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Why do people keep saying KH2 is better than KH3?



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drew0512

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I don't get how you can say KH2 wraps up character arcs and story better. KH2 introduced a bunch of characters (mostly Organization members) and basically gave them no character at all - they just served as humanoid bosses to fight. Sora's character arc was... find Riku and Mickey? He finds Mickey and (to buy time) Mickey doesn't reveal key info about Riku. Then they throw in the "surprise" that the leader of the Organization is the Nobody of Xehanort - this happens in the middle of the game. What were we doing before? Just wandering around Disney worlds that we knew did not have Riku or Mickey. KH2's story was messy because it basically started in the middle of the game and the main villain's goal was barely elaborated on. When it was found out that he was using Sora to go to worlds to release hearts to construct a new Kingdom Hearts, Sora's response to this was... to continue going to worlds and release more hearts. For more than half the game you don't really know why you keep going forward, you just do and scenes happen that sort of vaguely clue you in. Oh and throw in Kairi getting kidnapped again. At least in KH3 you knew what you were building towards - saving Aqua and Ven, then ultimately the keyblade war. Whether the execution was good or not, at least the story was clearer and executed better than KH2's.

NOTE: I love KH2 a lot, I just can't let it slide when people say that its story was better than KH3.

You forgot to mention Maleficent. The game revives her with a lame excuse, makes her useless and then leaves us in the dark about her fate at the end of the game. KH2 really wraps up arcs nicely, uh.
 

SerDuncan

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I don't get how you can say KH2 wraps up character arcs and story better. KH2 introduced a bunch of characters (mostly Organization members) and basically gave them no character at all - they just served as humanoid bosses to fight. Sora's character arc was... find Riku and Mickey? He finds Mickey and (to buy time) Mickey doesn't reveal key info about Riku. Then they throw in the "surprise" that the leader of the Organization is the Nobody of Xehanort - this happens in the middle of the game. What were we doing before? Just wandering around Disney worlds that we knew did not have Riku or Mickey. KH2's story was messy because it basically started in the middle of the game and the main villain's goal was barely elaborated on. When it was found out that he was using Sora to go to worlds to release hearts to construct a new Kingdom Hearts, Sora's response to this was... to continue going to worlds and release more hearts. For more than half the game you don't really know why you keep going forward, you just do and scenes happen that sort of vaguely clue you in. Oh and throw in Kairi getting kidnapped again. At least in KH3 you knew what you were building towards - saving Aqua and Ven, then ultimately the keyblade war. Whether the execution was good or not, at least the story was clearer and executed better than KH2's.

NOTE: I love KH2 a lot, I just can't let it slide when people say that its story was better than KH3.

Hold on a second here. I think you're misremembering the plot of KH2, and characterizing things oddly here. In KH3... we literally have no explained reason as for why Sora goes to each world. He just points his keyblade at the sky and they are there. Nothing builds towards saving Aqua and Ven for Sora in the Disney Worlds until just after San Fransokyo, when they decide it's time to save Aqua. Nothing changed for Sora throughout over 2/3 of the game. In KH2, Sora visits worlds originally to rid them of the Heartless. In KH1, this is something he was told was absolutely NECESSARY for him to do. In each world, this feeling is strengthened by the Heartless ruining people's lives. We're chasing the ghosts of Riku, but Sora is still having an adventure like he did the first time. Plus, he's chasing the Organization who bother him about Roxas, while he deals with conflicting feelings about Roxas and all that good stuff. That's just the basic skeleton. But even in this short little discussion, Sora has had way more character growth than KH3. Things have changed from the first time he explored, he has a different purpose. He's like an orderkeeper, world jumping.

Then the mid game happens. Suddenly, everything Sora has known about the heartless has been thrown into chaos, and he reacts to this. There are multiple scenes where he goes "oh damn, how do I fight the heartless? It's helping the organization! But I want to save people like the Beast, and Mulan". He has a battle he grapples without throughout the revisits of each world. But he has to keep going forward. Now he knows that the Organization are meddling in worlds, changing the natural order of things. As this peacekeeper that he has become, Sora feels it's his duty to take out the heartless AND the Organization. So he chases them to various worlds, both to keep those worlds safe, and also to fulfill his 2 (soon to be 3) selfish desires; The frustration and hatred that Roxas feels towards the Org is driving him forward, and the Org keeps dropping hints about Sora's inner workings that Sora wants to figure out. Eventually, and yes, this is an issue in the game, Kairi is kidnapped and Sora goes to save her. (let me remind you though, that Kairi escaped Axel, went with Pluto of her own accord before getting captured, but then essentially broke herself outta jail and is able to hold her own with Riku.

Throughout ALL of this, Riku has been struggling with his own arc, against his own darkness. Kairi has been learning about Namine bit by bit. The Hollow Bastion restoration committee has their own arcs. Even some of the Org members (although some are underutilized) have great arcs. We see Saix go from a cold, unflinching commander, to him losing control before fighting Sora. Axel has arguably one of the best arcs throughout KH2. Even Xigbar gets some interesting development. We see him as the laughing schemer. In KH3... do we ever learn why any of the new Organization joined up with Xehanort? Vexen is the only one. With most of the Org, we actually get to see why they do what they do. Even Demyx and Luxord get a decent amount of development in their short on screen appearances. In a few short scenes, we get that Demyx is lazy, he seems like a coward. We fight him twice. And we get a remarkable shift in his character right before we fight him the last, demonstrating that the acts they put on are just that: Acts. Xaldin gets a pretty decent arc throughout his encounters in Beast's Castle. We see him as a manipulator, pulling the strings behind the scenes. He's smug, and stoic. I mean, you can't possibly believe they got no character at all, do you? KH2 is where they got their character! BBS hardly expands on it, and Days only serves to make their characters. That's just a false statement.

