Dagesh Lene

In Defense of Every KH Game That isn't KH 1 or 2

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To me, it seems that every Kingdom Hearts game that isn't Kingdom Hearts 1 or Kingdom Hearts II gets more hate than they deserve.  I'm not saying that they are all perfect games, far from it.  I'm also not trying to criticize people who think this way.  It's just that, in my opinion, most of these games are good, and I'm going to try to explain why.

 

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories

 

This game is probably the most different in terms of gameplay from any of the other Kingdom Hearts games.  You spend the entire game in one location (Castle Oblivion), create rooms with cards, and battle with cards.  Almost every single world and enemy you fight is from the previous game, and every single world you visit is basically the same world with different enemies in them, making the gameplay feel very repetitive over time.  The only important story is told as you exit one world and head to the next world (even though the stories of Disney worlds usually aren't important to the main story of the game, these stories seem really watered down).

 

So, why is this game better than people make it out to be?  This game was originally made for the Game Boy Advance and therefore couldn't have too complex gameplay or world designs.  Given the limitations that Square-Enix had, I think that they did a good job and created a new gameplay system that required strategy as you had to carefully plan out what cards to use.  The stories within the revisited worlds, while not nearly as good as their stories in the first game, mostly dealt with the game's overall theme of memories, making their stories not completely pointless.  The main story of the game I personally found very interesting, and it set up Kingdom Hearts II.  So, while the game isn't perfect, I think that it is a fine entry in the Kingdom Hearts series.

 

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

 

The big complaint with this game is that the gameplay is boring and repetitive.  I would have to agree with that.  You are just caring out the same missions every day while the important story is happening in between them, much like Chain of Memories.  However, while the missions themselves were repetitive, I thought that everything else was good.  Plus, I thought that this game had a great story.

 

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

 

I don't understand some of the hate that this game gets.  In my opinion, it is right up there with Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts II.  The only things I agree with is that the combat feels a little floaty and that some of the gameplay felt broken (such as dodge roll making you basically invincible), but those were never things that bothered me.  However, even if they did bother me, they wouldn't be enough for me to not like the game.  I think that this game has one of the best stories, and I also really liked the way that you could customize your command deck in this game.  I felt that it added another element of strategy as you had to choose the commands that you felt would best help you.

 

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

 

Other than the parts of the game where you have to enter data sections in order to fix glitches (which I hated), I thought that the gameplay was really good.  It took the good parts of 358/2 Days gameplay and made it better.  However, the gameplay isn't the stuff that people seem to take issue with.  It's the story.  I would have to agree that the story isn't that great.  Much like Chain of Memories, all of the worlds are worlds that you have already visited, and the stories within these worlds are really watered down from the original stories told in these worlds.  However,  unlike Chain of Memories, these stories are basically not important at all.  They don't connect to a bigger theme, they are just there.  The main story of the game itself doesn't even get important until the end when you find out how this story connects to the larger story.  So, yes, the story isn't that great, but is that really a good reason to hate this game?  For me, it is my least favorite game, but that is not just because of the story but also because of the data sections that you have to enter, which I didn't find that fun.  However, other than that, I found the gameplay good, which makes me think that the game is better than people say it is.

 

Kingdom Hearts [Dream Drop Distance]

 

While I understand the hate for this game more than I did for Birth by Sleep, I still don't understand why this game gets so much hate.  The gameplay is a lot like Birth by Sleep's gameplay, meaning that it is floaty and has some broken gameplay elements (such as Flow Motion), but other than that, like Birth by Sleep, I think that the gameplay is fine.  Yes, the story makes everything complicated and confusing, but, like with Re:coded, I don't see a confusing story as enough reason to hate a game.  I still think this game is fun to play, and I also personally don't think that the story is as bad as people say it is.

 

Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]

 

I really don't get why this game gets so much hate.  The only thing I don't like in this game is that most of the missions are filler missions.  Other than that, I think that this game is really fun, and I think that there is a lot to do for a game that is purchased off of an app store.  Yes, the game wants you to pay it money in order to get the good stuff, but I think that the game has improved a lot since the early days so that you can get a lot of really good medals without spending a cent.  Yes, it will take longer, but if you are patient, then you will have a lot of those powerful medals in no time, especially since you can earn a lot of jewels that you can use to buy medals just by completing the story missions.

 

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A fragmentary passage-

 

Okay, most people seem to like this one for what it is.

 

So, there are my thoughts on why these games deserve more credit than they receive.  I would like to stress one more time that I am not saying that these are perfect games.  A lot of the criticisms I feel are justified.  I just think that there are a lot of good things in these games that some people seem to ignore simply because they're not Kingdom Hearts 1 or Kingdom Hearts II.  What do you guys think?  Do you agree that these games get more hate than they deserve?  Do you disagree and think that they deserve the hate that they get?  Or do you think something else?

