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Showing, Not Telling

Ta-metru_defender

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Essays, Not Rants! 361: Showing, Not Telling

 

There’s this saying in writing that you should show, not tell; that is instead of telling the audience about how John is smart, write a scene where we get to see that John is smart. That way the audience can see how smart John is and think to themselves "Wow, John is smart." Idea is because the audience drew their own conclusion (rather than being told such) it’ll resonate more.

 

A similar rule of thumb applies to video games, except instead of just seeing something it’s better to be able to play it. Watching a character fight a boss is one thing, getting to actually fight that boss is fantastic. Over the years, there have been different attempts by different game designers to figure out how to let players play scenes. Half Life never took control away from the player, allowing them to look around outside the tram car as they made their way into Black Mesa (or muck around in a room as a scientist provided story information). A clunkier solution was the use of quick time events, interactive cutscenes where you’d essentially press a button for your character not to die and the scene to continue. At its worst, these QTEs interrupted the flow of the game/cutscene: throwing in reflex-based minigames when you least expect it, forcing you to do over these scenes again and again.

 

The rationale behind QTEs – letting the player remain involved in scenes that don’t quite work with the controls – is a good one. Kingdom Hearts II had a really neat solution: Reaction Commands. During some fights with some enemies, a prompt would appear where if you hit triangle you would trigger a special move. If you were fighting a Samurai Nobody, you could trigger a stand-off where Sora and his opponent face off in a samurai movie style duel. Other Reaction Commands have him using an enemy’s abilities against the other bad guys or allowing for some really cool moves in boss fights. It adds depth to combat and, importantly and let’s the player be the one who pulls off that anime-esque move.

 

It’s been a while since that game came out, though, and in the meantime others have been figuring out how to let the player take a more active role. Uncharted 2 let the player still be in control during big set pieces, like maneuvering through a collapsing building, fighting bad guys, and then jumping through the breaking window into the building next door. It’s a fairly typical trope for an action movie, but what makes it so cool in Uncharted 2 is that you are the one who does it. It’s not a cutscene or even a qte, you’re in complete control of Drake as he scrambles around. The bar was raised and many games followed suit, finding ways to keep the player in control during big moments, further immersing the player into the game.

 

All this brings me (once more) to Kingdom Hearts III where a lot of the action is not just unplayable but actually takes place off screen.

 

I’m gonna be talking about the ending here too, so there are spoilers beyond this point!

 

 

From the get go you’re told that Kairi and Axel are training to become Keyblade Wielders. Cool, but aside from one cutscene of them talking, we don’t actually see any of this happening until several hours later where we see them talking again before the climax. This is a small thing, but it’s emblematic of the game’s tendency to tell you about things more than showing you, much less, I dunno, getting to play as Kairi or Axel as they train. But maybe that’s me asking more of the game than it offered.

 

The ending, however, sees Xehanort defeated but a slain Kairi not rescued. So Sora sets off to rescue her, ignoring Mickey’s warning that misusing his Power of Waking could have dire consequences. And that’s it until, during the epilogue, we see Sora and Kairi sitting on a tree in the Destiny Islands…and he fades away.

 

The intended tragedy of Sora sacrificing himself to save Kairi doesn’t quite land, however; in no small part because we don’t actually get to see it happen. While there is certainly a measure of poetic understatement in how it’s portrayed on screen, we’re not given nearly enough lead up for it to really work. If we’re gonna make Kairi need to be rescued again, why don’t we get to actually rescue her? For it to just happen offscreen feels so anticlimactic and robs it of its emotional weight.

 

 

I have my issues with Kingdom Hearts III, particularly how its pacing feels so darn weird. That so much of the plot happens off screen, including a vital part of the epilogue, leaves the player (me) feeling really unfulfilled. Point is, show, don’t tell; and if you’re making a video game, let us play the important bits.



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While I personally will agree that I would like to seen more offscreen stuff such as training of Kairi and Lea (Axel) and Radiant Garden plot (Which I am still surprised we didn't get involve in as I thought when I saw Ansem the Wise cutscene in Twilight Town, we were going to get a call to get involve. I mean we have these Gummiphones now and yet we weren't call in. It just so weird and honestly I think it must been cut for time or something.), I don't know if I would agree with you about epilogue needing us have to see and control Sora in the rescuing Kairi.

