mostly spoiler-free; only thing is under a spoiler tag.

So I beat the game Saturday. It didn’t… quite live up to expectations, in a few different ways. |D;; idk, maybe it’s just been a while since I played the original KH games, so when I started it I found myself going, “…were Sora and Riku always this dumb or have I just grown up?”

I was also told that KH3D was hard. I played on Proud Mode with no significant difficulties (except for trying to get some of the bonus challenges in portals, but hey, I’m perfectionist), so I guess I hold to my “no other games are hard when you regularly play Tales on hardest difficulty” standard. (No deaths no items challenge?!?) I also didn’t have problems with dropping during boss battles, except during the series in the last world, but that was definitely me just walking into them with half a drop bar left knowing full-well I would drop and deciding to try anyway. Boss battles were usually cleared first go-round, unless I was dumb (like with the Prankster’s Paradise battle… wait, you mean you’re supposed to dodge those projectiles?) or in Sora’s boss battle in the last world, with the OHKO move, but that was solved when I got annoyed and went to teach myself Once More. I already had Second Chance; dunno if OM really helped, but I won that time, so.

While we’re on the subject of battle – I hated the controls. Give me back L and R command scrolling, please. It’s near-impossible to control where you’re going (left thumb, analog stick) and scroll through commands (left thumb, D-pad) at the same time. You should’ve seen me reaching across the bottom screen with my right hand, one finger still on square, or reaching over my thumb with my left pointer finger as I attempted to dodge roll and get to a Curaga command at the same time. Terrible. System. Though it wasn’t much of a problem until the final boss battle sequences where you really do want to dodge and heal often.

That said, blah blah Tales player. Flowmotion is broken. Walls are everywhere and you usually don’t take too much damage using it. Sora’s links are better than Riku’s, lol invulnerability, especially Snail Squash or w/e – not great in normal battles, but against bosses, which don’t get squashed, they rack up damage pretty quickly. I got through most of the game Flowmotion’ing my way through everything, but by the time I hit endgame I’d stacked my deck with area commands: Salvation, Thundaga, Zero Graviga, dives, and a couple Curagas. Zero Graviga -> Thundaga does so much damage. :’D

One of the other things that was painfully obvious was graphics. I played mostly in 2D, since 3D is a bit of a pain to deal with, and faces and expression were nice, but I flinched every time they showed someone’s hand. Come on, guys, can’t you have at least updated their fingers to be more than big rectangular blocks? You can do much better than that.

The plot… it was so confusing. And those plot holes. I don’t even. So, uh, would someone like to explain what was up with the Organization and why no one was at all surprised at this?

I liveblogged the ending to a friend as I played it on Saturday. The ending was definitely the best part, but not sure if I would call it worth it for the rest of the game. My reactions can mostly be summed up as “awww” (scenes before the final pre-credits drop), “were the producers high what is this I don’t even” (the final pre-credits drop), “LOLOLOLOL” (the scenes right before credits), “LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL” (Keyblade? biggrin ). No really, the Keyblade scene was. I laughed so hard.

Also I kind of bawww’d every time Xion appeared. >: And Roxas, too, which was surprising since I don’t really consider myself a big fan. This confirmed for me that I really do like Riku much better than Sora… he’s done a lot of growing up and it’s wonderful.

Overall, though, it wasn’t… terrible. Worth what I paid, sure, but I don’t really understand the high praise? Guys, the plot made no sense. Also those plot holes. Also the game is actually Inception and I can’t believe I didn’t realize it until the final world. Some of the scenes in the last world were wonderful, I liked the ending, but there were some really bad flaws. But yeah, in terms of enjoyment for me: KH2 > BBS > KH1 > Re:Coded (so sue me, I enjoyed the gimmicky system) > 365/2 Days > 3D > CoM. 365/2 > 3D for plot reasons and noooo my heaaaart mostly. I still think you have to play it, if only because KH is terrible with spinoffs and doesn’t seem to realize that usually they don’t contain plot that you actually need to understand the next main-series game.

My thumb still hurts. /o/;; dunno if it’s hardcore gaming or what.