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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Retrospective



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palizinhas

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Maybe Saix just thinks making a new Replica batch (though I'm not sure I'd call 2 Replicas an "inital lot") even without Vexen is more viable than using Xion. He seems to think the entire thing is beneath the Organization, and he isn't a scientist, so maybe he actually believes Xemnas is being lazy on not making a new one.

It's definitely a weird sentence, especially since it's contradicted by two other reports in the game itself, but since Vexen was the one who did them and Axel actually searched CO on the whole project like twice, I'm willing to believe them over Saix.

Also one thing I always wondered that I forgot to mention in the 357 Day post: what exactly are the Org weapons Xion uses in the final part of the battle, anyway? They don't have Keychains, so I'm not sure they're supposed to be Keyblades instead of just, like, normal swords, and it's in Twilight Town so it doesn't come from Sora's memories. Where did that come from. Though I suppose it's just a final boss-type decision and isn't meant to be thought about.
 

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Hard to say about the Keyblades/swords. Given the malleability of an actual Keyblade, I wouldn't be surprised if they were really being changed by the devices into new Keyblade forms, but you're right that they have no Keychains, so...
 

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Whew, I fell behind a few weeks ago and caught up just now...

Every retrospective so far, there's always that one point where you latch onto a meta concept within the story and explore it so thoroughly, I come away with a completely new perspective of the game. And by god, you did not disappoint with Days, especially in regards to your analysis about Xion. I've had some personal experience with what you talked about (friend of mine had major identity issues and was suicidally depressed), and while I've liked Days and have been invested in Xion, Roxas, and Axel, that honestly hit pretty close to home. Kudos to you for tackling such a divisive game and a really difficult topic.
 

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Xion's weapons are sort-of keyblades, remember Xion's weapon her keyblade isn't real it's a product of her replication powers. She in theory can replicate pretty much any weapon so long as she has the memories/data. I mean that is why she was created to begin with and stuck with Roxas, she's a self absorbing replica capable of copying things herself albeit it seems to be an entirely passive ability not one she actively controls. Her ability though was beyond what was intended because instead of simply copying she sorta outright steals things and they merge with her very being.

The machines basically appeared to be designed to capitalize on that. They focus into Xion the world's memories of Sora (I guess that makes sense, if people forgot Sora then the worlds should of to meaning their missing memories were also just floating around disconnected in the ether like everyone else's). So up until now Xion had been getting an exact replica of KH1 Sora's keyblade and power, but now they are adding in memories from the world so that gets all corrupted and messy. We get KH1 Sora's keyblade and power fused with memories of the enemies Sora fought and so....we get some kind of weird keyblade+enemy weapon hybrid thing that is just sort of monstrous mash-up of both weapons.

Still I really give them props for how much detail they paid to making this fight as close to Sora as they could.

Form 1:
-Weapons and Wings draw from the Card Soldiers and Trickmaster
-Uses 3-hit combo containing his two basic strikes and ends with her jumping up just a bit to use the spinning Hurricane Blast move.
-Primary attack is Sonic Blade
-Can use a super version of cure complete with a super version of leaf bracer
-If strike is parried/block during her combo she will immediately follow up with Sora's counter attack.
-Uses Zantetsuken
-The wobbly animation she goes into before she uses Sonic Blades is the wobbly animation Sora makes before he faints a couple of times in KH1.

Form 2:
-Weapon chimera claw mixed with a little bit of Oggie's Mansion.
-Use aero albeit in a different manner, to hold you in and make it easier to hit with zantetsuken
-Uses 3 hit combo but this time she has Sora's vortex strike in the middle of her combo.
-Still can use counterattack if blocked or parried during her combo
-Primary attack is Ragnarock
-Can use a super version of cure complete with a super version of leaf bracer

Form 3:
-Based on Kurt Zisa
-Still uses a 3 hit combo but this time opens up with rapid vertical/diagonal strikes aka slapshot (reversed though as Xion stars up and goes down while Sora starts down and goes up, this isn't the only reversed move in this fight I think it was supposed to be emphasis the whole mirror aspect)
-Will try to use a over dramatic version of Sora's blitz.
-Still can use counter attack
-Still has super cure and leaf bracer
-Still can use zantetsuken
-Primary attack is Ars Arcanum but oddly enough it's the exact reverse of Sora's, Sora's starts out as a series of fast multi-blows and ends with a series of slow powerful blows while Xion's starts out slow but ends moving with a very fast series of multi-blows, in this case in the form of a spinning tornado motion that is rather reminiscent of Kurt Zisa.

