Why do people keep saying KH2 is better than KH3?



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soratothamax

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I'm not sure if someone brought it up or not. What about KH2 is better? In my opinion, and I may be the only one, but I thought KH3 was better than KH2, especially before final mix.

First of all, while the story was convoluted because of past games, at least there was a story and I always felt engaged and wanted to know what will happen next. And with every step Sora got closer to saving everyone I was moved.
In KH2 there was no story. Sora was looking for Riku, found him in the Land of Dragons, and the rest was just random plot twists while he was trying to fight the nobodies. And Sora didn't learn anything in KH2 nor did he evolve. The worlds taught him nothing they were just there. At least in Kh3 each world taught him something about the heart. He grew as a person and in the end he was a lot wiser and was able to finally learn the power of waking and save everyone. In Kh2...Sora just went home and nothing was resolved for Roxas at that point. That's why we got all those side games because KH2 just left a lot of things hanging. :frown: Furthermore, I was disappointed with Kairi in KH3....but I thought it was random for her to get a keyblade in KH2 and she only used it that one time anyhow. At least in KH3 she was in our party.

Also as far as gameplay, people say KH3 is the easiest, but upon the initial release of KH2 before final mix it was also extremely easy. In fact, Xemnas is the least difficult final boss in the whole series. And in the game you were basically forced to use triangle throughout the entire game...some bosses it was necessary, which made the game not only even easier but also other commands were pointless to have even drive forms. Drive forms were cool but mostly pointless before final mix. At least in KH3 they didn't force you to use those attractions and stuff and you could cancel them out if you didn't like them. And while we had more keyblades in Kh2 they didn't really do much in regards to stats. They were just there for superficial purposes. While KH3 they had keyblades that actually gave variances in stats.

Also the boss battles were more environment friendly and creative in KH3. In KH2 Jafar genie was not a creative way to do that battle. That robot thing in Christmas Town was also not creative. And I don't have to say how much of a let down Port Royal was compared to the Caribbean. The boss battles in KH2 were bland.
The gameplay in KH3 also encouraged you to use your various mechanics. Not in KH2. They only encouraged the use of triangle..the rest of the mechanics were just there for extra measure. I found myself using everything in KH3.
The music in KH2 was fantastic but mostly battle music....it didn't have any deep songs besides Roxas and Riku's songs. Whereas KH3 did.

And the KH3 worlds had a lot more to explore than KH2. Kh2 worlds literally had five hallways. That was it. It had a lot of things but with less depth. Final Mix redeemed what was otherwise lackluster. KH3 in my opinion brought back a lot of things that had been in the original KH1. My main complaints of KH3 was the gummi ship mechanics were not as easy to use and the game was still easy. But in a lot of ways the game was better than KH2...I just don't get it. :/

And as far as post game content...KH2 had one secret boss and a skateboard... before final mix. At least KH3 has things you can collect and a lot of mini games to play, like Classic kingdom and flantastic heartless, and Little Chef's bistro. And it does have a secret boss and battle gates.

Anyway, it bugs me how people rag on this game when KH3 was the one that redeemed my love of the series. I'm less sad about the game and more sad about the people who hate such a good game. :( Are there any others who feel the way I do?
 
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Tartarus

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Because they're crazy.

I'm only half-joking. KH3 blows KH2 out of the water in most ways. KH3 does miss some of those brilliantly inventive ideas like Timeless River and the Radiant Garden visit involving TRON. There are no great original worlds like TWTNW or KH1's Traverse Town/Hollow Bastion/End of the World either. And I'd agree that KH2 has a better soundtrack overall, even if KH3 has better themes from Utada. KH3 wins for me when it comes to story, world design, gameplay, graphics (although all the KH games are pretty, imo), and dialogue/character interactions.

And as far as post game content...KH2 had one secret boss and a skateboard... before final mix.
I think the games are even where it concerns minigames and post-game content. In KH2, I liked the Pooh minigames, wrapping Christmas presents, tournaments, and the struggle matches. Hated everything else. None of the stuff in KH3 bothers me, but nothing is really a standout either. The Bistro and battlegates are okay. The hidden Mickey's are neat, but I don't think I could ever find all of them without the help of an online guide. The Gummi ship is equal amounts cute/annoying/pointless in both 2 and 3.

The arena/tournaments, trinities, Dalmatians search, and the Command Board are really the only minigames KH has ever had that I've been super-entertained by. I still think they could make a musical minigame that's fun / better than KH2 Atlantica if they tried.
 
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Dari

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Subjective opinions people have had about kingdom hearts 2 of note.


  • Nostalgia.
  • Spamming triangle for literally everything.
  • Being able to look up Kairi's Skirt before the final battle on PS2.
  • The Final Battle vs Xemnas.
  • "Riku...I looked for you....I LOOKED EVERYWHERE FOR YOU!" <- THIS is self-explanatory lmfao.
  • All the fights staged in The World That Never Was
  • Riku just being dope as usual.
  • The convoluted continuation of a plot that was already escalated in confusion by the addition of a new type of enemy that just seemed cooler than the heartless (I guess).
Sorry, went overboard on dramatization of a lot of what I have read over the span of several years (not from here btw lol). Dunno, people like what they like and when you ask'm to explain it, well, after a while you start to understand it comes down to preference, taste, bias, etc you get the idea.

