Javier continues his Keyblade journey with playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and Birth by sleep in his preparation for the Kingdom Hearts 3. Follow his series journey here….
Although Kingdom Hearts 2 is one of my favourite JRPG’s, and games, after jumping straight into this from 1 was a bit too much for me…… I really started to feel Sora fatigue. I took a huge break in the middle of it to play God of War and many other games and it took me a long ass time to get back around to it (I actually took 9 months to finish it) . However when I got back to it I didn’t put it down.
So perhaps Kingdom Hearts is a classic case of too much of a good thing – As I said previously, I jumped straight from 1 into 2 and had to take a break after just doing a few worlds, despite thinking the game was far superior to the first in every way. I also played KH2 on Proud mode (Whereas KH1 was on Normal), so there was an extra challenge in it as well, essentially making the beginning of the game a bit tougher and harder to get into. It builds upon what the first one achieved and improves it in every area; the worlds are bigger, the combat is better and the story is stronger (And introduces a lot more of Sora / Organisation XIII’s unique story). Anyways, once I’d gotten back into it I didn’t stop. I was hungry to explore all of the worlds and find as many little secrets as I could – It was also really fun starting the game as Roxas, despite what the nay-sayers preach…
The main huge change was in the combat, the specials are more flashy, everything is more fluid and just feels much more robust. It felt much freer juggling enemies in the air, hitting them with magic and turning on a Drive Form to unleash pure fury. To be honest it’s just a real fun system to play with and really doesn’t get old. As well as an overhaul on combat, the worlds felt much larger and exciting. The boxed room format of worlds have gone and there’s a much more open plan feel. There also little things like skateboards to use that just add an element of fun. I did everything I could but haven’t yet got around to the secret bosses in this one, they’re just really tough!
Again I’d recommend that anyone and everyone play this game, it’s absolutely fucking brilliant and does everything the first one does but better.
After this I played Birth by Sleep; I had never played this game before so it was a completely fresh experience, but I absolutely loved everything about this game… However because it was my third Kingdom Hearts game in a year, I didn’t want to do the secret bosses and it actually made me not want to bother with 2.8…
However there are a hell of a lot of pluses to this game. Most prominent in this is the Command Deck, being very different to the previous games. In case you don’t know, you need to combine moves to create new ones; for example, two Fires make a Fira, a Thunder and Strike move end up in a shocking strike, and these keep going until you get some incredibly strong moves. You have to use the move a lot to max it out before combining it, meaning there’s lots of fun grinding to be done. I’ve always loved these sort of ‘card combining’ elements in games so for me it was incredibly fun and didn’t get old. Birth by Sleep also requires you to be good at blocking and countering to easily defeat many of its enemies and bosses, similar to Kingdom Hearts 2
Second to this, in terms of big changes is the fact that you follow 3 stories; Terra, Ventus and Aqua. Each one is between 8 and 12 hours long, and are very, very different to each other – Although you visit the same worlds, you follow a different story each time and meet different characters; you’ll often find that something you did as one character affected the other. These separately linking stories always make a game’s narrative more interesting to me, and there’s nothing to dislike in what happens. The other difference between them is the combat, as well as being different to the other games they all have very alternate combat styles. Again this kept it interesting for me and thoroughly enjoyable.
Knowing now that their stories will feature heavily in Kingdom Hearts 3 makes me very happy, especially as I decided to spend time on this game. For the games after this I was happy to watch summary videos of the story, as I was a bit Keybladed out! However it had me fully pumped for the end of January and I’m sure I’ll be fully ready for it after my adventures.
Watch this space for when Kingdom Hearts 3 releases… I’m sure I’ll be blown away by the epic finale to come.
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