Form 4:
-Something rather subtle and more of an easter egg is in this form her outfit is metalized version of KH2 Sora's clothing where the 3 previous forms were metalized version of KH1 Sora's clothing.
-Is dual wielding which is fitting because Sora's "ultimate" form/ability in battle is dual wielding, you could say this is retroactive foreshadowing of that.
-While she is mostly using a unique combo her ability to slam down her dual keyblades to make shockwaves is a power Sora's Valor form posses.
-Can use aero but as always it's in the form of a wind vortex that tries to draw and hold you in.
-Can use thunder magic albeit in the form of giant lasers
-Can use gravity straight from KH1 (which upsets me because it means they have the gravity spell animation in Days and thus there was little reason they couldn't have given us a Gravity spell series)
-The beams of white light she is firing is a souped up version of Sora's holy from CoM (which Roxas also uses)
-Yellow circle is a souped up gigantic version of Trinity limit, but since it's only one with one person it's called final limit instead.

Like there is just a crazy amount of attention to detail in this fight, I really wish Days was remade because this I feel is the best representation of what fighting KH1 Sora (with a bit of opening KH2 Sora) is really like.
 

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^ When I too realized all those little details that they integrated into the fight, to really make you feel that you are fighting someone that is supposed to be a replica of Sora, I appreciated the boss fights even more. Man, it would be so awesome to see them in better detail one day.

Massive praise to Blackdrazon about the thoughts you present on Xion, her depression and suicidal behavior. Very interesting, well argued and thought out stuff. It was very interesting read.
 

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I just re-watched the movie after several years of not revisiting it, and, I've got to say, this is some really good stuff! I especially love the character interactions, such as Xion and Riku's weird friendship, and the trio in this game is definitely the best in the series, WAY better than Terra, Aqua, and Ventus or Sora, Riku, and Kairi in my opinion.

There's one scene in particular that stood out to me, and that's when Axel exploded at Xion because she kept running away to do her own thing. I love his line after he berates her for "doing whatever she wanted", and his delivery on the line "Well, you just keep on running! But I'll always be there to bring you back!" was chilling to the bone. I don't know why I had so much contempt for the story of Days way back when, either, because Xion's plight and Roxas' emotions really hit hard this time around. Alyson's voice acting for Xion is top notch, and Jesse McCartney as always shines bright as Roxas, bringing just the right amount of fury and awkward quietness that Roxas' character embodies.

I've got to say, though: I've been watching the AntDude Kingdom Hearts Retrospectives recently, and I absolutely cannot agree with his opinion on the gameplay. Sure, he did berate it for some strange choices, but, in my opinion, this gameplay is the worst the series has ever had. The movie is great to watch and all, and I love reading the extra diary entries and stuff, but actually playing the game on the DS proved to be a slog. I'm still not even finished with it, it's taken me over a month and I'm not even sure if I've passed 100 days yet. Every time I turn on the DS and promise to myself that I'm going to take out a large chunk of the game I end up putting it down in 10 minutes or two missions because I'm just so bored with the game. The keyblade movements are float-y and sluggish, the jumping is really, really awful, the keyblades are either bland and poorly designed or just complete recolors of the same model, and whatever the stat thing is called that was replaced with the stat matrix is hot trash. Anyone here really enjoy the gameplay from 358/2 Days, and, if you do, can you tell me why? Maybe it's just me, but it just didn't work at all in my opinion.
 

palizinhas

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We get KH1 Sora's keyblade and power fused with memories of the enemies Sora fought and so....we get some kind of weird keyblade+enemy weapon hybrid thing that is just sort of monstrous mash-up of both weapons
OK, but. Twilight Town. No device there. Sora never went to the world. Is that one made of Sora's memories alone? Then why does it have Organization nods when the Org is such a small part of his life by this point? Or is that one, like, relating to Xion's OWN memories of Twilight Town, that because of her relationship with memories she can literally weaponize? Cause that would be interesting.
 