Only thing I can't wait for is if Shiro Amano has any inclinations on doing a manga adaptation of III <3
 

drew0512

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Kingdom Hearts 2 is overrated and it's not a secret. Some people are blinded by nostalgia and misremember things (or are just fanboys), while other people genuinely like this entry more and I can see why. KH2(FM) has a very nice combat and amazing post-game content, but in my opinion it fails with the rest. The level design is a downgrade from KH1 and exploration was cut off completely. The story is full of filler and retcons, plotholes and all that start arising. It's also very easy. It's an enjoyable game but everything I've listed hinders my experience everytime I replay it, especially since I like exploration.

Anyway, it bugs me how people rag on this game when KH3 was the one that redeemed my love of the series. I'm less sad about the game and more sad about the people who hate such a good game. :( Are there any others who feel the way I do?
Why do you even care? If you love the game, that's the only thing that matters. Like I said, different people have different standards, so someone that prioritizes combat and postgame content will be willing to gloss over KH2's major issues, just like someone that likes exploration more/prefers a balanced package (like me) will probably enjoy KH1/KH3 more. If you see some blatant biased opionion, just laugh and move on, it does wonders.
 

DarkosOverlord

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Let it be clear that with my reply I'm not trying to make you feel bad for liking the game, but merely to try and convey why I'm on a completely different page. I feel like more people than we know of are more confused about the other party's feelings than anything.
I'm not trying to be rude and mean-spirited and if you only made this thread to search for validation, feel free to skip my post entirely.

First of all, while the story was convoluted because of past games, at least there was a story and I always felt engaged and wanted to know what will happen next.
I didn't. Like, I wanted to find out about the finale and the war, but only because previous entries made me interested. KH III does nothing to propel my curiosity for what's going to happen, mainly because the 85% of a game is the main character being sent off into worlds for no logical reason at all while trying to achieve a power only mentioned in another title and that suddenly it's suppsoed to be this huge plot point I'm supposed to be interested about.
KH II gave you a mystery person and an Organization to defeat, linear and simple. There were baggages from previous games too, but well there's a reason why so many people started with KH II no problem.

And with every step Sora got closer to saving everyone I was moved.
In KH2 there was no story. Sora was looking for Riku, found him in the Land of Dragons, and the rest was just random plot twists while he was trying to fight the nobodies. And Sora didn't learn anything in KH2 nor did he evolve. The worlds taught him nothing they were just there. At least in Kh3 each world taught him something about the heart. He grew as a person and in the end he was a lot wiser and was able to finally learn the power of waking and save everyone.
You sure about all you wrote? Every world in KH III taught Sora something? Like? Donald himself stated that going to see Hercules was a waste of time.
All the KH worlds since Chain of Memories have kept up the shtick of just having a heartfelt discussion about friendship and hearts, and make it look like they all learned the Sunday Morning Cartoon's lesson for the day, but honestly it's always the same stuff.
What Woody says in Toy Box isn't all that different that what Tarzan tries to convey in Deep Jungle. Or Stitch in Deep Space. Or any Pooh visit. It's always the same core concepts: "Be strong, be good, love your friends, reject negative emotions".
Elsa being in balance and Larxene (rightfully) telling Sora he isn't exactly justified in meddling every single time is the closest I can think of a different moral, but it gets abandoned because again, KH runs on the same notions every time. This is not KH III's fault in my mind, but it's definitely not like KH III is any better in it. Every KH game is square on this, with the exception of maybe KH1 who was at the very least the one which did it first.

The worlds also do not get Sora any step closer to the power of waking, which is one the biggest gripes I have. There was always a bit of trouble connecting the Disney visits to the main plot and KH II itself struggles, but the Disney worlds in KH III are the very definition of pointless.
At the very least, in KH II Sora was actively searching for people who might've been in any random world, it made sense.
But him going to the worlds in KH III doesn't, because all he needs is the power of waking. Which isn't acquired through level-ups or Disney magic. Yen Sid said it himself, there wasn't a clear plan and they were just waiting for a miracle. And I would be fine if the Disney visits were that very same miracle, but they weren't. Sora goes to save Aqua like he could've been done all along and the wakes Ventus because "the power was in you all along". They tried to mask that with the "oh and Sora is also weak", but... no. It doesn't cut it.

I'd call Sora the opposite of wise. Xigbar warned him since the beginning about the risks of rushing into danger (like DDD itself wasn't enough), and Young Xehanort could've been less subtle only by shouting "POWER OF WAKING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH".
The finale speaks for itself about how well that turned out. Sora has stopped growing as a person since KH1 - CoM era. His KH II character was... a mixed bag, but he has remained stationary since.

