I am currently in the process of playing through the entire Kingdom Hearts franchise with my partner. I had never played a single Kingdom Hearts game before this day, so this was my introduction to the series… I don’t think it was a very good one.
I know that this is a beloved game series for a lot of people, and I have to guess that nostalgia is a big factor in that. I did not find any elements of the game that particularly drew me in. The art was decent, although I think it is mostly carried by the design of classic Disney characters. The story, what was there of it in-between the retelling of various Disney stories, felt incoherent. Things just kind of… happened, antagonists appeared and disappeared with their motives remaining unclear, and just going from world to world started feeling pointless after the first couple of times.
These are all faults I could excuse if the gameplay made up for it. Unfortunately, this aspect of the game is entirely ruined by just one thing: Controls. It might be the fact that I have not played many games from its era, but I could not get used to the borderline unusable controls, and this was the remaster. You would think it should have somewhat improved on the original. It ruined even sections that could have been enjoyable otherwise. Most of the problem lies with the camera. It feels as though it has a mind of its own, and the right stick is simply suggesting where you would like it to point. That is not the only issue however: The lock-on system would target seemingly random enemies; in flying sections it was hard to tell what height you were at and which enemies you were close to; and platforming was an absolute chore with how hard it was to judge distances.
As I said at the beginning, I understand that this is an important game to a lot of people, but perhaps the high regard to which it is held can make it seem as though anyone could pick it up and enjoy it — and that might be true for some people — but this is definitely a game that shows its age.
I am not letting my thoughts on this game taint my view of the entire franchise, which I am still hopeful for. So, on to the next game! Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories.