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Kingdom Hearts 3 Makes Me Feel Conflicted...

How do you feel about KH3?  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about KH3?

    • Best in the series!
      4
    • I can see the flaws, but they don't bother me too much!
      16
    • I liked it but the disappointment outweighs the positives for me...
      3
    • I honestly feel it's terrible.
      0


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So...

It's been almost a month since KH3 released. Enough time for emotions to simmer down and solid opinions to form. And my opinions? They are very conflicted. This is gonna be a long and rambly post that goes through a lot of my feelings toward this Final Chapter, so be warned. This also kind of my review I guess, so let's goooo.

Let's start off with the easy stuff: Gameplay. It's brilliant. The Air slide is absolutely perfect, and being able to use items and guard midair is amazing. I will say that the game is quite easy, I played through on standard mode and even in KH2 standard mode there were parts I felt challenged by (damn you hot rods). This game though, I felt like I died probably four or five times, and at least twice it was because I wasn't paying attention. However that is probably gonna be an easy fix with a critical mode patch. Attractions are a little annoying with their frequency but you can easily choose not to use them. However an option to disable them would be so welcome.

The music is absolutely amazing, Tension Rising being a huge favourite of mine. I have nothing else to say because it's all just so damn good, The Other Promise, Vector to the Heavens GAH IT'S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.

And then the writing and story.....

sigh

I'm under no illusions when it comes to Tetsuya Nomura and his mastery over the craft of storytelling. But I have always maintained that he could always bring out the emotions - whether they be of sadness, excitement, and anything inbetween. However due to how streamlined and rushed the endgame is, and how the buildup is practically non-existent, I'm not so sure that I can even say this much anymore.

In KH1, when everyone is separated and you have to go your own ways, it's heartbreaking because there was all this buildup to Sora, Kairi and Riku finally being together again, and then Riku steps upto the plate and as far as Sora is concerned practically sacrifices himself. You feel that sadness and then Simple and Clean hits and then "Nothing's like before". KH2 has you search for Riku as your driving purpose, and the ending is sooo satisfying because you've finally earned your happy ending.

Days and BBS end tragically, and in Days' case, it's somehow worse because we all know what happens to Roxas. You play through Roxas' monotonous routine, you get to see him develop and then you see it all snatched away. In BBS, it's a tale of three friends and how their bonds with each other are tested, and at the end, you feel for these characters and their fates. The key thing here is buildup.

KH3 didn't have much of that. At all.

Spoiler

Where to begin? The Power of Waking was so vague and it's dangers not explained and built up at all. I felt no connection when Sora suddenly faded away, and in fact, it angered me! Because instead of trying to build up to this plot point, the game spent what precious few plot scenes it had on establishing UX links that don't even have anything to do with KH3. Of course, by all means include sequel bait in your game, many KH games do. But no KH game has spent the majority of it's build up building up another game. Let's break it down:

Between the Twilight Town visit and Destiny Islands there were:

2 Kairi and Lea scenes

1 Maleficent Scene plus the whole of POTC

2 Riku and Mickey scene (1 flashback)

2 Gummi ship scenes (2 pointless power of waking meandering)

2 Keyblade graveyard scene (1 ux setup)

That One Aqua Ninja scene

The Hayner scene

One gummi ship and riku and mickey scene were joint and Talked about Roxas

So in conclusion the short scenes we have that advance the plot are:

talking about Roxas and Replicas

Riku and Mickey talking to Ienzo about Replicas

Vexen being a member of the organisation

Aqua being a badass

Hayner being a badass

And then the plot starts. That's not enough.

This was supposed to be the magnum opus of the series thus far. Even Nomura considered it a finale of sorts otherwise why would he have called 2.8 the Final Chapter Prologue? And yet, and yet...

The story fell flat. Practically every twist and turn was shown in the trailers. The trailers created an image of a KH3 that was not true. How many of us felt Aqua would be an early game boss due to Nomura expressing surprise at how shocked the fans were. In fact Nomura was shocked at how much he was asked about FF inclusion. Nomura was shocked at Radiant Garden coming in fifth place in a popularity poll. Nomura then expressed a desire to make Disney Worlds so good that fans would love them more. That's not how it works big guy. This is a man who is clearly not in touch with his fanbase at all.

