Okay, I don’t own a PS4, but there are other reasons too.
So after a decade or so of waiting, they’re finally releasing the third installment of Kingdom Hearts. Except it’s not actually a direct continuation because there’s been like four games released on various handheld consoles that got released in-between II and III that explain some of the shit that will happen in III, with most of them being terrible to play (although I only played 358/2 Days, so I’m not sure about that). In fact, Kingdom Hearts is kind of like the Star Wars universe (after reboot I mean) in general now that I think about it. Only I’m not going to spend money for this third installment, unlike what I stupidly did regarding SW: Episode III.
Back in middle school when the PS2 was still one of the greatest things on the planet and you cursed yourself for not owning one, you cursed yourself even more that you couldn’t buy what was practically a teenage fanfiction wetdream at the time: A Disney-action RPG with maybe some Final Fantasy influences added to the mix. Now I was, and still am, a big fan of the Disney Animated Canon as well as the Disney shorts that I’ve seen (the Goofy ones being my favorite) and whilst I never had much exposure to Final Fantasy at the time, I certainly knew what the franchise was – aside from the fact that it’s a load of crap, I mean. But it was the Disney stuff that appealed to me more, and the thought of revisiting your past with the game, fighting alongside Donald and Goofy against classic villains like Maleficent, was something I just had to own.
Eventually, I got to borrowing my cousin’s PS2 and got to playing the first game. It was a heck of a lot of fun for the reasons I anticipated. Okay, I was a little more subsceptible to the JRPG format around the time, but I liked how there was this big plot between the various Disney villains and how each world was tied into the overall story. Heck, I even liked the reveal of our final villain and that the FF stuff was only used when it was appropriate. I kinda liked Chain of Memories as well, although warning signs were sort of flashing in my eyes around the time. But it had Jiminy Cricket, so meh.
Then I played Kingdom Hearts II. It was total crap!
I’ll give that the gameplay wasn’t too bad, the new elements were kinda cool in concept, and I loved fighting the members of Organization XIII. Otherwise, my experience playing that game was nothing short of painful. Gone was the combination of Disney elements whilst having appropriate amounts of Square garbage to please the fans on that side too. Instead, the whole thing felt like a goddamn VN adaptation in that they tried to shovel in things the fans wanted without having any idea how it fits into the overall story. The Disney worlds felt arbitrary, like they had to be in there because the fans wanted more of them. Organization XIII had even less to do than they did in Chain of Memories and their plans felt like they were written by a current-day satire movie writer. Donald and Goofy had no story arc, and even Sora felt tacked on a bunch of times. The Disney villains just did their own thing without being involved in anything. It was an aimless mess!
The series suddenly started to become all “big and epic”, which doesn’t pan out well with me a lot of the time. First, the reason why Majora’s Mask is my favorite Zelda game is because the whole thing was more small and personal. Second, usually when a huge expansion of a cool idea occurs, the idea grows tiresome and aimless for the reasons I mentioned above. Suddenly there’s these other Keyblade warriors, there’s an academy for them, there’s an obviously evil guy named Xehanort, and a bunch of stuff that was better off not being explained at all because they were cooler that way. And little in the way of Disney. There’s a difference from fleshing out things ala Kyousogiga and adding in things ala Bleach, you know!
I read in an interview once that the the creators admitted they didn’t know how to develop the Disney aspect any further, which is why all the focus is on the new stuff. I can understand this, but I could think of quite a few ways to tie them in better. Basically reduce the fanservice and focus more on the actual writing! Just put in a few Disney worlds and focus on making them important. Or just ignore the Disney aspect altogether so I can completely stop caring about you. Then again, this is Square after all, so maybe that’s too much to ask.
From what I kept up regarding Kingdom Hearts, apparently the third game will involve the main characters trying to stop the main bad guy’s return with Sora hanging out with Donald and Goofy whilst Riku hangs out with Mickey like usual. It’s going to serve as the finale for this saga (so there’s going to be more after this? Bleh!), feature a bunch of Disney worlds without tying them in well to the whole Keyblade War thing, and all that jazz. So it’s going to be like every other awful Square thing in existence with a huge amount of spectacle and little in the way of cool substance. Although Disney definitely has some influence in that too nowadays if the Avengers movies are anything to go by.
Fuck you Kingdom Hearts! You suck!