07 August 2012 @ 11:29 am
Massive KH3D Reaction Dump!  
As most already know by now, I finished playing Kingdom Hearts 3D this past Sunday! And ohhhh my goodness. THIS GAME.

I know some asked for commentary and don't necessarily follow my plurk, so I linked all of the liveplurks I made while playing. All of my (sometimes often incoherent commentary) is in these! And obviously, all of this post is gonna be full of spoilers...

Start of the game through Riku entering The Grid

Through to both boys in the middle of The Grid

Both boys in the middle of the Grid

Through to both boys in the middle of Prankster's Paradise

Through to both boys starting Country of the Musketeers

Both boys in the middle of Country of the Musketeers

Through the end of Musketeer Country and treasure-hunting

Through Fantasia and starting The World That Never Was

All of endgame and the secret ending

Enough for you?! Too bad, because here's also my usual general thoughts on the game as a whole:


As with BBS, the graphics were absolutely terrific considering this was a handheld game. I really couldn't tell much difference between the graphics here and BBS, everything was smooth and animated well. Especially the animation on the dream eaters...all of them had a lot of great movement and personality. And once again...no text-scroll cutscenes! It was all animated cutscenes! It looks like they're continuing that idea from BBS and Coded, which makes me happy, and I hope it continues all the way into KH3.

There's still the issue of The Mysterious Invisible NPCs, but I dunno if they'll ever actually fix that. |D

And as for the 3D? To be honest, I...just had it turned off for most of the game. Occasionally I turned it on for a cutscene or two, but I usually forgot about it. I could see a few places where the 3D may actually be useful for gameplay (mainly the dives) but otherwise, like 3D in general, I don't think it really added anything.


Goodness, this gameplay was actually really, really fun. There were just so many options you could do when fighting...regular fighting, your commands, flowmotion, reality shift and teaming up with Dream Eaters. Having so much variety kept things fast and fresh; there was never really a moment where it felt like I was grinding for anything. In fact, I don't think I constantly used the "just hit things with Keyblade" strategy until I got to the point at the end of the game where it was just faster to do so, and even then, commands and reality shift commands were still more fun. It was like they took the SUPER FUN options of BBS and just upped the ante on them. I honestly don't know if I could go back to "Smash X to kill things" in a later game after getting spoiled on 3D and BBS.

My only real complaint about it was the flowmotion mechanics. They looked really cool and could be useful and powerful if used correctly, but could also be real problematic when messed up. Considering the fact that flowmotion was useable practically everywhere, and it was entirely possible to kick into it accidentally, it sometimes got a bit aggravating. It actually got the most annoying when trying to find certain treasure chests, since many of the chests could only be accessed by some really tricky flowmotion usage. By the end of the game I got the hang of it, but it was probably my least favorite of the game mechanics, cool as it looked. I'd say, if they used it again in the future, it'd be nice to have the option to just turn on and off flowmotion, so that you didn't accidentally kick into it just by walking around.

Also, it was way more fun than it should have been to just pet your Dream Eaters and feed them cake and play around with them. It was kind of like the Command Board in BBS in that it was a way to just kick back and relax after tons of action, but also a way to level up abilities without much effort. I know I keep comparing 3D to BBS, but I honestly think these two were equal in how well-done they were as games.


I love Sora a lot, so it was great to finally be able to play with him again, even though Donald and Goofy were absent again. But goodness, this game really put him through the wringer. Between getting all his memories of Roxas and Xion, getting manipulated by Xehanort over the entire course of the game and then getting his heart shattered and everything, it got kind of ridiculous for him. However, he still came out his usual happy self, and that happiness seemed even better after all the crap he had to go through. Obviously he's not free of that sadness now, but the game just shows how important it is for him to keep positive because of that.

I loved all of his interactions with the Disney and TWEWY crew, of course, because he just makes me happy all the time! I loved him actually having to deal with Roxas and Xion's memories. I loved him standing up to Xigbar's taunting with the knowledge that even if he wasn't meant to have the Keyblade, he's okay with that, and I loved him being unabashedly happy that Riku got his Mark of Mastery even if he didn't. (I'm a little miffed that he didn't actually get it too after all the crud he had to go through, buuuut it's not like that's going to prevent him from going all badass hero in future games, anyway.)

Basically, I just want to hug the kid forever!

It's funny, but it really does feel like this game was more about Riku than about Sora, especially towards the end. It followed both of their character arcs closely, and I'd say they both changed the same amount from where they were previously, but with Riku it really cemented his goals and his ultimate purpose. After all, in the end he was the one to actually get his Mark of Mastery and the one that had to go in and save Sora. This is the game that really made me love Riku, even completely forgive him for all of the stupid stuff he did in KH1. He's totally grown so much since then. I loved his snarky comments both to other characters and occasionally to the fourth wall, and it seemed like he could interact with the Disney characters just as well as Sora could. I was cheering him on all throughout the end of the game when Sora was down for the count.

