Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Dream Drop Distance - Episode 5 - Don't Ask Questions

I completely forgot about this second trip to Traverse Town.

One thing I will actually praise Dream Drop Distance for, it's that it does a pretty good job at foreshadowing many of the twists and plot points that come up in the end game. It's nothing I can get into now, but I look forward to elaborating on it later.

And as for Maleficent... who cares? I don't. She stopped being relevant a long time ago.

Sam also brings up a great point that there is a degree of casual sexism in the game with regards to how it treats female characters. We went into it with Kairi way back in Kingdom Hearts 1, and Sam was right to call it out with Shiki in this game.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Dream Drop Distance - Episode 4 - Feeling Sora

Oh great, just what this game needed: A shoddy tie-in to a movie that was "coming soon" when the game came out.

In between when we recorded this episode and the time this episode is released, Joe Parlock from Let's Play Video Games wrote an article criticizing Disney for treating it's games like advertisements. He used Tron: Legacy's inclusion in Dream Drop Distance, and Pirates of the Caribbean in Kingdom Hearts 2, as examples for this, and he was right to do so.

For Port Royale, one could argue that there were interesting things Nomura could do with it that were new and exciting. Here, not only are we treading old ground by going back to Tron, but we're doing so in a way that raises far too many questions about how much any of it matters or even if could plausibly happen. On top of that, the source material isn't that great.

It has all the hallmarks of a shitty move tie-in, and it drags down the whole game as a result.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Dream Drop Distance - Episode 3 - Don't Let's Play RPGs

In this episode, we had some plot occur for about 3 minutes, then the Disney worlds took over.

I don't really have anything to say about Pinocchio. It's just kinda there... like many other Disney worlds in this series.

That said, I really do enjoy that Riku, in particular, is getting to explore how his character has evolved since the first game. It was a good idea to contrast him with his "dark side" from back then to see how far he's come.

Now if only we could get some more time with the former-Nobodies.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Dream Drop Distance - Episode 2 - Piledrive That Gypsy!

For something as decidedly family-friendly as Kingdom Hearts claims to be, The Hunchback for Notre Dame is such a strange choice.

For reference, this is the "Hellfire" song I mentioned during this episode when talking about how dark this story is.

First off, I have, since the time of the recording, been informed that "gypsy" is a racist slur. (The correct term being Romani.) Had I known that at the time, I would've pointed it out and the conversation that we had would've played out quite different. That said, it further underscores the point I was making in this episode.

Even in the lexicon of Disney movies, this isn't one of their more beloved works. Not to say that it's bad or that it doesn't have fans, but it never reached the kind of popularity that a lot of their movies from this time period did. That might explain why it's in a side game and not one of the bigger games in the Kingdom Hearts canon, but it's still such an odd choice when it's dark tone is combined with it's relative obscurity.

At least we get some good character moments with Sora and Riku out of it, even if I'm left disturbed by Frollo's Romani/Esmerelda obsession to this day.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Dream Drop Distance - Episode 1 - This Game Gets Weird

At last, we are in the home stretch on the Kingdom Hearts Primer. This is the last sub-series in this major project that has taken Sam and I over a year and tons of our sanity. Finally, we will have recapped all the story you need to know for Kingdom Hearts 3.

After the long and grueling season on Re:Coded, we needed that break to get this started.

First off, the actual reason we had to wait is because when Sam went to edit the footage, Adobe Premier decided that he wasn't allowed to and crashed.

Second, I'm glad to know that Sam reads my articles like the one he mentioned where I talk about Neku and the story of The World Ends With You. I would appreciate it if you did too! (Side note: Man, I really need to get back to writing.)

As for any actual commentary on the story: Man, this Kingdom Hearts game is the most confusing of the bunch. Kingdom Hearts already has a massive problem where it was difficult to explain the story to someone who hasn't been playing the series. Dream Drop Distance adds parallel worlds, dreams, and time travel to the mix all in the introduction. There's no real way to get around how much bloat that adds.

I also feel really bad for all the people out there who saw the cast of The World Ends With You in this game and thought "I'm sure glad Square Enix didn't forget about this IP". Since DDD, there has been nothing done with those characters or that IP. It's such a shame. :(