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[REVIEW] Kingdom Hearts III

NOTE: This review will contain mild spoilers and then will break into major spoilers after the main review. I will make a break in the article to note where the major spoilers start.

I was admittedly worried in the weeks leading up to the release date of Kingdom Hearts III. I mean I’ve been burned several times in the last five years alone from games making a major comeback. The most obvious one for me was Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game that I was 100% positive at the time, that it couldn’t fail. Not only did it fail, it crashed and burned to the point that I’m not sure I can trust BioWare ever again. So with Kingdom Hearts III being not only a similar situation, but one with an even larger gap in time between the last game I played from that series and the game I was about to play.

So when I finally held the copy of the game in my hands, there was a hint of doubt along with the massive amount of joy I was feeling. Then I plopped in that disc, hit ‘New Game’ and the train started a’rollin’!

From the moment the intro cutscene started playing, hearing that orchestrated version of Utada Hikaru’s “Don’t Think Twice”, I felt every bit of nostalgic emotion flooding back into me. I may not remember exactly how I felt playing the original PS2 games, but I felt all the memories of those two games returning back to me. It truly was a “shiver up my spine” level moment and served to pump me up for the 50+ hour journey I would go on.

To put it simply, Kingdom Hearts III for me was a 14-year long wait that was well worth the patience I somehow mustered. With the main story completed and I’d estimate around 75% of the entire game completed in terms of content, I have no problem saying that this game not only was worth the wait, but lived up to any and all expectations I had for the game. That’s not to say it’ll live up to your expectations or anyone else’s mind you, but for me as someone who has learned not to over-hype myself, the game does a damn good job in every single way.

I didn’t play any of the side games really in between KH2 and KH3. I gave Birth By Sleep a try, but I’ve always had a problem getting into handheld games, so I struggled to stay interested on the PSP. Had the game been available later on through the PS TV (if it was, it’s only digital and I didn’t buy a single digital title for that device), I might have given it a shot, same with 358/2 Days, but the interest wasn’t there. So I’m looking at the differences in the series from the PS2-era games and this one. And boy oh boy does the game improve on so many things.

First of, MY GOD THE GAME IS GORGEOUS!!! Timing it perfectly, the game came out just before I moved out to my new apartment, so I started the game on a small 24″ 720p TV and moved to a 53″ 1080p TV, so I’ve seen both levels, aside from 4K, cause good lord that’s still expensive for my budget and at this point there’s no reason to be upgrading to a PS4 Pro anyways. Regardless, as I set before, HOLY FREAKING HELL THIS GAME LOOKS AMAZING!!!

This really hits home in the Disney worlds. Working on the Unreal 4 engine, I can’t imagine playing the older games ever again after seeing how the various worlds look today. Out of all of them though, I couldn’t have been more awestruck than in the Toy Story world, specifically the first time you leave Andy’s house and see the world outside. It really hits home that this is what a current-gen Kingdom Hearts game looks like, after countless games on handheld and mobile devices.

In most cases though, the game transitions between all these worlds seamlessly, mostly retaining the core look of the game, while altering slightly for most worlds, except for the Pirates of the Caribbean world, which has a much more realistic look, aside from Sora and company, of course. That world is also a marvel to look at. Speaking of which…

Since I’m going to talk about the gameplay, might as well start with the bit I’m going to remember the most. The Pirates of the Caribbean world really shows how much the series has evolved. No longer just world after world of smacking around endless respawning waves of Heartless (not that I ever had a problem with that), with small rooms that needed separation through short loading screens. This world alone is massive for what you’re used to in Kingdom Hearts, akin to a fraction of the entire world in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which the world is basically quite reminiscent of. Ship battles, islands to explore, that world has become in my opinion the most memorable world in the series thus far through its gameplay. And it’s not the only unique one, the Tangled world has some interesting ideas with exploration, though I wish they’d done a little more, the Toy Story world has mechs you can pilot in the world once you enter the toy store that functions as the main dungeon there, hell even the Monsters Inc. world, that I figured I’d just want to breeze through, it ended up being a lot of fun with its various little quirks, like gliding across rails and various doors to go from place to place.

