- Mar 21, 2018
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The amount of balance of Disney content does not affect the quality of the writing of the OC material. The writers' ability to write affects the writing of the OC material. And the proportions wouldn't even be an issue if the OCs and Disney intermingled more.
I don't include the Disney aspects when I think about KH's story being "well written". The Disney worlds are what make the story difficult to tell in the first place, since a significant amount of time is spent in worlds that have little to nothing to do with the main plot.Disney isnt the problem. Corporate Disney is.
•There's no reason Sora and Kairi couldn't both appear in Arendelle to witness fear and sacrifice.
•There's no reason why Roxas just had to return post BH6 - the entire point of that was that Tadashi still lived on inside Baymax, just like Roxas still lived on inside Sora.
•No Zerg in Toy Box lmfao
All Disney problems.
It was a good post to end the year on.All right last post for the year, I'm going to bed. Bye
Funnily enough, I hold the exact opposite opinion. The worlds being irrelevant movie rehashes is obviously bad but the idea of them becoming backdrops for discount FF characters and plots is even worse.100% this.
which is why i hope disney will get less of a focus in the next couple of games, at least.
i loved ReMind because there's no disney focus. i want more OC stuff instead of disney filler that does almost nothing for the main plot.
either make disney worlds relevant for the main story like KH1 or have just few of them so it won't take all the focus from the OC material.
i feel KH kinda outgrow disney by now, there's too much going on but there's no time because disney keep taking 80% of the game which is why a lot of ideas left unexplored/left for future games. KH3 suffered the most because of it.
The Roxas/Riku fight and Xion being created are typical KH subtleties. The series relies heavily on us putting the pieces together. From vanilla KH2 alone, you can probably figure out that Roxas/Riku were fighting because Riku wanted to take him in to restore Sora. It's not explicitly stated, but given the situation at the start of KH2 and realizing the hooded figure was actually Riku, it makes sense. Xion being created - at first - seems like a cheap emotional arc given to Roxas and promptly written off (as the haters think and I'm putting it lightly), but her creation is actually a beautifully understated development in Master Xehanort's character that works wonders. Not only does Xion's creation give Roxas an emotional journey and explain his character's choices, it also fleshes out Master Xehanort (or Xemnas) as extremely meticulous and planning for every outcome. If Roxas doesn't serve the Organization, he has a back up plan , which enhances his character as we've seen it from BbS to KH3. Not only that, but it touches on game lore (replicas) that was left back in CoM, presumably never to be heard from again.*sigh* why am I doing this....
Okay, so, I'm trying to reframe from this kind of discussion for my own mental health because honest to god Kingdom Hearts as a whole has kind of just worn me out for the past few years. Every discussion that use to leave me with joy and excitement now leaves me with confusion and frustration in more ways then one.
Kingdom Hearts is just ...a lot.
But to be honest, half that reason is because its potential of what kind of story it can be. Like, let's be real here: this shit is bonkers but Its lore is probably one of more interesting and original takes I've ever seen in any media ever. The fact that a heart and a soul are not technically the same thing is kind of wild. But not only that but it is surprisingly ripe for great emotional storytelling. We've seen it in this series numerous times. Roxas as a character wouldn't exist if it weren't for it. And yeah, I know I sound like a typical hardcore KH fan here but if I'm being real, most of it is pretty understandable. It just kind of goes to show how many people actually pay attention to a story, at least in the moments where it matters (I'll get to that) because I've seen countless playthroughs of people who played the ending of MoM who didn't understand anything that was going on and me as fan was completely understanding everything happening. Like with Kairi turning into Sora. Yeah, if you don't know this universe and how it operates, that comes completely out of nowhere but as a fan who reads up on this universe inside and out, that moment is still incredibly stupid but its not uncommon for something like that to happen if you understand how this universe works. In KH1, we find out that Kairi's heart was hiding inside of Sora the entire time and the only way to free her was to stab himself with a keyblade, thus turning him into a heartless in the process. And this is the first game, the "simple" one.
