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CoM or ReCoM for new players? (Does ReCoM ruin aspects of KH2)



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khphantom97

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Hey, everybody! So, funny story, I haven't posted in this forum in like 4 years but I have been brought out of retirement because I have a question and there seems to be no opinions on the matter anywhere on the Internet (shocking).

I haven't been playing video games much in the past few years, but Kingdom Hearts always has a special place in my heart. I am currently getting my buddy who is a super casual player to play Kingdom Hearts and he digs it! He's still on the KH1FM on the HD remix. But as he approaches the end of the game, my concern becomes: what next?

Obviously, Chain of Memories. But my question is: which version? GBA or PS2 (or, in this case, PS3)?

Here's my dilemma. ReCoM seems like the obvious answer; my friend already technically has it on his copy. Also it has better graphics - it's a fully realized version. But this is where my hesitancy lies. We see all of the characters in their fully CGI (albeit PS2 graphics) form, we hear their voices, we know this world. And that's my problem. We meet these characters as their fully realized iterations before KH2.

Back in the day, if you played the games as they came out, you HAD to play CoM on the GBA. By its very nature, the game was more understated in that all you had access to visually were sprites and GBA animations. So, yes we meet Axel and Namine and the cloaked figures and DiZ but they are in sprite form on this small screen with no voice acting. So, when we meet them in KH2, it is like meeting people that we've "heard so much about." We don't really get introduced to them unil KH2. They are more satisfying reveals. Like, imagine you're playing KH2, and Axel enters with hood up, "All right, Roxas. Fight, fight, fight!" You have no idea who it is until he says, "You know, Axel." He takes off his hood, and you're like, "Yo, it's Axel from Chain of Memories!" Same with Namine; the first time we see her in KH2 (besides the opening cinematic) is from far away, and then a close-up of her mouth, and you're like, "Wait, is that Namine? Shit, that's totally her." A similar idea comes from playing as Sora. Even though you play as him in both versions of CoM, it is not the Sora we know, but a small sprite version. Obviously, story wise it is the same Sora but like the player to game connection is different. So not seeing or playing as CGI Sora until KH2 (I won't even bring up the voice acting difference if you play KH1 and then ReCoM) is much more suspenseful and then rewarding when you finally get behind the wheel, so to speak.

ReCoM completely ruins these reveals, whether they be story reveals or like the thing I just mentioned about waiting to play as Sora. For me, seeing as I have either played or watched or essentially know the entire series, ReCoM is my choice because it further establishes the world of the series. But it almost seems like the remakes in the KH series are really meant for people who have played the original versions of them, and not necessarily intended for newcomers. Obviously, you can still play them as your first venture, but there are things added that don't work for a first time play through (a good thing that comes to mind is cutting to Axel and the Organization gatherings during Roxas' prologue. We don't wanna see the behind the scenes of that shit until later; keep the mystery of what is going on!) ReCoM is the biggest offender; its meant for people who have played KH1, CoM, and KH2.

I know this is kind of an essay at this point, but I'm curious to get your opinions on this matter.

Does playing ReCom ruin some of the reveals or overall aspects of KH2? How do you feel the remakes stand up as a gamer's first interaction with that particular game?

But most importantly - DO I HAVE MY FRIEND PLAY COM, RECOM, READ THE MANGA, READ WIKIPEDIA, OR SHOULD I JUST EXPLAIN THE PLOT IN AN ELABORATE THEATRICAL ONE MAN SHOW!?

Thank you.
 

Audo

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I would say CoM but that's because I think Re:CoM is terrible (I can't even stand to play it). I wouldn't say that for the big reason you listed though. Even if it were true, that only applies to characters that appear in both titles meaning your friend would essentially never get a sense of the CoM-only characters (Zexion, Vexen, Lexaus, Larxene, Marluxia, etc). And since they technically have easy access to Re:CoM already I would suggest that. I don't think Re:CoM ruins anything about KH2, it just ruins CoM lol.
 

Blackdrazon

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I don't think there's much sense in playing a different version of a game to preserve some reveals that last all of... five seconds? Ten? The worst "spoilers" for me in Re:CoM are the Riku Replica card being labelled "Riku Replica" even though you don't know that about him when you get it (and even that only lasts a minute) and the spoilery but probably unavoidable inclusion of Ansem and DiZ in the SS credits.

No, when comparing the two versions it has to come down to script changes and gameplay changes for me. If you don't mind Re:CoM's gameplay, I find the changes to R/R make it preferable. I can't stand the original's version of R/R any more, though I think I prefer the original's Sora's Story. The text changes are thorough but relatively mild, imho.
 

Audo

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For me it's how much you can withstand terrible voicework.

(and the fact that com's gameplay and world design is clearly made with a handheld in mind)
 

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Right, good point. The game's got some of the worst voicework in the series, lip sync too.

It's probably best (in the end) to present your friend with a few spoiler-free pros and cons and let them pick for themselves, and I'm sure the thread will present plenty of both.
 

Maverick-flame

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Yeah, but Larxene is one of my favorite VA's in the series, however, I thought Marluxia's was lame. I would personally recommend Re:Com on beginner just for the story rather than the gameplay. They already have access to this one and I don't think they would get much more out of GBA COM.
 

