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



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LostArtist

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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.
I think you should be worried that it'll still be so popular that the proper changes aren't made to elevate the series from it's mediocrity :p.

Lol jokes aside, I don't think you need to worry about the popularity of kh in the future. I don't think anyone here is really leaving. And even if they are the people on the forums are usually the fewer critical fans of the series, so they don't represent most of the fanbase. Also kh3 gave square so much money, I don't think you need to worry about it's status.
 
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Rii

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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.

Well, I did like his method of traversing the worlds by following his heart, but he still didn’t really have a reason to do so, like how in the first two games he was looking for Riku, Kairi, and The King, you know? But maybe that’s just me.
 

Lulcy

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Post Birth by Sleep my love for the series has consistently been disminishing with each new game, I've been close to drop the series all together but, fortunately Kingdom Hearts III revitalized my interested...if only a bit and if only because most of the bullshit that's been plaguing the franchise came to a closure. Right now on meh/indifferent mood, unless the next big installment makes some big course correction, Kingdom Hearts will remain among the botton of my interest list.
 

Face My Fears

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Well, I did like his method of traversing the worlds by following his heart, but he still didn’t really have a reason to do so, like how in the first two games he was looking for Riku, Kairi, and The King, you know? But maybe that’s just me.
I saw it as his heart guiding him to those worlds because it knew that he needed to learn things in those worlds for the final battle. I was just playing the Keyblade Graveyard and the whole reason they messed up the first time around was because Sora froze. He was so used to having his friends there and just hugging Kairi to resolve issues, but he finally realized that death and not some laser light show that makes clones or magically reappearing (he saw in The Caribbean), sacrifice and true love (Corona/Arendelle), and only when he remembered those things was he able to overcome the darkness.

In KH1 and KH2 Sora was travelling those worlds looking for Riku/Kairi/Mickey, but I'm sure everyone knew that we wouldn't find them in those worlds. It was pretty well established that the only worlds where anything of substance to the main plot will happen are original worlds. KH1 was a little different (probably because the cast was so small and got cut down as the game went on) where you caught glimpses of Riku in worlds and finally NeverLand serving as the final build up to the climax in Hollow Bastion. KH2 was just ask upon arrival "Is Riku or the Organization here?", most people in those worlds would reply, "No", then the world's story start. KH2 is also the only game where the method of traversing the worlds isn't really explained. If I'm remembering correctly, it was that the worlds were calling out to Sora and just opening the gateways for him? Which didn't make sense for a lot of them if you think about it - Jack messing up Christmas or Ariel's love life requires the keyblade wielder to make a visit?
 

DarkosOverlord

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Well, I've always been pretty transparent about how I feel regarding the current state of things.

Emotionally distancing myself from the saga made me go back and replay all of it, to judge it all with a new perspective: I found out there is a lot that I actually don't like, even before KH III.
But during its course I was done in, because Kingdom Hearts used the time-tested method of building up hype and expectations with a long overarching story and the promise of a big payoff when the time was right.

I also keep noticing how many people, both here and elsewhere, state that KH is one of their few gaming series they actually follow, and how that might play a big role into them still feeling attached to it.
Absolutely nothing wrong with that: I was there too. KH was the air I breathed and what I thought about every day. And I know that at the time I couldn't have imagined NOT having Kingdom Hearts by my side.
The more I broadened my horizons, however, the more I was left dissatisfied when I came back to it. The moment I started receiving what KH gave me from external sources, part of the grip it had on me loosened up each time.

Paired up with the fact that I think we're living in a period where games are particularly good, I can't honestly search my feelings and say that I still *need* Kingdom Hearts, or that I'm willing to go through another year-lasting rabbit hole that by the looks of it doesn't seem less intricated than the one we just came out of.
As always, I do not regret the past. In insight there were evident issues, but we can't live life in insight, so it's better to take anything good that came from it.
But I have to face the facts: I loved the first three games. The the series started changing and every time it changed for the worst, to the point that by DDD (which I've just played recently for the plat trophy) it was already a different series, with a different soul and that I wouldn't have played it if I wasn't a fan knee-deep into all of that to begin with.

So, the post-KH III future? I'm gonna treat any new game that comes out like it's something I've never heard of. I'll watch how it plays, the concept, the story incipit, REALLY watch how it plays, and only if I'm feeling interested I'll play it.
If not, it's like it's not even there. They had my trust and support. Now they don't, and they have to earn it back (if it's even possible).

And I'd like to add: I'm sure this feels sad and depressing for many, a tale of defeat. It is. But, honestly guys? I'm actually feeling better. Lighter at heart.
No more having to protect this game or character or concept from any piece of criticism just because I feel like it's an attack towards myself. No more sweating palms everytime I read "Kingdom Hearts" on social media and dreading to see the rest of the sentence. No more extreme emotional reactions whenever I hear a DIFFERENT OPINION.

I'm not saying "don't be a KH fan, it's all evil and suffering", but distancing was what worked out for me in this case. I love y'all much more now that I don't feel like a warrior on this battlefield, and judging by interactions I dare to say my likeability also went up?
So, as a character who unexpectedly outlived Xehanort and will be back in the series once said, "You've got to lose in order to find."

As shallow as this ideology may seem, if a game is fun, and I enjoy playing it, that's all that matters.

Just wanted to say, in the end videogames are games, aka a product of entertainment.
Wanting to follow the basic and intended purpose feels just about right to me, and it might even be healthier than other solutions.

Of course people are welcome to try and find higher purposes and meanings in products they like, but it's a choice.
 

Sakuraba Neku

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Kingdom Hearts 3 is the only KH game that I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Today I like it, tomorrow I hate it... it's been like that since the game came out. I can't make up my mind and I'm waiting for the DLC pack to help me decide that.

There's nothing that pisses me off more in a product that wasted potential and off all games, the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3, had to fall into this category. So much years waiting, so much investment in this franchise, KH3 is finally here and turned out to be not that good.
 