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gronodonthegreat said:
The movie is great to watch and all, and I love reading the extra diary entries and stuff, but actually playing the game on the DS proved to be a slog.
I had the same experience. I actually really loved the story/RAX interactions, but the gameplay itself was just very dull...

@Blackdrazon: I've been currently in the process of reading your Days and FFVI retrospectives now that they're completed. I haven't played them in so long and aren't so familiar with them as I am other games in each series, so I thought it would be easier to read the retrospectives all at once. I think this might finally give me the incentive to play Days again for the first time since release.
 

Blackdrazon

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Good luck with it if you do! Like I said in the Retrospective, I found it more enjoyable than I remembered, even if it's still far from my favourite.
 

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I think the reason I like Days gameplay is because it's very technical and very rewarding once you learn it, it's just got a very VERY steep learning curve.

Spoiler Spoiler Show
 

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I think the reason I like Days gameplay is because it's very technical and very rewarding once you learn it, it's just got a very VERY steep learning curve.

Spoiler Spoiler Show
Dude... that's awesome. I guess I just never had the time or the energy to study a Kingdom Hearts game's actual gameplay all that much. That being said... I still don't like the command menu as much as the command deck. I get that it is harder and more rewarding than the command deck, but it does sort of limit the possibilities of moves and combinations that you can use. Now, I'm not saying this hasn't happened in the command deck system; Birth by Sleep's strategy for Aqua is spam seeker mine and kill every boss in 3 hits, Dream Drop Distance's cheat is use balloon to win, and I'm sure there's a magical command in Re:Coded that I don't know about (I used exo spark, but I didn't even think it was that useful). The command menu can, indeed, be considerably more challenging, with more of a learning curve, but only sometimes. I agree that Days does sound better designed when you inform me on all of the nuances of battling, but a game like Kingdom Hearts II dropped the ball entirely. People complain about Kingdom Hearts I being a "press x to win game", BUT ITS SEQUEL WAS WORSE! Oh, I'm sorry, it's press triangle AND x to win, my bad. Kingdom Hearts II was certainly a flash-in-the-pan battle system that proved to be generally favorable and pretty to look at, but if gave the players a very unfair advantage a majority of the time and practically transformed Sora into a god (didn't help that AP boosts in that game are given out like candy). Command deck at least made you grind and work for new commands to improve your deck, and I felt like the command melding process along with the option to attach abilities to the future product was something in Birth by Sleep that made the entire game fun for me. In the end, it's not what's designed better that I like, sometimes it's just what I find more fun.
 

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I could fight you to the death on that KH2 opinion but I also know that in the end it be a fool's errand, you like what you like and you think what you think and I'm pretty sure nothing I could say could change your mind. You are perfectly entitled to enjoy what you find fun even if it's not as well designed. Heck I know that's why I like games like DDD and Days better than KH1 I even actually would like Re:Coded better than KH1 if system areas didn't exist (I hate system areas they are everything bad about CoM's memory world's except they managed to make them even more obnoxious and lacking life/personality which wasn't something I thought possible). In fact this is controversial but I think the card system is easily one of the best battle systems in the series, and that CoM's actual faults were you traveled through pallet swap worlds with no personality or life and there was a disgustingly large amount of heartless each room making the game feel horribly padded/draggy.
 