 

I don't know... I mean maybe it just because I concluded that all Sora really did was just go to Final World and collect fragments of Kairi, so at least to me that wouldn't really been great followup to finish the game after that Big Bad fight, unless they were going give one more fight to one up that fight (Which I would be pretty annoyed if they didn't give me the chance to save or restock Sora's pockets since I don't know about you, but my Sora's pockets were empty after Xehanort fight since I got combo a lot).

 

So yeah, they could do that and have a little heartfelt reunion with Sora and Kairi, where they embraced (Possibly even kiss) as Kairi solidifies and Sora gradually fades away (Which would be foreshadow during the collection bit prior to boss fight). Sora say his good byes as Kairi try to reach out as she pull back to Realm of Light / Living. While that certainly be emotional moment for the two, it would feel really weird when you factor in the secret ending since it would feel like the game was playing with your emotions, if they really try to selling the tragedy of that moment that much like I describe. 

 

Plus if we only have this really personal moment for Sora at the end, I would feel really cheated that I didn't get to also see those great moments for Wayward Trio (Burying Master Eraqus) and Twilight Gang (Reuniting at Clock Tower with their Sea Salt Ice Cream) from this epilogue, which I imagine really would not fit in a Sora centered ending (Although I guess they could still appear in the credits). So yeah, as someone that cares about those characters, I definitely wouldn't be happy with them being left out like that.

 

Also speaking personally I really like the mystery of the whole thing as it is sort of similar to situation of KH II and letter from Mickey.

 

We didn't really know what was in that letter till much later (Well, for those that play games like ReCoded and KH 3D... Otherwise yeah, you wouldn't really know about it... I know how KH set up its number titles is weird and confusing and I wish they didn't do stuff like that as it make it such a newcomer unfriendly series. Really I wonder at times though why people didn't complain as much about it in KH 2 since there is clearly a time gap from where we left off in KH 1 that people are missing if they ignored CoM in the series. I guess it helped that there was much less of in real time gap between those numbered games).

 

So to me at least, not know everything about what happens with Sora is more interesting, especially when you factor in the secret ending. This and some other dangling threads for the next arc are making me think about where the series will go next, so that's my mindset on it.

 

That being said if this was supposed to be the end of entire series though, I definitely would prefer more emotional reunion between Sora and Kairi here (Although admittedly I would favor a happy over tragedy end since if this is really the end, let's end on feel good note than bittersweet one).

 

But anyway, I rambled enough. Those are my general feelings on it.

 

Definitely not saying you are wrong for feeling how you do, so please don't take my thoughts the wrong way (I also definitely don't think KH 3 was a perfect game and I do think too much of main plot was rushed, especially at the end.). I mean you are much more knowledge about storytelling than me, so take my uneducated thoughts like a grain of salt. XD

 

Alright, I am going to shut up now. I hope you have a good day.

 

PS - Okay, one more thing before I leave... This is unrelated to KH topic and more to do cutscenes vs QTE vs Half Life style scene thing, personally I have always prefer cutscenes for story stuff. While cool at times for action moments, QTE generally stress me out, especially since I am really bad at timing games.

 

As for Half Life style, my own experience with this style is really through Portal, which I think does work well there due to robot nature of characters involved. However thinking about it being use for human characters that in a room with you is really weird as it comes off like player doesn't even care about the character speaking to them and would much rather be looting a desk than listen to their story, so I don't really see that method of storytelling as ideal for sharing plot important details to player (Really Portal just use it for humor mainly as you solve puzzles, so I find it hard picturing it in serious narrative driven game).

 

As for cutscenes (when they properly spaces out as even I think there can think there can be too many of them at once), I think they do better job with providing a narrative and give us a feel for how our characters think on things. Like it allows characters to be much less of blank slate, I feel. Mind me, I am not saying it is perfect and definitely times in video games, where there are too many cutscenes at once.

 

Hm... I am not sure how you classified Marvel's Spider-Man video game as it does do a bit of hybrid of things with cutscenes, radio talk (Which I guess is similar to Half Life Style) and some QTEs for action moments. I mean from what I played of it (About as far as jailing Wilison Fisk and collecting all map towers... My brother borrowing it, so it will be awhile before I play again), I love how it does things, especially the radio talk.

 

So I definitely not saying cutscenes always need be use for story for video games, I just meant it tends be my preference is all.

 

Okay, that's enough rambling from me. Sorry...

