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About thatkingdomheartsguy

  • Birthday 02/15/1990

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  1. Third installment of wonderfully thrilling review by this guy! If you're curious, here's my first two: http://kh13.com/forum/topic/103316-kh15-review-from-a-first-time-player/ http://kh13.com/forum/topic/103580-kh2fm-hd-review-from-a-first-time-player/ So BBS took me awhile to make and playthrough because I actually played the game twice; I just felt my thoughts on it weren't very finalized when I first finished, so I figured a 2nd playthrough would help. And it did, so here we go: I'm gonna talk about the story first. We're immediately introduced to three completely new characters: Terra, Aqua, and Ven. You can clearly see what Square was going for here: Ven = Sora, Terra = Riku, Aqua = Kairi. Their personalities kind of reflect the original trio too; Terra's the angsty teenager who has darkness in his heart, Ven is almost a less enthusiastic replica of Sora, and Aqua is the motherly figure (which is sorta like Kairi? I dunno, Kairi really wasn't fleshed out too well in the first few games). The story of BBS (which, I assume if you're reading this, you'll know it so I won't explain it thoroughly) expands upon the past of KH1 and how Keyblade Wielders came to be. While I do appreciate the expansion of lore to a degree, there's somethings that sort of bothered me. Firstly, the retcon of the idea of the Keyblade "choosing" its owner as a sentient sort of being: instead, they made it some sort of inheritance ceremony in conjunction to choosing an appropriate wielder. The whole thing is super unclear; Terra underwent the inheritance ceremony with Riku, which is how I understand Riku being the original "chosen wielder" prior to succumbing to darkness. On the other hand, Kairi's Keyblade in KH2 is also explained, but literally all she did was touch Aqua's Keyblade and that was enough? The game didn't do too well explaining the whole thing, and that sort of bothered me. So from what I can understand at this point, Xehanort's sort of the "main villain" that we're targeting. And yeah, all things considered, he's got a pretty cool design. Maybe somewhat cliche to some, but the idea of an "all powerful Keyblade Master" is pretty neat to me. This does bring up the question though; why couldn't Xemnas/Ansem (seeker of darkness one) wield a Keyblade? This is especially confusing since Xemnas' GOAL was to create an artificial Kingdom Hearts by collecting hearts that can only be done with a Keyblade...so why did he stop? To me, this seems like a plothole for now, but if they do decide to answer it in future games, it'll be pretty obvious it's retconned. My ideal plot in terms of lore expansion is that you can expand lore to a degree where you don't have several plotholes; anymore than that, and you've explained too much. Unfortunately, the story of BBS seems to do that somewhat, and even if several of my questions are answered in future games, it's very likely that its merely a retcon that Square realized after releasing the game. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against expanding lore, but if the original story was perfectly fine (I mean, I completely accepted the whole "keyblade = legendary myth in KH1), and expanding the lore further will cause a lot of confusion and plotholes, that's where it gets sort of overwhelming. Character motivations in here were also somewhat confusing. I personally felt the fight between Eraqus and Terra could've been completely avoided, had Eraqus told Terra about Ven sooner instead of being the typical "vague and mysterious" master he was. I mean seriously; Terra comes in, sees his master about to kill his best friend, so he'll naturally get angry. What does Eraqus do? No, he doesn't quell his anger and explain; he says sorry and raises his Keyblade to KILL TERRA. What??? The same can be said about the whole Terra and Ven taking off, forcing Aqua to go after them. Terra takes off instead of consulting his master, Ven follows Terra instead of consulting HIS master, and Aqua is forced to do the dirty work and follow them to make sure they're safe. The whole thing feels sort of contrived, and that was the big thing that sort of bothered me. I love the idea of Xehanort, but his motivation, at least to me, seems a little bit weak. From what I understand, he wishes to recreate the X-Blade out of sheer curiosity, and is literally willing to bring the world to an apocalypse to do that. It seems very far-fetched, but that may be because I can't relate to it. This kind of applies to other characters too; for some reason, I just can't relate to them very well, which goes back to my slight annoyance at the motivations behind certain character's actions. It just doesn't make sense to me. The idea behind Vanitas is pretty cool, but I felt his character was a bit too generic and we really didn't get to explore a lot of it. I think this applies to a lot of other characters too. And yeah, I understand they introduced a TON of new characters in the game, but if that means lessening character development and giving them less of a personal identity, I'd rather them only introduce a few characters but give them all unique identities. That being said, that doesn't mean the other KH games are exempt from this (cough cough Kairi), but it just seems so much more noticeable in this game since the three main characters just seem like...more boring copies of the original trio (excluding Aqua; she was a nice breath of fresh air). Something I did personally enjoy; the way the story was told was pretty interesting, and by the end of the three character arcs, I can piece together everything that happened and then make sense of it. The story was also similar to KH2/ReCoM's story where Disney Worlds just sort of stopped having meaning in the overall plot. I really LOVED how KH1 integrated the two together so well, but now it just seems like Disney worlds are mere filler until we get to the worlds where plot is revealed (Badlands/Keyblade Graveyard, Hollow Bastion, Land of Departure). The entire game is sort of a wild goose chase, until they finally end up in one area at the end and prepare for the final battle. Also, I love the design and decision of using a Keyblade Graveyard as a final battleground; seems very fitting. On the otherhand, the literal THOUSANDS of Keyblades make me wonder if they'll expand the plot even MORE in future games (go even further past and talk about the Keyblade War/X-Blade and what happened and stuff), and