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@KHHacker, FudgemintGuardian: I have no problem with anyone's dislike of Xion as a character, but the decision of many members of the fandom to couch that dislike in violent, threatening imagery has been a blight on this whole fandom for eight and a half years, and the reason I stayed away from the fandom until the launch of KHX. This repeat and deliberate use of violent and threatening imagery is no legitimate criticism and deserves no defence as some sort of criticism. The KH fandom has been, for the past eight and a half years, a place where one is constantly reminded that to be suicidal and of limited value to others is punishable by insults, attacks, and threats of death, if not worse as some fans have felt the needs to elaborate (torture, rape). To say that one dislikes Xion is more than acceptable. To go out of one's way to say that she deserves to die a violent death for one's dislike is beyond the pall for "criticism." To go out of one's way to attack anyone who likes her character with insinuations that she deserves to die a violent death is likewise.

This is the single worst fandom I have ever had the displeasure of treating with on the subject of a disabled character, with a thorough eagerness to wish death on not only the character and her defenders, but to specifically outline which traits they feel are deserving of death in a human being to remind any fellow fans of similar mental makeup that they too deserve to die and for which particular reasons. It has been an unsettling and quite often frightening place to be, and so I have chosen to address the practice.


@Hirokey: Thanks, I'll try to address those details.
Well that put a different light on what you were saying. I've been drenched in this fandom for a long time and this is the first I've ever heard of parts of the fandom acting this way. Being never exposed to this before, my only reference are those I've mentioned (people with mostly legit criticism) so said people were the only ones who came to mind during your commentary.
I do take back what I've said.


Now!
The next day, Roxas arrives at the World that Never Was, suddenly wielding two Keyblades, which he transform into the Oathkeeper and Oblivion. If you’re a new player, you might come into this sequence with shock, because it seems for a moment as though you’ve been given an answer for Roxas’ second Keyblade: it used to belong to Xion! Sure enough, another part of the scene seems to believe that this is the case as well! But believe it or not, later games would come up with a different explanation for Roxas’ second Keyblade, so I suspect that Nomura was being a bit too frugal with his secret notes.[FONT=Lucida Grande, Lucida Sans Unicode, Lucida Sans, Geneva, Verdana, sans-serif]
[/FONT]This still bugs me to this day.
It made perfect sense and they were clearly going for having Roxas' second Keyblade belonging to Xion. I guess Nomura got annoyed something made perfect sense. lol

After the battle, Riku loses to Riku and then recovers as per the scenes from KH2.
Roxas was Riku's Nobody this whole time?


no matter how much the game seems to have condemned their unusual deaths in previous scnees as horrible,
DiZ: "Scnees?" Sorry, but this typo amused me.


In one final scene, Roxas wakes up in Twilight Town in his false personality on the first day of the prologue. He then runs off to join Hayner, Pence and Olette, and talks about how eager he is to go to the beach.
Since I forgot to mention the "ice cream" scene earlier I'll say it here. The localizers had a hard time with this line because they had to fit the timing (the original line was something like "come on, the three of us are going to eat ice cream together again!") so as big of a flub as it was it's understandable.
However! Instead of trying the get the Japanese line to fit, a much better line would have been "But we haven't gone to the beach yet."
I think a line like that would have not only accomplish the intention, but give wanting to go to the beach in Virtual Twilight Town more weight.

Saïx makes an inexplicable reference to “the next lot” of Replicas on Day 171, even though Axel and more importantly Vexen mentioned there only being two Replicas in previous Secret Reports! If there are more Replicas, they certainly haven’t been mentioned in three games since!
Wait what? I don't remember this at all!
*looks it up*
Xion failed to complete its mission. If this continues, destroying it and using the next Replica as the Duplicate would undoubtedly yield a higher-grade copy. No. i was among the initial lot, which naturally raises questions about its capabilities. At present, it is nothing short of broken. I cannot fathom why Xemnas would want to keep it.

What "next Replica"?! How? What?