 

 

- JMJ 2019

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@JMJ Gotta disagree with you on the comparison to KHII's ending.  II has what's really the best "ending" in the series since it actually wraps up everything that's happened prior: the driving force of the first game was Sora, Donald, and Goofy searching for Riku, Kairi, and Mickey, and II ends with all those people back where they belong and every villain we know about being defeated (bar the ambiguity of Maleficient and Pete's fate).  The letter was little more than "hey we can still do a new story if we want", which is why there was so, so much speculation revolving around the super-vague secret movie.

 

III's ending might try to reflect that in certain ways with (almost) everyone getting their Happily Ever After, but by keeping something integral totally off-screen, ending on a real cliffhanger, and spending time working on plot threads that have nothing to do with this game and are solely there for what comes next...I'd argue there's no real closure here.  Just "get hyped to buy our next game".

 

And I feel like that's one of Kingdom Hearts's biggest problems: it's not really concerned with providing closure, it just wants to keep stringing you along.  Every game says "it'll make sense next time!", but next time they just say "it'll make sense next time!" again.  It's all buildup and no payoff.  And considering Nomura's idea of payoff seems to be "Xehanort just hands Sora the X-blade and ascends", that's a problem it really can't fix.

 

 

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@Pahrak: I will agree with you on if there was an ending point for Sora's story in this series that KH 2 was where to do.

 

Unfortunately Square (and some of fans) don't really want to let Sora go and I doubt it would went over well replacing Sora with a new protagonist in an alternate KH 3 as I imagine most people would go where is Sora and why isn't he involved in [insert new conflict here]. People also missed Donald and Goofy from non-numbered titles, so I also doubt people would be okay with them appearing with some random new Keyblade Hero instead of Sora. So yeah, I don't think Sora retiring as main hero in the numbered titles is going to happen for a long while and that's just how it is (I certainly wouldn't mind them putting Kairi in the driver seat, but it remains to be seen if they will do that since they didn't do amazing with her in this game).

 

Furthermore, many people have said they wait 13+ years for the conclusion in KH 3 does come off really weird because following the logic that you established here, there was nothing to conclude for Sora, outside the letter and Wayward Trio from secret ending (Which was later explored in Birth by Sleep). So really what were they wait for all those years? Clearly those sequel hooks didn't make it feel like the end of Sora's story for a lot of people.

 

There also is closure in this game... The Wayward Trio and the Twilight Trio were saved and reunited, which is a conclusion / payoff to the arcs that we spent several games setting up. Master Erauqs plot thread also got closure (Mind you, the execution left a lot to be desired since yeah, Xehanort just giving in definitely wasn't great. I would prefer they had gone Vanitas route of not being sorry for his actions). We also have closure for some of villains from Organization (Obviously Luxord, Marluxia, and Larxene somebodies might reappear down the line due to hint at Keyblade connection, Xigbar going reappear for obvious reasons, etc). So at least to me, it did what it set out to do, which is concluded the Xehanort arc of this story and set up for next arc in the series.

 

I certainly did not expected all plotlines to be resolved in this game (Especially not the mobile ones, which aren't really related to Xehanort), so I can't say I am disappointed there will be more games to explore Disney Worlds and speculate where they will go next with these characters. And at least for me, this cliffhanger puts Sora in interesting place to explore next.

 

Whether this new arc will payoff better than the end of Xehanort's is hard to say at this point (They could certain improve by taking in feedback from this game, but hard to say if they will or not), but I am willing to take the leap of faith to see where they take us next as I am interested enough for it and still find these games fun.

 

Again, just my two cents. You certainly don't need to agree me though.

 

 

- JMJ 2019

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Well no, I don’t mean they should’ve had Sora sit out or anything—we all expected they’d bring Sora and co along for a new journey with new motives and new stakes.  II ended a chapter of the saga, and then we got BBS to recontextualize it as part of a larger story, then 3D to push things forward a little, and III was being billed as the next resolution.  A big problem for me is that they’re already partway through recontextualizing the saga as part of a bigger story again before this chapter of the saga is even over—so III has to somehow balance being a resolution and a prologue, which is just…such a weird state for any story to be in.

 

I am glad to see the Wayfinder Trio back together again, but the final stretch of that road sounds like it was rough as heck.  Aqua being corrupted by darkness honestly ruins the character for me (someone able to endure so much was actually kind of inspiring, but in the end none of it mattered and she just got screwed over for WOW factor before someone else saved her), what I’ve heard about Terra’s return makes little sense, and Ventus is now tied up in that recontextualization problem. (Though with Ven I didn’t personally care much for him even before that.) But honestly, when I watched the ending, those three having a final reunion with Eraqus was the one part that felt genuinely touching, and them being active again could certainly add something interesting going forward.

