Monday, April 17, 2006

The Kingdom Hearts Series's Winnie the Pooh

You know, I really like Kingdom Hearts. I mean, sure, it's not perfect. Riku's an annoying doofus, the keyblade is the most fucking ridiculous and idiotic weapon I've ever seen (even including gunblades), and it would be nice if Nomura's ego or whatever it is stopping him from adequately putting in characters from any FF not his own would disappear. But overall, it's a fun and great set of games, and hanging out with Disney characters like Hercules and The Beast is awesome. While I certainly do wish Square would put in some REAL quality Disney stuff, like Gargoyles or Darkwing Duck, I have no complaints to the casts they've assembled so far.

Oh wait, no, I do have one single complaint.

Winnie the Pooh.

Now, I'll level with you on the matter--I've always thought Disney's version of Winnie the Pooh was stupid and annoying, right from the start. So I can't pretend there's not some bias possibly at work here. But good fucking God, Square, what is WRONG with you?

It's not enough that KH saddles you with this urine-colored simpleton in each installment of the series. But instead of just being able to beat up some bad guys, maybe solve a few puzzles, and advance the plot the fun way like every other place, you're required to do a bunch of hideously stupid minigames! Ohhhh, how I loathe mandatory minigames. I can think of very few games that have had a fun minigame that wasn't completely optional.

More on those in a later rant. Much, much more.

While I can think of a few possible minigames that would make the 100 Acre Woods reasonably enjoyable (most of them involve rifles and some very choice moving targets), these minigames are sadly as pitifully boring and pointless as their mentally-inept star's existence. They can't help but be, since they are by and large based on events from his show.

However, as paradoxically yawn-inspiring and rage-inducing as his general KH idiocy is, it's when he's doing NEW things in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories that things are at their worst. You see, in this game, you have the deceptively easy-sounding task of guiding Pooh through a long level, looking for his friends, doing so reasonably quickly so that he won't run out of honey-fuel before he arrives at the next pot for another fix.

Well, there is a major problem with this. And that problem is that Pooh is certifiably blind. Because, see, he can walk RIGHT fucking past his friends and not even NOTICE them. Not to mention that if you step a full 20 steps away from him, he is completely incapable of seeing you waving your hands at him to follow you. Instead, his puny mind chooses to mock you by having him fall asleep. You have to practically close enough to hold his hand for him to properly follow you ANYWHERE, and even then he has to stop at times to ponder for a moment how to work his legs for the next step. Hell, I wish you COULD hold his hand so that you could just drag him along across the ground--hopefully over a few rocks in the process--and GET places.

So, while recently playing KHCoM and watching Pooh stumble along like a mentally handicapped zombie, I put my mind to work on creating a theory about why Pooh is so painfully unintelligent. It wasn't like I would be needing to focus on anything else for the next 10 minutes it would take for the slack-jawed moron to make the next 2 steps toward me. And here is what I came up with. You see, Pooh has a diet consisting of nothing but honey--one which we could only hope would eventually lead to his blissful, malnutritioned end. So I decided that perhaps one day, Pooh, while sitting on his cushioned ass, took a large dump of whatever the hell happens when a full pot of honey goes through a cotton-based digestive system. Being perpetually hungry, of course, he realized that this foul substance still smelled somewhat like honey, and decided to eat some. Only, he temporarily forgot which hole in his head was his mouth, and so started to busily shove it into his ears. And that shit, I believe, still resides in his otherwise vaccuous cranium, being used as a substitute for a brain. It at least explains why he feels the need to stagger around like a drunken toddler.

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