The GWJ JRPG Club 2018 - Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix

I've stalled out for the moment...probably not getting back to it, but I won't rule it out just yet. Somewhat more likely to happen with Chain of Memories off the requirements.

Oh, tempting! Good idea. I might take a look this weekend. I think I can do a 25-hour thing.

No I’m not playing. I tried KH twice before it won the vote and it’s really not for me.

Good call regarding Chain of Memories. Sad to see, but also kind of telling about the quality of the game.

steinkrug wrote:

No I’m not playing. I tried KH twice before it won the vote and it’s really not for me.

Got it!

I'm stalled out as well. I really should know better than to attempt to play games that aren't handheld. That, and I'm not so sure the game aged that well.

I'm still in the running, just taking my sweet time doing it - new trainer position at work and a bit of freelance work windfall, thankfully, have taken some focus away from gaming, making so that I seem to focus on games where I can make some perceived progress within an hour's time or so, hence MHW's online post-game, Divinity, and other, longer experiences falling a bit by the wayside.

I'm still working on CoM but I think it a good decision to drop it.

I very much enjoyed KH and am glad I played through it but I don't think I will see CoM through to the end.

Yeah... I got distracted.... I probably won’t finish it for a long while.

I stalled out, I gave it a solid 4 hours to grab me, but its just not for me.

In a good hour and a half last night, I finished my first ascent up Hollow Bastion, beat three bosses


Maleficent, Dragon Maleficent, and Riku -- all three were excellent fights. I'm not sure that I need to use a spoiler tag for this, any more.

and am now making my second ascent, after the heartless have powered up in each world. I know I'm really close to the end, now.

After this, I know I'll have the Hades Cup open at the Olympus Coliseum, I'll have a bunch of optional boss challenges available, and I'll have some crafting to do. I'm not sure how much of it I'll get through. I'd like to do all the optional boss stuff, at least. And I'd like to clear the crafting and get Ultima Weapon, but I'm not sure that I'll have patience for farming all the rare item drops I'll need to actually get the thing. I've also gone back through most of the worlds (though not Deep Jungle or Agrabah) to find the Trinity marks, but with extensive use of a FAQ.

I don't love the way that this game handles crafting. I'm almost at the end of the game and I've been able to craft 11 of the 18 things available to craft right now (30 or so total). It makes sense that getting to the end of the crafting menu takes some play beyond the main story content, but this much? Many of the things I can't craft call for resources that I've never even come across during the main game. I don't like that fully 2/3 of the crafting appears to involve content that seems not to be available, really, until you've almost finished the story. I also don't love that the game doesn't help you figure out where to find these ingredients. I don't need a sign pointing me in a specific direction, but it would be nice if Jiminy's Journal recorded monster drops as you unlock them.

My complaint feels weird and a little curmudgeonly. I don't mind some amount of hunting for secrets, but this whole crafting part of the game feels needlessly grindy, and also like I'm not really getting fun new content as I go hunting.


We're into November now. How's everyone doing? I haven't progressed past my last post, as I fell back, hard, into DQ XI. But I do want to finish this up before the end of the year.

I know we are not doing it as part of the club anymore but I have officially dropped off CoM. I found it much too grind heavy, without the typical rewards of fun loot, a good story, or at least new locations to explore.

I’m telling myself that I’ll finish Kingdom Hearts in about two weeks or so (will be out of town this coming week). I’m definitely within striking distance: Hollow Bastion is totally done, so I could head on to the final world now.

I was delaying out of a sense that I really wanted to savor the optional endgame content, but that just led to me playing Dragon Quest XI, instead. I came back to KH today to try start collecting items for fusion recipes, and damn, the grind is tedious. Realizing the number of times I’d have to swim through Atlantica to get two key ingredients, and how many times I would have to travel through Deep Jungle for the same (the two worlds I was grinding in, today), made me realize: no part of me wants to do this. I’ve already complained about the crafting system above, so I’ll stop here, but comparing this with DQXI’s crafting made me realize how little I like it here.

So, I think I’ll be finishing the Coliseum (except Sephiroth, probably) and then will head on to the final world. I’d love to platinum the game but, even beyond crafting, I would have to play 2 more times: once to clear it on hard mode, and again (probably on easy) to clear it without changing my equipment. And realistically, there’s no chance I will do either when I could be playing another game instead.

As someone who has never played a KH game in his life (but has I, II and Birth by Sleep in his backlog), are they actually worth playing at this point? Reading this last page of comments about it, I get the feeling that I should probably just retire them all. Especially since I'm not particularly attached to anything Disney...

I always love questions like this!

I think that there are some things that Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 do well, and some things that aren't as good (haven't played Birth by Sleep).

I played Kingdom Hearts shortly after its release, and I thought it would be a weird mess. I ended up loving it. The Disney characters were charming and the idea of individual storybook worlds, connected by a Final Fantasy-style villain and plot (and some FF characters to boot), worked surprisingly well. During this replay, one of the things I've appreciated most is how quickly it moves. You can finish a world in a couple hours, and it's nice to have a JRPG that can be a 30-hour game and that breaks down into digestible chunks. As I'm sure you can tell, though, I'm put off by the amount of grinding necessary to access some of the optional content and achievements.