 

As for the Twilight Trio…honestly, they’ve been at the center of a lot of my personal problems with the series for a while.  I don’t feel like Xion really adds anything to the story.  Lea getting a Keyblade was the first time I actually felt they were being handed out too easily.  And Roxas…like, I love Roxas in II.  Maybe even more now than I did when I first played II.  And I also really loved the resolution that game provided him and Namine: they were able to go back to being who their true selves and found peace in that.  So when the later games started laying the foundation for them being made separate entities again, well, I feel like that really undercut that resolution.  I know a lot of people are happy about how things went down for these characters, and more power to them.  For me, it just…doesn’t really hold up, I guess?  I don’t know.

 

The series continuing isn’t necessarily a problem.  The problem, I feel, is really in how they’ve gone about it, recycling characters and concepts while always aiming to add more and more and more material while only superficially utilizing what they’ve already got, rather than taking a deeper, more thoughtful look at it.  They frame it as “everything is connected”, but to me it just feels…lazy.  Forced.  There are pieces of the story that I still think could be interesting, and since it’s going to keep going, I hope people are able to keep having fun with it.  But I just…I just can’t.  The gameplay, sure, the gameplay looks fun as ever and they’ll probably be able to keep that going, but the story?  Nearly everything I’ve learned since the end of 3D has been, in my eyes at least, super disappointing, and that only continues to be the case.  I want this series to be good, and if it succeeds in that regard I’ll be thrilled.  But right now, almost everything I see about III confirms that I have nothing to gain from following the series in its current state.  And that just…makes me sad, honestly.  Though now I feel like I’ve wandered quite far from TMD’s point and should probably stop there. :P Sorry.

 

 

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No, that's completely fair, dude. Sorry if ruffle your feathers at all.

 

I definitely will agree with you that I would very much have prefer KH 3 to have just focus on Xehanort related stuff and concluded that chapter of the story rather than set up next plot right away like it did, so that KH 4 could have less baggage and could start fresh (Part of me was actually hoping they just let Xehanort reset the universe... XD). That didn't happen though, so I am just settling with what I like about it and hoping for the best really.

 

Hm...I can't say I agree with Aqua being corrupted by darkness as ruining her character though. I mean it would been really anticlimactic if all Mickey and Riku was pop in Realm of Darkness and give Aqua an Uber ride out. Also she was toss into sea of darkness and being expose to darkness like Sora did in 3D, so it would been ridiculous if she was just able to just will power out of it without any help.

 

Only thing that I dislike of that plotline was the fact we never found out how she lost the Master's Defender Keyblade, which bugs me to no end. That and well, Vanitas fight, which I get they need a dramatic entrance for Ven's return. But it would been nice if it didn't undercut Aqua by making her go down so easily after stomping Vanitas in that fight early. *shrugs* For post-KH 3 future, I hope she get more opportunity to shine and have some hero moments (I would love for her take on a mentor role for Kairi). 

 

As for Terra, I think the dude arguably got best treatment out of trio with two Big Hero moments (I definitely can't explain how he exactly he got his body back though. Nor can I explain how Namine's or Xion's hearts found their way to their vessels for that matter). Overall I was pretty happy with his treatment compared to Aqua (I only wish he could kick Xehanort when he was down and took X-Blade for Sora). Honestly I am not sure what they will do for Terra's future in the series. Hopefully it will be interesting.

 

As for Ventus, I am on same boat with you on that. I am really indifferent about him and I am not a big fan of his involvement in mobile game plot, which just makes things timeline wise really confusing for him. The only thing I really like about his character is his relationship with Vanitas (Which is now over). Also still disappointed that they didn't just make him and Roxas (With Roxas just being him without his memories) into just same person as him meeting Lea in BbS felt like that was intention rather than them actually being two separated people. *shrugs* Due to his involved with that mobile plot, I imagine he will be important for future games.

 

As for Xion, honestly part of me would agree with you that Xion being back doesn't add much story in grand scheme of things. That being say I am glad she is back because I feel like otherwise there was really not point in adding her at all in the series if they were just going make her suffer and throw her away in one title (Days). That being said, the fact they didn't even bother to explain her return annoys me to no end (Which apparently going to be DLC now). As for post-KH 3 content for her, I am personally fine with them just leave her alone to her happy end, so I.don't really see a need for her be important for future plot really.