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I do think they get more hate than they deserve. However I will say that the one game I can not play again is Re:chain of memories. I played through it a lot on the gba and I just tried to play it for the first time on my ps4 and I just can’t do it. I’m not sure if it was just a combat system that worked on the gameboy or what, but I got to the first save point and don’t want to even continue. I crushed Birth by Sleep on psp and recently on ps4 and I agree with you that it is on kh1 and kh2 level.

 

I haven’t tried Dream Drop Distance on ps4 yet but I hope it isn’t anything like Re:chain of memories and feels natural to some extent because I did love playing the game on the 3ds. I personally never understood why they just didn’t make every game like the traditional Kingdom Hearts combat system but perhaps they wanted to try new things.

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I personally never understood why they just didn’t make every game like the traditional Kingdom Hearts combat system but perhaps they wanted to try new things.

 

I think that was it.  They were experimenting with new gameplay mechanics.  I think they have even said that they were doing that in some of the interviews if I am not mistaken.

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I think that was it.  They were experimenting with new gameplay mechanics.  I think they have even said that they were doing that in some of the interviews if I am not mistaken.

It makes sense, I guess with kh3 they took some aspects from each game except CoM and implemented them in there since sora has a shotlock now.

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every Kingdom Hearts game that isn't Kingdom Hearts 1 or Kingdom Hearts II gets more hate than they deserve. 

That is particularly true. Perhaps only because they were epic that people underrate others KH? I am not really that sure.

For haters, it's normal that they're gonna bring up any excuse without proper arguments to criticize the series. Either by talking bad about the non-numbered titles or talking bad about the mess of the storyline. It really pisses me off as a hard fanboy I am, but anyways.

For non-haters that criticize the non-numbered titles, I don't understand they much. What difference would it do if KHCOM were KH2, KH2 were KH3, BBS were KH4, Coded were KH5, DDD were KH6, and so on? If it were to be so, people would stop talking bad about them for sure. They could argue about the gameplay, but they wouldn't use the inproper argument: "it's a non-numbered game, so it's trash".

 

Anyway. There are some non-numbered titles that aren't as epic as KH1 or KH2 of course. COM was good about the storyline but many don't like the gameplay. Coded didn't add much to the storyline, but wasn't that bad at the gameplay. And BBS, it was on the same level as KH1 and KH2, I can say for sure. Epic boss battles and storyline. Good reasons already.

 

That's it xD

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Posted (edited)

I like this topic, and I've wanted to share my opinion about this for a while so I've decided to provide my own thoughts.

 

I've always been a solid defender of every game in the Kingdom Hearts series, not just the numbered ones. The thing that drives me nuts is that there are so many people who insist that the only games that are relevant to the series at all are 1 and 2 (though I find many of these people haven't even bothered to give the other games a chance), but the fact of the matter is that pretty much every game involves some pretty important plot developments that you need to know and understand in order to truly understand the events (not to mention characters) of Kingdom Hearts 3. 

 

I would say of the side games, Chain of Memories, Birth by Sleep and 3D, despite the fact that they're not technically "numbered titles", are equally as important as 1 and 2. Chain of Memories introduces Organization XIII and Namine, whom we all know are insanely important to the series as a whole since the Organization are the villains of KHII and Namine is a core character. Birth by Sleep is also extremely important. In fact, shortly after Birth by Sleep was announced back in 2007, Tetsuya Nomura said in an interview that fans should consider Birth by Sleep to be "Episode 0" of the series, and yeah, it basically is episode 0. It sets the events of the series in motion, introduces some new core characters who in many ways are central to the series' plot, and sets the groundwork for Master Xehanort's plan. Not to mention it provides important development for characters such as Braig, Lea and Isa, among others. Kingdom Hearts 3D is in a similar boat, as it shows us Xehanort's true plan and essentially sets up the plot of Kingdom Hearts 3. And once again, certain characters get some more development.

 

Also, I just have to throw in my two cents when it comes to Chain of Memories' gameplay because I find the fanbase to be pretty divided in this regard. I personally love the battle system of CoM. I find it to be very innovative and unique and you can build some pretty powerful decks. I find it makes it fun to be strategic, and I usually hate strategy-based gameplay. Now that being said, the battle system has some definite flaws. It takes forever to make your deck not terrible in the beginning of the game as the only battle cards you can get are very low numbers, and as a result enemies card break you constantly. Also, sleights are basically useless after the first or second one in the beginning of the game for the same reason; the card values are too low. But as a whole, I do enjoy the battle system once you get past the first few floors. However, I also completely understand people's hatred of it; I am not denying that it is a love-it or hate-it system.

