Kingdom Hearts 3: Can it live up all the hype?
Ever since the announcement that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be hitting the Playstation 4 at some point during its lifespan, there has been a generally mixed reaction among fans. Most, as Square-Enix was expecting, are ecstatic to see the next and possibly final installment of the series is finally on its way. Fans who are a bit more cautious, myself included, are just as excited but less optimistic that the game will live up to all expectations. Given all of the games released between Kingdom Hearts 2 and now, its only natural.
The few game play demonstrations that have been shown off so far, it looks like KH3 is going to push the limits on the series battle system that has gone through a ton of refinements over the years. Yet have they taken into account of the difference of this new console’s controls vs the hand held systems or even the Playstation 2’s controls? That, and even advanced visuals may do the series more harm than good. I recall when I watched the teaser trailer on E3, being struck by how beautiful the colors and the backgrounds looked, but finding Sora’s appearance to be a bit out of place. Why I felt this, I don’t really know and I hope it goes away as I see more of the game. However as of right now, I’m not sure the graphic improvement will work to the game’s overall benefit. At least with what has been shown off so far.
My, and I assume most fans, biggest worries for KH3 is the story. Thanks to all the in-betwequels, prequels and sequel teases of all the games since Kingdom Hearts 2, the plot has become incredible convoluted. Sure, die-hard fans can argue that the plot does all make sense in the end and how everything little thing that happens is connected. But I encourage those fans to look past their devotion and ask themselves, was it all really necessary? The short answer is no, it wasn’t. It was just the developers way of putting off having to make another big title as long as possible. Does that mean the games between Kingdom Hearts 2 and 3 were bad. Not in the slightest. I personally, adored Birth By Sleep and Dream Drop Distance. Even when it came to the story, it wasn’t anything special, but I still loved it and the characters they introduced. Even I find it incredible how the overall story, while more complex than it should have been, is remarkably well connected. No small feat given everything the story has covered in the past several years. With all of its connecting characters and various storylines finally coming together in Kingdom Hearts 3, this game promises to be a grand installment that will more than likely conclude this epic cross over tale.
Yet as I get more and more pumped for what is to come, there is an underlying fear that maybe with all this waiting for a third official title, that the game will be unable to live up to the hype. Its not a groundless fear either. Like myself, most fans have had plenty of time to imagine what we want to see in a final installment to the series, creating our expectations for what Kingdom Hearts 3 should do in order to completely satisfy. What will become of the main villain and his master plan? Will the characters from Birth By Sleep be saved? What will become of Sora now that it is confirmed that he has more than one individual in his metaphysical heart? And why was it necessary to train Kairi as a Keyblade wielder when she was already a princess of heart? Most of these questions and more have been added as more games have come out, meaning that Square-Enix is going to have their work cut out for them if they are going to answer all of them. Some may think that is an impossible task, but the sad truth is in order to satisfy the fan base, ALL of these loose ends need to be addressed if Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to be a successful final chapter.
No matter what happens, the Kingdom Hearts series has been on heck of a ride and has got to be one of Square-Enix’s best franchises. I can honestly say that the original Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite games of all time, closely followed by Birth by Sleep. With all the hype of finally seeing the conclusion of the main story, let’s all hope that Square puts enough effort in living up to those expectations in making Kingdom Hearts 3 the best in the series.