Anyone else like Kingdom Hearts

So much, you get two giant logos tattooed on your chest?

No? Just me?

Oh boy…

If you’re a fan of the series – then you might enjoy the read! If you are not…stop here 😀

Nostalgia hit me like a ton of bricks when a friend shared a screenshot of KH Melody of Memory. I started working on this VvVvV and of course, I did not finish LOL.

Did you know…

The symbol that represents KH is the “heart of all worlds” and the source of hearts. It is an object of immense power and a central plot element that drives the conflict within the series as its light drove many to fight over it ages ago in what became the Keyblade War. In the end, Kingdom Hearts was consumed in the darkness caused from the conflict and the worlds became separate from each other.

The return of Kingdom Hearts is sought by Master Xehanort during Birth by Sleep; while Kingdom Hearts does appear over the Keyblade Graveyard in the game, the flawed reunion of Ventus and Vanitas makes the unstable χ-blade explode, causing Kingdom Hearts to vanish.

After splitting himself into a Heartless and a Nobody, Ansem (Xehanort’s Heartless) seeks out the Door to Darkness to gain access to an artificial Kingdom Hearts created from the hearts of worlds, while Xemnas (Xehanort’s Nobody) seeks to create his own artificial Kingdom Hearts from the hearts of people. These artificial constructs, however, are only small-scale versions of the “true” Kingdom Hearts, which can only be accessed with its counterpart, the χ-blade.

Each Kingdom Hearts takes different shapes depending on which hearts they are created. The first game’s Kingdom Hearts, artificially created from the hearts of worlds, has the appearance of a sphere of light beyond a white door. The Kingdom Hearts made by the Organization XIII, on the other hand, takes the form of a yellow heart-shaped moon. The true Kingdom Hearts called upon by the χ-blade is depicted as a blue heart-shaped moon in Birth by Sleep, and yellow in Kingdom Hearts III.

*drum roll*

KH FAVORITES

(Mine)

1. Kingdom Hearts II FINAL MIX = Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
Breaking this tie is gonna require some more playthroughs of both. While I think KHIIFM has the best overall package experience, KHIII improved so much in the game play department, and I do believe that Limit Cut is superior to KHII’s Data Org. In terms of narrative, I might prefer KHII.

2. Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
Re:coded’s game play is just good, dude. Far too many people skip straight past this game without giving it a fair shake. This is the Command Deck at its best, with fluid animations that flow neatly into and out of standard combos, balanced damage and the creative Clock Gauge keeping combat dynamic yet still in your control, and allowing all Keyblades to remain relevant throughout the game. The Stat Matrix is a straight upgrade from Days’ Panel system, allowing for a level of customization (combined with Cheat Tuners) not possible in any other KH game.

The story gets a lot of shit for not being “important” (though I would disagree). And that’s a real disservice to the story of this game, which I’ve always had a fondness for. Data-Sora is my favorite Sora, and his interaction with the various characters is really what sells the narrative. If you engage with Re:coded’s story on its own terms, instead of expecting something it isn’t trying to be, I think you’ll find it’s a nice little exploration of these characters. My biggest issue is that it still hasn’t gotten the full console remake it deserves.
… Having an analog stick for the camera would be nice.

3. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
Part of me wants to put this up higher as the HD version with its various improvements. I know a lot of people don’t really like the Spirits, but I’ve never had an issue with them. In normal play, you don’t actually need to concern yourself with the Spirit Menu very often. And if you’ve got the patience, setting up a full Star-rank roster makes all future playthroughs that much smoother. I consider DDD just a step below Re:coded in terms of the quality of its combat and Command Deck. It’s very much like a halfway point between Re:c and BbS when it comes to fluidity and balance. In a general sense, DDD’s gameplay is just BbS but better.

The multiple characters now share a save file, which allows for quick switching and a better narrative pace/structure. Sora and Riku get to share resources, from Report completion to Commands and Spirits, significantly cutting down on the repetition BbS suffered from, if you wanted 100%. Command Melding is completely gone, and constantly referencing synth charts along with it. Spirits’ Ability Link boards show you exactly what you’ll get (secret routes notwithstanding), with lots of overlap between them so you don’t always have to use the same party.

Stat Abilities being party-specific keeps you from being overpowered from stacking every buff in the game. It’s just plain better and it baffles me every time someone says otherwise. Also, Flowmotion was really damn fun. The story in DDD isn’t my favorite, but it is a lot of fun, and the very embodiment of the Mr. Bone’s Wild Ride memes KH has always had a reputation for. I still remember how crazy and exciting it was to play through The World That Never Was that first time.

4. Kingdom Hearts [Re:]Chain of Memories
Some people think there’s a huge disparity between the original GBA version and the PS2 remake; I am not one of those people. To me, the general gameplay experience is virtually identical. The gameplay in CoM is maybe one of the most divisive things in KH, and I don’t blame anyone for disliking it. I’m not the biggest fan myself. Chain of Memories is, the very best Kingdom Hearts story. Events come at a decent clip, with plot revelations doled out in a natural ebb. It’s a story drenched in melancholy and tragedy, with themes of existence, purpose, and identity at the forefront. And yet, unlike a certain other game, it never becomes too much or too forced.

The personalities of the Organization members contrast heavily the more moody and confused Sora, Riku Replica and Naminé, and make the adventure seem so much more like Sora’s genuine nightmare. Donald, Goofy and even Jiminy really shine as Sora’s support network in this game, as the boy gets progressively more gaslit the longer the story goes on. And in Reverse/Rebirth, we see a tonal shift as Riku has no larger goal but to leave the Castle, the conflict mostly coming from his own introspection and guilt over his actions from the first game. In a way, Riku’s main antagonist in this game is himself, with DiZ and Mickey acting somewhat as the devil and angel on his shoulders, pushing him until he finally chooses his own path. In addition. The KH fanbase loves Riku and commonly considers his character arc the best in the franchise; this game did all of the heavy lifting for that.

~ results of nostalgia and random 2am discussion with friends.