that worries me because explaining EVERYTHING will almost guarantee plotholes of some degree, and I really don't want to see this series go in that direction. Of course, I full understand those who enjoy more lore, but this is once again, just my personal view. ALRIGHT, that was long; moving on to gameplay and I'll try to make this a little shorter (although it probably won't be). Holy CRAP this game was different from the other KH games. My immediate impression was that it was a dumbed down version of the cards I loved in ReCoM, and...I was right. I really love how each KH game changes up the formula so much. The various commands we're allowed to choose demonstrates a HUGE variety of attacks, and I honestly loved it in the beginning. I think it's really my 2nd playthrough where I began to realize a couple of fundamental issues with the combat system: -Command Styles are annoying. Yeah, they boost your attacks and make them all fancy, but changing in the middle of a fight can actually get you hit because you dont have any i-frames afterwards. I actually died twice on Critical Mode (2nd playthrough) because I changed into a Command Style at a wrong time and an enemy hit me the moment the animation was done. Obviously it's not noticeable on lower difficulties, but still; it was kind of annoying. -I personally rarely found an incentive to use D-Links. I think this is sort of the whole KH2 syndrome, where the game gives you a bunch of stuff but doesn't explain how to use them so you never really will use them to their fullest until you choose to explore, which, from my understanding, a lot of people don't. However, I just never saw a D-Link better than my own Command Deck. Sure, you get special abilities and stuff, but they just weren't...good enough to use over my own commands. It's not a big deal; it's just immediately after playing KH2 on Critical Mode where I was forced to use my resources to the fullest, it was kind of a let down to see that most enemies can be beaten with mere commands. Speaking of which... -My experience, and this is from my experience only. Magnega, Thunder Surge, Fire Surge, Thundaga (maybe Mine Square sometimes). As far as I can tell, that's more or less all you need to beat the game, even on Critical Mode. This was super apparent by the end of my 1st playthrough. Thunder/Fire Surge did such an ABSURD amount of damage, even in comparison to the other powerful commands (Ars Solum, Timer Splicer, etc.) and they only took up 1 command slot. Magnega is perfect for rounding up enemies, and Thundaga obliterates them. No other commands are really needed when these are the ones you need to finish the job. It's even worse on Critical Mode, where I really learned the full extent of how insanely useful these commands were, to the point where they surpassed the other "2-slot" ones. I tried using Time Splicer on Final Vanitas, I really did. I ended up dying 3 times because he just kept hitting me during my attack and I couldn't do anything about it. It's just the other attacks are...so much better. I also wanted to mention Curaga really quickly; they sort of went back to KH1, where you can abuse Cure given the correct abilities (Magic Hastes and stuff), since it recharges so quickly. Not a HUGE deal, but just something I thought I'd point out. Now that doesn't mean I despise the combat; on the contrary, I still found it to be somewhat enjoyable, although I can see why a lot of the fanbase dislikes the system. It just wasn't very well balanced out, and especially on higher difficulties, it seems the only viable methods of attacking are through spamming those overpowered attacks. Even normal attacking is ruled out, because it's just not as good. I think it's mainly disappointment, because having played KH2 where you were given a bunch of good options to use and these cool combos, we go back to the normal 3 hit, and even weaker this time around. Terra's Slide is good, but Aqua and Ven's Cartwheel/Dodge Roll seem completely broken. When fighting the final bosses, I noticed by mashing Square, I can literally avoid any attack. That might just be luck on my part, but from what I can tell, you seem to be completely invincible while using their dodges. Obviously that's bad design, because it kinda destroys the skill and purpose behind dodging. The previous KH game's dodges didn't function like this, so it baffles why they decided to do this for this game. Another issue I have is with certain boss designs. You have to understand my perspective, after coming from a Critical Mode (and blind, mind you) playthrough of 2FM, I had the mindset of learning a boss's patterns and punishing accordingly. BBS didn't really give me any of that opportunity, as far as I can tell. The whole "Revenge Value" system is gone, and bosses just kinda do their thing. This wasn't too big of a deal until endgame, where certain fights in the final boss rush was a game of "run away, use Thunder/Fire Surge". I tried doing other methods on Critical; I honestly tried. I tried going in and being aggressive and died for it. I tried using powerful commands like Meteor or Magic Hour or Timer Splicer or Tornado, and I died. I even tried using Shotlocks (oh my god I haven't even talked about Shotlocks yet), and while it was useful on a few (notably Final Vanitas), I realized running away and using the Surge attacks during an opening was still the best option. Terra-Xehanort was also kind of bothersome, since he can heal himself (not sure if there's a pattern or just luck) and the only feasible method of getting damage on him quickly and not have the fight drag out for an hour is to reflect his dark bullets back at him. And don't get me wrong; I have nothing against that, but I guess I just expected a bit more sophistication after playing 2FM's bosses. Speaking of which, I haven't personally unlocked the Mysterious Figure fight but I've seen it on a YouTube video, and once again, it seems like a lot of Surge spamming and rolling. There's just not much strategy involved. I'll go over shotlocks really quickly; they're pretty damn useful, and I used it a LOT on my 1st playthrough. On the other hand, my 2nd playthrough sort of stopped using Shotlocks, just because I realized other options were better and more efficient. So yeah, a pretty neat and viable technique that was unfortunately undermined by other OP moves. So yeah, I know I said a decent amount of negative things about the game's story and gameplay, but that doesn't mean I hate it, nor does it mean I'm hating on the game. I'm just being critical, because that's generally how