But this is where I'm conflicted with this particular series and when I talk about its potential because when we talk about bad storytelling, that comes with a lot of factors that more often then we care to admit because of our own individuals taste vs what objectively counts as bad storytelling. Because at the end of the day, what is good or bad to you is ultimately subjective. What matters to you in a story is ultimately subjective. I know to a lot of people that argument feels like a cop out but if you watch and play a lot of media and talk a lot of people of that media, that statement grows more and more true everyday I live. I'll give two examples that stand out to me personally rt
For example one... Naruto. I cannot fathom why this series is popular or why people care. Nothing about Naruto sparks emotion or investment besides its main character and even that loses its value kind of quickly. I've tried. I've tried so very hard to be into it and I just can't. And everything after that feels like it only gets worse. But people love it. People cherish this series with good points that I can't refute. At the end of the day, the series has certain aspects that take away from me enjoying it but just because I don't personally enjoy it doesnt make it bad... but even then, it still has objectively bad storytelling methods. I am once again conflicted.
Another example is in the series itself... *sigh* Xion. I won't linger on this too long because I don't want to delve into another arguement because sorry guys, you aren't changing my mind on this one and don't feel like beating dead horse at this point. But there is a significant portion of the fanbase that really REALLY hates this character. And REALLY I don't get it. I've read every argument under the sun and some I can even somewhat agree with but as a whole... I still don't understand. Or to be frank, I don't understand hating this character to the point some do. She really isn't that bad compared to other characters that basically have nothing else going on even in their own games. But objectively, from a character point of view, she is one of the more emotionally fleshed out characters in this entire series. There is a reason people cheer or cry when they hear her theme music and it isn't for no reason. You can chalk it up to Yoko's music but Terra's theme is one of my favorite pieces from her and when I listen to that song, I feel nothing for Terra. But I feel something for Xion because no matter what logic you throw at me that theoretically invalidates her character, her emotional arc worked so well for so many people that calling it bad writing or calling her a bad character, at the very least, feels conflicting.
Because that being said, there is logic about it that conflicts with itself but it's a unique problem that KH constantly runs into. On the one hand, and I've said this before, the Roxas vs Riku fight makes no sense without 358/2 Days, it just doesn't work emotionally or logically from Roxas' perspective if you line up the timeline in KH2. But you know what? It still worked for people. And again, Xion being created, from a certain point of view, doesn't make sense. Xemnas and Vexen didn't *need* to create her but at the end of the day, it still worked for people.
See, here is the thing about storytelling. No matter the universe or its rules, as long as the story works on an emotional level, then sometimes logic (some, anyway) can be twisted or just not matter. Don't get me wrong, the story still needs to make sense logically as far as what universe it takes place in but as long the characters aren't acting out of character, then everything else can work. It's been done in so many stories. That's why finding plot holes in many classic stories isnt really hard to do but the story emotionally works so well that none of that stuff really matters. There are entire youtube channels dedicated to finding plotholes in stories but it doesn't take away from how good those stories are.
So when it comes to that and the subjectivity of people when it comes to media, what is the point of calling anything bad or good storytelling? Well, because good storytelling at a base level, no matter subjectivity, has to abide by three things and three only
2. Emotional payoff
These are three of Kingdom Heart's biggest issues.
For one thing, people underestimate how important structure actually is. Face My Fears brought up a really good point that I've been saying for years. KH2's plot is not very good. It's good for like a minute in the beginning and a few moments here and there but other then that, KH2 as a story is lacking a lot but people fondly remember it because of the way it was put together. The Pacing works so well that you forget the story is actually pretty bad and nothing happens for most of it. But we all still cried and felt emotionally satisfied when it all ended. Because we like the characters and KH2 had enough emotional payoff that was enough to carry us through it in a way that made people feel something. It's something KH3 severely lacked.
KH3 as a whole could've worked it if its emotions didnt feel so hallow and its structure/pacing didn't feel like cramming itself in the last act because that's been my biggest problem with these games since DDD came out. Games like KH1, COM, KH2, BBS, and 358/2 Days work because despite some of it not making sense or being rectoned, the way they are presented and the way characters react to events in the story always pays off in some way.