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Finally got around to playing KH3 and I have to say, I've lost any remaining interest in the series at this point. This has probably all been said here over the past few months, so apologies in advance for being repetitive

There were plenty of redeeming features to the game, and I'll always find the Disney portions to be a joy, but I've realized at this point that the main story just isn't my cup of tea. I'm not really interested with where things go from here and I can say with confidence that I won't be purchasing any future games.

I also don't mean to suggest that KH3 is on some substantially lower tier than the rest of the series. There are flaws in all of the games. The story simply headed in a direction that I have no interest in.

I'm sure this has been said ad nauseum by others, but I really do miss the days of KH1, when the Disney worlds weren't just window dressing, and when the plot was straightforward. I did enjoy theorizing back in the day about some of the complexities in the series, but now I don't have any motivation left to do so.

I went into KH3 having made peace with the fact that, as signaled in DDD, the plot would go in directions I didn't want it to. That's not what disappointed me. Instead, it was the excessive sequel-baiting. If nothing else, I was at least looking forward to this saga reaching its conclusion. I thought that if KH3 could wrap up any remaining plot threads (however messily), I could at least look forward to the possibility of KH4 (or whatever is next) returning to the simplicity of KH1's plot structure.

Rather than taking this as an opportunity to do a soft reset on the series as I had hoped, Nomura instead has chosen to continue to develop impenetrably dense plotlines that should've been resolved years ago. I don't know why I set myself up for such disappointment, since the series has not been "simple" for a long, long time.

I told myself years ago that I would stick with this series at least through KH3. While I did that, there's a part of me that wishes I had just stopped at KH2. It felt like a more complete ending.

To those who enjoy where the series has gone and are still invested, whether you're a series veteran or a newcomer, I don't by any means wish to detract from your enjoyment. I think that what I've experienced is just something natural/common when you stick with a series for as long as I have. Even if I am not around to see future iterations of the franchise, I do genuinely hope that the series can continue to bring the same joy to others as it did to me for many years.
 

Alpha Baymax

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Man, so many fans act like Kingdom Hearts III took them hostage at gunpoint.

Yeah, Kingdom Hearts II had tighter gameplay and it was more digestible with its story because we had less lore and Final Fantasy characters, but Kingdom Hearts III is a more visually beautiful and immersive game with its fair share of elements that put Kingdom Hearts II to shame such as a more immersive narrative in the Disney worlds and better world design and character models.

I still love Kingdom Hearts III, and for those who are tired of the series after this entry, you have every opportunity to leave the Fandom if you wish. I can respect if Kingdom Hearts III is not your kind of game, but it's just grating to see people get constantly frustrated with the Kingdom Hearts franchise when we truly do not know what we are getting post-Kingdom Hearts III.
 

DarkosOverlord

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Man, so many fans act like Kingdom Hearts III took them hostage at gunpoint.

I still love Kingdom Hearts III, and for those who are tired of the series after this entry, you have every opportunity to leave the Fandom if you wish. I can respect if Kingdom Hearts III is not your kind of game, but it's just grating to see people get constantly frustrated with the Kingdom Hearts franchise when we truly do not know what we are getting post-Kingdom Hearts III.

Then my advice would be to not step into a thread made specifically for people to talk about their feelings with the franchise and dealing with the post-KH III fallout.

I keep hearing that we're allowed to dislike KH III but then we kinda aren't, considering we're supposed to accept some positives KH III has (which I don't even believe in, KH II with all of its problems laughs in the face of KH III's constant inconsistency and its almost impossible to digest story), even if we don't want to.

We're always not going to know for sure what anything's going to have in store for us. We didn't know for sure what KH had in store for us before KH III dropped. Then it dropped, and we knew that what the series had in store for us was disappointment.
We then chose not to actively wait and be hyped for more disappointment.
 
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Audo

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Well, guess I'll be one of the few to say that I loved KH3 and experiencing it made me fall more in love with Kingdom Hearts and renewed my faith and excitement in the series going forward. I've said this all before so I'll try to be brief about it, but I went into KH3 deciding to do away with expectations or projections and to just try and accept the game for what it is and to react to that. And I loved it. I loved playing it. It was absolutely the most fun I've ever had playing a KH game. I had big dumbass grin on my face pretty much from start to finish. I found the game legitimately funny (a first for this series), full of charm, and love and just an absolute joy. That's really what KH3 felt like to me, just this big giant Ode to Joy in every aspect of it brimming with life and passion. It felt like, to me, the closest the series has gotten to realizing the potential of the Disney worlds and was probably the first time I felt like I was actually full-on loving and enjoying the Disney content instead of just going through it to get to the next main plot beat. I found a lot of stuff to like or downright love and adore in every single Disney world, which is the first time I could ever say anything close to that about this series. I think the game is incredibly ambitious. I loved how every world tried to incorporate some unique gameplay mechanics based on the world. Helped make each of them feel more realized and distinct, more alive and fun to play. I liked how Disney and OCs interact more. The fact that the Disney characters actually talk back to, fight back, have strong moments with the Org was fantastic for me. I think Toy Box and its implimentation, how it gives us an original plot, how it builds on the setting and universe, how it actually uses the themes of Toy Story and what make it unique to create something new in KH and realize it in KH's universe in an impactful way, etc etc. Idk, for me, Toy Box is a series high point. The Disney worlds and their implementation in general is a high point. After KH3, I don't want to ever go back to the old way of how Disney worlds were done.

The sheer variety in this game was just an absolute treat for me. And I feel like with all the trailer and build up, people just got used to KH3 and what it was doing. Like kh3 does all of these downright amazing things but by the time people actually played it it became commonplace to them. like the fact that you go to pirates world and you can full on traverse the seas??? discover hidden islands??? do ship battles??? make your ship jump 1000 ft in the air and then crash into enemy ships??? like this is objectively amazing shit, unlike anything kh has ever done before and like nearly every world has something nuts like that. suddenly kh becomes a pirate ship game, a cooking game, a mech fighting game, a dancing game, a sledding game, a mountain climbing game, an open world city game, a LCD game, a shoot-em-up open-world-esque space exploration game, a contemplate-death-and-purgatory game. you can use theme park rides for special attacks. your weapon can transform into a sword, a shield, a chariot, a giant hammer, a drill, claws, yo-yos, skates, a magic staff, a giant tower, guns, a cannon, a lance, a flag, a fucking giant frying pan, like a hundred swords at once while you float and teleport all over the screen. like!!!!!!

there is so much variety. so many off-the-wall crazy ideas. so much flash and excitement. like it's amazing. it's fun. it's unlike anything else out there, imo.