 

Now then, 358/2 Days is also pretty important to the series, but I would say less so than CoM, Birth by Sleep and 3D. Don't get me wrong; it is not a good idea to skip this entry as there is crucial development for certain characters, not to mention some pretty important series plot points people need to know, but still, I just think it's not as relevant as the ones I listed above. I also had issues with the gameplay; specifically, the panel system. Oh my god, this system drove me nuts. I don't know about anyone else, but I found myself to be constantly running out of room to place my panels. I had to remove items and magic I'd really wanted to keep in order to fit things like Level Ups and weapons. I did not like this system at all. But again, not judging if anyone here liked it. Everyone likes different things, and I think that's awesome! :)

 

And last but not least, we have Re:Coded. This is the only game in the series that I think didn't really need to exist. It doesn't really have much to do with the main plot of the series, aside from the ending and a few moments here and there. It's just a side story that doesn't really add anything new. I enjoyed the gameplay and the graphics, and the plot of the game was fine, I guess. But I think if I had to find a weak link in the series, this would be it. A friend of mine is playing through the complete Kingdom Hearts series (he has the PS4 collection) and he asked me if there's anything he should skip as the series is so long. I told him if he's going to skip an entry, skip this one. Now, to be clear, I did tell him that he should probably still watch the "movie" on the collection, but if he really wants to skip an entry in the series, skip Coded. Because let's face it guys, we can explain the important plot points of this game in 5 minutes. 

 

I don't have much to say about Union Cross to be honest, because I only played it for like a couple of months and then it got too big for my phone so I had to get rid of it. But I did enjoy what I played and I think it adds some interesting lore to the series. However, I can't really say much more on how important it is to the series as a whole because I didn't play enough of it. I did enjoy Back Cover, though, and I think it's a good idea to watch that in preparation for KH3 because I feel like there will be important plot points tied to it.

 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this matter. I think that anyone who skipped all the "side games" (I put that in quotations because as I've said I feel that most of those are actually just as important as the numbered titles) will be completely lost while they're playing KH3 and will have no idea who many of the characters are or what's going on. But hey, that's their choice and I respect that. But just to be clear here, I love this series. I love every entry, the story, the characters, the gameplay and the journey on which it's taken me. And most of all, I love you guys, this awesome community that I can share these thoughts with without fear of judgement. Thanks for reading! :)

Edited by Allwil13

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I love a lot of the side games (I mostly call them that cause they are non numbered and started out on handhelds) and I do think people at least need to give them a chance. The series is extremely experimental with both game play and story, and the side games are great examples of this. Each game is a different experience. Sure, sometimes some of the experiments don't work, but when it works it really works.

 

I do sometimes agree with some people though that not every game needs to have important story elements that ties into the main story line that you need to play (or watch) in order to understand the story. Especially when they are all on different consoles. That's a lot for a casual gamer or one with not a lot of money to keep up with. Now I know they are all on one console now but that was not the case before. Like I would still get the game even if it was just a one off story that focused on something else other than the main plot because it's Kingdom Hearts. Like Union Cross is probably a fine game but did it have to be connected to KH3 in anyway? It's a phone game that unless your a hardcore fan you would probably ignore. It should of had it's own self contained story, like they originally said it would.

 

But other than that I think people should give the other games a chance. They might end up liking them.  

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I love a lot of the side games (I mostly call them that cause they are non numbered and started out on handhelds) and I do think people at least need to give them a chance. The series is extremely experimental with both game play and story, and the side games are great examples of this. Each game is a different experience. Sure, sometimes some of the experiments don't work, but when it works it really works.

 

I do sometimes agree with some people though that not every game needs to have important story elements that ties into the main story line that you need to play (or watch) in order to understand the story. Especially when they are all on different consoles. That's a lot for a casual gamer or one with not a lot of money to keep up with. Now I know they are all on one console now but that was not the case before. Like I would still get the game even if it was just a one off story that focused on something else other than the main plot because it's Kingdom Hearts. Like Union Cross is probably a fine game but did it have to be connected to KH3 in anyway? It's a phone game that unless your a hardcore fan you would probably ignore. It should of had it's own self contained story, like they originally said it would.

 

But other than that I think people should give the other games a chance. They might end up liking them.  

I think Back Cover is supposed to be a condensed version of the important plot points of Union Cross. I imagine any relevant plot elements and references in KHIII will be explained in Back Cover. At least I hope so, because not a lot of people are interested in playing or able to play Union Cross.

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