Hello, I am playing (almost) every single Kingdom Hearts game, join me on this silly adventure!

Kaitos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,934
So on a whim the other night, I bought the PS4 bundle that had almost every single Kingdom Hearts game in HD besides like 358/2 Days that was just cutscenes (I think there's another game like this, maybe re:coded?) I had bought into the hype of Kingdom Hearts III but also knew the games were dreadfully convoluted from my very limited experiences playing them.

And now I'm here, to tell you about my experiences as I play most of these games for the first time. That's right! Besides playing maybe half of the first game when I was 12 when it first came out and a little bit of Chain of Memories on the GBA, I've never played a Kingdom Hearts game. I don't really remember a lot about the series and have had little exposure to what's in store for me.

KINGDOM HEARTS (2002)



I'm currently about 9 hours in the first Kingdom Hearts -- I've made it to Ursula in Atlantica, but I'm having trouble and have been told that I probably should try to beat Halloween land first and to get a better key there to take on Ursula. Atlantica as a level has been more than a frustrating experience, so I'm happy to let it go so I can try something else for a bit and maybe grind.

But on the whole, it's fascinating the ways the game does and doesn't hold up. The battle system is very fun -- a good mix of button mashing and fast paced aerial attacks, though there are small design decisions here and there that continue to frustrate when it comes to battling, especially the consistent respwaning. This would be fine if the game was any better at telling you where to go, but one of the biggest flaws of the game is that getting you from point A to point B is needlessly obtuse, and it's often a bunch of wandering until I hit the next cutscene.

This is probably my biggest criticism of the game outside of the Gummi Ship (which I find almost unplayable because I can't invert the controls) -- the game is really bad at telling you where to go next, and I think I've taken for granted a lot of modern systems that point you in the right direction if you want to go there. It's also stunning how small every room is -- there's zero sense of scope, which I don't blame the game for, but it's probably something about the game that doesn't hold up because there are grander ambitions that what the PS2 could handle.

The game is beautiful in HD, though some parts are hilarious (Wonderland is just walls with 2D leaf textures painted on the side that are charming).

The story is probably the thing about Kingdom Hearts that gets discussed as much as the gameplay, but so far, it's... simple? Sora's mission does seem to get lost a bit every time you go to a new world, and the idea of "don't meddle!" seems to be haphazardly employed depending on the plot. But so far, it's fine. I get that there's going to be a lot more to it because I've seen the infamous Sora Chart, but it's quite funny how I feel like I'm decently far in the game and how unbelievable simple the game has been to follow. I will say: the Final Fantasy characters really feel tacked on. It's less Disney x Final Fantasy than Original Story x Disney plus some FF cameos. The fact they call Squall by half of his last name is weird, and for seemingly no reason? Did they call him Leon in FF8 and I just forgot that?

Anyways, Ursula (second form) is terrible but I'm going to try the Halloween town to level up and hopefully be able to beat her after.
 

Theswweet

RPG Site
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
1,960
California
I'd already played BBS and DDD (I know, I know) so I played through KH1 in prep for KHIII and watched a few recaps. Planning to do CoM and KHII after III now.

KH1 feels better near the end, but my biggest problem is just how long it takes to get basic movement/combat options. Also, there's no good reason that glide and superglide were separate abilities. Just give folks superglide when they get regular glide!
 

Syril

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,146
All the story talk is really regarding all the games after the first one. I think the first game's story is pretty tidy myself.
The fact they call Squall by half of his last name is weird, and for seemingly no reason? Did they call him Leon in FF8 and I just forgot that?
His journal entry mentions that he gave up his name because he's angsting super hard about not being able to save his world. But in truth it's just a device the head writer used to let the Disney heroes refer to him at the beginning and still have it be a surprise to the player when Squall shows up.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,103
You lucky bastard. I've been trying to find that PS4 bundle and it's completely sold out everywhere! I've already played KH1 and 2 (back in the day) but none of the others.
 
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Kaitos

Kaitos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,934
Also, I forgot to mention: it's a little silly why Riku is helping Maleficent or why he's mad at Sora. Because he's not trying to save Kairi? He seems very clearly trying to find them. Then Riku shows up and was like, you don't care about us!!!! What a little bitch tbqh.
 

