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danielkempster

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A quick update on this! First of all, thanks to everyone who has donated thus far. We're a little less than twenty-four hours away from the start of the stream and I'm already over halfway towards my target. You guys are awesome.

I'm posting this update to say that the scheduling for the stream will be changing slightly. Due to not sleeping well for the last couple of nights, I'm scheduling a break in the stream to let me get some much-needed shut-eye.

I'll still be starting my stream at 15:00 BST on Saturday and will play for nine hours uninterrupted, but I'll be taking a six-hour break from 00:00 to 06:00 BST on Sunday. I'll then resume for a second uninterrupted fifteen-hour stream from 06:00 to 21:00 BST on Sunday. This means I'll still be streaming for a total of twenty-four hours over the weekend, but in a way that is less likely to compromise my health.

To those of you who've already donated, I hope this change doesn't leave you feeling cheated in any way. My personal feeling on the matter is that it's better for me to schedule this break and still be able to deliver the stream, than to attempt to follow the original plan and end up crashing out completely. Since the Zero EXP aspect of this playthrough is the main draw, I feel that the challenge aspect of the stream is a higher priority than the endurance aspect anyway.

I hope you can see why I've decided to make these changes and that you agree with the reasons behind them. Please do drop in on the livestream if you can - it would be great to have some people to chat to while I "keyblade-heart-darkness" my way through this crazy challenge.

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danielkempster

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Definitely going to give this a listen tonight. I've actually just finished my own playthrough of The Zodiac Age so the game will be nice and fresh in my mind while I get acquainted with your thoughts.

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danielkempster

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Thanks for all the feedback folks. It genuinely means a lot to have the support of so many awesome community members here. It's what's kept me writing these blogs as long as I have. As soon as I know what form my creative presence on the internet is going to take doing forward, I'll be sure to let you all know. As I said in the blog itself, this definitely isn't goodbye. I anticipate I'll be back at the end of the year to put together some sort of Game of the Year-style entry, albeit on a smaller scale than previous iterations. As for what's next, I'm planning to put some creative energy into a musical project through the last few months of the year. After acquiring a new guitar and a new drum kit earlier in the year, I'm itching to spend more time with them with a view to writing some new songs.

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danielkempster

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@genericbrotagonist: Thanks for the positive feedback duder. I absolutely get where you're coming from because on some level I'm the same - this game in particular was a massive part of my childhood and it's going to be hard downplaying my inner fanboy, especially when Kingdom Hearts starts really hitting its stride in the back half. As for the fetch quest stuff, I can forgive it personally but I can absolutely understand why others might not. I was one of those people who decried Kingdom Hearts II's lengthy Prologue when it first released, but in retrospect I honestly think the first game's opening might be worse.

@arbitrarywater:The combat is absolutely going to get its dues in future episodes, both for better and for worse. As I'm approaching this from an "as-I-encounter-it" perspective, I've had to resist going all in on the combat in this first episode, but you can bet I'll be dissecting it further as the weeks go by. We may end up disagreeing on the point of whether or not the combat ever gets great, but I'll reserve that judgement for nearer the end of this run. I will agree with you whole-heartedly that KHII is definitely the better game in the combat department, though. As for that early level design... Yeah, we'll be getting to that next Monday. I hope Episode Two doesn't disappoint...

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danielkempster

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All the above comments are a perfect example of why I both revere and abhor this series. I cannot wait to dive deep.

To reiterate what others have said for the sake of answering questions, yes, I'm playing KH2 before 358/2 Days because that's the order the games were released in. I think there are arguments for playing the games in either order, but ultimately I think I'd personally prefer to preserve some of Organization XIII's mystery in KH2, even if it does mean waiting a little longer to flesh out the full story around Roxas. Plus that way I'll be experiencing KH2 the same way I did when I played it all the way back in 2006.

For anyone who's interested, I've made it to the end of Deep Jungle in KH1, and boy, do I already have a LOT to say about this game...

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danielkempster

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Thanks for your... concerns? I guess that's the best word to choose in this instance. I'm aware that this life choice (believe me, it feels like Kingdom Hearts is a life choice at this point) is bordering on insanity. One thing I didn't mention, and which may help alleviate the pressure a little, is that the self-imposed time limit is flexible. Much like my Metal Gear May Madness endeavour from a few years back, if I don't complete the entire franchise before the release of Kingdom Hearts III, then the Keyblade Chronicles will continue with a Tetsuya Nomura-inspired "when it's done, it's done" ethos. There's also a little part of me that remains sceptical of that January release date, and I wouldn't be wholly surprised if Kingdom Hearts III gets pushed back a little further into 2019 (buying me a little more time to complete this crazy journey in the process).