 

As for Lea, I don't have that much problem with Lea being Keyblade Weider now. However I hate that much like Kairi, they basically did nothing with it. In some ways, it just feels like he was just giving a Keyblade filled a chair for Seven Guardians of Light thing, which is really disappointing. I can hope if the mystery girl is important for the future, we can at least see him do something interesting with it. I am not holding my breath though and I wouldn't be surprise if they retired his character going forward as I can't see Twilight Gang get involved in stuff.

 

As for Roxas, I love the dude and I am glad to see him back, although I definitely get where you coming from with it undercutting his and Namine's resolution in KH 2. Honestly it is why I kind wish they went the route that he was really Ventus as Roxas having his heart just made sense to me, which would done away with need for Replica or Sora nobody-ing himself again.*shrugs* Either way, much like Xion, I just don't see him getting involved with future plot a lot. I mean I imagine he and others do want to help rescue Sora, but I am not sure how they can assist in that really (I feel like it should be mission for Riku and Kairi mainly).

 

As for Namine, I honestly am kind of indifferent on her. I mean it is nice that she getting to live her own life now and only see her returning in the future to resolve that thank you thread involving Sora, otherwise I am good with them just leaving her be to live her new life. I will say again though, the lack of explanation for how they got her heart does bug me though.

 

Okay, I rambled enough. Sorry... I don't get to talk about KH often, so I kind jumped at the chance. XD

 

But anyway, I am sorry if I was hostile at all. Your opinion on things are definitely fair and I apologize if I was coming off like I was trying to defend the flaws in KH 3.

 

I hope the rest of today treats you well. Oh, and sorry to TMD as well.

 

 

- JMJ 2019

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Ah, I love you both.

 

JMJ, I'm with Pahrak on this one. KH II does have the best ending of the games, hands down. I loved the tragedy of it, of people nobodies like Axel and Namine giving their lives for Sora and friends; all that. Heck, the melancholy throughout the game (Roxas' end of summer continues to be a gutpunch) is so well done that one of my biggest frustrations is how so much of that is undercut.

 

That said, the Wayfinder Trio's reunion was actually really sweet and I did like that (even if, again, so much for tragedy). Maybe I was just hoping for more melancholy than I got, and then when it finally happens with Sora it feels weak because, well, look at how everyone came back!

 

Finally, Spider-Man's fantastic with its storytelling, using phone calls and banter to communicate character as much as cutscenes. I kinda give its QTEs a pass because they seldom happen during cutscenes proper but as a beat during action scenes — and the command prompts are tied to the controls in the game (O = dodge, X = jump, R1/L1 = web).

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Fair enough.

 

For record though, KH 2 is my favorite KH game, so I definitely get what you both mean about the game. Although as someone that grew attached to those characters, I find it hard to be angry with them returning in some form later.

 

Also I kind feel similar with like the tragedy in Rogue One. Like it is a good film, but I will admit that hate that this was all that we got with this cast of characters as it feels like such a waste to me (Honestly it is why I am excited for Cassian Andor show since it at least means we get something more with some of cast from that film in that.). I am not saying I want them survive the mission, but I will admit that much rather had that as cap end to film series involving those characters rather than just being one and done like that. *shrugs*

 

But anyway, as for Spider-Man, I am look forward playing more when I get it back from my brother.

 

- JMJ 2019

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I too wish we had more time with the folks from Rogue One, but that's what makes it so beautiful: that feeling of loss.

 

Roxas is a fantastic character, and that the book was closed on his chapter (okay, lousy idioms) was beautifully sad. Left me wanting more, but there was none. Traaaagedy.

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Honestly I always felt Roxas’s ending (in II) was a happy one.

 

He spent so much time with no idea who he was, filled with rage and confusion, and everyone telling him he didn’t matter and had to go back to being who he used to be, and the prologue does go the tragic route with him being forced to do just that.  But then, in The World That Never Was, he rages against Sora directly, and after getting that catharsis he’s able to see that being Sora again isn’t all that bad.  He accepts it on his own terms.  When he and Namine have their conversation amidst the fights with Xemnas, and when Sora and Riku return to Destiny Islands and we see Roxas and Namine smiling at each other through their original selves…they just seemed happy.  Happy that they could be themselves again, be whole again despite always being told that kind of healing was impossible.  It always seemed to me like they were finally able to find peace.