For the past seven years we have all been hotly anticipating this title, being shown bombastic trailer after bombastic trailer; each one trying to outdo the other in terms of hype amplification. This is a drastic change from prior years when we had handheld after handheld, each one being more experimental than the last that led us all into an expectation that perhaps that would now be Kingdom Hearts' direction. And then 2013 came. Just from the look of the gameplay, and the 2015 trailer giving us the first real snippet of story, and every trailer after that showing off how Numberish and not Spinoffish KH3 was shaping up to be. Alas, the real secret the trailers kept us from would be the prevalence of UX plot points.

The vastly reduced Original Worlds, the complete absence of Final Fantasy, the absolutely dire pacing of the story and the complete lack of explanation of anything that this game created is something that has not been present in every KH game, let alone a numbered one. It's sad that the finale of this years long saga goes out with a frustratingly loud misfire.

I wanted to like this game so badly, and tried to convince myself that these were all surface level complaints but honestly? They're not. These are the things that set the numbered titles apart from the mediocrity of the spin-offs. KH3 felt like a spinoff. And I hate that I feel that way.

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I voted "Best in the series!" but the first two options aren't mutually exclusive. It's the best in the series, I can see the flaws and they don't bother me that much. Gameplay and level design are the best so far and I enjoyed the story but KH1 is still the best in this regard.

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Hmm. I went for the second option but realistically I need one below that:

"I like it overall but the flaws bother me somewhat"

That feeling of slight disappointment is something I can't deny. At the start of the game, I was smiling throughout Olympus, and how bombastic and fun it was.

But by the end, I was straight faced, even the big moments 

Spoiler

Like the org fights,

didn't do much for me, I wasn't feeling hyped for the end. Which is sad really. That's because of a combination of things, mainly story and original world woes, as you know.

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1 hour ago, Novayon said:

Hmm. I went for the second option but realistically I need one below that:

"I like it overall but the flaws bother me somewhat"

That feeling of slight disappointment is something I can't deny. At the start of the game, I was smiling throughout Olympus, and how bombastic and fun it was.

But by the end, I was straight faced, even the big moments 

  SPOILERS: Click to reveal

Like the org fights,

didn't do much for me, I wasn't feeling hyped for the end. Which is sad really. That's because of a combination of things, mainly story and original world woes, as you know.

Ahh, that's exactly how I felt! Especially in Arendelle, the worlds started to feel like barriers for me and I was rushing to get to the end. I really didn't appreciate bh6 or potc as much as I could have because they felt like blocks to the actual plot. There was no gradual build up to anything

 

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I chose the second option. The game does have flaws, but no more than any other game in the series. I think that all the buildup and the long wait for this game caused a ton of hype that no game would ever be able to live up to. The long wait also allowed time for tons of theories and expectations built up by fans, which in my experience end up causing disappointment in the long run. 

Spoiler

I've also seen a lot of complaints about the brief appearances of certain characters, and while yes, I wish we could have seen more of Kairi and Lea, I definitely think that this problem isn't exclusive to Kingdom Hearts 3. Kingdom hearts 2 involved Sora searching for Riku, and honestly we didn't see much of him. Granted he didn't want to be found and was helping out behind the scenes, but still. 

There have also been a lot of complaints about plot threads that were just kind of glanced over and a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes. Again, Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 had these issues as well. For instance, in Kingdom Hearts, Riku (possessed by Ansem) obtains the Keyblade of People's Hearts. Where and how did he get that? We never get a decent explanation, he's just like "oh, I have this keyblade now". Also, in Kingdom Hearts 2 Axel kidnaps Kairi, and then when you run into him later you learn that Saix somehow got his hands on her. When did that happen? How did that happen? We never really saw it, it just gets randomly explained. 

There are definitely more examples of this, but I don't want to go on and on about it. I would rather not turn this into a rant.

I'm not saying that we should all be hating on all the Kingdom Hearts games for these problems, but the thing is, if you really think about it, a lot of the issues people are finding in this new installment aren't exclusive to Kingdom Hearts 3. Personally, I'm an optimist, so I tend to focus more on the positives than the negatives. But I also think it's important to look at the big picture and realize that some of KH3's problems aren't necessarily with this one game, but the series as a whole.

But hey, this is just my opinion. I get that you're struggling with your feelings about the game, and I respect that. This is just my two cents on the matter.

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5 hours ago, Novayon said:

Hmm. I went for the second option but realistically I need one below that:

"I like it overall but the flaws bother me somewhat"

 

This was me as well. 

