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KH2 Vanilla vs. KH3 Re Mind



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What was the better experience?


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Henryp

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Guess you can count me with the Reddit crowd because I'm eye rolling hard at some the anti-KH2 comments here. There's a lot, a LOT I can say about the gameplay of these two games, but I'll just focus on intention. What are the developer's intentions for each respective game? What are they trying to achieve?

KH2 was developed to be an action game. Full stop. It's been described as such by the staff themselves and it's evident by the core gameplay loop and level structure. That means that how well this goal is achieved lies within the strength of it's combat system. And it's pretty strong. A refined combo system with tons of attacks that have distinct purposes and effects. A magic system that puts other ARPGs to shame. Mechanics that are completely under player control and interact with each other in ways that force players to make decisions. It's a monumental improvement over KH1's combat. It stumbles here and there in regards to enemy design and such but overall it nailed what it set out to do. So while it's totally fair to dog on it for failing to offer the same experience KH1 did, ignoring all the above and saying it sucks based on standards it's not even trying to live up to is narrow-minded.

And yes, I am talking about KH2 vanilla here. I think the people that actually need to go back and play 2 vanilla are the 3RM crowd themselves. What exactly did 2FM include that took vanilla from bad to good? Critical Mode? Difficulty doesn't exist in a vacuum. If the battle system is crap, why would I be interested in playing at a higher difficulty? (Paging KH3 Crit) New boss battles? See Critical Mode. Dodge Roll? Are people actually being serious with this? I agree not including it was stupid, but people bring it up as if it's a damning blow against vanilla. You don't even get it until way after Quick Run becomes available and it fills the same purpose. 2FM made a bunch of great additions, but the way it played never changed. So I don't understand how content that makes up maybe 15% of a whole playthrough could change someone's opinion so drastically.

KH3RM's gameplay priorities are kinda split. Combat-wise, it tries and utterly fails to surpass KH2. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that every returning mechanic is worse than it ever has been. The combo system was butchered and constantly breaks its own rules. Combat is filled with attacks that all do basically the same thing with little variance. Half of the game's mechanics are relegated to random pop-ups that can barely be influenced. And all the mechanics are strictly isolated from each other, meaning there are no interesting decisions to make. In other words, there's no skill allowed in this game. Yeah, yeah "KH2 is press X to win" blah blah blah, whatever. At least cranking the difficulty up to max made it clear how well designed the combat is. Doing the same with 3RM just sealed the deal on it being poorly thought out trash.

And people really out here calling 2's combat dated? 3RM just came out and it's already dated. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I've played a lot of action games and I can comfortably tell you that for a high budget, 2019 game from a veteran series, 3RM's combat is embarrassing. If fans talking about basic shit like weapon switching and a timed block that buffs your damage like they're the hottest thing since sliced bread isn't proof of that I don't know what is. 2 had genuinely innovative mechanics like Revenge Value and Offsetting (3 years before Bayonetta did).

Detailed world exploration was also something the team talked a lot about in interviews but it fails at this as well. I've seen others bring up this game's giant worlds in an attempt to own KH2 but in terms of progression they're almost identical. You fight a mob, move forward, fight another mob, move forward so more. Obviously I prefer them to 2's but if the goal is to harkon back to KH1, are they really that praise-worthy? Is it really right to call holding forward to effortlessly run up a wall or cross a gap 'platforming'? Feel free to go back through them and count the times you're actually required to press the jump button. It's not that many. KH1's platforming was pretty rudimentary but at least there was often tension.

So KH3RM fails to create a battle system than rivals KH2 and it fails to have exploration that rivals KH1, but somehow 2 is the game that sucks? Maybe some of you need to reevaluate what exactly it was that you liked about 3.
Difficulty is a big deal in both KH2 and KH3, for me specially KH2. When there is no difficulty in your playthrough and the only real challenge is somewhat Sephirot, why should we cared about how amazing the concepts and mechanics are? And, while this is just an opinion, KH2 only shines in the combat department. When everything have been designed in your game for the combat (not only level design, but also minigames and subquest), and the combat can be easily summarized in smash X because it works and the game gives you zero hint into playing any other way, why should we have high standards for such a game?

Critical mode and subsequent gameplay twitch made KH2FM and KH3RM very good games to play and experiment with. And as much as I agree KH2 is more tight, when most of the mechanics are meant to complement each other, and KH3 has horrible implemented mechanics (attraction flows and to some extent team attacks), I still feel KH3RM has a very good combat system, amazing mechanics, and it is fun. KH3 combo system is good, laggy and aerial at launch but updates have corrected that. Keyblade transformation works well. They are not drive forms to use in specific moments but integral to playthrough of the game. Some of them are quickier, some of them are slower but more powerful, and gives the player many options depending on the regard/sacrifice they want to make. Grand magic is powerful and not so easily exploitable in critical mode/pro codes. Links are quite brain-dead to use and are truly powerful, but uses full MP so it is the player choice to use them while sacrifing other magics, including cure in Critical Mode. Air-stepping, aerial dodge/dash, aerial guard, critical counter, all the reprisals, etc, are again good additions to the combat system not present in any other KH game. And the postgame content in RM is really, really good. It tells something that, even if they can be cheesed with a specific strategy (like those in KH2FM for the record), people can play trough them with many different playstyles and still have a challenge, including using or not many keyblade transformations or links, all pro codes on, etc.

I am not in the boat that to glorify KH3 we need to put dirt on KH2, specially regarding the combat system. KH2 is for many and for good reasons the best combat system ever made in the KH series. However, the same can be said otherwise. KH3 as it is now, it's fun, it's full of challenges and it is appropiate to every type of player. Those who like lvl 1 deadly restriction can have fun with both games, and casual players which don't mind how well implemented the mechanics are and just want to do powerful attacks can also enjoy both games. Tha being said, while I do understand KH2 combat should recieve high praise, I think it didn't do nearly as well in any other aspect of the game. I think it is average at most everything else, maybe except for the storyline (in paper, hated the pacing from the start).

So your last question, what we (I) liked about KH3, is simple. I had a lot of fun playing it, in general. I had more fun playing it in critical mode three months after release than I had playing KH2FM critical mode 10 years after release. I know the combat systems wasn't as well executed as KH2, but yet I can't help myself but wanting to go back way more into KH3, thinking if I could beat X superboss with X keyblade this time. And everythign else that is not combat, I truly believe KH3 did better, including pacing and charm and characters, specially Sora. I believe KH3 offers way more as a whole package than KH2 ever did. It hits right on some spots that enhance my perception of the game. I still believe I appreciate more at least one other game in the series, but KH3 as a whole I think is amazing.

At the end of the day, it narrows to how much fun and entertaiment we have when playing the game, and that can be really subjective. While for some people combat it's the main aspect of the game, it is not for me. I like things like gummi ship, and data greeting, and flanstatic seven, and photo missions and classic kingdom, as I liked the puppies, the trinities, the minigame sin KH1. I like worlds with variety with the worlds feeling different from each other. I like the chests to be at least a little bit hidden. I like to do something else than just run ahead. Even if it is not the best in every department and still have some flaws in it, I prefer it.

And this trend that started with KH2 fans hating KH3 and now have become the other way around... people need to be critical with themself and understand they prob have bias. Both games are highly regarded for many, many fans. Both games have good quality and have been succesful in the market and from critics. Just beacuse I hate the plain design of KH2 i wouldn't call it low quality. The developers still put a lot of work into every single detail, success or fail, that were in those games. There is room for arguing how they handled the plot differently, how the combat differs, how the design differs, etc. And we all have an opinion that can be true. But the way to discuss things is not completly trashing on one game or the other for the sake of defend the one we like the most. And that applied for everything, not just games.
 

Deliverance

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What you absolutely fail to grasp is that the INTENTION of Kh3 was to give the devs a handhold on working with UE4 while promoting Disney works and attracting children. The game is there to promote Disney first and foremost, and the gameplay exists for flash and splendor for literal children. 3(RM) is not and does not try to be an action game. It isn't a hardcore title. It isn't a continuation of 2(FM). It is its own thing and exists in a vacuum. You see it in so many things. Magnet Splash in 2FM is a quick move designed for CC. Magnet Splash in 3 is a slow cinematic "finisher" whose damage output is weak af and whose CC properties only sometimes work. This is by design. Why does ms exist in 3? To attract kiddies who played 2FM and to show people how beautiful the game looks. Same for all shotlocks and links. They are INTENTIONALLY shallow mechanics.
Damn, and here I was thinking I was being pretty harsh towards KH3. Hey, if you wanna argue the game is nothing more than a shallow cash-grab, I won't stop you.

