A Deep Love That Dwindles Daily
Remember six years ago, when you were waiting for kingdom hearts 3 to be announced for your nice shiny new Playstation 3? Me too, unfortunately for you and myself, that never happened. The original Kingdom Hearts was released back in September 2002 and despite the fact that the original was released more than twelve years ago, we still haven’t been given the third entry in the games core series. Instead, we have had eight side entries, one of which was only released in Japan, while three others are just HD remakes of older games.
In case game companies have yet to connect the dots on this one, allow me to be very clear on this point. THIS IS NOT AN OKAY THING TO DO.
So, why is it that we’re still fascinated with the Kingdom Hearts series after all this time, despite still not having an ending to the story. It’s a question I find myself asking a lot, but I can never come to an answer more complex than “because Kingdom Hearts is awesome”.
So today I’d like to look deeper into that question and feel free to add you input down below in the comments. I’m always open to discussing game nonsense with you guys.
The first time I had heard about Kingdom Hearts was back in 98′ in an issue of GamePro Magazine. They were discussing the future of Final Fantasy with the tagline “Square Soft is crankin’ it up to 11”. Near the end of the article, they made passing mention about a collaborative effort between Disney and Square Soft.
The way they chose to illustrate this was by showing a picture of Mickey’s head on Clouds body. Never again in my life have a felt such a strange combination of Joy, Excitement, and deep confusion and by the time Kingdom Hearts was finally released I had forgotten all about it.
A Magical Encounter
When I was over a friend’s house one day, it happened. We were in the basement and his older brother, who was home from college, was playing Kingdom Hearts. I had no idea what I was looking at. Here was this kid, running around in the jungle with Donald and Tarzan.
I was immediately captivated by the game. Once I had finally pulled myself from the front of the television, it would be almost an entire year before I crossed paths with the game again and that would set off what still seems like something that will ultimately be a lifelong obsession.
After years of playing the first two core games, I finally decided to try my hand at the handheld ones. I think by that time, Chain of Memories had been re-released on the Playstation 2, so it was a little more tolerable. Don’t get me wrong, I love handheld games but I don’t feel that it’s a platform Kingdom Hearts should have ventured onto.
By the time Birth By sleep had been released I had become fed up with the Kingdom Hearts series and had placed KH3 on the same shelf in my heart as games like Left 4 dead: 3 and Diablo 3. While one of those games has been released since then, my hope for Kingdom Hearts 3 diminishes more and more every day. Yet even while writing that last sentence I know in my heart that it’s a brazen lie.
As soon as Kingdom Hearts 3 is released I will be one of the first people in line at the game store. Now let me tell you why I’ll be there and in all likelihood, you will be as well.
Tetsuya Nomura has been at the helm of several of the most commercially successful games in Squares history. From titles like “The World Ends With You” to “Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core” as well as being the lead character designer on many others. It was only matter of time before he created something that would cement his legacy for years to come.
When he first approached Disney about using their characters with him in a new game, they may have been apprehensive at first but after speaking more on the topic a deal was made and Kingdom Hearts Shifted from a dream of Nomura’s inspired by Super Mario 64 to a fully fledged product.
The story of Kingdom Hearts is so large and ever-expanding that it’s hard to determine how much of it had been there from the stat and how much was added in to cover plot holes and such. While I would have preferred the games to flow chronologically rather than the in the fragmented fashion that they do, there will always be something enchanting about playing a game and having that moment of “Wow, that’s why that happened back in the other game.”
That’s what I think it is about these games that keep people around, that feeling of excitement and mystery that comes with each passing entry. What really blew me away with the game’s overall story and pretty much secured my loyalty to the series was learning that Riku was meant to be the Key Blade Warrior instead of Sora.
While it may not have been until the most recent entry in the series that I was finally brought full circle, it’s a moment that I will never forget and something that I reference when telling people why I love these games. No matter how long it takes for the story to finish.
So what do you all think? Is the games story enough to keep you coming back for more despite the series absence from the previous generation of consoles and decade-long story development? Or have you given up and moved onto from the childlike wonder that Kingdom Hearts brought us all back in 2002? Whatever your stance, be sure to tell me about it down below in the comments.