Have a read guys. What do you think? As for my own thoughts, I'd like to dissect the article bit by bit.
For starters I'd like to say how I differ in opinion overall from the article writer. I don't think Kingdom Hearts sucks in any way, and if I did I wouldn't be here. I do think it has its problems and can see where he's coming from, even though he often exaggerates or is downright misinformed/ignorant.
Disney is very protective of its properties, and doesn't allow people to portray its characters in ways it deems out of character. It's why Epic Mickey had the evil choice parts taken out. It's why you'll never get a Disney-themed Super Smash Bros clone (even though that would be so awesome). And it's why the Kingdom Hearts writers had their hands tied when it came to portraying the worlds. The worlds in Kingdom Hearts have to match the tone of the films they represent, sometimes through a lighter, inconsequential plot, or by following the film exactly. You can see both at work in worlds like Atlantica, where dolphin merman Sora helps solve the issues of Hans Christian Anderson's misogynistic cautionary tale by singing terrible songs about fins.
I'm sorry, but no. If Disney is the problem, the series completely falls apart by getting rid of it, because Disney is 90% of the premise.
I do understand that Disney should give more lee way with their intellectual properties to allow for more creativity in the storylines. But you know what? I don't know the extent of that, and neither does the article writer, so this is one giant assumption on their part. We don't know the creative process and corporate back-and-forth give-and-take between Square and Disney in creating these games, so it'd be stupid to pin faults mostly on Disney.
True, we know Disney limits Square to some extent. But they have progressed in these ten years a great deal, so if you find the first game to be great, there's no reason why any of the sequels can't be as good as or better than the original when they can get even more creative with Disney. I mean, we know the now iconic scene of Mickey at the end of KH1 was something that Square was restricted by (they couldn't show much of Mickey), but the way they utilized that proved they can work around limitations and make things work with what they're allowed to do.
There's some truth to this, definitely, and it's really the primary detractor. Not going to argue about this because, well, I've done so extensively already (hell, made a guest post on it here on KHU), but long story short, it's not as bad as it could be, it is very much salvageable and, well, different strokes for different folks.
Only character I agree with this on is Xion. :x
Again, different strokes for different folks.
I loved Roxas. Probably my favorite character in the series, and if this guy didn't find him engaging, I'm not going to write an extensive character analysis on him, but suffice to say that he glossed over his character and missed out on one of the deeper and more relatable characters in the series. Ven is definitely no Roxas, and I don't think he's as good as Sora either, but I still liked him.
Kingdom Hearts II, while a messy, unnecessarily complex game, managed to wrap up a lot of the loose ends by way of killing all the characters who were lame. It had a real ending, the main characters got reunited, and the world was saved. So don't mess it up. Don't bring back villains we thought were dead, or rather their heartless clone version, or whatever. Don't introduce any more pouty effeminate male characters who turn out to just be Sora, or Sora's Nobody, or Sora's heart. Stop it. They can't all be Sora.
100% agree with this, for once. That's what the series needs. And I do think it's headed in that direction. We've got all these different Soras and whatnot, but now the series will focus on saving old characters instead of making new versions of old ones.
I think DDD will get a pass for having all the different versions of Sora/Xehanort because, if anything, it'll clarify things and put them into perspective.
It's time to remember that there are other Square Enix games besides Final Fantasies VII through X. The inclusion of The World Ends With You, arguably the best JRPG of this generation (I said it!), in Dream Drop Distance is encouraging.
Um, right, you mean like FF1-6, 13, etc?
This guy assumes that now that we have TWEWY, they're going to be picking other Square properties to include as well. And that may be true in the future, but I doubt it will happen before the end of the "Xehanort saga." There's too much potential left over from FF cameos for them to use something other than FF. I do think it was a smart idea to use TWEWY (practically advertising for TWEWY 2), and that does broaden the possibilities, but for now, we should stick to what the series was built on, an FF/Disney crossover.
And there aren't many other Square games I'd like to see in KH for that matter. :/
Agreed but uh, why is he saying Sherwood Forest and Toy Story are "two places you will probably never see" in KH? If anything, they've got pretty damn good chances of getting in. I would consider Toy Story muuuuch more likely than not, especially considering those summon models of Woody and Buzz were found in KH2. Pixar is not off limits.
And I don't know why he's griping about this now when the remedy is right on the horizon- looks like we're getting new worlds from here on out, at least a significant number (BbSv2... well, we play the waiting game). But still, where was this article like, I dunno, two years ago? No sense in complaining now when we're finally getting new worlds. And, gee, I dunno, totally forgot about Birth by Sleep.
It's become a cruel joke that fans of the series have to purchase a new console or handheld every time they want to play the newest Kingdom Hearts game. So at the very least, when Kingdom Hearts 3 finally comes out it should be on all major consoles. Let's stop messing around, the days of console exclusivity for third parties doesn't make sense anymore.
This is a broader issue than Kingdom Hearts and it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the series, no idea why he included this. One can argue that going multi-console has the potential to diminish quality. Myself? I could care less what console it is on (make no mistake though, I don't want it portable lol), or how many consoles it's on, as long as it's good.
Come on, Japan, don't do this to us again. Just make it Kingdom Hearts 3. Not Kingdom H3arts: Love Lost Enigma. Or Kingdom Hearts: We are Third Pieces. Just, for once, a normal damn title. Please.
Ok, he's half right here.
358/2 Days is a horrible name. Doesn't roll off the tongue, not very aesthetically pleasing even if it is relevant (still think it should have been called CoM2). Chain of Memories was a good name. Birth by Sleep was ehhh because the concept wasn't fleshed out well and the name kinda sounds cool and kinda sounds suggestive to a casual gamer (imo should have been KH0 since it was pretty much confirmed to be that in everything but name). Dream Drop Distance is just... a bit weird. Not as bad as Days, but it's below BbS in my book. If they were going in that direction, could have made it roll of the tongue a bit better, like... Dream Drop... Drive? Or something like that. Distance starts with a D but not Dr so it sounds awkward, and the title itself is very Engrish.
But you know what? Yeah. It doesn't have a great track record with game titles. So what? Give me a horrible subtitle and an amazing game, in the end, it doesn't matter that much, and that's hardly a substantial suggestion for how to improve the series...
In any case, he needs to stop being a wise ass. He knows as much as we do that KH3 will be called... KH3.
We're about to play our seventh Kingdom Hearts game, and there have been three completely separate Kingdom Hearts, and nobody has set foot in that place? That's ridiculous and unforgivable. If Halo 7 came out and nobody had been to a Halo we would be furious.
Another pretty random suggestion. Yeah, cool idea, and I think it'll probably happen, but I don't see how this is such an amazing idea for how to improve the series.
For the record, we already went inside KH in KH2... albeit a fake one.
But I like the fact that we haven't been in KH yet, it's something I'd like to see saved for KH3. KH has been a very abstract, mysterious thing, and to bring it into the concrete would be something you want to save for the finale (of this arc anyway).