Difficulty is a big deal in both KH2 and KH3, for me specially KH2. When there is no difficulty in your playthrough and the only real challenge is somewhat Sephirot, why should we cared about how amazing the concepts and mechanics are? And, while this is just an opinion, KH2 only shines in the combat department. When everything have been designed in your game for the combat (not only level design, but also minigames and subquest), and the combat can be easily summarized in smash X because it works and the game gives you zero hint into playing any other way, why should we have high standards for such a game?

Critical mode and subsequent gameplay twitch made KH2FM and KH3RM very good games to play and experiment with. And as much as I agree KH2 is more tight, when most of the mechanics are meant to complement each other, and KH3 has horrible implemented mechanics (attraction flows and to some extent team attacks), I still feel KH3RM has a very good combat system, amazing mechanics, and it is fun. KH3 combo system is good, laggy and aerial at launch but updates have corrected that. Keyblade transformation works well. They are not drive forms to use in specific moments but integral to playthrough of the game. Some of them are quickier, some of them are slower but more powerful, and gives the player many options depending on the regard/sacrifice they want to make. Grand magic is powerful and not so easily exploitable in critical mode/pro codes. Links are quite brain-dead to use and are truly powerful, but uses full MP so it is the player choice to use them while sacrifing other magics, including cure in Critical Mode. Air-stepping, aerial dodge/dash, aerial guard, critical counter, all the reprisals, etc, are again good additions to the combat system not present in any other KH game. And the postgame content in RM is really, really good. It tells something that, even if they can be cheesed with a specific strategy (like those in KH2FM for the record), people can play trough them with many different playstyles and still have a challenge, including using or not many keyblade transformations or links, all pro codes on, etc.

I am not in the boat that to glorify KH3 we need to put dirt on KH2, specially regarding the combat system. KH2 is for many and for good reasons the best combat system ever made in the KH series. However, the same can be said otherwise. KH3 as it is now, it's fun, it's full of challenges and it is appropiate to every type of player. Those who like lvl 1 deadly restriction can have fun with both games, and casual players which don't mind how well implemented the mechanics are and just want to do powerful attacks can also enjoy both games. Tha being said, while I do understand KH2 combat should recieve high praise, I think it didn't do nearly as well in any other aspect of the game. I think it is average at most everything else, maybe except for the storyline (in paper, hated the pacing from the start).

So your last question, what we (I) liked about KH3, is simple. I had a lot of fun playing it, in general. I had more fun playing it in critical mode three months after release than I had playing KH2FM critical mode 10 years after release. I know the combat systems wasn't as well executed as KH2, but yet I can't help myself but wanting to go back way more into KH3, thinking if I could beat X superboss with X keyblade this time. And everythign else that is not combat, I truly believe KH3 did better, including pacing and charm and characters, specially Sora. I believe KH3 offers way more as a whole package than KH2 ever did. It hits right on some spots that enhance my perception of the game. I still believe I appreciate more at least one other game in the series, but KH3 as a whole I think is amazing.

At the end of the day, it narrows to how much fun and entertaiment we have when playing the game, and that can be really subjective. While for some people combat it's the main aspect of the game, it is not for me. I like things like gummi ship, and data greeting, and flanstatic seven, and photo missions and classic kingdom, as I liked the puppies, the trinities, the minigame sin KH1. I like worlds with variety with the worlds feeling different from each other. I like the chests to be at least a little bit hidden. I like to do something else than just run ahead. Even if it is not the best in every department and still have some flaws in it, I prefer it.

And this trend that started with KH2 fans hating KH3 and now have become the other way around... people need to be critical with themself and understand they prob have bias. Both games are highly regarded for many, many fans. Both games have good quality and have been succesful in the market and from critics. Just beacuse I hate the plain design of KH2 i wouldn't call it low quality. The developers still put a lot of work into every single detail, success or fail, that were in those games. There is room for arguing how they handled the plot differently, how the combat differs, how the design differs, etc. And we all have an opinion that can be true. But the way to discuss things is not completely trashing on one game or the other for the sake of defend the one we like the most. And that applied for everything, not just games.
There's an important difference between a deep system that's easy and a shallow system that's easy. A game's depth isn't erased just because it doesn't capitalize on that depth with it's difficulty. It's undermined to an extent, sure, but I'd never place it at same level as a game with flat out no depth whatsoever that's also easy just on that basis. That's not only reductive, but it's the kind of mentality that has allowed the new team's combat design to revel in mediocrity for all these years. Let's apply this to another game, Jak 1. Great platformer, it has smooth controls and a bunch advanced movement mechanics that make platforming even better. But it's fair to say the game is easy enough for a child to comfortably beat with just single/double jumps. Does that invalidate those positive aspects? Does that make it a bad platformer? I'd be hard pressed to find many who'd agree.

Going back to 3RM, I'm sorry but the combat is NOT good. I said the combo system was butchered and I meant it.
  • Equipping multiple finisher mods replaces your regular attacks in a combo which invalidates any non-finisher mods and needlessly complicates combo creation.
  • Alt button mods reset your combo making them antithetical to the combo system.
  • Move assist on air combos is so overzealous that you can lock-on to an enemy that's 10 feet away and effortlessly fly over to them by mashing X turning positioning into a guessing game.
  • Parrying no longer remembers your place in a combo, not that it matters much since parrying in this game is unusable anyway.
  • As long as your first hit lands you can do a full combo on an enemy's guard w/o being deflected which defeats the purpose and encourages button mashing .
These are subtle changes that ultimately come together to create an inconsistent and unpolished system. What's worse is that all of them were already solved. KH2's combo system was perfectly fine and had no reason to be changed.

Same can be said about Keyblade Transformations.
  • They're tied to random pop-ups which makes them less strategically viable even when not compared to Drive Forms. If the goal was for them to be a frequent tool in battle then making them always accessible would've accomplished that far better.
  • Most of them only have a single combo with similar AOE attacks which overshadows any differences between them.
  • All magic spells now do the exact same thing which removes depth.
  • The absurd weapon switching delay is completely unacceptable for a game of this speed.
I also want to keep stressing how half of the game's mechanics are random because I feel like people don't understand how big a problem that is. It restricts the players ability to experiment in combat and undermines any attempt at strategic planning. That alone would be bad enough to tank any battle system, but the real twist of knife is that these issues had already been addressed. What gets me is that people will look at all of this and still say 3RM has a good battle system. They'll pretend the gameplay isn't mostly comprised of combat and has a non-existent focus on exploration unlike KH2. That's what I'm arguing against.
 

OneDandelion

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I think a lot of people that played RE:mind and praise the superboss fights don't understand that well orchestrated boss fights doesn't mean the combat system was good. I also had a lot of fun with them but in reality those superboss fights only highlighted how flawed the combat system actually was; and that's because those fights were highly choreographed - they relied on you responding to the bosses attacks in very specific ways in order to win and there wasn't much room for error.

And thats been a problem with KH for a long time now with all of the superbosses. Is it a bad thing? Depends on what you want out of the gameplay, but for the reasons Deliverance listed no one could call the combat system 'deep'. The fact that there are very few responses to the superboss attacks that work is the proof that the combat system is shallow. With the exception of block and dodge roll no other abilities are even necessary and the rest only serve to slightly deal more damage during combos or slightly help you survive a boss combo. You can't approach these bosses in multiple ways - either you know how to dodge/block their choreographed attacks or you get murdered, or you cheese it by spamming the little mermaid/lion king summon.

They're fun fights, but it's 100% bullet hell gameplay. No one should even be attempting to compare the depth of KH2 combat to KH3
 

Tartarus

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I'm not going to argue very specifically point by point here. You guys have the right to your opinions and you clearly have strongly-defined reasons for feeling the way you do. But I personally don't find 2's gameplay superior to 3 at all. I don't even enjoy 2's gameplay on its own very much, much less in comparison to one of the better games in the series; the game where you press triangle to win definitely isn't my idea of perfect gameplay. Even with KH2FM finally getting released statewide and giving us a difficulty level that isn't for babies, that game is still incredibly easy. I still have to force myself not to fight common enemies so I can be underleveled in order to make the game challenging. I haven't even been able to play Re:Mind and I prefer 3's gameplay to 2's; I also preferred 3D's and 0.2's gameplay to 2's, even though I'm not a fan of the deck system that 3D takes from BbS and Days, as far as the games that have come since 2. I preferred 1's and CoM's gameplay, too. I think Deliverance mentioned Dodge Roll's absence (and the fix, as mentioned, not being a real fix since even in FM it comes so late in the game) and it's true that that is something that really put me against 2 from the word go. But world design plays a big role in the reason the gameplay sucks. They make the movement so painfully slow until you get the ability Glide x5 with Final Form for the simple fact they want to make the poorly-designed worlds seem larger than they are. And I despise Drive Forms so much. I'm so grateful they were a 2-only thing and did not return.

