Falling in and out of love with Kingdom Hearts in a post-KH3 world



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Oracle Spockanort

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Many of you are perhaps feeling a bit blindsided by the direction the series has taken, and others are feeling excited about the future of Kingdom Hearts. Perhaps this can be a space where we can come together and talk about our conflicting feelings about this series in a post-KH3 world.

This isn't about just talking about the bad or just about the good, but about reflecting on your relationship with Kingdom Hearts and understanding where you might stand with it now that the dust has (sorta) settled.
 
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I've been waiting for a thread like this,
Me and my sister are huge Kingdom Hearts fans. We fell in love with the series way back in 2007 when we got the first game that fateful Christmas day. Since then I've gone on to amass a small but notable hoard of merchandise and own every game except for the lost phone game. I own every volume of the Shiro Amano manga, own the birth by sleep novel, and have so many shirts and Funko Pops from the series, even getting a shadow with glow in the dark eyes for 5 bucks. And like everyone else, we anxiously awaited the third installment, going through many years of biding our time, aging significantly and hoping that the game wraps everything up in a nice little bow, everyone gets their closure, and the villains get what's coming to them.
And the end result in my eyes is unsatisfactory.
Maybe it's the hype, or the fact that Nomura wrote himself into a corner, or that the man has to do multiple projects but ending KH 3 the way he did just left a sour taste in my mouth. I said it once and i'll continue saying it till i die. Kingdom Hearts 2 has a better ending than KH 3, which mind you, had a lot more time and a better engine dedicated to it. And the fact that KH 3 is one of the best selling in the franchise is largely due to the hype, a certain disney world, and that we've been waiting 13 years for this. I can easily see this giving Nomura a number of bad habits, like relying on cliffhangers to sell future installments when ending things off with a bit of a lighter implication would be serivceable. It also (probably) tells him that it doesn't matter what he does in the next saga, all he needs is to throw in a few plotlines that go nowhere (I'm looking at you Maleficent), keep Disney worlds as pointless filler to the overarching plot and keep things unanswered like the black box to drag fans around. It's like telling a kid that his C- history paper was the best thing he could do and that's perfectly acceptable.
In this post KH 3 world we live in, i'll still be a fan, i'll still be on this site, but i'll approach KH 4 with a critical lens next time and not let the hype overwhelm me.
 

Zettaflare

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For better or for worse I'll still stick with the next saga. Honestly KH has been a part of my life for so long it's hard to imagine me leaving it. That being said I'm a bit pessimistic for certain elements based on what KH3 did. Namely how much Disney will restrict certain films or characters.

If Frozen was anything to go by, oh boy.
 

Face My Fears

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I think the difference between a "fan" and someone who enjoys an IP is a person that will stick by the IP even through "bad times". I don't particularly see KH3 as even a "bad time", but rather missed opportunities. I know some people may get fed up saying "the next game will fix it", but I'm not one of those. If KH3 was announced THE END of the KH series and this is what we got, then I would be furious. Since it's not, there is way more time and opportunities to get things right and/or improve things.

When I first played KH3, I made video recordings after each world(s) and my thoughts on what could happen and on what I just went through. I recently listened to them and on my first playthrough I found myself enjoying everything (even Arendelle which I am more critical about now). My only issues were: lack of Disney bosses, wanting 2 more Disney worlds (I was expecting/hoping for A Bug's Life and Agrabah), and the game being a little too easy (but I did note that I was over leveled). I found it interesting that playing the game with no outside input and mostly spoiler free (IE had no expectations/disappointments) made me really enjoy the game that so many loathed.

Anyway, I digress. I think my break from the KH fandom between reCoded and KH3D (when I got 3D which was a year after it was released) helped me become hungrier for more. Considering there was so much time between those games for me where I didn't check any KH related news or theories, then the hype train leading up to KH3 I actually felt pretty satisfied. Also, knowing in the back of my mind that KH3 was probably going to have DLC made me even more excited.

All in all, I don't expect a masterpiece from KH games. I've actually been trained to expect over-the-top, complicated, convoluted plot elements (which I oddly enough enjoy in this series). The KH series for me always feels like this mystery that is slowly unraveling to reveal the truth and I like being on the road to discover the truth. Even though I have favourites, I don't mind when others shine or get the spotlight. This is probably the only IP that I follow where I feel that way.
 