------
In fact this is controversial but I think the card system is easily one of the best battle systems in the series, and that CoM's actual faults were you traveled through pallet swap worlds with no personality or life and there was a disgustingly large amount of heartless each room making the game feel horribly padded/draggy.
It wasn't until Blackdrazon's Retrospectives that I started enjoying the card system. 'cause I finally knew how the heck you play it. lol
 

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I could fight you to the death on that KH2 opinion but I also know that in the end it be a fool's errand, you like what you like and you think what you think and I'm pretty sure nothing I could say could change your mind. You are perfectly entitled to enjoy what you find fun even if it's not as well designed. Heck I know that's why I like games like DDD and Days better than KH1 I even actually would like Re:Coded better than KH1 if system areas didn't exist (I hate system areas they are everything bad about CoM's memory world's except they managed to make them even more obnoxious and lacking life/personality which wasn't something I thought possible). In fact this is controversial but I think the card system is easily one of the best battle systems in the series, and that CoM's actual faults were you traveled through pallet swap worlds with no personality or life and there was a disgustingly large amount of heartless each room making the game feel horribly padded/draggy.
Dude, same with the Chain of Memories opinion! I had so much fun playing that game, the battle system was just so fun! It is a very unpopular opinion, but I certainly stand with you :)

That's the reason why I share opinions like that for KHII, debate's always loads of fun :) I enjoy KHII fine, I just think it could have been harder. I also have a huge nostalgia boner for the original game, not going to lie on that one.
 

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Well that put a different light on what you were saying. I've been drenched in this fandom for a long time and this is the first I've ever heard of parts of the fandom acting this way. Being never exposed to this before, my only reference are those I've mentioned (people with mostly legit criticism) so said people were the only ones who came to mind during your commentary.
I do take back what I've said.
Thanks Fudgemint, I'm sorry about the confusion and any hurt caused by the confusion, and appreciate your coming back to say this.

Since I forgot to mention the "ice cream" scene earlier I'll say it here. The localizers had a hard time with this line because they had to fit the timing (the original line was something like "come on, the three of us are going to eat ice cream together again!") so as big of a flub as it was it's understandable.
However! Instead of trying the get the Japanese line to fit, a much better line would have been "But we haven't gone to the beach yet."
I think a line like that would have not only accomplish the intention, but give wanting to go to the beach in Virtual Twilight Town more weight.
Ah, that original line is just what the scene needed! For me, anyways. What a shame. And you're definitely right about the added meaning to Virtual Twilight Town's beach!
 
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It's crazy how much I agree with Blackdrazon on my series rankings. I still have fond memories of KH2 but I will never think it's an overall good game anymore outside of its combat on higher difficulties. It's narrative, writing, and level design are just not good to me. I don't get why more people don't like KH1 the best. It's like how do you not miss actual exploration with a sense of purpose in doing so, how do you not miss the little things that make each world distinct. Simple puzzles and secrets that show up in every world. That charm is lost on every game in the series since.
 

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Speaking for myself:

Because KH1's exploration wasn't really fun it was tedious due to a combination of just god awful physics, a claustrophobic camera/world design, and Sora's complete lack of mobility. Moving around in the KH1 worlds just isn't that fun, finding stuff is fun for the sake of finding stuff but I don't actually ever finding me going "Man this is fun" when I'm trying explore the worlds. More often than not it's more like *Fiddles around crazily with the control stick to make Sora jump straight* *try to account for Sora's very weird over floaty-ness* *try to not fall into all the pits and water because invisible walls and the ability to jump out of water isn't a thing* etc.... KH2 may be linear in its design but it's very much fun to move around in KH2 with how mobile Sora progressively becomes. Platforming for crowns in KH2 is great and I stand by the cavern of remembrance is easily one of the best dungeons in the series and blows away anything KH1 had.