And some of people's sticking points just feel flimsy to me. Like Sora's reason for visiting the worlds in KH2 isn't any better than KH3's. Or the lack of resolutions to plot threads.

Spoiler Spoiler Show


Spoiler Spoiler Show


I don't know. I can see how someone could be disappointed if they literally were only playing KH3 for the main original plot. But to me, I don't know, that's just not how I experienced KH3. For the first time, aside from maybe KH1, I really felt and understood that the Disney stuff was a fundamental part of the story, not just filler that happens between the opening and ending. It was there that the story was built up, that the themes of the game were established and built upon, where Sora grew and learned things as a character, where the Organization learned and applied things. To me it all worked together, and then even after every world, there would be main plot focused stuff to help move that along too. To me, it worked. I cared about the Disney stuff. I got great enjoyment out of it. I felt the worlds were incredibly strong, and even the weaker ones still had a lot of things for me to like or brought up interesting twists and understandings on the themes and ideas of the series. Sora and Donald and Goofy finally getting to interact again, and play off each other, and be a team was an absolute delight and the game is strong for it. When Donald tells Sora he's a whole pint by himself in the KG I tear up every time. When Donald and Goofy walk beside him and enter the frame as he's about to go to Scala I get emotional. When Donald and Goofy cry out through the controller for him in the final battle I was absolutely shaken.

There is so much to love in KH3. So many strong emotional moments. I honestly could go on forever about the stuff I love. Even as I write this I keep thinking about more and more things I could say or point out or gush over. There is no end. I find my love and admiration for KH3 to only grow and expand since launch and that doesn't even get into things like Critical or the QOL changes they've added since that only makes me appreciate it more.

So, yeah. KH3 made me fall back in love with the series. It renewed my faith in it and made me excited for what comes next. I'm so thrilled to see what KH will become now that this big looming thing that has hung over the series for years is finally settled. The characters are saved. MX defeated. And where the story goes next is big and open and I can't wait to see it.

If anything though, KH3 has made me seriously question one part of this series that has been with me since the very start: the fandom. I've felt the fandom was in decline for years before KH3, but post-KH3 it is at is absolute worst and most worthless. It's just... not an enriching community. It doesn't lead to appreciation or deeper understanding or new and interesting perspectives, it's just filled with cynical burned people who like, openly admit they no longer care about the series at all, and yet for some reason stick around to shit talk it and the devs and poison the well. It's very reminiscent of the Steven Universe fandom in a lot of ways. It just seems the only role the larger community wants to play is to beat down people into disliking things more, to just constantly fuel a negative atmosphere until it snuffs out anything remotely positive, and that's just... not something I want to be a part of anymore.

I think there is value in constructive criticism. It definitely has its place and its use. But largely I feel like for the most part people don't actually engage in constructive criticism (it sure isn't taking pot shots at the devs, at the human beings who spend their lives making these games), but also, I feel like fandom needs to be more than that. It needs to build up, not tear down. Otherwise, what is the fucking point of it? What good does it do, to stew around in ceaseless hate and cynicism for days on end, where you can't even enjoy the thing you spend your time talking about? There is constructive ways to criticize the series (essays, meta, fix-it fanfic, art, exploring alternate concepts, etc) but whatever this is, it just isn't it.

I've visited and posted on this site since the pre-CoM days but lately, every time I poke my head in here to see what's being talked about, or how things are being approached, I never find anything of value. Nothing that enriches. Often I just leave feeling worse for having come here at all. And that's not a KH3 thing alone. For years that's where this community has been heading, KH3 just feels like the final nail in the coffin of this community's potential to be more than what it is.

So, this will probably be my last post on these forums. A lot of years were spent here. And I've admired a good number of you and enjoyed discussing or riffing or making jokes, having fun with this series. But I have to face the truth that I don't get any enjoyment or enrichment out of being here anymore. It's just a negative source. And I don't want to spend the next four+ years between now and the next KH game having the same discussions, the same ceaselessly negative threads and lists of disappointments over and over again. It's old and tired. It was already old and tired a month after launch, and looking through the threads now, not much has changed 6 months later either. Free time is already so limited. I'm not going to waste it feeling bad about stuff I like.

I wish you all the best.
 

Face My Fears

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Well, guess I'll be one of the few to say that I loved KH3 and experiencing it made me fall more in love with Kingdom Hearts and renewed my faith and excitement in the series going forward. I've said this all before so I'll try to be brief about it, but I went into KH3 deciding to do away with expectations or projections and to just try and accept the game for what it is and to react to that. And I loved it. I loved playing it. It was absolutely the most fun I've ever had playing a KH game. I had big dumbass grin on my face pretty much from start to finish. I found the game legitimately funny (a first for this series), full of charm, and love and just an absolute joy. That's really what KH3 felt like to me, just this big giant Ode to Joy in every aspect of it brimming with life and passion. It felt like, to me, the closest the series has gotten to realizing the potential of the Disney worlds and was probably the first time I felt like I was actually full-on loving and enjoying the Disney content instead of just going through it to get to the next main plot beat. I found a lot of stuff to like or downright love and adore in every single Disney world, which is the first time I could ever say anything close to that about this series. I think the game is incredibly ambitious. I loved how every world tried to incorporate some unique gameplay mechanics based on the world. Helped make each of them feel more realized and distinct, more alive and fun to play. I liked how Disney and OCs interact more. The fact that the Disney characters actually talk back to, fight back, have strong moments with the Org was fantastic for me. I think Toy Box and its implimentation, how it gives us an original plot, how it builds on the setting and universe, how it actually uses the themes of Toy Story and what make it unique to create something new in KH and realize it in KH's universe in an impactful way, etc etc. Idk, for me, Toy Box is a series high point. The Disney worlds and their implementation in general is a high point. After KH3, I don't want to ever go back to the old way of how Disney worlds were done.

