As promised, here is my rant about the first 3 hours or so of Kingdom Hearts II. Now, when I bought this game, I wanted to play as Sora, not some cock lolly-sucking double called Roxas. The intro movie (which I had to watch after I had played the first 2 hours on a different game disk as mine had a scratch which could have been mistaken as the equator (don’t worry, I’m sending it back to get my moneys)) was reasonabely well done and did help with rattling out the information of what actually happened at the end of KH1. I finished the first game with everything dusted off nicely (I mean EVERYTHING. Even Sephiroth) but even I found it hard to remember what had happened, so this refreshment was happily welcomed. But then playing as Roxas not only annoyed me, but confused me.
It was a weird experience; one that I can’t say I feel often, in that I found it hard to place what demographic this game was actually being aimed at. The characters and the overall feel; along with a very patronising tutorial approach, gave the impression that it was aimed at the 12 year old range; something I’m sure was intended. But then the storyline started and shit just got weirder. I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on and I understood the Matrix on the first viewing (that is the one about the magic dog right?). The story seemed as if it was written by all the assholes on the Lost, 24 and Heroes scripts that have the sole intention of confusing you.
I still can’t understand the point of a 3 hour tutorial. God of War is the perfect example of being thrown straight into the content; not the friendliest experience but atleast it isn’t boring and heads are rolling, and KH2 is the perfect example of how not to start a game. I can’t actually think of another game that starts with you having to do repeatable mini games that aren’t actually any fun just so you can progress with the game.
The game however picks up right about the time you dual-wield keyblades and then start to play as Sora. I can safely say that the only time of those first 3 hours I enjoyed, were the last 10 minutes (and that’s pushing it) when Roxas picked up Ultima and Oblivion and boned Axel over hard. But now I have Donald and Goofy and hopefully no more condescending tutorials, the game will pick up a bit. If the first world as Sora is anything to go by, this game can only get better.
3 hours though, seriously.