Conversation Between Wolf Kanno and Sephiroth

143 Visitor Messages

  1. The thing with Birth by Sleep is a good question. I was so excited but I think my expectations were simply ridiculously high. I also guess it did not do the game a favor to make it 3 shorter games. KH CoM at least had Riku and Mickey's section as an unlockable with Sora's story alone still feeling like kind of a complete experience. But BBS has the three guys, so Sky 2.0, Water 2.0 and Land 2.0 so much interwoven that you just have to do all of that to get a complete experience. It just was not what I expected. It is also kind of similiar why I did not like the shattering of Nier 2's story. Nier 1 made it differently because I had to play through the game and then unlock stuff, Nier 2 made it like other Drakengard games and I did not like that that much, and Drakengard even made it better because it at least had the purpose of telling "oh, so let's see what would alternatively happen on another timeline". So CoM kind of had a similiar compostion to Nier 1 where I got one full thing that actually felt complete and then I got an extra while Birth by Sleep just did not succeed in giving me this exact feeling. At least not initially. It might still also have to do something with the PSP and that it just failed to deliver on the grand scale of projecting this awesome KH action game feeling. I am not so sure. I am glad that later I grew to like it more but it will always be the game that I was so eager to play and then I actually delayed getting through it - which is not a good thing for me.
    I think a lot of things played a role here. I was not all that great when it came to reading Japanese at that time and I was not too invested in fusing skills together so I did not even do that to make it a more fun experience. I remember how I played the board game on PS3 so I could get Magnet early, the Lightning Ray shotlock as well as level up Magnet and my Thunder spells to blitz my characters through the level up process.

    So to answer your question, it might have been a bit of a lot of things that just did not make it click for me. Mainly the action atmosphere not delivering that great on that system as well as the narrative composition that was chosen in an if you ask me unwise way. It is funny because right now I am playing the Resident Evil 2 Remake and you have a Leon and a Claire playthrough so as you can see it is all about how the developer pulls it off. I would like to see that for one certain game in particular and that is a Zelda game with some pseudo fantasy crap about Ganon converging the time branches and you being able to control 3 Links of all 3 timelines, or even better, one Link, one Zelda and one Ganon.
  2. I can understand the intimate camera, and I honestly didn't have an issue with it being so close. My main beefs with it are largely the fact it's lazy following Lock-Ons which several enemies and bosses seem to be designed specifically to exploit like Riku and Sephiroth, while it also had this weird thing where the camera was treated like a solid object so it would spazz out whenever it came in contact with another solid object like an enemy or most often, part of the scenery in the platforming sections. I do feel as the series has gone on that the camera is a little too far back in places. KHIII especially feels like the camera is moved too far away from the action. Likely to show off the horsepower the game worlds are capable of now, but watching videos of the game, it's hard to tell where everyone is sometimes.

    I'm actually finishing up my first playthrough of the Re: CoM, but I adored the original GBA version. I still feel like the original is tighter from a gameplay design point of view. The smaller battlefields and more simplified perspective made the core card system work better. It also just feels faster because I feel too many of the Sleights have long wind ups in the 3D version for loading purposes and thus it slows combat a bit and sort of hurts some balancing in the bigger boss battles since both the player and enemy A.I. have wider windows to 0 card their opponent out of a move, while also adding a weird stun element to combos. It got kind of annoying watching Axel or Larxene play one car and their attack is basically a three hit combo because the devs just copied and pasted the KHIIFM boss battles into the game. I'm still enjoying myself of course, but I do feel from a gameplay perspective, the GBA version is the definitive version. Story, I feel the PS2 version is the definitive version. Though I have enjoyed some of the new Sleights, boss battles, and Duel mechanic in the remake.

    I'm curious to know why you initially felt disappointed by BbS? I honestly enjoyed it outside of adding in the whole X-Blade nonsense and the fact the game's story is a bit of an "idiot ball" plot, where if everyone didn't simply jump to conclusion and trust absolute strangers all the time, the whole thing could have been averted. Granted, I feel 358/2 has a similar problem, and Xemnas could have easily kept Roxas in the fold if he didn't have chronic "I need to be an evil dick to everyone" syndrome. Course I guess we can chalk all that up to 3D's revelation about the true Organization XIII and him kind of grooming Roxas to be one of the seven lights, but I still feel like this was more of an oversight that a later game tried to fix.