Pretty early on, we learn that Xemnas wants to complete Kingdom Hearts. He explains why. "So that they can have hearts". Sora even wonders if this is a bad objective, but recognizes that they are hurting people. He would stop beating the heartless if he could, but good guy Sora feels compelled to help. The story isn't confusing at all. It's incredibly clear. It's well executed. KH3... is not clear. It's not well executed. If we didn't know ahead of time, through trailers, what we were building towards, it would thematically make no sense. Sora has to gain an unexplained Power of Waking, which he gets through a Deus Ex Machina instead of anything in the Disney Worlds. The villains in each world have unclear motives that don't really seem to add up to their overall objective. Heck, some of them aren't even relevant for the game (The 7 new princesses anyone?) Then we save Aqua and Ven, go to the Keyblade Graveyard... why? Xehanort says he wants to fight us to make Kingdom Hearts. If we just didn't go... wouldn't his plan fail? Why are we playing into his hands? Why do we even need to fight him?

Seriously... i feel like... you might need to go back and play KH2. Because it did everything you said it didn't... and it did it well. I'm sorry if I'm coming off as rude, but you need to work on your analysis skills here.

KH2's story was just simply better than KH3's. Mechanically, from an analytical angle, it just was.

And finally to Drew... the Maleficent arc in Kh2 was a little rough, sure. Her resurrection is actually perfectly fine because thats how the fairy tale works, ya know. But... at least in that game we understood her objective. We interacted with her and Pete. They fulfilled the purpose of a secondary antagonist. What do they do in KH3 again? Oh that's right, they traipse around taking up screen time for a sequel hook, an objective we don't understand yet, and we don't even get to fight them. Let me remind you, we fought Pete multiple times in Kh2. And he was an integral part of many of the worlds. They may not be perfect in KH2, but they are 10 times better in that game than they are in KH3.
 

drew0512

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Hold on a second here. I think you're misremembering the plot of KH2, and characterizing things oddly here. In KH3... we literally have no explained reason as for why Sora goes to each world. He just points his keyblade at the sky and they are there. Nothing builds towards saving Aqua and Ven for Sora in the Disney Worlds until just after San Fransokyo, when they decide it's time to save Aqua. Nothing changed for Sora throughout over 2/3 of the game. In KH2, Sora visits worlds originally to rid them of the Heartless. In KH1, this is something he was told was absolutely NECESSARY for him to do. In each world, this feeling is strengthened by the Heartless ruining people's lives. We're chasing the ghosts of Riku, but Sora is still having an adventure like he did the first time. Plus, he's chasing the Organization who bother him about Roxas, while he deals with conflicting feelings about Roxas and all that good stuff. That's just the basic skeleton. But even in this short little discussion, Sora has had way more character growth than KH3. Things have changed from the first time he explored, he has a different purpose. He's like an orderkeeper, world jumping.

Then the mid game happens. Suddenly, everything Sora has known about the heartless has been thrown into chaos, and he reacts to this. There are multiple scenes where he goes "oh damn, how do I fight the heartless? It's helping the organization! But I want to save people like the Beast, and Mulan". He has a battle he grapples without throughout the revisits of each world. But he has to keep going forward. Now he knows that the Organization are meddling in worlds, changing the natural order of things. As this peacekeeper that he has become, Sora feels it's his duty to take out the heartless AND the Organization. So he chases them to various worlds, both to keep those worlds safe, and also to fulfill his 2 (soon to be 3) selfish desires; The frustration and hatred that Roxas feels towards the Org is driving him forward, and the Org keeps dropping hints about Sora's inner workings that Sora wants to figure out. Eventually, and yes, this is an issue in the game, Kairi is kidnapped and Sora goes to save her. (let me remind you though, that Kairi escaped Axel, went with Pluto of her own accord before getting captured, but then essentially broke herself outta jail and is able to hold her own with Riku.

Throughout ALL of this, Riku has been struggling with his own arc, against his own darkness. Kairi has been learning about Namine bit by bit. The Hollow Bastion restoration committee has their own arcs. Even some of the Org members (although some are underutilized) have great arcs. We see Saix go from a cold, unflinching commander, to him losing control before fighting Sora. Axel has arguably one of the best arcs throughout KH2. Even Xigbar gets some interesting development. We see him as the laughing schemer. In KH3... do we ever learn why any of the new Organization joined up with Xehanort? Vexen is the only one. With most of the Org, we actually get to see why they do what they do. Even Demyx and Luxord get a decent amount of development in their short on screen appearances. In a few short scenes, we get that Demyx is lazy, he seems like a coward. We fight him twice. And we get a remarkable shift in his character right before we fight him the last, demonstrating that the acts they put on are just that: Acts. Xaldin gets a pretty decent arc throughout his encounters in Beast's Castle. We see him as a manipulator, pulling the strings behind the scenes. He's smug, and stoic. I mean, you can't possibly believe they got no character at all, do you? KH2 is where they got their character! BBS hardly expands on it, and Days only serves to make their characters. That's just a false statement.

Pretty early on, we learn that Xemnas wants to complete Kingdom Hearts. He explains why. "So that they can have hearts". Sora even wonders if this is a bad objective, but recognizes that they are hurting people. He would stop beating the heartless if he could, but good guy Sora feels compelled to help. The story isn't confusing at all. It's incredibly clear. It's well executed. KH3... is not clear. It's not well executed. If we didn't know ahead of time, through trailers, what we were building towards, it would thematically make no sense. Sora has to gain an unexplained Power of Waking, which he gets through a Deus Ex Machina instead of anything in the Disney Worlds. The villains in each world have unclear motives that don't really seem to add up to their overall objective. Heck, some of them aren't even relevant for the game (The 7 new princesses anyone?) Then we save Aqua and Ven, go to the Keyblade Graveyard... why? Xehanort says he wants to fight us to make Kingdom Hearts. If we just didn't go... wouldn't his plan fail? Why are we playing into his hands? Why do we even need to fight him?

Seriously... i feel like... you might need to go back and play KH2. Because it did everything you said it didn't... and it did it well. I'm sorry if I'm coming off as rude, but you need to work on your analysis skills here.

KH2's story was just simply better than KH3's. Mechanically, from an analytical angle, it just was.

