But it will be a long wait either manner, with Nomura and his team hush recharging from the death submission. In the interim, there ’ s enough to revisit in this most unusually appealing of crossovers, beneficial and bad. A narrative this complicated needs revisiting anyhow. hera are all the Kingdom Hearts games to date, from worst to best, with a focus on the narrative. ( With one caution : the fluid plot Kingdom Hearts χ, under all its diverse names, is out of consideration. Its history material seems poised to matter in the future, but it ’ s only tangentially connected with the Dark Seeker saga. )
9. Kingdom Hearts III
To some, Kingdom Hearts III was a move and worthy conclusion to everything that had come ahead. To me, it ’ s the only piece of media bearing the Walt Disney signature that was a more torture experience than Maleficent. Fourteen years since the last number deed in the series, fourteen years of hopes and expectations built up, and for what ? monologue after boring soliloquy of exposition and lore drops. A diminished collection of Disney worlds, all of them about meaningless to the larger narrative. No Final Fantasy characters. A roll of recycle villains ( now called the Real Organization XIII ) attempting a variation on evil schemes from earlier games. An incomprehensible narrative for anyone who didn ’ metric ton have a 2000-word template to the series at the ready. And a batting order of heroic characters so overstuffed that no game could have given them all a satisfying payoff.
Reading: Every ‘Kingdom Hearts’ Game, Ranked
It ’ mho peculiarly dishearten ( no pun intended ) that the heroes written most ill are the most crucial : the master team of Sora, Riku, and Kairi. The mismanage of Sora, the noun phrase supporter, is the most damaging to the history. He ’ mho more of a dimwitted, unnaturally cheerful deus ex machina at this point than a character. The Re Mind expansion even took away any feel of finality to the game. The graphics are beautiful, the gameplay is very well, and the two new songs by Hikaru Utada are among the best pieces of music for the series. They deserved to be depart of a better finale than this .
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8. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
When Sora, Riku, and Kairi read King Mickey ’ randomness message at the end of Kingdom Hearts II, it could have been the prelude to any gamble for the trio. Seven years former, in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, that gamble turned out to be…a educate practice. obviously, saving multiple Disney worlds, multiple times, international relations and security network ’ metric ton commodity adequate ; Sora and Riku must obtain the Mark of Mastery over their Keyblades. And it is just Sora and Riku put into train. A maddening recurrence in Kingdom Hearts is building up opportunities to expand Kairi ’ second function, then waving at them as they pass by .
much of the narrative mess in Kingdom Hearts III was preordained by earlier games, none more so than Dream Drop Distance. The folderal design with the substantial Organization XIII is set up here. Rules governing Heartless and Nobodies are retconned to drag erstwhile villains and allies back from the dead so they can end up in Kingdom Hearts III. That ’ sulfur great if you like them, but most of those characters were one-note henchmen who have even less to do after their resurrection. The friendship between Sora and Riku undergoes something of a retcon, a consequence of Sora ’ s diminishing intelligence and aroused complexity. And while by games sometimes fell into the ambush of prioritizing lore, nefarious plot mechanics, and Xehanort ’ s past over the heroes and the larger history, this is the game where all of that got out of operate. still, Dream Drop Distance can pick up a few Disney bonus points for finding creative ways to work in Fantasia, the “ Runaway Brain ” brusque, and Mickey ’ s Three Musketeers video recording .
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7. Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
just as Dream Drop Distance obligated Kingdom Hearts III to pay off certain hare-brained ideas, Kingdom Hearts coded locked its follow-up into dragging out Xehanort ’ s floor rather of starting a fresh gamble. originally a Japanese-only mobile phone game, coded would have been an ideal candidate for a standalone spinoff. The theme of entering Jiminy Cricket ’ s daybook to explore bribe versions of the beginning plot ’ randomness worlds is a perfectly very well premise for a blithe diversion. alternatively, report material tacked onto the begin and ending made coded a pivotal – and negative – turning period in the series ’ narrative .