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I was always one of the people who said „I‘ll never jump ship and not play a KH game!“
KH3 changed that due to numerous reasons I don‘t feel like getting into because they habe been covered countless times on this forum.

I really fell out of love with the series and if I buy the next games, it‘s not out of curiosity or enjoyment, but because I feel obligated to buy them somehow.
 

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I used to be someone who was overwhelmed for KH3, overjoyed that we finally get it. When I first played Olympus, I was overjoyed at the ACTUAL interactions that Hercules had with Xigbar, something that most worlds in KH2, excluding Port Royal & Beast's Castle of course, have glossed over. Though I did have a few laughs in the series, such as Woody roasting YX, Sully yeeting Vanitas, and Jack using his breath to deal with Luxord, it gave me that same feel of Beast's Castle when Belle elbowed Xaldin in the gut. Though I was naive to the gameplay and the music, I just...still feel that there were missed opportunities. Soon enough, I...never thought there'd be so many glaring missed opportunities and misconceptions that just...made the game feel hollow, until I saw it in the forms. The restriction was the reason Arendelle wasn't a fun world, hell when I first played it, I can't say I didn't have fun going through the maze and FUCKING STRUGGLE TO FIND OLAF AN ANNOYING AS HELL FETCH QUEST. And so many missed opportunities like making the Kingdom bigger than it is, almost as if the Kingdom didn't have a purpose...and that left a sour taste. "At Last I See the Light" would've been a nice touch to Corona, but...

As someone mentioned, KH3 will be the series of missed potential. And as much as I WANT to be excited for Remind, as much as I WANT to be excited for the next games...I'm not sure I can anymore. After Frozen and Corona, I can only have fear that the Disney worlds will only be worse from here on in. I just...have a love hate relationship with the game right now. I love it. I will never stop loving it. It's genius to combine a series with DISNEY of all things, and have it blossom into something so beautiful with a good (and bad side of course) community, but...as I continue to make my story, I just can't help but hate Kingdom Hearts for just...not giving that Disney vibe it's supposed to give. As said in another thread, 85% of Kingdom Hearts is Disney, yes...but that 85% just feels hollow. As hollow as many glaring errors in the original aspect of the game.
 

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I'm probably going to stick with KH until the end, unless something I really hate comes along. As shallow as this ideology may seem, if a game is fun, and I enjoy playing it, that's all that matters. Of course plot, characters, and lore factor into how much fun I have, but if I can get invested in the world and have a good time playing, the game's a winner in my book. Because of that, I really wasn't as disappointed with KH3 as others were/are. Do I have my gripes? Of course. But KH3 was fun, and the excitement I felt in the time leading up to its release and when I could play it was something really special.

I've been in love with this series for almost a decade now, if not longer. I really can't see myself giving up on it any time soon. Yeah, the plot's absolutely whack, but part of KH's charm (for me, at least) is how weird it is. It was a darkhorse with such a specific niche that I didn't think it would ever go mainstream in the way KH3 was presented. SE pushing KH at its conferences, etc? Par for the course, it's one of their bigger titles. DISNEY going whole hog on marketing? Absolutely bizarre. My only real fear for the future is Disney continuing to restrict their properties too much. Arendelle was a snooze. The only reason the Caribbean and Corona get passes from me (despite also being movie retellings) is because they at least had a variety of environments to explore, instead of Snowy Hill 1, Snowy Hill 2, Snow Hill 3....

Basically, I won't give up on KH. I had a brief period as a kid where I favored HP over KH (interestingly, it was at the time of the release of the last movie, which had KH3-like hype surrounding it), so I've already had a phase where I fell out of love with KH. It doesn't look like another one's coming any time soon, so I'll just continue to play what we have until Re:Mind comes out!
 