And finally to Drew... the Maleficent arc in Kh2 was a little rough, sure. Her resurrection is actually perfectly fine because thats how the fairy tale works, ya know. But... at least in that game we understood her objective. We interacted with her and Pete. They fulfilled the purpose of a secondary antagonist. What do they do in KH3 again? Oh that's right, they traipse around taking up screen time for a sequel hook, an objective we don't understand yet, and we don't even get to fight them. Let me remind you, we fought Pete multiple times in Kh2. And he was an integral part of many of the worlds. They may not be perfect in KH2, but they are 10 times better in that game than they are in KH3.

You come off as "rude" simply because it seems like you're trying to shove your opinion down our throats. If you think that KH2's story is better, then good for you. KH2's story is a mess, KH3's a mess, BBS' is a mess and so on (excluding KH1 and CoM in my opinion). It doesn't mean that we can't enjoy them, though. We all have our preferences and we can discuss them, but some of the things you said are just blatant lies, like Luxord's development. What? How? When? Luxord hardly has a personality in KH2, let alone a "development". Even if you have a very, very personal idea of what a development is, I fail to see how you could think that Luxord got one in KH2 and not Ienzo, Vexen or Demyx in KH3. It just doesn't make any sense.

If anything, I really think you should actually play KH3 again because you're making it look worse than it is (while making KH2 look way better than it is). You're saying that Eel needs to work on their analysis skills but you're actually the one that is bashing KH3's story without even understanding it, because if you're wondering about this
The villains in each world have unclear motives that don't really seem to add up to their overall objective. Heck, some of them aren't even relevant for the game (The 7 new princesses anyone?) Then we save Aqua and Ven, go to the Keyblade Graveyard... why? Xehanort says he wants to fight us to make Kingdom Hearts. If we just didn't go... wouldn't his plan fail? Why are we playing into his hands? Why do we even need to fight him?
you just didn't pay attention because the reason we need to fight him is the "little" detail you describe as plot irrelevant. It's explained in Arendelle, the Princesses are a backup plan because Xehanort only needs people that represent the light to forge the χ-blade, and the Princesses are basically the embodiment of light. It's a pivotal moment for Sora's growth because he realizes there is much more at stake and it's extremely baffling to me you didn't know this because it's outright stated in the game.
 

SerDuncan

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You come off as "rude" simply because it seems like you're trying to shove your opinion down our throats. If you think that KH2's story is better, then good for you. KH2's story is a mess, KH3's a mess, BBS' is a mess and so on (excluding KH1 and CoM in my opinion). It doesn't mean that we can't enjoy them, though. We all have our preferences and we can discuss them, but some of the things you said are just blatant lies, like Luxord's development. What? How? When? Luxord hardly has a personality in KH2, let alone a "development". Even if you have a very, very personal idea of what a development is, I fail to see how you could think that Luxord got one in KH2 and not Ienzo, Vexen or Demyx in KH3. It just doesn't make any sense.

If anything, I really think you should actually play KH3 again because you're making it look worse than it is (while making KH2 look way better than it is). You're saying that Eel needs to work on their analysis skills but you're actually the one that is bashing KH3's story without even understanding it, because if you're wondering about this

you just didn't pay attention because the reason we need to fight him is the "little" detail you describe as plot irrelevant. It's explained in Arendelle, the Princesses are a backup plan because Xehanort only needs people that represent the light to forge the χ-blade, and the Princesses are basically the embodiment of light. It's a pivotal moment for Sora's growth because he realizes there is much more at stake and it's extremely baffling to me you didn't know this because it's outright stated in the game.


You're right, I'm forcing my opinion. And you're right, I was rude. I apologize. You are also correct about Luxord in KH2. I do agree that Ienzo and Vexen got development in KH3, I simply was counterpointing what Eel said, which was that none of the introduced characters in KH2 got any sort of character. Perhaps I am overstating how good Kh2's story is, but I wholeheartedly believe that analyzing each story, examining characters arcs, overarching plot threads, a cohesive storyline, would prove that KH2's story is superior... from a mechanical standpoint. Everyone can have their own opinions about which one they like, but there are writing techniques that we can compare each game to that would determine from a mechanical standpoint, which is better. That's what I mean, and I'm sorry for making it about my opinion versus others' opinions.

The thing about the Princesses though. I understand that aspect. It was mentioned by Larxene once and Marluxia once. However, by the end of the game, that thread had never been resolved. There was no plot progression, no story there. It was simply mentioned, then never brought up again. Sora being in either of those locations didn't even foil the Organizations plans. In both he defeated giant heartless that didn't appear to pose any threat to the Disney characters. In fact, in both instances, the heartless immediately turn on Sora, ignoring what I assume would have been the Org's plan to mess with the plot of each film. Finally, at no point at Arendelle, or at any of the DIsney worlds does Sora suddenly realize a lot is at stake. Sora before the worlds, and Sora after, is functionally the same character. He acts the same, he makes the same decisions, etc. The only change he goes through is during the gummiphone segments, or at Twilight Town. Very little that happens in the Disney worlds affects the overall plot, or Sora's development throughout the game.
 

