So, as I was browsing the internet, I came across something rather surprising. The headline read something along the lines of “Kindom Hearts 3 Extended Trailer,” … at first it didn’t hit me; I had to do a double take on what I was seeing. Initially I’d think that something like this I would have already seen, but then, I hadn’t seen anything new for months and I knew it had to be new and amazing cause otherwise it wouldn’t be such a big deal. I figured at first it was a new trailer, but actually it’s what the Japanese players of KH2: Final Mix got to see instead of our lame-ass secret trailer. Well, in any case, we finally have it here now… I found this video on YouTube of both Secret Trailers. Enjoy!
Awesome! I can’t easily put to words how eager I am for KH3; it is easily one of my most anticipated games for the upcoming generation, and nothing will stop me from playing this game the day it comes out. Come hell or high water, or more likely, myself still not owning a PS3 (despite the fact that will no doubt be years from now), I will play this game right away. Heck, I bet there will be midnight lines for this game, and I’ll be waiting in one of them.
[my thoughts on Kingdom Hearts and things to come]
So, first the story of Kindom Hearts from the beginning. Initially, Kindom Hearts was released and there were two majority schools of thought: one, Fanboy love, beit Square/Final Fantasy or Disney; or two, illogical irrefutable undeniable loathing of the whole thing, beit from system war stuff, hatred of all things cute and somewhat adorable, hatred of all things Square/Final Fantasy/RPG. Of course there were other lesser common schools of thought as well, such as open-mindedness minus any assumptions, having played it and thusly liked/disliked it, etc. I belonged to some of the lesser common schools of thought. Now mind you I say “some” and not “one.” I enjoyed it while I played it very much, but didn’t beat it during my initial playing of it and once I stopped playing it, I started to dislike it more and more.
Anyway, at the time, I didn’t have a PS2 and to play it, or more correctly, watch it be played, I went over to a few of my friends’ houses and would watch them play, as well as sometimes playing it a little bit myself. It wasn’t till months later, when the game went Greatest Hits that I bought it for myself. It was actually coincidence that I bought it then because I was buying it simply because it was a game I wanted, and there was now a readily available PS2 in my home. This is actually when I really started playing the game, with my own save file and my own stacking progrssion of the game, i.e. my first progress towards actually completing it.
Now, I was enjoying the game, this could not be denied, but to say that the game was perfect could not be more of a stretch of the imagination. The game’s directing was good, the cinematics, CG, action sequences, acting, graphics and such were all amazing, but the game suffered on so many other levels. They were all annoying beginner mistakes in game development; poor camera, poor lock-on, shody combat mechanics and combo mechanics, irritating move sets, poor level design, sometimes good sometimes terrible dialogue, complete debauchery of our loved Disney movies, and complete use of cliche FF characters, etc. Regardless of these things however, the game’s characters and story, intertwining of Disney magic and Final Fantasy characters and mood into the new content was well done. The game made you feel emotinally attached and made you feel drawn in; granted this was due largely to the phenomenal musical score of the game, it was a mission accomplished. After you finished it, you felt happy to have played a great game, and look forward oh so much to Kingdom Hearts 2.
So considering all of this, I felt Kingdom Hearts was an okay game. So so so many shortcomings, but still with some great stuff. I went in with this attitude to Kindom Hearts 2. Now, let me take a moment here to talk about a bit of hindsight I have on the series. At the time, I did not know how much to appreciate the amazing director of Kindom Hearts. The man truly is an artistic genius! I’d say he’s not as radically creative or original, as in, he has an idea in his mind of what is cool and will repeatedly do that despite overuse, but it will still be cool. I guess my tastes and his just mesh well. Anyway, this is part of why I appreciated him. The rest of it is because he didn’t try to fool us.
He made this story for the game, somewhat planned out, and told us that we would only get a part of it, and told us that it was “To be continued…” Too many designers and developers today come up with a half-assed story, put half of their ass into putting it into a game, give some shitty even halfer assed enigmatic ending saying that i’ll be in the sequel that’ll also sell so well. This is something that you can just know wasn’t the case with KH. Granted, the story in KH2 probably wasn’t as developed during the final stages of KH as it was nearing completion of KH2, but you know they had an idea to build upon. Or at least, they took the leap in giving us something enigmatic and cryptic that was solid and not just inconclusive. Something that they used as the foundation to build their story on for KH2. I appreciate that.