LostArtist

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I can only have fear that the Disney worlds will only be worse from here on in. I just...have a love hate relationship with the game right now. I love it. I will never stop loving it. It's genius to combine a series with DISNEY of all things, and have it blossom into something so beautiful with a good (and bad side of course) community, but...as I continue to make my story, I just can't help but hate Kingdom Hearts for just...not giving that Disney vibe it's supposed to give. As said in another thread, 85% of Kingdom Hearts is Disney, yes...but that 85% just feels hollow. As hollow as many glaring errors in the original aspect of the game.
I think the disney worlds are the best they have ever been in the series. They are so incredibly detailed, so well designed. Corona is my favorite. But I think there is still such a ways to go, especially in terms of story. So much lost potential.

There are many many moments in kh3 that got me excited while playing it for the first time, whether during gameplay or cutscenes. But I think I'm such a casual fan especially in the story aspect. I think I'm slowly getting why people are so disappointed by the game after reading some stuff in the forums.

It's like me watching and absolutely enjoying a movie, then watching Jenny Nicolson and being like damn it wasn't such a great movie, she's right and/or her version would've been a much better/more interesting movie, I didn't even realize that, etc. Except here is way way more critical :p but I say that out of love of course haha <3

I still love the series and I don't think I'll ever abandon it.
But the team really needs to read these forums :)
 

SweetYetSalty

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I have my issues with KH, but it's still my favorite gaming series. But it's for the characters not the story. Kingdom Heart's story is a mess. I only put up with it because I find the characters so lovable and I just want to see more of the wacky adventures they get into with their cheesy friendships.

As far as KH3 goes, I think the positives outweigh the negatives for me, but I do acknowledge the negatives. I didn't get everything I wanted but I got enough to keep me satisfied. Several post on here have got me thinking about the future of Kingdom Hearts. I guess for me my biggest fear going forward is if my favorite characters don't return, will I still be heavily invested in a KH4? I know the point would be to find new characters to love, and I'm all for that. But so far I don't have a new "RAX" from the KHUX characters I'm seeing so far.

There's also the Disney issue of not being allowed to do things with all their popular movies. If that's the case it makes me worried for potentially great Disney Worlds like Moana and Zootopia. Two Disney Worlds I really want but don't just want to play a retelling of the movie. I hope Bugs Life and Princess and the Frog get in. Neither are very successful in Disney and Pixar's eyes so maybe they'd be more lenient with them and we can fight Hopper and Dr. Facilier, two amazing villains.

So I do have my worries going forward with KH4 and beyond. However I also have hopes which are equally as strong as my fears, so it balances it all out. I'm on the edge of my seat for ReMind. Even if the story element of it is lacking I get to play as RAX, and that alone has me drooling with anticipation. This tells me I'm still very much a Kingdom Hearts fan and in love with this series. Yes I have my issues with the franchise but nothing is perfect. And I'm likely to take short breaks from the series from time to time while we begin the wait to KH4. So there is where I stand.
 

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I should note I don't play a lot of games like KH since the majority of my video game time is on sports games with the occasional JRPG so KH is my fix for long term storylines. But I am sort of numb to the future of the game at this point. I have zero interest in Ux mobile games and I know Nomura will bring up what is important in a future game so why will I spend my free time trying to decipher what is filler and what is important in such a long story.

I think to me it's just age getting to me. I first played KH1 in like 2003? so it's been about a 16-year commitment. I think when I was younger I was more easily drawn in by the series and the mystery of the plot. I remember role playing myself as Sora and thinking of new creative ways the plot of KH2 could have played out. The funny thing is I put off playing KH2 for a long time just because I had little interest in buying it until my birthday in 2008 I think.

Maybe playing the games when I was younger made me love the earlier games more than the later ones. I think the first time I played BBS on the remix was the last time I really enjoyed a KH game on my first run. I really did not like .2, DDD sucked for the most part and KH3 was ok I will admit. I remember replaying KH2 like 2 days after I finished it which is something I can't say for the recent games. (KH3 is more that I felt the game was going to be a slog on a replay until I get to a boss fight I want to redo which was mirror Aqua).

So for like the DLC I don't really care like it's on my mind constantly on what the cutscene can be. Depending on the price I might be the new fights but again it's not a priority. And the actual games post kh3? The likely storyline is not exactly blowing my tits off right now.
 

