It’s been over ten years since we saw a numbered sequel in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Between those points, there have been a TON of spin-off or prequel games. Almost triple the numbered titles, now that I think about it. Some of them have been excellent. Like Birth by Sleep, one of the most depressing games ever made. Others have been garbage. Like Recoded or Chain of Memories or 358/2 Days. But, this franchise has built a story that is epic, with characters who every fan of the series loves. It’s a testament to the love and passion that went into the first two numbered games that this franchise is as beloved as it is. It’s because of that passion that the fans of the games have been growing ever louder over the years, demanding a numbered sequel. We want to see where the story goes from here. And there are hints that this isn’t the end. That the end of the franchise will be in a fourth numbered game. I can’t wait.
This year, at E3, since Square Enix decided to waste a perfectly good opportunity to pimp out the other project that people are fawning over, they did give us a trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. And before any of you get on me – yes, I saw the trailer for the remake of Final Fantasy VII. I’m stoked too. I bet most of you thought I was going to do my First Take about that, didn’t you? Let me tell you why I’m not – because it’s not an actual trailer. It’s a teaser. A cool teaser, don’t get me wrong, but still a teaser. When a real trailer, that features the story and gameplay comes out, I am all over that like stink on cheese. Until then, I am stoked, but let’s wait and see. Moving on. Let’s see what Square Enix has done with their latest trailer for Kingdom Hearts III.
Okay. This trailer got a lot of things right and a lot of things…so-so. For starters, am I the only person who thinks that they gave Sora a new voice? I don’t know what it is, but there’s something off about his voice. But maybe it’s because Haley Joel Osment is in his 30’s now, if they did keep him. Regardless, that is the first thing that stood out to me.
Second – this trailer is GORGEOUS! I was hoping that they would make real use of the current gen’s hardware, without sacrificing the cartoon-y look of the game, and they did just that. The visuals are half of the selling point on their own. I could watch this game all day. Well, more like play it, but if there is cool scenery, I’m on that! Gonna take me a TON of screenshots on my PS4. Finally put that share hardware to use, eh? I also like how they have a brief moment where they show you that all the little separate areas in the worlds are gone. It’s all one giant map. When Sora jumps off the cliff, and they show his descent, that was a either a dumb coincidence, or a VERY cool hint at how this game plays. I’m hoping that it’s the latter. Still, this game is so fucking beautiful. I’m not one of these people who thinks that good graphics make or break a game. One of my favorite games of all time is Ocarina of Time, after all. But it certain does help.
The combat also looks pretty cool. I remember reading about how each keyblade is going to have alternate functions. The way they showed that is pretty cool in this. Can’t wait to see how that plays. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t make battles all cluttered. The seamless style of combat was one of the best features of Kingdom Hearts II.
However, this gets me into my negatives. Just let me make my case. First – if you are going to pimp how well this game looks, why do I only see two, maybe three world? And two of them are worlds that I’ve seen before – Olympus and Twilight Town. I love the latter more than the former, but whatever. They spend so long on this game’s combat, when they really should have been pimping the worlds. Now, maybe they don’t have much done there. But the whole point of an E3 trailer is to make something with spit and polish to pimp out your product. They could have made little snippets where we just see worlds. Part of the magic with players were getting to explore worlds that we love. This trailer would have been miles better if the would have cut out about thirty seconds of the combat and just given us some panoramas. Let me know if you agree with me there. If you don’t, and think this is the most awesome thing ever, I get that. For real, I do. I think it’s pretty cool too.
This is a good trailer. It’s a lot better than the teaser from last year. But it’s still missing something. Maybe it’s the worlds. Maybe it’s the story. Maybe it’s the magic. Here, I saw a bunch of cool fights with cool enemies and cool visuals. That scene where the two kids are playing chess was the thing that interested me most. Because it felt like there was magic. The simple game felt like more than a game. That’s good story-telling. Plus, the way that the light reflected off the pieces are amazing. Let me know what you think in the Comments section.
7 out of 10