 

So when later games suddenly said “they’re HURTING!”, it really took me by surprise.

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Bittersweet! Tragedy can be bittersweet! And I was happy with that being that. I think what I'm saying about KHIII is despite how much I wanna see them again, I was happy to have let Roxas/Namine's arcs be. 

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:kaukau: I didn't necessarily think that I wanted more time with the people in Rogue One, to be honest, so I didn't necessarily find that I had a feeling of loss.  I know a lot of people liked the movie.  I'm not sure how I feel about it, other than that it was...good.  As in, I can see why people like it and I see why it's good.  For me, personally, there was something missing.  I didn't even realize it until now, when I thought about the movie and realized that after two and a half years, it didn't leave much of an impression on me.  I thought that maybe it did, because I watched it twice, and I really liked the concept, but I guess that was about it.  I liked the concept and the story, but at the end of the day, you typically do need characters to get attached to, so I'm probably going to see that Obi-Wan movie when it comes out.  Or if they ever make a movie about Mace Windu or Yoda or one of the other Jedi.  Jedi are pretty awesome.  I know that ex-Jedi Darth Vader was in Rogue One, although I also feel weird about that as well.  I think that they had the right amount of Tarkin, and it felt right to have Leia, and I think that Vader would have been good if they limited him to just the Mustafar scene as a tease, but they went beyond a tease and gave him a full, epic scene.  I dunno.  That's just something that felt off to me in an otherwise good film.  Perhaps if he wasn't in the climax, then my last impression as the film ended would have been of the main characters, and they would have stuck with me longer.  I don't mean to nit-pick.  As I've said, it's a good movie.

 

As for the video games, I'm so sorry, but I have no comment.  I'm not a gamer in the slightest.  The last game I played was the minimalist game diep.io, and I gave that up for my New Years resolution.  Although I played Soul Reaver once upon a time.  How much of a fossil does that make me?

 

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@TMD (Rogue One): I don't know if I agree with you about Rogue One. Like a big problem (Beside some of cameos like Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba) I had with the film is it hard to feel emotionally invested in these characters due to how short of time we get to experience them (Honestly it is problem that I have with films a lot, which is why I technically enjoy TV shows more than films as TV shows just have so much more time to use their characters).

 

The only characters at the end that I felt a true loss for was K-2SO (Which I love that droid), Chirrut Imwe, and Baze Malbus (Which was mostly due their great relationship and mystic of their order).

 

Again, maybe just me, but I felt like there was a lot of waste story potential for these characters. I mean Cassian Andor, for example, came from a Separatist world, which is something that we hadn't really seen with a Rebel character before. The film doesn't have much room to explore that though and mostly focused on moral grey area of his job as a spy for Rebel Alliance, which is a fair thing to explore in the film. But as result, I don't think it did amazing job of selling his loss to me as I just barely knew him as a person, outside of some his morally questionable actions for greater good. 

 

It sort like if I met a random person on street one day and hung out a little, then learn like a week later that they had died. I mean sure, I would feel sad about that news, but it is not degree that I would be thinking about them for more than a day at most.

 

So yeah, I would prefer there had been a film series that would explore and develop this team further as they went on missions for Rebel Alliance with the big Death Star plan mission being their swan song film. Ultimately that didn't happen though, so I can only hope whatever we get from Cassian Andor's prequel show, that is planned for Disney streaming service, will further explore some of those characters (Obviously not expecting them all to be explore in that show since most weren't involved with Rebel Alliance till Rogue One.).

 

@TMD & Pahrak (Roxas stuff): Honestly, I am not going argue with you guys on that. I mean clearly much like Ansem thing from KH I to KH II, it was something they decided to change later (Obviously in this case due to popularity of Roxas as a character).

 

That's just nature of how they decided to write story in this series though (Really Writing by the Seat of Your Pants trope is hardly a new thing for writers in general. For example, a lot of TV shows such as Breaking Bad have been written in this fashion, so sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.) and I am certainly not saying that was the best way of doing things, but it is what is (and I personally at least enjoy the puzzle element of it). XD

 

At the end of day though, I am glad they delivered on what they spent several games setting up. It definitely would annoyed me if they decided to backpedal on giving a happier end to these characters after all that setup. You both don't have agree with me on that, of course.

 

- JMJ 2019

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