The Critical Mode Experience Thread



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kaseykockroach

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Okay, Arendelle is pissing me off.

Those stupid ice dragons.
 
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DarkosOverlord

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Made it from Twilight Town to the end of Arendelle in a couple more sessions.

I'll admit I'm starting to abuse Ultima's shotlock and epilogue a little bit, especially during mob fights I KNOW would just be a pain. It's clear at this point what Critical can and can't do to the game's core of the combat section.
I tried fighting any new enemies normally a couple of times, but... Nobodies sucks. They just do. And the only enemy that can beat them in sucky-ness has to be the slug-crab Unversed.
But it's nothing new, except now I can't use Fire against the Reapers to get them off my case.

On a less sour note (heheh), cooking with the ring and the Keyblade (leveled up to get the cooking perk) has become a joke.
And I'm finally sold on the whole Lucky Emblems and treasure disposition: I'm on my fourth full playthrough of KH III and I've already memorized almost all of them. It's not hard and it "fills" the exploration sequences, kind of. It's way better when you can go full throttle because you KNOW you're not forgetting something at every step.
Still wish it didn't require you to come back for some Emblems and treasures though. It's just a waste of time.

Not much to say about bosses, which is both good and bad. I'm starting not to die whenever a boss breathes close to me, which is nice. Then again, I'm not seeing the many changes some people hoped to see, and Skoll and the Unversed boss are just as "ugh" as ever.

Btw, the Gummiship section seems untouched. I appreciate it if that's the case, would've been easy to make it insufferable.
 

kaseykockroach

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That wacky wolf was walloping me at first, but I ended up pulverizing his pelt the fifth try, and that time didn’t end up using the Kupo Coin!
 

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For the lulz I started regular NG+ crit (not level 1) and...I've gotta say most of the time I think shit is manageable. Only the doll in TB gave me quite the hard time so far, mainly because of the camera. Still gonna finish on level 1, but good to see it's more manageable with regular leveling.
 

kaseykockroach

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I was surprised and immensely relieved that Toy Box wasn't nearly as overwhelming as I expected it to be. Just stay in your own mech and you're fine.
Arendelle, on the other hand, handed me buttocks to me on a silver platter with a can of whoop-ass on the side. The long climb to the Marshmallow boss was consistently ruined by an ice dragon duo near the top of the climb, and I'd have to do said climb over and over and over and over...so I went to grind for a little while in Corona, explore for chests and emblems (I have most emblem locations memorized by now, the keyword being "most" here) before coming back.
The wacky wolf (my name for him) felt so amazing on Critical. Hard as fuck/fudge (I don't know if swearing is allowed here, so I'll use both), but positively exhilarating!

All of this is just so insane and rather out-of-character for me. I've long been a wimp with game difficulty. For goodness sakes, the game I was playing before this new mode came out was Yoshi's Woolly World! I like being relaxed by games rather than frustrated, generally.
But there's something extremely satisfying about KH3's Critical Mode. Every victory feels truly earned, and every death isn't the game being sadistic so much as simply no longer holding your hand. What helps immensely (and what puts this way above KH2's Critical which I was never interested in trying, always satisfied with Proud) is that I find all the combat options equally fun to use. It's a rare game of any kind where I'm delighted to utilize my entire arsenal, rather than merely rely on one bag of tricks. I will never, ever get sick of watching Donald fire off rockets or launching Goofy like a dive bomber. It just invigorates me with a F*CK YEAH feeling every time I hear Donald cry "My turn!" or Goofy exclaiming "My shield's ready!". I just subconsciously imagine an invigorated Sora screaming "MY ASS IS READY!" in response. I finished off the tree of terror in Corona with Goofy's dive bombing and it was AWE-INSPIRING.
KH3 by far has my favorite Summons. KH1, Summons practically didn't exist for me until Tinkerbell comes along. KH2....meh. I don't like using any option that takes away party members. It never feels right.
KH3's Summons obviously take away party members too, but since their HP/MP avatars are still visible, I never get the sense they disappeared per se. Which is swell, because and Simba and Ariel are glorious to use (the former moreso, but I just find Ariel the most fun).