@arbitrarywater I hear you on the blogging front duder. The main issue for me this year (and one that I detailed in my previous blog) was one of trying to make a transition from written-form content to video content. My inFamous 2 livestream for the Community Endurance Run back in April gave me a taste for video creation and I spent a fair bit of the time between then and now playing with that. Ultimately though, I have to concede that I'm just not a video personality - I'm far better off scripting something long-form like this and letting my words speak for themselves, even if that means sacrificing audience numbers in the process. As I believe someone once said, "you gotta do you", and this is me - crazy serial blogging endeavours that get the wider community questioning my sanity.

@jeremyf I agree with you completely about Kingdom Hearts' unique brand of nonsense not being for everyone. At this stage, given my less-than-stellar recollection of the story in Kingdom Hearts II, I'm not even sure that it's for me. I will say that based on a pair of back-to-back playthroughs of the first game in 2015, I found that particular game to hold up pretty well as its own thing, in a charmingly nonsensical way. That being said, I can also completely understand why someone wouldn't enjoy it and swear off the entire series as a result. We can at least agree on the music, though - Yoko Shimamura is up there with Nobuo Uematsu and Harry Gregson-Williams in the ranks of video game composers whose original scores came to define my childhood and adolescence. Enjoy the concert if you do decide to go!

@nophilip Burnout is my main concern with this, especially given what happened the first time I attempted this in 2015. However, I think that was primarily down to attempting to play the original Kingdom Hearts three times over in a four-month period. There's also the fact that beyond Kingdom Hearts II, all entries in this franchise are going to be completely new to me, so I'm hoping that novelty will be enough to keep me going even if the gameplay similarities start to wear me down. Good luck with your own attempt to see the series through!

@devise22 Out of interest, which version of Kingdom Hearts are you and your friend playing for your stream? I played the Final Mix version included with HD I.5 ReMIX on PS3 back in 2015, and I found it to have a lot of quality-of-life improvements that would make the 2002 original almost impossible for me to go back to now - camera control mapped to the right stick instead of the shoulder buttons and the implementation of KHII-style Reaction Commands really contribute to the improved "game-feel" of the HD version. I do agree with you about some aspects of the design feeling "very 2002" though, particularly the first visit to Traverse Town and all the dull fetch-questing through Destiny Islands and Wonderland. It definitely gets better the more it opens up, though, with Hollow Bastion being my personal high point.

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danielkempster

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Sounds like you're off to a great start! I only played A Link to the Past for the first time a few years ago and I have every intention of revisiting it soon, once Breath of the Wild is out of my system, but there is absolutely no way I could attempt something like this. The Hammer and Boomerang seem like very useful pick-ups this early on, hopefully they'll stand you in good stead. It'll be very interesting to see how the Randomizer aspect forces you to detour from the critical path going forward.

Also, I was wondering if you were planning to use different anagrams for each episode title. Seeing that this does indeed appear to be the case, I wish you as much luck with that endeavour as the Let's Play itself!

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danielkempster

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Oh boy, this is going to be a fun Let's Play to follow. As a fellow purveyor of randomizer runs (albeit in a very different series), this gets my seal of approval. Getting the hookshot this early is going to shape a lot of how this goes, I'm guessing. I'm already excited for the second episode. Great job, Mento.

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Edited By danielkempster • 

@marino@zombiepie I hate to be "that guy", but the title of this Community Spotlight is a year out. Hope it's a quick fix.

Fantastic job on gathering the best of this brilliant community once again, ZP. More Giant Bayeux is always welcome.

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danielkempster

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The dragon was definitely one of my least favourite bosses in Cuphead. As you say, way too much RNG gets in the way of even legitimate strategies on that fight. One of the things I had most trouble with was the little marching flames - the jumping ones seemed to know where I was going to move even before I did!

Looking forward to more of your thoughts on Sleeping Dogs. There seems to be a lot of resurgent love for that game around here at the moment, to the point where it's kinda making me want to replay it.