Then there’s calling it ‘Kingdom Hearts 2.’ Thank you, thank you, for not calling it Kindom Hearts: Stupid Sub-Text, because that’s what it is, Kindom Hearts 2, a continuation of the first one. Ok ok, there’s KH: Chain of Memories, but there is an understanding that it is somewhat of an in-between spin-off, and not exactly mainstream. Now, CoM is actually amazing because of how incredibly it ties the story between KH and KH2, and I can’t easily explain how much I appreciate not just giving us some crappy side-story or something, but at the same time, no one needs to play CoM to get the KH series (though it is nice to see the final few moments in the game and such, and as such is still rewarding for those of us that did play it). CoM still has a lot of the whole port-esque air to it where they just strung together some terrible levels to relive the moments in the first KH, but it gives you plenty of new story stuff with a pretty decent combat system (that had it’s frustrations too mind you).
Which gets us to KH2. Like I said, looking back, my attitude towards KH2 was meh. I knew it’d be the same thing as so far. Decent story development and stuff, complete uncertainty of how it would all tie together, lack of an end in sight, decent directing and stuff, but mild combat mechanics and frustrating gameplay. One thing that I must say, is that when Square and Enix merged, I really didn’t give Enix the credit they deserved. Anyone that has played KH2 knows that the combat in that game is a blast. It of course still has its shortcomings, but regardless, it is a lot of fun to fight enemies in that game, and I believe this to be largely attributed to Enix’s development on the game. So ok, I’ve got that down, great fun combat, like, 100x times better than the first KH, and this is all on top of the otherwise already good directing to the game, good cinematic design, fight choreography, CG, acting, game overall design, etc. Level design was still often meh, and there were plenty of other annoyances to the game, but KH2 I love.
First, I must comment on the story. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the story in KH2 to be as good as it was, and it makes me laugh how much of the story they give you in KH and CoM that fits in so well with it’s “conclusion” in KH2. The music was still great (though not as good), but the story developement, and direction for the game were both so good, that I was literally blown away. The game somehow managed to be entirely enigmatic to start off, but still make complete sense, give growth of the characters and the story in ways I couldn’t have predicted! It gives me a feeling I don’t want to do the injustice of describing in words when you start playing and you recall super-tall Goofy towering above you from the first game, to being shorter than you in this game.
Anyway, so KH2 is fantastic, with so few shortcomings. It fills out a great story that was left somewhat poorly at the end of KH and CoM, still incorporating well the worlds of Disney and FF (though, both suffer from their original incarnations a bit) It has amazing art direction and development, amazing fight and cinematic choreography, and a wonderful look at humanity with an approach focusing on semantics that I love so much. Looking back, the only real thing that bothers me about the game is the inconclusive ending.
Earlier I mentioned a bit about the tendency for game designers and developers to give you what they got, and then toss on an enigmatic inconclusive ending thing at the end of their games Well, it bothered me when they did that in this game. I was again ready to commend the director for having the gall and determination to actually conclude his game, say that this is it, this is the ending, but alas, he did stick on the all to overused “hey we’re not done yet!” ending. And while I am pleased that they aren’t done, I knew even before that they weren’t done, and they didn’t need this extra bit of an ending to do that. Though the extra secret ending is something I am very happy for. It is very similar to the first extra secret ending to the first game, and, as such, I have no doubts that they will do a good job with it. Yes it’s cool, it’s fun, but at the same time, I was disappointed that I couldn’t have more (but then that’s where this new trailer comes in).
This new trailer fills me with excitememt that I think I should have had in the first place. Sure the stuff they tell us in these trailers is so random and irrelevant that they can do whatever they want with these vague ideas and concepts, but I mean, I have faith in the quality that they will give us. The Kindom Hearts director is truly one of my favorites, and if the leap from KH2 to KH3 is even half of what was in KH to KH2, I will be too happy. Oh, and I’m also thrilled he’s working on FFXIII, I look forward to that game now.
Btw, Sora is still a crappy name and Roxas is an awesome name; Sora’s name should have been Roxas. I love the Keyblade weapon, and I love the idea of the trans-dimentional warrior that they are developing as Sora, the wielder of the Keyblade (well, whatever that used to mean). I think I join us all when I say, *sigh* Mushroom Kingdom Hearts…
…Good one EGM.