But anyways, enough world gushing, now to gush about the gameplay. In terms of traversing the worlds, not much has changed in that regard. You still walk, run, jump and eventually through leveling up, gain the ability to glide. Oh and I guess there’s the ability TO RUN UP WALLS! It’s the lone notable change in movement and yet it adds so much to each world. Rooftops are easily accessible (see the Big Hero 6 for the primary example of that), battles can actually be waged completely above ground and the overall verticality makes each world feel a lot bigger than the worlds of old, where at best you can jump up to a second floor. Now you run as high up as skyscrapers. I guess there’s also improved underwater fighting, as you see in the Pirates of the Caribbean world, and it is certainly better, but after a small usage of it in the final boss battle, I kinda wish they’d just erased it. Underwater + Kingdom Hearts has always been a bit of a struggle.

The battle system overall however, is no struggle at all. In fact, I’m amazed just how improved everything is. Aside from the absolute fluency through the entire game (never noticed any major framerate drops), the chaotic fighting is very much still around and better than ever. More moves, more abilities, more available options, more strategy (that I don’t use), more fun. Smaller changes of note include three sets of 4 shortcuts, making it easy to organize spells, summons and items without having to go digging through the menu during the heat of battle. You can also cast spells in the air, which is especially helpful during your constant need to heal. MP is also a little different, as battle spells use portions of MP, while a Cure spell or summon takes the entire bar and puts it in a cooldown mode until it refreshes your bar to the full amount. Which means if you can stay out of trouble, you won’t be chastising yourself for not buying one more Ether or Elixir. They’re all nice touches, helping things along while other improvements do the heavy lifting.

For example, Keyblades actually have meaning throughout the entire game. With the ability to upgrade each and every Keyblade, every weapon is viable if you want it to be. Though the Ultima Weapon is back and is still far ahead of the rest, all the other Keyblades are worth something, depending on your style of play. They all also come with special transformations, kind of like the various Forms from Kingdom Hearts II. For example, my favourite Keyblade, the “Favorite Deputy” has three forms, the first being the default Keyblade, the second being a hammer and the third being a drill. I also enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean “Wheel of Fate”, especially for its second form, the spear-wielding “Highwind”, naturally intentionally named after Final Fantasy VII party member, Cid Highwind. I didn’t try every Keyblade mind you, specifically the ones geared for magic users, but they all have their quirks. Hell, even the Winnie the Pooh Keyblade has a form that you can use to attack while using the Dodge Roll ability. It’s awesome!

The lone complaint I have is in the extra attacks you can have during battle. Through Goofy, Donald and the Disney party member you get in each world, there’s bonus attacks you can activate, and they’re all fine. It’s a different bonus attack that causes a bit of an issue with me, that being the “Attractions”, which are essentially summons you gain from landing an attack on a specified enemy, which summons a Disney park attraction such as the tea cups, or the pendulum-swinging Pirate Ship. At first, they’re absolutely fine and fun, and in a way they still are, but the problem is that they’re very easy to get and break the flow of battle. I played on Easy mode as well and man oh man are they overpowered. You can’t turn them off either, so the only way to not use them, is to simply ignore them and let the timer run out, which is an eyesore having to stare at that timer for a good 30+ seconds. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but they could’ve either reduced the amount of times you can pick them up, or at the very least take them out of boss battles. They feel out of place there.

Lastly, the story. Without major spoilers (which I’ll have further below after I end the main review), the story is about what you remember from Kingdom Hearts games. They’re a total mess, you get lost over and over again, and yet you’ll still love the majority of it. The Disney worlds are large in part either re-tellings of the subject material or in Big Hero 6’s case, an original story, post-film. They’re perfectly fine, though the Toy Story and Frozen worlds each miss a great opportunity that could’ve really set them apart from the rest, which again I’ll get into in the spoilers section later on.

The main story however, is certainly a challenge, especially to those not familiar with every bit of lore the series has had. Even after watching videos that tell every ounce of detail I missed in games outside of the PS2-era games, I found myself lost and confused a number of times. Though admittedly, I can’t distinguish between the times I was lost because I didn’t know the material, and the times I was lost because the villains always spoke in riddles. However in the end I did find myself catching up and by the final world of the game I understood everything I had been working towards and thus there were two scenes back-to-back that nearly brought me to tears.

