What’s Good About…(First Edition)

Hello and welcome,to the first installment of what I hope is an ongoing thing called “What’s Good About”. The main focus of these posts are basically just an excuse for me to talk about stuff in video games and video games that I like a lot. I want to take it more in-depth as to why I like what I like in further detail but for now, I’m going to keep it Brief with impressions of Kingdom Hearts 3. Haven’t exactly finished it yet, but here’s how I feel about them in the moment.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Have you ever waited for a video game for so long that your priorities for what you wanted for it have changed as you did? Because this is what’s happened to me with Kingdom Hearts 3. Though I’ve managed to keep up with its admittedly buckwild story (which honestly feels more like an interactive avant-garde art piece than a straightforward narrative, I digress), the more I’ve played it the more I realized that it feels like a game from the PS2 era in terms of how it plays and how it chooses to go about the way it tells its story. For the most part, cutscenes notwithstanding obviously, Kingdom Hearts 3 chooses to tell its story using the language of games as opposed to the language of film, which means it doesn’t rip control away from you at the most inopportune of moments (a video on the game by TheGamingBritShow on YouTube called “Waiting 13 Years for a Video Game goes into greater depth on the subject, link at the end of the post if you want to watch it yourself Timestamp is 7:43–9:26).

My favorite example of this is through the increased accessibility of the form change called Rage Form: Sora essentially turns into a Heartless like how Anti Form in Kingdom Hearts 2 works but the difference is that at the start, it’s only available when you get to low health as opposed to Anti’s “don’t transform too much or else” function. At first, it’s no big deal, but as the game goes on, you aren’t even at the activation requirement when it pops up, which is really cool if it implies what I think it implies. But that feels like a post for another time, another storytelling technique is how it tries to and mostly succeeds to blend its own weird, insane lore with the Disney properties it uses for its playable levels. Some work better than others with this approach so far, namely the worlds set after their respective films. This is also a game that is completely self-aware about what it really is and doesn’t care if you like it being on its bullshit; I find that really refreshing in an age where there’s a lot of market research and trends being chased which leads to experiences in games feeling more homogenized than I’d personally like them to.

Like a video game that you play, it feels like a PS2 game and I mean that in the best way imaginable. While I appreciate a lot of advancements that video games have made in the last decade or so, sometimes you just have to go through an action RPG with Disney characters to remind yourself that it’s not all about gear score, daily log-in bonuses, and being a live service, you know? One of the main changes to the combat I like is that they took the form changes from Birth By Sleep and the Drive Forms from Kingdom Hearts 2 and put them into the keyblades you acquire throughout the course of the story and these change your fighting style radically enough that it’s making me forgo my usual “Kingdom Key Only Run” and that’s wild; the fact that you can equip three keyblades at a time, combined with denser enemy placements and larger areas (seriously, taking advantage of being back on home consoles) give the combat a sense of chaos that, while not particularly challenging is at least pretty awesome to look at.

Based on my progress, I just finished Monstropolis and should be hitting Arendelle, so I think I’m a bit more than halfway through at the time of writing, and while the game at this point may not feel like the continuation to continuation of Kingdom hearts 2 (which is an admittedly dumb expectation to have because as far as I’m concerned the are in the first two games and Chain of Memories was wrapped up in Kingdom Hearts 2, it’s a closing chapter on the stuff from Birth By Sleep Onwards) everyone I know wanted, it’s still a good game and some light rumblings about the endgame have me excited, even though I don’t know what exactly might happen. But all I ask is that I get to beat Xehanort’s smug ass into the dirt because he deserves it at this point.

And that concludes the first of hopefully many installments of “What’s Good About?” If you got this far, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow a nerd with too much time to indulge himself, and have a wonderful day/afternoon/evening (I don’t know when you’re reading this, all right?)