The sheer variety in this game was just an absolute treat for me. And I feel like with all the trailer and build up, people just got used to KH3 and what it was doing. Like kh3 does all of these downright amazing things but by the time people actually played it it became commonplace to them. like the fact that you go to pirates world and you can full on traverse the seas??? discover hidden islands??? do ship battles??? make your ship jump 1000 ft in the air and then crash into enemy ships??? like this is objectively amazing shit, unlike anything kh has ever done before and like nearly every world has something nuts like that. suddenly kh becomes a pirate ship game, a cooking game, a mech fighting game, a dancing game, a sledding game, a mountain climbing game, an open world city game, a LCD game, a shoot-em-up open-world-esque space exploration game, a contemplate-death-and-purgatory game. you can use theme park rides for special attacks. your weapon can transform into a sword, a shield, a chariot, a giant hammer, a drill, claws, yo-yos, skates, a magic staff, a giant tower, guns, a cannon, a lance, a flag, a fucking giant frying pan, like a hundred swords at once while you float and teleport all over the screen. like!!!!!!

there is so much variety. so many off-the-wall crazy ideas. so much flash and excitement. like it's amazing. it's fun. it's unlike anything else out there, imo.

And some of people's sticking points just feel flimsy to me. Like Sora's reason for visiting the worlds in KH2 isn't any better than KH3's. Or the lack of resolutions to plot threads.

Spoiler Spoiler Show


Spoiler Spoiler Show


I don't know. I can see how someone could be disappointed if they literally were only playing KH3 for the main original plot. But to me, I don't know, that's just not how I experienced KH3. For the first time, aside from maybe KH1, I really felt and understood that the Disney stuff was a fundamental part of the story, not just filler that happens between the opening and ending. It was there that the story was built up, that the themes of the game were established and built upon, where Sora grew and learned things as a character, where the Organization learned and applied things. To me it all worked together, and then even after every world, there would be main plot focused stuff to help move that along too. To me, it worked. I cared about the Disney stuff. I got great enjoyment out of it. I felt the worlds were incredibly strong, and even the weaker ones still had a lot of things for me to like or brought up interesting twists and understandings on the themes and ideas of the series. Sora and Donald and Goofy finally getting to interact again, and play off each other, and be a team was an absolute delight and the game is strong for it. When Donald tells Sora he's a whole pint by himself in the KG I tear up every time. When Donald and Goofy walk beside him and enter the frame as he's about to go to Scala I get emotional. When Donald and Goofy cry out through the controller for him in the final battle I was absolutely shaken.

There is so much to love in KH3. So many strong emotional moments. I honestly could go on forever about the stuff I love. Even as I write this I keep thinking about more and more things I could say or point out or gush over. There is no end. I find my love and admiration for KH3 to only grow and expand since launch and that doesn't even get into things like Critical or the QOL changes they've added since that only makes me appreciate it more.

So, yeah. KH3 made me fall back in love with the series. It renewed my faith in it and made me excited for what comes next. I'm so thrilled to see what KH will become now that this big looming thing that has hung over the series for years is finally settled. The characters are saved. MX defeated. And where the story goes next is big and open and I can't wait to see it.

If anything though, KH3 has made me seriously question one part of this series that has been with me since the very start: the fandom. I've felt the fandom was in decline for years before KH3, but post-KH3 it is at is absolute worst and most worthless. It's just... not an enriching community. It doesn't lead to appreciation or deeper understanding or new and interesting perspectives, it's just filled with cynical burned people who like, openly admit they no longer care about the series at all, and yet for some reason stick around to shit talk it and the devs and poison the well. It's very reminiscent of the Steven Universe fandom in a lot of ways. It just seems the only role the larger community wants to play is to beat down people into disliking things more, to just constantly fuel a negative atmosphere until it snuffs out anything remotely positive, and that's just... not something I want to be a part of anymore.

I think there is value in constructive criticism. It definitely has its place and its use. But largely I feel like for the most part people don't actually engage in constructive criticism (it sure isn't taking pot shots at the devs, at the human beings who spend their lives making these games), but also, I feel like fandom needs to be more than that. It needs to build up, not tear down. Otherwise, what is the fucking point of it? What good does it do, to stew around in ceaseless hate and cynicism for days on end, where you can't even enjoy the thing you spend your time talking about? There is constructive ways to criticize the series (essays, meta, fix-it fanfic, art, exploring alternate concepts, etc) but whatever this is, it just isn't it.

I've visited and posted on this site since the pre-CoM days but lately, every time I poke my head in here to see what's being talked about, or how things are being approached, I never find anything of value. Nothing that enriches. Often I just leave feeling worse for having come here at all. And that's not a KH3 thing alone. For years that's where this community has been heading, KH3 just feels like the final nail in the coffin of this community's potential to be more than what it is.

So, this will probably be my last post on these forums. A lot of years were spent here. And I've admired a good number of you and enjoyed discussing or riffing or making jokes, having fun with this series. But I have to face the truth that I don't get any enjoyment or enrichment out of being here anymore. It's just a negative source. And I don't want to spend the next four+ years between now and the next KH game having the same discussions, the same ceaselessly negative threads and lists of disappointments over and over again. It's old and tired. It was already old and tired a month after launch, and looking through the threads now, not much has changed 6 months later either. Free time is already so limited. I'm not going to waste it feeling bad about stuff I like.

I wish you all the best.
I agree with the community situation. Back in the day, there were the KH1 and KH2 quotes (battle cries and death quotes etc). I can't even find KH3 ones. It seems like the community just doesn't care about KH3. I remember how things were when everyone was eager and optimistic about the series, I should say when people actually genuinely loved the series. I feel like somewhere along the way to KH3, it just became impossible to live up to the hype. I'm loved KH3, but I am so glad that it is out of the way. Even though I don't really know much about the KHUX stuff, I'm ready to start a fresh story. It's been more than a decade that we've been dealing with Xehanort, it's really time to get that KH1 feel of uncharted territory. I want to go into a KH game and have no clue who the main villain is or his goals. I'm excited for that, but it seems like most of the community isn't and resents KH3 for not delivering what they were expecting and also (in their eyes) favoring future games.
 

