Distant Dreams

Mykaila Shakespeare
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[This may contains spoilers since it is an important title that leads to KH3. Please read at your own risk]

[I also want you all to know that this is my third time playing this game. I will explain in detail later in this review, but do take my opinions with a grain of salt since I had a lesser experience with the entirety of the title itself.]
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Continuing our story from ReCoded, we follow Sora and Riku in this next journey. With the supposed upcoming return of Master Xehanort, they must now take upon the big test, The Mark of Mastery, to prove themselves to become true masters in order to have the proper strength to fight against Xehanort's plans. They are put into the realm of dreams to awaken the sleeping worlds that reside. With the aid of Dream Eaters, you fight against their dark counterparts known as Nightmares in hopes to wake up the sleeping worlds and pass the test to become true masters. Along the way, they encounter a mysterious young man throughout their test. It is up to Sora and Riku to accomplish the test while figuring out the reason for seeing the young man following them.
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This is game interesting. If anything, it is probably the most polarizing game in the series. 

You play as both Sora and Riku simultaneously. Switching them requires somethings via "dropping". This is considered an annoying mechanic simply because, for example, if you were in a boss fight and the drop gauge depletes in the middle of it, you switch to another character but you come back and have to start over again (rinse and repeat). However, for my case, I always use a certain item to keep from this predicament. So, I personally had no problem at all with the dropping myself (we fans recommend you use the item).

The gameplay is supported by a new kind of game mechanic called Flowmotion. It allows you to jump into higher places and allows you to travel faster. It is also an advantage in combat. I mean, this advantage is so broken it limits the other commands you can use throughout the game. It was fine for me, but to many it takes the fun out because of how repetitive it is. 

This time around, you have Dream Eaters as your allies in this title (in replacement of Donald and Goofy). They are a bit more helpful in terms of combat as well as linking to certain abilities. My problem with the links is that I have to find more items to create a dream eater that would give me the important abilities I need. That is called grinding my friends. I do not mind some grinding but this kind of grinding I felt like I need to get used to.

The story is by far an incredibly difficult plot to explain. This title gave many fans a lot of intense face palms because of one major element that pretty much ruined the story overall. I will not say it here for the sake of avoiding spoilers. Let's just say it really connects everything because of this element? :/

Alright, here comes my case in the title in general. This is my third time playing the game, so I can't say my full thoughts on the game altogether. I still need to get used to this game eventually.

When I played this the second time for the heck of it I guess, I felt kinda meh on it. Which I find odd because I did have fun when I played it the very first time. My feelings for it are a bit complicated. On one hand, there is the ability mechanic via dream eaters that I am not a fan of (plus the plot is difficult to explain verbally). On the other hand, I think it had some decent character moments (at least for me, from a particular character. 

As for music....it's not as memorable as past titles. However, there are a 2-3 tunes that are pretty much the best of the bunch in my opinion: (). The rest is kinda lost for me and not exactly worth downloading.

The worlds are even a tad bit meh. I don't think I have a particular favorite Disney world in this title. <strike> The closest I'll get to a favorite in terms of Disney Worlds is Symphony of Sorcery because it is by far one of the most unique worlds in the series.</strike>. At least they are somewhat newer worlds and not reusing a chunk of worlds we visited in KH1. It's just not exciting :/

Here is where speak my thoughts on the story, including the element that made this title polarizing. So, once again, heads up on the spoilers.

 

 


[SPOILERS AHEAD]

One of the biggest issues it had was their introduction to Time Travel. I actually do not mind time travel. The issue for most people was that this is a sample of Nomura's habit in this series. He makes up concepts as the series goes along. What we thought was yellow and blue to green paint, Nomura just added an entirely new color out of nowhere. On top of that, how to explain time travel is a bit difficult to explain. I mentally get it, but I cannot verbally say it without sounded like I am going to burst your brain to goo. 

I also want to point out something that may or may not be an unpopular opinion. In case you don't know, I am a fan of Transformers. I have watched the live action films since it's first release. I have watched it grow careless and it loses potential every single time. I am saying this because it is the opposite of what Kingdom Hearts was doing. While they both are made up as they go along, Kingdom Hearts at least had more passion and care with the characters and even the story added with lore. We care so much for this otherwise we wouldn't be looking forward to KH3. That's why I feel like this title is tolerable in terms of them adding time travel. Yes, it's hard to explain but I feel like I understand it more than the somewhat empty series that is the Transformers live action films.

Moving on, one of the highlights of this title is Riku. Once again, I had to say that his development is one of my favorites in this series. Seeing him now from back in KH1 is really cool to see. On top of that, back in the day, I was young and thought Riku was kinda terrible. In KH2 (back in the day), I just didn't understand his motives. But growing up now, I finally understand him. That, and is one of the reasons why the concept of how you look at both light and darkness is so good (which is something Kingdom Hearts impresses me on with it's in-depth perspective). Plus, I actually enjoy his gameplay a bit more than Sora (in this title).

One of the important scenes involve the final score on their exam. Turns out, Riku managed to pass and became a Keybalde master.  This scene was a bit controversial last I remembered. Not just because Riku passed in general. But the fact that Sora failed the test. To many Sora fans, it was a let down because they felt that Sora deserved a higher reward for saving all the worlds for the past two years [in game]. I want to throw in and say while I understand why people felt this way. However, between Sora and the audience, Sora handled it very well. Instead of feeling sad for himself, he cheered for Riku. This moment shows what kind of person Sora is (if anyone hasn't figured out at this point). I'm sure he was saddened, but he was able to make up for in the end. With that in mind.mi was happy for Riku. To see him come this far is a sight to behold. As previous mentioned, I didn't care about Riku at first. But going through this series, he has earned my respect for him.m.

Speaking of Sora, his character throughout this title is interesting too. 

This title has some decent moments however. One of my favorites, of course, involves Lea (aka Axel). Anytime I see him on screen, I just feel blessed. I think out of his moments in this title, my absolute favorite is him saving Mickey and co from Maleficent and Pete. That moment was so great it deserved a mic drop. Then we also have the most shocking from him was receiving his very own Keyblade. I am looking forward to see more of this in KH3...well, Lea in general really LOL

 

[END SPOILERS]

 

That being said, this is a fine title. It is not a true favorite for me yet, but I do enjoy the gameplay and even the story, or least the character moments. I would not consider this the worst title for me, but it is polarizing at best. I'd say just try it out yourself and you can decide whether or not you like it. 

[ARTIST NOTES] 

This began the difficulty of ideas for the upcoming posters, this title included. This one is a bit easier to decide because it is more or less inspired by the cover art of DDD. However, I added something unique to this in a way. The setting of the sky is like 2 sides of one coin. I'll let you figure that out.

I originally was going to give them their keyblades, but I felt it would create a tangent for this size, especially near the title placement (to which that was kind of a pain honestly, but still worked out LOL). 

If you want this for a wallpaper, you choose one side or the other ^^

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Not very long till this project is done and Kingdom Hearts 3 being right on our door step. I got the X timeline to cover. They will be in 3 segments: Back Cover (which is simply the movie), Unchained being the gameplay of the mobile game, and Union Cross which is the story of the mobile game. After all that, will be the last game being 0.2 Fragmentary Passage. They will all be posted in January weekly till release in Japan. Please look forward to these last upcoming posters. 

 

You can check the other posters hrough this link in my deviantART: https://www.deviantart.com/mns-prime-21/gallery/67100545/Kingdom-Hearts-III-Countdown


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