This game closes a lot of stories, ties up a lot of loose ends. This is the end to the “Dark Seeker Saga” with Master Xehanort and Organization XIII, but certainly not the end of the series. There are two major cutscenes at the end that show that we are far from anything being over. Sora’s journey may have only just begun. In the end, I felt satisfied with the ending, a little underwhelmed by the final boss battle, but not to detract from anything. I was left just wanting a tiny bit more.

Like I said at the top, this game was well worth the wait. Massive improvements, a gorgeous looking game, though a few bumps in the story. Which quite honestly, is exactly what Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 were. They were never perfect and I didn’t expect KH3 to be either. What I wanted was a game that I felt was at par with KH2 and I feel I got just that. I honestly can’t tell you which is better, I feel both games offered the same level of emotional value, the difference is the kind of emotions. At age 17 and now 31, I treated the two games differently, KH2 was a wonderful achievement, while KH3 was a massive flood of nostalgia. Neither feel better than the other, they just offered different feelings for me.

The important thing is that both are worth your time, so if you’re a veteran to the series, this game isn’t a disappointment in any regard. And if you’re new, I think this game is still worth looking at. I’d tell you to take a look at the re-packaged older games that are being offered, but if you don’t want to go through 100+ hours of content before playing this game, I think there’s still plenty to enjoy. Just watch a video about the story up to this game so you don’t get too lost and you’ll be fine.

I waited more than a decade for this game and now that it’s over and done with, I cannot wait to see what’s next for one of my favourite series in gaming.


***MAJOR SPOILERS INCOMING!!!***


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All right! Let’s get into all the juicy stuff, shall we?!

Who called this son of a bitch being Luxu?! I mean if there’s anything that shocked me right off the bat, it was finding out that Xigbar is the apprentice that the Master of Masters gave that giant black plot device, I mean box to.

By the way, let me make this perfectly clear, I have a vague understanding still of the lore that will be making this new storyline with the Master of Masters in the future games. I know little about him, the six apprentices and other pieces of information relating to that part of the series’ lore. So this first scene was a bit of a wash for me, as I admittedly didn’t get most of what they were saying, though I imagine most of it is the game’s love of speaking nonsense and riddles. Though I’ve seen various hints to what’s to come, like for example the seven pieces that Eraqus put on Xehanort’s side of that game board containing the seven symbols of the aforementioned Master of Masters and his six apprentices, meaning those seven may be our villains in the next game or set of games, depending on how deep this goes.

The secret ending, or the “Yozora” ending is what really intrigues me. I mean, that world is either a The World Ends With You World that would likely mean a DLC sidestory, in my opinion…OR THE NEW GAME WILL HAVE US PLAYING IN OUR OWN WORLD!!! Either way, I’m stoked to see where this goes, but I have to imagine there must be a connection with the Verum Rex game that we see in the Toy Story world and/or The World Ends With You, so I’m more inclined to think this will be either DLC or a small side game.

I mentioned I nearly cried twice during the time I spent playing this game. This beautiful girl is one of the two things that made me well up a bit. The first was Terra’s return, just seeing the three of them together again and especially seeing Aqua truly happy again for what was more than a decade for her, that meant a lot, even if I didn’t know much of the story.

But Xion coming back, being revealed as one of Xehanort’s new Real Organization XIII members, that was a big moment. And then once Roxas made his triumphant return, that was it for me. Watching Xion absolutely break down as not only did she finally see Roxas and company again, but people remembered her, she was no longer a forgotten shadow. Those two moments were awesome and especially being back-to-back like that.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about a few missed opportunities the game had. Right off the bat, HOW DID THEY FUCK UP A POTENTIAL BOSS BATTLE WITH A DARK BUZZ LIGHTYEAR?!!! How awesome would that have been, especially considering this game really went out of its way to not have you fighting Disney villains aside from the Titans in Olympus? It seemed all but set in stone that you were going to have to face Buzz after he got possessed and yet they just made it so that you brought him back to the good side and then faced another big Heartless boss. It was still a good boss fight, but man oh man could’ve a Buzz Lightyear boss battle have been awesome!

Secondly, the Frozen world really fucked up by not having Elsa being your party member. I thought after showing that she could defeat Heartless with her magic, she was a shoe-in to be your party member in the world. Instead, you get shafted with the snow golem she creates to guard her castle and his bonus attack is meh at best. Massive missed opportunity there.

