Memories and its difficulty, I don't know. My wife and I can attest to the fact that Kingdom Hearts II isn't so much about difficulty, but more about being a family-oriented game. You also have to realize that there are a lot of children out there that will be playing this game and if the developers skew the game toward them it isn't going to be so difficult. Saying the game is disappointing because of its difficulty is a slap in the face honestly. I can already tell this game will take longer to beat than the first one and all the reviews support that idea saying it takes 40-50 hours to beat. That is a long game and there's no way you could keep children's attention for so long with more difficulty.
Bottom line is Kingdom Hearts II is a fantastic game and they've fixed everything I had a problem with in Kingdom Hearts. Anyone who likes Square or Disney should pick up this game and enjoy it for a long time.