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07 August 2012 @ 11:29 am
Massive KH3D Reaction Dump!  
As most already know by now, I finished playing Kingdom Hearts 3D this past Sunday! And ohhhh my goodness. THIS GAME.

I know some asked for commentary and don't necessarily follow my plurk, so I linked all of the liveplurks I made while playing. All of my (sometimes often incoherent commentary) is in these! And obviously, all of this post is gonna be full of spoilers...

Start of the game through Riku entering The Grid

Through to both boys in the middle of The Grid

Both boys in the middle of the Grid

Through to both boys in the middle of Prankster's Paradise

Through to both boys starting Country of the Musketeers

Both boys in the middle of Country of the Musketeers

Through the end of Musketeer Country and treasure-hunting

Through Fantasia and starting The World That Never Was

All of endgame and the secret ending

Enough for you?! Too bad, because here's also my usual general thoughts on the game as a whole:


Graphics

As with BBS, the graphics were absolutely terrific considering this was a handheld game. I really couldn't tell much difference between the graphics here and BBS, everything was smooth and animated well. Especially the animation on the dream eaters...all of them had a lot of great movement and personality. And once again...no text-scroll cutscenes! It was all animated cutscenes! It looks like they're continuing that idea from BBS and Coded, which makes me happy, and I hope it continues all the way into KH3.

There's still the issue of The Mysterious Invisible NPCs, but I dunno if they'll ever actually fix that. |D

And as for the 3D? To be honest, I...just had it turned off for most of the game. Occasionally I turned it on for a cutscene or two, but I usually forgot about it. I could see a few places where the 3D may actually be useful for gameplay (mainly the dives) but otherwise, like 3D in general, I don't think it really added anything.



Gameplay

Goodness, this gameplay was actually really, really fun. There were just so many options you could do when fighting...regular fighting, your commands, flowmotion, reality shift and teaming up with Dream Eaters. Having so much variety kept things fast and fresh; there was never really a moment where it felt like I was grinding for anything. In fact, I don't think I constantly used the "just hit things with Keyblade" strategy until I got to the point at the end of the game where it was just faster to do so, and even then, commands and reality shift commands were still more fun. It was like they took the SUPER FUN options of BBS and just upped the ante on them. I honestly don't know if I could go back to "Smash X to kill things" in a later game after getting spoiled on 3D and BBS.

My only real complaint about it was the flowmotion mechanics. They looked really cool and could be useful and powerful if used correctly, but could also be real problematic when messed up. Considering the fact that flowmotion was useable practically everywhere, and it was entirely possible to kick into it accidentally, it sometimes got a bit aggravating. It actually got the most annoying when trying to find certain treasure chests, since many of the chests could only be accessed by some really tricky flowmotion usage. By the end of the game I got the hang of it, but it was probably my least favorite of the game mechanics, cool as it looked. I'd say, if they used it again in the future, it'd be nice to have the option to just turn on and off flowmotion, so that you didn't accidentally kick into it just by walking around.

Also, it was way more fun than it should have been to just pet your Dream Eaters and feed them cake and play around with them. It was kind of like the Command Board in BBS in that it was a way to just kick back and relax after tons of action, but also a way to level up abilities without much effort. I know I keep comparing 3D to BBS, but I honestly think these two were equal in how well-done they were as games.



Characters

Sora
I love Sora a lot, so it was great to finally be able to play with him again, even though Donald and Goofy were absent again. But goodness, this game really put him through the wringer. Between getting all his memories of Roxas and Xion, getting manipulated by Xehanort over the entire course of the game and then getting his heart shattered and everything, it got kind of ridiculous for him. However, he still came out his usual happy self, and that happiness seemed even better after all the crap he had to go through. Obviously he's not free of that sadness now, but the game just shows how important it is for him to keep positive because of that.

I loved all of his interactions with the Disney and TWEWY crew, of course, because he just makes me happy all the time! I loved him actually having to deal with Roxas and Xion's memories. I loved him standing up to Xigbar's taunting with the knowledge that even if he wasn't meant to have the Keyblade, he's okay with that, and I loved him being unabashedly happy that Riku got his Mark of Mastery even if he didn't. (I'm a little miffed that he didn't actually get it too after all the crud he had to go through, buuuut it's not like that's going to prevent him from going all badass hero in future games, anyway.)

Basically, I just want to hug the kid forever!

Riku
It's funny, but it really does feel like this game was more about Riku than about Sora, especially towards the end. It followed both of their character arcs closely, and I'd say they both changed the same amount from where they were previously, but with Riku it really cemented his goals and his ultimate purpose. After all, in the end he was the one to actually get his Mark of Mastery and the one that had to go in and save Sora. This is the game that really made me love Riku, even completely forgive him for all of the stupid stuff he did in KH1. He's totally grown so much since then. I loved his snarky comments both to other characters and occasionally to the fourth wall, and it seemed like he could interact with the Disney characters just as well as Sora could. I was cheering him on all throughout the end of the game when Sora was down for the count.