alexis.anagram

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You're right, I'm forcing my opinion. And you're right, I was rude. I apologize. You are also correct about Luxord in KH2. I do agree that Ienzo and Vexen got development in KH3, I simply was counterpointing what Eel said, which was that none of the introduced characters in KH2 got any sort of character. Perhaps I am overstating how good Kh2's story is, but I wholeheartedly believe that analyzing each story, examining characters arcs, overarching plot threads, a cohesive storyline, would prove that KH2's story is superior... from a mechanical standpoint. Everyone can have their own opinions about which one they like, but there are writing techniques that we can compare each game to that would determine from a mechanical standpoint, which is better. That's what I mean, and I'm sorry for making it about my opinion versus others' opinions.
There are measurable qualities of storytelling which can be referenced in order to construct an objective evaluation of a work. Some of this is technique (genre, style), but it can also be analyzed as the application of ideas. The New Seven Hearts is a convenient example as it represents an idea that is ineffectively instituted within the script, which is measurable in terms of its coherence within the narrative, wherein (like most of KH3) it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The idea itself is not inherently unsound, that is there's nothing to indicate that it is impossible within the terms of the universe, but it lacks some key elements like grounding and precedence. To begin with, it creates questions resulting from the absence of precedence that are never answered, such as: What about the original PoH; what happened to them and their hearts? Are they dead? Are they alive, but now live with darkness in their hearts? By what mechanism did their pure light move to other people, by what criteria were they deemed to have "completed their roles," and by what criteria were the New Seven Hearts (or their hosts) selected? Some of these questions we can begin to fill in from context clues in the game, but because this idea is being introduced for the first time, the lack of grounding likewise becomes apparent: we can't make any truly certain statements with regards to this mechanic, because this is for all intents and purposes a revision in the text; it may not have been stated outright that a thing like this was impossible in the past, but it was assumed (again, due to context clues from earlier games which were equally indicative to those in KH3) that the hearts of the original Princesses were unique and organic to them. Indeed, even as a young child Kairi was filled with light, with the clear implication being that she was born with that light in her-- and if the pure light has been with her since she was born, it's conceptually sound to argue that it should remain with her through to her death. Whether and how it would move on to another host from there was always an unknown factor, and, ironically, remains one: despite cementing a construct through which the Pure Hearts are passed on, no causal relationship is established to dictate how and why that event would occur. No grounding, just another random, unfocused element haphazardly (some might even say cynically) dispensed into the mythology without setup and without resolution. The New Seven Hearts are introduced, and only nominally at that given that just three new recipients are qualified in this title, while Kairi remains a fourth for undiscerned reasons: the others go ignored and unmentioned.

As such, it is not possible to argue that this element stands to reason within the series as it is written in KH3. It is possible to imagine an argument, or any number of arguments, which might give it the grounding it needs, but its inherency to the material is as a half-formed, unexplained (which is not the same as being inexplicable) tangent.

The subjective process is how an individual responds to this development, but quality of storytelling is not dependent upon an individual's subjective response: arriving at a conclusion about how well a story is told is and has always been a collective process in which standards (cultural, social, political, spiritual, artistic, etc.) are applied and debated as a measuring stick against which the work can be evaluated and critiqued; this is a subjective process as well in that different groups with different agendas will accordingly assign weight to these various points of consideration, but as a collective accumulation of many informed readings it creates the objective baseline along which good work is distinguished from bad, or, more typically, the defining elements of a work are further and further defined (which is why subjectivity and objectivity do not exist to the mutual exclusion of one another). This doesn't mean the popular consensus is automatically correct: there are many heralded works which don't stand the test of time, and many authors who only achieve an audience long after their death. But it forces a definition of the work on the merits of its measurable factors: what the intended effects are, and how they, along with possible unintended impacts or readings, qualify the end product.
 

Alpha Baymax

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The Disney worlds were worse in Kingdom Hearts II than they were in Kingdom Hearts III, we are all in agreement with that opinion... right?
 

DarkosOverlord

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The Disney worlds were worse in Kingdom Hearts II than they were in Kingdom Hearts III, we are all in agreement with that opinion... right?

My honest opinion? Not even that.
While I am the last person on Earth who would compliment KH II's worlds, KH III's are a textbook example of "bigger isn't always better".

I never find what I want or where I need to go in KH III's worlds, and the fact that they kept an outdated and nearly useless minimap doesn't help.
I like the single plaza area of Twilight Town because it's a delicious little corner full of atmosphere, every part of the Caribbean that isn't tied to gimmicks (so basically all that was left out from the story visit), and the Arendelle labyrinth simply because I was so overjoyed to have 4 walls and a ceiling after Corona, and some parts of Corona itself because they're admitedly gorgeous.
And yes, KH II worlds are basically glorified hallways.

Still, I can't bring myself to say I prefer the whole Twilight Town of KH III more than the KH II one, or that I enjoy getting constantly blocked by Hiro in my travels or Arendelle's 50 shades of snow more than whatever flaws KH II worlds had.
Or that I liked the Keyblade Graveyard at all.
I guess it turns out I like traversing an empty corridor and knowing where to go more than constantly second-guessing myself in empty giant spaces.

And another thing I was just thinking about yesterday: KH and KH II had legit castles in Hollow Bastion and Beast's Castle. As in, you're traversing an actual castle with wings, interiors, courtyards, balconies and so on.
Sure it had ps2 assets and sense of scale, but still. Such an experience is nowhere to be found in KH III. But hey, at least we have meters upon meters of the street in front of Andy's house, I guess.
 

Zettaflare

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The Disney worlds were worse in Kingdom Hearts II than they were in Kingdom Hearts III, we are all in agreement with that opinion... right?

To an extent. While they were centrainly bigger and had more life added to them I think half of them still suffered from KH2's filler problem. The only Disney worlds that factored into the plot were Olympus, Toy Box, Monstropolis, and San Fransokyo.

The new PoH didn't amount to anything and neither did Davy Jones Chest.
 

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I like Corona more than any of the kh2 disney worlds so it's got that going for it.
 

alexis.anagram

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The Disney worlds were worse in Kingdom Hearts II than they were in Kingdom Hearts III, we are all in agreement with that opinion... right?
A hollow victory if ever there was one. And still the best opinions to this effect are argued in degrees; on the whole KH3's worlds carry over the same deficits in integration into the broader story as KH2's while retaining none of the benefits, such as providing Sora with a specific objective to fulfill or reuniting him with old friends and allies both he and I have a reason to care about. As it happens, I prefer a bland rehash of the Disney plot which is legible as a narrative and in which Sora is an actual presence to a bland rehash of the Disney plot in which Sora is relegated to a piece of the flawlessly rendered scenery and the Disney story is treated so carelessly it lacks any coherence whatsoever.

