Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3: Done!

After my post from yesterday I didn’t think I would be able to finish off Kingdom Hearts 3 this weekend. I had barely started San Fransokyo and I knew there would be a ton more story to come. To put it in perspective, I was about 23 hours played in at the time. Yesterday evening though I decided I’d pick the game back up again to get a few Caribbean related trophies, which I got. After dinner I decided that I wanted to finish San Fransokyo. The world was shorter than I thought and, unlike other worlds, you didn’t follow the story of the Big Hero 6 game but actually played in a fictional setting sometime after the movie. Maybe this setting is covered in the cartoon but for me it was entirely new.
It was a shorter world than I thought and I finished it relatively quickly. The final bossfight was interesting but not too hard and then I was faced with a choice. Push forward to the next part of the story or stop here?

I decided to push forward and didn’t stop untill I finished the entire game.
As you can see from my report card at the top it took me roughly 32 hours to get to the ending. This was with detours here and there to get some trophies or to get some extra levels in on Sora to make the game a bit easier for me. The last few hours were a rollercoaster ride for me. (Incoming spoilers now!). After defeating the initial wave of Heartless at the Keyblad Graveyard it seems all hope is lost and Darkness wins. Sora is sent to the “Final World” where he has to collect pieces of himself so he can go back to his friends again. I wasn’t surprised that Square had to add atleast one seriously trippy level to the game and this was it. After you “collect” all of Sora’s fragments the buildup to the real ending begins. You need to save all your friend who were lost, and do exactly that. After that you go back in time and face the Heartless who beat you the first time around but this time you fight them. At some point you get help from all the keyblades of the Keyblade Graveyard which produces an awesome sequence, although my thumb really started hurting after mashing the triangle key for 2-3 minutes straight. It’s really cool how Square uses PSN names of actual people who own the game to help you defeat the gigantic big bad.
Then came taking down the members of Organization XIII. I made sure to outlevel them using the Battlegates provided at every save point. I didn’t face off with Xehanort untill I had gotten Sora up to atleast level 50. All the cutscenes inbetween of members fading away or, as Sora put it, getting to be recompleted again were very interesting.
The final battle versus Xehanort was intense. With the flying and swimming and just floaty stuff in general it was quite easy to lose track of my whereabouts. I managed to take him down, obviously, and was finally done with the game after 1AM. At that point I just set back and enjoyed all the cutscenes that played and let the credits roll out in their entirety. During the credits there’s also some adorable scenes from the Disney Worlds you visited so that was a nice added touch.

As far as the actual ending goes, things left me a bit confused. I didn’t really make the link to the four people in animal robes untill I googled it and apparently they appear in the Kingdom Hearts mobile game. I’m really curious as to who Luxu/Xigbar is and how Maleficent ties up into all of this. Did she help Xigbar get the black box? Is there going to be a new Organization? Even though Xehanort is obviously gone it seems that Square is leaving the door wide open for the story to continue.
As for Sora and Kairi. I’m not sure if he found Kairi and then disappeared or if they’re both still gone. I know that I can unlock a hidden movie from finding and photographing all the lucky emblems in the game so I’m going to focus on doing that next. I’m also not quite sure how they brought back Naminé. Wasn’t she locked up in Kairi’s heart? It’s once again really confusing and an obvious setup for another game in the series.
Now that I’m done with the mainstory I want to aim to get a few more trophies, even though I don’t think I want to specifically aim for getting the Platinum one in the near future. It involves a ton of grinding and after finishing the mainstory I’m not sure how much grinding I still want to do.

All in all I found the game to be enjoyable, even though shorter than I though it would be. When it first came out Square Enix mentioned that beating the main story alone would take 40-50 hours and to 100% complete the game you’d have to calculate over 80 hours played. Looking at my own time to beat and looking at what I still need to do I may double my playtime to 60 hours if I want to go for the Platinum trophy but nothing more. Was the game worth the full price? Definitely. I cried during the ending, I loved the worlds and I can see myself taking time to slowly work to that 100% completion because the game is just that fun to play. The music is great, the gameplay is fun if you aim for diversity. In theory you can just press X and win the game that way but it’s way more fun to use links and spells and all the specials you can use during fights like the Mad Tea Cups and Pirate Ship. The graphics are amazing and the game does invite to go back and complete it after you finish the main story just with how well the worlds are crafted and the plethora of secrets they still have.
With the announced DLC that’s coming in the winter I’ll have an excuse to hang onto my copy and start playing again then. For now though I can sort of “clock out” and scratch another game off my backlog when it comes to main objective completion.

As bonus I took a few screenshots from the final few hours of the game. They are a bit spoiler-y so watch at your own peril.