So...YAY, thank you, game, for making me love Riku! This story was totally his chance to shine.

Xehanort
Holy crap, I didn't think they could make Xehanort more terrible than he was in BBS, and then in this game they just kept upping the ante. I was sitting there going, "How the heck does he KEEP GETTING DOUCHIER with every new scene?!" (And by the way, this refers to all the Xehanorts we encounter, just because...trying to keep them all apart at this point is pointless.) All the hero characters here kept asking him "Why are you doing all of these evil things?" and his response was pretty much BECAUSE I'M A DICK.

I still can barely wrap my head around this whole create thirteen clones by means of time travel plot. They should really rename the Xanatos Gambit as the Xehanort Gambit, because even Xanatos never had plots as evil and as convoluted as this guy!

Everyone else
- Still needs more Donald and Goofy! I was super-excited the few times they showed up, especially their Big Damn Heroes moment, but again, I'm looking forward to my trinity coming back.
- Same deal with Kairi, who was practically nonexistant. I'd be more upset about this if it weren't for the secret ending, where Riku brings Kairi in to get some Keyblade training and have her be the seventh light to help fight. I was just sitting there going "FINALLY, THANK YOU!" I reeeeally hope this means she'll get more of a role next game.
- I enjoyed all of the TWEWY cast, although it made me wish I had replayed the game before playing 3D. It almost seemed more like the TWEWY cast wasn't AU like the FF characters, but more visitors from their own universe? I actually liked Joshua a lot more in this game than I did in the original TWEWY...it helped that his voice kept making me smirk. Shiki felt like a bit of an afterthought, though I loved her dialogue with Riku. Beat was hilaaaaarious in every scene.
- Maleficent once again felt like she was just coming in to cause trouble because well, Maleficent, but at least this game it did feel like she was after more than just real estate. I think it was an improvement over Coded, anyway.
- OH MAN, LEA. I think I liked him more in this game than I did in any of the previous ones, if only because he stopped being so much of a jerk and actually got to kick some ass. His Big Damn Heroes moment also made me go "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAH!" because it was so epic. As to Lea getting a Keyblade? I will say honestly that that made me sideeye the game a bit. I mean...does he really need one, Squeenix? Really? He got to be plenty awesome enough without one! So, while I think the whole 'Lea gets a Keyblade' part was a bit...pander-y, it wasn't enough to kill my enjoyment of the game or his cool moments in it. At least the reaction of the characters to this was sufficiently 'WTF!'



Story

Maybe Coded helped train my brain for even more Inception-style plot craziness, or maybe it was because everything else helped balance it out, but the absolute insanity of the plot (a lot of it I still can't completely parse out) didn't stop me from enjoying this game a ton. Much like BBS, it both answered some questions and raised a bunch of new ones. I'm not expecting KH3 to answer all the questions raised at this point (I'll be surprised if they ever go into more detail on how time travel works), but I do hope it ties up some of the crazy things introduced here. That said, there were a few moments where I actually said aloud "Oh, THANK YOU for explaining that!" So it definitely wasn't all endless questions.

There was some terrific Disney integration here...not quite as good as KH1 or BBS, but a whole lot better than Days, CoM, Coded or even KH2. They had a reason to go to every Disney world, and plenty of time and space to interact with the characters there. The worlds felt huge and explorable, in fact sometimes too huge, since it was really easy to get lost in a few places.

I'm glad I didn't let myself get spoiled for major plot things (although I did get spoiled for a few things in retrospect) because the ending was just one big gutpunch and CHEER! moment after another. I was flailing at my teeny little 3DS screens the entire time. All in all, a lot that confused my poor brain, but still a really fun ride.


Considering how much has changed between KH2 and what will be KH3, I don't think anyone going into KH3 will have a clue what is going on. Luckily, this game makes a strong point of serving as a catch-up point for the whole series, giving you plenty of resources to read up on previous games and see how everything ties together. So on the one hand, if anyone wants to get caught up before KH3, this is a great way to do so. On the other hand, if you're the sort that thinks the plot got too convoluted with, say, Days...then yeah, this game will just make it worse on you and you may as well stop now. This series is definitely making a show of GO BIG OR GO HOME, and at this point, I am soooo ready for ALL THE HUGE THINGS coming up. 8D It is going to be INTEEEENSE and I CANNOT WAIT.

But yeah, if you've got a 3DS? Definitely play this one. It's fast, it's fun, it's insane, it's emotional, and gets you totally hyped for the upcoming climax!
 
 
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Yuuki Hikari: Sora & Rikuyuukihikari on August 8th, 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
This series is definitely making a show of GO BIG OR GO HOME

I REALLY LIKE THAT THEY'RE DOING IT. I like big stories that are way out there. More exciting. I like a bit of brain work to go with my brainless button mashing techniques. For all of us who've stuck around, who like this sort of thing, it's a treat.