KH1 is very basic and somewhat tropey but had likable characters that have arcs that payoff in the end and linger enough for the story to continue
KH COM is KH1 remix but again, the characters and their struggles are what regard it as a fan favorite, with Namine being its biggest stand out.
KH2 is a story where mostly nothing happens but when Sora and Riku finally reunited, Roxas and Namine accept their original selves and Sora finally gets back home, you feel like it was all worth it.
358/2 Days is a story that doesn't need to exist but just like its characters, it does. And because it does, it turned out to be one of it's best stories on an emotional level.
BBS manages to squeeze enough likability out of its characters that you at the very least cared. Enough to where their tragic ends mean something. Enough that one of its blandest characters, Aqua, suddenly became one of the most popular. She's literally one of the only one outside of Roxas that got her own game.
These games, despite having stories that aren't THAT good, work because these characters work. The emotional payoff work on some level because the structure works and helps pace the story to where the emotional moments and payoffs matter. We care about what's going to happen next. Even the Disney worlds, while largely pointless, existed in service of the OC characters for better or worse. Obviously they don't always work but they have enough charm to them to make me like playing them and see how the OC characters respond to the world around them.
All these reasons and more is why DDD, KH3, Union X, and MoM to some degree do not work.
I have played and watch the entirety of Union X from the beginning. And the only thing that has gotten a genuine human emotion out of me was Sterlitzia and her death. That was it. One moment out of hundreds of hours of gameplay. Because despite all the interesting lore, I don't care about this story or any of its characters. Nothing.
Dark Road as a whole feels like a giant afterthought that should've been before or have been apart of KH3.
DDD is all over the place. Most of it is just characters explaining why the plot is happening instead of just letting the story happen naturally. Every single character acts completly out of character, especially Sora. I know he's not the brightest kid but he's not this dumb and he's not this cheery.
But this is where DDD blows my mind because everything about this story doesn't work except for one thing... Riku. His arc and coming to terms with his choices and the finality of his redemption is the only thing that works and why DDD has any merit.
And that's the true problem here. DDD could've worked if the storytelling was on the same level as Riku but because it's not. It falls on it's face where other games with similar problems didn't. Because in those stories, all that matter was how you felt about the characters and how they are presented to you in this world. The plot and characters worked together to create emotional payoff. The problem is the plot doesn't exist to serve the characters anymore. The characters exist the serve the plot and that's why every scene in KH3 that should have emotional payoff just doesn't. Everything in KH3 didnt feel earned, it felt like Noruma was checking off a qouta of things that needed to happen. It's why Union X is a story I cannot connect to because its nothing but PLOT.
Kingdom Hearts has been so wrapped in its bullshit that it forgot why anyone listened in the first place. We all know a person having someone's heart living inside their own is nonsense but we buy it because it exists to serve the characters, how they respond to the universe around them, their relationships to others, and how its structured at a certain point in the story to be shocking but also have meaning.
Because, as I said before, KH as a universe is not THAT complicated. At some point, you kind of understand how the world operates. The story bends itself backwards all the time to make itself make sense. But that's not the problem here. The problem is why should I care in the first place?
Why should I give a fuck about any of the characters in Union X? Because maybe they'll be in a future game? Who cares, tell me why I should care about these characters right now? I know nothing about any of the foretellers besides Ava that stand out and know next to nothing about Ephemer or Skuld and all I know about Marluxia is that his sister died but that's it.
KH3 had every emotional arc handed to it on a silver platter and did nothing with it. The only thing that sparked emotion was Aqua returning and Sora dying at the end. Every else felt shallow and by the numbers.
Both of these dont work because the structure is off, which means the pacing is off. And the characters don't act like human beings with connections and friendships. They don't bounce off each other. It feels so hallow and empty. The entirety of the Guardians scene in Yen Sid's tower falls flat because it feels so lifeless and most of it is exposition and characters explaining thing to each other for shit we already know.