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If anything though, KH3 has made me seriously question one part of this series that has been with me since the very start: the fandom. I've felt the fandom was in decline for years before KH3, but post-KH3 it is at is absolute worst and most worthless. It's just... not an enriching community. It doesn't lead to appreciation or deeper understanding or new and interesting perspectives, it's just filled with cynical burned people who like, openly admit they no longer care about the series at all, and yet for some reason stick around to shit talk it and the devs and poison the well. It's very reminiscent of the Steven Universe fandom in a lot of ways. It just seems the only role the larger community wants to play is to beat down people into disliking things more, to just constantly fuel a negative atmosphere until it snuffs out anything remotely positive, and that's just... not something I want to be a part of anymore.

I think there is value in constructive criticism. It definitely has its place and its use. But largely I feel like for the most part people don't actually engage in constructive criticism (it sure isn't taking pot shots at the devs, at the human beings who spend their lives making these games), but also, I feel like fandom needs to be more than that. It needs to build up, not tear down. Otherwise, what is the fucking point of it? What good does it do, to stew around in ceaseless hate and cynicism for days on end, where you can't even enjoy the thing you spend your time talking about? There is constructive ways to criticize the series (essays, meta, fix-it fanfic, art, exploring alternate concepts, etc) but whatever this is, it just isn't it.

I've visited and posted on this site since the pre-CoM days but lately, every time I poke my head in here to see what's being talked about, or how things are being approached, I never find anything of value. Nothing that enriches. Often I just leave feeling worse for having come here at all. And that's not a KH3 thing alone. For years that's where this community has been heading, KH3 just feels like the final nail in the coffin of this community's potential to be more than what it is.

So, this will probably be my last post on these forums. A lot of years were spent here. And I've admired a good number of you and enjoyed discussing or riffing or making jokes, having fun with this series. But I have to face the truth that I don't get any enjoyment or enrichment out of being here anymore. It's just a negative source. And I don't want to spend the next four+ years between now and the next KH game having the same discussions, the same ceaselessly negative threads and lists of disappointments over and over again. It's old and tired. It was already old and tired a month after launch, and looking through the threads now, not much has changed 6 months later either. Free time is already so limited. I'm not going to waste it feeling bad about stuff I like.

I wish you all the best.

I've felt this way for a while but I feel like I can't rightfully speak on it since I haven't been apart this community for years and years and garnered relationships like many others and I don't do much interaction with anyone besides an occasional post but honestly, you toke the words right out of my mouth.

Like honestly, I can't fault anyone for disliking KH3 for reasons I can understand. I actively dislike re:coded (yes, even more then DDD; fight me) but at a certain point it just feels like constant negativity and never giving credit to the things the game does right and the problems it does have isn't really anything different from past games.

And it comes from the one line of thinking that always bothered me; that KH1 was where the series was truly good or didn't have as many problems and I can't help but call BS on that. In fact, a lot of its narrative issues and also its positives came from KH1 and that has not changed at all as the series has continued. Some games were worse or better then others but I just don't believe in this turning point of the series post-BBS mindset where suddenly everything changed when it really didn't, its just that the series' glaring issues became more obvious.

The only real problem I have with KH3 is that the plot moves too fast, just isn't paced very well or doesn't move anywhere at certain points. But honestly, this isn't much different from other KH games that have the exact same issues. Minus FF characters, KH3 was exactly what I expected it to be. Whether thats good or bad depends on you but I can't help but stratch my head when some fans have a sudden realization of what this series is now, when its always been like this from the beginning.

And if its one of those things were you have finally given up on the series ever improving, thats fine and perfectly understandable but thats not really what bothers me truly; what bothers me are fans who are constantly negative about this series from top to bottom, never anything remotely good to say to the point were you wonder if they even liked it in the first place but keep visiting the forums and talking trash when clearly, you don't like this series anymore and you don't have faith it'll improve... so why are you here discussing like you have interest it in on a positive, healthy level? I mean, people have the freedom to do what they want, I'm not saying you don't, but if you've lost that much faith in this series, why you need to bring it down with constant negativity or bring down anyone who's opinion might be different? It just feels like you want to b*tch for the sake of it without doing anything that you think could improve the series or discuss things that you like at all about it. If you don't like that much, why waste the energy?

Like, I'm fine with criticism. The series needs more of that and they need to shout it into a megaphone directly into Nomura's ear. But this isn't constructive criticism at this point, this is about never giving the series props for what it actually does right and calling KH3 this unforgivable sin of a game that destorys the entire series when its none of those things at all. And some people want to turn it around and say "Wow, we can never be negative about anything. Its always got to be positive." You're kidding right? Most of it is nothing but negativitu, nitpicking and constant criticism and rarely anything positive when there's a lot of positive you can talk about.

Thing is, I know at the end of the day, its all subjective. I'm not saying I want to force people into being positive if they don't feel that way but... I don't know, I just wish people were a little more fair to the series and not always completely dog on it for not living up to unexpected hype. And if its a case of wanting more out of the game, that's fine because I'm all for that but treating KH3 as if its the worst thing in this series and it can never redeem itself is quite dramatic.

I just want healthy, constructive conversation; not a forum, positive or negative, that constantly agrees with each other and never wants an outside opinion that might challenge the consensus. And this coming from someone who has a lot of problems with the series but its never gotten to where I would never be fair and say it doesn't do anything right. KH3 has a lot of faults but it does so much right that people simply ignore or try to make it worse then it objectively is.

And then people want to turn around and say "well, maybe thats because everyone genuinely feels negative about the game or KH" when that's not true at all. In fact, if you really want to be objective about it, most people are pretty satisfied with the way the game turned out. Its one of those things where the fandom lives in a bubble and think, "well people in that bubble agree with me so that must mean everyone feels that way" when in reality, thats not how that works.