Finally, let’s address there being no Final Fantasy characters at all during the entire game. Unless there’s going to be some DLC arena that includes another ass-kicking from Sephiroth, while I don’t mind there not being a Final Fantasy presence in the story, it really does feel like we’re being cheated out of content with no one being around. Leon, Aerith, Yuffie, Tifa, Cloud, Sephiroth, even Yuna, Rikku and Paige, how are none of them in there after being around for so long?! And come on, it would’ve made so much sense for Cindy to be your Gummi ship mechanic!!!


So that’s everything from me here, folks! If you’ve got anything to say about the game, or if I missed something really important, leave a comment below!

50 Hours In, Still In Love With Kingdom Hearts 3

I’m just shy of 50 hours into KH3. I know I’m at the last possible point before the final boss, so I’m out grinding and finishing all the sidequests I want to do beforehand. So I know the end is near, at least for now, assuming there is DLC coming later on.

And I’ve gotta tell you…it was well worth the wait.

I’ll obviously talk more about it once I’ve completed the game, but man oh man am I in love with this game. There may be less in terms of worlds, but the quality of these worlds is nothing short of incredible. For example, the Toy Story world has mech combat and the Pirates of the Caribbean world have ship battles. It’s not what you’re used to in the series where you drop in, smack smack smack, boss battle, smack smack smack, all right, all done, move to the next world. These worlds, some more than others carry major differences that make them easily to differentiate, thus making them more memorable.

The combat still hasn’t soured on me either, thanks large in part to the unique keyblades. No longer just stats, each keyblade has extra forms to it, ranging from a spear, blasters, to even yo-yos. Adding all the flowmotion moves (which admittedly I cut out from Sora’s ability list late in the game to make room for more stat bonsuses and combo extenders) and the variety of special moves and combos you can generate with magic, keyblades and your teammates, it makes KH3’s combat the best it’s ever been. Also I’ve had no noticeable frame drops, so man has it been fluid.

Lastly though, since I want to keep this post as spoiler free as possible, thus the shorter post, man the story has been really good at the very end. The Disney stories for the most part are just re-tellings of the source material, but after clearing all the Disney worlds and getting to the meat and potatoes of the Dark Seeker Saga ending, man oh man has it struck the heart a couple of times. All I can say is, if you’ve kept up with the series as a whole, you won’t be disappointed by all the loose ends as they’re being closed. The story is still a mess, as the KH series has always been known to be, but there are definitely some memorable moments here, two in fact (back-to-back no less…) that made me nearly cry.

But all in all, as I strike the 50-hour mark of this game, I’m not feeling like this was over-hyped, a disappointment, a bad game, hell I wouldn’t even say it’s really all that flawed, despite a couple things I can nitpick, which I’ll do in my final review. I’m feeling like this might just be my favourite Kingdom Hearts game in the series.

Then again, I haven’t played Kingdom Hearts 2 in over a decade, so I don’t really remember how I felt back then. I barely remember how I felt about games like Oxenfree, that I finished at the beginning of the freaking year.

But feeling as positive as I feel right now, I couldn’t ask for more.

10 Hours In, Kingdom Hearts 3 Is Everything I Hoped It Would Be

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NOTE: This will be a spoiler-free article in terms of story.

As of writing this post, I’m just shy of 10 hours into the game. I’ve been slowly going through the story, having fun collecting things, messing around, etc etc. I’ve just arrived at my third world, the story really hasn’t started to show its hand yet, but the nostalgia factor is what’s keeping me running at full speed right now.

The moment I hit start and got the orchestral version of “Don’t Think Twice”, everything hit me all at once. All those emotions when I was in my mid-teens, playing the first two games. The music, the visuals, the combat, it all came back to me, like it had never left. Kingdom Hearts was back and not only was it back, but it hadn’t compromised its original state. Sure, it’s added more special moves, newer worlds and more, but the core of the series is still very much there. I don’t feel like I’m playing “the new and improved” Kingdom Hearts, I’m just playing an improved Kingdom Hearts.