I am with my games. Good parts of this game? I liked the more expansive world design, even if platforming in certain areas are a bit janky. I absolutely loved the music and cinematics. I loved the atmosphere of certain areas. Mirage Arena was an absolute blast to play through, especially when overleveled as hell and you can just smash through wave after wave of enemies without a care in the world. However, these are all surface level enjoyment, and when I tried to go a bit more in-depth and learn about the game's mechanics, it just didn't have the same effect KH2 did on me. I can definitely see why some people love this game, while I can other see why others dislike it. For me, it's sort of an inbetween; I haven't had enough experience to fully comprehend what I truly think of the game, but I think this is a pretty solid answer from me. There's clunkiness here and there, but ultimately, I had fun playing through it (mostly), and that's what a good game should be all about, right? Final score: 7/10 I'll be playin through DDDHD next (PS4 coming in a bit!) and then 0.2, then maybe later Days/ReCoded. Who knows, I might even give Unchained X a try
  2. -that's true, which is good -true as well, but that's the only fight in the game that's good -aqua fight is really good, but all other fights suck -Really difficult to say considering how they've messed up these bosses time and time again -I personally believe judging how good KH3 will be on one boss in a 4 hour long demo to be kinda ridiculous, but we'll just have to see. Proud Mode has a Critical Mode syndrome to it as well, and while it's nowhere near as bad, there's a pretty big jump on limited options. Personally, I'd say I honestly had the most fun on Standard Mode because it was mildly challenging but you still had access to most resources. It's an opinion in the end though, so what can I say. I still don't see how length of a game gives them the excuse to add a ridiculous mode like this. If camping fights out and doing chip damage is a common concept throughout the entire game, why can't they just repeat it for 20-30 more hours to give the players even more of a "challenge"? Plus, Osaka has never designed a welll balanced Crit Mode so far, and saying that their first "attempt" on KH3 will definitely be perfect is a bit of a stretch. You're assuming that Square actually listens to their fanbase though, and also assuming the majority of the fanbase actually CARES about Critical Mode being bad. The truth is this: 80% of the fanbase will continue to remain ignorant of certain aspects of the game just because it's "0.2, and it's a demo for KH3 so that automatically makes it good." KH3 will sell ridiculously well regardless, and fans will still love it regardless of a bad Critical Mode. That's just how this fanbase works. Proud Mode is challenging, but not because of your own personal combat, but the awful AI for Devil's Waves and enemies. A good idea is this: revamping ALL enemy AI so they're actually good and you have plausible ways of dodging attacks and punishing them, like the Mirage Aqua fights. It can't be that hard; if they did it for KH2 10 years ago, why can't they do it again? I'm not talking about AI individually too; there's so much more to keep in mind. For example, mob fights involving enemies such as Water Core and Fire Core; those guys are STRONG. You can't just place 4 of them in the corner of a cramped room where they can shoot these homing projectiles at you; you get zero opening to attack them, and the moment you try, you get punished for not putting up a Barrier or dodging their attacks. The problem of the game rests here. Enemy AI sucks (aside from Mirage Aqua), and enemy placement and overall thought into fights suck. You have no means of crowd control, and you get punished for trying to take an offensive on higher difficulties. And yeah, I'm sure KH3 can fix the whole "crowd control" factor, but the fact remains that these issues still exist, and Osaka clearly doesn't understand complementing your combat system with the enemies; I just can't see how they can fix all this. A.) BBS and DDD's Critical Modes were awful, yes. If they were aware of how unbalanced the game was, that makes it even worse. It means they've fallen into this trap of thinking it's OKAY to make the entire game based on a single mechanic, and if you find that mechanic, you win. BBS is awful on balancing. Magnet and Thunder for all mob fights, Thunder Surges for bosses. Add in some Mine Square/Ignite/Poison and nothing can touch you. The final boss of Terra was awful; it's a repeated and boring fight of block, counter, Thunder Surge. There's literally nothing redeeming or good about that fight that makes it fun. I don't know about you, but blocking and countering for 30 minutes doesn't sound like a good fight to me; it's literally MF all over again. And yes, they've fixed balancing issues for 0.2 fundamentally, but there's so much more involved that you have to keep in mind. If they were always self-aware of the non-balancing issues in BBS and DDD as you claim, that means they couldve made a balanced game any time they wanted. 0.2 was backed up by the KH2-style combat system, which undoubtedly help resolve the balancing. However you also have to keep in mind the multitude of options we'll obtain in KH3, and it'll be much harder to balance that game than this game. Proud Mode was fair, but fights were still not fun. Why? Because of this consistent trap Osaka team falls into. The DW fights or enemies still force you to camp out their attacks, go in for a few hits, and back off. Enemy AI is awful, and Proud doesn't fix that. All these issues still linger in the game, it's just so much better on Standard and Beginner because you can actually take hits without fearing death. It's absolutely awful because Osaka's getting this idea that this type of fighting is a good thing. They're repeating Terranort. They're repeating Mysterious Figure. It doesn't make the game anymore fun. People loved no-damage runs of 2FM BECAUSE OF THE SKILL REQUIRED. You needed knowledge of a boss to no damage it, you needed fast reaction time. This is different. If you want to no damage DW, the only way is to go in for a few hits, then run away because it can attack at any random moment without warning. That is not skill, that's camping a fight out. And you see that consistently with all Osaka Team games previous made, which demonstrates their incompetence at creating a good fight. You'll notice no-damage runs for later games after 2FM is significantly less, because people didn't want