And I'm not saying no one can be negative or be disappointed. You have every right to feel that way but constant negativity isn't good for constructive criticism just as much as constant positivity isn't either. But that's just my two cents. KH3 did everything I expected it to do. It has many highs and many lows but it has regardless made me excited for what comes next.
 
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Elysium

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If our ups and downs are what this thread is about, I’d say my experience of the series has been this:


- I adored KH1 and CoM, to the point I tried to absorb every little detail of the lore (both in the background of those games and in Nomura’s interviews) + I was super involved in the fandom. Nothing but positive feelings then.
- Then KH2 happened. It pretty much imploded everything that made me love KH1, although it had its bright spots. At this point, I checked out a great deal and only had mostly negative things to say about the state of KH at that time, but because I loved those early games so much and was still attached to the Sora and Riku characters, I couldn’t completely drop the series as a whole. I hoped KH would improve, or at least I could like some things even if the overall picture was unsatisfying to me from that point on. Days and BbS really tested my will in staying with the series, in large part because they didn’t feature characters I cared about. At least, I had hopes for Days because I did like Larxene, Marluxia, Vexen, and Saix, but the former three played almost no role at all. BbS was my lowest point in this series. Three scenarios with new characters almost did me in and I didn’t like the intro of Xehanort. I think the only saving grace of the whole thing was Aqua, and thankfully she was the main character of that game to me.
- re:Coded and 3D both re-ignited my love for the series and made me believe the series actually was improving even if it would never reach the original brilliance again. While I went into re:Coded with the absolute lowest expectations off the back of BbS and because the game itself looked inconsequential, re:Coded actually managed to re-create a similar feeling for me to CoM. Both games re-hash KH1, but they both did it with great dialogue, imo, and inventive ideas/choices. 3D was an even greater boost to my reinterest in the series. That game checked a lot of my boxes, of things I felt I could reasonably hope for out of a KH title in the present. Huge worlds, heavy focus on Sora and Riku, etc. I think the only thing 3D was missing to be perfect for me was more of SDG.
- As for now: I enjoy KH3. When I first played it, I loved it. As the game has settled for me, I have a more... nebulous feeling towards it. I definitely don’t dislike I, I know. I think the difference between it and my other favorites (3D, KH1 especially) is that I don’t feel the desire to re-play it. I’ve played it a total 3 times now and even that second playthrough didn't happen until almost a month later. Whereas with the others I couldn't leave them alone for quite a while after I'd first experienced them. I think KH3's just a heavy game. Sort of the same way Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the book) was. I’m not saying KH3 is anywhere as good as DH--or as dark. What I'm saying is that I have a similar feeling to DH in that I have to be in the right state of mind to go through KH3 again. I keep wanting to say “I have to be in the right mood to take on that slog,” but I don’t consider them slogs per se. They’re just…. Heavy. Dense. From that slow build upwards from re:Coded to 3D to finally playing KH3, I feel that my love of/interest in the series after KH3 has remained at the same level it was after 3D. I don’t feel more than I did--and I wouldn't describe KH3 as a peak for the series--but at least I don’t feel it negatively impacted the direction of the series the way KH2 did. I didn't feel anger the way others seem to about ways that storylines were handled or resolved. And I don't feel disillusioned like I was after KH2 either.


Right now, I have mostly positive feelings for the franchise and I’m looking forward to the future, particularly how they can make various Disney films (old and new) look with the new graphics and the enormous world size. My only negative right now is that I hate that Chi is an online game. I hope everything needed to know will be explained in future console games. I already know I will never reach that same level of interest and stanning I was at during KH1 and CoM days—I accepted that a long time ago—but for now Kingdom Hearts is still the only extended game series I’m interested in keeping up with aside from Final Fantasy.
 

Divine Past

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I've felt this way for a while but I feel like I can't rightfully speak on it since I haven't been apart this community for years and years and garnered relationships like many others and I don't do much interaction with anyone besides an occasional post but honestly, you toke the words right out of my mouth.

Like honestly, I can't fault anyone for disliking KH3 for reasons I can understand. I actively dislike re:coded (yes, even more then DDD; fight me) but at a certain point it just feels like constant negativity and never giving credit to the things the game does right and the problems it does have isn't really anything different from past games.

And it comes from the one line of thinking that always bothered me; that KH1 was where the series was truly good or didn't have as many problems and I can't help but call BS on that. In fact, a lot of its narrative issues and also its positives came from KH1 and that has not changed at all as the series as continued. Some games were worse or better then others but I just don't believe in this turning point of the series post-BBS mindset where suddenly everything changed when it really didn't, its just that the series glaring issues became more obvious.

The only real problem I have with KH3 is that the plot moves too fast or just isn't paced very well or doesn't move anywhere at certain points. But honestly, this isn't much different from other KH games that have the exact same issues. Minus FF characters, KH3 was exactly what I expected it to be. Whether thats good or bad depends on you but I can't help but stratch my head when some fans have a sudden realization of what this series is now when its always been like this from the beginning.

And if its one of those things were you have finally given up on the series ever improving, thats fine and perfectly understandable but thats not really what bothers me truly; what bothers me are fans who are constantly negative about this series from top to bottom, never anything remotely good to say to the point were you wondered if they even liked it in the first place but keep visiting the forums and talking trash when clearly, you don't like this series anymore and you don't have faith it'll improve... so why are you here discussing like yiu have interest it in on a positive, healthy level? I mean, people have the freedom to do what they want, I'm not saying you don't, but if you've lost that much faith in this series, why you need to bring down constantly or bring down anyone who's opinion might be different? It just feels like you want to b*tch for the sake of it without doing anything that you think could improve the series or discuss things that you like at all about it. If you don't like that much, why waste the energy?

Like, I'm fine with criticism. The series needs more of that and they need to shout into a megaphone directly into Nomura's ear. But this isn't constructive criticism at this point, this is about never giving the series props for what it actually does right and calling KH3 this unforgivable sin of a game that destorys the entire series when its none of those things at all. And some people want to turn it around and say "Wow, we can never be negative about anything. Its always got to be positive." You're kidding right? Most of it is nothing but negativity and nitpicking and constant criticism and rarely anything positive when there's a lot of positive you can talk about.

