Kingdom Hearts by DIsney and Square Enix.
Part 1: [link]
Warning: Huge rant/ final thoughts about the game I've been over analysing for months.
And there you have it. After hours of stiff character development and solving the many mysteries in the Disney worlds (Solve the mystery of the mysterious sandstorm! (Spoiler: Heartless did it) Solve the treasure chest mystery! (Spoiler, heartless did it) Solve the mystery of whatever is happening in Wonderland! (Spoiler, heartless did it)), Roxas is tricked into killing Xion who had to complete her memories or something, and rushes of for justice, until a guy who he met before randomly appears and throws him into a weird digital playground where Roxas can walk around aimlessly until he's killed. Now that's a satisfying conclusion.
Of Course those who played Kingdom Hearts 2 already knew this was going to happen from the start, but at least KH 312/2's final fantasy twin brother, Crisis Core, also starring a tragic minor character who's unceremoniously killed of at the end, was so nice to give the game an extra subplot ,so playing the game gave you at least SOME sort of closure before you get the pleasure of seeing the hero croak in mid-climax.
Here not so much, the final battle against
Xion's not satisfying at all, especially since Roxas has no motivation to fight her, besides "kill the boss or the plot won't continue". If anything it only gives the climax that never happens even more weight. Bleh.
For any story to have any kind of ending, there needs to be a side that won. It doesn't have to be the hero, if the game ends with the villains winning, that'd be a dark yet exciting ending as well. But in this game, nobody really wins. Roxas and his friends are all doomed, organisation XIII barely has a cameo during the entire third act of the plot, because Xemnas apparently lost interest in his own evil plans (Arghh, can someone give that guy some Ritalin?) He just manipulated a emotional teenager in killing his friend, you'd think he'd keep a close eye on Roxas to make sure Roxas will keep working for him, instead of just assuming that a angry angsty teenager will just happily come helping the guy who made him kill his friend.
It's one of the things I hate about all the scheming characters in Kingdom Hearts, all of them have big plans made up for Sora and Roxas to do, but nobody ever bothers to tell them or give directions, they just sit back and hope that Sora and Roxas randomly happen to do whatever their evil plan demands. Marluxia seems the only villain who ever bothered to come out and give Sora orders, for the rest, it's usually "what the hell am I doing here?" characters like Squall or Yen Sid who are Sora's mentors, even tough they don't have any part in the main story..or in Yen Sid's case, any story at all.
And speaking of passive schemers, the third side of the story is the Diz household, and even they don't seem to be the winners of the story. Sure, they succeed in waking up Sora, except AGAIN they don't leave instructions for Sora, leaving Ansem enraged, abandoning Namine and Riku because Sora didn't follow his brilliant plans. Well duh.
So Ansem spends the rest of the series walking around aimlessly until he commits suicide at Kh2's climax, Namine walks around aimlessly until she commits suicide at the Kh2's climax, and Riku spends the rest of the series walking around aimlessly..and surprisingly stays alive at the end. Glad everything worked out for them.
Okay, so nobody wins, and no lessons are learned in the end. So what was the point of this story? To answer unanswered questions from the other games? All answers provided here could have been explained in one sentence. Why did Mickey Guide Sora when he woke up? Because Riku asked him too. There, they could have explained that in 3 words, rather then needing an entire new game for that. The only big answer we get is why Roxas left the organisation, which was because of Xion, a character whom admittingly would take more then one sentence to be explained . Still, I think it'd be more interesting if her involvement and rescue were slowly revealed in Kingdom Hearts 3's plot, so that the tragic ending of this story would be a great tie-in for KH3's climax, rather then to be wasted on an empty plot as here.
So yeah. We never learn anything new about the organisation, who're still as incompetent, passive and unfocused as always, Roxas/Xion/Axel's friendship is a bit stiff since they never get any real fun scenes together,
Well, all my complaints are about the same word, passive. Everyone and every-thing's so damn passive.
All villains have evil plans going on that take 3 years to come to fruition, even tough most plans don't have enough material to fill a single day, so most characters like Ansem the Wise Xemnas or Riku seem to be wandering/sitting in a room aimlessly until Sora and Roxas finally happens to do whatever they need to do to trigger their brilliant plan.
Roxas is the hero, except every-time the poor guy even tries to be heroic it ends up in tears, his attempt to save Xion ends up with him killing her, his attempt to avenge her ends up with him being imprisoned, and his attempt to escape the digital twilight town prison ends up in his death. So all he can do is being pushed around by idiots like Xemnas. Not much of a hero. Friendship is nothing but "friends" demanding to each other they're always there at the roof so they can stare a the sun. Meh.
So we have a hero that's not really a hero, villains that aren't really villains, an adventure that's not really an adventure, friends who aren't really friends.
Philosophical speaking, that's all fascinating, but in terms of actual plot, it means we just have Lot's of characters wandering around aimlessly.
Thing is, if you think and over analyse the plot long enough, I can see what they were trying to do. Post modernism. The whole game is a bait and switch, just like how Metal Gear Solid 2 started of as the perfect Metal gear sequel, and then starts removing every element you expect to be in the game until you end up as naked Raiden running around without a mission, superiors or plot.
In the same way, Kingdumb Hearts 358/2 days sets itself up as the ultimate Fanservice game with promise of lots of organization XIII, Roxas and Axel friendship moments and answers to our questions, and then goes trough enormous lengths to prove yet again that the fan interpretation of Organisation XIII is completely wrong, sending Axel offscreen for more then half of the game, and spends most of the game sending Roxas off to boring pointless Disney movies while the real plot, if there was any, seems to be going on behind the scenes.
Or look at Xion, who's set up as a Mary Sue, making all fangirls foam with anger. She has a keyblade even tough they're supposed to be rare, looks like a Kairi recolorer, intrudes Roxas and Axel's (to fangirls) yaoish relationship, hogs all the screen time, and she's nothing but a sad Sora imitation and should die for being so, blah blah.
And then you finish the game, and all those observations come back with a vengeance.
The fact she has a keyblade is not just to make her special and cool, it's actually her sole purpose of existence, considering Xemnas created her to be a keyblade master to begin with. She's a kairi clone because she is made out of Sora/Roxas's memories off Kairi, barely intrudes on Axel and Roxas's screentime considering Axel's gone most of the time anyway, and has little screentime herself since she's missing/ unconsious during large portions of the plot as well. She truly IS a pathetic Sora imitation since she's built out of his parts and does indeed choose to die because of that.
So what would have been character flaws turn out to be her character's tragedy, and as such it seems Xion was set up as a bait to lure overreactive fans into hating her, while the whole climax and break down is set up as a giant middlefinger to that hate.
Something tells me the screenwriter spend more time laughing at the audience then trying to tell a good story. So yeah, that's Post modernism in a nutshell.
To understand the game, you have to over-analyse it.
However, analyising it to death will also reveal a bazillion plotholes. Ah well, it's entertaining to pick stories apart, so on that regard, it's fun. I love plotholes anyway.
Can't wait for Kingdom Hearts for the PSP. The orgin story of the organisation will be told! And I already know only half of the organisation appears, so half's still never explained how they came to be. Ah well. Hope there's at least an answer to what Saix's evil plan was, since he got killed before he got to..eh..well, past his "hahaha, I might have a evil plan!" stage.
Or why Xemnas needed Castle obvlion even tough he already has a near empty planet sized castle of his own. Or why the organisation never bothered to explore the higly suspicious mansion in Twilight town despite all their exploration missions.
Yeah, I bet those questions will be answered. Hah.