to do them due to the ridiculously boring fight situations you're forced to put yourself in. It's just bad design, and there's nothing more to it. Another issue with difficulty: they're getting an impression that a "hard boss" is one with ridiculously undodgeable attacks and 50 billion bars of health. The Final DW is the worst boss in the game because of two reasons: Its health, and its last phase. It's DM, as far as I know, is completely undodgeable. Is this what a good boss is? Is this what you claim Osaka Team has learned through experience? Because if it is, I'm not looking forward to KH3's bosses at all. No safe openings, undodgeable attacks, a billion bars of health. It DOESN'T MAKE THE FIGHT GOOD. B. ) They give us more options, but that also means more risk of balancing issues. Once again, your own combat is merely a part of a huge system of things they must get right. Even if you have a billion options and they're all balanced and viable in a fight, if the boss sucks, if the enemy placement sucks, if you deal chip damage, etc. the fight won't be anymore fun than the DW fights in 0.2, which is what I fear. There's so many things to keep in mind, but Osaka has never gotten them all right before, so counting on them to get it right for KH3 is a stretch to say the least. C.) Yes, those support abilities can help. But as I've said continuously before, that's merely a part of an entire combat system. Your abilities may help you avoid dying, but what about enemy attacks? What's stopping them from designing an enemy that can juggle you to 1 HP, and the moment you land, kill you? They did that for the Water and Fire Cores in 0.2. They did that with the final DW. I just don't see what's stopping them from design decisions like these, because they're under the impression that a ridiculously unfairly difficult game is better than an easy one, which it isn't. KH2 is the only one who did Critical Mode buffs correctly. You're severely crippled; enemies deal double damage, your HP is halved and MP is reduced, and you gain less EXP. On the other hand, you deal 1.25x more damage than Standard/Proud, and you have 50 abilities to start off right away. BBS gave you extra command decks, which were completely useless because your commands at the beginning of the game sucked anyway, and you still end up with the normal 8 by the end. You also took double damage and took half damage. You don't get any buffs, you don't get any advantages for playing on the hardest difficulty, and that is the inherent problem with Osaka's Critical Modes. They don't understand this concept of giving you buffs on the hardest difficulty, and that, as a result, makes the modes awful. D.) People who do those insane challenge runs are different from the majority of people who play through KH game's hardest difficulties for a fun challenge, which they don't get. There is no "fun challenge" balance in 0.2. Beginner and Standard are fun, but lacks the challenge. Proud and Crit are difficult, but lacks the fun. It's the same mistake they make with the other games. This is more or less BBS 2.0 except with a slightly better combat system and 1 good boss. The problem with your arguments is that you continue to focus on your own combat system and nothing else. You have to keep in mind of the whole game; yeah, Osaka made some fixes to better your combat, but theyve also been consistently bad with enemy AI, boss design, enemy placement, so much more. These are the big issues as well; I have so many more problems. The vines in the forest area are obnoxious and get in your way. The automovements can actually get you killed on Critical Mode (I tried running back to dodge a Darkside's projectile, only to end up sliding right into it. Nice.) The level designs are clunky. Blizzard movement is super cool, but rarely utilized. ANd finally, while your combos are better, your movement and attacks still have annoying lag frames to them (Normal finisher, Air Slide, landing on the ground, Spellweaver attacks, etc.) which really ruins the fluidity of an otherwise pretty awesome combo system. Acceleration on Aqua's run look weird. These are small nitpicks, but all of them add together and just makes the game feel clunky and unfair at times. Anyways, my point is this: 0.2 has a lot of good things. However, it ultimately resembles BBS combat and gameplay over KH2, which is the problem. It means Osaka has learned nothing from bad design decisions in BBS/DDD. It means they'll continue designing the games like this. It also means that KH3 will undoubtedly have a number of these issues, and if we're unlucky, the Critical Mode will be just as bad.
  3. But that's the thing...it's an in-game mechanic. You can more or less consider Level 1 to be a separate difficulty. It's like saying "choosing the hardest difficulty handicaps you to the point where it's virtually impossible to beat the game." I dunno about you, but something about a design choice like that just doesn't seem right. It makes the game feel incomplete. And anyways, there's two things we can draw from this. Either 1. Osaka Team straight up did not test their games, or 2. They did test their games and realized Crit LV1 was nigh impossible, so they designed Balloon in conjunction with Spirit Roars on PURPOSE to aid you to beat the game. Both of which are horrendous development decisions. And yeah, I get it's meant for hardcore players but all difficulties should be open to all sorts of players regardless of how "hardcore" you play the game, and when they make a fight revolve solely on a single mechanic that is not even required in-game, it just bothers me a lot.
  4. Both; DDD Lv1 was not tweaked at all, they're the exact same. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what I'm referring to. It is impossible to kill Young Xehanort's clock phase fast enough unless you spam Balloonra/Balloonga coupled with Spirit Roars from your Dream Eaters. Without the Spirit Roars, your damage is absolute trash and it is impossible (literally not even CLOSE) to killing the clock before it rewinds. Aka the fight sucks and the game sucks lol I haven't played a Souls game so I wouldn't know, but doesn't it make it seem super unprofessional and incomplete if a built in game mechanic can stop you from completing the game unless you have very specific abilities? It's pretty clear they didn't even test the mode. And yeah, there are worse design decisions but this one actually shocked me, because I couldn't believe how careless they were to design a boss to be near impossible. It's really stupid when you think about it.