On a design level, KH2's linearity emphasized the combat (in a way I personally disliked, then and now, as I don't give a single diddly about reaction commands and find KH2's combat on the whole inferior to KH1 and CoM anyway) while KH3's worlds are neither open world enough to be immersive nor imaginative enough in their structure to encourage exploration. I worked hard to steer off the beaten path as often as I could and was nearly never rewarded for the effort. The only reason the worlds are as large as they are is to artificially extend the amount of time players are forced to spend in them: they're too anemic on plot to justify their expansiveness, and yet it's as if they follow the same method of thought behind KH2's in design by functioning as a straight line which is just occasionally shaped like a circle.
 

Elysium

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I love KH3's Disney worlds, and I'd say they are better than KH2's worlds hands down. I still wish they'd bring the Keyhole plot back. Sora could lock the Keyholes just as a caution to help prevent anything like KH1 happening again and at least that would give some "reason" to Sora exploring worlds and also why SDG stay around as long as they do (ie, they're still searching for the Keyhole).

World design, there's no contest that KH3's worlds flatten KH2's. At least every world has an interaction with an original villain, even if some (Marluxia in Corona) are less involved than I'd have liked; KH2 mostly has no interaction with the original plot outside of Xaldin and Luxord + Xehanort's Heartless having used TRON's computer. Xigbar and Demyx do appear in LoD and OC, but they might as well not have for all that it matters.
 

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I think it comes down to subjective views.

I find the gameplay to be the best of the series but of course if someone likes the one in KH2 more then this is already a big point, since the gameplay is quite important.

Then you could of course like the story in KH2 more than in Kh3. For me Kh3 was a bit more emotional and I had not much issues with the pacing since imo KH was never that great in this. At least here you had an Org member in each world, and great cutscenes between them.

The worlds itself are again highly subjective but feel much better for me in KH3. You have people in the cities and they look just utterly beautiful with great details. (I for example love that your voice can change in certain situations in Toy story) This is one of the few points where I dont understand the critism for this game.

Then you have the endgame content. Here comes the problem that we already have a final mix for Kh2 which added quite some bit to it, while KH3 "only" came out with the battle gates and that one boss. But for me at least, who is not that great at fighting, I was happy with the other mini games we got thus I still needed nearly 90 hours to 100% complete the game thus for me there was more than enough to do. At least that view can change later with the addition of more bosses and a higher difficulty so maybe some might like it better later. Of course you could argue that this should have been in Kh3 already (and some even call it a incomplete games thanks to things like that) but lets not forget that each world itself was probably way more work and that you dont have infinite time to make this game.

Then there are smaller things like missing FF characters that could be important for some.

So in end there are reasons why people enjoy KH2 more or believe that Kh2 is better but it all comes down to subjective feelings. And for some they might be blinded by nostalgia too. With so many different battle systems, open plot threads and huge amount of hype, it was always a given that this might disappoint a part of the fanbase no matter what they are doing because so many people have so many different views on how it should be done. As long as both sides accept that people like/dislike it then that should be fine.
 

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As a base concept I'll always accept those who think differently and try to be as understanding as possible, but I'm hardly going to shove all onto the subjective field, because there is definitely an objective quality line that was not met a bunch of times and decisions that might've started as promising but eneded up with a lousy execution.

Speedrunners and expert players have already pointed out how KH III's huge waves of enemies managed to severely limit getting a feel for each individual enemy and planning ahead for this or that fight, because where in previous games you had 6-7 enemies and patterns to analyze and study, now it's 20+ guys with nearly endless combinations that the camera will never be able to show all at once. So you just enter the room or zone with your biggest AoE attack available at the moment and nuke 'em. And this is why almost every attraction, situation command or Keyblade finisher is just a slightly different nuke.
KH III's combat isn't awful or straight up bad, no. But it's a far cry from KH II's polish and implementation of different features. And after witnessing some DMC V's Devil Breaker effects I don't even think they pushed the game console as hard as they could've: I secretly hoped for the return of Stop as a spell in this game, because I think that on the ps4 you could've done more than just freezing the enemies' models (just like the Ragtime in DMC V that creates small time distortion zones), and had great expectations when I learned that some Keyblade transformations changed how spells worked. That is, until I realized they just made ALL spells either big projectiles or small AoE circles, which was highly disappointing.

I'm going to keep an open mind and accept that the NPCs in the cities did something for some fans: personally I really couldn't care less and would've happily traded them all for something else to do in the worlds or more options for party members. KH III solidified my belief that these games are essentially you and your pals' adventure at its core.
But as I said, I'm okay with giving that to those who like it. It's a fair point to score for your team.
What I'm not okay with is that I ultimately feel very cheated, because KH III's big and alive worlds that took a lot of time aren't nearly as big or alive as I was led to believe.
You think San Fransokyo is huge when you first land, but then it really isn't. I'm sure that if I take a bunch of KH II worlds, breaking down the load zones and putting all the rooms together, I'd still get nearly as much content and space as many KH III worlds. And even when KH III worlds have more space... that space is usually empty and lifeless. Just because you started building them vertically rather than horizontally doesn't mean that I'll be impressed or that you've cleared up past flaws.
And this once again turns into a case of "So KH III is at least on par with KH II, the problem is that KH II is a game made 15 years ago for a much more limited console".

Me and several others went on for so long about the problems with the story, cramming everything at the end et cetera, and how while there should always be some room for how difficult it is to make a complex game that needs to satisfy many different people that is also the director's job for which he is payed for and put in charge, and hearing a bunch of "there wasn't enough time to flesh out the main villain", but then there was enough time to make 20+ LC games because he really likes them doesn't exactly feel right.

No one enjoys... okay, that's not true. *I* don't enjoy playing the part of the "bad guy", that comes in here and says "You can like that thing but it's still BAD", but sometimes it... is. KH III managed to fail spectacularly on some fields where it shouldn't have, or past games' flaws and critiques that were kept in suspension because "maybe KH III will have the answer and resolution that we seek" have finally caught up and showed massive holes in polish and delivery.
Some are very tired of the massive KH discourse that's being led since the game's release, but I think it's good. I'm not happy so many were let down, but IF they were then it's good that it's being talked about as much and loudly as possible, and maybe some of it will reach deserving ears.
I'm a bit against ending it all with "to each their own" not because I want to be aggressive and controversial, but because my biggest fear is that this gets all shoved under the rug of subjectiveness and those in charge thinks everything is all right and they have carte blanche to proceed as normal. Criticism in its healthy form is invaluable for growth, and not measuring up with what went... "not optimal" in your work leads to a stale situation.
Nomura is already pretty cut off from the fans and their reactions, a self-proclaimed stubborn individual and showed to be pretty whimsical when it comes to storytelling and polish (he puts the 120% in whatever he's feeling and utterly wastes the rest), and the worst thing that could happen to the series is that he believes he's doing great with it's million-selling masterpiece and that all are happy with his results.
 

