Kingdom Hearts: CHAPTER THREE: Strange Drinks Make you Feel Small

khrc-wonderlandThis is a continuation of my Kingdom Hearts play through.

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The next world tosses me ass-first into Alice in Wonderland the exact same way that the aforementioned Alice did. After moving the bed out of the way I devour a blue drink and I “grow small” so I can enter the rest of this marvelous world.

I walk into the Queen of Hearts’ courtyard while Alice is on trial and after some nonsensical legal action she’s locked up and I’m given the task of proving her innocence. Well played Queen of Hearts. Well. Played.

khcourtI get my first glimpse(s) of the Cheshire Cat in the forest. Even though the world looks poorly populated (because it’s particularly large) it sort of fits with the idea that these are all 3D worlds of animated movies. The world appears to be about 90% textures with very few world assets but like I said, it fits the theme of the game.

* * *  some time later  * * *

I may say a few things in the next few paragraphs that might imply that I don’t like this world very much. However I did just play for about an hour without even glancing away from the screen so let that speak for itself.

250px-Card_Soldiers_KHRECThe levels are somewhat poorly designed for vision and require a fair amount of trial and error but they’re easy to complete. After all your trouble finding evidence to free Alice your pleads end up falling on deaf ears as the Queen decides to have you killed anyways. You have to fight the Queen of Hearts’ minions (the playing cards) and destroy the device that’s keeping Alice in chains. (Heh) After you beat her minions however Alice has disappeared and now the Queen requests that you find her. Apparently she forgot that she just tried to have you killed and that you’re the she’s the one who owes you..

After some running around through sideways and upside down rooms that are all pretty straight forward you come across the Cheshire cat for about the 102nd time and he feeds you a more obvious line: “Are you prepared for the worst? If not, too bad!” I guess that means there’s a boss fight incoming. GOODIE!

I recall this guy actually being really awesome. He reminds me of Spring Man (from Mega Man 7) but made of, well, paper. At first he doesn’t seem to hard because you can shoot him with fireballs from a distance until he goes into the standard “fetal position.”

tumblr_ltbvwpIMem1r1euowo1_500Once you run out of the resource that lets you USE magic however you need to get close and personal. At about the halfway point he starts shooting fireballs back at you.. which seems less than safe for something made of paper to be doing. Either way the boss marches around with some great animations (did I mention that every animation in this game is fantastic?) and some pretty cool attacks. When he’s walking he spins his batons like he’s straight out of Moulin Rouge.

After beating the boss the damn Cheshire Cat fills me in and during all the commotion Alice was taken by the Heartless and now I’ve got to find a way to get her back. Here’s hoping this doesn’t happen to every leading female in this game..

After leaving Wonderland I have two options again. I can either fly back to Traverse Town and then to the two-star world on the other side of the map or continue to the next world that’s right beside Wonderland, which is three stars. If it wasn’t explained earlier the stars represent each world’s difficulty.

kingdom_hearts_ps2-00005256-lowI chose to go back through Traverse Town to reach the two-star planet so I can build up difficulty progressively and in the long run it’ll probably take less time than trying over and over again to beat a harder level with lower stats.  The downside to this path is that I have to do increasing amounts of space travel to bounce back and forth between worlds. One thing to note about the space combat is that the controls and the targeting aren’t great. I’m sure they improve when you get better weapons, maybe ones that lock on, but it’s not a great first impression. I’ve played it before so I know it’s nothing to stress over because worst-case scenario you can just weave your way around and you don’t really have to shoot very much.

Either way I travel back to Traverse Town and take one more trip to reach the two-star planet that is revealed to be the Olympus Coliseum!

khrc-olympus-coliseum

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As usual sound off below with tips or criticisms that could help improve this series.

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