Papercuts

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,011
Ugh, that Ursula fight is terrible. I really dislike KH1, like you mentioned the game gives you zero direction and the trigger points for cutscenes to move things forward often makes no sense, though it’s a bigger issue earlier on. That Tarzan level is like all the bad parts of the game combined.
 

Mike Rambo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
218
Philadelphia
Kh 1 starts to really pick up at the end of the cluster of worlds you’re in. I had a similar experience to you, and recently played through the whole series this month with someone dear to me who loves the series with all their heart. Honestly, going from mostly an outsider to being all the way in on the series is a weird whiplash experience, but in the end I’m glad I made this journey and am getting to play the final game with everyone who has been waiting so long!
 
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Kaitos

Kaitos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,934
Ugh, that Ursula fight is terrible. I really dislike KH1, like you mentioned the game gives you zero direction and the trigger points for cutscenes to move things forward often makes no sense, though it’s a bigger issue earlier on. That Tarzan level is like all the bad parts of the game combined.
And yeah, some of the boss fights in KH1 are rage inducing.
Okay, I'm glad I'm not crazy. She's an awful boss fight!
 

Syril

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,146
Also, I forgot to mention: it's a little silly why Riku is helping Maleficent or why he's mad at Sora. Because he's not trying to save Kairi? He seems very clearly trying to find them. Then Riku shows up and was like, you don't care about us!!!! What a little bitch tbqh.
It tries to present Riku as Sora's super best friend, but during the opening he's super insecure about asserting that he's "better" than Sora in various ways. He constantly trash talks while he's fighting you, and if you beat him in the race, he's all, "why are taking it so seriously bro, it's just a name". Meeting Maleficent and thinking "this seems like a trustworthy individual" isn't that much of a stretch from "this ominous dark power is swarming the island with shadow monsters. That's the ticket out of here we can trust!"
 

Soul Skater

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,630
The story is probably the thing about Kingdom Hearts that gets discussed as much as the gameplay, but so far, it's... simple? Sora's mission does seem to get lost a bit every time you go to a new world, and the idea of "don't meddle!" seems to be haphazardly employed depending on the plot. But so far, it's fine. I get that there's going to be a lot more to it because I've seen the infamous Sora Chart, but it's quite funny how I feel like I'm decently far in the game and how unbelievable simple the game has been to follow.
Oh...

My sweet summer child......

But seriously lol. Yeah KH1 is pretty simple and easy to follow. But after your done with it, you have to play through or atleast watch the cutscenes to Chain of Memories and 358/2. Don’t even touch KH2 until then the story makes zero sense without those. 358/2 came out after but I think it’s better to play it first
 
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SCB360

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,513
I’m also on this journey, just about to start 2.5 after watching 358/2 days cutscenes.

I will say, fuck the last 2 hours or so of KH1, those bosses (especially Chernabog) are rage inducing the game was enjoyable and very dated though, apparently 2 fixed a lot the issues I had with 1 so that’ll be interesting to say the least
 
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Kaitos

Kaitos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,934
I beat Ursula — I got stuck behind her head in what seemed like an accident and just kept whacking her like my lift depended on it.

I also beat Oogie Boogie so we’re getting close to the end I think?
 

Boownage

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,207
The Netherlands
KH3 is the best one by far I think

But yeah the first game I think is better than the rest
This, after 12 hours in KH3 I can safely say it's the best one by a mile, everything is just way better compared to the older games.

As for KH1, I really have a soft spot for that game, I think the story is great and I love the worlds, especially Tarzan is great imo.
 

Solar Puffin

Member
Oct 8, 2018
2,127
Sydney
They should remake 1 in the 3 engine, and give the worlds as much love as 3s worlds get.
And tack CoM on as postgame without the fucking card mechanic.
1 feels like PS2 jank these days.
 

Eumi

Member
Nov 3, 2017
2,953
Did this myself over the Summer.

It’s a really fun trip. One thing I will say is that a lot of stuff that makes no sense in one game will be explained in later games. The series has an issue of doing that but not making it clear that we aren’t supposed to understand.