  5. So today I learned something new. It's impossible to beat Young Xehanort at Level 1 without specific Dream Eaters using Spirit Roar on you, which is a purely lucked based ability. Yeah you read that right. IMPOSSIBLE. Why even bother putting a challenge restriction mechanic into your game when you clearly haven't even tested it.... The fact that you have to rely on a specific move in the game (that's based on luck no less) to help you beat a REQUIRED STORY BOSS under a given game mechanic is the stupidest game design decision I've ever seen.
  6. Secret boss was great; it was one of the most fun I've had fighting a boss in a KH game since 2FM Datas and Terra. All the Devil's Wave battles however, are absolutely awful. They've got the whole BBS approach to them. You can't react to their attacks, and they kill you in 2-3 hits on Critical Mode. What's more is that the time they're open gets smaller and smaller as their HP drops. There's no good way around it, you literally have to go in, hit it once or twice, then back off or else risk getting trashed. And yeah, I can see why it was "unlocked" and all, but the point of a hard difficulty is to provide a fun challenge, not make you pull your hair out in absolute frustration because of bad design choices. It's just stuff like this that bothers me because they went absolutely overboard with it. You have no options of attacking. Magic is nerfed from little MP. Shotlocks are nerfed from lack of drops. You can't even use items more than 3 times in a fight. You deal chip damage to every enemy. Just stuff like that doesn't make the game fun, and that's my inherent issue with it. If someone goes into the game looking for a good challenge, chances are, they're not looking to have all their options taken away from them as a "fun" challenge. I just don't see the point in creating a mode like this; it's like creating a game, then have an option be "take all the fun things in the game out of the game." It's absurd, and I had no idea what they were thinking. Honestly, when fighting the Devil's Wave/Heartless mob fights, I actually had to question myself if they playtested the mode, because the strategies you're forced to adopt to win is absurd. You literally HAVE to camp out the Heartless during the Boss Rush challenge; if you try to go in at all, you'll lose your MP and Focus immediately and have no way of defending or attacking. It's such a tedious process and really makes me wonder if the game devs honestly thought people would enjoy this. I'm scared of KH3's Critical Mode for the exact same reasons that you list where KH3 won't have a Critical Mode like this. A.) They made the mistake for BBS, for DDD, and now 0.2, on an even greater scale than the previous 2. I don't see any reason why they would change this formula. BBS and DDD were full games and their Critical Modes were awful as well, so it's very hard to say that they'll fix KH3's just because of its length. This is especially worrying since they said KH3 will play similarly to 0.2, so the chances of them changing up the modes will be even slimmer. B.) True, but abilities are only one part of the whole picture. There's so many other things to worry about. Even with Once More/Second Chance, we have to consider our Damage Output, our options and abilities, how we are crippled, and whether if we'll receive ANY buffs at all for attempting the hardest difficulty. C.) Right; once again, abilities are only one part of the big picture. Even if you have the option to these useful support abilities, it won't be any use of enemies reduce your HP down to 1 in a single hit, or if you're placed in a mob position with no way of defense, or if you deal chip damage. I can go on and on, because it's crucial they get this balance correct. I need an incentive to play Critical Mode, so they have to bring some sort of bonus deal into it to make the mode challenging, but fun to go through. I don't care if the mode is just as difficult as 0.2, so long it is still fun and has SKILL-BASED gameplay rather than "run around for 10 minutes waiting for MP to recharge". D.) But who would want to play this supposed new mode? No one wants to torture themselves in a mode where you're completely helpless. It's like making a giant pizza, but then a challenge would be to take all the toppings off of it. If you take the fun things out of a game, no one would want to play the game, and therefore a mode like that would be pointless. There's a really big difference between a fun challenge and an unfair challenge. 0.2 goes into the latter. It's by far one of the most difficult Critical Modes in the KH series, but the reasoning behind that difficulty is because the game cripples your player and takes away the fun parts of gameplay. That's not what I want. I want an extremely challenging mode that is challenging because you need skill and knowledge of the game to beat it. 2FM Level 1 captures this; no ordinary casual player will be able to beat the game at Level 1 on Critical Mode, so you can say it's just as hard or harder than 0.2's Critical Mode. But the difficulty isn't an issue because for the majority of the game, Im still having fun and learning. I get none of that from 0.2; 90% of the fights are relied on stalling and luck. And you see the same trends for DDD and BBS as well, so its clear Osaka Team can't seem to grasp what makes a challenging Critical Mode. I seriously doubt they would create a gameplay mode like this if they understood the concept of a fun challenge, so the only assumption is that they don't understand. And they very likely won't realize for KH3. Then again, there's always that sliver of hope.
  7. Go through entirety of World That Never Was with Lucky Luckys/Lucky Rings/Lucky Lucky weapon abilities to grind Mythril Crystals to synthesize Then I like to loop around in Hollow Bastion Corridors into Space Paranoids and back out to grind Lucid Crystals, Blazing Crystals, and Lightning Crystals. Do note that your Defense more or less caps at around 70, and raising it any higher probably won't do anything.
