Kingdom Hearts III- The End of Something I Have Cherished Most of my Life

Don’t worry, this post contains no spoilers.

I fell in love with Kingdom Hearts the second I played it. It came to me at the right time in my life. I had always wanted to like RPG’s but for the most part found them far to unnecessarily complicated with all the materials, controls, traveling, stats and spells. I wanted to love them, for I like big stories with a bunch of characters and all that, but it was never worth the time getting to learn the complicated systems of the games.

Then Kingdom Hearts found me when I was around 12 or 13 years old, and I had been delivered what I had always hoped for. An RPG that takes all the best elements and dumbs them down significantly, while combining it with action adventure, my favorite genre.

On top of the ridiculously clever gameplay and opportunity to visit places from the movies I watched so often growing up, I found there was an incredible story being told throughout, making the series original characters some of the best fictional characters I have ever seen, somehow completely overshadowing the beloved Disney characters.

I beat the game and loved it. When KH2 came out, I had missed Chain of Memories and found the story all quite confusing and overwhelming at first, but despite having no idea what was going on, by the end of the game, I gathered the gist of it and realized I had just finished one of the best games I have ever played, with THE best story line, told in a positively convoluted, confusing, and delightful way that I adored.

bbs knights

I remember beating it, watching the secret movie for BBS and wondering what the heck it could all possibly mean. The moment I beat the game, I immediately took to the internet to research Kingdom Hearts 3 and when it would be coming out. Little did I know that I would be waiting for over a decade.

But that’s not to say we weren’t treated to nothing in all that time. Firstly, I immediately got hold of Chain of Memories, which helped ease some of my confusion, but then I still waited for several years to get a new game…a DS game by the name 358/2 Days. Imediately I loved it just by reading the title, it was so ridiculously cryptic and weird, the things I love about KH. This game finally told us what all that Roxas business in the beginning of the second game was about, and gave us a deeper look into all the black coated fiends you slaughtered in the two previous games.

Kingdom Hearts Organisation_XIII

Then to my delight we were treated to another game, Birth By Sleep, less than a year later. But I soon found myself despairing, for it was a PSP exclusive, something I didn’t own. But frig that I needed to play it. At last I would learn what that secret video from KH2 was all about, so I bought the KH special edition PSP solely for that game and still have no regrets in doing so. I played this game for hours upon hours. I don’t even want to know how many.

And then again in a year, we got another game that finally told us what the message in a bottle said at the end of KH2 and at long last advancing the story beyond 2, not a prequel to it.

3 games in the span of a year. We were finally being rewarded for all our patience.

Then we had to wait nearly another 2 years for the game that set us up for 3, the big one, the conclusion.

khdddgp

After completing Dream Drop Distance, I had that same feeling I did when I first beat KH2. But the PS3 came and went with no KH3 to be seen.

Finally, after a 7 year wait, the game is released and I couldn’t believe it when I started to play it. And then I found I couldn’t stop. Finally, after a week, I finally beat it and the conflict that started back when I was 12 years old has finally been concluded now, when I am 29, nearly 17 years after the first game.

I loved the game, and I loved the ending, but now I feel so empty. What do you do when something you have looked forward to for more than half your life ends?

Yes, there is more to look forward to, but it’s like I have finally grown up. The 12 year old kid in me has finally moved on, vanished like a heart disappearing up into Kingdom Hearts. I am ecstatic that I beat the game, yet at the same time, was so terrified of beating it the closer I got to the end.

I realize this is just a video game, but the story and it’s characters have always meant so much to me, beyond any book, game, movie or any other form of media has ever reached me.

I feel similar every time I beat a Kingdom Hearts game.  It’s like spending time with those characters was something truly great to me and the time I spend playing these games will always be cherished. But like how Sora has to say goodbye to his friends every time he leaves a world, I too must close this chapter on my life, and make room for a new adventure.

So I guess I am trying to say, thank you Tetsuya Nomura for bringing to life such a fantastic story, Square-Enix for making such a fun game, and Disney, for allowing them to use your characters to kill a bunch of monsters.

If you make one person feel the way I do about KH on any form of media, then the creators of that media have done their job and should be proud.

Thanks again, I can’t wait to see what else you bring us!

kingdom hearts kairi_and_sora_wallpaper_by_vamp4ever22-d4jlz2d

Kingdom Hearts Series Ranked

In celebration of the extremely long awaited Kingdom Hearts III (it’s hard to believe it’s nearly here) I am going to rank all the games from worst to best in my opinion. I will just be listing the base games, not all the Re:this or that or Final Mix versions and compilation games.

