So sure. You could judge the game before you play it. You could get mad about the uninspired world choices, but if Nomura can still tell a good story with what he was allowed to work with, then we should be excited and withhold our judgment till we have experienced the whole.
Your commentary only proves my point, which is that KH1 and 2 succeeded where KH3 confounds and disappoints in this regard. Nomura was able to craft stories utilizing a wide range of Disney IPs in past games which lent the franchise a sense of creative breadth, the creative foundations of the series notwithstanding-- indeed, it was the Disney brand reputation which constituted both the series' main selling point and
its primary hurdle to overcome from the early stages of development through to the marketing side. The fact that Nomura and co. were able to defy expectations and create a successful crossover with actual franchise potential considering the content he had to work with and the prejudices he had to subvert (mine own included) is not (just) the result of a lucky pitch or a stroke of genius; rather there was an obvious, concerted effort with the first title to press against the boundaries of what a Disney video game could offer to players in terms of narrative, gameplay and aesthetics. KH1 and the subsequent entries have largely succeeded based on the merits of a willingness to go against the finely polished grain of Disney's mega-corporate status and substitute the standard assurances which accompany it with less predictable gaming experiences that don't shy from veering off the beaten path and making weird decisions which are in no way guaranteed to garner popularity. The idea is that it's not enough to just rehash the same Disney ubiquity which we are constantly exposed to, but that there's a mandate to expand upon and occasionally challenge or redefine its dimensions. KH3 is, in so many ways, more akin to what many supposed KH1 would be in its approach: a Kids Bop! style hits album of Disney's popularest eyecandy personified in a thinly narrated excuse to put anime shit and Mickey Mouse on the same Hot Topic t-shirt.
That's why I say Disney doesn't understand the appeal. This is all relative, of course: yes, KH is still a Disney franchise with basically cynical consumerist ambitions to make the big bucks for its producers, but there is nevertheless something to be said for the conceptual craftsmanship of the previous games implied within that unwillingness to settle for the easy angle. With the exception of KH2's first half, which we all hate anyway.
Iâ€™m glad we have Disney worlds that actually fit with the main plot this time. The world choices in this game are inspired because they were decided based on what worked best for the story rather than just picking random Disney properties out of a hat.
I don't think I've ever seen a justification for a Disney world that couldn't work within the context of a KH game (because the whole series is structured around stock Disney motifs), and KH3 in particular could have benefited from a spectrum of lesser known titles which are not superior because they are unpopular but because they are both directly relevant to themes and storylines that KH3 has at its center and, at the same time, they stand as distinctive markers within a stratified universe. Unlike KoC and Arendelle, or Toy Box and San Fransokyo, which are essentially cut from the same cloth with some decorative differences, worlds like that of Black Cauldron, Atlantis, Alice in Wonderland, and Lilo & Stitch are all like little cultural microcosms that provide a sense of range and scale to the universe, from the ancient and long-hidden underwater civilization to the war-torn kingdom to the quiet, intimate beach town to the bizarre dreamscape, they each have a character that is all their own and the reason for visiting the Disney worlds is to watch our protagonist's story collide with and influence and, ultimately, depart having been influenced in return by the internal convolutions of each Disney setting. So knowing that the KH plot will be literally going on "in the background" of the Frozen
story, or that Toy Box and BH6 are "canon" so there are now restrictions on what can and can't take place and everything has to adhere to previously established plot mechanics which follow from a story that was never intended to accommodate the KH universe, is disheartening. I don't care that Organization members show up in the world to babble incomprehensibly at Sora, that's a lazy shortcut to making them seem essential when any Disney (or original world) setting could serve the same purpose.
Any Disney movie can be made to resonate with the plot of KH with barely any work at all. Inspired selections go beyond that to consider what the KH universe looks like with them in it. KH3, despite showcasing these individually sizable worlds, ends up feeling rather small.