In Kh2...Sora just went home and nothing was resolved for Roxas at that point. That's why we got all those side games because KH2 just left a lot of things hanging. :frown: Furthermore, I was disappointed with Kairi in KH3....but I thought it was random for her to get a keyblade in KH2 and she only used it that one time anyhow. At least in KH3 she was in our party.
And look how well that also turned out. Also "in our party"... she was with us for a full 40 seconds of fight before being kidnapped. At the very least KH II didn't try to lie to our faces about her becoming a fighter beforehand.

As shoddily as KH II handled some B plots I'd hardly say it left a lot of things hanging, in fact it might've been the most conclusive entry in the series. All known enemies were defeated. All doors and Kingdom Hearts-es were down. Sora, Riku, Kairi were at home and Mickey was at his Castle with Donald and Goofy. Ansem the Wise vanished to make amends for his sins. Roxas and Naminé didn't get "solved" because KH II never even considered them existing as their own selves, but always portrayed how them going back to Sora and Kairi was the good ending that led all of them living happily.
The game tries to convince you that that was good at the time at any given chance.

Also the boss battles were more environment friendly and creative in KH3. In KH2 Jafar genie was not a creative way to do that battle. That robot thing in Christmas Town was also not creative. And I don't have to say how much of a let down Port Royal was compared to the Caribbean. The boss battles in KH2 were bland.
Storm Rider was creative. Luxord was creative. Xigbar was creative. Demyx was creative. Final Xemnas was creative. Honestly, even Barbossa and the Reaper had their own gimmick despite being in a letdown world.
You picked some of the least interesting and most criticized bosses, but they're hardly the norm. KH II had a lot of good fights that remained as staples in the fandom, and some were also close to stunning for a ps2 game.

KH III has giant bosses galore up until Davy Jones. And giant bosses are usually boring, because they're a huge wall that doesn't stagger much and does big damage with big aoe attacks. I'd hardly call the most of them "creative", and some are even... well, bad. Skoll can rot wherever he's stayed.
Same with the Air Titan, which is in my mind Jafar Genie but somehow even worse due to the limited movement and resources you have. I think Air Titan isn't one of the worst fights in the game simply because it's one of the first bosses so even if you get hit it's not such a big deal most of the times.

Sometimes being too "creative" and utilizing too much of the environment can be bad. There is such a thing as overperforming.

The gameplay in KH3 also encouraged you to use your various mechanics. Not in KH2. They only encouraged the use of triangle..the rest of the mechanics were just there for extra measure. I found myself using everything in KH3.
I could tell you just the opposite. I used nothing but Storm Flag and Ever After in my KH III playthrough and even forgot Links and Shotlocks were a thing. Never felt the need to do anything else, and that stayed true up to the Secret Boss.
Also, KH II wasn't "press triangle to win" not even in its earlier stage... yours is a conflicting stance, because you fault KH II for having many mechanics that were also optional should you not wanting to use them then you praise KH III for having essentially the same thing. Trust me when I say that KH III did nothing more than KH II in encouraging you to experiment on your own.

And as far as post game content...KH2 had one secret boss and a skateboard... before final mix. At least KH3 has things you can collect and a lot of mini games to play, like Classic kingdom and flantastic heartless, and Little Chef's bistro. And it does have a secret boss and battle gates.
You must've missed quite a lot of KH II's extra content when you played it, because I distinctly remember tournaments, Twilight Town being full of different extra challenges, training with Phil, light cycle, cave of wonders challenge, Pooh minigames that were way more than one repeated three times, making presents, escaping from the ruins in Agrabah, and an entire optional world besides Pooh dedicated to optional stuff and minigames.
Not to mention that in KH II there is a bunch of minigames and challenges in the story that are different from the postgame stuff, meanwhile KH III's postgame challenges are the same minigames you've encountered in the story with the exception of flans.

If anything, I'm perplexed whenever people claim that KH III's extra content is on par or even better than KH II's when that's really not the case.
Some often says that KH II FM is an overly glorified game put on a pedestal, but I'm starting to realize there's also this misconception that vanilla KH II was this unplayable garbage with maybe two hours of content stretched in.
That's just not true. Final Mix improved upon a lot of things, yes, but it improved on a game that was already kinda nice on its own.

Then, as me and others already stated elsewhere, if we really want to compare a 2019 game for the ps4 to a ps2 one from 2005... well, I think that speaks volume about the supposed quality and balance of the ps4 game.
Like, even if KH II barely loses, it's that really a huge win for KH III? The very same notion that this comparison is being made should tell us there's something off with KH III, regardless of how much it emotionally resonates with you and how much you like it.

I'm not the biggest supporter of KH II, not even final mix, hence why I didn't try and confront you on every points you made because I'm not entirely against what you said.
KH II has the worst worlds in the franchise. It replaced depth and immersion with 2005/6 era of "cool skillz" and "fill the bar" minigames everywhere. And I'm not happy about its pacing and how it hastily wrote many scenarios, especially anything concerning DiZ and Naminé.