It was a turn point many missed, given that the game was alone released in one nation. Tetsuya Nomura recognized this ; he told Kingdom Hearts Ultimania that the game was remade as Re:coded for the Nintendo DS due to the popularity of the arrangement at the time ( 2010-11 ). Between its report and issues with the television camera and platforming, Re : coded got mix reviews, with one mercantile establishment calling it “ the most skip-worthy introduction in the series. ” unfortunately, there ’ s about nothing you can skip in this series without getting lost in the following game .
6. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
I am not the target hearing for this game. I never wanted or needed any more from Organization XIII than what Kingdom Hearts II gave, and the whole premise of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is exploring what went on among the villains in that story ’ s lead-up. nominally, the protagonist is Sora ’ s Nobody Roxas. The crippled begins with his recruitment and ends with his apostasy and capture. But a lot of the narrative is given over to Xion, the fourteenth member of Organization XIII. This despite her never being seen or mentioned in Kingdom Hearts II .
Xion has her fans, but who she is and how she works is one of the most confusing aspects of the series. Coming from nowhere and going nowhere, the pathos intended for her doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate resound true, particularly after later games rendered her tragic destiny arguable. Shoehorning her into the floor besides costs Roxas space to sincerely develop. But 358/2 Days does come conclude to being a standalone story. If it weren ’ metric ton for Xion ’ south resurrection in Kingdom Hearts III, it could easily be taken on its own, free for fans to enjoy and sourpusses like me to skip. And this game is your last gamble to hear the late, great Sir Christopher Lee ’ sulfur part work for the series .
5. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
For how prominently she ’ second featured in the artwork for the crippled, Kairi is shortchanged however again in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. She wasn ’ t even the first choice for a narrator. The finale of the game is all but a undertake that she ’ ll be benched for the approach future of the series, proper after she was finally made a playable character in the Re Mind expansion. “ Sorry, Kairi ; it ’ south far more important that we follow Riku around – again – and offer Nomura an wall socket for his abort Final Fantasy game. You go off with the other ladies to work on that prepare you already did off-screen in Kingdom Hearts III. ” ( If you can ’ t tell, this bothers me to no end. )
But the fib subject is light in Melody of Memory. The game primarily serves as a recapitulation of everything that ’ s come ahead. How useful it very is in following what ’ sulfur happened to this series depends on the player. But as a cycle game, it ’ second besides an excuse to celebrate all the music composed and arranged for the series over the years. And there are worse excuses for a spinoff game with such lovely music, most of it composed by Yoko Shimomura and arranged by Kaoru Wada .
4. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep was the second massive retcon to Xehanort ’ randomness identity, a bizarre explanation for why Roxas looks the way he does, and another step down the road toward Kingdom Hearts III ’ s countless problems. But it ’ s besides the most successful “ side ” plot of the series at standing on its own. Being a prequel with a largely original project surely helps, as does having a comprehensible story about disintegrating friendships, temptation, redemption, and sacrifice. If the dialogue is sometimes wooden and the exposition graceless, the tragic heroism of Terra, Aqua, and Ven keeps the embark afloat. And who isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate charmed by the roll of Mark Hamill and Leonard Nimoy as archrivals ?
give birth By Sleep besides has some adorable Disney message. That view of the series has become increasingly peripheral to the report, but the visits Terra, Aqua, and Ven pay to versatile Disney worlds have a real impact on their arc. Besides visiting the classic princess films for the first time, the game gets creative with its own account of Stitch ’ s past in space and the educate of a youthful Hercules. King Mickey ’ s early participation with Keyblades is explored besides, though less successfully. What is successful is the struggle system for this game, my favorite in the series. If you love throwing magic trick around, precisely wait until you get a find to play as Aqua .
3. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Unlike some of the other “ side ” games, Tetsuya Nomura knew going in to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories how it would connect to the rest of the series – an true easier tax back in 2004, when there was alone one released game and one more in development. Since Kingdom Hearts II opens with Sora awakening from a pod, Chain of Memories needed to explain how he got there. The solution is a amazingly dark deconstruction of the series ’ s hero as his memories are scrambled by the hag Naminé on behalf of Organization XIII. As dumb and happy as Sora ’ s become over the years, it ’ south refreshing to revisit this game and see him written as a proper character, able of doubts, fears, rage, and despair. The glimpse into his past growing up with Riku and Kairi doesn ’ triiodothyronine go a deep as it could have, but Chain of Memories still gives Sora his best arc since the foremost game. And with the very premise of the game ’ s setting being built from Sora ’ randomness memories, it was impossible for the Organization ’ s shenanigans to steal excessively much of the spotlight .