Also: Chain of Memories is an incredibly divisive game. Some people love it, I think it’s a trash fire, etc. My advice is to play 5 hours and if you aren’t having fun drop it and watch the cutscenes on YouTube. The game is incredibly long and vital to the series so do not force your way through it if you don’t want to burn out.
 

frankabus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
214
Make sure you play/watch everything in the right order. 358/2 is supposed to be seen AFTER KH2, even though they packaged it as part of the 1.5 collection. In other words, KH1, then CoM, then KH2, then 358/2, and so on.
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,379
I just got 3 but I plan on replaying the series too.

The problem I always had with 1 is that some levels I seem to always never be able to find where I’m supposed to go.

Deep Jungle was always the worst for this to me.
 

Hype-Lord

Member
Jan 8, 2019
48
Moscow, Russia
That I.5 + II.5 Final Mix PS4 disk has been in my shelf for a few years, only started playing last week. I started KH1 on Proud and regretted it. Yeah, Ursula fight sucks SO MUCH because of godawful controls. I recommend you equip items with lightning resist, get a few mega-potions and just chesse her to end: just constantly swim in one direction as far away from her as possible, while Donald and Goofy will damage her little by little. They will constantly self revive after some time too.

What sucks for is that I already downloaded KH3 on my Xbox One X, but can't start playing cause I'm yet to catch up on story. Currently playing BBS, then gonna watch cutscenes from: Re: Coded, DDD, 0.2 fragmentary passage.

All that said, I'm enjoying this crazy adventure very much.
 

Hype-Lord

Member
Jan 8, 2019
48
Moscow, Russia
Deep Jungle was always the worst for this to me.
Oh yeah, that level angered me because you have to pretty much constantly revisit everything and everyone waiting for some invisible story trigger to do it's job. So glad that they adressed this issue in KH2, where you can always look up your current goal in Journal and Sora even don't let you go in wrong direction too.
 

Zerojul

Member
Oct 26, 2017
340
Paris, France
I'm currently doing the same, had a lot of fun with KH1 except for some really annoying boss fights. Couldn't endure going through re:CoM, just watched the cutscenes online and barely started KH2.
I'm doing normal runs and will watch secret endings online because my daughter is really in a hurry to watch Sora go through the Tangled and Frozen worlds in KH3 so I gotta go fast through all the previous games.
 

tiesto

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,425
Long Island, NY
I'm gonna be doing this starting Friday, I played to about Agrabah back in 2003 but KH is one of the few major RPG series I've never beaten any entry in. Will join you on your adventure!
 
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Kaitos

Kaitos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,934
I'm gonna be doing this starting Friday, I played to about Agrabah back in 2003 but KH is one of the few major RPG series I've never beaten any entry in. Will join you on your adventure!
Ha, that's EXACTLY where I stopped when I first starting playing!

I'm about 11 hours in right now and finally got to Neverland -- I have to say again, it's wild how *small* these worlds are (I know I'm looking at an early PS2 game from 2019 lenses, but still). I did like the end of Halloween Town, and the Oogie fight was inspired. The world in general just really fit the art style of Kingdom Hearts really well.

I'm a little anxious for re:COM, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I think I liked the game when I was 14 and a Nintendo super fan on the GBA, but I truly cannot remember. Remember when card games were all the rage in the early-to-mid aughts! (*stares at avatar*)
 

Syril

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,146
I'm about 11 hours in right now and finally got to Neverland -- I have to say again, it's wild how *small* these worlds are (I know I'm looking at an early PS2 game from 2019 lenses, but still). I did like the end of Halloween Town, and the Oogie fight was inspired. The world in general just really fit the art style of Kingdom Hearts really well.
I love how every other world is terrified of heartless but the Halloween Townspeople think they're the coolest thing and want to use them in their shows.
 

Twonny

Member
Dec 12, 2018
270
I'm in the middle of this right now. I just left Agrabah and I have no idea where to go next. Oops.
 

Feeroper

Member
Oct 25, 2017
354
I completed all the KH games back when they released on their original platforms but have decided to do a complete series play through before playing 3. Wish I started a little earlier but here we are. I want to make sure I get a good full experience now that the final installment of this story arc is out. Its a pretty wild and complex plot, but I find it very appealing and charming.