SUCH A BIG POST... I wish I'd done a play-by-play but it didn't happen... it would have been mostly WTFs and OMFGs and OMGYAYs and NOOOO SORA!!!s and keyboard smashes...

I have to agree, nobody'll be able to waltz into KH3 and just 'pick it up' ROFL. The game will be for the series lovers. I do like how KHDDD (I don't like calling it 3D lol) helped cover off all the stories that came before.

WHAT. A. TRIP. That game was. And TRICKY too. And smartly crafted. I was raging (in a good "ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME!?" way) when I did the Riku 3-tier fight with Ansem going "omg this is a final boss battle for Riku!" and only THEN, after it's done, did I get the title card for TWTNW. My jaw just dropped... ALL THAT to start the level. This gaaaame XD; JEEZZZZZ I'm still recoverring and I think I need to play it again... replay value like WOAH (I want to play Days again too but that game makes me so sad LOL). I was SO confused for the first half of the game then it's like "HERE'S WHERE SHIT GETS SERIOUS!" I'm so excited just just just YAY. I hope we get a trailer at TGS this year.

Riku's character development has been such a treat, and you're right, this game felt more like Riku's game than Sora's. I couldn't stand Riku after KHI and was indifferent to him after KHII, but Re:CoM got me to open up to him and he's been developped SO well thereafter. That makes me so happy. And he's very 'aware' of himself and the people around him (ie: Sora and all the air in Sora's head sometimes ROFL). I love well rounded characters who prevail despite their odds and I love being so pleasantly surprised (the fact I ended up liking Riku as much as I do is the biggest surprise). By the end of this game, he'd stopped doubting himself despite his darkness and had become so strong because of it... I will continue to gush over this for all days to come XD;;. And with Riku's development coming so far, Sora's purpose for KH3 changes... not in a bad way, but I think he'll hold more responsibility over protecting and restoring the wounded hearts he unknowingly looks after (or is tied to), rather than being the lone warrior available to use a keyblade and defend everyone, etc. SPECULATION AHOY.

Please Nomura, give Riku better clothes. Something "Master"-y... and classy.... ish.

Somewhere in all this I think you mentioned that Sora got Xion's memories along with Roxas's... there was a LOT to cover, so I might have missed it, but I thought it was only Roxas' he got, minus the Xion (though he did get to see her). I'll have to rewatch the cutscene I think.

I'm so excited for all the plot points that are going to get hit in KHIII, revilations, etc etc... god it's so far away too... please Square, surprise us with sooner-than-not release date.

Kay I'm off to set up shop in my 'So Pleased With Riku' corner for the forseeable future.
lynxgriffin: Sora - Just Can't Waitlynxgriffin on August 9th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
I REALLY LIKE THAT THEY'RE DOING THAT, TOO. This series seriously feels like it's turning into Star Wars or Harry Potter-level universes, with a massive universe that tons of side stories can go into that all serve the bigger narrative. And it just feels like such a reward for the fans.

This was pretty much 65% keyboard smashes, yes. XD

YES I HOPE WE GET A TRAILER, TOO. I don't even care if there's no footage, just a logo and "YES WE ARE WORKING ON THE NEXT GAME" bit. I'm not sure what other games they could do except for KH3 next, since this one really did seem to lead into the big final battle.

Yeah, just, ALL THE HAPPINESS FOR RIKU GROWING AND IMPROVING AND NO LONGER BEING A DICK. He was SO much fun to follow! And yeah, obviously Sora isn't going to stop using a Keyblade because Main Protagonist Of Game and all that, but it'll be interesting to see what other things he does to actually save everyone.

Huh, I could have sworn he got both Roxas and Xion's? I'd need to go back and look closely. He definitely encountered Xion at least.

CAN I JOIN THIS CORNER TOO
Swyrel: Say What?swyrel on August 8th, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC)
I was contemplating whether to buy a 3DS just for this game, but was unsure. Thank you, Lynx, you've talked me into it with just the last two paragraphs of your post. I hate that I don't get to read your commentary for it, but since I'm going to buy it now, I don't want spoilers. T_T
lynxgriffin: Axel - Pluto topslynxgriffin on August 9th, 2012 05:34 am (UTC)
All right, awesome! I hope you have a lot of fun with it! XD (And if you're looking for other games for the 3DS, I also got Theatrhythm and OoT 3D, and liked both of those! But even if not, just 3D on its own is much fun to play.
Swyrel: Mukuro Chrome Bearswyrel on August 12th, 2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
Late reply is late lol OoT? I'm bad with acronyms...is that the Zelda one? If so, I'm def getting that. Zelda is my third fav series, so I squee'd when I saw it was on the 3DS. I'll have to try Theatrhythm. I've heard lots of good reviews. I wish everything would hurry up and get here, but I'm still playing BBS since I JUST got my PSP. I can't start this one until I finish that one lol And I never did finish Days b/c my DS got stolen so hopefully that won't matter that much for playing the new one...