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I have made a terrible decision...

#1PsienceWinsPosted 9/14/2012 4:00:54 AM
I had only played Kingdom Hearts, Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts 2. I'd owned Birth by Sleep and Re:Chain of Memories for a long time now, but never played them. Then Dream Drop Distance came out and I picked it up day one pre-ordered. I thought about it and decided that it was time I finished this series so shortly after I found a used copy of 358/2 Days and a new copy of Re:Coded (couldn't find a used one in my area). I have now started to play all the games in chronological order.

I've finished Birth by Sleep. Damn fun. I remember when I first got it I tried to play it on Critical and only got up to Dwarf Woodlands having beaten Castle of Dreams and Enchanted Domain as Terra and giving up because I wasn't progressing the story fast enough to keep me entertained. Bad idea. This time I started on Standard and played through all 3 stories and the Final Episode and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even down to grinding for Arena Tickets and completing as much of the Trinity Archives as I could (didn't get the Proud or higher difficulty trophy obviously and I gave up trying to kill Mysterious Figure with Terra because it feels impossible so I'm stuck at 99% items). Excellent game overall and I look forward to playing Critical in the future some time now that I know the ins and outs of Shotlocks and melding commands and how to really buff your character. It was 95 hours of gaming well spent.

Moving on to Kingdom Hearts. Oh man. I wish I could have all the initial abilities in this that I did on BbS. I missed Dodge Roll so much. And Guard not standard was killing me. I have since unlocked both and things are going much smoother, but I feel like this game is moving much slower because of it (about 7 hours in and I'm at Agrabah, and I understand that there are 3 stories visiting the same worlds in BbS so they had to shorten the game time). It's been so long since I played this that I forgot how terrible the partner A.I. can be at times (I've already gone in and customized their behavior F.Y.I.). Sora controls a little clunky and I can't help but feel that I should be hitting enemies that I'm close to only to whiff. I've been spoiled by the superior battle mechanics of BbS. It's not ruining the experience for me or anything, but it can be a bummer at times. Then I look at the journal. It feels so slim! And I can't remember if when I complete everything if I get Mickey Mouse heads like in future titles! Being the crazy completionist that I am I NEED some mark to show me that I've got everything! I'm sure I'll find a FAQ that tells me what journal entries I need to have it fully complete in the worst case scenario. And I keep feeling like I'm missing things. I think I'm going to go back to Wonderland after completing Agrabah and slowly work my way through the already complete levels with a good FAQ to tell me what I missed. It's nerve wracking!

Either way, I'm on a journey. A journey that will probably take me over 300 hours to complete over multiple games. Hopefully I'll finish it time for Kingdom Hearts: Re:Mastered (what I assume they will call the HD collection) and Kingdom Hearts 3 so that I can just power my way through both.
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#2falconesquePosted 9/14/2012 7:41:23 AM
I feel like this game is moving much slower because of it (about 7 hours in and I'm at Agrabah, and I understand that there are 3 stories visiting the same worlds in BbS so they had to shorten the game time).

Seven hours might be at the faster end of "usual".

The three stories is a nice rationalization, but BBS is a handheld game, and powerful though the PSP is, its resources are still limited. Reusable terrain is a large cost-saving measure, whether the "savings" are in rendering or loading or both.

It's been so long since I played this that I forgot how terrible the partner A.I. can be at times (I've already gone in and customized their behavior F.Y.I.).

Remember you can tap triangle to "direct" your party members to attack Sora's target. On manipulating Customize, the Phantom FAQ may be the best practical guide on that subject. Highly recommended, and a practice I often employ from the start.

Then I look at the journal. It feels so slim! And I can't remember if when I complete everything if I get Mickey Mouse heads like in future titles!

In KH, the Journal changes as you go. It's not a bookkeeper's ledger (blessings to all bookkeepers reading along, of course).

There are no King Mickey icons in KH's Journal. If you're concerned over the end-game extra content, the posted ASAS/Deep Dive FAQ lists all the particulars, for each release. That guide also includes transcripts further down, but those are easily avoided.

And I keep feeling like I'm missing things. I think I'm going to go back to Wonderland after completing Agrabah and slowly work my way through the already complete levels with a good FAQ to tell me what I missed. It's nerve wracking!

Without a doubt, you are. :j Arguably a good RPG should be nerve wracking, and KH is the closest to that definition. You are in the thick of battle and feeling in danger is expected.