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I don't know if this is the right topic to say this in, buttttt

I find a lot of people, such as the people above, giving CoM a log of slack for what it did bad. (Honestly the game wasn't bad and the voice work is honestly fine), but can people see this game for what it did right? The dialouge. That writing. DAT SCRIPT. This was the only kh game that did those things flawlessly. The way it introduced new plot points and characters, and making me feel for the conflict Sora is going through, just DAMN. These aspects shine over all the wrongs if this game tbh.

but thats just me ya'll
 

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I'd say read the manga, that's my absolute favorite version of CoM by faaaar. Not only is it funny and has neat art, it also stays pretty close to the plot and doesn't change stuff too much. If that's not possible, second best is to watch the cutscenes. But do note that this is just my opinion, and I can't stand re:CoM, and am not really a huge fan of the original CoM gameplay either. I definitely feel it's better in the GBA version so if you must play the game, go with that. It's easy to find a good emulator, mine runs just fine. Re:CoM is just unplayable for me, it's that bad. Opinions, I know, many people like it so maybe you will too but... my opinion is that no matter the version, CoM gameplay isn't worth it, the best part of it is always the story so just read the manga and ignore the rest.

tl;dr: Mango is best.
 

Grono

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I don't know if this is the right topic to say this in, buttttt

I find a lot of people, such as the people above, giving CoM a log of slack for what it did bad. (Honestly the game wasn't bad and the voice work is honestly fine), but can people see this game for what it did right? The dialouge. That writing. DAT SCRIPT. This was the only kh game that did those things flawlessly. The way it introduced new plot points and characters, and making me feel for the conflict Sora is going through, just DAMN. These aspects shine over all the wrongs if this game tbh.

but thats just me ya'll
See? I feel like people give it a lot of shit for the gameplay that's admittedly polarizing, yet forget the obvious improvements in the script and the actual emotional trauma Sora went through. "No, don't give Sora emotions! That's too edgy! We can't have him actually yell at Donald and Goofy, he'd never do that in the other games! It's not like he's a teenager getting lied to at every turn, his situation is the exact same as in all of the other games!" I'm just extra salty about all of the hate Chain of Memories has been getting lately, but are people really not okay with an emotionally distraught Sora? What's wrong with a character like him being sad for once? It's good for him, makes him feel like a real person in real life :)

Also, the voice acting is fine. Nothing great, nothing terrible (but that Lexaeus line "Don't mock me!" kicks ass)

I'd say read the manga, that's my absolute favorite version of CoM by faaaar. Not only is it funny and has neat art, it also stays pretty close to the plot and doesn't change stuff too much. If that's not possible, second best is to watch the cutscenes. But do note that this is just my opinion, and I can't stand re:CoM, and am not really a huge fan of the original CoM gameplay either. I definitely feel it's better in the GBA version so if you must play the game, go with that. It's easy to find a good emulator, mine runs just fine. Re:CoM is just unplayable for me, it's that bad. Opinions, I know, many people like it so maybe you will too but... my opinion is that no matter the version, CoM gameplay isn't worth it, the best part of it is always the story so just read the manga and ignore the rest.

tl;dr: Mango is best.
Also, Vex Replica no. 44 x Repliku 5 life

The only real change I can think of is Repliku doesn't die in the end, right?
 

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Definitely have got to agree. If you must praise (Re:)CoM for one thing, it's certainly the dialogue. It's like grono said - it makes Sora feel like a real person, and that's something we don't get often in KH.
 

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CoM is the peak of writing in the KH series, which is even more outstanding considering everything happens in one location. Also feature probably the best Sora in the series.
The voice acting for Mickey in Re:CoM was actually terrible.
Play CoM. Always. If you really want the cool cutscenes and Larxene's lines in Re:CoM, just suffer through it once and use the theater. It's not the card game in Re:CoM that's terrible, it's the fact that they put a 2D gameplay on a 3D game without properly translating it.
 

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CoM is the peak of writing in the KH series, which is even more outstanding considering everything happens in one location. Also feature probably the best Sora in the series.
The voice acting for Mickey in Re:CoM was actually terrible.
Play CoM. Always. If you really want the cool cutscenes and Larxene's lines in Re:CoM, just suffer through it once and use the theater. It's not the card game in Re:CoM that's terrible, it's the fact that they put a 2D gameplay on a 3D game without properly translating it.
Oh yeah, Mickey was hot trash in that game xD
 

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The manga is not canon though so I wouldn't recommend it for a new/casual player to take in first as it might just create further confusion.

The manga series in itself follows its own narrative apart from the games canon, so if you're speaking of the CoM Manga the correct companion pieces would be the other mangas of KH 1, Days and KH 2, not the games.
 

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I only have a minor issue with Re:CoM but it felt like the loading times for the HD version was actually a lot longer. Maybe the RNG for obtaining enemy cards can be a little annoying too.

I actually feel like both versions are worthwhile to play since they do feel a bit different.
 

Grono

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I only have a minor issue with Re:CoM but it felt like the loading times for the HD version was actually a lot longer. Maybe the RNG for obtaining enemy cards can be a little annoying too.

I actually feel like both versions are worthwhile to play since they do feel a bit different.
There's certainly more collectible cards in the remaster. And if you're like me you need the secret KHII cards from the PlayStation 2 version AND the Days cards from the PlayStation 3 version (please god Square don't change it up for the PlayStation four again, it's taken me so long to nearly complete each game I'm getting a little sick of this don't make me hate Chain of Memories PS4)
 

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Where can I get the KH mangas? Are they online?
Yen Press sells them. KH1, CoM and Days are finished, but KH2 has one volume to go that comes out in May. Long story. In the States you can find them on Amazon if you don't have a dedicated comics retailer near you.
 

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My personal recommendation, just play Re: Chain of Memories on Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix. It's visually consistent and it's bundled with the majority of the other Kingdom Hearts games.
 
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