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2 days ago

ResonanceJay finished Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

While I enjoyed both games within this collection I do have to say its a bit weaker than the other Kingdom Hearts collections so far. Dream Drop Distance is a controversial game to say the least and 0.2 is about two hours long and I don't feel it justifies the original price too much, but at the same time I got this via the story so far so I don't really mind all that much. Definitely still enjoyed my time with it a lot and I feel like both games in this are underrated to a degree.


Original Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD review:

Original Kingdom hearts 0.2 Fragmentary Passage review:

2 days ago

ResonanceJay finished Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A fragmentary passage

As the final stop before Kingdom Hearts 3 on my playthrough of the series, I wasn't really sure what to expect from Kingdom Hearts 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage. I knew it was more or less just a tech demo for 3 but it was still billed as its own separate game so I wasn't sure how to feel and what to expect going into it. I ended up enjoying it a fair bit with a few caveats.

0.2 follows Aqua ten years after the events of Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, where she has been wandering in the world of darkness for the past ten years. Eventually after seeing the remnants of worlds she remembers that had been swallowed by darkness and starting to lose herself to the darkness finally after all this time she encounters Mickey, who recruits her to help him seal the door to darkness as we see it in Kingdom Hearts 1. This is the gist of the entire story of the game since its a pretty short experience. I enjoyed it for what it is but I do feel like it is a bit too short for my liking. Though I guess that is to be expected given this was just a demo after all.

The gameplay systems they showed off here were really fun though in my opinion. I wasn't realizing how much I wanted a return to the mainline style of combat that Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 had until I got to this. It's not quite the same but it feels like it managed to streamline the system in a nice way, including how it lets you grab items directly from your bag instead of having to equip them all individually. The way they managed to implement styles from Kingdom hearts Birth By Sleep into Aqua's gameplay also really worked for me as well since it made them feel more natural and fluid while also giving you the option to not switch into them if you don't want to. It also doesn't force you out of your style once you fully charge a finisher which is another welcome addition since it lets you rack up more damage before using your finisher to get the most out of both your style and the finisher.

Movement in general felt nice, Aqua moves pretty quick and the new quick jump points the game adds at time were really neat I felt. I will say I did miss flowmotion a bit but I think that how they incorporated elements of it into base gameplay such as rail sliding was pretty nice and is close enough for me.

This game also had some interesting puzzles I felt, like how in the mirror dimension you had to use mirrors to decide when the best time to bring something you could only see in a mirror to your reality in order to advance. There weren't a lot of these because of the length of the game but what was there was neat I felt.

I will say that the one thing I had mixed feelings on were the bosses. Some of them like the giant heartless in the forest and the Aqua mirror matches were incredibly fun and interesting to me, but then any time the demon tower/tide showed up it was a pretty lackluster fight to me personally. I hope the bosses in Kingdom Hearts 3 are more like the first two I mentioned over these, because I can't imagine having too much fun with a game where all the bosses are kind mediocre.

Overall this was a fun experience but I wish it was longer and also had a few more/better bossfights. I would definitely recommend this to people though still because it does set up for Kingdom hearts 3 directly and also has some context for what Aqua has been up to; as well as getting me really excited for 3 personally because if the gameplay in this is anything to go by I'm going to have a lot of fun with Kingdom Hearts 3.


2 days ago

ResonanceJay played Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX

This is probably one of the better collections out there if you're looking for great games to play honestly. It has Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, one of the best games of all time, and then also Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, another straight up great game, as well as a bonus movie for a ds game they couldn't figure out how to remake that has probably one of the most unintentionally funniest lines in the series. Definitely worth playing through if you're interested in Kingdom Hearts, though honestly you could probably pick up the all in one package or the story so far for more value overall. That being said, this collection as I played it is incredibly solid and has two unforgettable experiences in it. Completely worth it in my opinion


Original Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix Review:

Original Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Review:

3 days ago

ResonanceJay played Mario Party Superstars

I never grew up with the Nintendo 64 Mario Party's but I was still very interested in Mario Party Superstars because hey, new Mario Party means a new chance for my siblings and I to bond over wanting to destroy each other.

This game feels incredibly back to basics for Mario Party in a good way. It's just Mario Party again and frankly that's all it needs to be. No cars, no gimmicks, its just Mario Party with some classic boards returning and 100 of the fan favorite minigames from across the series. If you like Mario Party you'll probably like this game. I'm not quite sure what to say about this if I'm being honest, it's Mario Party you know what it is and if you'll like it. So I'm going to just talk about the boards I liked and share some funny stories of playing this with my siblings while I was visiting home for Thanksgiving.

After playing all five boards I have to say I had a lot of fun with most of them except for Yoshi's tropical island, which felt incredibly basic and kind of boring compared to the others. Horrorland is probably my favorite because it has a lot going on and has the most chances for things to suddenly change for a player, followed by space land because I have a special place in my heart over that board considering how much I made my family hate playing this game with me over it, and then Peach's Birthday Cake and Woody Woods both being just kinda average.