So...YAY, thank you, game, for making me love Riku! This story was totally his chance to shine.

Holy crap, I didn't think they could make Xehanort more terrible than he was in BBS, and then in this game they just kept upping the ante. I was sitting there going, "How the heck does he KEEP GETTING DOUCHIER with every new scene?!" (And by the way, this refers to all the Xehanorts we encounter, just because...trying to keep them all apart at this point is pointless.) All the hero characters here kept asking him "Why are you doing all of these evil things?" and his response was pretty much BECAUSE I'M A DICK.

I still can barely wrap my head around this whole create thirteen clones by means of time travel plot. They should really rename the Xanatos Gambit as the Xehanort Gambit, because even Xanatos never had plots as evil and as convoluted as this guy!

Everyone else
- Still needs more Donald and Goofy! I was super-excited the few times they showed up, especially their Big Damn Heroes moment, but again, I'm looking forward to my trinity coming back.
- Same deal with Kairi, who was practically nonexistant. I'd be more upset about this if it weren't for the secret ending, where Riku brings Kairi in to get some Keyblade training and have her be the seventh light to help fight. I was just sitting there going "FINALLY, THANK YOU!" I reeeeally hope this means she'll get more of a role next game.
- I enjoyed all of the TWEWY cast, although it made me wish I had replayed the game before playing 3D. It almost seemed more like the TWEWY cast wasn't AU like the FF characters, but more visitors from their own universe? I actually liked Joshua a lot more in this game than I did in the original TWEWY...it helped that his voice kept making me smirk. Shiki felt like a bit of an afterthought, though I loved her dialogue with Riku. Beat was hilaaaaarious in every scene.
- Maleficent once again felt like she was just coming in to cause trouble because well, Maleficent, but at least this game it did feel like she was after more than just real estate. I think it was an improvement over Coded, anyway.
- OH MAN, LEA. I think I liked him more in this game than I did in any of the previous ones, if only because he stopped being so much of a jerk and actually got to kick some ass. His Big Damn Heroes moment also made me go "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAH!" because it was so epic. As to Lea getting a Keyblade? I will say honestly that that made me sideeye the game a bit. I mean...does he really need one, Squeenix? Really? He got to be plenty awesome enough without one! So, while I think the whole 'Lea gets a Keyblade' part was a bit...pander-y, it wasn't enough to kill my enjoyment of the game or his cool moments in it. At least the reaction of the characters to this was sufficiently 'WTF!'


Maybe Coded helped train my brain for even more Inception-style plot craziness, or maybe it was because everything else helped balance it out, but the absolute insanity of the plot (a lot of it I still can't completely parse out) didn't stop me from enjoying this game a ton. Much like BBS, it both answered some questions and raised a bunch of new ones. I'm not expecting KH3 to answer all the questions raised at this point (I'll be surprised if they ever go into more detail on how time travel works), but I do hope it ties up some of the crazy things introduced here. That said, there were a few moments where I actually said aloud "Oh, THANK YOU for explaining that!" So it definitely wasn't all endless questions.

There was some terrific Disney integration here...not quite as good as KH1 or BBS, but a whole lot better than Days, CoM, Coded or even KH2. They had a reason to go to every Disney world, and plenty of time and space to interact with the characters there. The worlds felt huge and explorable, in fact sometimes too huge, since it was really easy to get lost in a few places.

I'm glad I didn't let myself get spoiled for major plot things (although I did get spoiled for a few things in retrospect) because the ending was just one big gutpunch and CHEER! moment after another. I was flailing at my teeny little 3DS screens the entire time. All in all, a lot that confused my poor brain, but still a really fun ride.

Considering how much has changed between KH2 and what will be KH3, I don't think anyone going into KH3 will have a clue what is going on. Luckily, this game makes a strong point of serving as a catch-up point for the whole series, giving you plenty of resources to read up on previous games and see how everything ties together. So on the one hand, if anyone wants to get caught up before KH3, this is a great way to do so. On the other hand, if you're the sort that thinks the plot got too convoluted with, say, Days...then yeah, this game will just make it worse on you and you may as well stop now. This series is definitely making a show of GO BIG OR GO HOME, and at this point, I am soooo ready for ALL THE HUGE THINGS coming up. 8D It is going to be INTEEEENSE and I CANNOT WAIT.

But yeah, if you've got a 3DS? Definitely play this one. It's fast, it's fun, it's insane, it's emotional, and gets you totally hyped for the upcoming climax!
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