  8. It's not just that though; I overall play the game for the fun of it, and if they're making the game harder but reducing the "fun" factor, I'd much rather have it be easier but still be fun to play rather than hard and tedious. That's the thing; none of these are absolute, and it should be up to Square's team to decide which would be the most balanced option. What would I personally do? MP stays the same for Beginner, Standard, Proud, and is slightly reduced for Crit; not so much that it because a useless option, but not so little so that it can be just as abused as much. 2FM did a good job at this, so why can't this game? Hm. Interesting interpretation. Cure is actually pretty useless in KH2 on higher difficulties; the fact that you use all your MP is way too risky. You're left very vulnerable, without panic Limits for invincibility or any type of Magic. Reflect, I admit, is very useful. It is nowhere near abusable however; Reflega, while strong, is obtained at the dead end of the game so it balances out. In addition, spamming the spell will get you nowhere unless you know exactly when and how to use it, and that comes down to skill-based gameplay and knowledge of the game. Which is what games should do. Fire, Blizzard, Thunder are all viable options of attacking, and can be really useful if you know how to use them correctly, especially early game. Fire on mob fights is a good way of crowd control, Blizzard for long range attacking and extra damage, and Thunder is an all around useful spell. Magnet, on the contrary, is debatably one of the best spells in the game. It drags enemies in, allowing you to follow up with more powerful attacks. Have you seen Magnet+Explosion or Magnet+THunder combinations? Do you realize how insanely useful that can be, especially in difficulty mob fights such as CoR Nobodies? I'm honestly not sure where you got the idea that KH2 is "constantly dodging and reflecting" because that just isn't true; if you've seen KH2FM from some of the more hardcore players, you'll realize it's so much more. The IDEA of KH2 gameplay is to use different methods to avoid attacks (i.e. Guard, Limit invincibility, Reflect, Leaf Bracer, Drive Explosions, etc. there's so much more options) and countering and punishing at the correct time. And yeah, not all fights are like this, but it can be at least reflected in the optional boss fights which is where the gameplay really shines. You can get around 2-3 combos in, but then how do you get out? There should always be a method to punish a boss. KH2FM can do this correctly; giant bosses such as Storm Rider or Twilight Thorn had patterns and openings you can punish if you learned the fights. There is no truly safe moment here; you can get 2-3 combos, or you can try to attack and get hit out immediately. On Critical Mode, it's even worse; if you get unlucky and get randomly hit, you get stunlocked. You can't recover either because you don't have Second Chance, so two hits and you're dead. The only TRUE way to beat this boss without taking damage is to go in, hit him a few times, then run away for 20 minutes. It's literally BBS all over again. Dont believe me? Go check out no damage videos of this boss on YouTube. It's literally the only way. Also, his DM is literally impossible to dodge, which is completely broken. No boss should ever have a move that cannot be avoided. There isn't much wrong with Mirage Aqua; it has a built in Revenge Value and it staggers, so it's actually a good fight. My issue is with the other 2/3 of the boss fights, which don't stagger and don't give indications of attacking. Darkside is easy obviously, but the Devil's Wave are absolutely awful. It's not that though; it's not the fact that enemies are harder to predict; it's the fact that they are IMPOSSIBLE to predict. This isn't a game of reaction time or skill; it's literally luck. You have no indication of when the boss will attack, and if it does and you're in the middle of a combo and you're on Critical Mode, you're dead. No sign of openings so you can't punish, no sign of attacks so you can't avoid. THe safest way is to chip away slowly with a few hits at a time. There is NO pattern to this boss whatsoever. Also his DM is still dumb. But anyways, you're right; they did improve over BBS and DDD, but that's not much of a benchmark. It's kind of disappointing honestly; KH2FM was nowhere near perfect and I fully acknowledge its flaws, but they just can't seem to improve over that game. Basic fundamental combat techniques and usage isn't that hard to perfect imo, but there's just little tidbits that Osaka can't get down and it really brings down the game experience.
  9. Hard to say really. Seeing as how DDD and BBS had godawful Critical Modes, I'm not really expecting KH3 to pull out anything amazing either. That actually isn't true; KH2 bosses all had some form of pattern or warning before they attack. Even fights such as Storm Rider or Twilight Thorn had patterns of attack that you can learn and dodge appropriately. This game gives no warnings or patterns whatsoever; they do what they want when they want, and because they're giant bosses which don't get staggered, it's impossible to combo safely. Once again it's kinda hard to say; the trailers look decent so far, but once again in comparison to something like KH2, it doesn't seem too impressive. Still though, I'm sure we'll have a lot more options for attacking in KH3 so I still have hope.