    I'll be playing KHIIFM for the first time after I finish Riku's scenario in CoM, so it will be interesting to see if the new content will change my mind on anything. I'm far more familiar with the original vanilla version, but of all of the Final Mix versions in the series, I feel like KHII had the most to offer. I can't say I was floored by KHFM, and kind of felt the extras were just that. I actually forgot BbS had a Final Mix version until I picked up the 2.5 collection. It's always a little weird when dealing with director's cut versions of games versus the original. Atlus used to be master's of this with SMTIII and Persona 3 and 4, but lately I feel they're diving too far into double dipping than actually just trying to make a better version of a solid game. P3:FES felt like FFXII IZJS, in that it felt like the game the development team wanted to make, but simply fell short of because of time and cost.
  3. Funny that you mention KHI's gameplay. I can see what you mean but you know what KHI has what I am missing from every other game? KHI feels more imposing to me. The camera is much closer to Sora and I like that. Yeah, in II and III you can look around a larger area from a greater distance but this "being close to Sora" makes me feel a lot more comfortable with the characters and perceiving my Kingdom Hearts as this large scaled adventure. I for example absolutely love that certain character battles like with Ansem take place right in your and their faces but in KHIII there is one battle in particular where I hate that you had such a far away camera. GRANTED, it is smarter because you easily lose track in that clustersmurf of actions but it frustrates me a lot because there was a certain feeling the close cameraman of Sora gave me that I never got from any other installment.

    As far as Chain of Memories is concerned, I always liked it. It was the time when I played Yugioh and stopped doing so for like the 1000th time and sold my cards again. I bought Yugioh for GBA then and shortly afterwards CoM which I only played halfway on emulator until then. I could kick my ass for having lost the cartridge when I moved. I still have the box but the cartridge was in a small bag and without noticing I must have thrown it awy, same for the Yugioh game.
    Re: CoM is a very nice and impressivle remake though. I also have it on PS2 in the Final Mix + version. CoM did a smurfing GREAT job introducing Twilight Town in an absolutely mysterious way. And for some time it was the only thing we had of it. The GBA version was also the only one that actually translated Twilight Town and called it "Dimmerstadt" because one KHII came out it was back to "Twilight Town". Honestly I cannot say which CoM Version I like more. The GBA version has more nostalgic value for me though.

    About Birth by Sleep: It was very disappointing for me in the PSP. I imported it when it came out in Japan and I had such high hopes but then it just did not meet my expectations It was thanks to the PS3 and PS4 port that I started to appreciate it more and more closely to what I felt about it before I first got it. The game also pretty much shows a lot of story establishments where I can flat out contradict fan arguments that try to downplay or pseudo explain the plot holes or sloppy consistency. Well, let's not start that. I still have to post the behemoth post anyway.

    Final Mix II I must say, while great,is not even that necessary. I feel for example Zodiac Age which you mentioned almost an hour ago, is more of a necessary extension than Final Mix II (bar addtional story scenes). I think Kingdom Hearts II itself is already pretty solid. Which is also why people ranting about "oooh you say Kingdom Hearts III is crap and that Kingdom Hearts II was so much more, NO YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT FINAL MIX" are just plain wrong. The whole composition of the second installments just feels a lot more complete, rounded and is flat out a solid work. It also helps that it only had the ending of I and one spin-off to tease it other than the third one which had 200 games to tease it.
  4. In terms of narrative, I have no real problem with KH1 at all, and largely agree with you that it had a nice simple and fairy tale quality to it. What little I can sayt of it neatively has really more to do with the direction the series took after it making so much of what happened in this game feel meaningless, but I feel that says more about the series as a whole than any actual flaw in the games writing. Gameplay on the other hand... I feel KH1 has aged the worst in that aspect. The world design is okay, but the camera and lock on mechanics are pretty awful both for action game and platforming standards. There is some interesting game design ideas in this title, but I would agree the execution for some of them are not as good as I felt they could be which is why I never really minded the fact the series fazed a lot of it out by KHII.

    CoM is one of my favorite entries, probably because I was pleasantly surprised by it since I went in with little expectation. I also don't mind the slower and more methodical combat system, but I'm old school and still prefer my turn based combat over action shenanigans which alone puts me on the wrong side of history as far as the KH community is concerned.

    I'm honestly more surprised how much trashing Birth by Sleep gets among these "fans" as it seems to me that this entry is the one that just got a vicious turnaround from the fanbase. I remember it comign out and most fans were pleased by it except for the whole PSP thing and not being KHIII, but I'm surprised by the amount of negativity this game has generated over the years.

