Even within the context of being just a "fanservice" game, having it's best parts blantantly stolen by BbS (org backstories, Neverland,
Rikunort final boss in a way
, online play with vs. mode) & DS hardware limitations I still think the game could've been much better than it was. What I think it needed:
1. Chapter based story mode
. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone here, slow pacing & tedious missions. Instead of day by day missions in the main story there are 12 chapters, 1 for each month that passes. Each chapter is about as long as a standard world visit. The story mode is thus a bit shorter & focuses only on the major plot points. Mission mode of course still has all the missions which feature the less important plot points.
2. More Disney character involvement
. I'm kinda surprised this isn't brought up more in this thread, but frankly I played KH to begin with because of the Disney characters & I'm stunned they would make a game where they had such little presence. The in-game explanation is that the org is trying to keep a low profile but that excuse just does not hold up.
-In spite of orders Roxas interacts a lot with Phil, which has no repercussions whatsoever to Sora in KH2 or Ven in BbS.
-The org never appeared her in KH2 so what did it matter?
-None of them appeared in KH2 so it didn't matter.
-Xaldin ends up "befriending" Beast anyway (more on that later) so that had happened earlier, associates of Xaldin such as Roxas would be welcomed guests.
And in general
-Roxas' job is to slay heartless which is beneficial to the locals so why wouldn't they welcome his help as they did for Sora? & shouldn't his hood be up if he's undercover?
So basically they should've not bother with the secrecy thing if it wouldn't have affected KH2's continuity. & how the hell can Peter Pan not show up in his own world at all?
3. More Disney bosses (or really, any boss that wasn't a palette swapped heartless)
. Related to the above but distinct in that this is more gameplay-based than story. The only disney bosses are Pete & the 3 halloween kids. How........lame. Past them it's literally nothing but heartless bosses until the endgame, & even most of those are buffed recolors of common heartless. Heartless are not characters, they're mindless monsters & thus not as compelling to battle IMO. Sure they offer unique combat situations not possible with actual characters but it needs to be balanced out, which every game except for Days has done. Some fights that could've been done (another list within a list, oh joy)
-The most immediately obvious, he was freaking in the game! A way to make this Hook fight different from past encounters would be to make him fly. He's gotta have enough loose pixy dust in that lamp by now for it & it would work with the player's flight mechanics.
-Apparently cut from the game, I blame BbS. Can't think of much new to do with the fight, but Days doesn't seem to have a problem with recycled bosses anyway. Maybe he & Roxas fight over a lava pit or something.
-Here's an unanswered question from KH2 that they forgot: how did Jafar's lamp get in the Peddler's hands? Plus we've yet to fight his snake form in a KH so that's the form Square could've used.
-It's kinda surprising how the villain of Beauty & the Beast didn't in any of the 4 that film got represented in. This fight could've helped answered another forgotten question: why does the Beast listens to a damn word Xaldin says? The simplest answer would be because Xaldin saved his life, like say from Gaston's attack.
Queen of Hearts
-She drinks from the growth bottle & is a giant for the fight.
-If the cut world stayed in of course. Eh, he's not much a ifghter but he is a fox with fangs & claws.
-Admit it, you're curious what his style would be. Perhaps Diz made an attempt to capture Roxas before hiring Riku.
Xion vs. Axel
-The best part is either of them can be the player & the other the boss.
Xion vs. Riku
4. A better freaking superboss
. To hell with Dustflier, yet another palette swap with a bazillion HP & a stupidly powerful attack that effectively rules out using combos. You know, if a Ventus model was put in the game maybe they could've had him be the superboss instead.
5. More playable Disney characters in mission mode
. At least the main heroes of the worlds that appear (I.E. Al, Jack, Herc, Beast & Pan). For me the fanservice part was finally being able to play as Mickey & Donald. In fact the original idea of the game was to do a multiplayer KH with Sora & his party members but Square feared Disney wouldn't approve. Despite this Mickey, Donald & Goofy still made it in so Sqaure must've badly miscalculated Disney's willingness.
6. Don't completely undermine the final boss
. By whom I mean Riku, not Xion. Strange that nearly the entire series over the course of 7 years had been building up & foreshadowing that fight, yet the game it's finally playable in rushes through it. Normal Riku is slow & unaggressive & we didn't even get to fight Rikunort. Yes I know why, Roxas is suppose to lose to Rikunort so it wouldn't make to beat him up. But guess what? He still gets knocked out by normal Riku!
The gameplay is null & voided by the cutscenes anyway, so why not go for broke?
7. DSi exclusive features
. & I don't mean the camera. DSi has twice the processing speed & 4 times the RAM as the previous DSes. While the bulk of the game would be still playable on DS phat & lite, a few bonus missions that took advantage of that extra horsepower would've been neat.
8. Some sort of auto-dashlike ability for flying
. I mean really, that Ruler of the Sky was more of a pain than it had any right to be.
9. Hollow Bastion+Final Fantasy characters
. I'll lump them together cuz' this would be the world most of them would appear in. Seems strange that most of org comes from this (even Roxas in a way, imagine him visiting the spot where Sora emo'd himself & having another headache), Xenmas frequently visits yet it doesn't show up in the game.