On 6th May, I and my sister went to watch Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour at Singapore Esplanade Concert Hall. The music was simply wonderfully crafted and it brought so much nostalgia, but it also made me realize how much I haven’t caught up with KH saga.
In the orchestra, the music spans all the way from the original Kingdom Hearts game till the most recent (I think) Kingdom Hearts X (Chi). After the show ended, since I do not plan to buy a console just to play one game, I went ahead to play KH 358/2 Days on Nintendo DS emulator. Basically, the emulated NDS game file was already there for a very long time, I think I inherited it from my previous laptop. The reason I didn’t play it on my previous laptop is due to performance issue of my laptop & the emulator. Now, on my current laptop, at least it is playable. The game focuses on Roxas duty on Organization XIII, with a twist: Xion. Roxas later befriended Axel and Xion, where, although they supposed to be Nobodies (a body without heart) and shouldn’t be able to feel any emotions, they all expressed their emotions quite well. In the beginning, Roxas was so innocent and very obedient in following orders; but later when Xion started to question her existence, this was followed by Roxas thinking about his purpose of existence. The climax was when Xion knew herself needed to be destroyed to save Sora and Xion went ahead to confront Roxas; and Roxas fought and destroyed her (even though he hesitated). It was so sad. I think this is why, Roxas, in KH 2, was so angry with Sora: why does everyone else does everything always for Sora and not for him? Roxas only wants to have Xion and Axel hanging out at the clock tower at Twilight Town, eating sea salt ice cream, every day after work. But ultimately, in KH 2, I think Roxas finally understood and could finally rest in peace.
After I finished KH 38/2 Days, I continued to start KH Birth By Sleep. I started out with Aqua as my character. My first impression of the game was: one “arc” of a world is really short, only spanning around 30 minutes from arrival till final boss of the world. But I think it is understandable since you need to play each of the 3 characters and ultimately visit the same worlds three times. I recently just finished all characters (Aqua, Ventus, and finally Terra). I think I liked to use Aqua the most as she is the best in magic, and hence indirect combat. Ventus, while quick, couldn’t inflict heavy damage on both direct and indirect. I disliked using Terra: he is slow, and it was felt even clearer after you used Ventus; but Terra inflicts heavy direct damage to enemies (so you could kill one low-leveled Unversed just by one hit). I haven’t went on to play the Final Episode but roughly I knew how it will end already: using Aqua to have a final boss fight with Terra-Xehanort.
In the distant past, I actually tried to play KH: Re-COM, but after few minutes into the game, I realized that I really dislike the game play of using cards to command Sora. Essentially, one unique part of KH where you are in charge real-time of character action: its position, movement, and action, is lost. One thing that really sucks is when enemy appears, you went into a “battle mode” just like Pokemon or Final Fantasy games (I never played FF, but I roughly know the gameplay by watching my brother played in the past). I think that the story in Chain of Memories is really crucial in understanding beginning part of KH 358/2 Days and in KH 2; but too bad, I didn’t enjoy the game play.
At KH 358/2 Days, one unique thing is the Panel based system which limits number of items and magics you can use in each mission. I think that this gameplay is still okay.
At KH BBS, there is a deck system to put “special actions” which includes magics and items. Since you are limited to certain number of special actions you can put into your deck, I always resort to use only normal actions and magic. I never put items and I think in this game, items are pretty much useless because even if you put items on your deck, the quantity that you could use is limited.
Rant aside, I think after I finished KH BBS, I won’t continue to play on other KH games for a while, maybe till KH 3 is released?