The latest Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer has fans eagerly anticipating the game’s 2018 release.
The temptation to make an “it’s been eighty-four years” joke is overpowering; it’s also not too far off the mark. After all, the last sequential entry into the series was released in 2005: before social media owned the lives of most of humanity; a time when a person could still go to a video store and rent a Kingdom Hearts game. But both Disney and Square Enix have been teasing Kingdom Hearts 3 since it was first teased at E3 2013, and it’s about time that fans got a good look at the game.
The latest trailer released at D23 Japan introduces us to two Pixar worlds. In addition to toying around with Buzz Lightyear and Woody in Toy Story, Sora, Donald and Goofy will be making the acquaintance of Sully, Mike Wazowski and little Boo in Monsters Inc, and they’ll be doing it in some truly monstrous outfits.
So far there aren’t too many details about the game; the plot is pretty much a rehash or other Kingdom Hearts titles: Sora and company will journey through various Disney and Kingdom Hearts worlds to find the Seven Guardians of Mystic Light. Meanwhile, everyone’s favourite conflicted antihero, Riku, is searching for wielders of other Keyblades with King Mickey.
Much of the charm of Kingdom Hearts comes from that kind of familiarity. After all, the game is basically one highly well written, sprawling crossover fanfic between two entities that have no right existing in the same universe. With nostalgia being mined for all its worth in the form of superhero movies, eighties cartoon live action films, and Stranger Things, now seems to be the perfect time for Kingdom Hearts to bring a little bit of Mickey and a little bit of Aerith into the lives of fans. So far the trailers have shown us a visit to the worlds of Tangled and Hercules. We’ve seen Ariel, albeit in what can only be guessed as a Summon form; and now we’ve seen Toy Story and Monster’s Inc.
With thirteen years and some seriously impressive graphical improvements having gone by since Kingdom Hearts 2, there’s a goldmine of Disney worlds, characters and Square Enix entities that could appear in KH3. Disney now owning Lucasfilm, Marvel and 20th Century Fox could very well mean that players will see the likes of Captain America, Kylo Ren and maybe even Deadpool in the third entry to the series. Square Enix, meanwhile, also has had time to amass a large amount of Final Fantasy characters to appear: will Ashe and Vaan leave Ivalice for the Destiny Islands? Could Lightning be gracing the Kingdom Hearts world with her broody angst? Will Noctis, Prompto and friends bring their road trip through Traverse Town?
Only time will tell. But if there’s one thing Kingdom Hearts fans have proven themselves to be these last thirteen years, it’s patient. While they’ve been tided over with the various spin-off titles, the fact that they’re actually going to see this game hopefully by the end of 2018 is likely cause for celebration. While cynics may say that it was all part of some grand marketing ploy, it appears evident that what Square Enix and Disney were simply waiting for was the right material to work with. The Disney animated canon is currently enjoying something of a second renaissance since the run away success of Tangled and Frozen. On the gaming side of things, Square Enix now has a host of Final Fantasy characters and lore to draw from.
Perhaps the most impressive thing these trailers have to offer is a look at a truly spectacular battle. While much appears to remain similar to other Kingdom Hearts games, Sora is much more agile, capable of running along walls and jumping off of enemies. Game director Tetsuya Nomura has already gone on record saying that the battle system will be “pretty frantic.” With the game due to be released for the graphic powerhouses of the PS4 and the Xbox One, fans of the series, and even newcomers, are sure to find that the long wait was very well worth it indeed.
If what we’ve seen and heard of Kingdom Hearts 3 so far is anything to go by, then this could very well be the best title in the series so far. An English trailer is on the horizon, although there’s not set date for its release as of yet; but there’s very little doubt that series star Haley Joel Osment will be taking the role of Sora once more. And with the inclusion of so many Pixar characters, hopefully we’ll hear the likes of Tom Hanks, John Goodman and Billy Crystal filling the roles of Woody, Sully and Mike respectively.
There’s no official release date for Kingdom Hearts 3. But after waiting for so long for it, even the extended trailer is enough to generate serious buzz in the industry.
Fans have proven their patience in waiting thirteen years just to see the game get this far. They can wait a little longer to get their hands on it.
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