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So this isn't something that I see very often; KH2 is probably the most liked KH game in the entire series, and for good reason too. But the thing is, people tend to treat it as if it's some sort of angelic game that was descended from the heavens with absolutely zero flaws to it, which unfortunately really isn't true. So yeah, I'm curious on some of your input on the flaws of KH2 and how it could've been better. I'd say between story and gameplay, story was the weaker part of KH2. Organization XIII was awesome and all, and I'm not calling the story bad either; however, I just don't think it can compare to the first game's story and the charm it had in it. That doesn't make it bad of course, since the first game's story was just so exceptionally good. That being said, it would've been cool to see a bit more involvement of Disney Worlds in the direct story like KH1 did so well. So in terms of gameplay, people say it's perfect. And really, I don't have much to argue with you there. The battle system is amazing, the combat is fluid and fun to use, and there's so much variety and choices for your moves. The enemy AI, for the most part, is good and is by far the most complex and skill-required combat system in the entire series. However, I'd have two main complaints for KH2 (which actually sort of ties into each other). Firstly is of difficulty. People say KH2 is easy, and to be fair, it really is. Even stuff like Proud Mode, most players can charge through mashing X and they'll die a few times to the harder fights (Xaldin, Demyx, Xigbar, etc.) but then they'll get past them, usually through grinding or just repeated attempts. This ties into the second complaint, which is of the game's ability to teach you. I'd say CoM actually did this the best out of all the KH games; you go into CoM utterly confused, but if you stick with it and get past the learning curve, you suddenly realize how easily you can use the cards and the battle system to customize your own powerful deck. It's not like the game tells you directly to do "this and this", but instead, you learn because the game PLACES you in situations where you're forced to learn. KH2 should've done this, but failed. Many casual players will get through the game just fine by mashing X. It's only until they see stuff like speedruns or inevitably reach the post-game 15(is it 15? I'm not even sure) super bosses where they realize that the game is a lot more complex than they thought. That's the thing; despite KH2's complexity, the game never really forces you understand this. It never forces you to understand the vague concept of Revenge Value and how you can't infinitely combo a boss, since you can mash your way through most fights and just tank the damage they deal anyway. You don't need summons, limits, drives, and magic. They don't put you in situations where you're forced to use these things to make your life easier. And that is the problem with KH2; with all these awesome things they give you and these awesome AI mechanics, you never really understand what the point to them is...unless you play Level 1 Critical Mode. I love LV1 Crit. It's the perfect challenge, and it forced me to learn the game to the fullest. I had to use every resource available to inch my way forward, only to meet another road block, and eventually find out, "hey, this attack works really well against this guy!" and then manage to win. KH2 should've been designed originally after the model of LV1 Crit, because it truly forces you to think about all the available options you have. This is also the reason why others call KH2 a button masher; because in some ways, it actually is one. So yeah that's my little interpretation of KH2 and its flaws. Curious if you guys have any opinions on this, it'd be cool to know
Let me preface this before someone tries to attack me: if you don't like long rants, then you might not want to read this. This will be quite long. Also I'm gonna be directing some hate, but all of it will be supported with reasons. Once again, if you love Dream Drop Distance and will probably kill someone over hating the game, probably not your cup of tea. Aside from that though, I'd love to see if anyone agrees or disagrees with me. I'll try and keep this pleasant and not too "anger-filled" ALso in case it wasn't obvious, yes there are spoilers for DDD. Now onto the thing that I want to address: Dream Drop Distance. Another Kingdom Hearts game that isn't KH3, but hey it's something, and it can't be worse than Re:Coded....right? Wrong. In case you haven't figured it out yet, DDD is by far my least favorite KH game. From my point of view, there are little to none going for it. Its story is crap, its combat is crap, and overall game was crap. Yes, I know I am going a bit overboard. I don't hate this game by itself, but I do hate it for being part of such an amazing series. Let's go on to story first shall we? Most would agree that DDD is the most confusing KH game by far in terms of story. What bothers me most is the single element they added into it; the thing that makes everything unnecessarily complicated, creates a ton of plotholes, and is just confusing and unpleasant in general. Most of you probably know what I'm talking about. Time travel. Really Square? Unnecessary complexity if you ask me, and definitely going to confuse first time players, even if they have a solid understanding of the KH story before this. First of all, let's address this ridiculous idea. Never before EVER mentioned in any other KH game, apparently you can time travel now. Square attempted to cover up plotholes by implementing these ridiculous rules of time travel (once again, never even hinted at before this game) of how you need to have a version of yourself at your destination, and how you can only go one direction in time, and how you can't keep your memories after returning to your original time...blahblahblah. All it is to me is a load of makeup