But to me KH III was at its best on par (again, on par with a ps2 game from almost 14 years ago), and at its worst even worse. And due to emotional value, expectations and technical advantage KH III had an even higher bar to reach, so when it falls it makes an even louder crater.
You say it redeemed you love for the series and I'm glad it did that for you, but as I said the sheer fact that we're here taking everything apart with a microscope yelling "See, look, this is actually salvageable! This part isn't AS offensive to the eyes!" is just depressing and not the epic finale I wished to have.

I have nothing wrong with who likes this game, the moment I finished KH III I was disappointed but well aware that for some this will be even the best KH game ever, and I want to respect that as much as I emotionally can.
This was less of a "why people who deeply love KH II think of it as better" and more of a "why people who were let down by KH III feel the way they do", so I hope it was of some help and offered some insight.
We do not feel like we rag on a good game because we do not feel this even is a good game at all, or not a good "Kingdom Hearts III" at the very least.
 
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Tartarus

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I forgot about the best thing from KH2! Riku doesn't appear much in KH2, but that moment is still one of the best scenes from the entire series. Nothing in KH3 matches it--or the scene in KH1 when all the princesses' hearts are released either.
 

drew0512

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Only thing I can't wait for is if Shiro Amano has any inclinations on doing a manga adaptation of III <3
KH3 is already the funniest KH game, I can't even imagine how awesome a manga adaptation could be.
 

alexis.anagram

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But to me KH III was at its best on par (again, on par with a ps2 game from almost 14 years ago), and at its worst even worse. And due to emotional value, expectations and technical advantage KH III had an even higher bar to reach, so when it falls it makes an even louder crater.
You say it redeemed you love for the series and I'm glad it did that for you, but as I said the sheer fact that we're here taking everything apart with a microscope yelling "See, look, this is actually salvageable! This part isn't AS offensive to the eyes!" is just depressing and not the epic finale I wished to have.
This and Darkos's entire post pretty much. Not that there's anything wrong with disassembling the game to its raw elements for purposes of analysis, because after all the devil is in the details, the only impression I come away with is that people think KH3 is a barely good game given how they go out of their way to paint KH2 in such a bleak light. That just means it's a low bar to clear.

I am aware that there's a portion of the fanbase who go our of their way to do the opposite and hold KH2 as the best game in the franchise, so there's merit to examining whether or not that's true (it's not), but that doesn't make a great case for KH3. Anymore than I think it's much of a statement to claim that KH2 is better than KH3. It's possible they are both middling to bad games that share many of the same problems.

That said, simply put KH2 is better because it's more conclusive, which means it gives real payoff to the story objectives it sets up throughout its narrarive. These objectives are progressive (circumstantial and evolving) and measurable (as achievements) and convey themselves through mostly clear mechanisms like proper theming, and real characters who want something and work to make it happen. What are the themes in KH3? What do the characters want? Why does it take so longest to get it? In KH2 it takes so long because the goal posts are shifting according to the changing complexities of the characters' situations and, metatextually, the flip between wants and needs, desire and duty, that each and every character experiences in KH2: the game is all about dichotomies, binaries, and exploring the spaces between them. In KH3 the objectives are static-- and the means to those ends are as well, which makes it a boring slog that doesn't ultimately earn its playtime or its (non) ending. It has most of the problems KH2 does and none of the positive qualities: a few degrees of difference between quality of boss fights or combat doesn't make either game substantially more gratifying than the other. If we look at the whole experience, KH2 has momentum and purpose and presentation and KH3 doesn't.
 

AdrianXXII

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Only thing I can't wait for is if Shiro Amano has any inclinations on doing a manga adaptation of III <3
Agreed also considering how much they improved KH2's story with their little tweaks and changes I would love to see what they'd do to KH3, that in my opinion offers a bit of a better structure to build on.
 

ROXAS_32

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Because it was lmao (joking) I did kh2 more tho

Every one is entitled to their opinions.
Personally i did enjoy kh2's overall story better.

Gameplay wise, drive forms were more enjoyable than Keyblade transformation and reaction commands were 10x better than Attractions. I did like flow motion but feel it was executed worst in 3 than it was in 3d.

The lack of final fantasy characters plays a big roll in my opinion as well. They were so epic in KH2 but completely absent in KH3.

Even the vanilla version of kh2 felt like has more replay value than kh3.

KH3 just felt bottom heavy. Once it was completed there was no motivation to play again.

I don't think its a nostalgia factor either. KH3 Just didn't live up to the hype in many areas.

This doesn't mean its a bad game.
 

Face My Fears

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I don't get that either and to be honest, as a day one fan it seems pretty annoying. I cannot say for sure if most of the love for KH2 and hate for KH3 is mostly from people that recently got into the games (IE when the HD releases came out) and hence they don't have the history with the series, but it kind of feels that way.

