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#1 Posted by Bioshocksurvivr (28 posts) -

I’m giving the series a try for the first time. I’m not the biggest fan of JRPGs, or Final Fantasy, but I grew up with Disney, and have so much nostalgia for those characters.

So far...I’m not liking it that much (music on destiny islands is making me CRAZY). How has it held up? Is it worth pushing on?

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#2 Posted by Relkin (1019 posts) -

I've only played the two main games, and played them both to completion well after they had released. I don't think the original holds up much at all; I only pushed through it to see what the fuss was about. I do recall really enjoying the second game, though. It's also a goddamn mess, but I think I had probably built up a tolerance to that particular brand of insanity by that point, and was just along for the ride.

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#3 Edited by Zeik (5170 posts) -

I think it really comes down to an individual basis. I've seen people play it recently that hated it and others who absolutely loved it.

I replayed it when the HD remake came out and enjoyed it just fine. (It is kinda clunky now, but I definitely didn't hate playing it.) But I'll admit to having some nostalgia for it, so I can't really judge it with fresh eyes.

But I will say that Destiny Islands is definitely not indicative of the whole game. Try to push into the first few Disney worlds before you make up your mind.

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#4 Posted by Bioshocksurvivr (28 posts) -

That’s good to hear, because Destiny Islands has left a horrible first impression lol. I will push on farther.

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#5 Edited by ghost_cat (2198 posts) -

Revisiting KH1 many years later reminded me what an idiot I was, and how willing I was to put up with terrible gameplay.... for a reason I'm still not sure what.

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#6 Posted by webling (8 posts) -

Watching Ben play the first one made me realize how much mechanically the games have progressed since it. I honestly might say to skip to 2 (it does have like a six hour prologue though).

The story is pure anime at this point but the ganeplay tweaks to magic and movement in BBS and 3D have me hyped for 3

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#7 Posted by FrostyRyan (2830 posts) -

Just know the first game has some horrible progression in some worlds and the games instantly get better after that first game.

I guarantee you'll barely know what to even do in the Tarzan level.

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#8 Posted by beforet (3468 posts) -

The first game is really rough in its level and combat design. It's an objectively old game at the point, and it plays like one. KH2 plays a lot better, and has better designed levels, though it has a bit of an over reliance on quick time events mid combat. The three main portable games play all right, and are all aesthetically boring in their level designs. But that's because they were portable games.

From a writing and plot perspective, they have a lot of problems I didn't catch onto as a child. All of the games suffer from the cardinal sin of not capitalizing on the Final Fantasy x Disney crossover that we were all sold on, which is my biggest complaint with the series. The two universes barely touch at all. I could go into more detail on what they did well and what they stumbled on, but you probably don't want a full analysis.

Was kind of hoping Kingdom Heartache would be a decent let's play for people casually interested in the series, but it fizzled out pretty quickly.

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#9 Posted by randombullseye (63 posts) -

It is what it always was, a fan service game. If you're into Disney and Square, you'll love the humor of it.

I managed to finish the first one, that tutorial kept going forever in the second one and I said forget this.

Rather than play the games myself, I would've loved Kingdom Heartache to have continued to completion. Guess I'll have to play my PS2 copy of 2 after all.

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#10 Posted by Raven10 (2271 posts) -

I just played it again a couple months ago after watching the trailers for 3. The prologue is absolutely dreadful but the game does get notably better. That said, I would still suggest having a guide handy, especially for the Tarzan level mentioned above. It is an absolute nightmare to navigate. The second game controls much better but I've never made it past the insufferable and seemingly endless prologue. For whatever reason I enjoy that first game despite being able to say that it is objectively complete garbage. Terrible combat mechanics. Terrible level designs. Awful writing and acting. But something about it compels me to keep playing. And, again, it does get much better in the later levels and as you gain new movement abilities that take some of edge off of the crappy controls.

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#11 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15525 posts) -

I highly recommend asking @danielkempster that question, since he's currently doing an exhaustive Kingdom Hearts blog series in preparation for KH3.

As far as my opinion is concerned, Kingdom Hearts 1 is... a little rough in spots, especially early on. If you want that Square/Disney crossover insanity, it gets there eventually, and the actual gameplay and combat mechanics become a lot more tolerable once you get past Deep Jungle. I'd never say it actually plays amazingly, it's a little too stiff and mashy, but you eventually get enough abilities and spells to make things more interesting.

From a gameplay angle, Kingdom Hearts 2 is a pretty drastic step-up, but even by that point the story goes off the rails entirely. I think I might be the only person in the known universe who thinks that Roxas prologue isn't terrible, but it's still way too long for its own good.

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#12 Posted by soulcake (2424 posts) -

Have you ever being to DisneyLand?

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#13 Edited by JohnTunoku (417 posts) -

2 is a lot less rough gameplay wise then 1 despite what some will tell you. There is a peculiar emphasis on platforming and level navigation is often nonsensical. Story wise they've always been extremely corny and the presentation, while great for PS2, is probably the most dated part.

They're very cool games and I like them despite all the flaws, they are truly unique.

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#14 Posted by Superkenon (1699 posts) -

As a lot of people have said, Kingdom Hearts 1 shows its age. Lots of qualifiers going in. Its controls and level designs aren't exactly timeless, so the fun you'll have with the first game will hinge a lot on your willingness to put up with some fussy platforming and kinda fiddly stage mechanics. And a camera that doesn't always cooperate.

