8 months on and I’ve finally finished the Kingdom Hearts 2.5 remastered collection – It hasn’t taken me that long because of me doing everything in each game, it’s just that I’ve taken big breaks inbetween to play other AAA games… But it’s certainly kept me going throughout all of year.
The main reason for playing each game is because I wanted a good refresher of the story and gameplay before playing Kingdom Hearts 3 – Additionally it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, ever since the remasters were released in PS3, but it felt like a big decision to get back into them; I’m not sure why, but in some respects it’s been a bit of a slog! Anyway I was really hyped for the third instalment, but I couldn’t really remember why, as it had been such a long time since playing the games. Before doing this my plan was to pick up 2.8 and get on with that simultaneously, but I’ve now decided against that (Instead opting to watch summary videos online).
So do I fully understand the story? Do I now hate Kingdom Hearts? Read on as I take you through my 8 month gaming journey!
Kingdom Hearts 1 was as charming as I remembered when I first put it on – I think I actually got a lot more from it than when I was younger, especially as for the first time I took on the secret bosses in the game. In all honesty I can’t really fault it; I was drawn in to the story immediately, even though I could remember the vast majority of it and wanted to do everything in the mini Disney stories and collect all of the Pooh pages for the mini games – This game had me obsessing like nothing I’d played for a while before it; I think it was partly nostalgia and partly the fun combat system that had me playing this night after night and wanting to try and do everything, and essentially I did. I didn’t go for the Ultima Weapon or anything, but I did all the secret bosses and it’s not a massively long game for a JRPG.
I like the simplicity of this game with the solid combat system underneath, it doesn’t try to be anything crazy complicated and this may be because it’s an old-ass game, but some newer games need to take a leaf out of their book, or page out their tree. Yes this game definitely has it’s flaws, the jumping can be clunky as all hell, the camera sometimes has its own mind, and the auto lock-on isn’t the smoothest in the world, but again it’s old school so you can forgive it. Sora, Donald and Goofy had me hooked and I didn’t take a break from this game whilst playing it; I wanted to be the champion of the Keyblade, save the Disney princesses, and be an all round great guy. I didn’t suffer any gaming fatigue or hate anything about my time with this game, and honestly this was a big deal as I never go back and replay any game.
The advantage of going back as an adult is that I now started to understand the complicated story (Although it starts to get really mental after 1), and take more of an interest in the world around Kingdom Hearts and not just the Disney stories I was helping out in – I also learnt how to block! Yes, as a youngling I played this game by repeatedly smashing X until everyone was defeated, but I now realise there’s a lot more to this combat system, which you certainly have to utilise to take on the secret enemies (Later games teach me this even more) and I’d never defeated Sephiroth before!
Yes this was a very enjoyable experience, childhood feels with fun gameplay and a silly story that had enough simplicity to not be a chore, but enough complexity to keep my mind occupied. I can barely fault my experience with the first instalment and I smashed this game out in no time at all… So did my fatigue set in with the second game..? Find out in the second part of this article, to be uploaded soon!