BS that Square threw in randomly to prevent plotholes. Unfortunately, like all time travel stories, plotholes are aplenty. Not gonna go into details as that would take literally forever, but if you dont believe me, look some up. There are too many plotholes in DDD to claim otherwise. In addition to the time travel idea, they have this annoying thing of how suddenly, everyone is a keyblade wielder now. The idea of a legendary thing, a chosen one...and now everyone is suddenly the "chosen one". This is like Dragon Ball Z all over again. Remember when Goku first turned into the legendary "Super Saiyan" that was only said to be in myths? And then suddenly, within 10 or so years, 7 year old kids can turn into Super Saiyans by having a small sparring match with their mothers. It degrades this "legendary" status, and makes it seem like its worth nothing. To be fair though, BBS kind of did this too which bothered me, but it was really in DDD when Lea somehow manages to magically summon a Keyblade when I just stood up, and said "F*** this I'm done". Don't get me wrong; I like Axel/Lea as a character. In fact, he's debatably my favorite character in the series. But now, you're telling me that this legendary weapon that chooses its owner, this amazing thing that we got in the original KH1 that was supposed to make Sora, the protagonist, special, is nothing but a plaything that anyone can get? There NO reason Lea should be able to wield a keyblade. I don't care what BS explanation Square pulls on this one, like "oh he has a strong heart" or "he's somehow related to ____". It's all to cover up for the obvious mistakes they've made. This makes me realize: the main character is not special for being able to wield a Keyblade. I've been playing as literally an ordinary person. He's not even a master (despite being called one several times in the original KH); simply a wielder. And that's not special because anyone can wield a keyblade nowadays. You see what I'm getting at here? DDD took something amazing, this legendary "chosen one" status, and degraded it to just a normal person's toy. I LOVED playing as Sora as a kid in KH1 and KH2. He was a hero! He was the Chosen One that can wield a legendary weapon that will instantly vanquish darkness! ...but now, it's nothing at all. Anyone can have it. And that upsets me to no end. It's pathetic, and ruins my image of Sora forever. There is nothing intriguing about the protagonist anymore, so why should I even play as him? What makes it worse is that Sora isn't even considered a master after all the feats that he's done, because apparently he's been trained in the wrong way. Let's see...Sora defeated Ansem, a powerful heartless that threatened the destruction of all worlds, defeated 13 members of powerful Nobodies that each had their own unique set of skills, and part of this included Xemnas, the most powerful nobody of all, that had literally ABSORBED the power of an artificial Kingdom Hearts created from THOUSANDS of hearts. He rode a ship through space at light speeds, defeated a giant Dragon, defeated Xemnas like 5 times, took down 1000 heartless by himself, saved the world countless times, and you're telling me he's not a master because of some stupid exam you have to take? For godsake, Aqua literally became a Keyblade master from hitting balls. I think I've ranted on enough about the story for now, since I have so much more to talk about for gameplay. Ahhh good old gameplay. Let's get the good stuff out of the way first shall we? Well, the music is nice. Not the best in the series, but still not bad. The graphics are pretty good for a 3DS game. The controls are decent enough with the circle pad pro. And Flowmotion, in my opinion, even though it kind of breaks platforming, is a pretty cool mechanic that makes movement fun, and I'm excited for it to return in KH3. I liked the big worlds, although a lot of it is a bunch of empty space...I still appreciated the feeling of exploration. Unfortunately, that's pretty much everything redeeming I have to say for gameplay. First issue: Balancing This one you've probably heard a lot. It's an issue in BBS as well, but it's way more obvious in DDD. By balancing, I mean there's one single command in this game that will be automatically the best for any situation ever, no exceptions. Whether if its a mob enemy fight or a tough giant Dream Eater boss, or a powerful "human" boss...the Balloon family will completely destroy them. There is NO boss in this game that resists Balloon, its damage output is absolutely INSANE, and its reload time+cost+how early you can get it (literally before the first boss) completely breaks the command and makes it the best in the entire game. For every single "no damage" or "speedrun" you can find of DDD, you'll see Balloon...and Balloon...and Ballooon.... What happened to the beautiful combat options from, say, KH2? What happened to your fancy combos that you can change up, your Magic, your Drives, your summons, your limits? All these combat options, all with uses for different situations, and all gone. Now, you're just spamming one command to win. It makes the game boring and un-fun. The game doesn't take skill anymore; it just takes patience and having a strong thumb to spam Balloon. Also, saying "just don't use Balloon" is a really crappy argument to make because: 1. The game literally gives it to you as an available option to attack, so there's no reason to exclude it if its the game's intention. 