Which KH Game are you currently playing?

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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Just finished BBS, and I gotta say... I don't understand the hype at all. I had fun with the game, but almost everything about it is just lesser than other games in the series. The worlds are usually really short, but the environments are giant and empty. Most areas have no personality or detail, and the physical layouts are usually pretty basic. Enemy encounters are usually okay, but the amount of enemy types is extremely limited. Most of the bosses are uninteresting and lack challenge or strategic depth. And the ones that are difficult, are usually difficult because they have unfair attack patterns or do insane amounts of damage (later Iron Imprisoners come to mind). Combat itself is also incredibly unbalanced. I don't know if Magnet is so OP in other KH games, since I never paid any attention to it (I don't even know which ones it's in). But in BBS, it turns almost any encounter into a non-encounter. It ruins any semblance of skill required, even if destroying 15 enemies at once in a single Fission Firaga is satisfying.

The writing is rather poor, with the Kingdom Hearts "Light and Dark" talk in overdrive here. Nobody talks like a human; they talk like exposition robots. There are also some really strange inconsistencies and holes.
Nomura shouldn't have made the keyblade a 'man made technology', because that begs the question of how does this technology do even half of the things it does, and why can't they solve many other problems with that same technology... like the fact that keyblades have teleportation technology in them. Why can't Xehanort just split tons of hearts in half like he did with Ventus? Sure, many of them might die (like he cares), but why rely on just one kid? What's the difference between Ventus' pure heart and the pure heart of a princess? Can he be put in a dress and used to open Kingdom Hearts? Things like that need clarification. Why does literally everyone -Xehanort included- seem to believe that light and dark need to be in balance (which makes sense), outside of Eraqus... and yet Eraqus is the good guy with the right idea? I could go on and on.

Along with the writing, Terra's VO is rather lifeless and poor. The rest of the characters are done rather well, in particular the Disney characters and Xehanort. The story of the main characters is uninteresting to me, with not a lot actually happening, and the things that do happen either feeling out-of-character, or feeling uninspired. And since the plot was separated between three characters, the pacing -particularly dealing with the stories of the Disney worlds- is absolutely horrendous. Depending on who's in what world at what time, literally nothing meaningful will happen in certain worlds for certain characters. And some plot points won't make sense either. The ticking crocodile shows up in each Neverland visit, but doesn't actually serve any purpose to the plot, for example. Terra's story feels absolutely empty, and while the others are a bit better, they still feel disjointed. Replaying bosses and stuff with each character can also get exhausting. The characters just aren't different enough for it to be engaging in different ways with each of them. I also think they would have done better to work repeated scenes with different camera angles and such for each character. Sometimes they tack on new bits at the beginning or the end of a scene, so you might miss something if you skip a scene you've seen as another character. But you shouldn't have to watch the other five minutes of a scene three times if it's the exact same each time.

There's a severe lack of NPCs to interact with, or to fill out the worlds, and there's tons of exhausting grinding required to do things like unlock later Mirage Arena missions or complete the journal. The minigames feel rather uninspired and are often unbalanced. D-Links are utterly useless, and while Shotlock is useful, it feels like an emergency 'out', rather than a meaningful mechanic.

The graphics are great for a PSP game (I played Final Mix, which looks even better), the music is great (though the theme for Enchanted Dominion felt too depressing for me), and the artistic design is great. The game also runs almost perfectly, with few hitches.

But the best thing about the game is the Command/Command Style systems. Never in a Kingdom Hearts game (outside of playing on Proud mode or harder difficulties) have I found my combat options to be more engaging and useful. In most KH games on Standard difficulty, you can get by using nothing but mashing X and using Cure occasionally. Most additions to the combat are purely secondary, and only serve to give you more 'things' like exploration abilities, or to make battles go quicker. Again, Magnet destroys any balance BBS game could have. But other than that, the command system really incentivizes exploration of the mechanics at play, and they applied some really great orthogonal design to the different commands you have access to. I also like how you learn abilities from melding commands, though I wish they would just tell you up front what abilities you get. It would lend the game a bit more out-of-battle strategy, which it deserves. The same effect can be had by just looking up what meld combinations give you what abilities, and that's what most people will do anyway. So I don't know why it just wasn't included as a feature.

This command system is probably my favorite system in any Kingdom Hearts game, because the commands themselves are interesting, and building decks that allow you to enter certain Styles is a great way to 'own' your character build more. I wish you could enter the menu during combat and swap out commands though. It already punishes you when you do so, by resetting your command style, and by unloading all of your commands. So it would be nice if you could switch commands at any time, knowing that you'll be penalized for it in that way. It especially sucks in places like the Mirage Arena, where you cannot change commands once you've entered a mission. That means some abilities that you might want to bring because they're effective against normal enemies, you're stuck with when fighting bosses they're useless against. I also wish each person had completely unique Mirage Arena fights, rather than only a few being unique. The repetition required to complete everything three times is insanely ridiculous, and as previously stated, the characters aren't different enough for it to feel fresh on your second or third time through. It's a grind.