One of the biggest complaints with KH3 is that it is way too easy. I agree with that, but I think they're blinded by KH2FM having the Cavern of Remembrance/Data Battles/Lingering Will included (along with Critical mode). If you go with vanilla KH2 vs. KH3, I would say that they're equally as easy, if not KH2 being easier due to Reflect being a spell. The only legit difficult fight that I can remember in vanilla KH2 is Xaldin and guess what - if you die Mickey comes in to save you (repeatedly). When I replayed KH2 on Critical, I still found completing the main story very easy (maybe it's because I was older and way more familiar with the fights/controls than when KH2 first came out). So much so that even Xaldin was a breeze.

Another complaint is that Twilight Town/Radiant Garden isn't playable or fleshed out... OK? Storywise... there is no reason to explore those worlds. Radiant Garden is only relevant for the lab. Why visit there when the Gummiphone covers the exposition we would need from Ienzo in the lab. Otherwise, Radiant Garden isn't under attack or threat by the heartless/nobodies/Organization/Maleficent, so why even visit? The Final Fantasy characters that live there clearly restored all of Radiant Garden, so why visit besides saying hello? I do think that a cutscene should have been in the end showing the Final Fantasy crew together celebrating the complete restoration of Radiant Garden, but that's such a minor thing that it really doesn't bother me. Twilight Town could have been fleshed out a little more (let us access the Clock Tower and the Mansion), but I'm fine with it being as it is. At least it feels way more alive and like a town than in KH2. That brings me to...

KH2's worlds just felt like giant boxes with a different background covering them. Even though I wanted more Disney worlds in KH3, I liked that each world felt like something different. Not just visually, but the way you explored them. Arendelle was one giant mountain that you could jump off the top and reach the bottom and gave you that feeling of actually climbing the mountain. Toy Box gave you the feeling that you were the size of a toy and had you using different methods of travel to get around. The Caribbean had you switching between land exploration, undersea exploration, and using the boat to travel. San Fransokyo was one giant box that gave you the feeling of superhero games (like Batman Arkham Knight) where you can explore the whole city, even its littlest corners and alleys. So even though KH2 had more worlds (ones that I wish were in KH3), they still felt like the same thing every time just with another Disney/original world theme slapped on.

People also complain about KH3's original story... well, clearly Namine messed up people's memories because KH2 was basically the same thing as KH3 - maybe even worse. Sure, KH2 spread out the "story" better than KH3, but what exactly was it? Oh yeah, Sora wakes up and goes on a mission to find Riku/Mickey with a side helping of "these new bad guys in black coats are annoying worlds". If you didn't play Chain of Memories - you would be confused as hell on what exactly these black coats are all about or even how Sora woke up in Twilight Town or why they have to "Thank Namine" (whoever that is). So the same hate KH3 gets for "having to play side games to get the story" is the SAME THING KH2 went through. It may have been to a much lesser extent, but KH2 was not immune from it. Also, Sora just jumps into each Disney world (getting a movie plot and barely any connection to main plot), asks the protagonists if they saw Riku/Mickey/guy in black coat, Disney character tells him no, then movie plot commences and Sora forgets about Riku/Mickey/guy in black coat (for mostly all Disney worlds and we visit them TWICE). You have to visit almost all the Disney worlds once to then come back to Hollow Bastion and get SOME idea of the actual main plot (IE Xemnas is leader of Organization/Xehanort's nobody/his plan for Kingdom Hearts etc). After a short snippet of the actual main story, you're thrown back into the Disney worlds for a rinse and repeat until you go to the last stage where ALL THE MAIN PLOT'S INFO IS REVEALED JUST LIKE KH3. It may not have been in the mega rushed fashion that KH3 did, but for people to completely ignore that KH2 did this is unfair in comparing KH2 and KH3. A better critique would be that KH2 and KH3 should have followed KH1's storytelling method (which I thought was the best). You visit a few Disney worlds that minimally move the main plot along, then go back to the hub world and get a boost in the main plot, then go back out to more worlds.

That's all I'm going to write for now, but I definitely think that people are wrong in completely trashing KH3 and hailing KH2 as this "perfect game", when for many years people used to trash it compared to KH1 (mainly for being too easy... *gasp* that's how they compare KH3 to KH2).
 

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People also complain about KH3's original story... well, clearly Namine messed up people's memories because KH2 was basically the same thing as KH3 - maybe even worse. Sure, KH2 spread out the "story" better than KH3, but what exactly was it? Oh yeah, Sora wakes up and goes on a mission to find Riku/Mickey with a side helping of "these new bad guys in black coats are annoying worlds". If you didn't play Chain of Memories - you would be confused as hell on what exactly these black coats are all about or even how Sora woke up in Twilight Town or why they have to "Thank Namine" (whoever that is). So the same hate KH3 gets for "having to play side games to get the story" is the SAME THING KH2 went through. It may have been to a much lesser extent, but KH2 was not immune from it. Also, Sora just jumps into each Disney world (getting a movie plot and barely any connection to main plot), asks the protagonists if they saw Riku/Mickey/guy in black coat, Disney character tells him no, then movie plot commences and Sora forgets about Riku/Mickey/guy in black coat (for mostly all Disney worlds and we visit them TWICE). You have to visit almost all the Disney worlds once to then come back to Hollow Bastion and get SOME idea of the actual main plot (IE Xemnas is leader of Organization/Xehanort's nobody/his plan for Kingdom Hearts etc). After a short snippet of the actual main story, you're thrown back into the Disney worlds for a rinse and repeat until you go to the last stage where ALL THE MAIN PLOT'S INFO IS REVEALED JUST LIKE KH3. It may not have been in the mega rushed fashion that KH3 did, but for people to completely ignore that KH2 did this is unfair in comparing KH2 and KH3. A better critique would be that KH2 and KH3 should have followed KH1's storytelling method (which I thought was the best). You visit a few Disney worlds that minimally move the main plot along, then go back to the hub world and get a boost in the main plot, then go back out to more worlds.