For the record, Jak & Daxter (and Jak II and 3) are all more fun than KH2 as well, jmo. The environments and platforming in those are better than 3's, too, just to be fair. It's funny to see that series get a shoutout today since I'd been re-visiting them the past week. Jak II is still my favorite of that series. I know some of it can feel "try-hard" in its attempt to come across edgy, but I enjoy it despite the rough edges. Really wish that series had continued. :(
 
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Henryp

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  • Equipping multiple finisher mods replaces your regular attacks in a combo which invalidates any non-finisher mods and needlessly complicates combo creation.
  • Alt button mods reset your combo making them antithetical to the combo system.
  • Move assist on air combos is so overzealous that you can lock-on to an enemy that's 10 feet away and effortlessly fly over to them by mashing X turning positioning into a guessing game.
  • Parrying no longer remembers your place in a combo, not that it matters much since parrying in this game is unusable anyway.
  • As long as your first hit lands you can do a full combo on an enemy's guard w/o being deflected which defeats the purpose and encourages button mashing.
  • As far as I know, the player still have the control to turn on all, some or one of the finishers as well as any combo + to combine, giving the player the option on how many normal moves and combo finishers the player wants. What is the big problem with that, that combo finishers do not behave like they did in 2FM and therefore you need the same strategy doesn't apply to both games? It is a change, not a downgrade.
  • And on the plus size allows you to quickly start another combo, increasing the number of hits you can make into a single enemy before the combo ends. Again, a change.
  • Lock-on system have been revised in the recent patch. And there is not a single move that allows you to cross an arena so far that you lose sight of where you are except air stepping, which have to be done on purprose.
  • Parrying have been mostly useless since KH1.
  • Dont know exactly what are you referring to, mind sending a video of that?

These are subtle changes that ultimately come together to create an inconsistent and unpolished system. What's worse is that all of them were already solved. KH2's combo system was perfectly fine and had no reason to be changed.
Oh well, I hope they change the KH2FM system even more. And I hope they change the KH3RM also in the future. I don't want any game to be a copycat to the previous one. If thay feel like coming back, thay always can. If they feel like exploring and adding new things and changes, I'll love that. I can always replay KH2 and KH3 if I like the system thay have.

Same can be said about Keyblade Transformations.
  • They're tied to random pop-ups which makes them less strategically viable even when not compared to Drive Forms. If the goal was for them to be a frequent tool in battle then making them always accessible would've accomplished that far better.
  • Most of them only have a single combo with similar AOE attacks which overshadows any differences between them.
  • All magic spells now do the exact same thing which removes depth.
  • The absurd weapon switching delay is completely unacceptable for a game of this speed.
They are easy to get in any difficulty level, and not random at all with Ez codes and critical converter. They differ in block, dodge, combat mechanics, magic mechanics, speed and passive abilties on top of having simple combos each of them. Not gonna argue on the delay, but I've seen people doing amazing things with switching this past few months. Magic doesn't work all the same, and I know I am not the only one who used water, freeze and aero for some purpose other than dealing damage.


I also want to keep stressing how half of the game's mechanics are random because I feel like people don't understand how big a problem that is. It restricts the players ability to experiment in combat and undermines any attempt at strategic planning. That alone would be bad enough to tank any battle system, but the real twist of knife is that these issues had already been addressed. What gets me is that people will look at all of this and still say 3RM has a good battle system. They'll pretend the gameplay isn't mostly comprised of combat and has a non-existent focus on exploration unlike KH2. That's what I'm arguing against.
The only mechanic that are "100%" random may be team attacks (and they are not actually that random). The attractions signals are pretty consistent, and the attraction you is environmental. And those are the only ones you cannot count into making an "strategy". Grand magic and keyblade transformations, as much as they are tied to some randomness in their base form, can be controlled by your performance of the battle (which is what they intended to), but can also be controlled with equipment, abilities, food and codes. In a critical mode playthrough with critical converter, the only random things completly out of your control you will encounter are team attacks, which again have some tie in abilties to make at least appear one time at the start of a battle. Food and cufflinks allows you to obtain consistent grand magic. Keyblade combos, keyblade transformation, magic, shotlocks and links become a good arsenal of things not tied to randomness, for which you can play a strategy out. And I already responded to the last part, but just because you find KH3 combat shallow doesn't mean KH3RM does horrible or bad in every aspect. There is the story, the level design, the exploration, the minigames of each world, the camera, the cooking, the gummi ship, the flantastic seven, the classic kingdom, the graphics, the presence of NPCs, the music, the sound effects...


those superboss fights only highlighted how flawed the combat system actually was; and that's because those fights were highly choreographed - they relied on you responding to the bosses attacks in very specific ways in order to win and there wasn't much room for error.
Bosses have specific opening to be found and are choreographed, that is true. But there is not a very specific way to respond to the bosses attacks as proven by the many, many different ways you can actually get in the opening.

Same Xion battle, completly different play styles,

 

OneDandelion

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Bosses have specific opening to be found and are choreographed, that is true. But there is not a very specific way to respond to the bosses attacks as proven by the many, many different ways you can actually get in the opening.

Same Xion battle, completly different play styles,
The difference between the videos you cited literally comes down to using shotlocks, different keyblades, and counters

Sorry, but those do not consititute "different play styles" because you're still blocking/dodging attacks in the same way - you're just using a different attack with a different keyblade. It has nothing to do with play style and everything to do with keyblade preferences and individual desire to squeeze every last bit of dps out of Sora to beat the fight faster. I mean of course there are things you can do to optimize the fights using shotlocks and keyblades, but that just proves my point that the fights are basically bullet hell gameplay with different weapon choices.

You still have a very specific pattern that you have to adjust to; the fact that you can change your weapon and do slightly less or more damage, or optimize damage by countering attacks at the perfect moment to squeeze in a few small bits of damage, or use a summon to juke your way out of a part of the fight you don't understand doesn't change the fact that at the end of the day those fights come down to learn the patterns or you lose.

And also, all of the video's you listed were done by people who have done the fights probably a hundred times and have had time to optimize their approach. When you go in there as a new player you don't have a better or worse chance of winning because of your play style. that sort of thing doesnt matter in bullet hell games or here
 
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Henryp

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The difference between the videos you cited literally comes down to using shotlocks, different keyblades, and counters

Sorry, but those do not consititute "different play styles" because you're still blocking/dodging attacks in the same way - you're just using a different attack with a different keyblade. It has nothing to do with play style and everything to do with keyblade preferences and individual desire to squeeze every last bit of dps out of Sora to beat the fight faster. I mean of course there are things you can do to optimize the fights using shotlocks and keyblades, but that just proves my point that the fights are basically bullet hell gameplay with different weapon choices.

You still have a very specific pattern that you have to adjust to; the fact that you can change your weapon and do slightly less or more damage, or optimize damage by countering attacks at the perfect moment to squeeze in a few small bits of damage, or use a summon to juke your way out of a part of the fight you don't understand doesn't change the fact that at the end of the day those fights come down to learn the patterns or you lose.
If that is, can you give an explanation on what KH2 do better on those regards? How data fights are not repeats on a couple of choreographies at the beggining of the battle and others after the DMs? How is it of any difference?

And yes, I know there is one difference. KH2 is about creating the opening and KH3 is about finding the opening. At the end of the day, creating an opening is about pressing X or square at a specific choreographed moment to start a combo, not much different from finding the right time to press X or launch magic or air step.

What you call lack a pattern or variety is at the end found in KH2FM. Every org member have a limited arsenal that they use in specific moments of the battle, and there are limited ways to counterattack and open the enemy. Is there that much of a difference to blocking axel, attacking afterwards, and using the quick reaction command, than it is to block xion, use the quick risk dodge and attacking afterwards? Is there that much of a difference between taking the claymores Saix leaves behind to reduce berserk than to wait to the opening saix has to reduce it?

The way I see diversity if the way you approach this things. In KH2 is about how to block or avoid an attack to enhance your posibility to create a good opening. In KH3 is about risk/reward on how to approach only safer or riskier oppenings. And in both games, it is about maintaining the openning as long as possible o to deal as much damage as possible. The variety found in how player approach KH2 data figths (combos, reflect, firaga, drive forms and limits) is really similar to that in KH3, exactly what you listed. Why is the use of duck flare for I frames or a well timed reflect, or a limit to enhance the damage before enemy's reprisal less shallow than using a Link for recovery and survival, a well timed shield+counter and a shotlock before the enemy hits RV?

