Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kingdom Hearts 3 is FINALLY Announced ~ My Personal Kingdom Hearts Experiences (WARNING: Rave!)

As the mundane evening I was having finally came to a close, it came... like an angel in my newsfeed.

"Square Enix officially announces Kingdom Hearts III" - KH13.com
(Here's the video IGN released because I think it's ever so slightly louder.)

Yes, Kingdom Hearts III is finally in development, and the new style is HOT SHIT. I wish I could still technically call myself a gamer, though the truth of the matter is I no longer get to do nothing but sit and play games 24/7. However, I can say, without an inkling of a doubt, ain't no mountain HIGH ENOUGH that could keep me from a new Kingdom Hearts game, ain't nothing important enough that could keep me from annihilating it as soon and as thoroughly as possible.
Let me explain what this series means to me. Back when the PS2 was released, I was reluctant to abandon my first generation PlayStation. Mind you, I don't have a PSOne, I have a PlayStation, which my father sent me back home with after we'd bonded over Moto Racer when I was 6. Regardless, I'd seen the commercials for Kingdom Hearts on Disney Channel a million times, and I honestly didn't know what to think.

My dad came to see me that Christmas bearing gifts from his side of the family. He made it a point for me to open all of the games before opening the PS2, which I really wasn't expecting and hadn't even asked for. (I thought he'd just assumed I had one or was going to get one.) When I unwrapped Kingdom Hearts, I still wasn't sure what to think about it, but it was the first game I popped into the system regardless.
I was extremely surprised, partially due to the fact that when I was younger, I'd create ideal worlds in my head I wished were a reality. The Destiny Islands was my perfect world brought to life... sorta. I was overwhelmed by the fact that I could explore a place I'd only dreamed of, even if it was through a character. I was also shocked by the music (this was the first time I can honestly say I fell head-over-heels for a soundtrack) and the overall feel of the game. Everything came together so effortlessly and in a really beautiful way. There was no part of this game I didn't feel completely immersed in. I'm not one who can simply play any game at will. I get so emotionally invested that, if I don't really feel like getting lost in a certain game, I won't. This goes for any piece of media, honestly, and being a synesthete only heightens the issue. However, Kingdom Hearts took me to places I'd only dreamt I could visit. The original worlds were the ones that shook me the most. While Destiny Islands is still my favorite world, no matter how brief and small it is, Traverse Town, Hollow Bastion, and The End of the World are all right up there with it. To be completely honest, if you were to take away all of the Disney elements to the game, it would still be an excellent one overall. That being said, I found the mixture of Final Fantasy, Disney, and original characters to be a surprisingly great one. It wasn't as odd as I anticipated it and everything came together very well. Nothing seemed out of place.
Of course I shared this game with my best friend the following morning. The two of us were hooked and it became a daily ritual for us to play back and forth on my TV. I remember the night we finally finished the game together. I was so overwhelmed I cried, partially because it was an amazing story that set itself up for at least one sequel, and also because I didn't know what to do with myself once it was over. The story changed my life and my perception of the world and, at the same time, kept me hopeful of someday seeing new worlds myself. Kingdom Hearts was just one of those things that came into my life at such an important and perfect time and it left a huge impact.
While Chain of Memories was fun to play, it really barely preoccupied me from my impatience. After the first Kingdom Hearts, I subconsciously compared it every other game and began to hold higher expectations. When they weren't met, I became easily disappointed by most other games I tried to play. I craved Kingdom Hearts II, which was well worth the wait, though it felt longer than it was.
Kingdom Hearts II was a whole new experience, but it took the story much further along than the first. This was an extremely broad game, and I'm sure some people had trouble keeping up, especially if they didn't play COM. Re: Chain of Memories gave them the chance to catch up and I greatly preferred it to the original.
Birth By Sleep wasn't as great a feat as other KH games for me, especially when I found out that to get the extras at the end, you needed to play through the entire game on a difficult setting after I'd finished it on the normal setting. I have yet to play any of the other KH games, though I own Dream Drop Distance, (just not a 3DS). I have kept up with the story, though, through cutscenes and reading backstories, etc. Call it cheating, I call it being broke and desperate. (So I guess money is a mountain high enough, but only temporarily.)

*Warning: These videos contain spoilers.*

Aside from the games, I keep Kingdom Hearts incorporated into my life almost daily. I wake up to posters, I've displayed action figures still in their boxes, and the soundtrack is always in most-played on my iPod. I'm not a vacuous fangirl, but I'm definitely passionate about it. Kingdom Hearts taught me some real values in a beautiful way, like the importance of friendship, the necessity of broadening your horizons, and finding light even when hidden in the deepest darkness. It brought me to appreciate positive existentialism and, without KH, who knows if I'd ever had gotten to hear Utada Hikaru, who happens to have changed my life in her own right?
I apologize for such an extreme rave, and I'm sure a lot of hardcore gamers out there would say I really over-exagerated certain aspects of this game, but Kingdom Hearts essentially made me who I am. It was such a turning point in my life, and I've waited 8 years for this day.
Now let's hope they release it as a PS4 bundle so I don't have to buy the console separately!


DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the videos provided nor their materials. They were strictly used for entertainment purposes only. Disney, please don't sue me or their distributers, because if you do, I will cry tears of sadness. T^T

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