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The Critical Mode Experience Thread



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alpha_elitex

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I've been doing my NG+ Level 1 Crit run and I've gotten up to San Fransokyo so far. Overall it hasn't been TOO bad. The mob fights on level 1 are definitely a PITA especially with your limited MP pool and obvious OHKO, two if you're lucky. Honestly though in regards to mob fights the only really annoying ones were those with a bunch of long range enemies (Arendelle and those purple ladies were the death of me). PotC's chain pirate dudes were also impossible for me without using ultima to whittle as much HP as possible since they barely stagger and can snipe you from across the screen, and approaching them is like guaranteed death if done wrong. The chip damage is immediately evident once you hit like Corona or Arendelle without using form changes, which is very annoying to me considering how KH2FM damage scaling for level 1 was done very well after the first world or two.
In terms of bosses/world specifics:
Olympus- the titans was actually probably one of the only bosses that I only probably died once or twice to. I was fully expecting more especially during the wonky Wind titan section.

Toy Box- again, surprisingly easy... died a few times to Toy King mostly from silly mistakes or the fact he can just decide to zoom and kill you while you're on top of him. Had to get around that by using a donald situation command right when he would do it. The Doll was a quite a few deaths but that was mostly due to the mob spam messing me up in the midst of attacking her.

Corona- Gothel was a tad annoying because of chip damage. The predominant reason I died 95% of the time was due to a OHKO from the annoying falling bomb section, boss was otherwise easy to deal with.

Arendelle- The chip damage was in full force that I didn't even bother with mob fights if they weren't required. Tried it with that first group when you start the world and I died several times lol. F*** that minigame with the ice dragons. I died so many times to that because of how absurd trying to jump over the lasers and move side to side is. Larxene's ice dungeon thing was only annoying with the forced nobody encounters because they suck hardcore, death in one hit as usual. I just used ultima to dispatch them because it was that frustrating. Marshmallow was tough but I really had fun with it once you get in a rhythm. Now Skoll.... that was a two day ordeal. Half the battle was against the wonky camera angles, the mini dragons attacking me offscreen or right out of a combo on Skoll. The other half was just plain guards not registering or getting clipped by the second claw swipe somehow. This was the boss I died so many times I lost count. I was ecstatic when I finally dispatched him, frying pan was my MVP. The only way to successfully live through the timed portion was ultima shotlock or ever after's.

Monster's Inc: only challenging part was the large crab looking unversed comboing me to death. Otherwise this world was a breeze like olympus. The boss was omega chip damage but the DM phase was very manageable and damage could be done nicely enough. I surprisingly could not get OHKO by any of it's moves despite me not using food and having very little health. Might've been the ribbons, who knows.

PotC: again, largely easy. The flying heartless part was annoying because of how random the enemies can fly at you and kill you offscreen but I didn't do chip damage on it. Once you abused the dash or flying off screen to get iframes it was easier.Only died a handful of times to Davy Jones and that was all because I was having too much fun trying to combo him in the air constantly and being too aggressive. I did have to mog coin it initially because of the tentacle move underneath you but it's perfectly dodgeable if you high jump... dodge rolling was too iffy. I used ultima shotlock to dispose of the tentacle ship part because that would've been super tedious and most likely would've died trying anyway.
 

BirthBySorrow

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I would suggest anyone interested in the gameplay watch Bizkit047's Level 1 and Low Level Critical runs, especially those who believe KH3 is beyond fixing. The Low Level run in-particular highlights just how little is actually broken thanks to his growing knowledge of the game, and that what is can be fixed. He has almost no issue clearing the game at level 26 by its end, with deaths mostly due to error or experimentation (level 1 is more issue prone due to a lack of proper damage scaling).

I was one that felt it had many, many problems until I saw what adaptation looks like. And keep in mind Bizkit was an adamant believer that the floatiness of combos and emphasis on Magic would be a death sentence for the game. He currently believes balancing is mostly what's necessary.