This is why future installments scare me because if this is the quality from now on, that is truly disappointing. Its forgetting why this universe works in the first place because of the characters and their connection to the world and each other and only using it as window dressing to serve a plot that doesn't know where its going. I rag on shonen anime a lot but at least those stories have an end goal in mind. It just feels like Noruma and co don't want to do the character work anymore and just want to do crazy plot lore bullshit while not giving us a reason to care about any of it and putting and creating characters in certain spots that aren't interesting or fun or have been done before.
It truly blew my mind with MoM because I'm sorry guys, Kairi training with Aqua is dumb and boring. Not that the idea in and of itself is dumb and boring, it makes sense and could be interesting, but the fact that Kairi is only staying behind because suddenly, the characters are thinking "logically" is what truly blow my mind. Because here's the thing, characters don't always have to think logically to move the plot. Irrationality is the bases for most plots, you just have to do in the way that's interesting, have the actions makes sense for that character, and make sure it serves the character's arc. Yeah, Kairi is not strong enough but in all honesty, who FUCKING cares? Like, who honestly gives a shit? It really isn't that implausible for her to convince Riku to take her along. Yen Sid threw Sora and Riku in a time warp test at LV.1. Ventus went head first out of a world that as far he knows has never left to search for Terra. Aqua dove into a dark portal and saved Terra, dooming her fate in the process. Roxas went out of his way to battle Riku who was in the way of him attempting to kill Xemnas and open KH to save a dead friend. Sora dove head first into the RoD when every told him not too to save Riku and Mickey. But suddenly, it comes to Kairi, the characters are thinking "logically" now? What the fuck. This isn't a situation of "oh, I get it" no, this is just lazy. This is your way of writing yourself out of writing for a character to actually have any satisfying emotional payoff to her current journey and benching her simply because you don't feel it. Nope. Not anything fun or interesting for her character to do that could lead to interesting interactions, just more training. Oh my god
So to answer... is Kingdom Hearts poorly written? Depends on who you ask honestly but if you want my opinion, it didn't before but it does now. Because it values its plot above its characters. The previous games have problems for sure but everything had meaning and purpose in the end. Now I feel like it's being crushed by the weight of it's own lore while not giving enough to its characters to make that lore mean anything in the end.
The Unreality plot is interesting but I won't be shocked if it goes nowhere. And I only like it for how meta it could get but honestly, what does exploring another reality mean for these characters? Why would it even matter at all? It just doesn't feel like its leading up to anything emotionally satisfying. But maybe it's too early to say.
Look, all this being said, I haven't given up on the series. The one thing the series has always been good at is tugging at the emotions. It's always been the series biggest strength. Which is why I always feel like the series could be more then what it is. Noruma just needs that extra push to do it. And honestly, I think all of us are gonna have to wait and see. KH3 suffered from botched development and they tried to make up for it with Re: mind. MoM is a fun game with some interesting lore and good character moments for Kairi. The series is not without merit. Not everything in KH3 didn't work. But the best thing the series can do right now is take a break, which I'm glad they are doing. And the hopefully the next game and KH4 will benefit from it.
All right last post for the year, I'm going to bed. Bye.
Nope, technically getting a conclusion means only that, the thing that was stated to be concluded is concluded. A conclusion got written and delivered, but its execution and presentation was lackluster in many areas and mired in already setting up the new story in the middle of it all.
Not even KH II did that. While Xigbar did drop a hint in dialogue about "other Keybladers" and Final Mix added the whole scene of him and Zexion speaking about the chambers of waking and repose, their contents and connection (a plot point and all surrounding it that was dropped and never addressed again except one scene between Axel and Saix in Days) the setup for the next story (BBS) was fully delegated to the secret ending where imho such stuff belongs.
I've watched a lot of dumb anime and read a ton of low quality shoverlware isekai manga and i enjoyed them all. So my standards are low when it comes to stories. KH is super entertaining so that's all that matters to me, i think most people would benefit from just learning to go with the flow sometimes and learning to enjoy dumb stuff without questioning every little thing. Just enjoy it.
