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Kingdom Hearts 2 Retrospective



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Blackdrazon

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Ah, but I don't have to describe every detail three times! No repeat information on Unversed (only bosses), limited repeat information on rooms and their challenges, no repeated mechanics... But we'll see!
 

Elysium

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After clearing the Heartless, it becomes clear just how little Jack understands Christmas by showing he doesn’t even understand that the toys are presents – he thinks the decorative boxes exist for their own sake (I think this is nearly a unique character insight from KH2, but is undermined by the fact that they manufactured toys in the film. So close!).
Not to mention when Jack gives the town meeting in the movie, and he's trying to explain to the other citizens that it's what in the box that is important. But KH2 does little nonsensical things with all the characters. Mulan still being weak at the end of the story, Ariel trusting Ursula barely a year after she tried to kill her and her father, Simba still being scared of Scar after he already had the courage to fight him, Hercules having to save Megara from the pool a second time..., Jack (TNBC) not having learned any lesson even though the events of the movie already happened in the inbetween year...
And both KH1 and KH2 make you wonder how Beast has stayed a, well, beast for so long when they've been in love every moment we've seen them in the series.
 

h.e.hassanein

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And both KH1 and KH2 make you wonder how Beast has stayed a, well, beast for so long when they've been in love every moment we've seen them in the series.

That's true...I guess you could chalk that down to the rose thing not being handled until KH2, but even after you finish Beat's Castle's storyline the curse remains unlifted :/
 

Blackdrazon

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Not to mention when Jack gives the town meeting in the movie, and he's trying to explain to the other citizens that it's what in the box that is important. But KH2 does little nonsensical things with all the characters. Mulan still being weak at the end of the story, Ariel trusting Ursula barely a year after she tried to kill her and her father, Simba still being scared of Scar after he already had the courage to fight him, Hercules having to save Megara from the pool a second time..., Jack (TNBC) not having learned any lesson even though the events of the movie already happened in the inbetween year...
And both KH1 and KH2 make you wonder how Beast has stayed a, well, beast for so long when they've been in love every moment we've seen them in the series.

You're definitely right. In a few cases we can see the game's devotion to recreating the films at work here (Beast, Ursula) while at other times it seems to go against the game's devotion to recreating the films (Jack, Mulan)! I suppose it's wrong of me to slap one label across the entire game, but either way, we gots issues.

I think I would have liked to play around in Beast's Castle post-curse.
 

maryadavies

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Black; something you might want to know.

The ice cream bit is MISSABLE! I never knew that existed, to be honest, but then I never talked to Scrooge while I was running to Merlin's house. Maybe I ought to play that again to see it.
 
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Blackdrazon

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Black; something you might want to know.

The ice cream bit is MISSABLE! I never knew that existed, to be honest, but then I never talked to Scrooge while I was running to Merlin's house. Maybe I ought to play that again to see it.

Oh shoot! Thanks for filling me in!
 

FudgemintGuardian

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Black; something you might want to know.

The ice cream bit is MISSABLE! I never knew that existed, to be honest, but then I never talked to Scrooge while I was running to Merlin's house. Maybe I ought to play that again to see it.
It's missable? I never knew it could be.
 

Elysium

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I didn't mind Leon not trusting Aerith; I always thought he was right to give that reaction. Tifa/Yuffie, she is not. I'd definitely trust Merlin more than her.

I'm so glad we're at the end of the game now. KH2 is exhausting. Btw, about the MCP/Sark boss battle, I'm not sure if it's related to the wall specifically, but if you run far enough away from Sark, a giant disc you'll have to jump over will fly around the area.
 

Blackdrazon

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I'm so glad we're at the end of the game now. KH2 is exhausting. Btw, about the MCP/Sark boss battle, I'm not sure if it's related to the wall specifically, but if you run far enough away from Sark, a giant disc you'll have to jump over will fly around the area.

Huh, I'll have to go looking for that my next time through. Thanks!
 

dlppictures

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The giant disc, is Sark's main attack when you're not near him/breaking his kneecaps. He throws it at you to remind you that he is your current main target, even though we know it's really the MCP.
My experience with the disc has mainly been when right as I was about to attack MCP with the RC, I would hear the line "I will repair your data" and Sark would revive whilst I was deleting MCP. If you don't stop the RC as soon as Sark is revived he throws the disc at you, and it will hit you then, but in other instances in the fight, it's not really anything to really write home about.
During the second half of the fight, when he starts to build the wall when you get too far away, the disc is used less, so if you are a player who pummels Sark the minute he is standing, you will, likely, never see the disc. Like I said it's mainly used from a distance.