Three day gaming weekend

This weekend it’s Pentecost, meaning that most people in the Netherlands have a three day weekend instead of a two day one. Seeing as how I find my weekends always a day too short, it’s quite nice to have this extra day off to spend as I please. It means I can spread out my cleaning/other chores over a few more days which leaves me with more time for my hobbies or meeting up with people.
Seeing as how I’ve been really tired the last two weeks I’ve decided that this weekend I’m just going to be indoors and game and make a ton of progress everywhere by doing so. Of course I had to go get groceries for these three days and of course I’m not going to be a total hermit but my main activity for the weekend will be playing games.

So far I think I’ve made good on my plans to spend time in single player games during the weekends. Yesterday I’ve had two long sessions of Kingdom Hearts 3 as I’m making my way through the story. I picked up where I left off last time: Arendelle, the Kingdom of the movie Frozen. It’s really cool to see how Square and Disney have collaborated on this game. Although in all the levels you’re following the story of the movie that the level is based upon, some are a bit more literal than others. Arendelle was one of them. You literally see segments of the Frozen movie, including the entire Let It Go song, as you go through the level. The interference by Sora & co in this level is therefor much smaller than say in the Monstropolis or Caribbean worlds, which I will get to later. I did enjoy Arendelle. I liked the Ice Labyrinth level and the “final” boss fight of the world was interesting aswell, even though I was sure I was going to die while fighting. After I was done with the main story of the world I went back to do the Frozen sledding mini game. Even though I’ve yet to discover all the treasures on the course I did manage to get over the 600k point cap you need to obtain the trophy so there’s that. I’ve not found all of the Lucky Emblems yet so I’m definitely going back for those with the help of a guide. I think I also missed out on a Classic Kingdom mini game but I’m not sure. All in all there’s still enough to do there to have me go back after I finish up the main story.

After beating Arendelle you are sent to the Caribbean where you team up with Jack Sparrow once again. The gameplay in this world reminded me a lot of Assassin’s Creed 4 where you are master of your own ship and sail from island to island and have to defeat boats along the way. During the mainstory of this world there is a race segment versus one of the people from Organization XIII. It was actually quite a bit harder than I thought it would be and I had to redo the race three times because I kept losing at the end constantly. After you defeat the mainstory you can go back and roam around on your boat, exploring islands and finding treasures and more. There’s also a ton of navy battles to do and if you kill enough ships you get a trophy, if you level up your boat enough you get a trophy aswell. I may want to go back and do that at some point. My boat, the Leviathan, is sitting at level 8 now and is already one-shotting all the smaller ships when they show up in the waters, I only struggle with the bigger ships because they hit a lot harder. The amount of treasures on this world is insane, but then again it’s Pirates of the Caribbean so I would have expected nothing less.

To end my session yesterday I went over to San Fransokyo, the world from Big Hero 6, which is the final Disney movie world of the game. The recommended level is level 38 but with me going back to other worlds, especially the Caribbean, I’m well over leveled for this world now. I think I’m sitting close to level 40 and I’ve barely touched San Fransokyo. I’m really curious as to how the story is going to play out here and I’m hopefully going to find out later today when I resume my playing. Right now I’m about 25 hours in with still San Fransokyo and whatever comes after left to finish. Hopefully I can get towards the end of the game by the time the weekend is done but we’ll see. For now I’m really happy with the progress I’ve already made and the fun I’ve been having playing the game.

Next to Kingdom Hearts I’ve also steadily been putting time in on FFXIV. My Goldsmith is closing in on level 55 and my Alchemist is sitting on level 37. I’m not sure how far I can push these up the rest of the weekend but I hope that by next weekend my Goldsmith will be in the 60’s while my Alchemist should be closing in on level 50. It’s slow and steady going but it’s progress so I’m happy with it. I also need to spend a bit of time farming up Moogle tomes so I can get the Pegasus mount and Namazu earrings. I’m actually quite close to get the mount but the earrings are going to be a pain… Next to that I still have a few quests to finish off so I may focus on doing that aswell.

The one thing that is really nagging at me though is the fact that I’ve still not fully leveled up Blue Mage. I guess the concept was fun on introduction but in reality I think Square completely missed the mark on this one. There’s simply not that much fun to be had from leveling the Blue Mage and getting all the abilities. I guess there is the Coliseum but that’s it. I find it a shame really because I think they could have done so much more with this concept. The same goes for Eureka and the Relic Weapon. I never took to the grind and so I have inadvertedly chosen to skip out on this part of the game. Which saddens me because I had a maxed out Relic in both A Realm Reborn and Heavensward and I’ve actually been working on a second Heavensward one. However the Stormblood one was a major disappointment and I really hope they won’t implement a similar mechanic for the Shadowbringers one.