Overall, the game isn't technically very well designed. It's actually kind of a mess. But I still enjoyed it for what it is, and really, really like the Command system. Glad I played through it all, but I'm not sure I'm going to waste my time doing any of the grinding required to beat the super secret bosses, or unlocking the rest of the Mirage Arena missions. A lot of the harder end-game content feels unfair, relying on the player being a high level, and requiring things like Leaf Bracer, Once More/Second Chance, constantly dodge rolling everywhere, and chipping away using things like Shotlock or very specific commands. They're less of a strategic challenge where skilled players can avoid all damage or beat it at low levels (like Sephiroth from KH1), and more of a 'combat puzzle' that asks you to get into the head of the encounter designer... and get lucky. I don't feel like I can go in with my own strategy and win; I feel like I have to do it the one way the game wants me to. It's a shame, because the end-game fights are what I look the most forward to in other KH games.

Now, it's back to KH1FM on Proud Mode.
 

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Currently playing through Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, trying to beat the Goddess of Fate cup but so far haven't been able to beat the 6th match.
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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Currently playing through Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, trying to beat the Goddess of Fate cup but so far haven't been able to beat the 6th match.

What difficulty are you on, and are there any specific issues you're having?

My advice would be to spam Stitch. KH2 does a terrible job of utilizing or showcasing the use of most mechanics. Only on Proud or Critical do you start to understand it all better, because it's actually required to succeed. And summons are one of those abilities. Stitch largely makes you invincible.
 

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What difficulty are you on, and are there any specific issues you're having?

My advice would be to spam Stitch. KH2 does a terrible job of utilizing or showcasing the use of most mechanics. Only on Proud or Critical do you start to understand it all better, because it's actually required to succeed. And summons are one of those abilities. Stitch largely makes you invincible.

I'm playing on the standard difficulty. The only problem I'm really having is beating the two fat heartless under the time limit. Thanks for the tip though.
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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Ahh, gotcha. Um... You might try spamming Blizzard or Thunder until they enter their second phase, and then guard and counter the subsequent slide attack. I don't remember having an issue personally, but I might have already been max level by that point. And if you're not already, you also could try using the Decisive Pumpkin. It's a pretty OP keyblade, particularly for dealing large amounts of damage quickly.
 
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Aranea Highwind

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i was replaying original one again remixed edition. currently on ansem again but got side tracked with tekken 7 and injustice 2 :p
 

Setzer Gabbiani

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I am currently playing Kingdom Hearts II. I haven't played this game for a long time so I decided to play it once again. This time I am going to try and finish the game since the first time I didn't have the time to finish it do to work schedule.
 

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So far I've beaten 1 and 2 on the PS3. I think I've softlocked myself on Re:CoM and I can't be fucked starting over again so I might just watch a Let's Play instead. In the meantime I think I'll play Birth by Sleep next.
 

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Just beat Disney Town in BBS, god damn that ice cream challenge, next person to bitch about a Final Fantasy minigame can die in a fire.
 

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Just finished revisiting Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (PS4) to clear up the remaining trophies.

Proud mode is pretty easy if you manage to keep Sora relatively over-levelled (I think I raised the level +5 in every world before moving on to the next). It also split up the material grinding to obtain Ultima Weapon and all other synthesis items. It was actually harder to combine beginner and finishing the game without using a continue, only using the equipment originally equipped at the beginning of the game and completing the game within fifteen hours - it was fairly easy until Chernabog and Ansem, then the difficulty spiked a little; beginner itself isn't actually remotely difficult, but because of time restrictions, there isn't much time to go out of the way to level Sora - and due to being stuck with the Kingdom Key, it takes much longer to defeat enemies.

Other than being pleasantly nostalgic, it felt really odd to revisit a Kingdom Hearts title in which the gameplay and storyline was... simple and clean (I'll see myself out); the calm before the storm, before Nobodies, Unversed, data-scapes, time travel, alternate universes, the power of waking and so on and so forth. However, I did forget how terrible the camera mechanics are in the original Kingdom Hearts, particularly when it gets stuck at an awkward angle whilst attacking an enemy. As much as I love the first title, I won't miss Atlantica, that's for sure.

I did think the proud run was the first time I'd ever faced Sephiroth and Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, but going through my PS3 progress, apparently I managed to beat them both previously, yet have absolutely zero recollection of ever doing it. So, rocking up to the Olympus Coliseum and Hollow Bastion to fight them both be like:

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I actually envisioned both bosses to be more difficult than what the were. Sephiroth can be a little tricky until you know his attack pattern and Xemnas can be spammed with strike raid, so you're virtually invincible for a lot of the fight.


Now onto the joys of card collecting in Re: Chain of Memories...
 

JigoKuu

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I just played KH 1.5 Final Mix on the PS4 the first time (it was an excellent game!), and now I'm playing Re: Chain of Memories. The battle system is a big change after the first game, but I think I will get used to it sooner or later. :D
 
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