I think the combat is still fun, myself. Something that has aged well, for me at least, are the impacts of each hit -- feels really good to land an attack and take down an enemy. The combo system is pretty simplistic when it comes to action games today, but it's still fun to do small air-combos dodge-roll around attacks. I think KH1 is also the best stand-alone game in the series when it comes to its story (it tells, basically, a complete tale), and doesn't send you neck-deep into time-bending contrivances and the complicated history of Keyblade-based heroes. I think KH1 even delivers best on the Disney crossover aspect. KH1 is a more pure crossover tale with the Disney aspects woven around the narrative, where its sequels double-down on the KH-specific characters and themes, and the Disney stuff just becomes set dressing. I think this is the one you come to if the Disney part excites you most (and the qualifiers don't dissuade you). And if you like it, go deeper.

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#15 Posted by doctordonkey (1723 posts) -

As someone who bought that collection on PS4 and started playing KH for the first time about 6 months ago, KH1 is really rough. The controls are not great and the combat is incredibly simplistic for how long it is. The prologue is definitely the absolute weakest part of the game, it takes awhile to get going.

KH2 is a much better playing game.

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#16 Edited by Justin258 (15484 posts) -

Kingdom Hearts 1 is a bad game. It's also the only one out of the series I've finished more than once and... actually, I think it's the only one out of the series I've finished. I really, really like that game. It's littered with shit level design, questionable controls, and a horrible camera, but it does a fantastic job of combining Disney's whimsical tone and silliness and Square Enix's penchant for anime nonsense. I can't quite lay my finger on why I'm willing to put up with the former for the latter, but I've done it before and hearing Simple and Clean is enough to make me want to go do it again. I also can't quite lay my finger on why I'm not willing to put up with the later games enough to finish them, even though the PS3/4 versions of those games have vastly superior level design, far more usable controls, and a better (but not perfect) camera.

It's also always worth noting that Kingdom Hearts 1's first few levels are definitely its worst. Destiny Islands is a terrible introduction. Do yourself a favor and look up a guide for the first several levels, and don't be afraid to look up a guide for any future levels.

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#17 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (1596 posts) -

KH1 is mediocre but has some charm going for it, KH2 is pretty good but all of the plot stuff is intensely unlikable. None of the spin-offs are really worth your time IMO, they mess with the combat systems too much and none of them can hold a candle to 2.

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#18 Posted by FacelessVixen (2427 posts) -

*sees a thread about Kingdom Hearts*

Oh boy, here we go again...

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#19 Posted by Bioshocksurvivr (28 posts) -

Wow, thanks for all the responses! I just made it to the end of Wonderland (which drove me crazy btw). I’m going to push a little farther...but honestly, I’m close to just jumping to the second one.

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#20 Posted by thetrashman (16 posts) -

I must be the only person in the world who thinks Kingdom Hearts 1 holds up perfectly fine

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#21 Posted by Onemanarmyy (3935 posts) -

i think the combat of Kingdom Hearts still holds up fine. The upgrades are meaningful and it's quite a nice blend of action & rpg. The quest design is not always great though. There will be points where you're just wandering through all the screens hoping to find the 1 trigger you need to hit to progress.

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#22 Edited by Dan_CiTi (5121 posts) -

@TechnoSyndrome said:

KH1 is mediocre but has some charm going for it, KH2 is pretty good but all of the plot stuff is intensely unlikable. None of the spin-offs are really worth your time IMO, they mess with the combat systems too much and none of them can hold a candle to 2.

this. 1 is not so good(still playable), and 2 is OK to good IMO. Don't feel bad in using a guide, I think I did as a kid. Also you can kind of skip the Little Mermaid world in the first game until you get the Lady Luck keyblade which gives you more MP, and MP is important in the last areas of Atlantica. and the Little Mermaid bit in the second game is rather brief but sucks so yeah just letting you know.

also just play on Normal. those HD re-releases are solid.

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#23 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3565 posts) -

Currently playing KH2 and it kicks arse. However, where the hell is the Dodge Roll? Going crazy not having it.

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#24 Posted by saffgrenade (18 posts) -

If you want to see what the fuss is about, just play KH2. The first one is bad.

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#25 Edited by BelowStupid (492 posts) -

I LOVE KH 1 and 2, as a matter of fact I'm playing 1 again for the millionth time, but I've always thought the first 2 Disney worlds were a bit of a aimless drag (me playing it over and over may not help my opinion on it). The game really opens up for me once you start leveling up and getting good abilities, but that's a few hours in, so you'll need to decide if that's worth it to you.

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#26 Posted by SlickNickles (2 posts) -

@bioshocksurvivr: Destiny Islands is by far and away the worst world. The first one will feel clunky for sure but the series really finds its stride in the second one. I recommend playing them on normal (not proud and definitely not easy). Don't be afraid to grab a guide or walkthrough to help you out because the level design has some major problems. Other than that, it's one of my favorite series personally.

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#27 Posted by thetrashman (16 posts) -

@mylifeforaiur: Dodge roll was not in the original KH2. In final mix theres a way to get it from a new form that was added

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#28 Posted by KittySullivan (17 posts) -

I recent got into the collection. I spend way more time playing it just trying it out turned into playing it for hours on end.

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#33 Posted by Bioshocksurvivr (28 posts) -

Well, after spending more time with the HD collection has shown me that this series isn't for me. I just can't get into it.

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#34 Posted by _Brojangles_ (115 posts) -

I've almost wiped the series completely from my mind, but I distinctly remember Kingdom Hearts 2 being a vastly better game than the original.

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#37 Edited by NowSayPillow (196 posts) -

I just played it a few months ago so I feel qualified to answer this.

The first game will seem really janky at first (like mindbogglingly so), but it's mostly because the first couple worlds treat the game like a platformer and it isn't one; if you can get through them the rest of the game is a blast. Just about everything about the gameplay in the second one is better though, you just have to push through some really obnoxious story stuff for the first couple of hours.