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It just feels like the series lost it’s roots. On first play through, I felt that excitement exploring new Disney worlds and watching SDG interact with everyone. On second play through, I realized that like so many have said before, and like so many will continue to say, there were just too many missed opportunities. And that’s before I even get into rehashing how convoluted the story got.

Part of the charm of the original game was SDG traveling to save the Disney world’s from the Darkness, and more specifically the Disney villains. In this game, even though important things happened in each world, they all just felt like pit stops. Like there wasn’t any reason for SDG to stop at each world, other than to push forward the story. I think Nomura, in his writing, needs to get back to the roots of the story. Not just that we’re going to all these different worlds, but why we’re going to all these different worlds.

I also think there was a huge missed opportunity for more summons. We got water, lightning, fire, and digital(?), but there were so many more we could, and should have seen. KH3 was the biggest KH game to date. It’s ok that it had the fewest worlds, because they were bigger than ever before. There’s no reason for us to not have more summons than ever before, especially with 6 other party members from past games, not counting side characters and past summons that could have also been used.

Final Fantasy.

Too much Sora, not enough everybody else.

Story points happening WAY too quickly. “Where’s Aqua? Oh there she is, she fell to Darkness. Oh no, we can’t save her. Oh yay! Sora saved her! And look, Ventus too!”

Only Sora can save people.

Final Fantasy.

This game being 80% movie and 20% game.

And, of course. Nomura sequel baiting instead of actually taking the time to write a well thought out story the wraps up the saga so far. Especially with Xehanort and Eraqus there is so much that could have and should have happened, that was replaced with “Subject X,” who would have been just fine being introduced in the credits or the secret ending.

I will continue to play these games, I think. As long as life doesn’t completely take over. For that childlike joy that the first play through brought. I think that, at the very least, is something that Nomura has on lock. But I do hope that, moving forward, he gives me more reasons than just hope that it’s good to keep playing.
 

Face My Fears

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Part of the charm of the original game was SDG traveling to save the Disney world’s from the Darkness, and more specifically the Disney villains. In this game, even though important things happened in each world, they all just felt like pit stops. Like there wasn’t any reason for SDG to stop at each world, other than to push forward the story. I think Nomura, in his writing, needs to get back to the roots of the story. Not just that we’re going to all these different worlds, but why we’re going to all these different worlds.

I also think there was a huge missed opportunity for more summons. We got water, lightning, fire, and digital(?), but there were so many more we could, and should have seen. KH3 was the biggest KH game to date. It’s ok that it had the fewest worlds, because they were bigger than ever before. There’s no reason for us to not have more summons than ever before, especially with 6 other party members from past games, not counting side characters and past summons that could have also been used.
The weird thing about this is that in KH1 and especially KH2, Sora was randomly going to worlds to "stop the darkness". KH1 made a little more sense because he had to close the keyholes and possibly find Riku/Kairi/Princesses of Heart; all while the state of the universe is that most worlds have fallen to darkness. In KH2, when all the worlds have been restored from darkness, you're going to them to "stop the darkness" and maybe find Organization XIII/Riku, but there is no actual reason you go to those specific worlds. It's the same with KH1, those worlds were just arbitrarily visited. KH3 actually gave a reason (some people may think it's crap) and made discovering worlds a point to discuss in cutscenes, which I thought was a good idea. It made the worlds you visited seem specific to Sora and his quest to regain the Power of Waking. They were also either main plot relevant or helped build Sora's character for later in the game. KH1 made me feel like this excited kid exploring brand new worlds, KH2 made me wonder "why are they going to this specific world if we're not even going to bother seal the keyhole", and KH3 made me curious during the journey why Sora's heart would guide him to these worlds and at the end I felt a catharsis because I understood.

I was definitely looking forward to more summons. I was expecting at least 8 summons, most of which were past party members to rep the old games. I thought it would have been Genie, Jack Skellington, Ariel, Peter Pan/Tinkerbell, The Beast, Mushu, Simba, and Winnie The Pooh (when I saw how short 100 Acre Wood was, I was literally expecting to see Pooh become a summon because he wanted to join Sora on his adventure and not let their bond weaken again). If Pooh didn't get in, I was thinking Tron could have been a summon as well.
 