On our first game in Spaceland I accidentally got us all sent back incredibly far on the board multiple times using the thowmp car chase and the police shyguys multiple times in a row much to the anger of all of my siblings, to the point where they all tried to team up on me to make sure I lost after the third time everyone got moved back about 15 spaces because of me. It worked and I ended that game in last place with zero stars and around ten coins.

At one point when we were playing on Horrorland our Mother joined so one of my brothers and I took turns on one controller playing as Donkey Kong, and after the first half of the game where we had no stars and no money we somehow turned everything around in the last ten turns and ended the game with three stars more than everyone else thank to bonus stars and abusing the random warp item. We also would take turns playing the DK rap off our phones whenever the other was up doing a minigame much to everyone's annoyance.

Overall Mario Party Superstars is a fun game, it's Mario Party through and through and I can't really give it better praise than that.


3 days ago

3 days ago

ResonanceJay finished Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD

This review contains spoilers

Going into this game I fully expected to hate it considering how hated this game is within the circles I run in, but honestly I enjoyed thKingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance a lot. I can kind of see why people dislike this game but for me personally I just vibed with it a lot more than I expected too and I'd consider it as good, if not slightly a bit better than Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.

To give a bit of context Dream Drop Distance, sometimes known as Kingdom Hearts 3D due to its title and also the fact that it was released originally on the 3ds, Follows the events of Kingdom Hearts 2 and ReCoded that sees Sora and Riku taking their Mark of Mastery exam to become keyblade masters. In order to achieve this they must travel to worlds that are stuck sleeping in their memories from before they were swallowed by the darkness and open their keyholes in order to restore the worlds to what they once were. Personally I don't have a problem with this set up and I think the execution and the direction the story goes in is pretty interesting, but before I get into that I do want to talk about how this game is to actually play first.

So the core gameplay of Dream Drop Distance is incredibly similar to Birth By Sleep's systems at first with several new additions to mix things up a bit. The game still has you use the command deck to cycle through abilities and spells like in Birth By Sleep but unlock new abilities this time around via the Dream Eaters, which function as the main type of enemy you'll face, your party members, and discount pokemon. You get the abilities by creating a link with the dream eaters in your party that give you points which you spend on their own unlock tree that gives different commands, abilities, and buffs in order to help Sora and Riku. A surprise bonus with this system this time around is that all dream eaters and ability unlocks are shared between Sora and Riku. This was a welcome change from how Birth By Sleep handled abilities where you would have to spend a good chunk of time regrinding for the same necessary abilities on each character such as once more or leaf bracer. That being said, I'm not the biggest fan of the method for unlocking these abilities this time around.

While I do like the Dream Eaters unlock system in theory it overall just feels a lot less fun than mixing commands to me personally. It is most likely because it takes a lot longer to grind out the ability points you need for each Dream Eater compared to grinding for command levels in Birth By Sleep, but it also makes getting new commands a bit less fun because instead of getting buffs and abilities such as once more as attachments to commands you have to unlock them separately which adds to the amount of grinding you need to do; and trust me when I say that late game you will need Leaf bracer, once more, and second chance or some bosses will just oblitarate you. It's not the worst thing in the world but it did arbitrarily add to the playtime it felt like to me personally. This feeling is amplified a bit by the fact that a lot of the Dream Eaters with the necessary abilities are locked behind finding hard to find dream pieces in order to form the Dream Eater, another thing you have to grind for just to get some abilities to help you play the game without dying.

One new addition that I thought was the best addition to the combat they've made since Kingdom hearts 2 is flowmotion. When it comes to movement in games I love going fast and being able to do cool things while moving fast, and flowmotion is just that but with an added combat flair to it. Flowmotion is a system where by pressing the square while next to certain objects you enter a sped up state and by pressing square again you can launch yourself around to other objects and just keep doing this in order to traverse the landscape as quick as possible. This ability can also be used for combat; if you press X instead of square after entering flowmotion you'll do a flowmotion attack on the nearest enemy. It's also possible to do flowmotion attacks on larger enemies by running up to them and trying to activate flowmotion. I really liked this ability because it just lets you bounce around super quickly when you need to get places as well as adding more options and choices of attack.

The game also returns the on rails shooter style of gameplay that was present in the gummi ship sections in 1 and 2, sort of, via the dive minigame. Every time you enter a world for the first time you have to dive into it, which is usually just Sora or Riku falling towards the world with some kind of objective to complete like beat the boss or collect 500 star points. They're not amazing but I had a surprising amount of fun with them, especially considering how little I care for the gummi ship sections of the mainline games.

As much as I enjoy this game it does have a bit of a weird relationship with bosses though I will say. It seems to frontload all of its pretty bad to not great bosses right up front but once you get out of the first three worlds after Traverse Town I think the boss quality picks up tremendously. I think the final gauntlet of Riku's story with the multitude of bosses he fights are legitimately incredibly fun and Sora's final boss is pretty great also I felt. They even brought back Churnabog from Kingdom Hearts 1 but made his fight one of my favorite in the game instead of just outright one of the worst bossfights I've ever played like in Kingdom Hearts 1. Neither reach the level of Kingdom Hearts 2 or BBS's final boss fights but I enjoyed them immensely either way.

