Monday, June 19, 2023

Best Game in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

This has been the best Kingdom Hearts game I have played so far. The story was above average, and you don’t need to play the prior games to understand what is going on. It is better if you do play the other games before this one, but it’s not necessary. The game mechanics were the best that this franchise has made.

In this post instead of giving you a detailed summary of the games plot. I will go over the main plot points and why I liked playing this game more than the rest of the series.

Birth by Sleep takes place 10 years before the first Kingdom Hearts game takes place. We follow three playable protagonists: Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. Each is a wielder of keyblades and becoming masters. Out of the three protagonists Ventus looks the most familiar. His character design is the exact same for Roxas from Kingdom Hearts II. So far there has been no connection between these two characters, but maybe in the future they will tie them together. Personally, I think that Ventus is connected or will be connected to Sora that is why Sora’s Nobody looks and sounds like Ventus. 

In this game you choose which character you want to play as. The recommendation the game gave was to play Terra then Ventus followed by Aqua. Each character has their own mission and visits the same worlds in the game, but they are different from the other games except radiant garden. What I liked is when you go to the same world as a different character the story is different and what you do is most likely different. For example, in Cinderella’s world, Terra helps Cinderella get to the ball without being harmed by the unversed (similar to the heartless). While Ventus, is helps Jaq and Gus make Cinderella’s dress in the wicked stepmothers house and Aqua helps the prince find Cinderella. Each character focuses on a different area of the world which takes away the repetitiveness that the game can bring.


The villain in this game is this old man named Xehanort. The same Xehanort that was the villain in KH I and II, but older. He became younger by taking over Terra body by the end of the game. When Xehanort posses Terra’s body he gets amnesia and only remembers his name. As in the previous games Xehanort is after Kingdom Hearts and in this game, we finally learn what Kingdom Hearts can do. From Xehanort report he said “It is said the one who opens its door will bring about the creation of the Next World. Such a feat is above any human. Or, to put it a different way: whoever opens that door will be reborn as something far greater than human.” It may not be definitive, but its better than what we learn from the previous games.’

From the games I believe there are many methods to get to Kingdom Hearts and in this game Xehanort tries to obtain Kingdom Hearts he must create the χ-blade (Chi blade --- keyblade). To make one he needs a being of pure light and pure darkness to be sacrificed. Xehanort does this by splitting Ventus into two pure beings: Ventus being the pure light and Ventas (who looks Sora) being pure darkness. Like all games in the franchise Xehanort fails to obtain Kingdom Hearts because of Aqua and Ventus. But Ventus ends up in coma while aqua seals him in what becomes castle oblivion. Aqua attempts to rescue Terra and becomes trapped in the Realm of Darkness and she sets Terra-Xehonart free. 

So here is a recap of what happened to the trio and why they weren’t in the first few games. Terra become possed by Xehanort, Ventus is in a coma, and aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness.

There are two things that stood out to me as I was playing this game: the game mechanics and the lore. As I have stated earlier this game has the best game mechanics for Kingdom hearts. You have a ranged attack that uses your focus bar. To replenish the bar is easy; you need to hit the enemy. You can build a command deck and attacks and spells that you want to use in battle, and it is easily regenerated through time. There is a D-link bar that allows the player use command decks of other characters like Mickey and get some awesome buffs. To replenish this bar the player must pick up blue orbs that enemies drop which is frequently dropped. I personally liked using Mickey as my D-Link because one of his buffs is double EXP. I really enjoyed the game mechanics and I hope the later installments have similar mechanics.

The lore is expanded greatly in this game. In the game prior to this one, there weren’t many keyblade users, but apparently before this game there used to be thousands of users, but they all died in a battle on a planet that is now known as keyblade graveyard. Apparently, there was a great battle that took place to get to Kingdom Hearts and mostly all keyblade users died in battle. 

The only downside from this game was there was only one Final Fantasy character in the game, Zack found in Olympus Coliseum. Zack is from Final Fantasy 7 and I thought he was a great character and sadly I don't think he will ever go on that date with Aqua or Aeris.

If you have never played Kingdom Hearts or want to see the best that this franchise can offer, I would recommend you playing this game. This game can be a stand alone and you wouldn’t need to play the other games to enjoy the story. There are easter eggs throughout the game that you wouldn’t understand, but it is not relevant. The game mechanics are the best so far for this franchise and above average for most RPG games.


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