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And I still dont understand which points of the above are truly objective facts. For me objective facts are more like: How is the game running? Is it playable or riddled with bugs. Maybe then some few points about correct story pacing, but everything else you mentioned is imo not objective.

Speedrunners might not like it this way but do speedrunners possess the objective truth about it? Do their opinion mean more than others? I enjoy taking down bigger amount of enemies with flashy aoe attacks, I also do enjoy playing Hyrule Warriors for example. Objective would be imo if the camera is working and things like that. Technical information. Of course being a speedrunner they also have to use the attacks that are the best but I for example barely used attractions at all and just enjoyed beating the enemies in my way. I had the freedom to go at this with the keyblades and transformations of my choice. I never had that much fun playing the KH series like in Kh3(but I do say that I have never played KH2 FM so maybe that will be even more fun when I start playing it after beating CoM).

So what if it was meant for the more casual players (which the difficulty seems to hint at) and maybe just for the fun? How could it then be objectively bad?

Also I am not sure if you can compare it with something like DMC. Its like saying: it has no mechanics like game x thus its objectively bad. No its simply just dont have this type of combat and thus if you dont like it, then you dont like it but that does not make it a fact. (Again for me only things like technical issues counts in that because they go against what was intented)

NPCs and how alive or not alive a world feels is also imo really subjective. For me these worlds felt alive and where way better than any KH before that. Could you do more? Of course, but the question is, if they should do that or focus work on other places. The only thing I might had more are NPCs outside of cities that you can meet on your travel. Maybe with a little speechbubble. But that is just the strawberry on the top. So again for me those are just personal opinions. People have said in other games like BotW (Zelda) that the world feels empty, yet for me I found it to be the perfect balance between having something happen at every inch of the map and having barely anything happen at all. I dont need a world that is so full of live that you cant go a meter without it but I also understand that some might want more. But the thing is: As far as I can remember from Kh2, they had nothing or barely anything like that at all. So for me its an improvement, for others it might be bad.

(I also dont feel like every single word needs to be huge, so having a more "smaller" world like in Big hero 6 is fine, since on the other hand you have the pirate world with big exploration. But even in big hero 6 I enjoyed walking around and listening to the talk of the NPCs)

Story might be a point where it could be worse depending but honestly I would say that this is a general problem of KH. KH 1 also felt paced like that. And most of the big things also happened at the end of KH2, the only big difference is the middle part with fighting the big heartless battle. Would it have been better to pace it out more? Probably. But again imo that is always a problem of KH, where you often just visit Disney worlds for unimportant reasons (finding friends in KH1+2) while the bad guy is mostly revealed towards the end.

And again: You and others might think it fails in a huge way in some parts but thats your opinion. Seemingly according to metacritic and reviews its a good/great game and depending on what each player likes it can vary in that regards. Can you be disappointed with it? Of course. Can you voice those points? Of course. Can you see KH2 as the better game? Also true. But that is still subjective. Exactly how I barely have much problems with the games at all, which does not mean that others cant have problems with it.
 

DarkosOverlord

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And I still dont understand which points of the above are truly objective facts. For me objective facts are more like: How is the game running? Is it playable or riddled with bugs. Maybe then some few points about correct story pacing, but everything else you mentioned is imo not objective.

I'm sorry, but by that reasoning then as long as I write on a neat piece of paper and in proper English then my work will always be as good as a classic literature's masterpiece. And every other judgment about it will be subjective.
"The game running properly" should be the bare minimum, not the only standard. There's nuance to combat, storytelling and so on: how creative is your idea, how it is properly conveyed and so on.
Just like you can take anything I wrote, then anything, say, of the masters of Russian literature wrote and realize that while mine can still respect basic writing standards and proper form and still be fun and enjoyable like some people tell me it is it's clearly not going to measure up with the peerless milestones created by them.
It's not about LIKING one more than the other, it's about recognizing that there's quality involved in other fields other than the bare technicalities.

Naturally it isn't even my aim to produce a literary masterpiece, but I'm a scrub typing away in my own room. KH III is on the main scene parading as one of the lead titles of 2019, so having more expectations than just the game running as intended feels justified.

Speedrunners might not like it this way but do speedrunners possess the objective truth about it? Do their opinion mean more than others?

No, I wouldn't go that far, not to mention when you break it down to it each runner has their own opinions which may differ greatly from a colleague.
I mostly take speedrunners into account because what they do have is... I wouldn't say objective truth, but experience and knowledge due to having played the games way more than an average person would and sometimes breaking down the mechanics as much as possible to get a better grasp on them.
Sure enough, they're humans thus flawed, and can fail to provide the "truth". I decide to trust them just as I trust an experienced critic, perhaps even more since many reviews of mainstream media are tied to profit and interests, whereas when a speedrunner makes a point usually there shouldn't be any ulterior motive rather than his wish to provide insight on the game.
And to return to the main point, I heard what they said about multiple enemies and how it dumbs down combat, relate that to my own experience with the game, and I agree.
And about why I think it's "bad", or rather less good than it should've been, I say why on the answer below.

So what if it was meant for the more casual players (which the difficulty seems to hint at) and maybe just for the fun? How could it then be objectively bad?

I spoke none of objectively bad, but objectively less polished. KH II has layers in which you can go from mashing X and win to creating "complex" strategies utilizing nearly every tool at your disposal in creative ways. KH III has way less of that and resorts to similar strats for many instances.
Again: Fun? I have no verdict on fun. Fun is subjective. Instead, I chooes to believe that when a game offers many variables versus a game that offers almost always the same approach, one of the two is "better" in terms of appealing to a broader audience.