First off, the graphics. Holy fucking shit is this game gorgeous. The mixture of current-gen limits, mixed with the vibrant, anime-like visual style that the series has always had, it looks absolutely incredible. In particular, the third world I’ve landed on, the Toy Story world, looks unbelievable. It definitely gives me the same reaction the trailers did, it legitimately looks like I’m playing a game within the confines of the film series.

The music is also very much the same to how it’s always been. Hearing familiar music from the first world of Olympus brings back the nostalgia, but also hearing this new orchestra version of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” in the Toy Story world, it gives me an irresistible desire to have the biggest smile on my face at all times. But then again, when has Yoko Shimomura disappointed us?

Lastly, the gameplay. What can I say? They made it bigger and better. Wall running, more special moves, actual boss mechanics that isn’t just “hit this spot, then hit this spot” or just smacking the shit out of him. The Rock Titan as you saw in the trailers is a great example, there’s a lead-up to the boss, rather than just fighting a giant rock out of nowhere. The fighting is quicker, more chaotic, with more options that should make me so much better at the game, but instead I still get hit by everything cause I’m not paying attention to shit. I’ve gotta say, not that it would’ve been hard to top the gameplay of a PS2 game, but the fighting in KH3 is easily the best the series has ever had.

Hell, even the Gummi Ship sequences are kinda fun now and they’ve never been for me. There’s more exploration to these sequences, little collecting here and there, it adds just enough to be a pretty decent improvement, but still has a lot to be desired. I don’t like how there’s just one enemy alone in a massive range on the map and can only be attacked if in close proximity, to which it takes you away from the open space and resumes the classic sequence-driven fight. This should’ve been an open world with enemies littered around the map (apart from the couple ones that are situated on asteroids and don’t move at all) that you’d be fighting regularly as you flew around. But it’s still better than what it used to be.

So yeah, I’m really happy that I can say with a straight face that Kingdom Hearts 3 thus far, has lived up to what I had hoped for. Now I’ve seen many different reactions from people and I think they may have overhyped themselves in comparison to myself, though I’ll obviously have a more finite opinion once I get to the end of the game. But for now, it’s certainly what I wanted and I’m so relieved that this is the case.

Though admittedly listening to Haley Joel Osment, who is two months younger than me, still voicing a tiny teenager…it’s a little odd now.

Kingdom Hearts III: A Game I’ve Waited Nearly 15 Years To Play

It’s been nearly fifteen years since the last major console release of a Kingdom Hearts game. Not a remaster, not a collection, a full brand spanking new release. It’s also been about four years since I’ve pre-ordered the damn game, so to have the knowledge that I am mere days away from finally having this game in my hands, it’s quite something.

When I think about how I got into the series, it’s really funny remembering. When the original Kingdom Hearts came out, I laughed at it. Here I am, y’know, a 14 year-old teenager who’s trying to be a little more edgy cause it’s supposed to be cool and you think for one second I’m gonna play a video game with a bunch of Disney characters?! Fuck that shit, right? That doesn’t sound cool, who cares that it’s being made by the same company who just a year ago, released what would become my all-time favourite game in Final Fantasy X. It’s fucking Disney, that’ll be stupid and childish!

Then I saw a friend playing it. He was running through the Hades Cup and if I remember correctly, the first battle I ever saw was against Cerberus. It looked pretty goddamn fun, which threw me for a loop. “No no no no! It’s a fucking Disney game, it has to be lame!” I kept thinking to myself and yet I would just get drawn in further. But I did hold my ground a little bit, I went a few more months without playing it.

But once it made the Greatest Hits list, thus it was cheaper, all bets were off.

I was stunned, absolutely stunned. The world, the story, the characters, the gameplay, the music, the graphics, the atmosphere…it all clicked, it all blended together and it was all Grade-A quality stuff! I couldn’t believe it, here I was thinking a game featuring a shit-ton of Disney properties would make a garbage game and yet I was sitting on my couch enjoying the hell out of playing through Tarzan’s world. Couldn’t believe it.

When it was all over, I was all in. Now I wanted more. So the day Kingdom Hearts 2 came out, I had my money saved up and was ready to go. I got so impatient, that I decided that the day before, I was going to lie to my Science teacher that I had a dentist appointment, so I’d miss my last class of the day. It honestly didn’t bug me that much, I hated the class and I was doing more than fine anyways. So I walked all the way from my school to the only EB Games we had at the time, which was an hour walk away. My walk home? 20 minutes. Didn’t care, I wanted that game and I wanted to play it as soon as I could.