The only difference I truly see between those two approaches is that damage received is not reduced in KH2FM when the enemy is not opened, allowing you to hit hard with reflect for example, and that in KH3 not every attack is avoidable the same way, nulyfying shield-block-dodge spam. And that's actually a pro for KH3.
 

OneDandelion

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If that is, can you give an explanation on what KH2 do better on those regards? How data fights are not repeats on a couple of choreographies at the beggining of the battle and others after the DMs? How is it of any difference?

And yes, I know there is one difference. KH2 is about creating the opening and KH3 is about finding the opening. At the end of the day, creating an opening is about pressing X or square at a specific choreographed moment to start a combo, not much different from finding the right time to press X or launch magic or air step.

What you call lack a pattern or variety is at the end found in KH2FM. Every org member have a limited arsenal that they use in specific moments of the battle, and there are limited ways to counterattack and open the enemy. Is there that much of a difference to blocking axel, attacking afterwards, and using the quick reaction command, than it is to block xion, use the quick risk dodge and attacking afterwards? Is there that much of a difference between taking the claymores Saix leaves behind to reduce berserk than to wait to the opening saix has to reduce it?

The way I see diversity if the way you approach this things. In KH2 is about how to block or avoid an attack to enhance your posibility to create a good opening. In KH3 is about risk/reward on how to approach only safer or riskier oppenings. And in both games, it is about maintaining the openning as long as possible o to deal as much damage as possible. The variety found in how player approach KH2 data figths (combos, reflect, firaga, drive forms and limits) is really similar to that in KH3, exactly what you listed. Why is the use of duck flare for I frames or a well timed reflect, or a limit to enhance the damage before enemy's reprisal less shallow than using a Link for recovery and survival, a well timed shield+counter and a shotlock before the enemy hits RV?

The only difference I truly see between those two approaches is that damage received is not reduced in KH2FM when the enemy is not opened, allowing you to hit hard with reflect for example, and that in KH3 not every attack is avoidable the same way, nulyfying shield-block-dodge spam. And that's actually a pro for KH3.
thats because you're defining "creating an opening" to be the same thing as "finding an opening".

Things like being able to deal damage without staggering the enemy or using 'counter' is huge. Then using terrain to escape attacks rather than just having to time your blocks or rolls, and managing ability resources are generally better in KH2 than KH3. Your ability choices define your playstyle in KH2 much more significantly than they do in KH3 as well.

I also think that you're comparing these boss fights as a player whose done them 100 times each rather than a player that does them for the first time. When you jump into a super boss fight as a new player you die because you get hit with a string of combos designed to kill you because you don't know the timing of when you have to block. When I fight sephiroth in KH2 for the first time I can generally run away and survive as long as I have cures or healing items available but eventually my lack of knowledge of the fight catches up to me. In my opinion, there is a huge difference between the two.
 

Henryp

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thats because you're defining "creating an opening" to be the same thing as "finding an opening".

Things like being able to deal damage without staggering the enemy or using 'counter' is huge. Then using terrain to escape attacks rather than just having to time your blocks or rolls, and managing ability resources are generally better in KH2 than KH3. Your ability choices define your playstyle in KH2 much more significantly than they do in KH3 as well.

I also think that you're comparing these boss fights as a player whose done them 100 times each rather than a player that does them for the first time. When you jump into a super boss fight as a new player you die because you get hit with a string of combos designed to kill you because you don't know the timing of when you have to block. When I fight sephiroth in KH2 for the first time I can generally run away and survive as long as I have cures or healing items available but eventually my lack of knowledge of the fight catches up to me. In my opinion, there is a huge difference between the two.
I don't think they are the same, and I can understand why some people would prefer one over the other. I don't know if I am minority on this, but I prefer the KH3 approach on dealing damage to non-staggered enemies. It feels more rewarding to only been able to do huge damage with a finisher when I found that perfect time than to do huge amount of damage with reflect everytime I block well. And yes, KH3 enemies are really agressive and you can't survive long just running around, but I don't believe managing resources and choice of abilties are not significant or less significant in KH3. Just in my own experience, I found not liking the same type of blocking for every type of attack, using different reprisals depending on the org member, using different keyblade transformation for some members, using different links for cheesing some momentos in my first playthrough...

Your last point I won't talk much because I haven't done the experiment myself to test how much I can survive and learn from a fight in KH2 and KH3 without knowing the fight, because I already know the fights. But I remember my first fight against Vanitas Data fight on critical (the very first fight I did), and I survided until the DM with cure, elixir, kupo coin, etc. I was resource-less by the time I got into the DM and I died, of course.

And just for the record, I am not saying that KH2 fights are bad or that I don't like them. They are fun, and I had a lot of fun with them. I might prefer KH3 one for several reason (mainly they are way less gimmicky), but I do understand why people feel it's better to deal damage to the boss when he is attacking and to break the boss out of a combo, the same way I feel better when finding myself the perfect time to do a reprisal, an air step, a water spell, etc. My point being that you, as a player, do similar things in both cases and have similar resources to play with. React to something the boss is doing in order to take the upper hand. In KH2 is about reacting to specific moments to break the boss pattern. KH3 is about reacting to specific moments the boss breaks its pattern. But you do similar things in both cases, being guarding, reprisal, attack, magic. And again, they showcase the best of the gameplay systems of both games, what was original talked about.

We can discuss as much as we want which approach we like the best, but both work perfectly for their gameplay systems. Again, I do agree KH2 combat in tighter, more cohesive, a little more grounded. I do think KH2 combat was better designed from the beggining, whereas KH3 needed more revisions. However, specially talking about the superbosses where team attacks and atracttions do not exist, the KH3 is really fun, really controllable, allows to a lot of experimentation, and is rewarding. You and anybody are allow to like KH2 more, and find the nitpicks that the KH3 system have enough for you to don't like it. However, it's great and it's fun for the majority of people. Enemies don't break out of your combos randomly. You can have a strategy and go with it every time you fight a boss. You have many combinations that work. The two systems are not that different. For you, the differences they have is something bad, a downgrade. For me, I like those differences more than what I had in KH2. That's subjective to personal opinion, but both system works and are good for experimentation, neither are bad. They are actually good for how fast-paced the comabt is in this series.
 
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GreyouTT

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I don't even need ReMind, I'd put Vanilla 3 over Vanilla 2 because of the air step alone.

Best addition in the series.
 

Cumguardian69

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I don't even need ReMind, I'd put Vanilla 3 over Vanilla 2 because of the air step alone.

Best addition in the series.
I'll never understand how holding r1 and pressing square to instantly zoom to your target is better than contextual abilities like aerial dive/spiral, sliding dash, and so on. I mean, airstepping looks cool and sounds awesome when paired with some of KH3's best banger music tracks, but jesus.

@Deliverance
But I'm not wrong. From a story perspective we know 3 has practically no substance and wastes too much time sequelbaiting, but we're really here to talk gameplay.

Ignore remind and look at base KH3.

•Every last one of the abilities for Base Sora are slow, clunky, and offer no good passive abilities. I said this forever but the biggest problem with KH3 pre 1.09 is that base Sora sucks. In Lv1PR and especially Lv1CM, you spend a huge chunk of time in base Sora but he cannot (reliably) parry projectiles using attacks. Triple Rush/Speed Slash/Magic Flash all have terrible startup animation and are sluggish (still are post 1.09) and, before the big patch, COULD NOT BE CANCELED. The devs simply never had gameplay in mind when developing the game.

•It took them almost an entire year to "fix" base Sora and the way they did it is by slapping 2FM moves onto my mans. Problem is, one of those moves has actual offensive utility (flash step) while the others are just "quicker than OG KH3 combos". I'll get back to that in a later post.

•So many copypasted Keyblades, shotlocks, and even magic. But one issue with the copypasting is the lack of basic elemental modifiers on Keyblades (Crystal Snow doesnt come with Blizzard Up, for example) so there is no strategy with Magic besides "pick what does more damage" which means firaga for single target abd thundaga for AoE.

•Mob encounters throughout 3 (and ReMIND!) are not designed to put Sora's post 1.09 speed at odds. D/L/DBL forms are legit overpowered. Compare Scala mob fights to CoR mob fights. CoR was specifically designed in small arenas to put the players' game sense on full display and they don't even use new mobs! The Nobody gauntlet is the best designed fight in the game.
 

GreyouTT

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I'll never understand how holding r1 and pressing square to instantly zoom to your target is better than contextual abilities like aerial dive/spiral, sliding dash, and so on. I mean, airstepping looks cool and sounds awesome when paired with some of KH3's best banger music tracks, but jesus.
Cause it's fun and faster than any of those.
 

