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I decided to bring back this little series of mine because I finally another relevant tidbit to discuss after what seems like ages. For those of you not acquainted, this is a series where I discuss various tweaks that I feel should be made to the overall Kingdom Hearts formula, i.e. the basic structure that follows all games, more so in the more important titles, and can be applied to Kingdom Hearts III and/or any future title in the series. Today's topic is about what I feel is an essential piece of what makes any good Kingdom Hearts game last: the ability to literally play it over and over again. I mean, really, that's a good point to make with any game, am I right? But, let me explain further: Olympus Coliseum. The Underdrome. The Absent Silhouettes. The Garden of Assemblage. Mirage Arena. All are great examples of giving us, the player, a well of playable boss battles to explore and experience over and over again. The challenges are always stacked higher and higher, the difficulty rises, and there's always a couple of surprises in store. You understand what I mean, right? Boss battles are a great part of the series as a whole, and being able to revisit them later in the game with new avenues to explore, and being able to stack the deck higher against yourself while doing so is a great experience. Here's the gist of what I'm saying: I want the series to give us more chances to replay boss battles, and I don't mean just by starting new games obviously, I mean all in the same campaign and with higher risk and reward. Like, for example, imagine if a game gave us the Mirage Arena mission Villain's Vendetta in the form of being able to replay through every major boss battle in the main story on a continuous loop until the end (ex: if this was being utilized in the original Kingdom Hearts, we would fight Darkside, then maybe Leon, then Guard Armor, then Trickmaster, then Cloud, then Cerberus, and so on.) and give us various different levels of difficulty and challenge while doing so, like choosing to fight them all at twice their original level, or without help from party members and etc. This can also include any "bonus" boss battles that are available, similar to the Organization XIII Replica battles. Now, I make the point to specifically cite boss battles as repayable content because it's pretty much the best option when doing something like this. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to collect Stickers and make Ice Cream and fight the Mushroom XIII and all that, but an experience like that can be fleeting at best. If you ask me, any side challenge in any game that just involves collecting things with subpar rewards at best just needs to not even register as a possible mechanic anymore. Take the card collection in Re:Chain of Memories for example. Yes, I've cited this game as my favorite in the series, but even I can admit that collecting literally every card in the game, on Sora's side specifically, is just not worth it in the end (okay fine, I've never done it myself, but even if I did, there would still be no point anyway, so there). I mean, once you have all the Keyblade cards from KHII and Days, the enemy cards based on the Organization members and then get the super holy mega awesome "Gold" and "Platinum" cards which apparently have value in them for some reason, can you, like, use them for anything? Not really. They're just there to have. By then, you'd be done with the entire story and just left with roaming the various floors and maybe replaying the final battle against Marluxia. But that's it. Shouldn't there be more to it than that? I think I've made my point clear. Feel free to leave your own ideas and suggestions.
Welcome back to another thread where I talk about things that can be improved or added upon in the Kingdom Hearts formula to not only improve KH3's quality, but the quality of the series as a whole. Now, I've mostly covered some of the more bigger issues in previous entries, so I admit that I'm not running on a ton of gas with this one. Still, it's a concept that was sort of used and then dropped after only one game, the first ever game in fact, and while it wouldn't affect KH3's quality if it didn't return, I think it would be at least interesting to see nonetheless. So then: remember when Kingdom Hearts, the original Kingdom Hearts i.e. KH1, had alternate cutscenes? As in, if you failed certain objectives, completed certain objectives out of order, or plum just ignored certain objectives, the story would change to adhere to your decisions? An example would be if you lost to either Leon, Cloud, or Sabor, the story would show a cutscene to exemplify that you lost, or if you completed Deep Jungle or Olympus Coliseum before you completed Wonderland, the cutscene with Maleficient and the other Big Bads replaces Alice with Snow White, or if you defeat Dragon Maleficent before you clear Olympus Coliseum, she doesn't show up in the cutscene where Hades is raging about Hercules. Yeah, I do too. Good stuff. Like I said before, that was a concept that was only used in KH1. It was sort of used in KH2, in the prologue during battles with Seifer both at the start and during the Struggle tournament, but those were so minor, I wouldn't even count them. The reason I bring it up is because it was a mechanic that allowed somebody to take the story into their own direction, even if they did it by accident. There is a lot of intrigue, I think, to seeing various scenarios play out differently based on making different choices, which is what helps makes other RPGs and games of that nature so interesting and have high replay value. KH3, even though its bound to have other reasons to encourage replay value, can benefit from this as well. Let me bring up the most interesting example in the KH1 "alternate canon" to help gauge my point, which would be Monstro. In KH1, if you complete Neverland, where Riku starts acting like a dick to Sora, before you complete Monstro, Riku's behavior and interactions in Monstro will be drastically changed. Instead of playing around with Sora while also trying to figure out the puzzle that is awakening Kairi, he'll just be straight laced, make less cracks, and in return, Sora will even flat out deny that he is Riku at all. This leads others to theorize that maybe the Riku we meet in this "alternate canon" could be Ansem possessing Riku's body, depending of course on the direct chain of events that leads to that conclusion. It's that kind of narrative structure that could add a new layer to KHIII's story. After all, we've all been pretty set on what is going to happen story-wise in KHIII, so it's not exactly going to be a surprising tale. Even if some new twists and turns are thrown in that nobody expected, I doubt that its going to be largley different that what most of us have come to expect, especially since we've had almost a decade to speculate on it. So letting some events be judged in this manner spices things up a little. Also, its an opportunity to put more emphasis on the Disney World aspect of the series. Granted, I'm in the party that isn't all bleeding heart about Disney Worlds and their importance and whatnot, but I'm not exactly uncaring about them either. And I would certainly care more if they were handled in this manner. Just imagine the scope of the worlds combined with the amount of alternate scenarios you could come up with if you go to this world before that world, or complete this world before that other world, or you help this person before you do that, or you completely leave that person to rot like an asshole and go on to do something else (Poor Pinnochio and Geppetto ), and then imagine how certain characters like Riku may say or do based on your actions, maybe even coming close to slightly altering their motives or just portraying their reactions to certain things in different ways, which in turn make you feel like you're pushing the story into a different direction. Like I said, this isn't something that KH3 really needs, but I think it would be a good addition nonetheless.