Folded into Chain of Memories is a report for Riku, “ Reverse/Rebirth. ” It ’ s not as long nor vitamin a good as the main game, but it isn ’ thyroxine mandatary either. Both use a card-based battle system primitively designed for the Game Boy Advance. The GBA version of Chain of Memories was the least commercially successful Kingdom Hearts game to date, and the PlayStation 2 remake saw desegregate answer to how well the card system carried over .
2. Kingdom Hearts II
The Bride of Frankenstein, The Godfather Part II, The Empire Strikes Back – all members of that small clubhouse of sequels celebrated for surpassing the original, and Kingdom Hearts II is often held in the same respect. For graphics and gameplay, it was surely a measure up. The game included more Disney worlds excessively, a mix of old and new that the player passes through doubly. Some weren ’ metric ton much more than makeweight, but others integrated nicely into the independent fib. Team-ups between Disney and Final Fantasy characters were distillery bountiful, with minigames and side quests abound, and the score was a stand-out even in a series packed with great music .
I wouldn ’ t say that Kingdom Hearts II was an improvement on report, however. It ’ s a long, complicate game with plot holes and objectionable retcons along the room. The first twist to Xehanort ’ second history is here, as are early signs of the dimwit Sora would become. The nefarious Organization XIII is absent for a long stretch of the first fall through Disney lands. For how much of an impact they made on fans, Roxas and Naminé don ’ t see much use either. But the complications were still accomplishable at this point in the series ; tracking the plot still a fun tease. And Kingdom Hearts II has a perfect an ending as you could ask for. A thematic thread of solution runs throughout the plot, and the ending resolves everything from this game, Chain of Memories, and the original so beautifully – and indeed decidedly – that the only way to keep the Dark Seeker saga going was to recklessly tear it apart .
1. Kingdom Hearts
If you haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate revisited the beginnings of the series in a while, and the rabies of Kingdom Hearts III left you reeling, do yourself a privilege and replay the original Kingdom Hearts. I promise, you ’ re not crazy : things didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate practice to be so en. The Final Fantasy characters were there, and they did topic. The Disney worlds mattered – the whole mission of the first game revolves around rescuing Disney worlds from oblivion. The two halves of the crossing were once well-blended. The dialogue wasn ’ triiodothyronine always so wooden. The lore was easy to wrap your capitulum around. You didn ’ t need a flow chart to understand who the hell the chief villain was .
Most of all, in the master Kingdom Hearts, there was a clear history with depth, not convoluted surface-level plot. At its congress of racial equality, Kingdom Hearts juxtaposes how Sora and Riku handle the leap out of childhood. Riku, the more outwardly fledged one hailed as the boastful bad hero back family, descends into childish selfishness, while Sora goes through a corrupt hero ’ s travel and demonstrates maturity and heroism. Between them is Kairi, burdened with a past she can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate remember. Add in the beginnings of her young love with Sora, an impressively compelling bow for Donald and Goofy, and a daringly bittersweet ending, and you have one fantastic history that reflects the best of Disney and Square Enix. It ’ sulfur charming, grievous, and – forgive me – simple and clean .
Olympics Opening Ceremony Featured Music from ‘ Final Fantasy, ’ ‘ Kingdom Hearts, ’ and Many early Games
The ceremony besides included music from ‘Nier ‘ and ‘Monster Hunter. ‘
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About The Author
( 51 Articles Published )
William Fischer is a writer, artist, and film maker from Nebraska, presently studying animation in Ireland while writing for Collider. His art and brusque stories have appeared in “ intergalactic Medicine Show, ” “ Bards and Sages Quarterly, ” and “ Another Realm ” e-zine. Outside the arts, William enjoys cook, bake, and fence ( Olympic saber and rapier ) .
From William Fischer