PARACOSMIC-M

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Kingdom Hearts has been a part of my life literally as long as I can remember. I don’t really post on here anymore, but I really need to get this off my chest.
As a really little kid, kh was perfect. I loved all the characters, the music, the story and of course, the Disney. For me, it was kinda this secret thing that only some people knew existed, and even without being involved in the fandom, I just felt like I was a part of it somehow. There were times when I would be in the hospital, and Sora, Kairi and Riku were the closest thing to companions I would have for weeks or months. (This was when I was like, four). I never really questioned anything about it, the story or anything else, until I got older. Until about a year ago, kh was just kh.
But now that I’m not in such a bad situation, with my childhood illness reduced to the occasional migraine and my physical disability a more welcomed part of who I am, I’ve stopped thinking of kh as it’s own little world. It’s just another story with strengths and weaknesses to learn from in my writing and art. It still makes me happy and everything, and nothing could make me stop loving the characters, but there’s a lot that bothers me now. The way Kairi and the other female characters are treated is probably at the top of that list.
She wanted so badly not to be burden on Sora, and to be independent, and she worked for it. But in the end, her hard work didn’t pay off, and everything she was afraid of happened. I thought Disney was all about your dreams coming true, but kh3 told little girls that no matter how hard they try, they’ll always be weaker than and a burden to their male peers. I’m not saying I was expecting Kairi to turn into some super badass, but this is just not okay. Aqua and Xion were done the same way, and Namine was only a depressed star, (which I accidentally missed) until the very end, even though she basically saved everyone. So that’s great. Definitely wouldn’t want to be a woman in the kh universe.
Anyway, feminist rant over, lol. Other than that, my only main complaint is the lack of closure in the ending. I honestly thought that I might be content with the story and feel like I could stop playing kh after this arc. But I’m still super confused about what even happened, and there’s still so many mysteries, and I can’t just leave off with Sora being dead. Ish? Idek.
I miss ff too, n we need more diversity, and obviously the rest of the group needs more screen time, but other than that I’m good. I guess I’ve been successfully trapped in this new arc, so I’ll be along for another ride. I probably wouldn’t have quit kh anyway, but that’s not really an option now. Maybe things will improve, maybe not, but no matter what I wish the people who work on it and all the fans the best. My feelings are definitely mixed right now, but the game has gotten me a lot of good friends and helped my through some tough life stuff, so yeah. There’s my sad kh story, hope you all enjoyed the sap.
 

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There is something special about the first game... It's not even the first kh game I played, I played it after playing com gba and kh2 and I loved it more/still love it more than kh2 (I technically got to play a little of the first one when it first came out, but it doesn't count to me). They need to bring what made that one so special back, and improve upon it. The story and how interconnected it felt and how they handled the gameplay and rpg elements from early to endgame, a huge feeling of adventure. Feeling of growth story and gameplay wise.?


ugh I have yet to replay the whole series again, with the fm additions for the first time, my story so far case is just sitting there on my shelf. I'll get to it before dlc, hopefully, haha
 
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AdrianXXII

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I think KH3 has lost a lot of goodwill i had for the series, there had been games before that left me kinda unsatisfied, such as KH2, Coded and DDD with missed opportunities. With the later two, I felt I could always tell myself that KH3 might fix things or pick up the slack, sadly I now know that was too optimistic.

For me this game drove home just how little the series actually cares for it's lore. As a kid I forgave the retcons of KH2, thinking oh this isn't a retcon, it's revelation of more information and clearing up miss information spread by a lying antagonist.

Nonetheless I still love the series and feel a really strong attachment to the series. I feel more attached to Sora, Riku and Kairi than even to Batman, Spider-man or any of the other characters I've been fond of over the years,

I'd be lying if I said I didn't find any enjoyment in KH3. There were moments that really got me emotional and happy. It delivered on a desire I had for a long time, for Kairi to be a party member and take part in the plot (if only briefly).

I think there have been some things KH3 has improved on, the command Menu never worked so well for me as it did in this game. Having multiple playable characters was fun, the world were larger and (to me) felt more lively. There was more fun banter and comradery between SDG. Having multiple party members per world was very welcome for me.
The gummiphone opens the door for a lot more plot development at any point.