   I get the pacing problems and I agree. There was very little plot until they did dumped it all at the end. They could've had pieces of this happen throughout the game more or at least give it a middle or something. I didn't feel like i could really enjoy the disney worlds like I could've bc i was rushing to get to the main plot. The tiny glimpses we were given weren't enough. I felt bored in Arrendelle except for when Larxene showed up but even then that wasn't often and not too much happened with her. I loved loved loved Olympus and fighting the titans.

  I loved the reunions but felt they let the chance to have more multiple playable characters( not just Riku and Aqua who we have played before ) with all their different abilities and fighting styles go to waste. Our current generation consoles have this capability so there wasn't much excuse. Playable Axel/Lea vs Saix should've happened tyvm lol.

  We also didn't get much time to see them unite and interact once they all got saved. Overall though I got great joy out of seeing everyone reunited. I cried like a baby haha

  Kairi is well ummm- yes they could give her more action and more spotlight. I think we were all waiting for that finally and thus it was a disappointment. It was also a disappointment to re-use the same plot device ( kidnapping)..However I will say people forget she was the reason Sora was saved AGAIN and the reason he could come back to save everyone else.There is something to say to that and she wasn't useless. What was she supposed to do against Xemnas? What was Axel/Lea suppose to do against Xemnas? This character needed both Riku and Sora to defeat him the first time they battled him and it wiped them out. I do think they could have done better showing what Axel/Lea and Kairi could do and learned while training and see them fight better though.

  Gameplay was for me mostly fun and I enjoyed it. You had many choices how you wanted to play your gameplay and I didn't even use my links. I loved how Ratatouille was implemented here and it was so fun and adorable. I was iffy on emblems at first but ended up liking them and had a little fun with it.

  The Final world was interesting and something we have never seen before- and we could get some interesting little bits of info up there too. It was the KH version of Heaven I think? Or afterlife. When we had to start chasing litch's (sp?) though that was somewhat annoying bc I wanted to get back to the fight so having to chase them was not my favorite thing lol But we needed our friends back first so we did what needed done.

   Keyblade Graveyard was fun but I felt the fights with our favorite villains were watered down fighting them in bunches. I do love how they humanized the organization more especially Xemnas. Dialogue was good though in my opinion. The whole process though felt rushed and we didn't get to really enjoy the victories or the reunions after the fact although they were indeed emotional. 

  Master Xehanort was never a favorite of mine and he goes from "there is too much light we need darkness to balance to now he wanted more light??? How does that make sense? He murdered and ruined so many peoples lives and he's trying to act like he was some good guy all along wanting what's best bc SOMEONE had to do it?? To me he came off as some bad guy who knows he's cornered and is giving us a bunch of BS. Then we have Eraqus come and tell him he needs to give up bc although it's too late for them - it wasn't too late for everyone else. Also reminding him he never admits when he's lost. Then they go off into the light peacefully. Just UGH. MX deserves a horrible death. He just murdered Kairi minutes before. The list of his victims were long and you can't really come back from that that easily.

   The ending was definitely bittersweet- the majority of the good guys saved and reunited...Then Sora goes off to save Kairi knowing what happened to him in DDD and knowing all the warnings about what could happen from others. Maybe it would be a good idea to run this by Yen Sid and get a game plan going? I dunno but so extremely stupid and very much Sora.. The Destiny Islands end scenes are both touching yet heartbreaking.The Clocktower scenes made me cry especially seeing Isa back and everyone with new outfits.

   The Epilogue was kinda 50/50 I loved Xigbar being Luxu and always knew Xigbar had something going on this entire time. However, makes me wonder if the Foretellers are actually evil and we still don't know what the MoM really wants.

 

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Spoiler

I'm option 2. I enjoyed the game but I see the flaws. Like many I started rushing through the Disney Worlds by the time I realized they were not really advancing the plot. I loved playing in the Disney worlds, and I really love Toy Story and Monsters Inc., but there were pacing issues in the story.

I standby my biggest disappointment being the lack of character interactions at the Graveyard. The reunions knocked it out of the park for me and are some of my new favorite KH moments of all time, so it was disappointing to not see all these wonderful characters interact together afterwords. Like they could have had Roxas think Terra looks a bit like Xemnas, or be really funny and have Xion try to explain to everyone what she is, while Jiminy tries to write it all down in the Gummiphone. Just imagine the look on everyones faces, I so wanted that for a good comedy moment. Terra didn't interact with anyone outside Aqua and Ventus, outside the nonspeaking ending. Oh what could have been between all these characters. I still believe Roxas and Namine should have been saved before the Graveyard too.

