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Kingdom Hearts 3D : Sora versus the Giant Pinatas
on August 18, 2012
As a major Kingdom Hearts fan. I'd have to say that I'm rather disappointed with this installment. Contrary to the most popular complaint, I actually don't mind the recent rush of handheld Kingdom Hearts games that are putting off Kingdom Hearts 3. It's just little things - many little problems that cause it to fall short of my expectations.
First and foremost, I'm annoyed with the skill progression. To obtain skills, you must first get Dream Eaters, which help you out in battle, as you fight enemies or pamper your Dream Eaters, you get more skill points, which can be spent on skills on a board. This is like the sphere grid, if you've played Final Fantasy X. I like this style of skill progression, but the problem is, you can never get every skill. I spent a lot of time getting every ability before making too much progress in the game. And it turns out, there's many Dream Eaters to obtain. I found that if you unequip your existing Dream Eaters for new and more powerful ones, you LOSE every ability you worked so hard on obtaining, save for any spells you may have obtained. I really wish you could keep skills after you master them, like in Birth By Sleep.
Another annoying aspect is the "Drop" system. As soon as it's activated, you play as either Sora or Riku, and you work to complete certain parts of a given world, until you run out of time and you switch to the other character. Innovative, yes. Annoying, another yes. Playing as two characters makes things difficult. Normally, in Kingdom Hearts, I would spend lots of time level grinding, but the drop gauge runs out so fast that level grinding is difficult, even making progress can be difficult, but I am admittedly slow.
In any other Kingdom Hearts game, I would be at about level 20 before finishing the first world, but due to the drop gauge, I had to split and shorten levelling. Sora ended up being level 8, and Riku at level 6. It's annoying.
I realise that there's an item that gives more time on the drop gauge(drop-me-not). But that's even more annoying, because I now have to give up a valuable command just to be able to go over five minutes playing as just one character.
And the Dream Eaters are just...ugh. It's so high maintence. I often find myself periodically seeing to my dream eaters after every enemy encounter. Slowing down gameplay even more. Although the "pet management" aspect of the game is interesting, I find it annoying because I feel like it's something I have to do.
In addition, combat feels disappointing as I feel the Dream Eaters tend to do most of the work. I perfer dumb AI, like in all the other games, so I can do everything myself.
And as far as I can tell, there's no way to unequip Dream Eaters, just replace them with other ones... :(
I absolutely hate the menu layout. It's a little too transparent, making it seem to mix in with with the outside area. And the one biggest, worst thing about the menu is that it doesn't show health meters on the top screen like EVERY other Kingdom Hearts game, three characters walking on an imaginary conveyer belt with health meters below the characters is a staple in the series, they messed with the formula *tsk tsk*. You have to go out of your way to view your health meter (scrolling through menus on the bottom screen.
There's no heartless!! I know there's a reason for this, but I just can't take the nightmares seriously. For a dark and forboding name, they're awfully colorful, flashy and in some cases, cute. Kinda like giant pinatas. In fact, that's what it should be called: Kingdom Hearts 3D - Sora versus the Giant Pinatas. If one of the games can be called 358/2 days, this could easily pass for a name too.
But that's not to say that this is completely a bad game. It has some very good aspects that I like.
The game is very physics based, what with rush commands, this entails bouncing off walls and ricocheting to maintain momentum, it's definately a step up in gameplay, even if I'd rather not see it in Kingdom Hearts 3.
I originally thought I'd perfer playing as Sora. However, I found Riku's combat more fun, he's much faster and carries his Keyblade in one hand instead of two. Though I find Sora's storyline slightly better.
The gauge system is passable, as it is in many other Kingdom Hearts games, I do like the command and mp system of the main installments much more though.
The story, needless to say, is still awesome. No complaints there.
The music is just wonderful. I love that a lot of the music is remixed.
The Mark of Mastery Edition is so cool. If you didn't get it, track it down and find it!
To sum up, this is the newest Kingdom Hearts game, with a lot of stuff I don't like about it. With some good stuff, which makes it at most subpar at best. As far as I know, I'm the first ever person to give this game a less than good review, even maybe the first person not to like it.
I'm really disappointed by this, I wish my review could be better.
But don't go by me, I'm sure most of you probably disagree with me and are ready to put your troll hats on. If you like it, I'm glad you do. I just think it took too much of a risk straying too far from it's previous titles with it's innovations. Just because I don't love it doesn't mean everyone else doesn't, the game's a huge success.
I still recommend it to Kingdom Hearts fans regardless of my opinion. I plan to beat it - on beginner - as fast as I can - just for the story. And wait for the next Kingdom Hearts game, hoping it will stay true to the other games and not this one.
Okay, I finished the game. The game was really slow up to the last world, or should I say, the second half of the game. After that, it became nothing short of amazing. I really enjoyed the end of the game, it's now much better than I thought. However, if the rest of the game was as exciting as the end, I would love it, but as it clearly isn't, it's still short of perfect.