Also DDD and honestly 0.2 both super spit on KH1's level design and exploration. The worlds are massive, they feel massive, they feel like actual worlds and there are tons and tons of nooks and crannies, platforming challenges (which come in regular or flowmotion depending on how you want to go about it), secrets, and little puzzles to solve. There is also plenty of world interactivity in those two games which is something missing from most games past KH1, but not from these. Most importantly it's fun to move around in these game just as it is in KH2, I wouldn't say 0.2 is as fun as DDD or 0.2 (with DDD you have flowmotion, crazy reality shifts, and a whole little host of movement abilities and KH2 has just one of the most mobile sora ever) as it's largely just a refined version of BBS's movement with a splash of DDD in it but it's still more than KH1 has for the most part. Also as much as I like world interactivity I wish KH1 had spent a bit more time refining its level design and physics first and then concerned themselves with ringing bells.

You know I've sorta come to say it like this... KH1 had a lot of good ideas but bad execution, it was so excited to do all these things it didn't make sure it was doing them well. I think starting us back from the beginning and rebuilding us from the ground, re-integrating these things over time but much more refined and meaningful, was the right decision. And now we've got something like 0.2 where the level design, the exploration, etc.. it's all just such a delight...and we know on top of this we are going to be getting back our mobile KH2 Sora ALONG with flowmotion which pretty much all together just makes me drool.
 

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Speaking for myself:

Because KH1's exploration wasn't really fun it was tedious due to a combination of just god awful physics, a claustrophobic camera/world design, and Sora's complete lack of mobility. Moving around in the KH1 worlds just isn't that fun, finding stuff is fun for the sake of finding stuff but I don't actually ever finding me going "Man this is fun" when I'm trying explore the worlds. More often than not it's more like *Fiddles around crazily with the control stick to make Sora jump straight* *try to account for Sora's very weird over floaty-ness* *try to not fall into all the pits and water because invisible walls and the ability to jump out of water isn't a thing* etc.... KH2 may be linear in its design but it's very much fun to move around in KH2 with how mobile Sora progressively becomes. Platforming for crowns in KH2 is great and I stand by the cavern of remembrance is easily one of the best dungeons in the series and blows away anything KH1 had.

Also DDD and honestly 0.2 both super spit on KH1's level design and exploration. The worlds are massive, they feel massive, they feel like actual worlds and there are tons and tons of nooks and crannies, platforming challenges (which come in regular or flowmotion depending on how you want to go about it), secrets, and little puzzles to solve. There is also plenty of world interactivity in those two games which is something missing from most games past KH1, but not from these. Most importantly it's fun to move around in these game just as it is in KH2, I wouldn't say 0.2 is as fun as DDD or 0.2 (with DDD you have flowmotion, crazy reality shifts, and a whole little host of movement abilities and KH2 has just one of the most mobile sora ever) as it's largely just a refined version of BBS's movement with a splash of DDD in it but it's still more than KH1 has for the most part. Also as much as I like world interactivity I wish KH1 had spent a bit more time refining its level design and physics first and then concerned themselves with ringing bells.

You know I've sorta come to say it like this... KH1 had a lot of good ideas but bad execution, it was so excited to do all these things it didn't make sure it was doing them well. I think starting us back from the beginning and rebuilding us from the ground, re-integrating these things over time but much more refined and meaningful, was the right decision. And now we've got something like 0.2 where the level design, the exploration, etc.. it's all just such a delight...and we know on top of this we are going to be getting back our mobile KH2 Sora ALONG with flowmotion which pretty much all together just makes me drool.
True, KH1 compared to the most recent KH Games is perhaps slow and clunky.

I would give them a free pass because it was the best for it's time.

Now, I do not know what engine Square used before they became Square Enix but the graphics considered to be pretty amazing.

People back then thought Sora flying and jumping was pretty mobile in 2001.

Now the idea of flying and jumping is a basic standard when it comes to KH as the series started to progress.

Have a KH game with no flying and jumping as a basic or acquirable skill? I guarantee people will complain or the devs at SE simply stopped caring.

For it's time reading reviews from 2001 to 2005 Metacritic gave it 85 rating, IGN gave it a 9.0, Gamespot Average user rating gave it a 9.0. These reviews praised kh1 for it's graphics, cutscenes, and gameplay. (Mainly metacritic has a plethora of critic reviews): Kingdom Hearts Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2 - Metacritic

Now being 2017 the standards for videos games have risen year after year due to technology constantly breaking limits.