Back again for another game tweaks thread where I explain a teeny tiny detail or details that I think should be taken in account for KHIII so that it looks/plays/feels better. Despite the great designs and structures of the worlds we've visited over the years in the various other Kingdom Hearts titles, they've all felt, for the lack of a better word... dead. Yeah, that's right. Dead. Lifeless. Boring...... BLARG. And the way I see it, this needs to go and the worlds need to be given way more realistic environments Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not shitting on those designs or how they looked, and I thought the little that we saw in the actual gameplay of KHIII we got all that time ago was good, but still, creating a nice setting is one thing. Making it feel like its actually there and not just something simulated and not real is another. I mean, we're in a day and age where making video game characters and settings look more akin to real life is very very very very possible. New tech and new techniques are being used to better capture the essence of real life into a video game, and Kingdom Hearts III should be thrown into that mix. Its gonna be current-gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One exclusively anyway, so it might as well get a current-gen treatment so that when we step into a new world, we're gonna feel like we're actually stepping into a new world. But anyways, you might be asking now: "But what can be put in to make the environments seem more real, Firaga Sensei-Senpai-San-Sama-Kun???" Well, you see, its the little things that matter. Picture it: you step into Agrabah, you see the roaring winds pick up sand and dust that flicker in the air as we're walking around the desert or even through the kingdom, as the hot sun above beats down, casting shadows on all the character models and reflecting off objects like vases in the market stands. Then you step into the more dreary world of Halloween Town, where the air is a lot more creepier and tense. The wind whistles are you hear sounds of creatures laughing and maybe even screams of horror. You see gunk and decay in the town, reminding you of all the hideous and disgusting, scary creatures that live there, as well as the moon above that casts down upon the endless night. Oh yeah, and remember how it rained in The World That Never Was in the Deep Dive movie but never again did that in Kingdom Hearts II? That needs to be fixed, imo. It would make the already dark and mysterious environment of TWTNW even more dark and mysterious, just to see the rain pouring down, maybe with some thunder or some clouds and the drip-drip-drip sound of the water hitting the ground. And maybe we can add in that camera effect where it looks like the screen is being rained on too. See, stuff like that can really make a difference aesthetically. Its not exactly something that I think a lot of you really have a high demand for, and I can understand why, but personally, I think it'd be a nice touch. Again, we're going into the current generation now, we should be able to get more than we have in the past in terms of that kind of thing. Especially if when we saw the gameplay, it was still supposedly "in development", because that leaves a lot of room for improvement in it of itself.
Back again for a "Game Tweaks" thread, where I come up with tweaks that can be made to the Kingdom Hearts gameplay formula so that it can be better in certain areas. This subject I've chosen specifically because it is related to my last thread in a way, so Its sort of a nice transition. In my last thread, I suggested that party member management be improved; I talked about the party system, the amount of members; and guest members. Now I'm going to talk about something entirely: how all these members act. Now unfortunately, it is notorious in the Kingdom Hearts games, more specifically in KHI and KHII, that our regular party members, Donald and Goofy can be a real pain in the ass at times, as in, they play against you instead of with you Donald doesn't heal you when he want you to, Goofy for the most part wastes items, Donald does the same, they both die way too easily even with high levels of HP, overall, they feel like more of a hindrance to your entire gameplay experience than an aid. This is something that can definitely be improved on considering KHIII is going to be on current-gen consoles. Both Donald and Goofy can have better AI intelligence and should be able to follow assigned AI patterns a lot better. In KHI, this was the best represented; in that game, you could assign actions or patterns for Donald and Goofy in a number of battle scenarios, like attacking, defending and using items. In KHII, the system was dumbed down a bit and din't give you as many options as KHI did. In KHIII, the KHI system should make a comeback and obviously have the improvements I've been talking about. With all that in place, I think the party members can be a lot more tolerable to deal with; they shouldn't really have to be tolerable at all if you think about it, but all the same. So there's my piece. What do you think about all this?