    I have been noticing those names popping up a lot lately in terms of the whole "BbS sucks and KHIIFM is god" mentality going around on Youtube. Most of the time, I ignore speed runners and I often feel they're harmless, but I've seen some series really get skewed opinions because of that community such as Dark Souls.
  5. I also think KHI is the best for the very fact that it does not have those aircraft-fitting plotholes and was a simplistic fairytale that made my teenage self cry and for a short time even think of it as better than Final Fantasy VII. Something that never happened again. Not even with Nier Gestalt. But I absolutely can agree that the other games have their right to exist. Well, maybe except Coded but even that is sort of "more justified" by now.
    About those speedrunners - in KH there is only one that I can think of that is an absolute piece of crap guy and that guy is called Bizkit. I am not sure which one because there are two big speedrunners with such a name but speedrunners have shown me a new kind of disgust when it comes to pseudo elitist fans; a disgust that I feel for them. Same for the Final Fantasy speedrunners like Cereth, SevenSins and Crumps. I will not go into detail though because you probably are not interested anyway. Really the one speedunner that I legitimately like is the Silent Hill and Resident Evil speedrunner bawkbasoup because he is a genuinely good guy.
  6. To be fair to the toxic KH fans, it's really the gameplay/speedrunner side of the community that feels like the problem. I mean we still get some people among all the different groups within the fanbase who sort of keep KH1 more on a glass pedestal than I feel it deserves, but my real issue has largely been getting to know the part of the fanbase that's like "skip the plot and only play KH2FM because it's the only really good one". I feel my real issue here is mainly just being caught off guard. I didn't even know these people existed since my last foray with the fanbase was before speed running and twitch were the new hotness in gaming. So it's just weird, especially since I still remember a time when KH2 was a far more divisive title and now their is a loud minority that treats it like the Holy Grail. It would be like if the Zodiac Age suddenly made FFXII super popular and treated by the fanbase as the gold standard of the series.

    I'm actually used to toxic fanbases, my first forum was a Xenogears/Xenosaga forum, so I know all about elitist pricks who treat a game hyberbolic. Hell, it's why I don't really bother with the SMT/Persona fanbase because one look at that group just felt like a rehash of the FF fandom back in the wake of the PSX generation.
  7. Consider yourself lucky that you just now found out about the Kingdom Hearts fans. Rule of thumb is always if there is something big and complex (not necessarily in its narratively composition though but of course that is also a thing) then there are enough people that are trying to bulltrout around. What do you think why I am getting so mad at people. There is a reason why I say they sound like the cliché Dragon ball fans when they argue. I have to know it, I love Dragon Ball and had to do with them.
  8. Honestly, after KHII, I felt like the Disney worlds were largely there as a legacy element because that was a good selling point, but the writing staff had already moved on from ever incorporating them into the main narrative. I mean they get a little love in BbS going to Sleeping Beauty's world, but that's largely because the team can't just ignore how much influence Maleficent had in the first entry. Even then I felt the other two Disney princess worlds weren't exactly dragged into the meta-narrative established in the first game as well.

    As for stable time loops, I've always felt like it was a terrible idea to drag time travel into any story. It's too easy to screw up because the writer's rarely take into account how powerful it can be. It's also subject to fans picking the logic apart, and even in cases like FFVIII where the rules are incredibly well established, a lot of fans miss that point and even that game suffers from a paradox concerning it's own stable time loop. It's just too easy to mess up unless you cheat and basically start dragging in alternate timelines, and that in itself creates it's own huge mess of things.

    There are a lot of reasons why I dislike Dream Drop Distance as a narrative. It just brought in too many unnecessary elements to the series and took away too many elements I enjoyed. Maybe once I get to it again on my replay of the franchise, I may come away from it with a different opinion but, man I'm just exasperated thinking about it now.
  9. About the Jiminy conversation: Yes, he is in III, very briefly. Another character that shows they did not know what to do with the Disney characters.
  10. Well, I got a degree in psychology before I became a computer scientist and that covered communication psychology as well so I think I will end that part of the conversation here as if you already admit it, there is no point in forcing that part to go on any further. It would do no good.

    Anyway, I am close to ending a thesis. Next weekend I can continue with my Kingdom Hearts treatment/dissertation/dismantling of problems.

    Just 2 days ago I even pointed out to somebody how useless the whole closed timeloop story of Xehanort is because the "let's create Dark Keyblades" plot falls apart the moment you realize one of the characters that they called through time wields a Dark Keyblade leading to a) them having one Dark Keyblade too much and b) he could have just called 12 guys who already did wield the Keyblade. Sigh. Not that he can do much against the closed timeloop. But Nomura-san can. He could have realized that once again he wrote stuff within the loop that just was not necessary. Whenever I write a timeloop I actually consider what is useful during those events.
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