Deliverance

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I feel like you didn't quite understand some of my points so I'll elaborate.

As far as I know, the player still have the control to turn on all, some or one of the finishers as well as any combo + to combine, giving the player the option on how many normal moves and combo finishers the player wants. What is the big problem with that, that combo finishers do not behave like they did in 2FM and therefore you need the same strategy doesn't apply to both games? It is a change, not a downgrade.
In 2 you have your three hit combo (Attack>Attack>Finisher). If you equip a new finisher, it will replace your standard finisher depending on the context. If you equip a Finishing Plus then you can now do two finishers. Your total amount of finishers is clearly dependant on Finishing Pluses, nothing else. Simple. Easily understandable.
In 3 you have a four hit combo (Attack>Attack>Attack>Finisher). If you equip a new finisher, for some bizarre reason it will replace one of your regular attacks (A>A>F>F). If you equip every single finisher in the game your combo will be entirely made up of finishers. This means that any non-finisher mods you equip go unused because they're replaced by finishers. Personally I like to stick to the standard three hit combo (or four in the case of 3), but if I want to use every mod I'm forced to equip all my Combo Pluses. If I want just one finisher I'm forced to unequip every single finisher mod.

This gets even more nonsensical when you factor in magic. Magic finishers in 2 were also tied to Finishing Pluses. Equip none, you can do one. Equip one, you can do two. Simple. In 3 there aren't any Finishing Pluses but despite my combo being made up entirely of finishers, I can only do one magic finisher. This also applies to any transformations with multiple finishers. Second Form has three finishers, but if you decide to use a spell in place of any except the last one you'll cast a regular spell instead.

Just think about how baffling that all is. The system was already designed for them and instead of improving it, they made a cheap knock-off and called it a day, because they just weren't thinking. Don't fix what isn't broken, especially when your 'fix' adds nothing to the game.

And on the plus size allows you to quickly start another combo, increasing the number of hits you can make into a single enemy before the combo ends. Again, a change.
The thing about combos is that they eventually have to end. The point of starting combos in KH is to get to the finisher, which are THE most damaging attacks and easily do double the damage an unfinished combo does much quicker. Offsetting combo mods allows you to get to the finisher whilst reaping the benefits of that specific mod. That's why your combo doesn't reset when you cast spells, switch weapons or go from air-to-ground/ground-to-air.

Lock-on system have been revised in the recent patch. And there is not a single move that allows you to cross an arena so far that you lose sight of where you are except air stepping, which have to be done on purprose.
You misunderstand. This isn't about lock-on. Move assist is basically a developer hack that pulls the player towards their target so it's easier for them to land their attack. Rather than your attacks maintaining consistent positioning, their range will change depending on your placement relative to the target. If you lock-on to a distant enemy and mash X move assist will effortlessly fly you towards them. The problem with this is twofold. Less-skilled players can just mash X w/o having to worry about positioning because the game will do it for them. Skilled players are punished because the game will often pull them towards enemy attacks.

Parrying have been mostly useless since KH1.
Whether you used it or not is irrelevant. KH2 let you act out of it almost immediately and integrated it into the combo system. KH3 made it unusable by forcing an absurdly long recovery animation on the player. KH2 added depth. KH3 removed depth, and you're defending it. All while saying it has a good battle system.

Dont know exactly what are you referring to, mind sending a video of that?
Best I can do is explain it to you. Let's say you're facing a Large Body which are impervious from the front. If you attack it from the front, your attack gets deflected. Makes sense. However, if the FIRST hit of your combo lands (whether it be on a different enemy or you have Combo Master equipped) and you continue it on that Large Body's front, none of your attacks will be deflected. Sorry if that was a little hard to follow, the issue is just that stupid. I can't tell if this is an oversight or what but I saw it so often someone had to have known about it. If the enemy's guard is supposed to deflect my attack then it should always do it. Don't break your own rules. Consistency is action game design 101. This can also be exploited since many finishers have giant hitboxes that go around that guard.

They are easy to get in any difficulty level, and not random at all with Ez codes and critical converter. They differ in block, dodge, combat mechanics, magic mechanics, speed and passive abilties on top of having simple combos each of them. Not gonna argue on the delay, but I've seen people doing amazing things with switching this past few months. Magic doesn't work all the same, and I know I am not the only one who used water, freeze and aero for some purpose other than dealing damage.

The only mechanic that are "100%" random may be team attacks (and they are not actually that random). The attractions signals are pretty consistent, and the attraction you is environmental. And those are the only ones you cannot count into making an "strategy". Grand magic and keyblade transformations, as much as they are tied to some randomness in their base form, can be controlled by your performance of the battle (which is what they intended to), but can also be controlled with equipment, abilities, food and codes. In a critical mode playthrough with critical converter, the only random things completly out of your control you will encounter are team attacks, which again have some tie in abilties to make at least appear one time at the start of a battle. Food and cufflinks allows you to obtain consistent grand magic. Keyblade combos, keyblade transformation, magic, shotlocks and links become a good arsenal of things not tied to randomness, for which you can play a strategy out. And I already responded to the last part, but just because you find KH3 combat shallow doesn't mean KH3RM does horrible or bad in every aspect. There is the story, the level design, the exploration, the minigames of each world, the camera, the cooking, the gummi ship, the flantastic seven, the classic kingdom, the graphics, the presence of NPCs, the music, the sound effects...
It doesn't matter that they're not 100% random because the chaotic nature inherent to realtime action essentially makes them 100% random. Getting transformations, grand magic, attractions and team attacks is based on factors that can change drastically in every battle. Equipment, food, codes, abilities; all these 'solutions' have one thing in common: they don't involve skill. If KH3 actually cared about crafting a system that respected the player's intelligence then all of these fixes would've been properly built into the game. But it doesn't. That's why Situation Commands work the way they do. It's not about skill, it's about making you feel good.

Here's the thing about change: if what you change into is just a worse version of what you had before, then it was all pointless. If KH3 had toned down it's action elements in favor of detailed exploration then I would've probably liked it a lot more, but it didn't. It's an iterative sequel in every sense of the word. The least it could've done was be good at that.

For the record, Jak & Daxter (and Jak II and 3) are all more fun than KH2 as well, jmo. The environments and platforming in those are better than 3's, too, just to be fair. It's funny to see that series get a shoutout today since I'd been re-visiting them the past week. Jak II is still my favorite of that series. I know some of it can feel "try-hard" in its attempt to come across edgy, but I enjoy it despite the rough edges. Really wish that series had continued. :(
Jak is the shit. 1 is my favorite but I like 2 a lot as well. I just wasn't a fan of all the boring driving through a giant city. The edge actually made the characters and world much more memorable for me. I like games that have attitude. But honestly after what became of Ratchet and Sly I'm kinda glad they stopped. The last one they made for the PSP was pretty bad and most of the people who worked on the originals left Naughty Dog. That Jak 4 concept didn't look all that hot either. Linking this back KH, I'd actually love to see a KH game that was just a full-on dedicated platformer solely about world exploration. No complex combat. No RPG elements. Just runny-jumpy goodness.
 

OneDandelion

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Best I can do is explain it to you. Let's say you're facing a Large Body which are impervious from the front. If you attack it from the front, your attack gets deflected. Makes sense. However, if the FIRST hit of your combo lands (whether it be on a different enemy or you have Combo Master equipped) and you continue it on that Large Body's front, none of your attacks will be deflected. Sorry if that was a little hard to follow, the issue is just that stupid. I can't tell if this is an oversight or what but I saw it so often someone had to have known about it. If the enemy's guard is supposed to deflect my attack then it should always do it. Don't break your own rules. Consistency is action game design 101. This can also be exploited since many finishers have giant hitboxes that go around that guard.
I've always thought the Large Body thing was weird because you're right. It's weird that no one talks about it, but I guess compared to the avalanche of things wrong with this game the Large Body thing was actually something I was relieved about because I didn't want anything else to delay me beating it even a little bit. But that is a perfect example of the gameplay variety that has been lost while they were busy making the combat as flashy as possible.

Of course this is speculation, but KH3 was more of a button masher than KH2 which was more of a button masher than KH1. I can only imagine the game designers did this both to make it seem like Sora has made progress and because flashy combat and finishers just appeals to the marketing department. KH3 sort of feels like playing a metroidvania game where you've started with all of your upgrades - so all the developers can do is turn on critical mode/ reduce your health and make heartless twice as strong in order to provide the player a challenge, but thats boring and lazy.
 

