Kingdom Hearts is one of the most successful video game franchises that has been on shelves in the past decade and audiences have gotten a full dose of remakes of the title from developer Square Enix. The developers have release two HD reinventions over the past two years, redefining the first six games of the series in pristine high definition quality. It is said that these remakes apparently served as a great preparation for the next highly anticipated sequel in the saga.
Kingdom Hearts III is to be the next title in the famed franchise and it has been nothing but torture for the series’ hardcore fans since the game was announced in summer of 2012. No official release date is in sight, although many are anticipating it to be in stores sometime in 2016. A recent flub remark by the voice actor that plays Goofy in the games began to run amuck when he was answering fan questions on Twitter. One Kingdom Hearts fan asked when they could expect to see KH3 makes its way onto the market and the voice actor responded by saying that they had been recording it for a number of years now and that it was due out at the end of 2015. Square Enix quickly retaliated by confirming that there was no official timing scheduled for its release, although they never said the game was not coming out in 2015.
In a recent interview with Kotaku UK, the co-director of Kingdom Hearts III and the two HD remakes, Tai Yasue, stated that working on the 1.5 and 2.5 high definition versions of the game were excellent training for KH3. The developers were apparently working on Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD and KH3 at the same time. Yasue stated that revamping the series with the HD titles allowed the developers to relive the magic of what made Kingdom Hearts so incredibly special. He states that the next title will still have the heart that holds the series together for its trademark value, but they will also be steering in a new direction with KH3.
Perhaps the intricate amount of time taken on the reinvention of the prior titles allowed for much creative inspiration for the third official sequel. It is said that the title will be much more mature than its predecessors and reasonably so, as the original fans of the game are at least 10-15 years older than they were when they began playing Kingdom Hearts. It is also known that there is a high possibility that Star Wars and Marvel characters will be able to make an appearance in the new game since Disney has now acquired the rights to the two franchises.
Another noteworthy statement Yasue made in his interview was the dedication that the team must make to staying true to the Disney brand when using their characters. For those that do not know, Kingdom Hearts blends the stories of characters from the Disney realm with Square Enix’s own Final Fantasy universe for a completely unique storytelling experience. The specificity of recreating the iconic Disney characters is what allows for a great sense of nostalgia and what keeps the fans coming back for more according to Yasue. A step is taken even further when the development team uses their ultimate creativity to make what may seem like familiar tales come to life in a vibrant new way.
Kingdom Hearts III will still be some time, but fans can take comfort in knowing that the title will be in safe hands by those at Square Enix. All nine of the previously released titles in the saga are available now.
Opinion by Cody Collier