Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix Initial Impressions

Kh2fmp_logoAs mentioned in my last post, I’ve already started into Kingdom Hearts 2, and so far am having a great time.  I decided this time to play the Final Mix version, which up until now was a Japanese-only release.  It was announced a couple months ago that Square Enix will be releasing a Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD collection sometime later in 2014 (which will include KH2 Final Mix, along with Birth by Sleep and the cutscenes from Re: Coded), but I couldn’t wait.  I discovered that there was an english patch made for the Japanese version, so I’m playing through that through an emulator.  Yeah, I know that might not be super kosher with some people, but it was ripped from my own personal copy (yes, I had a copy laying around that I imported from Japan ages ago), so I don’t think that’s much of a problem.

Now, onto the game.  First major thing with this game is that you don’t actually start the game as Sora.  You start as a guy named Roxas, who does look a bit like Sora though.  The game begins in a place called Twilight Town (which was also a level in Chain of Memories), and you’re with your friends just before they go back to school.  A bunch of stuff happens (like fighting Vivi from FF9 and Setzer from FF6!!), and it’s eventually revealed that Roxas used to be a member of Organiation XIII, but he doesn’t remember any of that.  He eventually stumbles across Sora (who was inside that machine that was being used to reconstruct his memories), and finally you gain control of him.  This is where the game opens up, and feels more like KH1.  You get to go back to Hallow Bastion (where everyone from Traverse Town ended up), and even get to make a trip to Mickey’s Castle.  I’m only about 10 hours in, so I have a long way to go, but as I said above, I’m having a great time (by the way, the Beast is awesome again!!!).

The gameplay this time is so much better than KH1.  You really feel awesome right from the get-go.  Sora starts whipping his Keyblade around like an expert (which I suppose he should be).  He even has a mode now where he can duel-wield Keyblades.  You’re still equipping items and stuff like before, but there’s many more skills this time around.  The enemies do seem a bit harder, and I don’t know if that’s just me not being high enough levelled, or just aren’t utilizing the combat system well enough.  I haven’t been throwing the controller yet though, so that’s good.  There hasn’t been many platforming sections either, which is a god-send because I’m not sure even the traversal this time would hold up (the first game was horrible, and while improved this time, still way too floaty).  The camera also works like an action RPG should.

Overall, I’m very happy with this game so far, and am happy with how it looks too (thanks to the emulator spitting this game out at glorious 1080p).  I’ll post another update in the next little while….hopefully not too long though :)

Until next time…