That's all I'm going to write for now, but I definitely think that people are wrong in completely trashing KH3 and hailing KH2 as this "perfect game", when for many years people used to trash it compared to KH1 (mainly for being too easy... *gasp* that's how they compare KH3 to KH2).
Have to disagree here. While KH2 story heavily plays of the plot set up from previous games. you can play the game with only playing KH1 and be fine and not lost story wise.

Kingdom Hearts 3 try to do this but it falls flat because of the pacing and lacking of proper build up for the climax. Most of kingdom hearts 3 you are visiting and completing worlds without any major contributions to overall plot. Then you get to the end game and they try to shove everything down your throat.

KH2 on the other had has you visit worlds multiple times. On the 2nd visit 80% if the time you moving the overall plot forward. When the story was reaching the peak you knew it was coming. Noting really felt rushed.

I dint think people are trashing kh3 and hailing kh2 heck there was a time on this forum where people notoriously trashed kh2. People were just hoping that Square Enix / Nomura would have taken the blueprint from games like Kh1 and Kh2 and built off them. It feels like that was the original intent but it changed some time during the development.
 

Audo

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On the 2nd visit 80% if the time you moving the overall plot forward.
... in what sense? I feel like aside from Xaldin biting it, the second visits are just as empty and do very little to move the plot forward.
 

Face My Fears

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Have to disagree here. While KH2 story heavily plays of the plot set up from previous games. you can play the game with only playing KH1 and be fine and not lost story wise.

Kingdom Hearts 3 try to do this but it falls flat because of the pacing and lacking of proper build up for the climax. Most of kingdom hearts 3 you are visiting and completing worlds without any major contributions to overall plot. Then you get to the end game and they try to shove everything down your throat.

KH2 on the other had has you visit worlds multiple times. On the 2nd visit 80% if the time you moving the overall plot forward. When the story was reaching the peak you knew it was coming. Noting really felt rushed.

I dint think people are trashing kh3 and hailing kh2 heck there was a time on this forum where people notoriously trashed kh2. People were just hoping that Square Enix / Nomura would have taken the blueprint from games like Kh1 and Kh2 and built off them. It feels like that was the original intent but it changed some time during the development.
I have to disagree with this.

Beast's Castle - Xaldin is obsessed with turning Beast into a Nobody - seemed to be more Xaldin's personal goal rather than a main plot point.
Land of Dragons - Riku is there to warn the Emperor about the heartless (which they probably knew about from the last visit). Xigbar is there for no reason besides to make you wonder if it really was Riku or not. Basically pointless to main plot.
Olympus Coliseum - Nothing to do with the main plot at all - we save Auron's soul from being enslaved by Hades.
Port Royal - Luxord is there to play games with Jack Sparrow - nothing main plot related at all because we don't even fight Luxord (this just gives him some relevance for when we do kill him in the World That Never Was).
Agrabah - Jafar returns with the help of an unnamed Organization XIII member. Why? No reason was given and the Organization member is not even seen in the world. Again - nothing main plot related.
Halloween Town - Jack's obsessing over Christmas still and the Organization is absent.
The Pride Lands - Scar's ghost is haunting the Pride Lands.
Space Paranoids - You fight the MCP and find out Hollow Bastion's original name (that somehow everyone forgot). None of the important information you were looking for was ever discussed/found while playing KH2.

If you mean during the cutscenes between the Disney worlds, then sure you felt the plot moving forward. But KH3 had the plot moving forward between worlds too. You also do get a sense of the climax coming. KH3's only issue building up to the end was that the end was loaded with major occurrences. Since this was the big finale of the Xehanort saga, I would assume that was expected. We knew that we were building up to the Keyblade War. In KH2, during the second visits it was still confusing what exactly our journey was about besides looking for Riku/Mickey (and later Kairi) in random Disney worlds that we knew none of them would be in. It was even made more confusing when right before the second visits we're informed that the Organization want us to keep killing heartless with the keyblade and release hearts to help them. We have only 1 scene of Sora worrying about this, before proceeding to visit Disney worlds and kill endless heartless without a care in the world.
 