Henryp

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In 2 you have your three hit combo (Attack>Attack>Finisher). If you equip a new finisher, it will replace your standard finisher depending on the context. If you equip a Finishing Plus then you can now do two finishers. Your total amount of finishers is clearly dependant on Finishing Pluses, nothing else. Simple. Easily understandable.
In 3 you have a four hit combo (Attack>Attack>Attack>Finisher). If you equip a new finisher, for some bizarre reason it will replace one of your regular attacks (A>A>F>F). If you equip every single finisher in the game your combo will be entirely made up of finishers. This means that any non-finisher mods you equip go unused because they're replaced by finishers. Personally I like to stick to the standard three hit combo (or four in the case of 3), but if I want to use every mod I'm forced to equip all my Combo Pluses. If I want just one finisher I'm forced to unequip every single finisher mod.

This gets even more nonsensical when you factor in magic. Magic finishers in 2 were also tied to Finishing Pluses. Equip none, you can do one. Equip one, you can do two. Simple. In 3 there aren't any Finishing Pluses but despite my combo being made up entirely of finishers, I can only do one magic finisher. This also applies to any transformations with multiple finishers. Second Form has three finishers, but if you decide to use a spell in place of any except the last one you'll cast a regular spell instead.

Just think about how baffling that all is. The system was already designed for them and instead of improving it, they made a cheap knock-off and called it a day, because they just weren't thinking. Don't fix what isn't broken, especially when your 'fix' adds nothing to the game.

The thing about combos is that they eventually have to end. The point of starting combos in KH is to get to the finisher, which are THE most damaging attacks and easily do double the damage an unfinished combo does much quicker. Offsetting combo mods allows you to get to the finisher whilst reaping the benefits of that specific mod. That's why your combo doesn't reset when you cast spells, switch weapons or go from air-to-ground/ground-to-air.

You misunderstand. This isn't about lock-on. Move assist is basically a developer hack that pulls the player towards their target so it's easier for them to land their attack. Rather than your attacks maintaining consistent positioning, their range will change depending on your placement relative to the target. If you lock-on to a distant enemy and mash X move assist will effortlessly fly you towards them. The problem with this is twofold. Less-skilled players can just mash X w/o having to worry about positioning because the game will do it for them. Skilled players are punished because the game will often pull them towards enemy attacks.

Whether you used it or not is irrelevant. KH2 let you act out of it almost immediately and integrated it into the combo system. KH3 made it unusable by forcing an absurdly long recovery animation on the player. KH2 added depth. KH3 removed depth, and you're defending it. All while saying it has a good battle system.

Best I can do is explain it to you. Let's say you're facing a Large Body which are impervious from the front. If you attack it from the front, your attack gets deflected. Makes sense. However, if the FIRST hit of your combo lands (whether it be on a different enemy or you have Combo Master equipped) and you continue it on that Large Body's front, none of your attacks will be deflected. Sorry if that was a little hard to follow, the issue is just that stupid. I can't tell if this is an oversight or what but I saw it so often someone had to have known about it. If the enemy's guard is supposed to deflect my attack then it should always do it. Don't break your own rules. Consistency is action game design 101. This can also be exploited since many finishers have giant hitboxes that go around that guard.

It doesn't matter that they're not 100% random because the chaotic nature inherent to realtime action essentially makes them 100% random. Getting transformations, grand magic, attractions and team attacks is based on factors that can change drastically in every battle. Equipment, food, codes, abilities; all these 'solutions' have one thing in common: they don't involve skill. If KH3 actually cared about crafting a system that respected the player's intelligence then all of these fixes would've been properly built into the game. But it doesn't. That's why Situation Commands work the way they do. It's not about skill, it's about making you feel good.

Here's the thing about change: if what you change into is just a worse version of what you had before, then it was all pointless. If KH3 had toned down it's action elements in favor of detailed exploration then I would've probably liked it a lot more, but it didn't. It's an iterative sequel in every sense of the word. The least it could've done was be good at that.
Oh I understand how combo work in both games. What I was trying to get is that almost all combinations of regular hits and finishers in KH2 can also been done in KH3, like A>A>F>F, A>A>A>F, A>A>A>F>F... instead of playing with combo and finishing plus, you play with replacements and combo plus. They are some differences, mainly negative combo for KH2 and that you can stack 3 or more finishers in KH3 with any keyblade, but again both are differences rather than downgrades. You are right about magic finishers as far as I can tell, but for me is so much a niptick that I din't even thought about it until you named it, because I never play KH2 in a way where I rely or even use two magic finishers. The Large Body thing is something I'll need to experiment more to give a conclusion, but for what you tell seems more like and oversight. And the assist movements, if I understand correctly, is something that was also present in KH2? only your enemies where much closer? And I am not a buttom smasher, and I never felt punished for the attack going in a direction I didn't planned nor lost sight of where I am... maybe I am too careful with my lock-on.

And about skill things, for every mechanic KH2 has that for you require skill (melee, magic, summon, drive or limit), there is a mechanic in KH3 not tied to random resources (melee, magic, link, shotlock, keyblade transformation). Even keyblade transformations pre-critical/ez codes were mostly consistent, if you fill your guage exclusively with melee attacks... which is really easy to do in non-critical playthrough. And as you can stock them, there is no drawback in expending the whole fights only using melee combat. Grand magic, team attacks and attractions are mechanics on top of that are more random or situational, on top of the mechanics you always on your disposal and you can control through the entire game. And those more random generated options are, well, optional. I won't argue they are made to make player feel good and that I wish at least grand magic was tied to a minimum damage done than to a random selection depending on the % of damage done but... you can play the entire game without any random generated mechanic and you won't be more handicapped than KH2 combat. In fact, taking out the random mechanics, you are left with... practically the same mechanics as KH2, barring differences in how they play. And I never liked how attractions were implemented in KH3, but it never took away the fun I was having because I just simply didn't used them. And there are palyers thata actually liked them, so, why shouldn't be there as an option?

I know there is some truth in some of the flaws you point out and probably there are even more. I will never call KH3 a flawless game. But you seem to be more moved by things that has changed and work differently than actual flaws that could make KH3 a bad game. You might prefer finishing plus, that doesn't mean the system in KH3 doesn't work or takes away customization, as very very similar results can be obtained. You might prefer magnet and reflect, that doesn't mean water or aero don't work properly and have many uses. You might prefer summons and limits in KH2, that doesn't mean links and shotlocks doesn't work well in KH3. I actually prefer keyblade transformations than drive forms, specially with critical converter. I never cared about limits nor summons in vanilla KH2, but I did use shotlocks a lot even in pre-remind KH3. It is not a matter or how well I play because I understand the mechanics of those cases. It is just that I had more fun shuffling shotlocks and keyblade transformation in my playstyle, which never got me in an unfair situation and actually was a veery optimal way to play, than I ever had using some of KH2 mechanics.

And let's not forget that KH2 has it's fair amount of flaws, vanilla specially but FM also, it is just that we are so used to them we don't thin about them. Half of your arsenal depends on your teammates, nullifying drive forms and limits in solo battles or when your partners dies because their AI, which you can't control. Most reaction commands relies, sometimes more sometimes less, on the enemy's ai, which again you can't control, only make your way around it. Magic doesn't work in combos in the air. The lack of dodge roll in vanilla KH2. For example, I never thought about the lack of aerial blocking/aerial objects because I was so used to that being in the air was dangerous and that I have to go back to the ground as quick as possible if in danger, yet going back to KH2 after KH3 I realized how much time your attacks/enemies attacks propel you into the air leaving you defenseless.

I completly understand that you prefer KH2 in any form over KH3, an that's ok. I prefer KH3. What I believe is unfair is telling the game and the combat trash and lack of depth when there is actually a lot of work put into that game, giving the player a lot of options to play with. Even if you don't count random generated things, which again are all optional, you have a lot of different things to do and to play with that changes completly the way the game is played. It is just that some things work differently than they use to do. Actual flaws is the guard failling, even if it is only a very small amount of times, because that means that even if you play perfectly you get into unfair situations. Actual flaw was pre-1.09 were you can get locked in an animation and die because of it because of the lack of cancellation windows. Actual flaws were bosses randomly braking out of your combo because yes, like it happened in previous entries. And still, KH3 is also a big upgrade over KH2 in many many aspects, including exploration (even if it's not exactly the same type of amazing exploration KH1 had), gummi ship, minigames, graphics, music, sound effects... most of which are logical, because KH3 came 14 years after KH2, but we shouldn't take out credit to the developers who made a very good job in most of the aspects of the game, and that are still taking into consideration improvements.
 

SuperSaiyanSora

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  • Bravely Default
  • Life is Strange
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
My choice? KH3 Remind. Why? Cause I enjoyed it the most, in present time. And because comparing a vanilla version to a Final Mix version of two completely different games with a 15 year gap between each other, with most likely completely different development philosophies, along with the fact that both of those games set out to do something completely different than the other one is asking for a flame war.

