Geek Blog – January 31st

My Time With Kingdom Hearts 3 So Far

Hello Geeks! My apologies for not posting yesterday. It honestly slipped my mind. By the time I got home and realized my mistake, it was too late. But let us not look in the past and continue on for adventures.

Fist off, for you Kotobukiya fans of Megami Device, the new Bullet Knights Lancer went up for pre-order yesterday. Make sure you reserve your soon as quantity is limited.

Aside from that, I’m sure tons of people have been playing the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3 that was released earlier this week. After 14 years, we finally get a real continuation of Sora, Donald and Goofy and their crazy adventure.

I can’t speak in lengths about the game yet. It came out Monday night and I have been playing when I have had a chance, which was really a couple hours for two nights so far. I can however give my feelings and perspective about it thus far.

At this time of writing, I have just cleared Mt. Olympus and made it to Twilight Town, so pretty much in the beginning still. I chose the Proud (hard) difficulty because why not. I have not played a Kingdom Hearts game since Kingdom Hearts 2.

The core gameplay takes me right back to my middle school days playing on the PS2. The “hack and slash” combat with the set up for quick slots to socket magic spells and combat items in was a very familiar feel, almost like riding a bike. At the beginning, you start off on a boss fight that is a pretty decent refresher for basic combat skills and maneuvers.

After that and some story bits, you find yourself in the world of Hercules. The evil Hades is up to know good again and is planning a big scheme. You team up with Hercules to help save his world. This is where a most of my personal playtime has been involved in.

Also, a side note, but it was at this point where I remembered just how cheesy the voicing in this game is, but in a good way. After all, it is a Disney game and needs to be kid friendly, so keeping that in mind helps a bit.

Once you assume control you can begin running around. I myself have been looking for every treasure box and breakable object I can find (without a guide). There is always Munny (currency), synthesize items or equipment to be found. There are also areas where completing a certain puzzle will yield a better character upgrade like magic or equipment.

This also makes it so you get as more exploration as possible. The world is visually remarkable and you should be taking the time to really see everything . Even in areas that are walled off or blocked, you can still see fine details and impressive sculpting. Rushing through the game to try and beat it as fast as you can for your first time through with out appreciating all that is has to aesthetically offer should be considered a crime and make you an enemy of the state.

As I touched on earlier, mechanically the game feels very familiar. Usually combat will have you fighting multiple enemies at once, or one big target with multiple attack points. My preferred method is to lock on to one target and burn it down as quick as I can, then switch to another. Keep the camera rotating so you continue to watch you sides while you are locked on.

Along with the button smashing combos, the game brings in a feature where you can call on powerful “combo magics” known as Attraction Flow. These range in various forms and uses, in which when certain conditions are met, you may summon them. I have not yet figured out how each one is triggered. A few of these combos will put you in a vessel and turn into a mini-game (because who doesn’t love obtaining a high score while slaying heartless). For instance, you may summon 3 Mad Hatter Tea Cups in which the party will spin around in and damage enemies. My personal favorite so far is where you are put into a space bumper car with a shooter attached, and continually fire continually while racking up a high score.

There seems there may be fight specific Attractions as well. For instance, when fighting one of the bosses in the first world, you summon a train that rides around in which you can deal damage. Again, I haven’t had a lot of time to pin point the exact cause and effect for each, but the surprise factor is there and it keeps you on your toes. “Oh this is a new machine, how does it work and how do I use it to produce as much damage as possible, and what are the visual cues.” it seems for new Attractions, you will receive a quick help page on how it works and what to do.

There is also form changes, which can amp up attacks and combos and unleash even more powerful finishers. The two most common ones I have seen so far are “Second Form” and “Rage Form” Simple basic combos seem to trigger Second Form, but I’m not sure what activates Rage Form yet.

The boss fights itself are also more than just a hack and slash fest. There are various obstacles or even puzzles that you have to try and figure out to help take down the giant foes. Example given would be one of the bosses throws you high into the air and begins to shoot fireballs and throw building debris upwards at you as you fall back towards the ground. You have to dodge the projectiles until a certain point where you get close enough to the boss to begin attacking again.

Lastly, my favorite part about the game…is the Gummi Ship! For those of you who don’t know, the Gummi Ship is your way of traversing between worlds. My memory says that in the older games, when you would clear a world you would have to get in your Gummi Ship and do a linear “level” where you fought through space evils and collected parts and XP.

Now, you can free roam the universe all while collecting parts, munny, XP. There are battles available still, and to trigger them you just fly into the marked bad guys and start the battle. Traveling through space is pretty quick. They do have boost areas and warp lines that you can enter and exit freely. A cool thing that I found out about were Treasure Spheres, which is a puzzle that you shoot the locks to line up the “power lines” in order to unlock the sphere. Once you do, you are rewarded with various loots.

I haven’t got into the Gummi Ship customization yet, but I am looking forward to it!

All in all, Kingdom Hearts 3 offers a lot of things to do other than just the main story quest line. Sometimes it can almost even feel overwhelming. If you don’t want to do all the extras, you really don’t need to. But if you want to really soak it all in, and get the absolute most experience out of the game, then there is a lot to do rather than just smashing through each world. As I progress through the game, I will post updates on where I currently am.

Have you played any of the Kingdom Hearts series and if so, what is your favorite one and why? Let us know in the comment section below!

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