Of course with the perspective compared to the more recent KH games, KH1 appears to be as visually and technically functioning as a beta at best.

Sure you can bag on KH 1.5 but they have fixed a number if issues (Camera, Controls, ect.) with the original KH1 and besides they lost all original assets and had to build it from the ground up again from scratch.

In conclusion KH1 was great for it's time, pretend it's 2001 it's a graphically a revolutionary game.
 
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Hirokey123

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Hey I notice you keep acting as if the second keyblade coming from somewhere else was a retcon, it's not. Even in the interviews at the time of Days Nomura kept saying that keyblade wasn't specifically Xion's, but she awoke that blade within him and that he couldn't go into details because it tied to they mystery of Xehanort's memories.

– In the end Roxas is able use two keyblades. Is this because he now has Xion’s?


Nomura: Well, it isn’t that Roxas has physically inherited Xion’s keyblade, but more that Xion has awakened it within Roxas. In the KH series there are a lot of complex reasons why someone can use a keyblade, but basically you need a “heart” to be able to wield one. So strictly speaking, they are being influenced by Sora. At the present I can’t say more than that, since it would go into whether or not Roxas has a heart. And there is also a part that has to do with Xehanort’s memories. This time there were connections to the Kingdom Hearts I secret movie, and the time will come when this will have a clear connection as well. You’ll just have to ask me then.

Now I'm not saying this wasn't an unnecessary step, because I will always feel it was, but he already knew writing days that the second blade came from...somewhere else. He said something similar to these lines way back in KH2 saying that Sora and Roxas use the keyblade on and off, but when they use it at the same time it is partly due to their connection and partly tied to the "mystery of Xehanort's memories".

Meanwhile the whole thing with Riku getting a flashback of his memories of Xion was meant to be one of the multiple hints in that scene answering the long asked question "why would Roxas randomly run up a building and toss his keyblade to riku". It's supposed to indicate that a part of Xion in Roxas basically took control of him and made him take those actions. Another such hint to this the added scene where after he tosses the keyblade Roxas suddenly snaps his head up and says "huh?" indicating that was the moment when Roxas had regained control/awareness of the situation.


Saix's true goals is his takeover plan of the organization with Axel's help so they can get their hearts back because they don't trust Xemnas intended to deliver on his promise. Ironically they were only half right, as Xemnas was genuine when he said he would give them hearts again. Of course the devil is in the details....

And yeah Xemnas always intended for Sora to wake up. The original plan (okay well like the 4th original plan because dang did this replica project go all over the place at the start) was first use Roxas as their primary wielder. Second put Sora into sleep and have Namine strip him of all his memories so a portion of power and memories start to flow into Roxas. Third put their replica with Roxas at the time, No. i would copy that piece of the memories flowing into Roxas so she would be able to have a copy of Roxas/Sora's keyblade power. Fourth eventually let Sora be reassembled and awaken so he can collect hearts for them, remember in their making of this plan losing Sora and Namine was not part of it. Had everything go according to plan they would have had 3 active wielders collecting hearts for them. Sora and Roxas their primary wielders and Xion as their back-up incase they lost one or both. However things went horribly wrong almost immediately they lost Namine, lost Sora, Xion stole memories instead of copied them giving her a will of her own and initiating a power struggle that limited both her and Roxas, and the one who might know how to fix this whole replica issue or make them a better one was murdered by Axel. For the rest of the game Xemnas and Saix are basically trying to salvage the remains of this project. Xemnas does so by allowing Xion to exist as a cage for Sora's memories instead of killing her and ultimately tries to rig things in Xion's favor because her winning seal Sora in sleep forever, which is more ideal than him waking up and turning on them. While Saix does so by trying to eliminate Roxas or Xion...primarily Roxas because Xion was showing off as the stronger one however he certainly thought of trying to get rid of Xion it's just he couldn't without Xemnas's orders.

Also yes Xion's pluto story was amazing...pluto needs more love in this series...
 