Same deal, was blown away. Couldn’t believe just how much they could’ve improved that game, but they far exceeded any expectations I could’ve had for the series. Keep in mind that Chain of Memories for the GBA was released months before and it was no slouch either, though it had its problems. But once I put down Kingdom Hearts 2, I was a forever fan and I couldn’t wait for the third installment.

Except…it never came. I kept my PS2 a few years into the following generation (Persona helped) and waited to hear when Kingdom Hearts 3 was coming. But it just kept never being announced. Instead, we got mobile games, handheld games, web browser games, anything but a console title. Sure, some of the games were all right, but I never got the same feeling of them, and honestly? I’ve never finished a Kingdom Hearts game since Kingdom Hearts 2. I’ve had to watch YouTube videos to get the full story I’ve missed, in preparation for KH3.

I was truly upset, because why the fuck was Square Enix being so stupid by not releasing a third installment and instead releasing sidestories no one cared about on not-consoles?! What the fuck was the matter with them?! Did they not like money?! Well, we’ve seen over the last 10 years that it might be true, but that’s besides the point! I was beyond mad and turned elsewhere to find my new gaming niche. I went away from PlayStation, got a Xbox 360 and was getting ready for hours upon hours of Minecraft, Mass Effect and eventually, Destiny.

But in 2013, they just had to fucking tease it. 8 years of nothing and OH MY GOD, IT’S FUCKING HAPPENING, OH MY GOD!!!

And another five years since have ensued and we come to today. In just over a week as I release this, the game will be in my hands. A game I have basically waited nearly fifteen years to play. Fifteen long fucking years.

I don’t know what to think, to be honest. I mean everything I’ve seen looks incredible, especially the graphics. I can’t fathom how I’ll feel being in the Toy Story world as it looks like a movie and not the game. But in terms of my emotions going in…I can’t quite explain how I feel. I mean the best I can do is say that I’m excited without being excited. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long, maybe it has more to do with how old I am now in comparison to how I was when Kingdom Hearts 2 was coming out.

In the end, what I do know is that this may just be my happiest moment as a gamer since I impatiently awaited playing Mass Effect 2. I get the feeling that the moment the first second of the initial cutscene starts, a flood of emotion-filled nostalgia will envelope me. I’m actually considering the idea that I may actually well up, but I won’t cry. I’ll have teary eyes with the biggest smile on my face, because in those first moments, I will truly feel at ease.

Because when I hit start on Kingdom Hearts 3, fourteen long years will have passed. And I’ll be as thankful as can be that I got to experience this moment before the decade’s end.

Kingdom Hearts May Be Three Years From Release?

It’s been a running joke almost as old as the never-to-be-coming release date of Half-Life 3, but for Kingdom Hearts fans, the third (numbered) game in the franchise has felt even longer to them. And it appears now after a financial briefing for Square Enix, that wait may be even longer than we were expecting.

Ever since the first tease of Kingdom Hearts 3 at E3 in 2013, we’ve been patiently awaiting the release date of a game that has taken far too long to come out. Then 2014 came…and 2015…and 2016…but it’s 2017 now, it has to be coming out this year, right? Surely they wouldn’t announce a game that was going to take more than four years to come out, right?

Clearly you haven’t been paying attention to the games industry for very long.

At the financial meeting, we got a list of games that Square Enix had released before Q3 of this year, games they intend to release in the remainder of the year and games they intend to release after Q3 and beyond of 2018. Both the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III happen to be on that least. This means at the earliest, we’ll get the Kingdom Hearts game we’ve been waiting for in July…next year! Over five full years since the first tease we got of the game! Square Enix President and CEO Yosuke Matsuda also added that they intend to release the games in the next three years, which means that (pending more setbacks) we could be waiting all the way until the next decade for the third game.