Also I am not sure if you can compare it with something like DMC. Its like saying: it has no mechanics like game x thus its objectively bad. No its simply just dont have this type of combat and thus if you dont like it, then you dont like it but that does not make it a fact. (Again for me only things like technical issues counts in that because they go against what was intented)

I did not compare the whole game to DMC nor to strictly the mechanic of Devil Breaker, but rather to the animations and effects used for the sheer time manipulation, which appears in both series. DMC created a fun time concept exploitable in real time combat in addition to many other features, like projectiles that keep hammering on a target or zip-lines that draw enemies to you.
Meanwhile KH III, which should have access to similar technology, had the same old projectiles and AoE from the first game on ps2, with only Aero as something I would really praise as innovative.

Look, if you really think only strictly technical issues make objectivity I feel like we can conclude right there that we have different viewpoints and I won't think any less of you for it, but what I'm getting at is that being lazy or cheap, or even just uncreative to certain degrees is a thing and can put a toll on the quality of the final product.
Sure, in the realm of opinions who can even say what is quality, but this is why we have texbook examples, guidelines even on how to write certain character archetypes and whatever our peers and rivals produce which constitutes an effective ground to draw a line about what can or can't be done. Not everything is merely an experiment led by yourself, for yourself.
Just like bugs: you know that a game without bugs and glitches is "good" because there is knowledge that games CAN be made without them, so that's an objective quality line right there. And it's only there because we acknowledged those glitches were imperfections we could do less of, and proceeded from there.
Just like that, I feel like addressing shoddy writing and wasted gameplay opportunities as something that could be avoided, thusly creating a new quality standard and refusing to settle just because the game's running properly. Back in the day games with tons of glitches were still "running properly" for the old standards. Then standards changed. Likewise, I only bring other ps4 titles in the debate because I think they set the bar higher than it was a couple generations ago, and KH III struggles to meet that.


Okay, admitedly this became a little bit too Karl Marx-y towards the end so I'll keep it simple: I'll never question another person's fun, and I don't want to force anyone to think like I do. It would be hypocritical, given how much I'm pushing towards the importance of critique and second-guessing one's idea.
But I was always against thinking everything's subjective in the end because I think that many great achievements we got in every field happened when someone dared question ye olde scale of values by saying that we could always aim for better and not become complacent with our works, because "it could've always been worse that what it is." Videogames are always tricky to define because they are a form of art with a huge stress put on the user part, and just like Kingdom Hearts that's an unprecedented crossover, but in the end I do believe they're still part of the equation.
So no offence, but I just can't agree on the all subjective part. It's my view and I hope it doesn't come off as too confrontational. It's hard to mantain a "this is how I feel" stance when you're advocating that objectiveness exists.
 

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I'm sorry, but by that reasoning then as long as I write on a neat piece of paper and in proper English then my work will always be as good as a classic literature's masterpiece. And every other judgment about it will be subjective.

Well I have no deep knowledge about what makes something a written masterpiece or not. Heck I dont even know if even those can be seen as objectively good.

I also took my time to google a bit and seemingly you can only be kinda objective about something if you have no feelings for it (unbiased) and it needs to be based on pure facts. This already takes out most of the opinions because people who are playing this game are doing that with emotions. Including all those speedrunners or reviewers.

There are even quite some people on the forums that I have read through that says that you cant never say if a game is objectively good or bad while others stated that it can be but only for functionality. So if you for example have a game that is unplayable because the mechanics dont work then its a objectively bad game. Anything else, be it how you like the gameplay itself, story and things like that are subjective.

So if the gameplay in KH3 works as intented then its objectively fine. If people like the way the gameplay is done, that is completely subjective.

Thus why its completely fine that someone likes KH2 better than Kh3 or KH3 more than KH2.
 
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alexis.anagram

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Well I have no deep knowledge about what makes something a written masterpiece or not. Heck I dont even know if even those can be seen as objectively good.

I also took my time to google a bit and seemingly you can only be kinda objective about something if you have no feelings for it (unbiased) and it needs to be based on pure facts. This already takes out most of the opinions because people who are playing this game are doing that with emotions. Including all those speedrunners or reviewers.

There are even quite some people on the forums that I have read through that says that you cant never say if a game is objectively good or bad while others stated that it can be but only for functionality. So if you for example have a game that is unplayable because the mechanics dont work then its a objectively bad game. Anything else, be it how you like the gameplay itself, story and things like that are subjective.

So if the gameplay in KH3 works as intented then its objectively fine. If people like the way the gameplay is done, that is completely subjective.

Thus why its completely fine that someone likes KH2 better than Kh3 or KH3 more than KH2.
The confusion here seems to be one of objective truth with objective reasoning, which is a pretty common (and occasionally disingenuous) error in discourse. Objective discourse is not a process of being right 100% of the time, as the only way to do so is to reference established facts in which case there is no room for discussion: rather, objectivity is a process in which reliable evidence and logic are drawn upon to formulate ideas and assessments in order to guide conclusions. The conclusions themselves may range from correct to incorrect, and can be disproved by another objective line of reasoning with better evidence and logic. i.e. When you talk about "technical errors," what is an error? As Darkos pointed out, we only know how games should ideally play (how the camera ought to work, how glitches can be problematic) because some games have established standards that guide our collective understanding of gaming as a whole.

Subjectivity is a process in which personal feelings and opinions (sans evidence) are elevated to formulate a personalized statement that can only be applied to the proponent(s) of an otherwise unqualified claim. Subjective viewpoints can not be disproved because there is no element of disputable fact to them: if someone claims to have enjoyed, or not enjoyed, something, the only way to disprove that is to show that they are lying somehow. The statement itself would need to be false or deceptive at face value, and the responsive party would need to somehow both be aware of that and have the means (evidence) to show that to be the case; that is, they would have to use objective reasoning. Subjective rationale assumes the perspective of the speaker is valid; objective rationale assumes all perspectives are potentially valid or invalid, and the degree to which they assume a state of validity is dependent upon their relative weight in points of evidence & logic in their favor, or against it.