I think I can understand what you are saying, but Kingdom Hearts has always operated on leaving these threads of intriguing storylines that have no resolution or lead up to something that amounts to nothing since KH2FM.
Back then we thought they served the plot and would have some interesting payoff but now that KH3 has come and gone, we were left with a lot of sequel bait that imo retroactively weakens the previous games and especially harmed KH3’s story.
KH3 was too busy trying to set itself up for the future that it forgot to resolve the past storylines outside of the big ones in any satisfying manner.
And ReMIND is really more of that, with a heap of random nonsense in the form of the “X” thing thrown on top for good measure.
That isn’t to say these things aren’t enjoyable because we all enjoy these games and I have found every game satisfying in its own way, but it’s all objectively bad storytelling. As the audience, we respond by making statements like “oh they will fix these things later” and later comes like with ReMIND and instead it just compounds onto the issues while maybe fixing a few things, and we as the audience come back again to say “oh they will certainly fix it this time around” and it keeps happening over and over. We said they’d fix Kairi in KH3, then she was killed by Xehanort, then we said she’d be fixed in ReMIND and she was to a degree then we said MOM was finally her time and then it wasn’t...
Do you see what I’m trying to get at here? There is a fundamental issue here with expectations, setup, payoff, and fans pushing their expectations to the next project in hopes that Nomura and the dev team will fix things later.
We hope for threads to have satisfying payoff, then we realize Nomura grew bored of that idea years ago and has dropped it until he looks back and decides to work it back into the story somehow...
I still contend that Vanitas's resurrection via scream-cannister is one of the cooler uses of a Disney mechanic in the main story. It, and the fact that Sora learns about Ven, put Monstropolis ahead of the other Disney worlds for me, in terms of main story shit.
I don't want to talk about how people who get paid the big bucks to write plot do a poor job, but the community who recognizes that - they should be ashamed for expressing their opinions.
This is my problem: when constructive criticism of the series is then contorted by people who just want to recognize and reinforce the "positive".
If you don't want to engage with the community about the topic of this thread, because KH is FUN, but then flippantly compare them to cRaZy eXeS, that is all you, I suppose. But it's toxic.
We don't have to dumb ourselves down to have fun playing the game.
I would say this thread has reached a point where it's the direct opposite of this issue
That was my experience alone. I wasn't making a "greater point" about anyone else or the fandom at large. I'm not "dumbing myself down" nor "enforcing" shit. If you're gonna put words in my mouth, at least read more than thr, you pseudo-intellectual twerp.
You want to talk shit? Shit it is. Somewhere out there, there's a tree whose express purpose is to replace the oxygen you breathe.
Go find that tree and apologize to it.
I was about to say something similar.
If you have to cut down points from your IQ a couple of levels to accept or enjoy a game, then that's a grave issue. And it's admittance that it's a poorly, written mess automatically. If KH wants to survive, then they need to know that people aren't going to dumb themselves down for the nonsense Nomura brings about. It's becoming niche the more the years pass. I won't count MoM.
But I don't care, nor am I open to discuss that.
I think for one second about how Sora never needed training while so many others did, and then I go right back to "haha airstep go woosh". Even with all the writing mishaps in this series in mind, I just... don't get mad. This series is super personal to me, but I've never treated it like more or less than what it is.
It's just... fun for its own sake, the purest feeling there is. The illusion of "quality" was never there for me. I'm just here for the ride.
Swear to god, some people just act like obsessive ex-partners with that "I like this but IT'S BADLY WRITTEN, MAKES NO SENSE, AND I'M ASHAMED OF IT FOR PLAYING" spiel.
My friend you have to let go, as an avid fan of The Last Jedi, my love for it is wasn’t affected by the cesspool of hate and frankly despicable behavior of the fandom menace. I simply move from it and focused on what I like.
Forgive me for making an ass of myself for assuming, but it seems that other’s negative opinions of this series affects yours?