As for the Ice cream, all of the Scrooge scenes are optional.
The only time you will have to talk to him is if you're doing a Jiminy's Journal run and you need those 200 points of Skateboarding through the town.
I find Scrooge's little side-story cute, and I usually talk to him everytime, but when I'm in a 'just-beat-the-game' mood, I always skip him.
 
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The central computer area always reminds me of how stupid the map system usually is in KHII.

You get a map for only two areas: the Central Computer Mesa, which is very tiny, and the Central Computer Core up ahead, which you can't even see the map for on the first visit, as you're fighting a boss.

I'm glad Birth By Sleep gave you one single map for the entire world instead.

If the worlds were much larger and more expansive, then yeah, multiple maps would be justified.
Having separate maps for distinct sections of a world -- such as the Coliseum and Underworld -- seems fitting, but the Coliseum area is still too small to warrant a map.
 

Elysium

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Btw, I just wanted to say the article title for the Tron re-visit was cute. ReBoot <333
 

Blackdrazon

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The central computer area always reminds me of how stupid the map system usually is in KHII.

You get a map for only two areas: the Central Computer Mesa, which is very tiny, and the Central Computer Core up ahead, which you can't even see the map for on the first visit, as you're fighting a boss.

I'm glad Birth By Sleep gave you one single map for the entire world instead.

If the worlds were much larger and more expansive, then yeah, multiple maps would be justified.
Having separate maps for distinct sections of a world -- such as the Coliseum and Underworld -- seems fitting, but the Coliseum area is still too small to warrant a map.

Very good point, what a mess.


Btw, I just wanted to say the article title for the Tron re-visit was cute. ReBoot <333

The best. <3
 

redcrown

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This game succeeds in being the most patronizing in the whole series definitely.
 

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I've been thinking about how you describe Critical mode to have less HP, making the fights shorter and faster, and I've had a bit of trouble figuring out how to describe the following, but here goes.

It is not that enemies have less HP on Crit compared to other difficulties, if you compare their full HP you can see that they have the same amount, it is the fact that Crit is balanced in a way that makes Sora deal more damage than on Normal and Proud.
Not sure about Beginner, I think Sora might deal the same damage in Beginner, but since Crit gives you an extra Finisher you still deal more damage per full Combo.
The higher damage output just gives the illusion that enemies have less HP even though they don't.


I can't really find any videos that talk about Sora's damage output differences in the various difficulties, only videos showcasing defense comparisons.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j20lfY-D2jU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IqJGJ70R4E

The closest I could find is Bl00dyBizkitz's explanation of KHII's damage scaling system.
[video=youtube;Q9v1fjXKZUs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9v1fjXKZUs[/video]
You can tell he was asked a question during a stream about Sora's damage output which he was not prepared for, but it is still interesting to see how much effort was put into this game's gameplay mechanics when the story was not given nearly as much attention.

*Damage scaling (to make sure you're never trulyunderpowered nor overpowered)
*Revenge value (to make enemies retaliate after being comboed)
*Flinch counter (to make sure enemies can't be endlessly comboed, different from Revenge value but associated)
*Magic, Drives, Limits and Summons connected to Physical Combat (to make combos more fluent, when in KHI Sora would stop in his tracks to cast a spell)
*Keyblade Abilities (to make most Keyblades still useful for something late-game)

All things that make a lvl 1 playthrough possible without giving 'EXP Zero' hidden properties that ensures enemies can't one-shot you like in 1.5.
 

Blackdrazon

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Very interesting, and thanks! I'll take a good look at all that. Unfortunately I mention the "low HP" all over the Retrospective so it'll be a while before I'm able to properly fix all my mentions of it.
 
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Launchpad

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Upon reflection, this game skirts by as probably my second favorite in the franchise, and yet it just enrages me so much. It enhances so much of what made KH1 great, but throws a lot of KH1's better qualities into the trash as well.

KH2 and DDD are both good but problematic. BBS has no excuse.
 
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