On the eve of the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD remix for PS4, I’m hardly able to sleep. I’m so excited to revisit and relive some of my favorite memories from the series. I shared with my significant other today that I have a slight obsession with the Square/Disney mash up. I remember when I was just barely through my freshman year of high school when a 4-minute Japanese trailer for Kingdom Hearts 2 was released to the public. It showed off some fast paced and stylish gameplay putting an emphasis on the combat. It certainly had evolved from the previous game and I was loving it! I gawked at that trailer for what must have been a whole year. I dissected every second and frame with my brain trying to imagine how amazing it would be to fight Heartless once more. After sharing that slightly embarrassing piece of life to my best friend, I had to ask myself, “Why do I love Kingdom Hearts so much?”
Let me start off by informing the reader that I have purchased every Kingdom Hearts game. I even bought handheld consoles that I wouldn’t have bought otherwise. If you are looking to try the game out, the best way someone described it to me is it’s like Zelda with deep RPG elements. If you like Final Fantasy and don’t get put off by Disney cartoons then it’s worth a peek.
I really enjoy playing through the games regardless of the convoluted mess of a narrative. A friend from Montana recently asked me to try and clear up some of the story for him and I replied politely with, “Let me first explain the ending of Lost.” I’m not confident that I understand the finer points of the Kingdom Hearts story and I’m not ashamed to say that. I was ready every time a new game came out to jump right back in. I am going to make a valiant effort to understand it a little better by playing the games in order of the timeline this go around.
The Disney worlds that Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to are visually pleasing with each world adding it’s own unique flavor (exceptions being the Atlantis zones). The most memorable worlds, for me, are Space Paranoids, Halloween Town, and Pride Rock because the characters look different in those areas. Having Sora as a lion cub was a nice touch especially when he was breaking his neck swinging the Keyblade from his mouth.
Speaking of Keyblades, I always felt like Sora was progressing each time he got a new and better keychain. I always tried to go for the Ultima-Weapon before taking on the last boss. I remember the very first key chain I received after sealing the keyhole in the Tarzan world. I still believe that it’s the perfect transition from the default Keyblade. It rewards the player by giving them a taste of how strong and customizable the weapon can become. So satisfying!
I’ve discussed just a few of things that I appreciate about the series on a surface level. Why do I love these games so much? Kingdom Hearts is more than just a game. Everyone experiences it differently. Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure or it’s like a bowl of chocolate ice cream on bad day. Kingdom Hearts was there to cheer me up when I was feeling lonely or out of place. We all have our personal darkness that can be overwhelming at times. Sora, Donald, and Goofy remind us that we never have to face a challenge alone. Though the darkness can be unyielding, a shimmer of light always makes it through.
Do you like Kingdom Hearts? Has it ever helped you through some rough patches? I want to hear your story. Please feel free to comment. I’m anxious to read your posts.
This has been Reggie Alarm’s second guest post on TGM. You can find more from him on his Twitch and YouTube channels. Look forward to more guest posts from Reggie in the future. Don’t forget to give us your opinion on the comment section below!