2. Playing the game without Balloon makes it even worse believe it or not; bosses on Level 1 Crit literally become impossible. Good game design Square. It's like they purposely made the game around spamming Balloon just to troll us. "Hey lets put in a really difficult mode, Level 1 Critical. Let's also make the game insanely hard/impossible to beat on that mode, and put in a super overpowered command so they can just spam it over and over again to win. WHOO SOUNDS FUN" Wouldn't surprise me if that was an actual thing. Second Issue: AI Complexity The bosses' AI in this game sucks. That's it. Now I know what some of you are thinking: "Oh no, he's gonna go KH2 nerd on us and bring in Revenge Value and Flinch Count and all that random computery crap." But the thing is, those were very good game design choices in KH2 that I applaud. It made fights interesting; it gave bosses openings, forced you to learn them and time to so you can attack and not get hit. You get better from experience and attempts, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you finally win, because you LEARNED something from that fight. Meanwhile in DDD, we have absolutely no system of Revenge, bosses just randomly retaliate. For the most part, the game goes like Balloon>run away>hope you don't get hit by a random retaliation>Balloon. And maybe a cure when necessary. There is zero skill involved, and just doesn't give you the same feeling of satisfaction like KH2 does. When you win, its more like "wow I can't believe I spent 20 minutes spamming Balloon" instead of "AWESOME I BEAT THAT FIGHT BECAUSE I LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT THE BOSSES' PATTERNS THROUGH EXPERIENCE!" For me, this was a huge downgrade, and ABSOLUTELY inexcusable because the game before it literally had a better system in every way possible. Also, enemies don't stagger. I understand this for giant bosses, but normal enemies literally don't get staggered by your moves in DDD. It's like they're a wall, and you just attack them to inflict damage. This not only makes things super annoying, because enemies can randomly retaliate in the middle of your combos which should TECHNICALLY stun them and render them defenseless, BUT it just makes you want to use overpowered commands like Balloon even more, instead of normal attacks/other commands, since Balloon is one of the few commands that can force enemies to stagger. As if it wasn't powerful enough. I can't emphasize how annoying all these issues add up to be. The story is subpar at best with stupid concepts that feel rushed and made up at the last minute, and it's confusing and full of plot holes. The main character is nothing anymore, he's not special or the "Chosen One", just another one of those hundreds of people who can wield this weapon. The gameplay is once again below expectations, because of the unbalancing and horrid AI. The game is not fun to play at all. If I play on Beginner mode, I destroy everything too easily. If I want a challenge, I can't even get one since I'll just spam Balloon to win. If I restrict myself from spamming Balloon, I'll make the game boring and tedious. Bosses would literally take up to hours for me to beat, because my attacks deal chip damage AND doesn't stagger them. Which means the fights go like "One hit>run away and hope you don't get hit". So yeah this is probably the most I've ever typed in my life and my fingers are absolutely dead. Soooo for those of you who didn't read, I'll try and make a brief tl;dr: tl;dr: -confusing story, full of plotholes, main character has been downgraded to nothing special -gameplay is unbalanced, boring, tedious, AI is awful -a game made literally 6 years before this game is better in almost every single way (KH2), which is unacceptable. Welp I think i'm finally done, and if you do read the whole thing, I will be very impressed. Aside from that, I'll see you guys later. Let's see if we can get some interesting discussions on here.
So by 2.5 I'm mainly talking about 2FM HD on English, since BBSHD was obviously better than the original PSP version (I think we can all agree on that despite differing opinions about that game). So for simplicity, 2.5=2FMHD and 2FM=original 2FM on the PS2. But yeah, 2.5 issues bother me so unbelievably much. Maybe its because I was a 2FM nerd back then, and I played 2FM on a JP PS2, so moving from that masterpiece of a game to 2.5 just makes me never want to pick up my PS3 controller ever again Also in case you didn't know what issues I'm talking about (although I'm sure most are painfully aware of them), I'll give a quick list: -Stupidly long load times (especially in comparison to 2FM on the PS2. Also English 2.5 loads slower than JP 2.5. WHY) -Drive Form loads take forever (although this can be solved by pausing, still stupid and no point) -Random freezes at beginning of fights (only in 2.5 English) -Missing sound effects (minor complaint once again, but still bothersome. Why do Xigbar's lasers sound so...lame? What happened to certain bosses famous lines?) -Random crashes/softlocks that were not present in original 2FM (for example, first Xemnas fight's building reaction command freeze) -Final Xemnas fight reaction command glitch (this. sucks. big. donkey. ****) Keep in mind that there are a lot more, I just listed out some of the more prominent ones. I mean honestly, it seems like minor complaints, but when you put them all together, it just makes the game seem to have a bunch of tiny issues with it to diminish the playing experience. Well, minor for the most part *cough cough Xemnas RC glitch* Sooo yeah, I guess part of it is because I was a 2FM kid back in the days, and playing this HD remaster of supposedly my "favorite game ever", I had pretty high expectations. Shame that 2.5 was disappointing, especially in comparison to original 2FM And yes, I do realize it sounds like I'm just crapping all over 2.5, but I just don't want them to be lazy and make the same mistakes for KH3. All these mistakes could have been discovered and fixed with testing, and apparently Square just didn't want to do that. For some reason. (Keep in mind that I'm not saying 2.5 is a bad game. I'm just saying that 2FM is so much better made, in terms of stability and flow of the game) Oh yeah, to prevent myself from sounding like a giant douchebag because I "insulted your favorite game" (because I know someone will start nerd raging at me for saying these things), I will admit I love the newly remastered soundtrack from 2.5