Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Coded: Meh.

I never bothered with Coded.

The plot just looked like another rehash of the first game, and after my experience with the last one of those, I became very disinterested. I was willing to overlook that when I found out that Coded would be using a modified version of the battle system from Birth By Sleep, but I didn't feel the DS would be able to handle it, given it doesn't have both a d-pad and a stick. As I realized that absolutely nothing from this game would be new, I decided to just skip it and read a plot summary to get the sliver of remotely important information at the end.

358/2 Days: I forgot...

Yeah, I kinda forgot to cover this game; which is a little Ironic given one of its major plot points. I remember very little about this game, so this isn't going to be a very long review...

This game mostly takes place after Kingdom Hearts, and revolves around Roxas and his time with Organization XIII before the events of the second game. Without spoiling too much, Roxas goes on missions set by Saix pretty much every morning, eats ice cream on top of a clock tower, then heads back to the castle. That's... most of the game unfortunately. 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dream Drop Distance: In Your Dreams...

I've finished Dream Drop Distance now, and my opinion of it has changed from "massive disappointment following Birth by Sleep" to "A great game, but still flawed." Expect some repetition from my impressions post, as I wasn't completely wrong. I'll try not to make the impressions post completely redundant with this though!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Kingdom Hearts 3D Impressions

As a few of you probably already know, my copy of Kingdom Hearts 3D arrived a couple of days early. While I'm still nowhere near finishing the game, I'm far enough that I can make a few comments about what I think of it...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Birth By Sleep: Show Me Anguish!

Oh, I've been looking forward to this one. By the time Birth By Sleep came out, I had learned how to use the internet, and I had contributed a significant number of views towards all of the trailers on Youtube. I was finding anything to fill my need for Kingdom Hearts for about two weeks before the game actually came out because I was so excited to play it. I had a preorder placed for the game from a site with a tendency to deliver a little early than they should, and they did! Unlike most games I have very high expectations of, Birth By Sleep lived up to almost every one of them. It's my favourite game in the series so far, and easily one of my favourite games of all time. Without further stalling, let's look at Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Kingdom Hearts 2: Sanctuary

 Following my experience with Chain of Memories, I was very excited to hear that the next Kingdom Hearts game would be on the PS2 again and the card system was only temporary! Like the first game, I got Kingdom Hearts 2 for Christmas. This time I was actively asking for it though. I must have been 10 or 11 when it came out, and by that time I had decided I actually loved Disney films, with Mulan and Hercules being my favorite. When I was playing through the game for the first time, I thought everything about it was an improvement over the first game; it was faster, more intense and generally easier to follow. I still think it's better than the first game, but when I played through for my... 3rd, 4th or maybe 5th time in preparation for this retrospective, I started noticing the flaws that I may have once overlooked.

I've become used to talking about the plot first in my reviews because it's something I don't really enjoy talking about and I want to get it out of the way. This time, however, it was just the first thing I noticed in my play through. In a nutshell, you start out as some kid called Roxas in the longest prologue ever. Seriously, it's at least 2 hours before you really get to do anything interesting, and even longer before you start controlling Sora and the real plot begins. In addition to the Heartless, you start to learn about the threat of the Nobodies, which are sometimes created when a person with a strong heart becomes a heartless. Those of you familiar with the plot in Hollow Bastion in the first game might know where that plot is headed. The Nobodies are led by a group of Organization XIII, who want Sora for reasons not adequately explained for a very long time.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Chain of Memories: If only I could forget...

If you were expecting me to give this piece of crap the same level of praise the rest of the series has gotten, prepared to be surprised. I do not like this game. As a game, I'd compare it to eating tinned dog food: It does the job, but it doesn't taste very nice. Even when you're finished it leaves a bitter after-taste.

For the purposes of the review, I will be looking exclusively at the Gameboy Advance version. Chain of Memories was remade for the PS2, complete with proper 3D gameplay and some voice work, mostly in the Castle Oblivion scenes. Unfortunately, this remake wasn't released in Europe for some reason, so the only experience I have with it are on Youtube. To it's credit, it doesn't look as terrible...

The story picks up from the end of Kingdom Hearts. Sora stumbles on this really weird castle and, upon entering, loses all of his abilities. How unfortunate. He is confronted by a man in an ominous black coat, who gives Sora some cards which lead him through recreations of worlds he visited in  the first game, starting with Traverse Town. As he explores the castle, Sora's memories are gradually screwed over by a group only referred to as The Organisation to include some girl called Namine, among other things. There's also a replica of Riku created by a member of the Organisation running around the castle.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Kingdom Hearts: Open Your Heart

On Christmas Day 2002, my lovely sister came bearing gifts. No prizes for guessing what it was. When I unwrapped Kingdom Hearts and I wasn't entirely sure what to make of it. The Disney thing put me off a little, because I never really appreciated kids films when I was young to the extent that I do when I'm grown up for some reason. Oh how wrong my hasty judgement was. It was that night, during EastEnders, that my relationship with the series began...

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Matt takes on Kingdom Hearts!

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of one of my favourite video game series, Kingdom Hearts. 2012 has been a a busy year: The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, I finished high school, London will host the Olympics in a few weeks, and the ghastly Twilight Saga will finally come to a close. But none of these come even close in magnitude to Kingdom Hearts. Its revolutionary and exciting gameplay - in addition to it's deep plots and colourful cast of characters and worlds - has made it a staple part of my gaming diet since the first game came out in November 2002.