A brief summary of what is thought (opinion) to be broken according to Biz and just general observation:

- Links are ridiculously overpowered and can be spammed.

- Crowd control is almost exclusive to Links and Attractions. If MP is to stay halved and Links re-balanced, some form of costless AoE option will be near essential or Situation Commands will need to be made easier to build and what command(s) pops up be 100% consistent.

- Mob fights/enemy summons in boss battles. This goes back to requiring there be more reliable AoE options.

Let's call it what it is: the game just isn't what I and many prefer. We prefer different experiences. I for one prefer a more action-oriented setup with snappy combos and quick cancels, but this game is clearly balanced more heavily on the RPG side of Action RPG. Leveling, to a degree, is expected in order to not deal chip damage. You are encouraged to use Magic, commands, and transformations and the gimmicks they present more than your physical combos and abilities. I dislike this design choice, but it's a choice not a flaw.
 

kaseykockroach

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I tend to find that enemy encounters were tougher to survive than boss battles...not that Grim Guardianness, Skol and others didn't give me a good pummeling, of course.
I tend to be nervous with using summons/links too often, as that takes magic, which of course I'd rather save in case I need Cure.
 
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I've been using the Ultima for non scripted fights but besides that I've been having fun and I've died more than I have in my first two playthroughs combined! I just beat Monstropolis and I still have to do Arendelle. The Final Boss of Monstropolis, I died against him three times because I was too aggressive, I hated the boss but after fighting it in Critical - I appreciate it a bit more.

My other Keyblades I've been using are Ever After and Wheel of Fate.

Ever After's 1st Shotlock is important because you can get your health back and Wheel of Fate has a great Keyblade Transformation.
 

kaseykockroach

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I enjoyed this playthrough so much, I'll likely play Critical from now on whenever I feel like revisiting KH3. Which feels insane coming from me, as I'm usually wimpy with brutal game difficulty. But there's something about Critical in KH3 that was just exhilarating from start to finish. I do wish the MP bar was slightly bigger, but that's my only gripe, and it's only a gripe because KH3 is the first game in the series where I love using magic besides Cure!
Though I am a tad curious as to what it's like to play Proud, but not equip armor or accessories.
 

Face My Fears

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can someone explain this lmao, like I'm guessing the ice titan froze the lava titan? lol I've never seen this

That happened to me during my critical run. I was like level 6 or 7 when I fought them (the normal level at the end of Olympus). The titans weren't necessarily more difficult, but I guess critical mode really kept me on my toes. With that said, I was running around and got onto the side of the lava titan right when the ice titan was attacking or something and I saw that happen. I was in shock. I feel like there is so much in this game (combat wise) that people didn't pick up on because the bosses were killed so easily before. Only during critical mode did I even know what Sora said when he died lol.

Anyway, my experience with critical mode is great so far. I'm loving that it isn't just auto-death, but rather you need to know the enemy and adjust. Like the archers in Olympus caught me so off guard. As soon as I walked into their area and they spawned, I thought I could survive an arrow and... I died. Once I adjusted and made sure to avoid the arrows, I was able to move forward.
 

kaseykockroach

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To put it one way, it's not that KH3's Critical Mode is fun inherently because it makes the game harder, but because it forces you to pay full attention to the enemies/bosses! Once you get into the groove of things, the rhythm if you will, it's not an impossible task.
 

Face My Fears

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To put it one way, it's not that KH3's Critical Mode is fun inherently because it makes the game harder, but because it forces you to pay full attention to the enemies/bosses! Once you get into the groove of things, the rhythm if you will, it's not an impossible task.
Which is what I LOVE about the experience.

When I first played KH3 on release date (Proud mode), I was so powerful I just flew through rooms of heartless and bosses. I didn't have to consider what was going on. I like that they found a way to make me pay attention to the combat. I'm forced to learn and adapt to the enemies' behaviour, but in a fun way. It's actually interesting to see how the enemies were intended to be, compared to when I would walk up to them and obliterate them.