Hence, it is an objective assessment in the field of art to measure works against one another, and against the culture and time which they are derived from, because in art, there are no absolute truths. There are only theories and maxims. Whatever is held to be true by a society of its art is, effectively, "the truth"-- the same case could essentially be made for science, in that science is ultimately a process of accumulating and applying the best knowledge possible, while always being aware that new information could change that which we consider to be "true." We assume truth in science based on best evidence. So it is with works of art. The examples set by those great works in any society which have stood the test of time and either continue to resonate with and capture audiences or provide important insight into what has traditionally captured an audience constitute the objective standard, the best evidence, by which all art is ultimately measured. Even forms of art which ostensibly exist in defiance of any standard are qualified in terms of how successfully they deploy mechanisms of subversion to prove their social purpose; not all punk rock is good punk rock.

"Everything is subjective" requires little effort or thought to fall back on as a defense mechanism when folks have nothing to add to a conversation aside from their opinion. Like when people tell others, "It's not racist, you're just offended by it." That's the natural conclusion of a subjectivist culture. It's nothing to aspire to.
 

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I still prefer KH2 worlds to KH3 which is sad for KH3 imo considering that its supposed to be the best thing about it. I was hyped that the worlds were going to be bigger and more interactive, but immediately let down. I am just listing my personal preferences and grievances real quick so don't mind me.

-The world AND combat music did not come close to what was made for KH2 for myself.
-The maps were disappointing because I didn't get to go to places I wanted to alot of times due to the nature of being new stories instad of retells.
-The worlds were bigger but for some reason felt shorter, how did they manage to do that is beyond me.. (probably because of KH2 second visits)
-the overall combat of the game definitely affects the experience of going through the worlds. I have to blame the disappointing bosses and unfun heartless battles for my sour experience in the worlds.
- Traversing through worlds too easily also made it a sour experience. I wanted growth to my movement, and while we got some of that, it wasn't as good as how KH2 did that.
- Id argue against interacting more with the enviorment. NPCs were cool but they took away being able to talk to them in safe zones which always added some extra dialogue that always felt nice (It was there but since they were voiced we got insanely less interactions). And you could interact with anything like a poster on the wall and it would tell you something about it.
-I would rather load up my PS2 and play through port royal than go into KH3 and play Toy Box again.

But hey the visuals were nice I guess. As long as the game looks pretty it must be good!!!
 

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Thank you for this thread, because I honestly question the same sometimes. And I'm a Day One guy who's previous favorite entry was KH2 Vanilla.

One thing I completely disagree with when it comes to KH3 is that it has a "pacing problem" or the Disney worlds were filler. Every world had some connection to what was going on and where we were heading in the end-game. Not to mention, you beat one world, and they give you some nice story cutscenes as an intermission before you hit up the next world. KH2 in the beginning mostly was, "Organization XIII are bad dudes, but honestly I just wanna find Riku and go back home to the Islands". Yen Sid tells you that it's going to be a much difficult journey this time around, but Sora had no clue what he was getting into. It wasn't really until the midway point that things started shifting. KH3, you know from the beginning -- "We gotta find our seven lights by any means necessary, or else bad things will happen. We need to take down Xehanort."

That's also why I disagree with the worlds being pointless and that Sora was "goofing off", he not only lost his Power of Waking, but he was WAY weaker due to what happened in DDD and needed to regain his strength again -- which required him going through worlds, fighting enemies and making new friends like he always has. Mickey, Yen Sid and Riku weren't just being harsh on Sora for no reason, we all know what happens when he jumps in headfirst unprepared. If two Keyblade MASTERS got their shit kicked in no problem because they underestimated the job, how do you expect Sora, who's fresh off the events of DDD with a chipped shoulder about it, is gonna fare? Sora jumped in when he knew he was ready to and was capable, imagine if he had tried that in the beginning, considering what was waiting for him on the other side. He finds his strength in his friends, so that's why he went out to make new ones while also remembering about the old friends he has. That's why the theme that kept coming up was "love". He doubted himself, when everyone was relying on HIM to show up when it's needed. And it all ties into Olympus, when you remember what Hercules said. It might've seemed like a waste at the time, but was it? I don't see it that way.

As for the worlds, I loved it this time around. I loved the worlds in KH2 for their diversity and just how colorful they all were. It's a shame that we didn't get as many, but I think the size and detail more than makes up for it. There's not a single Disney world that I see that didn't have love poured into it, and I personally think it shows. Are the worlds perfect? No, I think there were some choices that I think should've been made over others, but overall I think it's a welcomed improvement. NPCs being present also really helps fill out the worlds that require it, and I appreciate that. Some worlds may be smaller this time, but I do think that there's still a ton of love poured in. May not be perfect, but I think it has a lot of charm to it, and that's how I'm seeing it. They definitely should add in Radiant Garden though, a mid-way point for KH3 would be excellent if they really want to win people over easily.

KH2 was great for its time, and it's still an amazing game. But KH3 did what it set out to do -- end the Dark Seeker Saga, and whether you feel that it did it adequately or not is really up to personal opinion. Do I think some characters got wrongfully shafted? Of course. Do I feel like there could've been more explanation here and there? Most definitely. Would there have been moments where I wished we could've controlled certain characters? Hell yeah. But in the end, those were personal wishes and were never guaranteed. KH3 isn't a perfect game, but neither was KH2, and especially KH2FM wasn't either. It's not really fair to judge KH3 to KH2FM, when the Final Mix stuff didn't come out until way later AFTER. It's a worthy successor, and for me, it's everything I wanted and came to me at the right time.

Also... In terms of the difficulty, I'm pretty sure Proud Mode on KH2 Vanilla was about the same as it is on KH3 currently, I don't remember struggling much on KH2 Proud Mode. And I'm sure once they release Critical Mode after it's all properly balanced and whatnot, I fully believe that people's experiences with the game will start to change for the better.
 
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