Another thing is the difficulty. I don't have a problem with it really. Maybe I'm just really good at Kingdom Hearts, but I thought even KH2 was pretty easy. Only Xaldin, the Hot Rod Cars, Beserker Nobodies, and Fat Bandits (Don't ask) have ever killed me in KH2, outside optional content like Sephiroth. Everything else was average. Reaction Commands make KH2 just as manageable as the ones in KH3 really. I don't see much difference. I really should play the Final Mix version to see what makes KH2 so hard I guess.

 

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Spoiler

i don't think i can add here to much that hasn't already been said except the biggest thing that had me going, and then bugged me at the end, was the org. i don't like that you don't fight them in the worlds(i get it their goating you on) but if larxene is gonna blow me off a mountain why can't i fight her first? why is card guy the only one you somewhat interact with? seems like wasted potential to me but that's ok make me climb the mountain again for no reason. now i did like the ending, although old norty did get off a little to easy, xigbraig revealing to him and killing him with "no name" would have been cool... the end org fights were lacking to be sure even though the idea was kinda cool that i saw only marluxia and larxene had some team attack and talked to each other in the fight if they did that it(correct me if i'm wrong here) would have made it better for me. now as for the pacing i think a second visit would have helped, not to beat the dead horse over and over but like 2 second time around the org member does something blaa blaa that would at least give you the option of doing worlds in weird orders but maybe that's just me.

oh yeah and no FF characters? nomura you made me like squall even though i hate his game C'MON!

 

Edited by teh lazy prince Xylek

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I really do think it is the best in the series honestly. Combat feels good and fluid, you have a ton of options, good amount of content (LOTS of mini-games), visually beautiful,  great music, superb direction for the cutscenes and a mostly satisfying story. Only thing that's really lacking is challenge and more post-game battles would be appreciated. Sure it has flaws, but all other KH games have flaws too. I feel like the other games don't compare to this one in terms of quality.

Now if we were to compare KH3 with other video games outside the KH series, my take on it might not be as positive.

 

Edited by PrinceNoctis

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3 hours ago, HarLea Quinn said:

This was me as well. 

  SPOILERS: Click to reveal

   I get the pacing problems and I agree. There was very little plot until they did dumped it all at the end. They could've had pieces of this happen throughout the game more or at least give it a middle or something. I didn't feel like i could really enjoy the disney worlds like I could've bc i was rushing to get to the main plot. The tiny glimpses we were given weren't enough. I felt bored in Arrendelle except for when Larxene showed up but even then that wasn't often and not too much happened with her. I loved loved loved Olympus and fighting the titans.

  I loved the reunions but felt they let the chance to have more multiple playable characters( not just Riku and Aqua who we have played before ) with all their different abilities and fighting styles go to waste. Our current generation consoles have this capability so there wasn't much excuse. Playable Axel/Lea vs Saix should've happened tyvm lol.

  We also didn't get much time to see them unite and interact once they all got saved. Overall though I got great joy out of seeing everyone reunited. I cried like a baby haha

  Kairi is well ummm- yes they could give her more action and more spotlight. I think we were all waiting for that finally and thus it was a disappointment. It was also a disappointment to re-use the same plot device ( kidnapping)..However I will say people forget she was the reason Sora was saved AGAIN and the reason he could come back to save everyone else.There is something to say to that and she wasn't useless. What was she supposed to do against Xemnas? What was Axel/Lea suppose to do against Xemnas? This character needed both Riku and Sora to defeat him the first time they battled him and it wiped them out. I do think they could have done better showing what Axel/Lea and Kairi could do and learned while training and see them fight better though.

  Gameplay was for me mostly fun and I enjoyed it. You had many choices how you wanted to play your gameplay and I didn't even use my links. I loved how Ratatouille was implemented here and it was so fun and adorable. I was iffy on emblems at first but ended up liking them and had a little fun with it.

  The Final world was interesting and something we have never seen before- and we could get some interesting little bits of info up there too. It was the KH version of Heaven I think? Or afterlife. When we had to start chasing litch's (sp?) though that was somewhat annoying bc I wanted to get back to the fight so having to chase them was not my favorite thing lol But we needed our friends back first so we did what needed done.

