owlmoose: (kh - xemnas)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2019-02-16 05:42 pm

KH3: Third and final reaction shot

So, that was pretty good, and mostly satisfying. I am only a little bit confused. I think.

It was much shorter than I expected, based on previous games. Less than 40 hours! Partially that's because we didn't really do any sidequests, but I think it also has to do with how the game was structured. For what it was, I enjoyed it, but it really felt like something was missing. It felt like there were fewer worlds to get to know and explore than in the previous two games. I've already mentioned the linear nature of each world. It seemed like there ought to have been at least two or three more worlds. Also it was very odd to revisit only Twilight Town and Olympus, for none of Sora's other friends from Disney worlds to be even mentioned (just a few appearing as Summons) and for the Final Fantasy characters to be almost completely absent (just the brief appearance of Cloud in Olympus). Alternatively -- and I think I would have liked this better -- make parts of Riku and Mickey's journey actually playable, and have us participate in Axel and Kairi's training, rather than sticking almost all of those two stories into cut scenes. I would also have much preferred to have somehow been an active participant in the resurrection of Roxas -- I found it quite unsatisfying to have him suddenly just show up during the penultimate battle, with only a few hints dropped here and there regarding how it was accomplished. In my dream version of the game, we have a stretch or two of playing Riku as he and Mickey search for Aqua in the Dark World, and another couple of stretches where we play as Kairi, first as she trains with Axel, and then secondarily they travel to Radiant Garden (a world I sorely missed being able to explore) and undertake some mission key to bringing Roxas back.

Instead, we got a lot of long cut scenes and implied offscreen action, a weird interlude in the Final World, and Kairi fridged to motivate Sora to fight the final battle. Really? Was that really necessary? And then the only time that Sora uses the much-vaunted power of waking is to sacrifice himself (but presumably not really) to bring her back, also offscreen? Let's just say that I'm less than impressed. I'm also fairly unsatisfied with the post-credits cliffhanger, and the red herring of the black box's non-resolution. (I will say the reveal of Xigbar-as-Luxu was pretty satisfying.) Presumably all that is setting up the next game, wherein Sora fights Luxu/Xigbar and the Foretellers. Which is fine, but somehow not as exciting and mysterious as the scene which we now know to be Terra, Ventus, and Aqua meeting up to fight Xehanort in the Keyblade Graveyard.

I did find the resolution of Xehanort's story more satisfying. And Riku finally making peace with his dark side/dark past was well done, as were the various reunions, especially Terra fighting his way back to the light. And some of the new worlds were wonderful -- I think San Fransokyo was my favorite, although visually I found Toy Story to be the most fun and interesting. Overall I'm pretty satisfied. But given how long this game was in development, my expectations were higher, and I wish they'd been better met. I think I actually liked Birth By Sleep more, especially if 0.2 is considered part of it rather than a standalone.
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)

[personal profile] rionaleonhart 2019-02-17 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
It was much shorter than I expected, based on previous games. Less than 40 hours!

This is actually pretty standard for a Kingdom Hearts game! I generally expect Kingdom Hearts games to take thirty to forty hours, whereas Final Fantasy games tend to take fifty to sixty. howlongtobeat.com gives these average stats for playing the main story and doing extra things along the way:

KH: 41 hours
KHII: 43 hours
KHIII: 37 hours

So it's perhaps a little shorter than the previous 'main' games, but not dramatically so. I agree that it could have done with a few more worlds, though.

(just the brief appearance of Cloud in Olympus)

Wait, what??? I didn't think there were any Final Fantasy characters in this game! How do you find Cloud? (I definitely missed the Final Fantasy characters.)

we have a stretch or two of playing Riku as he and Mickey search for Aqua in the Dark World, and another couple of stretches where we play as Kairi

Yes, this would have been great! I really feel this game didn't have enough focus on the Sora-Riku-Kairi trio. I enjoyed it a lot but ended up feeling a little unsatisfied, which sounds like it might be close to your experience.