  10. Alright, I've had a bit more time with 0.2 and I can make some final conclusions on the gameplay: Graphically looks incredible. No complaints there. Combos are faster than Aqua's in BBS and also good options in gameplay, but there's not many options to begin with. Magic Combos are cool, and the way Magic effects enemies is neat. Kinda reminds me of Port Royal in KH2. Shotlocks are super situational, but can be useful if used correctly. Unfortnately, those three are ALL the options you have for damage output (not counting Style Changes which I consider as attacking or Magic Finishers which I consider as Magic obviously). Here's my issue, and I've noticed a lot of recent KH games falling into this trap: They're making the harder difficulties hard. And in the wrong way. You can use up to 3 Magic spells on Critical Mode before running out of MP. Magic is literally eliminated as a reliable option for attacking in this mode. This means out of the 3 options you have for damaging enemies, one is pretty much useless, so you only have 2; normal attacks and shotlocks. What does this mean? Yeah sure, it makes the game harder and longer; it also makes the game LESS FUN. We don't CHALLENGE ourselves for punishment; we do it for the fun in the game, and when you literally eliminate a combat option as a method to make a game harder, it doesn't make the game any more fun to play. This can be reflected in BBS and DDD; Critical Mode reduces your HP, lowers your damage output, and increases enemy damage output. THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE OR INCENTIVE TO PLAY ON THESE HARDER DIFFICULTIES, ASIDE TO PUNISH YOURSELF. Yeah, you get extra command slots in BBS, but you start of with crappy commands anyways, and you still ultimately end up with the same 8 slot command deck. So you don't get anything out of it. What happened to 2FM? What happened to crippling you severely by reducing your MP, HP, and EXP received, but also giving you buffs such as more damage output and abilities to make you want to play the game? I want a REASON to play the hardest difficulty, aside from "make me hate my life." 2FM gave me that reason, but it seems like every other KH game from there on out makes me hate playing on the hardest difficulty. It sucks, and I'm almost sure they'll fall into the same trap the same way for KH3. Another annoying thing is that Square seems to have gotten the idea that a hard boss is one with 5 billion bars of health and takes forever to kill, when that really isn't what we consider a boss that's "hard" as; it just makes the fight that much more tedious and boring. I don't want to be hacking away at a 12 goddamned bar final boss when the rest of the bosses have 6 or 7 bars maximum. It doesn't even make the fight hard; it just takes forever, especially when that boss is never truly open to punishing. You're never safe to attack the Final Devil's Wave; it can easily hit you out of your combo, and on Critical Mode, you're dead. 0.2 hasn't been living up to standards unfortunately. Apparently this is the game that's suppose to surpass KH2...clearly, Osaka team is doing something wrong, because it doesn't come close.
  11. That's really damn hard, there's so much good music in this series. 1. Lord of the Castle 2. Darkness of the Unknown (During Armor Xemnas fight) 3. Dearly Beloved 4. Roxas 5. Ray of Hope I could probably replace this list with like 50 other songs lul
  12. Update: The Devil's Wave fights are stupid. Yeah they look cool, but they give zero indication of when they're going to attack, and if hit you can't really get out of it aside from luck. On Critical, it's literally fatal if you accidently get hit. There's no "safe" moment to attack; the moment they turn orange, they start attacking you and if you're in the middle of a combo at that point, you're going to get hit. The same holds true for the final boss, which I could only win by stalling out Shotlocks. I can't go in and attack the core because it would randomly hit me out of my combos and I would die. Maybe there's more to it, but if there are some signs or indications, it's way too vague for a casual gamer to figure out. There is no moment in that fight where you're completely safe to combo the boss; it's BBS and DDD all over again. Ugh.
  13. Hey man, to each their own. Everyone has different playstyles and stuff. Afterall, the overall point is to have fun right? I think my personal motivation to challenge myself on the hardest difficulties is because I've expired the game in its entirety. Playing on Beginner Mode is too boring for me, since I don't enjoy plowing my way through the game. Obviously the reason I'm able to do this is because of a somewhat (probably unhealthy) obsession with understanding really deep mechanics about KH games, so once I realize these mechanics are in place, a lot of gameplay elements become super easy for me. Anyways though, it's cool that you play on beginner mode, as long as you're enjoying the experience
  14. PS4 pro, 1080p DDD is fully 60 FPS as far as I'm aware. I haven't played a lot into it, but all parts including scenes seem to run smoothly at 60fps 0.2 is 60fps as well, but I heard it's 30 fps on OGPS4.
  15. Do note that this is first impressions, so it is not a finalized review on the gameplay. However, it does include what I thought about the game while playing through it, especially in comparison to other KH games. These opinions can very well change, as I haven't spent enough time with the game to fully understand its battle system and all the enemies. The most obvious thing you notice is the awesome graphics. Unreal Engine 4 is very impressive, and the emphasis on specific lighting in certain areas is very aesthetically pleasing. Overall, the game is a beauty to look at. The layout works like this; there's four main areas, 3 of which are the first worlds that Terra, Aqua, and Ven goes through in BBS (Castle of Dreams, Dwarf Woodlands, Enchanted Dominion). The final area is the realm of darkness itself, that eventually leads to Destiny Islands. What I found really cool was the music in these areas. Yoko really outdid herself this time around; they give an amazing sense of atmosphere with the whole "Dark World" theme, but at the same time incorporates part of the respective world you're located in. Other features before we get onto the core combat; Customization is pretty interesting. While I'm not a big fan of the stuff you can put on Aqua, it is neat and I can see some people enjoying it. I'd still stick with plain old Aqua personally though. There are no Abilities you equip; rather, you just sort of...have them. The whole game is approximately 2-4 hours long, depending on how you play. I played on Proud Mode to start, so I do have a good idea of what the game is like at some of its hardest. As a result, I also started Critical (but haven't finished yet) so I can give some impressions on that as well. Anyways, gameplay: Aqua running super fast is the first thing you notice. I initially believed it to be a demo thing, but it turns out that's just how she runs in the game. While it does look a bit funny, it's actually really nice because you can move across