Thing is, I know at the end of the day, its all subjective. I'm not saying I want to force people into being positive if they don't feel that way but... I don't know, I just wish people were a little more fair to the series and not always completely dog on it for not living up to unexpected hype. And if its a case of wanting more out of the game, that's fine because I'm all for that but treating KH3 as if its the worst thing in this series and it can never redeem itself is quite dramatic.

I just want healthy, constructive conversation; not a forum, positive or negative, that constantly agrees with each other and never wants an outside opinion that might challenge the consensus. And this coming from someone who has a lot of problems with the series but its never gotten to where I would never be fair and say it doesn't do anything right. KH3 has a lot of faults but it does so much right that people simply ignore or try to make it worse then it objectively is.

And then people want to turn around and say "well, maybe thats because everyone genuinely feels negative about the game or KH" when that's not true at all. In fact, if you really want to be objective about it, most people are pretty satisfied with the way the game turned out. Its one of those things where fandom live in a bubble and people, "well people in that bubble agree with me so that must mean everyobe feels that way" when in reality, thats not how that works.

And I'm not saying no one can be negative or be disappointed. You have every right to feel that way but constant negativity isn't good for constructive criticism just as much as constant positivity isn't either. But That's just my two cents. KH3 did everything I expected it to do. Has many highs and many lows but it has regardless made me excited for what comes next.

I can understand where you come from because I have an interest where the fanbase can be overwhelming negative (wrestling). I don't know what the solution is because unlike say a TV show or a sports team we don't get an episode every week to give us something new to digest. We might have to wait a year for any new important to the series. So the fans are kind of stuck without fresh content. So if you don't like KH3 then you are stuck with that sour taste in your mouth.

I can admit I have been harsh on the game on the forum but I try to make it in a point of where improvements could have been made even if I disagree with the direction Nomura had on some parts of the game (other parts I will agree I do hate on haha). I will say I did not feel ripped off with the game and enjoy the majority of KH3 before the ending sequences of KG. I did have more fun playing KH3 compared to DDD for instance.

Another issue is that almost every other game has been talked to death at this point so it feels like there is nothing to add so people who did love like BBS have probably talked about it enough so they don't like there is anything to add. So even if you loved every KH game bar 3, you probably will only talk about the things you disliked in 3 because there isn't much of an urgency to talk about why you love Days' boss fights or w/e.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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I've felt this way for a while but I feel like I can't rightfully speak on it since I haven't been apart this community for years and years and garnered relationships like many others and I don't do much interaction with anyone besides an occasional post but honestly, you toke the words right out of my mouth.

Like honestly, I can't fault anyone for disliking KH3 for reasons I can understand. I actively dislike re:coded (yes, even more then DDD; fight me) but at a certain point it just feels like constant negativity and never giving credit to the things the game does right and the problems it does have isn't really anything different from past games.

And it comes from the one line of thinking that always bothered me; that KH1 was where the series was truly good or didn't have as many problems and I can't help but call BS on that. In fact, a lot of its narrative issues and also its positives came from KH1 and that has not changed at all as the series as continued. Some games were worse or better then others but I just don't believe in this turning point of the series post-BBS mindset where suddenly everything changed when it really didn't, its just that the series glaring issues became more obvious.

The only real problem I have with KH3 is that the plot moves too fast or just isn't paced very well or doesn't move anywhere at certain points. But honestly, this isn't much different from other KH games that have the exact same issues. Minus FF characters, KH3 was exactly what I expected it to be. Whether thats good or bad depends on you but I can't help but stratch my head when some fans have a sudden realization of what this series is now when its always been like this from the beginning.

And if its one of those things were you have finally given up on the series ever improving, thats fine and perfectly understandable but thats not really what bothers me truly; what bothers me are fans who are constantly negative about this series from top to bottom, never anything remotely good to say to the point were you wondered if they even liked it in the first place but keep visiting the forums and talking trash when clearly, you don't like this series anymore and you don't have faith it'll improve... so why are you here discussing like yiu have interest it in on a positive, healthy level? I mean, people have the freedom to do what they want, I'm not saying you don't, but if you've lost that much faith in this series, why you need to bring down constantly or bring down anyone who's opinion might be different? It just feels like you want to b*tch for the sake of it without doing anything that you think could improve the series or discuss things that you like at all about it. If you don't like that much, why waste the energy?

Like, I'm fine with criticism. The series needs more of that and they need to shout into a megaphone directly into Nomura's ear. But this isn't constructive criticism at this point, this is about never giving the series props for what it actually does right and calling KH3 this unforgivable sin of a game that destorys the entire series when its none of those things at all. And some people want to turn it around and say "Wow, we can never be negative about anything. Its always got to be positive." You're kidding right? Most of it is nothing but negativity and nitpicking and constant criticism and rarely anything positive when there's a lot of positive you can talk about.

Thing is, I know at the end of the day, its all subjective. I'm not saying I want to force people into being positive if they don't feel that way but... I don't know, I just wish people were a little more fair to the series and not always completely dog on it for not living up to unexpected hype. And if its a case of wanting more out of the game, that's fine because I'm all for that but treating KH3 as if its the worst thing in this series and it can never redeem itself is quite dramatic.

I just want healthy, constructive conversation; not a forum, positive or negative, that constantly agrees with each other and never wants an outside opinion that might challenge the consensus. And this coming from someone who has a lot of problems with the series but its never gotten to where I would never be fair and say it doesn't do anything right. KH3 has a lot of faults but it does so much right that people simply ignore or try to make it worse then it objectively is.

And then people want to turn around and say "well, maybe thats because everyone genuinely feels negative about the game or KH" when that's not true at all. In fact, if you really want to be objective about it, most people are pretty satisfied with the way the game turned out. Its one of those things where fandom live in a bubble and people, "well people in that bubble agree with me so that must mean everyobe feels that way" when in reality, thats not how that works.

And I'm not saying no one can be negative or be disappointed. You have every right to feel that way but constant negativity isn't good for constructive criticism just as much as constant positivity isn't either. But That's just my two cents. KH3 did everything I expected it to do. Has many highs and many lows but it has regardless made me excited for what comes next.

