Ryan Clements over at the world renown game website IGN, put together an amazing article that outlined and detailed what he felt, would make Kingdom Hearts III, the perfect game. As we all know Kingdom Hearts is one of Square’s biggest franchises and has one of the biggest fan bases in the video game industry. We saw the series take off with a very different approach, incorporating characters of the Disney franchise to battle along side those of the Final Fantasy franchise; as well as original characters created just for the game. When Kingdom Hearts took off, it was one of the biggest successes of both companies. Several years later we are now still waiting for any official piece of news on the third direct sequel to the franchise, and until we have any new source of information the only thing we can do is dream, speculate, and elaborate and add on to the IGN concept of Kingdom Hearts III.
Clements has covered things such as the game taking place a few years into the future, with the characters and the world being older, and more mature at this point in the series. We’ve seen Sora grow up quite a bit, and to have the game really separate itself from it’s predecessors, we would like to see Sora faced with challenges that come with becoming a more mature adult. Life changing decisions, as well as the pain of dealing with losing something extremely close to him forever, would be excellent ways to show us how Sora has matured as an adolescent into an adult. The game itself should possess a grimmer atmosphere. We’re not asking for the world of Kingdom Hearts to be filled with death and blood, but toning down the setting to be a bit darker would really have itself step forward. Clements does an amazing job addressing this, and the only thing I would have to add on to his idea, would be to introduce new characters to the series, ones that may even succeed Organization XIII as villains. A “Stop at Nothing Destroy Everything” antagonist, is just what the series needs to bring it to a darker, more mature tone. One thing Square has to keep in mind is the fact that they established their fan base with the first Kingdom Hearts, and just as the series has matured, so has it’s fans.
Clements brings up the problem with the sidetracking of Sora’s quest, as he visits world upon world, sometimes for a reason that doesn’t even have relevance to the major plot. The planet hopping is one of Kingdom Hearts’ most famous gameplay aspect, and I wouldn’t mind that they leave it in, just as long as they have each planet actually relate itself to the major problem at hand. Let’s say for example that the major plot of the game was to find an artifact, or an item that will help in defeating the Heartless/Nobodies. I want to be on those planets searching for the items, searching for clues, and no, singing with Ariel does NOT constitute as searching for said item, even if she promises to give it to me if I sing with her. This is boring, lame, and a big turn off. I want each world to have a real purpose, a purpose that we can recall later on in the game.
As for the worlds themselves, I’m not sure why Square hasn’t done this sooner, but despite all of the Disney worlds, I would love to see some Final Fantasy worlds thrown in to visit as well. It would amazing to visit Midgar from Final Fantasy VII, or Nibelheim. Maybe Balamb Garden from Final Fantasy VIII? How about the world of Spira from Final Fantasy X? Ivalice? All of these would be amazing to visit and play. My mouth waters at the thought of seeing Sora and company walk through the streets of Midgar to meet Cloud, as they head out to take on their challenge (all while keeping relevance to the main plot of course). The game is a mix of Disney AND Final Fantasy. I think it’s time we seem some of these Final Fantasy worlds come to life.
Kingdom Hearts has a pretty interesting and vast amount of characters. Of course we would like to see more characters to help develop on the story, but I believe it’s also time for Sora to have a real archenemy. Cloud has Sephiroth, Luke Skywalker has Darth Vader, The Belmont Clan has Dracula, and I don’t really think anyone comes to mind when we think of Sora’s real nemesis. That awesome villain I was talking about earlier, may be what Sora needs to help define him more as a character, to bring out the whole series as a whole. Someone that Sora will fight every chance he gets, as well as someone to even show Sora he still has growing to do by making him make those decisions and bring out that pain I was talking about earlier.
Clements did an awesome job at detailing combat in his article, and I don’t feel I have a need to go into that. The only closing words I have left to say as I wrap this up, is that I don’t remember any video game that has ever made me cried, except the first Kingdom Hearts (yeah, I cried at the end). Video games are a form of art, just as movies are, and the power to move our emotions is a lot less frequent in the gaming world than in the movie world. While Square vastly improved gameplay from the first to second game, the story took a dive. It wasn’t as compelling as it’s predecessor, although still good, and if Square was able to balance out the two aspects of the game, we could be possibly looking at one of the best games to have ever been developed.
Artwork was done by TonicShadow of DeviantART.