ROXAS_32

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... in what sense? I feel like aside from Xaldin biting it, the second visits are just as empty and do very little to move the plot forward.
Space paranoids - tron sacrifices himself , the learn of ansem the wise was the user, the gain access to mcp
Land of dragons - the learn of riku was there and kind ( didnt really do much in moving the plot tho
Port royal - while it didbt move the plot much it did give at least deal with a main plot antagonist.
Hollow bastion was basically all main plot with some FF goodies
TT - was basically all main plot
Beast castle - 2nd visit was main plot
Olympus - kinda of a mixed bag here. all it really did was introduce demyx
Timeless river - Moved side plot with maleficient
Disney castle - side plot


(Maybe moving the plot forward wasnt the right words) but at least for the most part it felt like there was a reason for going there.

KH3 was lacking in this department.
 
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Face My Fears

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Space paranoids - tron sacrifices himself , the learn of ansem the wise was the user, the gain access to mcp
Land of dragons - the learn of riku was there and kind ( didnt really do much in moving the plot tho
Port royal - while it didbt move the plot much it did give at least deal with a main plot antagonist.
Hollow bastion was basically all main plot with some FF goodies
TT - was basically all main plot
Beast castle - 2nd visit was main plot
Olympus - kinda of a mixed bag here. all it really did was introduce demyx
Timeless river - Moved side plot with maleficient
Disney castle - side plot


(Maybe moving the plot forward wasnt the right words) but at least for the most part it felt like there was a reason for going there.

KH3 was lacking in this department.
I thought you were talking about the 2nd visits only. Even if you consider the first visits, there is basically nothing. The only worlds that actually move the plot along are Hollow Bastion and Twilight Town (for obvious reasons).

Although the KH3 Disney worlds did not actively move the plot forward, there were several plot related occurrences in those worlds:

Spoiler Spoiler Show


I know it's not as much as people would have liked, but I thought the Disney worlds did an excellent job subtly building up to the end of the game in KH3. I didn't even see half of this relevancy in the Disney worlds in KH2. The only ones having anything near it be Beast's Castle and Port Royal. As I said before, Xaldin's plans in Beast's Castle seemed like a personal agenda and Luxord was just playing games in Port Royal (it didn't seem like an actual Organization XIII related reason being there).
 

DarkosOverlord

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*What EeL says in the first post* (sorry, I figured not making a giant reply)
Ok, I just want to address the "there was no reason to visit Radiant Garden or explore a full Twilight Town because there was nothing to do there anymore"
It's called immersive experience, not to mention commemorative inclusion. Not including some of the most iconic worlds and locations of the Xehanort saga in the finale of said saga is just wrong. I mean, by this logic, KH1 World Terminus wasn't necessary in defeating Ansem, so that should've been cut out, except I think it would've hurt End of the World's atmosphere greatly.

Besides, I can think of many ways to make a visit worthwile, first of all the secret chamber with Aqua's armor and Keyblade. It's actually insane Mickey and Riku didn't go there when they were investigating clues to get to Aqua herself and I doubt two Keyblade wielders (or Sora should the segment be playable) and the knowledgeable Ienzo were unable in finding that room.
Since it's been established Disney worlds had no part in gaining the power of waking, Sora not joining Riku and Mickey in the worlds of the Realm of Light makes no sense whatsoever.

"Not stricly necessary" isn't always the greatest reason when it comes to these things, especially when it isn't even all that true. Explorable Destiny Islands would've been better and had much more emotional impact and symbolism that any of the Disney worlds.
Not to mention much more useful to the narrative considering it's only by going there that the plot starts moving forward.
Literally the only reason why we can't go to these worlds is because then the main story would've happened and the team wasn't clever enough to write around it, so they just didn't.
Apologies if I don't find multiple Ienzo cutscenes over a Gummiphone as exciting and fulfilling.

Again, most of what I'm reading here is that KH III is good because this older game also had flaws.
I guess the original sin was comparing it to KH II in the first place, which led us to what I consider a dead end- that's not even why many are bashing on KH III. Like, whenever I complained about KH III, I never said or thought "this other game was better" (except when a comparison was only fair and due).

I mean, I'm sure there's plenty of people who did exactly that and said KH II FM was better, that's nothing new. People have been saying this for every KH title after KH II to some extent.
But the opposite is also true. Sometimes you cannot point out or complain about something without people labeling you as one of those dreaded "KH II elitists" that apparently have no other purpose in life that to constantly harass the fans into accepting the sacred dogma of KH II FM.
Since it's fairly obvious many aren't necessarily bothered by the KH II comparison but simply that we don't like KH III, Imma propose we all take a step back and just return to discuss KH III as a saga finale and its own product, before this contest becomes a swamp of nitpicks.
It's not that I want to shut this debate down, I just think there's no real gain for anyone, least of all KH III.

There's a story in an italian comic book about a teenager challenging his 50 years old father to a running match, to settle a dispute over their manly pride. The teenager's girlfriend is against it, and makes one of the most compelling arguments ever to him:

"If you win you have no merits, because you're younger; if you lose, it's an embarassment, because you're younger!"

