Completion?

Last night I finally made my way to the end of Kingdom Hearts II. Being that I was impatient to see the ending and knew that I could always come back to my save for 100% completion I went ahead and defeated Xemnas. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but suffice to say I was satisfied with the final encounter(s). I think I enjoyed the first major battle Roxas has against the Nobody Knight more, but that had a lot more to do with the incredible reaction commands in that battle. The only portion I didn’t enjoy in the final encounter was the “Gummi Ship” portion although incredibly easy.

Perhaps that’s the biggest flaw with the final encounter; it just wasn’t hard … at all. Save battling the camera and Xemnas cheese AI when having control Riku, I pretty much breezed through it. At least I still have Sephiroth to best, but what good will having Fenrir do me? Oh right, the Paradox cup. *Shrug* I do need to complete that for 100%. My only question is 100% worth getting for extra part in the ending?

Regardless I enjoyed Kingdom Hearts II, it was definitely everything that a sequel should be. The story really picked up in the 2nd half of the game, even if it was nothing more than revisiting the worlds you already went to. So my initial complaint of an overwhelming story-arch was just made in haste. Yet there were a few things that I wish had been done differently.

As cool as Donald and Goofy are, I wish that you could bring the world-specific party members with you along your journey. It’d actually give you reason to toss equipment and AP boosts their way … Donald, Goofy, and Mickey can travel from world to world, why not Auron? (Yah, he’s the main character I’d bring along with me 🙂 Even though Donald and Goofy are more or less just there to help out, I wish that their abilities received as much attention and growth as Sora’s. Well maybe not as much, but they’re terribly limited in their capacities.

Summons were also a huge disappointment. I used them only during the cup where you face Heracles. Not only were forms vastly more useful, but c’mon … only FOUR summons? Chicken Little?! Peter Pan?! Stitch and Genie were cool, but again … why use them? I would have LOVED to see an Alice in Wonderland summon … sigh …

Speaking of which, I was really hoping to revisit Wonderland after the pathetic world Square created in the original. Alice in Wonderland is by far my favorite Disney title and was really hoping for some psychadelic visuals (ala the Matador level in Psychonauts) and a proper dose of Wonderland. But I’ll try not to go off on a tangent of Disney worlds that I felt should or shouldn’t have been in KH2 …

But other than that, I can’t really think of any glaring improvements that could have been made. As I said, I really enjoyed KH2 and it has completely monopolized my gaming time for the past 2 weeks. I haven’t logged into WoW for more than a couple minutes to catch up with my guild.

Now that I’ve more or less finished KH2 the question is whether or not I’ll go back to WoW. I’m sure I will in some capacity, but not like before. I still have Grandia III and Drakengard 2 to play before FFXII comes out at the end of October. Or maybe I’ll pull a wild card out and FINALLY play MGS3. I still do not know how I haven’t played it for more than 10 minutes … it’s almost embarassing. No strike that, it IS embarassing. I should get on that … c’ya!

Disneyification

Making up words is fun aint it? As the title might suggest, this entry is going to have a blatant Disney-theme to it. What it won’t feature is the Disney seal-of-approval, so you can all breathe a sigh-of-relief. So what does it all mean? I’m finding myself craving the solo console experience; something fun … action oriented, yet having a good story. If you still can’t guess as to the meaning behind my entry title, let me spell it out for you: Kingdom Hearts II.

I never played the first all the way through having grown bored of the happy-go-lucky disjointed story once I hit the Olympus Stadium. I also never played the GBA title even though I’ve heard decent things about it. Hell … I almost skipped the highly anticipated PS2 sequel entirely. Yet something pulled me in. It may have been the promise of nearly everything being fine-tuned and improved upon from the first. It may have also been because of the darker theme of the sequel and dual-wielding keyblades. But whatever it was, it wasn’t because I’ve become out-of-my-f’ng-mind bored of WoW. No, there’s NO WAY that could be the reason.

Okay, it was.

It’s refreshing to be able to sit down and progress on your own. To know that there’s nothing keeping you from seeing everything (well apart from time really). To be able to smash things up in real time and get that good ‘ol console experience that I’ve been sorely lacking for … almost 2 years now. Has WoW held onto me for that long? Holy crap it feels good to be back. Yet I know I’ll be back and playing WoW soon enough. But for the time being this break is just the thing I needed.

I’ll hold onto my impressions for the time being as I’m only 15 hours or so in, but suffice to say I’m really enjoying KH2. Just about everything I disliked about the first has been pretty much rectified. Sure there’s still some improvements I think that could be made, and each world is a disjointed mini-story that doesn’t really feel like progression, but god damn … I really liked Roxas.

I know linear story progression maybe boring for some, but its a lot more cohesive for story progression. If there’s a plan for KH3, I hope the designers take this into account and include a story arch through all of the worlds. Sure it’s fun to visit familiar Disney worlds but each world is a side-story more-or-less and forced to fit within the Kingdom Hearts story.

*Shrug* Either way, I’m glad I picked KH2 up. It’s been a great game so far and is helping me keep from going insane as I wait for FFXII.