Another feature that helps me notice it even more is disabling Attraction Flow. Now there's no easy way to clear out hordes of heartless. I am really loving critical mode.
 
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Whelp, after a lot of trying, I’m throwing in the towel for Lv1 crit. I made it all the way to triple Xehanort but it got to the point where I felt even if I managed to pull off the win against them it would feel like dumb luck. Honestly, Keyblade Graveyard is pretty rough on Lv1 cit, which surprises me because I actually had a lot of fun with it on Lv1 proud.

My impressions of critical mode are still largely positive though. I think its the way you should play the game if your going to be playing regularly, but if you want to do level one it might be safer to stick to proud mode.
 

Face My Fears

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Walking into Twilight Town and fighting the Dusks... and dying a few seconds after the fight starts... I love that it keeps me on my toes. I'm so used to walking into battles and not even considering my HP bar. Critical mode really makes me not only focus on the opponents, but keep track of HP/MP/Focus (which normally I never look at because I would be so strong I would kill them enemies or not be in any real threat of dying).
 

kaseykockroach

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I almost wished the checkpoints were harsher.
For example, I was pleasantly surprised that when I died fighting Xehanort underwater, I only had to start that section over rather than the entire fight...but the other half of me craved that brutality. But I’m likely in the minority on that.
 

Face My Fears

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I almost wished the checkpoints were harsher.
For example, I was pleasantly surprised that when I died fighting Xehanort underwater, I only had to start that section over rather than the entire fight...but the other half of me craved that brutality. But I’m likely in the minority on that.
I dunno, I mean the difficulty would be great and all, but... I was completing Twilight Town and I died right when I was almost to the mansion and had to start all the way back at the save point. It was kind of frustrating that it didn't just set me back to the entrance of the forest. There were other instances of stuff like that in Olympus. I would die almost to a save point, then have to redo the whole climb. I guess a boss fight is different, but if that happened to me repeatedly, I would be frustrated. Maybe they should put in an option to turn off checkpoints and only reload from save points?
 

kaseykockroach

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I’m playing KH3 again. :S
What the bloody heck is wrong with me
Though this time, I indeed decided to take all my keyblades with me.
For what is likely to be my final playthrough...I’m gonna try and find all the treasure chests. ALL of them.
 

Face My Fears

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I just finished my first Critical run of Toy Box. Wow. My proud experience in Toy Box was just totally steamrolling all heartless/bosses in the world. This time around on Critical, man it actually felt like a really fun experience especially for a first world (you know what I mean). The heartless doll killed me a few times and it was really fun fighting it. The end of world heartless that I normally used to think was the WORST boss in KH3 actually was fun and challenging. I didn't die to it, but it made me use the whole field and I felt like I was under constant threat (unlike in Proud when I could hide in a corner and it wouldn't even try to kill me).

I feel like Critical mode is a really positive sign for what's to come in the paid DLC.
 

NoWay

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I was a bit disappointed in the Keyblade Graveyard. I expected the Organization Battles to be a little bit harder. I mean, yeah I technically died a few times but it still felt a bit too easy for me with Level 45. However, the fight against YX, Ansem and Xemnas was a lot harder than the others. The three final Battles were also really tough. I don’t know why but I felt like these especially beating Armored Xehanort and Final Xehanort was REALLY satisfying.

The part were Xehanort turns us into Rage Form was also a survival battle and really tough. :D I needed like 10-15 attempts to finally beat Xehanort.

I’m looking forward to the paid DLC and hope that they include Super Boss Battles against all 13 Seekers like the Data Battles. I also hope that they NOT let us face the seekers in groups again. I need to fight everyone of them alone with Donald & Goofy.

One thing that surprised me: I needed almost 50(!) hours to beat the game! It has got so much content! :)
 

kaseykockroach

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I just heard an NPC in Corona say “I heard the princess is taken. Well, cross that dream off the list”.
Be right back, laughing forever.
 
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