KH is specifically designed for repeat visits. Some areas or things can't be reached without improving your skills as your adventure stretches onward. One shared ability, for instance, improves -- literally -- by leaps and bounds as Sora levels.

NPCs can be a big help. Unlike the remainder of the series, they may have as much as four or fives different things to tell you and can reveal vital clues. Plus what they say changes as you go.

ElectroSpecter's walkthrough is the most complete, if you go that route. I'd hold off scanning through the Missable Guide at this point, as far as you already are; might be better to leave it for reviewing your KH journey later.

Best wishes with your continued journey. :j Please note, however, that the KH board is not a "KH series" board, and everything in games released later in the series is considered major spoiler turf here. Release order is most often recommended for the series, making this the starting block for those brand new to the series. So thanks for remembering those players, too.
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#3PsienceWins(Topic Creator)Posted 9/14/2012 6:41:15 PM
Don't worry. I won't be posting any spoilers about the future games. I made sure not to give away plot details for BbS when I talked about it. I just wanted to vent a little. I know this was the first game in the series to be released so I wasn't expecting it to age very well (some things aren't obvious, like going back to see Cid to move the arrival in Traverse Town forward or any of Deep Jungle), but I remembered it being very engrossing (still is). I'm mostly upset about the lack of combat mechanics compared to BbS. I know I unlock them as I go, but it's just a little unnerving to start off. I still enjoy the game a lot. It's super fun. I just remembered the controls being better.
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#4falconesquePosted 9/15/2012 7:35:54 AM
I appreciate a good vent, truly, but I was speaking rather of a courtesy, not abiding to the technical definition. Anticipation of what lies in store ahead...we've all (hopefully) enjoyed not knowing even the basic mechanics when queuing up a game for the first time.

(some things aren't obvious, like going back to see Cid to move the arrival in Traverse Town forward or any of Deep Jungle)

These are two excellent examples of where NPCs really help you out. Minor stuff: In DJ, Jane most often clues you where to look next, and immediately after DJ the gummi ship chitchat leads to, "Let's ask Leon!" which is what eventually leads to Cid.

On DI, Kairi demonstrated to look for this sort of thing, with her changable dialogue. So do the other three kids; if those NPCs are only spoken with once (as in the rest of the series), a player never learns about dueling.

A player can be oblivious to these gameplay elements if they like; it's not forced on them. They will miss things, of course, but that's their choice and not the design's fault.

This is also one large disadvantage in coming at the series in chronological order the first playthrough or if years have passed, because KH-BBS simply sets a player's expectations different than when entering through the series' front door. It's not so much a matter of KH not aging well.
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#5shadow chao 10Posted 9/17/2012 12:25:48 AM
Yeah, having done both chronological and release-order runs of the series, release-order makes for a much more natural gameplay progression. (Although I still maintain that Days is best played before KH2 in either case.)
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#6SragentThomPosted 9/25/2012 1:38:17 PM
It's been so long since I played this that I forgot how terrible the partner A.I. can be at times (I've already gone in and customized their behavior F.Y.I.).

"Remember you can tap triangle to "direct" your party members to attack Sora's target. On manipulating Customize, the Phantom FAQ may be the best practical guide on that subject. Highly recommended, and a practice I often employ from the start."



It dosen't invaildate the horribleness of the AI. Some thing like FF12 gambit system will make the game much more better for the AI.
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#7falconesquePosted 9/26/2012 6:00:28 AM
Invalidating anything wasn't my aim. New and returning players often forget they have the option to direct their party members, especially after playing a later title, any of which AFAIK lack this feature. Whenever the "horrible A.I." has been pointed out over the years, this nearly always turns out to be the case. That it's easily forgotten is a failing on Square's part, not allowing for damaged manuals or investing more on an in-game Help system.

KH is a Disney game, not a Final Fantasy; very different scope to the series. But to your comparison, the "intelligence" can be preset by the player and overridden by the player on the fly -- sounds just like FFXII's gambit system, the broad strokes at least.

Wishing older games had the newer features too is understandable, of course. Who hasn't? But FFXII's gambit system has as many players who dislike it (maybe even hate it) as the system has fans. That's an old debate, though, argued back and forth on its board since FFXII's release.
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FFX, FFXII, KH, KH Re:CoM, KH2, Okage: Shadow King, Secret Agent Clank