The one gameplay thing in this game that I really can't say anything positive about though is the drop meter. The drop meter is essentially a timer that forces you to swap to whichever character you are not playing as when the meter hits zero. This is such an odd system to have for this game that really does not need to be there. It just forces you to stop what you're doing in the middle of a fight or traversal segment without really giving you a good reason as to why you need to switch other than that they want you to regularly switch between Sora and Riku. Which could have been achieved in a lot better feeling of a way if they just forced you to switch after each world or after key story points; something that already happens at key points of the story. That being said as annoying of a system as this is it is made a bit more manageable by the fact that there are extremely cheap items you can buy that just negate the drop meter entirely because it just refills it and changes the intensity of it back to normal so you don't lose the meter at a faster rate. I'm not sure why this system is in the game because it adds nothing to it, but at the same time you quickly learn how to work around it so its far from the worst thing this game could have done.

Now it's time to talk about the story, I will be spoiling a lot going forward so this is the warning if you have interest in playing the game but don't want to know what's going on story wise.

This game's plot gets a lot of flack for being stupid and too confusing but honestly I kind of found it pretty straight forward outside of one aspect which was just me forgetting a detail of Kingdom Hearts 1 since its been two years since I played it; there are definitely dumb moments in the story though I won't deny that. That being said, I do feel the dumb stuff was not as bad as it was made out to be before I played the game. The most prominent example of something dumb for me was Xigbar's "I'm already half Xehanort" line which while it did make me roll my eyes I kind of got what it was going for? It felt like an in character way for Xigbar to quickly say "Xehanort's heart fragment is already inside of me but its not the controlling force" to Sora who has shown up to this point to not be the brightest. It's a dumb line regardless but I do think there's some sense to it following the series's logic and how these characters act.

Though most likely the main reason people complain about this game's story is most likely the time travel aspect, which frankly I do not mind because I really don't have as much of a problem with time travel media as other people do. Especially in this case since it seems like there's pretty clear cut rules on how time travel is handled in universe so it's not just an end all be all to problems like it could be used to be. Them establishing that time travel exists, people can't just travel back in time to whenever they want, and that even if you mess with things it can't just change fate all being set up in one scene was a lot of information to drop within a ten minute timeframe but I do appreciate it doing that because it cleanly answers a lot of the questions raised by the introduction of time travel.

I also really enjoyed Riku being the more prominent main character of the game. Not only does he get a lot of time to shine throughout the story but he has some of the best boss fights, and he gets to be the one to finish the story and fight the final boss as well as being recognized as a master of the keyblade. This last part is something that I find really cool because it sort of completely's Riku's arc from the first game to now where he fell to darkness and lost his chance to be the keyblade's chosen weidler because of it, and then after being pulled out of the darkness and struggling with it continuously he managed to pull himself out of it and free himself entirely before coming into his own destiny as a master of the keyblade. It's such a great end to this character arc for Riku and I can't wait to see what he does going forward as a master of the keyblade.

I also was actually pretty okay with how they brought back a lot of the organization members into this. While I feel like the explanation is a bit odd, the idea that once both the nobody and the heartless that were spawned from the same body die they return to form themselves again does work within the series's own internal logic and hey it gave us more Axel/Lea so I'm cool with it. It does make me wonder which other members of the organization are back and whether we'll see them as enemies or foes in Kingdom hearts 3. We already know Saix/Isa is back as well as Xigbar/Briar, but I'm interested to see who came back fully and what characters are important to the plot going forward.

Outside of the actual main plot I have to say that despite not being a big disney guy I feel like the world selection in this game was kinda great honestly. I'm not sure why but I just heavily vibed with them using The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tron legacy, Pinnochio, The Three Musketeers, and Fantasia as their worlds this time around. Especially since the Dream Eaters played a roll in a number of the stories involving a good chunk of the worlds. Judge Frollo having a giant Dream Eater Dragon that he used to set fire to Paris was a really fun way to play on what I assume is something Frollo does in the movie, Fantasia being a chase through different shorts to get pages and then stop a Dream Eater from controlling Mickey, a giant T-Rex Dream Eater chasing the Princess's carriage in the Musketeers world, they all had really fun ways of integrating the Dream Eaters into the plot of each world instead of just directly making them repeats of the movie entirely like is something that happens in more than a few Kingdom Hearts worlds throughout the series. Also as someone who watched Fantasia for the first time only a day before getting to it in this game I have to say that was a lot of fun to get to play through the worlds of it in some sense.

As always with this series this game has some insanely good music. The Dread of Night, L'Emineza Oscura, the fantasia world music, The Eye of Darkness, and a few others are all great songs. As always, give the soundtrack a listen even if you don't play the game because it's great.

Overall Dream Drop Distance feels like a very underrated game to me, its far from perfect but I had a great time with it. The story has its dumb moments sure but I feel like overall the main idea/set up is cool; and at this point in Kingdom Hearts as a series dumb moments are kind of too be expected to some degree. Really good game that is definitely slept on too much in my opinion, definitely one to play instead of skipping if you're going through the series in my opinion.


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