vast worlds so much quicker. Cartwheeling was a big concern of mine, since in BBS you can chain Cartwheels for infinite invincibility. Luckily, they put a startup and an ending animation to the Cartwheel, thus making spamming it without any timing quite trivial. Which is a good thing obviously; it adds more skill required to play the game. I don't really have an opinion on the automovements Aqua makes; it just seems as a cheap way to capture someone's attention to this game, although in actuality, all you're doing is pushing forward on the Analog stick. I also feel like those might hurt you in battle at some point; while it hasn't happened to me, I have a faint feeling it may occur to someone. A common misconception I see people talking about is "floatiness" of BBS and DDD. It isn't the fact that the characters are "floaty"; that doesn't necessarily mean the combat is bad. It's the fact that their attacks are pathetically slow and weak, which makes attacking with the Keyblade not a viable option over other commands. So no, it's not the floatiness of the characters, but moreso how that floatiness largely hurts their use of normal attacks in battle. I'm glad to say that, while the game doesn't quite live up to KH2's standards of combos, it does feel miles better than the handhelds. The attacks are fast and crisp. Spellweaver attacks were heavily buffed as well; in BBS, they were slow and had a lot of lag to them. This time, it becomes a powerful option to use in combat since your attacks come out twice as fast. Magic is great; you can chain Magic so easily into your combos and while moving that it makes the entire process feel even more fluid than KH2. Aesthetically, the spells look beautiful, and I absolutely love the effects they have, not only on the enemies, but the environment around you. Activating spell finishers such as Thundagun, Firagun, and Blizzagun will create a ridiculously powerful version of the spell which has a lasting effect on the environment, and it looks beautiful. Cure takes away all your MP, which is obviously modeled after KH2's magic system. This is actually really great because it nerfs the power of Cure so you're forced to use other items and think of other methods of healing. However, this is only true for Proud Mode. From what I've seen, you get more MP on Standard and Beginner Mode, so these things I say may not apply. Nevertheless, Proud Mode offers a decent challenge. Style changes and Magic finishers are activated by attacking a lot, which will fill up three arrows on top of your command menu. Filling them up will lead to a Reaction Command to appear, which will then allow you to select whichever finisher you wish to use. All seem to be viable in battle so far, so balancing isn't too big of an issue. In addition, I never found myself spamming a single attack to win in all situations, which is great because that's a big problem many were worried about. It could be too soon to judge though; people may eventually find a single attack that works really well on all enemies and bosses. As for now though, it seems to be pretty well done in that aspect. The worlds themselves are pretty huge, but I found Enchanted Dominion and the Realm of Darkness to be rather linear. At first you don't even realize it because there's so much stuff everywhere, but then you realize that all split paths lead to dead ends, and it's basically just one linear path forward. Not saying it's a problem, considering the game is more or less open world, and I'm sure we'll be seeing more variety in KH3. Dwarf Woodlands was super cool to me; the mirrors and everything created some pretty interesting puzzles, which, while not that difficult, were still pretty interesting. Other than that, World design seems pretty typical. The bosses were...interesting to say the least. You fight several Mirage Aquas, several Darksides, and several Heartless Swarms(Devil's Wave?) throughout the game, with a final Devil's Wave to finish it off. The Darksides were very similar to KH1, with the exception of the final one which had an awesome looking Desperation Move. Devil's Waves gets gradually stronger and stronger, although I will admit by the third one, I was kind of sick of fighting them. The final Devil's Wave still needs more tinkering around with; I'm not sure if I fully understand that boss. It's patterns seem completely random, and the final phase seems to have some sort of Desperation Move that looks like it's literally undodgeable. I wanna talk about Mirage Aqua though. It seems as if she is programmed with some form of auto-retaliation, which hints at Revenge Value being a thing in this game. This is incredible because none of the handhelds had this mechanic, and it's also this mechanic what made KH2's boss battles so great. Obviously I can't confirm this, but the fact that Mirage Aqua retaliates exactly after two combos every time makes me believe that Revenge Value has returned, and it will very likely be a thing in KH3. Good stuff. Something else interesting to note is that the Fire Darkball enemies also seem to have Revenge Values programmed into them, as with the Water ones. Obviously I can't confirm this, but it would show an example of more advanced AI. In regards to overall gameplay and how it compares: Overall, it's excellent. It shows a lot of potential and I think it can really be made into a great system if done correctly. On the otherhand, this game itself doesn't stand anywhere near as close as KH2 in my opinion, just because of the lack of options you have for attacking. Shotlocks are here, Command Styles are here, but that's it. Of course, it's a 3 hour game so I won't expect anymore, but it goes to show that we'll need more than 3 hours to simply surpass the best game in the series. Things I hope in KH3 that they add onto this game? More actions, more movement tech, more options for attack, and most of all, more combo modifiers. Aqua's combo, while useful and cool, gets boring after 3 hours of playing as her. As such, I'm hoping for combo modifers similar to KH2 (Flash Step, Guard Break, Aerial Dive, Horizontal Slash etc.) to come back in KH3 as equippables, and will thus boost gameplay experience and variety so much more. I've heard and seen of the game crashing many times for other players, and I can atest to this because the game actually DID crash on me once; I died to the 2nd Devil's Wave and the loading screen just loaded when I hit Retry...forever. So yeah, that was obnoxious. There are also minor frame rate drops just scattered whenever there's a lot of stuff on screen, and that was pretty annoying too. It's really a shame; Square seems to have lost the capability of making a stable game. First the HD Ports, then FFXV, and now this. Really hoping KH3 isn't like this. Annnd that's basically all I have. First impressions are long and all, but hey it's a pretty complex game and there was lots to talk about. This one really shows potential, but also shows potential dangers at where KH3 can fail. Anyways though, here's the final veredict: it was fun and I enjoyed the experience, but it could've been improved all the same.
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