In retrospect I feel like a big dumby dumb-dumb for only wanting a single playable character in KH3,but I want other characters to feel more different



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Hi everyone!

So yeah, when we were building up to KH3 I was always telling myself "I only want one playable character. That way there can be more abilities and stuff for just one character meaning the growth from the beginning to the end of the game will be much more satisfying."

BOO! Boo this man. He was a big dummy dumb-dumb.

As a lot of people have probably already made very clear at this point, a big problem with KH3 was that by only having Sora playable for the majority of the game it had all sorts of weird impacts on the story. This was, ideally, a story about closing many different plot-lines with many different characters doing many different things. But in the end we only controlled Sora, well most of the time.

So what we got was a game where you could beat a world and comfortably grab yourself dinner as you watched ridiculously long collections of cutscenes play out that brought you up to speed on what everyone else besides Sora was doing. After a while, even the naysayers like me eventually break down and think: Wouldn't it be so much better if I could just play as Riku, or whomever, during all these cutscenes?

Which brings me to the conclusion that, yes, Kingdom Hearts' story line is so big now that you actually can't just have one playable character. I mean, you could, be we would run into the same problems all over again.

However I want to admit something else. I don't think Kingdom Hearts' take on multiple different characters has ever been all that exciting. I'm not talking about narrative or how worlds have to be structured to accommodate all these characters, I'm saying that every Kingdom Hearts character sort of plays the same.

On a visual level, ever character in the series is definitely their own character. They way they move, weapon swings, battle quotes, reactions to being hit, and so on and so on. However, there really isn't too much going on between different characters.

So like, lets take Terra and Aqua. One is slow and powerful, the other excels in magic. Well, sort of. At the end of the day a lot of what your doing is just swinging around a sword, just with different animations. Aqua might be a more magic focused character, having access to some crazy magic spells exclusive to her, but you can just as easily equip her with physical abilities making her not to different from Terra. Similarly, you can focus pretty heavily on magic with Terra if you so desire. The biggest difference is Terra has this huge slide for a dodge, giving him this either "all-in or all-out" kind of feeling. But that really doesn't matter though because you'll probably be using magic from afar with both characters anyways.

How about 358/2 Days? So many characters! Remember all those interviews when the game started development? Like how Zexion would be able to absorb magic attacks with his books to use different types of magic. That sounds a lot different than say, Roxas and Xaldin, who would undoubtedly be more about hitting enemies with their weapons real cool like. So the game comes out and Zexion can...hit his enemies with his book real cool like. But not really, its kind of goofy looking, I don't know, perhaps you think its cool. Let me know if you have strong feelings about how Zexion throws his books around. Anyways...

There is one KH title though that has characters that feel pretty different from each other. That title is Chain of Memories. Now, I'm not particularly over the moon about this game. It has a very novel card-based battle system that gets old unfortunately fast. If the whole game was a sixth of the size it might be pretty good. So let that sink in for a second because I'm saying this game that I don't really care for does really interesting things with its characters.

In Chain of Memories your two playable characters, Sora and Riku, control very differently. Once you beat the game you think you've seen all there is to see with the combat system, but then your introduced to Riku. Whereas Sora was a very regular feeling character, Riku is different by shifting between a basic and dark form. Your given entirely new mechanics just for Riku. Not only that, but with Riku your not allowed to customize your deck, meaning they way you interact with the fundamentals of the game is completely different.

I would like to see this level of diversity between the playable Kingdom Hearts characters going forward. The special movie at the end of KH3 looks sort of like DDD vol 2, but lets be fun and make it more of a BBS vol 3. You have Sora trapped in whatever worldline-whatever he's in, Riku gets trapped too while looking for Sora, and you have Kairi searching for a way to get the boys back, maybe with the help of Donald and Goofy.

You could have a game where all three characters play fairly differently. I'm just going to pitch my ideas, you can skip them because I'm just some rando who doesn't know dick about game development, but the main point is that I'm trying to make all these characters sound very different.


Sora:
You have Sora with keyblade transformations, perhaps tied to some-sort of meter that he can use whenever showing that he has better control of the technique now.
The meter builds up when you attack, or very slowly when you don't. Holding down a shoulder button does you transformation for whatever keyblade you have equipped and the meter will deplete real fast like as you use your transformation. You can let go of the shoulder button at anytime, reverting selected keyblade back to its regular form, so its a bit different from how drives worked in KH2. There would be a lot of emphasis put on how all you abilities are different with each transformation. Perhaps what is just a regular fire spell for you default keyblade form is a fire dash with a spear transformation. Maybe wind with the same weapon would be some sort of launcher. Things like that. It would also be neat as a little touch if whenever Sora charged forms he would have little bits of keyblade armor on depending on the weapon he's using, like gloves or boots. Then you can have a big cool moment at the end of the game where he gets the full thing.

Riku:
Riku switches between three forms, regular, light and dark. Basically he is a paladin. I wouldn't want this form switching to feel exactly like Sora's though. Perhaps the enemies that Riku fights come in light and dark varieties, and you have to switch between light and dark to be successful in combat.
Or maybe, light form is used to build up power that you can dish out in dark form.
Or maybe, the better you play (landing hits, not getting hit) gives you access to more light based abilities encouraging you to do well in combat. Meanwhile playing poorly (missing, getting hit) gives you powerful but risky dark based moves perhaps creating situations where you might intentionally take a hit to gain access to a dark based ability.
Tons of different things you could do!

