Too Many Words Dedicated To The Kingdom Hearts 3 Announcement


Two days ago, the Internet was abuzz (when is it never?) with the news of Square Enix's E3 announcement and unveiling of a brand new Kingdom Hearts game that is, surprise, not ported for handheld gaming consoles.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is something that avid fans of the series have been eagerly waiting for since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2 some 7 years ago. I was one of those crazy people who stayed up to watch Square Enix announce their latest lineup of games, and I can tell you that I wasn't disappointed at all. In fact, I may have cried a little while watching the trailer.

Watch and weep.

I began my journey into the world of Kingdom Hearts at a tender young age of 12, the year that the first Kingdom Hearts was released. I saw an advertisement for Kingdom Hearts on a gaming magazine. The thing that drew me in first was the familiar silhouette of Donald and Goofy, followed immediately by Squaresoft's (now Square Enix) logo. I owned a PS1 and I played a massive amount of Final Fantasy so Squaresoft was pretty much what dictated my gaming life.

From that moment on, it was the beginning of an insane journey not unlike Sora's. When I saw that poster, I knew that I had to play it no matter what. I mean, there were DISNEY characters interacting alongside FINAL FANTASY characters, with most levels being Disney-related worlds. For a 12 year old, this was THE ultimate (pardon the pun) fantasy. I wanted to play this game so much that I actually sat down to study for my exams just so my parents would buy me a PS2.

I've played through both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 several times, dedicating long hours to making sure I explored every inch of the beautifully rendered Disney worlds, talking to all the characters from the Disney films at least a few times and to make sure I rebuilt Hundred Acre Wood just so I could reunite Pooh Bear and friends. After Kingdom Hearts 2, I sat back and waited for the next installment of the series. It would be a few years, maybe 2, 3 years at most. I would have saved enough to splash out money for a PS3 just so I could continue Sora, Donald and Goofy's journey.

I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Nothing came.

Well, not exactly nothing. Square Enix came out with several prequels and fillers to make the simple and clean (see what I did there?) world of Kingdom Hearts into a something much darker, and much more complicated. With every new game that was not Kingdom Hearts 3, the plot became more and more convoluted (Xehanort wasn't actually Xehanort but he was still Xehanort). Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep was a prequel which featured an entirely new cast, though Sora and Riku made appearances as children. As a gamer, I was quite happy to see so many games. As a fan, I wanted the story to move on. I wanted more. I wanted Kingdom Hearts 3.

Fast forward to 10 June 2013. The amazing gameplay trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the game that creator Tetsuya Nomura had abandoned Kingdom Hearts for, played on the screens, to audible gasps from the audience. The first surprise (though it had been only a rumor on the forums) was that FF Versus XIII had become Final Fantasy XV. There were a few outbreaks of applause from the crowd. It was enchanting stuff, but also something many had already predicted.

But nothing, and I mean nothing could prepare any of the people sitting in that hall, or any of the people sitting at home streaming the E3 conference for what came next. Disney's logo flashed on screen. The familiar first few notes of Utada Hikaru's Hikari (or Simple and Clean, if you prefer) played. A montage of all the past Kingdom Hearts games appeared, but it was certain that this wasn't a promotion for the latest game in the series, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5. No, this was different. This was something more epic. A visibly more grown up Sora strolls down the beach of Destiny Islands and picks up a Keyblade. Then it happens.

The logo for Kingdom Hearts III appears.

This was the moment that every Kingdom Hearts fan had waited 7 years for. I don't know about how most people reacted but I straight out screamed out in joy. It was a moment of absolute joy for the fanboy in me. The feeling of waiting 7 years, a long time in anyone's books, for something, and to see that something materialize into shape right before your eyes...that is the best kind of feeling you can ever have.

Of course, it's still too early to celebrate. Kingdom Hearts 3 is still only in development, it could take another 1-2 years before the brand new Kingdom Hearts games comes out. But at least Square Enix has taken the step forward and made Kingdom Hearts 3 a realization, rather than to let fans of the series continue to wait in agony. This teaser trailer is a step forward in the right direction, and it won't be long now before we'll continue our journey with Sora and gang, traversing from Disney world to Disney world in our trusty Gummi ship to fight off the Heartless and Nobodies.

So, keep calm and wait for Kingdom Hearts 3. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye on more updates.


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