So without further ado, here we go!

 

*UPDATE 2/8/19* Added Kingdom Hearts III to list.

#10

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

2016, Mobile

Times Beaten- N/A

This is a mobile phone game where you collect and upgrade medals of characters from Kingdom Hearts, Disney, and Final Fantasy. You use these medals to perform special attacks. The more powerful you become, the more quests you can take on and the more rewards you will reap. It is a never ending soul sucking game, but I continue to play it everyday…such is my devotion to Kingdom Hearts. For a free to play game, the devs are extremely generous in giving you a lot of stuff, and overall, it’s probably the best mobile game out there.

#9

Kingdom Hearts .2 Birth By Sleep

– A fragmentary passage-

2017, PlayStation 4

Times Beaten- 1

This is a brand new entry included in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (rolls right off the tongue) that takes place right after Birth By Sleep and uncovers a lot of mysteries leading up to Kingdom Hearts 1. Well some mysteries anyway.

This is actually a fantastic game, which really gives us a taste of what to expect from Kingdom Hearts III. The only reason it is so low on the list is because of how short it is (less than 3 hours).

#8

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

GameBoy Advanced, 2004- PlayStation 2, 2008

Times Beaten- GBA 2, PS2, 2

This, gameplay wise, is not very fun. The game itself is very long, especially with the Riku story. It wouldn’t be so bad if the card system was better, but it is so annoying to have your cards broken all the time, making the game very grindy and monotonous. The story is very interesting however, which makes it all worth it, taking place immediately after the first game.

#7

Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded

DS, 2011

Times Beaten- 1

Taking place right after KH2, this takes us on a very unusual journey with some rather differentish gameplay. I wasn’t all that crazy about this one, and the story did little for the overall arc.

#6

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

DS, 2009

Times Beaten- 2

This is where the games really start to get incredible. This varies the gameplay up a bit, having you run missions for Organization XIII. There’s an awesome multiplayer where you can play as all the members, and the story, which takes place during the later end of 1, all of CoM and leads directly into 2, fills in a whole lot of confusing things that occur during CoM and especially 2. And the game is incredibly fun to boot!

#5

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

3DS, 2012

Times Beaten- 2

Taking place after Re:Coded, this one takes us right up into KH3. The gameplay is quite good, the story rather mindblowing, and the dream eaters…meh…Fortunately the game is so stinking fun it’s easy to forget about the constant care of those needy creatures. And for the first time, you switch off between playing as Sora and Riku, which is most welcome.

#4

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep

PlayStation Portable, 2010

Times Beaten- 4

I have easily put the most time into this game. Taking place like 10 years before the first game, you play as 3 wannabe keyblade masters and experience how each of them is set on a different path that leads to nowhere good. The story, gameplay, and skill customization is wonderful. This is the reason I bought a PSP and have no regrets.

#3

Kingdom Hearts

PlayStation 2, 2002

Times Beaten- Around 5

I can still remember playing this for the first time after refusing to have any interest in it for over a year. When my brother convinced me to play it, I fell in love immediately. The story gripped me so, the Disney characters were awesome, seeing them kill stuff was even more awesome.

As far as gameplay goes, this has some of the worst in the series, but it still holds up enough. It was the first in the series so it gets a break. It’s still a great game and one I still get excited about playing.

#2

Kingdom Hearts II

PlayStation 2, 2005

Times Beaten- Around 4

This is by far and away the best game in the series. The gameplay is absolutely perfect. There are so many abilities to use that keep it fresh, but even just mashing the X button is highly satisfying. The story is as wonderful as ever, leaving us all dying to see what happens next, until Re: Coded came out that is. This is definitely a masterpiece to go down in history.

#1

Kingdom Hearts III

PlayStation 4, 2019

Times Beaten- 1

The conclusion to the Xehanort saga, this game focuses on Sora and company looking for all the other characters that have had relevance in the series. It’s a fun ride, with interesting connections and reasoning for going to each world, whether it be a clever connection to the world itself or the characters themselves. There are less worlds, but they are much, much bigger.

The best part of this game is that it takes the gameplay of KH2, and just makes it better, with all sorts of wild attacks and transformations that are awesome looking, on top of being powerful. I couldn’t stop playing the game. It is so much fun and so diverse. Well worth the wait!

And that’s it!

If you have never played these games, I highly recommend getting the story so far compilation and prepare to have your mind blown with exceptional gameplay and a crazy, amazing story.