I will likely skip CoM though and do a cut scene watch. I remember liking it on GBA back in the day and completing it there, but when I had the PS2 Re:CoM I remember finding it insufferable to play - but the story was great and is really important to the story arc. So yeah, give that one a shot but dont be afraid to skip it and watch the cut scenes instead and you will be fine. KHII on the other hand is excellent!
 
Oct 25, 2017
997
I too started going through the KH series recently, worked my way up to Atlantica and hated that world so much that I put KH1 down entirely and just watched the cutscenes for the rest of it.

I can't stand how the gameplay for 1 is essentially, "wander around this area for a bit until you trigger the next cutscene." And when the platforming and enemy encounters are as grating as they are, it makes the actual playing the game part not fun at all. Even if I did find the story pretty interesting.

CoM, same thing, mainly just watched the cutscenes there and moved on to KH2.

KH2 is excellent though. The jump from KH1 to KH2 can't be overstated.
 
I did this journey last year OP and I gotta say I had the same experience OP. The biggest highlight for me were seeing the Disney villians. They still look great 17 years later. I find it seriously impressive just how well they aged. Music was also pretty tight for this game too. Everything else was a slog. Frustrating bosses as well as badly designed world navigation. As per the convoluted story I'd say it only really gets there when you are done with KH2.

So OP good news is that you are one step closer to Kingdom Hearts 2. The best game in thes eires (can't speak on KH3 still playing it). Bad news is you gotta get through this game and Chain of Memories to play it.
 

LegendofLex

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,935
Make sure you play/watch everything in the right order. 358/2 is supposed to be seen AFTER KH2, even though they packaged it as part of the 1.5 collection. In other words, KH1, then CoM, then KH2, then 358/2, and so on.
the memory archives from KH3 expose that this is definitely untrue and Nomura actually genuinely does want you to experience Days before KH2.
 

DJ_Lae

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,801
Edmonton
Good luck.

I tried this a few months back - made it through the first Kingdom Hearts again (which maybe doesn't mean much as it's the only one I beat when it originally launched) and then stalled out 3/4s of the way through whatever the card-based combat game is called.
 

Aaron

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
10,463
Yasss! Join us.

I would say KH2, BBS and DDD are functionally better games, though nothing until 3 has matched the charm of the original.

I agree with what someone said earlier, give Chain of Memories a try but if you’re not into it, just look up the cutscenes on YouTube. 358/2 Days and Coded are movies on the HD collections, and then there’s just unchained x back cover (which is a cutscene movie that basically sums up the plot relevant portions of that browser game), and 0.2 which is a short little playable prologue to KH3.
 
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Kaitos

Kaitos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,934
How long is CoM compared to the first game? I honestly don't remember? I think I got like through the first part of the game when I was younger pre-Riku's section?
 

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,093
How long is CoM compared to the first game? I honestly don't remember? I think I got like through the first part of the game when I was younger pre-Riku's section?
About 10 for Sora and 10 for Riku. Just don't do it and watch the cutscenes. The card battle system never returns and is just bad and boring.
 

RatskyWatsky

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Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,072
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Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,218
Iwatodai Dorm
I too started the KH series as well last year. So far I’ve played KHI and Chain of Memories, the first one I beat before September while I played CoM during the winter break. My original idea was to beat at least the first collection before KHIII came out but it turned out to be impossible due to my desire to play other games as well as having to take a rest from playing them since I don’t want to get burned out.

It’s weird that I’m playing the games right now because I’ve owned all consoles on which the originals came out but i didn’t bother with the series until I had the chance to grab the PS4 collection for cheap.

I’m taking my break from beating CoM at the moment. Don’t get me wrong though: I actually liked the game and i think its battle system is quite interesting but flawed. I liked the game even more than the first KH but I understand why it’s disliked so much too.

Once I beat Spider-Man and FFXII I’ve scheduled KHII, or maybe I’ll just play Spider-Man and go directly to KHII, I don’t know yet.

And yes, I found some of the bosses pretty hard to beat. At times some of them felt like fucking Dark Souls Bosses lol.

Have fun OP.