Tartarus

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Finally finished the Days retrospective. Some random thoughts I wrote down while reading, I can't remember the specific entries I'm responding to:


- You're right about the game not caring about more than 3 or 4 characters out of the 14-20+ there are, and how it fails to live up to the expectation you'd have of getting to know about the Organization as a whole coming into the game. BbS suffers from the same problem of things you'd expect/want to see of the existing story in a prequel not being fulfilled, imo.

- The flip between regular Xion and hood Xion in Mission 23 was the point the game became interesting/intriguing for me, too. I noticed the detail my first playthrough.

- Re:the absence of lesser nobodies, good point. Your suggestion of them possibly being used to get materials off-screen made me think of how fun it would've been if they'd done something like the chocobos in FFX-2, with Roxas sending them to Agrabah for Fire Gems (or whatever material names are in days), Halloween for Lucid, Neverland for Power, etc.

- I never really thought about what the 2 in the title meant. I guess I assumed it was about Roxas and Sora being 2 sides...? I never would've guessed it stood for Roxas and Xion, because I think of them as part of a trio with Axel, not as a duo. Bizarre. This series...

- I've always thought the film was trash. I hadn't played Days in a while at the point I watched it, but the story just did not feel "complete" in the film the way it did when I played the game. I'm glad you looked at the game/movie simultaneously to identify the cuts so I know explicitly why I walked away from it cold.

- Yes, my favorite part of this game was the little story callbacks as you're going along the story. I'm glad you put a lot of attention on them.

- This might be a reach, but I think Neverland could be connecting the way Roxas is being used by Xemnas to create KH to Pete using Hook to create his army. Hook follows the maps blindly (and repetitiously) the way Roxas blindly follows orders/missions--and what results from that. Maybe that's why the Neverland missions make a specific point of Roxas several times deciding to ignore helping Tink because the mission is more important; instead of discerning situations for himself, he does what he's told and furthers an evil goal.


- I agree about Axel attacking Xion being a full-on villain moment and it was hard for me to get over it so near to the end of the game. I do not get the fandom's hard-on for Axel. If he was a straight up villain/grey character, I could enjoy it. But at other times, it's like the games try to whitewash him into this great guy and it annoys me.

- Re:clones trying to kill the original to become real cliche--the fact that the game is more original for not going in that direction is compounded even more so considering that cliche happened just two games prior with Replica trying to destroy Riku in Reverse Rebirth.

- I wasn't really in the fandom during Days. I think I've written before that my interest in KH really hit its nadir with Days/BbS* before being re-ignited by coded and particularly 3D. I kind of followed it "just because" at that time. That's why I didn't really see much of the mania about Xion, although occasionally when she does come up in discussion, some fans seem more vociferous about dismissing her than others. I don't know, I resent all the characters introduced in the side games to a degree because they felt like a pileup of repetitious, tragic characters in the same vein as Namine and Roxas in CoM/KH2; I've never really seen her as better or worse than BbS's 3 protagonists. I actually like her, Aqua, and Terra for the most part. Ventus is the only one I can't stand, tbh. I wonder if the directed hatred towards Xion has more to do with fans going into Days expecting a story about the Organization, the game entirely failing to deliver that, and the new character receiving the brunt of fandom disapproval as a result? I admit that's what I thought we were getting in Days, and I've always been disappointed we didn't get to see more of the CoM crew, Xaldin, Luxord, and Demyx. And--really--I could forgive the CoM crew getting shafted in this game, since CoM already did such a great job with them, if at least the bland KH2 Org. seat-fillers had been more developed.

* Funnily enough, I played Days in real life when I was going through a serious burnout which looking back on I can more accurately see was a depression. Maybe that's why I could appreciate Days' symbolic plotlines about depressed/suicidal characters when taking it on its own terms and leaving out the letdown expectations?


Thank you for doing this retrospective! :) They really help me to appreciate/understand the subtleties of some of these games more than I would have. Plus, you're hilarious.

 
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