Let’s take a moment to consider that possibility. Square Enix, are you telling us that after we’re already sitting at 12 years (12 full years on December 22nd) since Kingdom Hearts II, we could actually be hitting over 15 years in between those two games?! To put this into perspective, can you imagine a series like Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted, hell even Final Fantasy going 15 years without a release?! Now people will make the argument that there have been Kingdom Hearts games released, but aside from a repack, what’s the last Kingdom Hearts game on a console? Yep, Kingdom Hearts II in 2005. Sure, there have been mobile games, handheld games, browser games, remasterings, repackagings, but at the end of the day we haven’t had a full console release in over 12 years and it could hit 15 years.

15 years for a series that has such a legendary name to it. It just doesn’t sound right…

Will We Ever See A Kingdom Hearts III?

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So this is the current slate of Kingdom Hearts games coming out that actually have official release dates:

  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – Jan 24, 2017
  • Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix – Mar 28, 2017

Keep in mind that the last major Kingdom Hearts game was Kingdom Hearts II and that was released on the PLAYSTATION 2!!! in 2005 (2006 in North America). I don’t count the handheld games like Birth by Sleep, 358/2 Days, etc., because I don’t look at them like major titles the same way I would about the first two PS2 games. They’re Kingdom Hearts titles for sure and they’re part of the whole complicated lore of the series, but they just don’t hold up like major releases to me.

So again, at least in my view, the last major Kingdom Hearts title was now over a decade ago! A decade! And it’s not like they haven’t released a single game in the series afterwards, much like the Half-Life series, no no no! Square Enix has released a grand total of five separate games if you’re counting the handheld games in Birth By Sleep, 358/2 Days and Dream Drop Distance, the mobile phone game Coded and the PC browser game Kingdom Hearts χ. Even if you’re only counting non-mobile and non-browser based games, Square Enix has still released three games in the past 10 years and on top of that, another couple remasters.

So that begs the question…WHEN THE FUCK IS KINGDOM HEARTS III COMING OUT?!

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Now I will give Square Enix some rope, they’ve at least in the past year or so, actually showed us that not only does it exist, but they’ve actually put some work into it! Not only that, but it looks like it’s been made recently, unlike The Last Guardian, which I’m sorry to say looks like a game that should’ve been out a decade ago. Kingdom Hearts III on the other hand, looks like a game that would be released in the present day, so there’s that bit of relief on the end of all fans of the series.

But at the same time, how in god’s name has it taken Square Enix over a decade to get a new major Kingdom Hearts title in production?! I’m sorry, Square, but your shitty excuses for three Final Fantasy XIII games ain’t gonna cut it with me. You’ve basically made a bunch of terrible Final Fantasy games (other than FFXIV, which I keep hearing is really good), a bunch of meh Star Ocean games, a few Dragon Quest games that you sometimes give to us here in North America and then you started making Western games, like Deus Ex: Human Revolution/Mankind Divided and Hitman. So you’ve made a bunch of lackluster JRPGs and some decent Western games. Maybe it is for the best you didn’t make Kingdom Hearts III until you started remembering how to make good JRPGs again, a la Bravely Default, even though you got confused as to how so many people liked it, because apparently you forgot what made you the juggernaut you are in the first place. But you’re showing promise now, so we’ll accept things for what it is.

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Do I have a bet on when Kingdom Hearts III will come out? No, because I ain’t putting money on shit, cause I will lose, guaranteed. But if I were to guess when we’ll see this game finally, I’m going to assume (for North America) Holiday 2018. I’m not convinced they’ve done enough work to have it done by the end of next year and I just feel like a Disney-related game is better suited for a near-Christmas release, so Holiday 2018 seems like a fair guess, assuming what we’ve seen isn’t literally the first thing they’ve made of the game thus far. But I wouldn’t be shocked by a Holiday 2019 release either. I want to hope that in the next three years, this will finally be in our hands.

We’ve been waiting over a decade for this game, it’s mind-boggling to me that we’ve waited this long for such a game when it was such a popular, money-making title for Square Enix. You’d figure that with them and Disney behind this series, they’d be pushing for major releases as fast as possible. It makes you wonder what’s gone on behind the scenes with Square and Disney, the various directors and producers of the first two games, etc etc. I don’t pretend to know anything, I’m not a journalist and I haven’t spent hours researching into this. From my point of view, I just see a game that’s at least five years overdue.

Hopefully it won’t be much further off now. I don’t know how much longer my heart can wait for a game I’ve already waited a decade for.