I think a lot of people who are complaining, myself included, continue to do so because this is how we process our feelings.

Personally, every time I find something else that disappointed me about the game and I post about it, I start to feel better about KH3 and the series. I can look at what upset me about the game in words rather than just having a bunch of random and confused thoughts in my head.

And I can’t speak for others but I still love the series regardless of my gripes with it or knowing that certain aspects of the story just aren’t my cup of tea anymore. Critiquing it or having strong negative feelings about a specific game in the series doesn’t eliminate the dozen of years many fans have spent loving and enjoying this series. It just means they were disappointed enough that they don’t want to get their hopes up anymore.
 

SweetYetSalty

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I think a lot of people who are complaining, myself included, continue to do so because this is how we process our feelings.

Personally, every time I find something else that disappointed me about the game and I post about it, I start to feel better about KH3 and the series. I can look at what upset me about the game in words rather than just having a bunch of random and confused thoughts in my head.

And I can’t speak for others but I still love the series regardless of my gripes with it or knowing that certain aspects of the story just aren’t my cup of tea anymore. Critiquing it or having strong negative feelings about a specific game in the series doesn’t eliminate the dozen of years many fans have spent loving and enjoying this series. It just means they were disappointed enough that they don’t want to get their hopes up anymore.

Same here. I have my gripes with KH3 and have voiced them on numerous Kingdom Hearts sites. But I still love this series and remain a loyal fan. I still have a blast playing KH3. My last Critical Mode run was nothing short of amazing. I want more Kingdom Hearts! I'm so sticking around for KH4 and beyond. ReMind can't get here fast enough! It feels like the wait for KH3 all over again XD
 

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I don't know. I can see how someone could be disappointed if they literally were only playing KH3 for the main original plot. But to me, I don't know, that's just not how I experienced KH3.
I think this makes a big difference and I think that's why, like you, I enjoyed the game, (and also why I liked kh3d while everybody else seemed to hate it xD). I think to many people here, that's their biggest thing. But Kingdom Hearts is a story game series so it's fair. But yea, It's not exactly how I experienced kh3, so It was a great time for me. See you later :)
 

Ballad of Caius

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


"

Hmm... Am I still in love with the series after KINGDOM HEARTS III? It's hard to say. I've bought every new entry day one, even KHIII. But, will I do the same after KH3? Maybe. I'm interested in the Foreteller Saga, and how it's unraveling. I tend to immediately watch the story updates for KHUx, so yeah, I'm still sorta "in-love" with the series, even though KH3 left a bitter taste with the disservice it gave to Xehanort and his saga.
 

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I haven't posted here yet, mostly because I'm never sure on how to articulate myself, I'm still not sure now but here goes:

I'm definitely very much in love with Kingdom Hearts, and the more I think about how awful KH3 was for me the more I end up appreciating things from every other entry, even DDD!

With regards to KH3 however I'm very much not in love with it at all, but I don't hate it, unlike what some might say. It did what it set out to do, albeit in the most efficient way possible.

That is to say, it showed the resolutions to many ongoing plot lines with no rhyme or reason as to how they happened. Yes, I know what the *canon* is for all of these but it doesn't change the fact that the Canon doesn't hold up. Audo listed a bunch of plot lines that were ended here, and he's correct in that they are no more, but it also feels like Nomura just wrote out the most important stuff on a to do list and checked them off once he'd done them, without once thinking about how to better integrate the universe that he'd created with all of these threads.


It's not that KH3 had no resolution, it's that the resolution that was given was not sufficient payoff.

So, with that detached view of KH3 in mind, I won't be buying the dlc, and if I ever do buy another KH game it'll be one that I'll have researched thoroughly, and also will likely probably be after the foreteller saga.

I hope Nomura gets a clue on just how much of the fanbase values the original content of Kingdom Hearts over the Disney, it could probably make KH better, although I doubt it.
 

DarkosOverlord

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Everything truly is a matter of perspective, including how people feel about how people feel about the series.
In the past months, I personally hardly felt what others described as negativity without any ounce of constructive criticism in it: in fact, I've read a solid amount of "they could've done this, that thing could've been played out by doing that, if only x thing was cut out or altered, this would've been fine..."

I dunno, I've seen people blindly bashing onto a product. During the FF XIII flame wars, for example, I hardly heard people saying "If only they sorted this out differently, like this for example", it was mostly a "This thing sucks, whoever likes it also sucks." No doubt KH III also has people like that, but in my opinion the fact that so many people go through the effort to replay the game multiple times, pinpointing other problematic stuff and getting into debates about how to possibly improve on it here shows they care/cared, and really just wanted this to be better.

Since how we feel about other fans and what they do has been brought up I don't think I'll do anything bad by saying my piece as well... I find going through a certain scenario or character in extesive ways more insightful than just, say, endlessly comparing KH III to KH II to ultimately prove that a ps2 game from 2005 also had bad things in it.
That's not an attack aimed towards some users who do that, but it's interesting that I see things that way in opposition to other views on the state of the fandom.
There's always going to be some level of positivity/negativity that will look "just right" to some and the end of every good thing to others. Hard to say if there's even an objective answer to that, probably not. I think it depends on how strongly you feel about the topic. I won't deny that so many people taking a stance similar to mine regarding KH III was a) unexpected, especially so soon and b) probably something that influeces my lasting period in the fandom.

Speaking of which, in regards to people wondering why ex-fans who openly say they don't like the series anymore are still sticking around... changes aren't immediate. Especially when you decide to emotionally move on from something that has been a part of your life for 17 years since you were 8. The moment I made the decision I foresaw myself still hanging around for a while. You don't just stop being involved with something the next day.
Other than that, bonds might work the same way, if I thought of a funny nitpick or thing to say and go "Oh man, I wonder how x person will react to this, that dude's a hoot!" I might just do that, I believe that's innocent enough.

I'm not accusing anybody wondering about that but here's why, at least for me. Emotions are always more complex than direct reasoning.
 
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