Kingdom Hearts 2.8 patch nerfs its difficulty

Adjustments for 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage only

Looks like no game is safe from early patches and updates nowadays, not even the long-standing Kingdom Hearts series which is typically known for its polish. The 1.02 patch that launched in Japan today made adjustments to camera speed, shortcut button response, and the magic command display. Gameplay aspects such as reflect and cartwheel response times, Barrier Cracker cancellation time, and MP consumption were also “adjusted.” 

Square has seemingly avoided phrasing these changes as “improvements,” but it obviously wouldn’t update the software to make it worse intentionally (it’s not Mozilla nor Windows). In any case, these changes come at the cost of making the game easier on higher difficulties.

On Proud Mode, you’ll receive less damage than before the update, and Critical Mode has been updated to increase the amount of damage you inflict on enemies. “Enemy AI and parameters” have also been adjusted but aren’t specifically detailed. 

I’ll be one of the first to admit that difficulty in Kingdom Hearts is increased by little more than boosting enemy stats while nerfing the player’s own. Still, that combat is so good it can be forgiven. In particular, the increased difficulty makes boss fights more intense, especially the secret ones like Julius, Lingering Will, and the dreaded Mysterious Figure from Birth By Sleep. 

Mysterious Figure set the precedent of difficulty alteration by being made slightly easier in the Final Mix version. Granted, one of his moves was a (usually) unavoidable one-hit kill and thus broken. Regardless, I still beat him on Critical with all three characters before the nerf. Likewise I think I’ll sacrifice some of those possible improvements for the extra challenge when I finally get around to this game. 

Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- version 1.02 update now available [Gematsu]

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Cory Arnold
Pretty cool dude in Japan. 6/9/68
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