Kairi:
Sort of another take on Aqua, but this time when they say magic-focused character they really, really mean it. You still have regular attacks but there is a focus on magic.
Maybe it delves deeper into the whole 'magic effecting the environment' that FFXV and KH3 both had a bit. You have to think on your feet what kind of magic you want to use in any given environment. It gives the game a bit more a strategic and tactical feel. Perhaps you can mix and match magic types to produce different effects. Using different magics gives you access to higher level magic.
I wouldn't want it to just be ranged magic though. I'm thinking Kairi could created different types of elemental weapons from her keyblade and do regular face-to-face combat like the other characters. They focus though would be to make it look like all her attacks have to do with magic.



And all of those are just my poorly thought out ideas of what these characters could be like. I think with a whole team of experts sitting together really trying to make each character feel unique, you could have something really special. I think this year's Devil May Cry 5 really shows off how to make three really different but all very interesting characters.

Well that was a lot! Let me know what characters you want to play as going forward in the Kingdom Hearts series and how you would give them their own unique feel! Or just tell me about how you think this is/isn't a good idea. Go ahead!
 

Face My Fears

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I would love for KH to actually broaden its horizons and get out of the "Sora only" mold. Maybe if they do a game between KH3 and KH4, they can try this out:

Have Sora/Riku/Kairi (or whichever trio) all be playable. They each have their own unique things they can do and you level them up to diversify their playstyle (Sora can focus on drives/keyblade transformations/summons, Riku on dark powers, Kairi on magic/defense/healing). You can switch between them only at save points (so if you die controlling one of them, you go to the death screen and not switch to another character). I think that will help introduce a bigger focus on the RPG elements that I kind of wish they fleshed out more in KH3. I still go through KH3 just equipping Sora with the best equipment, giving him all the Strength/Defense boosts, and programming Donald/Goofy to heal me because I'm the only one that matters. I wish they would make the system more focused on building the team to matter, rather than receive the scraps. The world team members I can understand not so much focus being given due to their short tenure on the team, but I really hope that moving forward they redesign the RPG elements of KH3. I think having multiple usable characters in the party throughout the game will help make that a reality.

I don't really mind how each character fights, I still love the KH fighting system because of how easy it is to use. I think the issue with so many characters feeling the same is because so many characters now wield keyblades and we didn't have as many humanoid boss fights in KH3 compared to older games. KH1 had Clayton, Hades, Cerberus, Jafar, Ursula, Oogie Boogie, Captain Hook, Maleficent, and Ansem as non-keyblade humanoid boss fights. KH2 had WAY more. KH3 had only Davey Jones, Marluxia, Larxene, Luxord, Ansem, Xemnas, Xigbar, Saix, and Dark Riku. Most of which also featured keyblade wielders in their fights.
 

okhi12

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I'd love to have another KH game with more than one playable character, and I mean them being playable during all the game, like Sora and Riku were in CoM and DDD, and TAV in BBS; not for just one or two battles like KH3. I don't count the playable org members in Days because that wasn't part of the story but a feature relegated to the multiplayer. A game like BBS with young Xehanort and Eraqus would be amazing. What I don't want is another forced drop system, I hated having to rely on drop-me-not items in order to complete a full world before switching characters.
I also want another game dedicated to the BBS or Days trios because I like them more than Sora and Riku and I don't want them to be relegated to secondary occasional roles (but let's be honest, they will). Right now I could't care less about Kairi but I still expect Nomura to actually give her a bigger role than the stupid plot device she always end up being.
But if the next game focuses on KH3 secret ending that's ok for me. I want to know what is going on with Sora in Shibuya and Riku and Totally-not-Noctis in I̶n̶s̶o̶m̶n̶i̶a̶ Shinjuku. I know Nomura said that is not the Shibuya we think, but I won't lose my hope to see the TWEWY people again.
 

AdrianXXII

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I like your suggestions here, these are definitely good ways too keep the characters varied without making it too hard to switch from one character to the other.

As the series is now, at least with the many story lines and characters it has, I do feel having multiple playable characters is best. It'd definitely prevent situations like in KH3 were no one but Sora actually wins and accomplishes something.

Though I'd personally leave the light based powers to Kairi. After all she's a PoH and if the game is going to have her as a playable character, I think that would be a good chance to show us what the power can do besides pull a Deus Ex Machina.
Maybe have her have style changes ala BBS's Charge Blade and Wing Blade, with her wing blade functioning more as projectiles. She'd probably have attacks like Salvation and Faith.
Maybe her guard would be her using the PoH powers to hold back darkness and her parry be her repelling it.
 

SweetYetSalty

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I would certainly love to play as the other characters again. One of the major selling points for ReMind for me is being able to play as other characters. Hopefully that extends to all the main characters, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

With TAV and RAX I don't want to just go back to the days of only playing as Sora, as much as I love him. I want to see new dual wielding powers from Roxas. New spells from Aqua. Terra to fully adopt every Lingering Will powerup. Xion blue maging enemies. Come on, who wouldn't want to see Xion copying a Spiked Turtletoad in battle? Be awesome and hilarious at the same time.

All the KH characters have enough diverse moves to make playing as each different and fun. I really hope Kingdom Hearts capitalizes on this, and hopefully ReMind is the testing grounds for it.
 
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