I think the basic gameplay holds up decently well. Combat is not super-complex, and will be familiar to anyone who's familiar to action-adventure games with RPG elements. It's a little clunky by modern standards, and the camera feels like the camera from a PS2 game. But, I had a lot of fun with the combat, especially boss battles, which are all pretty well crafted. Mechanically, the game is at its worst in sections that involve platforming, especially early in the game before you get abilities to enhance your jump. There isn't a lot of platforming throughout the game but one early world -- Deep Jungle (Tarzan) -- is a bad offender.

So, even without nostalgia, I think KH is worth a try if you like that style of the game: PS2-era action JRPGs. The game is definitely better if you're into Disney. The voice work is great: in most cases, Square Enix was able to hire the voice actors from the original movies. There are a very few exceptions that will stand out (Don Castanella as Genie, rather than Robin Williams, for example: he was Genie in the movie sequels to Aladdin and in the cartoon; he also voices Homer Simpson, so Genie sounds a lot like Homer). A shout-out to whoever animated and voiced Maleficent, she is an exceptional villain.

KH2 is an odd duck. It's a lot more of the same, though a lot of the pure gameplay is better. Level design is more interesting and varied; the combat controls are tighter (from what I remember); and the Gummi Ship mini game, a sort of space shooter used to travel between worlds, is actually really good rather than merely forgettable. The overall meta-plot of the Kingdom Hearts series is a convoluted mess, though, and this game contributes heavily to that feel. Also, the opening few hours of the game are famously bad and boring. After a cliffhanger ending in KH1 (and some in-between story filled by Chain of Memories, which I haven't played), you begin KH2 as ... a different character, and you don't get the main character back for 3-4 hours.

Thanks for the explanation, LastSurprise! I think I will keep them in the backlog for now, until I can give the first one a try (someday, maybe...)

I don't have any problem with PS2 JRPGs (in fact, I think they constitute the majority of my backlog). I was considering buying one of the later remasters, but thinking about it, I don't know if it will be worth it for me to upgrade my unplayed PS2/PSP games...

I second everything LastSurprise said regarding KH1.

This was my first complete play-through of KH and I genuinely loved it. There are some downsides, particularly the platforming, Atlantis and the lack of direction, but the combat still holds up quite well and the Disney and FF touches really add to the fun, even as somebody who is not a mega fan of either.

Add in the snappy pacing and world hoping nature of the game which has you facing different enemies in different environments every few hours and I found it easy to sink an hour or two into each day.

Kingdom Hearts I.5/II.5 HD Remix for PS4 was on sale this week at Best Buy for $20 (CDN), and I bought it (along with NieR Automata). I blame you both, LastSurprise and Cronox! (I almost bought II.8 as well, it was also $20, but figured I could wait a year or two, considering how slow I am at playing games.)

Always happy to be an enabler!

LastSurprise wrote:

Always happy to be an enabler!

Indeed. I hope you enjoy it bobby.

Does anyone else who has played both the original, and Final Mix, feel like Final Mix is harder?

I don’t remember dying much in the original, but I’ve died several times in Final Mix. On Sunday, when I got home from Thanksgiving, I fired up Final Mix and started working through the Hades Cup. I made it from 50 to 40, lost once, came back, beat 40, and was so depleted that I lost again quickly after that. The enemies definitely hit harder than I remember.

... and I just finished.

The End of the World was a fun level, although the story with Ansem, and the cut-scenes after the final battle, really highlight the series' very confusing plot. I feel like the ending leaves us with more questions than answers -- which it was designed to do -- but I remember feeling like KH2 did not really help me understand things any better.

EDIT: Cross-post from the main thread: nominations for our Q1 2019 begin tomorrow.

LastSurprise wrote:

...I feel like the ending leaves us with more questions than answers -- which it was designed to do -- but I remember feeling like KH2 did not really help me understand things any better.

Yup. No answers, just more questions... as with pretty much every game in the series. With any luck, we will get proper answers in 3. They better finish the story then.

Hey everyone, our playthrough of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix is going to wrap up on December 31. If any of you have finished, and haven’t received credit in the main club thread, please let us know! And, is anyone out there still playing or planning to finish? I’m done but am happy to keep the conversation going if it helps to provide a little motivation.

Last call! If you've finished this or plan to before New Year, please let us know. So far I have Cronox, A_Unicycle, and me as finishers.

Unfortunately, I won’t finish this. I may go back eventually but, I think I’ll just watch a YouTube recap video before KH3 releases.

So, after a long slog/grind for three days, approximately, I have finally beat Kingdom Hearts - a second time - a little over 16 years after it released in NA.

I... am not sure that I like it any longer. I can see why I liked it back then, and despite the controls feeling so off today, they seemed well enough back in 2002. I distinctly recall finding KH2 a confusing mess story-wise, but having played KH again, I can see that it didn't have all that concise a narrative.

If anything, I'm farther away from ever purchasing KH3 now than I ever have been. At least I got through it and basked in enough of the nostalgia so as not to have a compulsion to plunk down on the newest game in the series.

Congrats, brokenclavicle! I'll level you up in the main thread.

I hope you enjoyed seeing it through to the end. I'm sure revisiting the series now gave you a much better sense of whether you'll really want KH3. Like you, I think nostalgia would have made me more inclined to purchase it, before playing KHFM.