The Keyblade transformations could be used to keep the keyblade slingers feeling more distinct (I won't hold my breath on it though)

I now feel certain in the assessment that KH doesn't handle juggling multiple characters too well. They did a alright job in Days, but apparently that was an abnormally.

While I won't ever fully give up on Kairi's potential being realized at some point as long as the series goes on, I will now acknowledge that she and the other girls won't get much chances to shine moving forward. KH is more shonen than FF or Disney in that regard.

Unless thing take a turn for the much worse, I don't think I'll be jumping ship any time soon and even when I eventually do, I think I'd do the same I have been doing with Pokemon and keep a toe in and check it out from time to time and jumping back in when it seem they've done something I'd like.

Moving forward I plan on lowering my expectations. There are seeds that have been planted that might flourish into something fun and exciting, but we'll see if they're allowed to sprout or not.
 

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I may be one of the few people who approached KH3 with low expectations. DDD was the real disappointment to me, how it managed to confuse the plot even more, how it introduced that horrible and completely unnecessary time travel. I had expected DDD would start to gather up the threads of the story and solve some minor plotlines to clear the way for KH3, and it happened just the contrary. So I thought "there's no way KH3 can wrap up everything without overlooking some things." And it happened, of course. KH3 wasn't perfect.
But even after DDD, after that useless fanservice demo which was 0.2 and after KHUX which kept over-complicating the plot, adding a whole new bunch of unattractive characters... I stayed. Because I was and I am invested in the characters of the series, at least some of them. The plot is a total mess, but I still love the characters and want to see more of them. KH3 actually satisfied me because it managed to treat my favorite characters well, because I started with zero expectations and I eneded up having a lot of fun along the ride. I'm curious about Re:Mind, but I fear that a brand new saga with totally different characters may make me fall out of love. Unless I fall in love with the new cast as I did more than ten years ago when I first played CoM for gba.
 

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After KH2 I had to enjoy this series from afar because I couldn't play BbS, Days, Coded and DDD, so I had to read up the story, watch cutscenes and such, which certainly made my love for the series weaker, or better, numb. It was only years later with the remixes and such that I could finally experience the rest of the series firsthand, which reignited my love for it along with KH3 hype. I've always expected from KH what I felt was right to expect: fun gameplay and a story that doesn't make sense and makes you care for its characters. Some games delivered, some didn't. I'm thrilled to see where this series is going since I see KH3 as the peak of the series as far as worlds and gameplay is concerned and I'm also optimistic about the story. I'm not expecting it to be coherent and such (it's Kingdom Hearts) but it has me intrigued.
I'm not really dramatic so a bad game doesn't make me abruptly fall out of love (otherwise I should have stopped playing after Days or DDD), so in that case I just get to the next game and see how it goes.

As long as Sora, Donald, Goofy and Disney magic are there, I'll keep playing Kingdom Hearts games. That's what makes KH what it is in the first place.
 

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The weird thing about this is that in KH1 and especially KH2, Sora was randomly going to worlds to "stop the darkness". KH1 made a little more sense because he had to close the keyholes and possibly find Riku/Kairi/Princesses of Heart; all while the state of the universe is that most worlds have fallen to darkness. In KH2, when all the worlds have been restored from darkness, you're going to them to "stop the darkness" and maybe find Organization XIII/Riku, but there is no actual reason you go to those specific worlds. It's the same with KH1, those worlds were just arbitrarily visited. KH3 actually gave a reason (some people may think it's crap) and made discovering worlds a point to discuss in cutscenes, which I thought was a good idea. It made the worlds you visited seem specific to Sora and his quest to regain the Power of Waking. They were also either main plot relevant or helped build Sora's character for later in the game. KH1 made me feel like this excited kid exploring brand new worlds, KH2 made me wonder "why are they going to this specific world if we're not even going to bother seal the keyhole", and KH3 made me curious during the journey why Sora's heart would guide him to these worlds and at the end I felt a catharsis because I understood.