Part of why I've felt brave enough to take on KH3's Critical is because of Donald and Goofy. I find their presence reassuring, a sort of "we're in this together" vibe. Or rather, we're all getting our asses kicked together, but either way. Especially since guest party members take much more of a beating than D&G have.
 
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DarkosOverlord

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Whoever designed the Pirate Heartless and decided the enemies' display in that one island where you have 5 sand snakes at the same time needs to be fired ASAP.

Also I was having very little fun being sniped in the back while battling the skull chicken.

Ah, the Caribbeans. Such a beautiful world and environment, plagued by gimmicks no one asked for.
 

MATGSY

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A pity this update came the day I had to leave town for family business. So much to catch up on when I get back!
 

drew0512

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Critical mode made me dislike Monstropolis even more, yay.
 

kaseykockroach

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Surprisingly enough, didn’t die once in Monstropolis.

Is it just me, or have I only heard the iconic THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD SPOT line only twice during this playthrough?
 

Sakuraba Neku

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Good to know critical mode is being well received.
I don't have much free time to keep playing the entire story over and over, so I'm waiting for the story content DLC to come out and then I will play everything altogether.
 

DarkosOverlord

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Welp, I won.

San Fransokyo might've as well not be there, as soon as you know what to do in all the instances presentend I struggle to think where could there be any kind of issue.
Of course I stayed as far as I could from the T-Rex, especially when he was going wild. I wasn't gonna have none of that crap.

Keyblade Graveyard was surprisingly... okay. I mean, Devil's Wave and fighting 3 Org members at the same time on Crit was as pleasant as it sounds, but nothing too tragic. And both MX fights ended up being a good ol' fashioned learning the boss' pattern and punish it accordingly.

Crit wasn't bad. It wasn't this game-changer some hoped it to be, but that was impossible to begin with since it couldn't go against the game's philosophy, as much as I wish it did.
Minus some parts which were terrible again only due to the whole idea being bad, Crit is definitely the best mode KH III has to offer by far.

The MP reduction still bugs me and I hear it got chip damage at low levels, but I leveled up like I normally would and it was fine. Also you can bet your sweet bippy I got all 333 Soras for the HP boosts.
 
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Is it just me, or have I only heard the iconic THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD SPOT line only twice during this playthrough?
Not just you. Seems they may have tweaked it to be less frequent now.
 

kaseykockroach

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A lot of it has been psychological, it seems. Several instances where I think in advance "Okay, this boss is probably going to slaughter me, so let's really be prepared" and give Donald potions, Goofy ethers and myself dine on some of Remy's food before we enter what I anticipate will be a tough boss....only to beat it on my first try.
Then I enter another part without anticipation or worry, only to die ten times.
Nervous of the mechs in Toy Box? Didn't die once throughout the entire chapter.
Didn't think much of Arendelle beforehand? Died more often than in any other chapter so far!
Knew the horseshoe island in Caribbean would have lots of giant worms and hedgehogs, so I stocked up D&G with items and waited until finishing the chapter so I could have Jack Sparrow back with me (for the sake of some extra firepower)? Cleaned out that island easily.
It's all psychological, I tells ya!
 
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Just got done a with it a couple hours ago. I had a lot of fun.

Unfortunately nothing really stops you from getting super powerful by the end of the game. My fire, thunder and sometimes aero spells pretty much crushed anything. I think limiting MP may have been an effort to stop you from only using your strongest magic all the time. It works out really great too because you always have to make the call whether or not you want to save some mp for healing or use it all to its fullest then take advantage of the fact that the situation gauge fills up faster when your in mp charge.