I could leave a big paragraph about my thoughts in much greater detail, but... I think that's ultimately what it'll come down to. What resonated with you and what you didn't connect with, it won't necessarily be the same thing for everyone else. The things people disliked about KH3, I loved, so... Idunno man. *shrug*
 

Deliverance

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I've always thought the Large Body thing was weird because you're right. It's weird that no one talks about it, but I guess compared to the avalanche of things wrong with this game the Large Body thing was actually something I was relieved about because I didn't want anything else to delay me beating it even a little bit. But that is a perfect example of the gameplay variety that has been lost while they were busy making the combat as flashy as possible.

Of course this is speculation, but KH3 was more of a button masher than KH2 which was more of a button masher than KH1. I can only imagine the game designers did this both to make it seem like Sora has made progress and because flashy combat and finishers just appeals to the marketing department. KH3 sort of feels like playing a metroidvania game where you've started with all of your upgrades - so all the developers can do is turn on critical mode/ reduce your health and make heartless twice as strong in order to provide the player a challenge, but thats boring and lazy.
Yup. There is so much dumb shit like this in the game. I can't go 5 minutes without repeatedly asking 'why?'.

KH2 was a victim of reviews. People said 1 was too hard so now we have no challenge. People said 1's platforming sucked so now we have flat hallways. They probably felt making the combat look as flashy as possible was a necessity. Unfortunate but that's the nature of the beast. KH3 wanted that casual crowd whilst paying lip service to 2FM stans but they weren't capable of creating a system that did both well. Add Nomura making dumb suggestions like Situation Commands and Attractions and I get the impression that nobody in that team has a strong grasp on combat mechanics. They're not terrible, but Hideki Kamiya they are not.

Oh I understand how combo work in both games. What I was trying to get is that almost all combinations of regular hits and finishers in KH2 can also been done in KH3, like A>A>F>F, A>A>A>F, A>A>A>F>F... instead of playing with combo and finishing plus, you play with replacements and combo plus. They are some differences, mainly negative combo for KH2 and that you can stack 3 or more finishers in KH3 with any keyblade, but again both are differences rather than downgrades. You are right about magic finishers as far as I can tell, but for me is so much a niptick that I din't even thought about it until you named it, because I never play KH2 in a way where I rely or even use two magic finishers. The Large Body thing is something I'll need to experiment more to give a conclusion, but for what you tell seems more like and oversight. And the assist movements, if I understand correctly, is something that was also present in KH2? only your enemies where much closer? And I am not a buttom smasher, and I never felt punished for the attack going in a direction I didn't planned nor lost sight of where I am... maybe I am too careful with my lock-on.
Man, come on. I literally gave you examples of how needlessly restrictive it is. If you can't see that as a downgrade I don't know what else to tell ya.

And about skill things, for every mechanic KH2 has that for you require skill (melee, magic, summon, drive or limit), there is a mechanic in KH3 not tied to random resources (melee, magic, link, shotlock, keyblade transformation). Even keyblade transformations pre-critical/ez codes were mostly consistent, if you fill your guage exclusively with melee attacks... which is really easy to do in non-critical playthrough. And as you can stock them, there is no drawback in expending the whole fights only using melee combat. Grand magic, team attacks and attractions are mechanics on top of that are more random or situational, on top of the mechanics you always on your disposal and you can control through the entire game. And those more random generated options are, well, optional. I won't argue they are made to make player feel good and that I wish at least grand magic was tied to a minimum damage done than to a random selection depending on the % of damage done but... you can play the entire game without any random generated mechanic and you won't be more handicapped than KH2 combat. In fact, taking out the random mechanics, you are left with... practically the same mechanics as KH2, barring differences in how they play. And I never liked how attractions were implemented in KH3, but it never took away the fun I was having because I just simply didn't used them. And there are palyers thata actually liked them, so, why shouldn't be there as an option?

I know there is some truth in some of the flaws you point out and probably there are even more. I will never call KH3 a flawless game. But you seem to be more moved by things that has changed and work differently than actual flaws that could make KH3 a bad game. You might prefer finishing plus, that doesn't mean the system in KH3 doesn't work or takes away customization, as very very similar results can be obtained. You might prefer magnet and reflect, that doesn't mean water or aero don't work properly and have many uses. You might prefer summons and limits in KH2, that doesn't mean links and shotlocks doesn't work well in KH3. I actually prefer keyblade transformations than drive forms, specially with critical converter. I never cared about limits nor summons in vanilla KH2, but I did use shotlocks a lot even in pre-remind KH3. It is not a matter or how well I play because I understand the mechanics of those cases. It is just that I had more fun shuffling shotlocks and keyblade transformation in my playstyle, which never got me in an unfair situation and actually was a veery optimal way to play, than I ever had using some of KH2 mechanics.

And let's not forget that KH2 has it's fair amount of flaws, vanilla specially but FM also, it is just that we are so used to them we don't thin about them. Half of your arsenal depends on your teammates, nullifying drive forms and limits in solo battles or when your partners dies because their AI, which you can't control. Most reaction commands relies, sometimes more sometimes less, on the enemy's ai, which again you can't control, only make your way around it. Magic doesn't work in combos in the air. The lack of dodge roll in vanilla KH2. For example, I never thought about the lack of aerial blocking/aerial objects because I was so used to that being in the air was dangerous and that I have to go back to the ground as quick as possible if in danger, yet going back to KH2 after KH3 I realized how much time your attacks/enemies attacks propel you into the air leaving you defenseless.

I completly understand that you prefer KH2 in any form over KH3, an that's ok. I prefer KH3. What I believe is unfair is telling the game and the combat trash and lack of depth when there is actually a lot of work put into that game, giving the player a lot of options to play with. Even if you don't count random generated things, which again are all optional, you have a lot of different things to do and to play with that changes completly the way the game is played. It is just that some things work differently than they use to do. Actual flaws is the guard failling, even if it is only a very small amount of times, because that means that even if you play perfectly you get into unfair situations. Actual flaw was pre-1.09 were you can get locked in an animation and die because of it because of the lack of cancellation windows. Actual flaws were bosses randomly braking out of your combo because yes, like it happened in previous entries. And still, KH3 is also a big upgrade over KH2 in many many aspects, including exploration (even if it's not exactly the same type of amazing exploration KH1 had), gummi ship, minigames, graphics, music, sound effects... most of which are logical, because KH3 came 14 years after KH2, but we shouldn't take out credit to the developers who made a very good job in most of the aspects of the game, and that are still taking into consideration improvements.
I want to stress that my point isn't KH2 did nothing wrong and KH3 did nothing right. There are over a dozen little niggles that I believe hold 2 back and if I were in charge of making a follow-up, there would be big changes I would make. But the distinction is that its combat is good in spite of that. 3 made a bunch of quality of life improvements, I won't deny that, but for every one of them there's a flaw that's just as bad. Flaws that had already been addressed in 2. And the core mechanics haven't improved to make up for it. Just look at all those flaws you listed for KH2. Now I could talk about how some of those aren't flaws and actually exist for a reason, instead I'll just ask you this: How exactly does KH3 fix any of them? How are Situation Commands only being available for 20 seconds once in a while better than Forms/Limits getting temporarily locked by a teammate dying? How are Attractions appearing on enemies randomly better than Reaction Commands appearing on enemies randomly? How is KH3 move assist flying you everywhere better than KH2 move assist flying you everywhere? How is Dodge Roll better than Quick Run? They're not.

Sorry if I come across as condescending, but I fail to see how anyone that's familiar with action games could think KH3 has depth. Combo mods are still mostly contextual. You can't parry. Magic isn't that varied. Transformations/GM are mostly analogous to each other. Team Attacks/Attractions are random. Focus is only influenced by pick-ups so once it's used up you might as well forget Shotlocks exist. Links revolve around using their single attack until their gone. And none of these ever interact with each other in interesting ways. The system works but that's about the extent of it. Same can be said about games like No More Heroes or Dynasty Warriors. Tons of people enjoy playing those games, but I've yet to find a single person that says their combat systems have depth.

I'm sure the new team did the best they possibly could, it's just that this was their best. The amount of work put into something doesn't necessarily determine its quality, it's only good or bad depending on how it turns out. I'm putting so much focus on combat because it makes up the bulk of 3's gameplay so if it suffers then the game as a whole is substantially worse for it. I could talk more about everything outside of combat but I don't consider any of it all that exceptional either. I don't care for the story of Xehanort or bringing back lost characters. Exploration is more vertical but has the most automated traversal in the series. Minigames were also in 2 and are about the same level of quality. Gummi Ship is inoffensive but I personally prefer 2's. I didn't like the music because half of it is reused and the other half is mostly not even composed by Shimomura. So yeah, nothing really made up for the mediocre combat.
 