That's how I feel. Is KH III better than base KH II? Wow, such accomplishment. Square and Nomura succeeded in the Herculean task of not walking backwards for 14 years.
Is KH III only slightly better? That's... not optimal. Not exactly worthy popping off the champagne just yet.
Is it actually worse? That's tragic, why aren't loads of people depressed and upset at the fact... ohhhh. And trust me when I say that living in a 2019 where KH II is better than KH III was the last of my wishes. I am NOT happy or proud even if I'm "right".

So yeah this is what I feel. If what you're here for is exactly proving/debunking the KH II comparison then by all means. I just feel it's going to bottle up feelings and reviews about KH III and quickly turning into a "you can't say this or x thing's fans will be all over you" taboo.
 
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I thought you were talking about the 2nd visits only. Even if you consider the first visits, there is basically nothing. The only worlds that actually move the plot along are Hollow Bastion and Twilight Town (for obvious reasons).

Although the KH3 Disney worlds did not actively move the plot forward, there were several plot related occurrences in those worlds:

Spoiler Spoiler Show


I know it's not as much as people would have liked, but I thought the Disney worlds did an excellent job subtly building up to the end of the game in KH3. I didn't even see half of this relevancy in the Disney worlds in KH2. The only ones having anything near it be Beast's Castle and Port Royal. As I said before, Xaldin's plans in Beast's Castle seemed like a personal agenda and Luxord was just playing games in Port Royal (it didn't seem like an actual Organization XIII related reason being there).
What about Space Paranoids (even though you probably addressed it aspart of "Hollow Bastion")? I'm honestly surprised that the majority of you just dismiss the world as "irrelevant", but basically the world served as a BIG Importance for Kingdom Hearts II's Hollow Bastion plot:
  1. The Hollow Bastion Restoration Comittee (Cid and Yuffie) informed Sora about a Computer from Ansem the Wise which Sora wants to use to look up the whereabouts of Riku, Mickey, Kairi and the Organization,
  2. The MCP wants to gain access to the DTD, to acquire infinite knowledge and take over the user world (Hollow Bastion) and tries various ways thrice: The first when he ​activates the emergency self-destruct mechanism in Radiant Garden. The second when he attempts to upload a Hostile Program through the I/O Tower to attack the town and the third when he he reactivates the Heartless manufacturer in Ansem's lab and hijacks the claymore system.
  3. Tron mentioned that Ansem the Wise was his user and also mentioned that "Ansem" (Terra-Xehanort) re-activated the MCP.
  4. After Tron assumes the role of the MCP he finds a file of Hollow Bastion when it was first built that reminds everyone of its former name, Radiant Garden.
 

alexis.anagram

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Apologies if I don't find multiple Ienzo cutscenes over a Gummiphone as exciting and fulfilling.
But how could you not. They discuss such important information. Like, they literally just discuss it. While sitting in a Gummi Ship and a lab, respectively. They, you know, talk about it. It's dynamic and informative, like...attending a college lecture! But online, over webcam, for that extra special degree of separation and alienation! That's how I've always secretly wanted my plot delivered in KH. I couldn't be happier with this creative decision. You buzzkill.

There's a story in an italian comic book about a teenager challenging his 50 years old father to a running match, to settle a dispute over their manly pride. The teenager's girlfriend is against it, and makes one of the most compelling arguments ever to him:

"If you win you have no merits, because you're younger; if you lose, it's an embarassment, because you're younger!"
I love this metaphor, and I do see its applicability here and agree with your conclusion on principle, but I also think there's a limit to that logic in that the merit of comparing KH3 to other games in the franchise is that they are the closest creative endeavors in likeness to it. It's a natural inclination to consider what they did right and wrong and how that informed KH3's creative process and, ultimately, its output. It's the same reason we would compare KH3 to any other video game, particularly RPG-style games, or why people compare horror movies and other categorically similar items. It provides some sort of structure or at least a launching point for understanding the baseline of a discussion: before KH3 can be critiqued, it has to be understood on what basis it is being criticized-- what KH3 was supposed to be VS what it actually is. The easiest way to gain that insight, at least as an initial approach, is to look at what other games were like, because they're the closest and most logical point of reference.

That said, I totally agree that it should ultimately stand on its own merits: simply contrasting it as less flawed than another flawed game (if that's the best case that can be made for it via this comparison) isn't persuasive. It's actually much more compelling as a method of highlighting what is wrong with the game, because if it can be shown that a previous title is demonstrably better in any given arena than the newest, that helps to identify its deficits which are essentially incontrovertible (if it's bad, it's bad), but establishing that the game does something better than a previous title is only tenuous as a commendation (the game may only look good because it is being compared with that previous title, but not when considered in isolation).

And trust me when I say that living in a 2019 where KH II is better than KH III was the last of my wishes. I am NOT happy or proud even if I'm "right".
Yeah, I feel this. KH3 had everything going for it, and it could have been great. It's a bit of a painful disappointment, but it taught me that I definitely don't need anymore KH in my life, so, silver linings.
 
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