I'll try out level 1 after I do all the side content, which I had previously ignored.
 

kaseykockroach

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Aqua VS Vanitas was haaaaaaard. I had to hear “You’re nobody’s master now!” so many times in a row.
But ultimately, I took him to the cleaners. Casting a fire spell on him halts a lot of his moves, I discovered.
Shame Aqua was foolhardy enough to keep help from coming with SDG. I get that you wanted a moment, ma’am, but now just isn’t the time to boost your ego.
In fairness though, Vanitas only got the upper-hand once he started fighting dirty and brought threatening Ven into things. Still, you really shouldn’t have burned that bridge, lady!
 

kaseykockroach

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The hardest part of this game isn’t Critical Mode. It’s watching Sora and Kairi’s papou scene without bursting out laughing. I haven’t seen a love scene this hilarious since Anakin and Padme’s “I hate sand” in Attack of the Clones.
 

Twilight Lumiair

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Shame Aqua was foolhardy enough to keep help from coming with SDG. I get that you wanted a moment, ma’am, but now just isn’t the time to boost your ego.
In fairness though, Vanitas only got the upper-hand once he started fighting dirty and brought threatening Ven into things. Still, you really shouldn’t have burned that bridge, lady!
Ok, in her defense, she's beaten the guy like, three times now. She has zero reason to believe she can't do it again, and clearly believed she regained enough of her strength to finish the job (I'd sooner take her word than Sora's since he can't speak FOR her).The real problem is that regardless of how underhanded Vanitas may have been, not only was it still highly telegraphed and repeated (unlike his ambush in BBS), but she was also fully equipped to deal with the situation using her barrier and just... didn't. Additionally, Vanitas shouldn't have been able to phase the barrier in the first place because it held up just fine to all of Vani's attacks up until that point (including fireball attacks that numerically consisted of at least 5-6 fireballs each) and was shown to be powerful enough to keep SDG out throughout the battle (including after she got knocked down). So it's just forced writing.

And besides, it was Aqua's only opportunity in a game where she wasn't allowed to do anything but fail. I'd be pretty desperate if I were her too, lol.
 

kaseykockroach

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No reason to put up a shield to forbid help from coming! You've been waiting ten years for help to come, help is here, and NOW you put a shield up!? I would understand if it was Mickey and Riku offering to help (in which case I would outright cast them out of the goddang room), but you can trust these three! At the very least, let them try to distract Vanitas while you cast Firaga on his ass! The real missed opportunity for me is not having Donald, Goofy and Aqua as party members all at once. Especially since the three segments where you're playing as someone that's not Sora are a bit annoying, so I would have had a ALRIGHT COME ON BOYS LET'S ROAST THIS BRAT'S BUTT TOGETHER or something.
Not saying it's good writing of course, so rest assured, we're on the same page either way. I just find it hilarious rather than frustrating, as cutscenes in KH games are just background noise while I take a break, put the controller down and drag a string around the house for the cat to chase while waiting for the cutscene to finish. Whatever it is KH3 does, nothing in it made me angry like 2 did. But I recognize my long-running distaste for KH2 is in the minority. There are only two aspects in KH3 that grate on me, and they are the Riku/Aqua segments (not fun to control, I didn’t ask to play as emo loser boyfriend), and Hundred Acre Wood, and the latter’s optional.
I go on and on about my soft spot for the trinity trio and how that's really the only believable friendship in a series of games supposedly revolving around friendship, but it's true! Mainly because, if you were to skip every cutscene in the three games, you'd still buy these three as buds just from the two being alongside you for the quests. Since, you know, these are video games. So how the friendship comes across in gameplay is what really matters. Cutscenes are just the icing on a cake for me, regarding most games in general. For me, a cutscene is merely a cute reward for finishing a part of a game.
Congratulations, you beat the boss! Now you can admire Aqua's pretty blue hair for a few minutes!

Oh my lord, all the keyblade wielders get obliterated in 1-2 hits and it’s hysterical. I’m pretty much fighting alone. I can’t wait until D&G come back. Donald can take a beating on Critical Mode, but at least he always goes down fighting!
 
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