   Keyblade Graveyard was fun but I felt the fights with our favorite villains were watered down fighting them in bunches. I do love how they humanized the organization more especially Xemnas. Dialogue was good though in my opinion. The whole process though felt rushed and we didn't get to really enjoy the victories or the reunions after the fact although they were indeed emotional. 

  Master Xehanort was never a favorite of mine and he goes from "there is too much light we need darkness to balance to now he wanted more light??? How does that make sense? He murdered and ruined so many peoples lives and he's trying to act like he was some good guy all along wanting what's best bc SOMEONE had to do it?? To me he came off as some bad guy who knows he's cornered and is giving us a bunch of BS. Then we have Eraqus come and tell him he needs to give up bc although it's too late for them - it wasn't too late for everyone else. Also reminding him he never admits when he's lost. Then they go off into the light peacefully. Just UGH. MX deserves a horrible death. He just murdered Kairi minutes before. The list of his victims were long and you can't really come back from that that easily.

   The ending was definitely bittersweet- the majority of the good guys saved and reunited...Then Sora goes off to save Kairi knowing what happened to him in DDD and knowing all the warnings about what could happen from others. Maybe it would be a good idea to run this by Yen Sid and get a game plan going? I dunno but so extremely stupid and very much Sora.. The Destiny Islands end scenes are both touching yet heartbreaking.The Clocktower scenes made me cry especially seeing Isa back and everyone with new outfits.

   The Epilogue was kinda 50/50 I loved Xigbar being Luxu and always knew Xigbar had something going on this entire time. However, makes me wonder if the Foretellers are actually evil and we still don't know what the MoM really wants.

 

 

2 hours ago, SweetYetSalty said:
  SPOILERS: Click to reveal

I'm option 2. I enjoyed the game but I see the flaws. Like many I started rushing through the Disney Worlds by the time I realized they were not really advancing the plot. I loved playing in the Disney worlds, and I really love Toy Story and Monsters Inc., but there were pacing issues in the story.

I standby my biggest disappointment being the lack of character interactions at the Graveyard. The reunions knocked it out of the park for me and are some of my new favorite KH moments of all time, so it was disappointing to not see all these wonderful characters interact together afterwords. Like they could have had Roxas think Terra looks a bit like Xemnas, or be really funny and have Xion try to explain to everyone what she is, while Jiminy tries to write it all down in the Gummiphone. Just imagine the look on everyones faces, I so wanted that for a good comedy moment. Terra didn't interact with anyone outside Aqua and Ventus, outside the nonspeaking ending. Oh what could have been between all these characters. I still believe Roxas and Namine should have been saved before the Graveyard too.

Another thing is the difficulty. I don't have a problem with it really. Maybe I'm just really good at Kingdom Hearts, but I thought even KH2 was pretty easy. Only Xaldin, the Hot Rod Cars, Beserker Nobodies, and Fat Bandits (Don't ask) have ever killed me in KH2, outside optional content like Sephiroth. Everything else was average. Reaction Commands make KH2 just as manageable as the ones in KH3 really. I don't see much difference. I really should play the Final Mix version to see what makes KH2 so hard I guess.

 

 

2 hours ago, teh lazy prince Xylek said:
  SPOILERS: Click to reveal

i don't think i can add here to much that hasn't already been said except the biggest thing that had me going, and then bugged me at the end, was the org. i don't like that you don't fight them in the worlds(i get it their goating you on) but if larxene is gonna blow me off a mountain why can't i fight her first? why is card guy the only one you somewhat interact with? seems like wasted potential to me but that's ok make me climb the mountain again for no reason. now i did like the ending, although old norty did get off a little to easy, xigbraig revealing to him and killing him with "no name" would have been cool... the end org fights were lacking to be sure even though the idea was kinda cool that i saw only marluxia and larxene had some team attack and talked to each other in the fight if they did that it(correct me if i'm wrong here) would have made it better for me. now as for the pacing i think a second visit would have helped, not to beat the dead horse over and over but like 2 second time around the org member does something blaa blaa that would at least give you the option of doing worlds in weird orders but maybe that's just me.

oh yeah and no FF characters? nomura you made me like squall even though i hate his game C'MON!

 

I don't know how it's possible to agree so much but I agree with literally everything all of you have said 100%

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