All in all though I can say that I’m finding my fun in gaming again and as result I’m making some actual progress on my backlog and in my MMO’s. Now I just need to figure out how to combine this with getting healthier…

Kingdom Hearts progress… Finally

With it being tropical humid temperatures outside I’ve spent my Sunday so far bunkered down in my house, playing games and just not really doing anything that would make me sweat. I’ve done enough of that yesterday when I went into town to do some shopping/get my eyebrows done and cleaned my house before my uncle and aunt came along. So today it’s a day for some relaxation, gaming, and doing not much of anything in general. Which is good because it has allowed me to put a few hours into Kingdom Hearts 3 again.

Last time I played I was about halfway through Monstropolis and still in monster form. I’ve finished that world now, and got the keyblade from it, and moved along to Arendelle with a sidestop in the 100 Acre Woods. It’s a small adorable world that consists of mini games to get through. As added perk you earn fruit/vegetables from playing said minigames so I see myself going back there again to earn more ingredients for the whole cooking mini game. Before I went to Arendelle I went back to Olympus to find all the King’s Emblems (imprints or shapes that look like Mickey Mouse’s head) and take some pictures the Moogles asked for. It’s really fun to go back to these worlds after you’re done with them. In Olympus you see Thebe being rebuilt and areas that were previously inaccessible are now free to roam. There’s still Heartless spawns to consider though, you can’t just run around the world without being attacked.

All in all I’ve spent around 3 hours playing and I feel like I’ve been making decent progress again. It’s the start of what I’m planning to do more on weekend days where I don’t have any other plans. Although I need to watch that I take regular breaks when playing and that I don’t forget to eat and drink, which has happened today. I’m not sure how long it will take me to finish up Kingdom Hearts 3. From what I’m aware of I still have atleast three more Kingdoms to play through: Arendelle from Frozen, San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 and The Carribean from Pirates of the Carribean. I’m sure there’s more to explore after that and I can always go back to collect stuff from the older worlds when I don’t feel like advancing the mainstory. I think there’s a “true” ending as well, although I’m not sure how to get to that just yet. For now though I’m happy to get a few hours of play in, make a bit of progress and then put the game down untill next weekend when I have time to devote to it again.

As part of my goals set for this month I’ve also started up a game on my 3DS again: Detective Pikachu. It’s a game I had for a bit but never really touched up untill now. I’ve seen the movie two weeks ago and even though I know it’s inspired by the game, it’s quite a bit different from the game itself. I’m also of the opinion that, so far, the game is really hand-holdy and kiddie like in how it plays. I’m only 1.5 hours in, finishing off the first chapter, but I hope it becomes a bit less easy as the game comes along or that the story gets interesting enough that I don’t really mind the gameplay. I guess the main thing bothering me is the fact that the game forces you to go through things in a certain way, even though you’ve figured out the “case” early on. I guess it adds flavour and story to the game to do it like this but I also feel this game may have not really been for people like me who see the answers immediately and still have to go through the motions.

As final bit of news. I dinged level 70 on my Carpenter in FFXIV yesterday and managed to finish up both the level 68 and the level 70 job quests, so I can honestly say I’m completely done with that crafter.
If all goes well my Goldsmith should hit level 50 after reset rolls around today… Meaning I can move her along to Moogle dailies and start Alchemist on the Ixal ones. I’ve come to realize that the Ixal dailies can be done quite fast if you just ignore the fishing ones and pick up  everything else. It may sound silly but I just really, really dislike the fishing ones so I dodge those when I can. It’s made the Ixal dailies much easier to deal with for me personally so I think I’ll just keep to this strategy as I level more of my crafters.
Finally I’ve started to partake in the Moogle Tomestone event that is going on in the game from now up untill Patch 5.0. My goal is to get the Pegasus mount atleast and maybe the Namazu earrings. I’ve chosen to run Labyrinth of the Ancients for now because I want the tank set from there for glamour purposes. Once I get that set I will probably move on to Syrcus Tower so I can get the healing set from there. Unless I’m really lucky I think a bunch of runs will be in my immediate future just to acquire all the pieces of these sets alone. Since these particular instances only reward two tomes per completion I’m aiming to run multiple of them during week nights after I finish my crafting dailies. I’m not really sure yet what I’ll be running when I get both the sets, but I’ll see when I get there.

For now I’m happy with how this weekend is turning out for real life stuff and gaming stuff, and I can’t wait untill it cools down tonight so I can open all the windows and my balcony door and let in the cold.