Let me get back to Kingdom Hearts for a second. As you may know, I’m playing the new PS3 version of the first Kingdom Hearts game with my five-year-old son, Guy, and enjoying it immensely. We trade off because there are some things he’s not comfortable doing yet, and I’ll admit that sometimes in our nightly hour I end up holding the controller longer than him, but he has made some incredible progress not only in this game, but as a game player. He can jump from platform to platform and navigate a stage map. He can activate the ‘interact’ actions by positioning himself closely to the objects of interest.
And he can really whip some Heartless ass.
Not just common enemies, either – he takes on some of the most fearsome bosses in the game. When I look back at when my son transitioned from a game enjoyer to a game player, I will probably say that the turning point came when he defeated Captain Hook in the Neverland stage of Kingdom Hearts. He did it all by himself, managing to defeat not only the Captain himself, but doing it by first taking out the annoying secondary enemies, who were no joke at this point. It should also be noted that this part of the game involves flying, so in addition to the left, right, forward, and back navigation, he was also controlling his height with the square and X buttons as he did this. All I did was coach by telling him to use the Cure spell from time to time. He killed Hook. And Ursula. And the first incarnation of Jafar. And about a thousand nameless Heartless in between.
Thank god we can finally stop listening to Under The Sea
We have already made it to Hollow Bastion, which without being to spoilery, means we are getting nearer to the end of the game. I cannot believe how quickly we have proceeded, and though I will be sad when it’s over, we will have three more Kingdom Hearts games ready to go when it is. Whether we go with Chain of Memories HD or the original Kingdom Hearts II for PS2 is yet to be determined, but I think we’ve both agreed to leave 358/5 days alone for the moment.
Last night, we continued from our most recent save in Hollow Bastion only to go back to Traverse Town and visit Merlin. Merlin gives you magic lessons, but it’s just that – there are no prizes or bonuses that I know of for practicing your magic, although, it really is up to you to learn how to cast spells effectively. We then got a couple of secret treasure chests behind his house. Finally we replaced all the pages to the Winnie the Pooh book that we had collected, and went to visit Pooh. The mini games in this first Kingdom Hearts are terrible, i.e., I suck at them and even if I didn’t they’d still be no fun. The fun part is watching the characters act out shit from the Winnie the Pooh movie, but once Sora invades, Owl swoops down and is like, “Hey, I’ll make a game out of this so your interaction isn’t so weird.” I had to stop Tigger from bouncing on carrots by guessing which one he was aiming for and getting there first. In another, you have to push Pooh in a swing to get up in the air to search for Eeyore’s tail. The problem here is that he always says, ‘You pushed me too high,’ and we have to do it again. Sorry, Eeyore, but you didn’t get your tail back last night.
Guy then took off on his own, revisiting Halloween Town, which I think was a wonderful idea. He explored and fought the Heartless with Jack in his team, and then we powered down and went to bed.