Every time a Kingdom Hearts game has come out, I have been in a drastically different point in my life. When I finally played Kingdom Hearts 2 in High School, it was not brand new… but neither was I. I was 17 or 18 at the time, and a friend had let me borrow their strategy guides for it as well as Final Fantasy X. The game came out in 2002 and whenever I did pick it up, I was very new to Playstation 2 as I had previously had a Gamecube. The game was fun, let you be a merman, and really sold itself as a mash up of Disney meets Final Fantasy. Things were simple then.
My girlfriend played Chain of Memories on the GBA, which I did not own at the time, and I dismissed it as a side game that I was going to skip.
Then Kingdom Hearts 2 came out on 2005
Out of my teens and into my 20’s I started going to Anime conventions as I attempted college. People cosplayed Cloud from both FFVII and the Vincent-ly dressed version of Cloud from Kingdom Hearts. Lots of women dressed up as Sora as well as Riku as they acted very attracted to each other.
Then Kingdom Hearts 2 came out on 2005. I played fighting games such as Guilty Gear X2 and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 on my PS2 at the college on their big screen old school HD TV EVERY DAY, and that was an amazing time.
I worked at GameStop as both a GA and an SGA and I was there when we launched the game. We did not do a midnight release for it, but I was dressed extra nice as I sold it. I was so *into* the idea of Kingdom Hearts that I did next to nothing else but play that game for 2 days as I beat it. I then beat it a second time on proud mode, which was not that hard, and then… I got that special ending. How would the world know that we would have to wait until 2019 to play Kingdom Hearts III?
I skipped every single handheld game that was a ‘spin off’ of Kingdom Hearts. We never got the final mixes on PS2, but we did get KH Re-Chain of memory which in Japan was bundled with Final Mix… which was upsetting. My attention from Kingdom Hearts really started to waver, but anytime there was something of interest, I’d pop my head back over… similar to how I kept up with Power Rangers, I suppose.
Cosplayers would come on stage claiming to be the Kingdom Hearts III version of Rinoa and Squall, each carrying a Keyblade, and there used to just be so much excitement for III. Then we waited the full 16 years, and in the meantime watched almost every single movie in phase 1-3 of The Marvel Cinematic Universe. WTF?!
Apparently I was supposed to play all of the side games… but once again, I stayed console pure as I dislike handheld experiences. I missed Hunchback and 3 Mouseketeers apparently, but oh well… they would re-hash them in KH3 like 2 did with The Little Mermaid, right? We had the final mixes finally come out, but by then I was not interested enough to even finish the two collections all the way through.
Kingdom Hearts I-III is the story about me growing up. I do not play as many games as I once did. My circle of friends has grown and shrunk, and no one is the same for this video game journey. The idea of love and friendship winning out over anything is just… not as appealing as it once was. I don’t even watch every Disney movie, skipping all Toy Story sequels as well as Big Hero 6 just to name a few. It’s depressing and convoluted as I desperately try to cling to the things and people from my past.
Disney once held so much love in my heart, and now I realize what they are. Also, the Final Fantasy characters are almost all MIA and I’m trapped with the convoluted mess of a story that is Kingdom Hearts… that I largely passed on because all I wanted was a new numbered console game that was a Disney x Final Fantasy cross over.
I will eventually beat Kingdom Hearts, but I keep breaking because I do not want to do this that or the other as I watch so SO SOOOOOOOO many cutscenes that I end up having to take breaks between them.
I get it. Organization XIII is up to no good. Can I please get back to the Disney World that I don’t care about from Disney’s new, anti-2D but pro 3D, renaissance? Please?