Henryp

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Man, come on. I literally gave you examples of how needlessly restrictive it is. If you can't see that as a downgrade I don't know what else to tell ya.

I want to stress that my point isn't KH2 did nothing wrong and KH3 did nothing right. There are over a dozen little niggles that I believe hold 2 back and if I were in charge of making a follow-up, there would be big changes I would make. But the distinction is that its combat is good in spite of that. 3 made a bunch of quality of life improvements, I won't deny that, but for every one of them there's a flaw that's just as bad. Flaws that had already been addressed in 2. And the core mechanics haven't improved to make up for it. Just look at all those flaws you listed for KH2. Now I could talk about how some of those aren't flaws and actually exist for a reason, instead I'll just ask you this: How exactly does KH3 fix any of them? How are Situation Commands only being available for 20 seconds once in a while better than Forms/Limits getting temporarily locked by a teammate dying? How are Attractions appearing on enemies randomly better than Reaction Commands appearing on enemies randomly? How is KH3 move assist flying you everywhere better than KH2 move assist flying you everywhere? How is Dodge Roll better than Quick Run? They're not.

But that is exactly my point. I am not defending KH3 as the best of best in terms of combat. It has flaws, many were (thank god) corrected with remind, others are still there. I am not saying KH3 did better or even had the same quality in every single aspect when compared to KH2. KH2 had it large portion of pros and some cons, and KH3 fixed some cons while creating new. All I am trying to say it's that they are two different games, two different experiences, the two are mostly fun for the majority of fans. Most of the things you listed are either things that work differently or nipticks. And it is fair for them to ruin your experience to the point you consider it bad and made for you the game "worse". I have my own share of nipticks with KH2 and it is also fair that I find KH3 system more entertaining most of the time. It is a system that works pretty well, gives the player A TON of options for customization of the playstyle, it is nowhere as restrictive as you paint it, and even the mechanics I don't like in the game are not forced to me (like for example petting the dream eaters for abilities) and I can play the game with the majority of the other options in very optimal way.

Sorry if I come across as condescending, but I fail to see how anyone that's familiar with action games could think KH3 has depth. Combo mods are still mostly contextual. You can't parry. Magic isn't that varied. Transformations/GM are mostly analogous to each other. Team Attacks/Attractions are random. Focus is only influenced by pick-ups so once it's used up you might as well forget Shotlocks exist. Links revolve around using their single attack until their gone. And none of these ever interact with each other in interesting ways. The system works but that's about the extent of it. Same can be said about games like No More Heroes or Dynasty Warriors. Tons of people enjoy playing those games, but I've yet to find a single person that says their combat systems have depth.
I would never call KH3 mechanics like the deepest I've ever seen. I am not even sure I can say KH3 wasn't shallower than KH2. But it is not fair to address KH3 as a very shallow game, with no complexity in its mechanics and leagues away from KH2. I do think they share a large portion of the core of the gameplay, and most of the differences are developers choices on innovation rather than simplify the game. Of all you listed, I only agree with the team attacks/attractions being random to some degree if their use wasn't entirely optional. Links are simple af, and in another line of discussion we could argue on how they could have been implemented that rewards the inteligence of the player. However, as we are comparing both games, Links aren't that different from limits in KH2, really simple to use again. The only mechanic I would find more complex in KH2 is summons, and that is largely because the game does a terrible job at explaining them. There are new melee combinations and moves that were not present in KH2. I can tell you right now 5 transformation completly different from each other, which equals the number of drive forms. They are just three and a half transformation that are actual copycats of others, and still have different passive abilities pool. I can tell you right now different situations where I use one specific magic for the unique atribute it has. Where you see varied magic in KH2 because every magic does one specific thing, different from each other, I see varied magic in KH3 on how each one of them gives me more than just one effect that I can use and gives me option to take advantage of the secondary and even terciary effect they create.

So at the end of the day, KH3 gameplay is actually pretty solid, gives a lot of options to the player to have different playstyles, many combinations are optimal, many of the mechanics can be used in cohesion one with other and melee, etc. If you don't find depth in that, but you find depth in parryng not breaking your combo, there is not much to argue about. I don't want to come as "I'm right, you're wrong", because I believe many of the things you say that are good or that you like about KH2 hold ground. What I don't think it's fair is to trash KH3 system because the changes and choices taken in that game, even if again are mostly optional, leaves room for customization and combinations, and works perfectly in the vast majority of cases don't appeal to you.

If this conversation was not about trashing KH3 system as shallow, lack of depth, everything is random, restrictive game, when it isn't, I might be the one pointing out things I personally dislike about KH3 or I think could have been implemented better. I believe Team attacks would have worked better with a system more similar to links in DDD. I believe damage output of Links should be nerfed. I believe Grand magic could have been attached to a minimum damage generated instead of probability based on %. I believe KH2 combat is more cohesive as all mechanics it has (4) can be easily mixed to enhance your normal melee combat, whereas in KH3 this only happen for 4/5 out of 7 mechanics. I believe resource management feels more rewarding on some aspects in KH2 than KH3.

I believe KH3 is a pretty solid game, with a lot of options that can be mixed, and how some of the mechanics work and the many risk/reward mechanics it has just fascinates me. Just because I don't like one mechanics, others need a little bit of ironing out and very very few things felt like actual losses between KH2 and KH3, I would ever think the game is shallow, or avoid of any complexity. If you were expecting KH3 to copy every aspect of KH2 and just make it better, I am sorry. Maybe I am a pessimist, but I don't think any game forward will be "better" than KH2, nor KH3. I think the devs will go for experimentation and new types of mechanics and combos, and magic and everything in future games, maybe they do something good and solid like KH2 and KH3 or they fail completly, who knows. But I am sold on they trying new things, maybe attractions in this game were a fail and they may become the excellent mechanic in the following game. If I want to play KH2 or KH3 type of combat system, then I go back to those games, which will still be playable at least until the end of PS5 era. And the other departments you don't care about, I found a significant improvement in KH3, in every single area except combat and that KH3 had too much going on for it's own good in terms of storyline.
 

Cumguardian69

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I disagree about future games being as good/better than KH3. Because KH3 is a very basic game. So many easy improvements can be made. Parrying should be implemented into base Sora's kit. Guardbreaker/unbreakable should be a learned ability, or even be character specific (Riku/Terra thanks to their heavy strike combat style). Switching characters on the fly (an idea implemented in FF7Re). Elemental Ups on specific Keyblades (again GG7Re foes this with materia up). Combo canceling, reduced endlag, and of course the one thing ReMIND ignored is a CoR mob gauntlet that tests the player skills. Still need barrier guard for base Sora (even KAIRI has a barrier guard, are you serious?). Improved teammate AI, and including guarding into their skillset. Having Keybladers as PERMANENT party members whose abilities and combos can be edited just like the MC. Include food as active skill buffs oui bravery/protect/shell (and bring back the second command menu page).

KH3Re is not perfect and it is not the height of Osaka team. It just begins to touch KH2 vanilla in terms of combat, and it isnt the height if what an action-rpg hybrid can do.
 

Henryp

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I disagree about future games being as good/better than KH3. Because KH3 is a very basic game. So many easy improvements can be made. Parrying should be implemented into base Sora's kit. Guardbreaker/unbreakable should be a learned ability, or even be character specific (Riku/Terra thanks to their heavy strike combat style). Switching characters on the fly (an idea implemented in FF7Re). Elemental Ups on specific Keyblades (again GG7Re foes this with materia up). Combo canceling, reduced endlag, and of course the one thing ReMIND ignored is a CoR mob gauntlet that tests the player skills. Still need barrier guard for base Sora (even KAIRI has a barrier guard, are you serious?). Improved teammate AI, and including guarding into their skillset. Having Keybladers as PERMANENT party members whose abilities and combos can be edited just like the MC. Include food as active skill buffs oui bravery/protect/shell (and bring back the second command menu page).

KH3Re is not perfect and it is not the height of Osaka team. It just begins to touch KH2 vanilla in terms of combat, and it isnt the height if what an action-rpg hybrid can do.
I agree it is not the best Osaka team can make, what I tried to say is that what you listed sounds good and as an improvement on paper, but it can be really bad implementend to the point people will start saying "we want osaka to go back to kh3 style". For example, pulling out many playable carácter may come to the cost of them being less polished and simplier.

I think regular guard fits Sora just fine. And please, i hope de never go back to the two pages menu.
 
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