I was definitely looking forward to more summons. I was expecting at least 8 summons, most of which were past party members to rep the old games. I thought it would have been Genie, Jack Skellington, Ariel, Peter Pan/Tinkerbell, The Beast, Mushu, Simba, and Winnie The Pooh (when I saw how short 100 Acre Wood was, I was literally expecting to see Pooh become a summon because he wanted to join Sora on his adventure and not let their bond weaken again). If Pooh didn't get in, I was thinking Tron could have been a summon as well.

This is really interesting. To me, it seemed like in KH1, the biggest reason SDG were traveling the worlds was to look for Riku and Kairi // The King, and Leon was like “hey while ur out there, stop the darkness.” And then, again, in KH2 it was like “ok now where did Riku and the King go?” and Yen Sid was like “watch out for these posers while you’re out looking!”

I guess in KH3, Yen Sid was like “go learn the power of Waking,” it just felt like a flimsy reason to travel the worlds, to me? And maybe, on top of that, Sora’s “reason” for traveling the worlds ended up being moot, because he didn’t even learn the PoW until he went to save Aqua and Ven.

Upon typing that little paragraph, I’m also realizing this game could have picked up right at Sora entering the Realm of Darkness to help Riku and The King, and we the audience wouldn’t have actually missed anything, story wise, except for a couple of cutscenes of Kairi talking about how her training with Lea was going. And that’s probably, subconsciously, what frustrated me the most, that the Disney worlds were actually irrelevant. Even with Sulley yeeting Vanitas, and Sora learning about the Org looking for the New Seven Hearts and puppets to put hearts in, nothing substantial happened.
 
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Nukara

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Probably the biggest thing that interests me is whether KH4 will be so popular and how many fans will franchises remain at that time, if so many people, as many say here, have left after KH3? Will there be a similar increase in future games of the series? Although I think the future popularity of KH, a conversation for a separate topic.))
Therefore, I think not so much for myself how much for the future of the series as a whole.
 

Face My Fears

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This is really interesting. To me, it seemed like in KH1, the biggest reason SDG were traveling the worlds was to look for Riku and Kairi // The King, and Leon was like “hey while ur out there, stop the darkness.” And then, again, in KH2 it was like “ok now where did Riku and the King go?” and Yen Sid was like “watch out for these posers while you’re out looking!”

I guess in KH3, Yen Sid was like “go learn the power of Waking,” it just felt like a flimsy reason to travel the worlds, to me? And maybe, on top of that, Sora’s “reason” for traveling the worlds ended up being moot, because he didn’t even learn the PoW until he went to save Aqua and Ven.

Upon typing that little paragraph, I’m also realizing this game could have picked up right at Sora entering the Realm of Darkness to help Riku and The King, and we the audience wouldn’t have actually missed anything, story wise, except for a couple of cutscenes of Kairi talking about how her training with Lea was going. And that’s probably, subconsciously, what frustrated me the most, that the Disney worlds were actually irrelevant. Even with Sulley yeeting Vanitas, and Sora learning about the Org looking for the New Seven Hearts and puppets to put hearts in, nothing substantial happened.
Well Sora's reason for going to every world that he visited in KH3 was because he was "following his heart". It kind of has this interesting effect knowing that Sora went back in time to fix things (after they all died the first time around in the Keyblade Graveyard). Also, those worlds played a specific role in either teaching Sora about something coming up in the final battle (sacrifice/true love and death) or Organization related matters (subtly explaining that their activity in the Disney worlds were helping them build the 13 darknesses). I personally liked the idea that his heart took him to those worlds, he didn't just stumble upon them like Deep Jungle or Monstro.
Probably the biggest thing that interests me is whether KH4 will be so popular and how many fans will franchises remain at that time, if so many people, as many say here, have left after KH3? Will there be a similar increase in future games of the series? Although I think the future popularity of KH, a conversation for a separate topic.))
Therefore, I think not so much for myself how much for the future of the series as a whole.
When I was at the KH concert last week, I saw tons of little kids (compared to the last one I went to BEFORE KH3 was released where I don't even remember seeing any kids). I think KH3 got a new generation of younger players into the series, especially because Disney is a WAY bigger entity today than it was when KH1 (and even KH2) came out.
 
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