9 Things We Want From Kingdom Hearts 3
Wishing upon many stars.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is so close, we can almost taste it. After 10 long years, it goes without saying that fans have had more than enough time to think about what they want out of the franchise’s latest release. Since 2018 is shaping up to be the year of bombastic sequels, our expectations are definitely high. While we’ve seen a bunch of beautiful trailers, it remains to be seen if Square Enix’s latest will address some of the shortcomings of its predecessors. Here are nine things we want from Kingdom Hearts 3.
Kingdom Hearts 3’s release date is yet to be revealed, but we know that it will be coming later this year to both Playstation 4 and Xbox One. For an update on what to expect from this title, check out the latest footage from the game, complete with a screenshot gallery featuring Disney favourites like Ariel and Rapunzel. If it’s a look at the development of this long-awaited game that you’re interested in, then hop on over to our interview with director Tetsuya Nomura.
Kingdom Hearts 3 made our list of the biggest PS4 games to play in 2018. If you’re curious about what else we’re looking forward to this year on the PlayStation, check out our in-depth gallery. You can also check out our galleries detailing the biggest Xbox games, Switch games, and PC games to come in 2018. For a broader look at what the year has in store, check out our feature focusing on the biggest games to play in 2018 in general.
Famitsu did a poll in 2017 for Kingdom Hearts' 15th anniversary, asking fans which Final Fantasy character they’d most like to see make an appearance in the franchise. The winner by a large margin was Noctis Lucis Caelum. Plenty of characters from the franchise have already appeared alongside Sora and the gang, so it makes sense to include the newest member of the Final Fantasy family for a Square Enix double feature. Now that we’ve seen Noctis in Dissidia, we know that he’s more than qualified to kick ass with the best of them. Taking on some Heartless will be child’s play.
Out of all the worlds that have been confirmed so far for Kingdom Hearts 3, there’s definitely more than enough variety across the board to keep fans entertained. From Mount Olympus and Toy Story World to favorites like Yen Sid’s tower, it’s clear that Square Enix are going out of their way to keep things fresh. Nothing quite says fresh like an aquatic paradise. Enter: Atlantis. One of Disney’s classics, stunning environments like the ruined kingdom itself and Atlantis’ subterranean ocean caverns would look mint on the Playstation and Xbox hardware. Plus, the Leviathan would be a boss fight to remember.
No Star Wars And No Marvel
The odds of Star Wars making it into Kingdom Hearts 3 aren’t great. We know that there’s an interesting professional relationship with Disney and EA when it comes to who gets to make Star Wars games, and even with the fiasco surrounding Battlefront 2, we don’t see that changing any time soon. The Pirates of the Caribbean sections of Kingdom Hearts 2 were admittedly its weakest; maybe it was because the live-action source material didn’t translate well, or maybe because it’s just not a good fit for the franchise. Either way, it proved that Kingdom Hearts should stick to its roots when it comes to arming beloved childhood cartoon characters. We’ve already seen enough of the Skywalkers and the Captain Americas of the universe kicking butt. But if you had to put Star Wars in Kingdom Hearts, then we have two words for you: lightsaber keyblade.
Upping The Ante With The Minigames
The minigames are a Kingdom Hearts staple. They’ve seen many incarnations since the first Kingdom Hearts game, ranging from odd jobs and riffs on Pokemon battles to musical quick time events. While it goes without saying that we’ll likely be spoiled for choice when it comes to Kingdom Hearts 3’s optional content, it would be nice if the minigames were a little more mechanically demanding on regular difficulties. For example, have a musical minigame that mimics rhythm games instead, or maybe revamp the gummi ship’s image as baby’s first rail shooter. The possibilities are endless.
An Updated Combat System
You could probably have button-mashed your way through Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 with the coordination of a drunken sailor and still managed to come out on top. We’ve seen additions like QTEs and improvements to movesets over the years, but we haven’t really hit the sweet spot yet when it comes to how combat feels. Birth By Sleep and Dream Drop Distance did their part in making fights a little more challenging, but there has always been the sense of still having fat to trim when it comes to relying on Dream Eaters and the easily exploitable Command Deck system. All signs point it combat resembling some of Kingdom Hearts 2's battles, so hopefully this new combat system that incorporates the aesthetic charm of the older titles with the sensibilities of the newer, minus all the bloat.
Kairi is more than a series regular; she’s won a place in all of our hearts. While we’re realistically not going to get anything more than a chaste companionship blooming between her and Sora, it’s not too much to ask that she gets some character development for a change. Considering that Square Enix have confirmed that Roxas will show up in Kingdom Hearts 3, there’s plenty of opportunities for the core's friendship to be sorely tested in ways that will hopefully give us more insight into Kairi’s character. Of course, just having her play a bigger part would be nice too; after all, she can wield a Keyblade.
A Contained And Coherent Narrative
There’s no doubt that Kingdom Hearts is the kind of franchise that rewards dedication and persistence across multiple titles. If you’ve followed along with every iteration of the game then you’ll know that if the story was any more splintered it would be near impossible to keep up with. However, there’s no doubt that 2018’s release will draw some newcomers into the fold. On behalf of them and for those who have subjected themselves to the mobile game for two crumbs of context related to HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts 3: can we please get a storyline that we’ll be able to understand from start to finish without descending into paranoia and despair?
Refined Camera Settings
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix was infamous for its camera miniboss. Half of the gameplay’s difficulty came from having to tame a wildly swinging camera. Over time, not that much has changed--all of us know the pain of Dream Drop Distance’s nausea-inducing camera movement at inopportune moments. Now that we’ve had a good 10 years to get this stuff right, it’s reasonable to expect that we’ll be able to have camera controls and sensitivity adjustments that we deserved all along.
A Forward-Looking Secret Ending
The secret endings are a siren song to every completionist out there. For an RPG franchise like Kingdom Hearts, they’re nigh unmissable. As a consolation prize, the secret ending of our dreams would get rid of the Xehanort-shaped elephant in the room and pave the way for Kingdom Hearts 4. We know there’s more to the game’s universe than Organisation XIII, so what better way to keep fans hooked than to tease at the next big thing on the horizon that has to be defeated by the power of friendship?