Okay, so, by the time you’ll be reading this, I’ll probably be in my room with a mountain of Dr Pepper and snacks with my door closed playing Kingdom Hearts 3 but honestly, that sentence still seems unbelievable. But as I’m writing this, we’re mere hours away from Kingdom Hearts 3 and my brain still cannot seem to process that information. We’ve just been waiting so long that my brain cannot seem to cope with the fact Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming and it is coming VERY soon.
Kingdom Hearts has been an important series in my life. My brother has been playing it since it came out way back in 2002. I still remember the very first time I picked up that Play Station 2 controller, the first time I heard Dearly Beloved on that title screen. Little did five year old me in 2004 know how much it would impact my life. Now, the first game may have taken me two months and a lot of help from my brother to complete but it was the first time I had ever completed a game and I just felt so accomplished and happy. Even then, I knew I could not wait for the next one. I needed it. I needed more Sora, Riku and Kairi in my life.
Later in 2004 came Chain Of Memories which I must admit, wasn’t and still isn’t my favourite. I love the story so much but the game play leaves something to be desired, let’s just say I’m so glad those cards did not make another appearance! Although, with Chain of Memories came Axel who quickly became my favourite character in the series and still remains very near the top of the list, just missing out to one other which we will get to in a minute. But, unfortunately, I became annoyed with it and wasn’t a huge fan of the fact that it was on the Game Boy so I didn’t finish it.
Luckily, just over a year later, it happened. Kingdom Hearts 2 was finally released into the world after being pushed away a couple times. Little did I know that having to wait a couple years for Kingdom Hearts 2 would feel like nothing later on. But, with Kingdom Hearts 2 came Roxas, who within five minutes became my favourite and still remains my favourite character of the whole series. Whilst I was playing as Roxas, I didn’t even really miss Sora. I just adored Roxas and his story was so sad that even seven year old me was crying at THAT part between Roxas and Axel. Kingdom Hearts 2 still remains my favourite game in this series, well, for now. I just love it. It takes the whole Kingdom Hearts story to places that I didn’t even think were possible and just wove this story through webs and connected the games in ways that I couldn’t even imagine. Like Sora turning himself Heartless? Had completely forgotten about it until the reveal. The bit where Axel sacrifices himself? Still the most emotional moment on the series for me. It is just truly a game that I hold very close to my heart and just love so much it hurts me. Roxas is just a character that I adore with my full heart and wish nothing but for him to get the happy ending he deserves.
Three years after that, we got 358/2 Days which is (and don’t fight me on this because you know I’m right,) is the most emotional game of the series. As an avid lover of Axel and Roxas, I loved playing through this game because it was Roxas’ story and though I was sad because of what the Organization did to him, I loved playing as him. And, when Xion came along, she quickly became one of my favourites and the Sea Salt Trio just became my absolute life. Apart from the ending which just had me in floods of tears because I couldn’t cope with how sad it was. But never the less, it’s such an incredibly emotional game that I’m sure pulled on everyone’s heartstrings. Honestly, even thinking about it just makes me tear up.
Birth By Sleep came next and honestly, if Kingdom Hearts 2 wasn’t so incredible, this would definitely be my favourite one. I love the combat in Birth By Sleep and I love the three main characters so much. The story is so sad and in some parts so frustrating because I just want to scream at everyone to listen to Aqua but it’s such a good story that leads so nicely into Kingdom Hearts 3. Aqua, Ventus and Terra are definitely three characters that I think very highly of and want to see have happiness together because it’s what they deserve. Aqua is one of the first female characters that I was looking up to, she’s just so strong and so kick ass, she loves her friends so much and it made me want to be a better friend and I like to think that she has constantly inspired me through my life. Ventus is just my little puppy dog who I want to hug and Terra just deserves better okay, stop hating on my man. Also in Birth By Sleep, Zack Fair appears and oh my gosh guys, I love him so much. Let’s not talk about Final Fantasy VII.
Dream Drop Distance is also a great game but it isn’t my favourite, I must admit. The story is so sweet and really focuses on these characters but the game play isn’t my favourite. The combat is nice but I was never really a fan of the whole dropping to sleep thing, it just annoyed me.
Also, I have to give a quick shout out to the remixes because they kind of made me feel like Chain of Memories. I mean I still wouldn’t choose to play it if I was playing one but it was bearable. Also, the graphics are just amazing, it was so good to see them all in HD rather than on my PS2. 358/2 Days definitely made me cry more seeing it just as a movie too, like, I’m fine. (I’m not)
So, yes, I love Kingdom Hearts so much. These games just have the absolute biggest place in my heart and I just love the fact they focus on friendship and how it’s stronger than the darkness. I love that we have so many amazing characters that teach us many things along the way. We have these stories that bring out so many emotions in all of us. Also, it’s just a huge rock for me. I’m in the process of writing up a blog post about January and what’s been going on but what I will say is that through this time, Kingdom Hearts has been the thing keeping me grounded. Thinking about the newest release and just playing through these games has kept me so grounded and I am so thankful for that. I don’t think I’d be in the comfortable place I am now without these games and my friends.
On this day, currently just under four hours until the release, I’d just like to celebrate this franchise and how much it’s done for me and so many other people. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been building up to the next main game in the series for thirteen years. But, you know what, it’s been so worth the wait. Last few months have been full of excitement and has bought so many people together. So, even if you’re a first timer, I hope you love it. And for all of you fans that have been waiting for a long time, here we go. I’m scared guys. But, I’m also so excited. I can’t wait to play and then see what’s next.
Kingdom Hearts has truly changed my life and I’m so thankful for that.
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