We’ve spent quite a bit of time on the podcast talking about Kingdom Hearts III — from its trials and tribulations with a release date to what worlds and characters we want to see included in the final build. A lot of that has to do with how much just about everyone affiliated with Team Objection cares about the franchise.
With some recent new information from the trailer shown at Disney’s D3, we learned that the game is slated for a 2018 release and that we’ll be headed to Andy’s room for a world based on Toy Story. Both of those are good news. But now that we know a little bit more, it’s also honed my expectations a bit for what else we’re going to see in KH3:
- Since this is supposed to be the end of Sora’s arc, the most important thing to me is that the characters closest to him get the appropriate amount of screen time and closure. There’s a lot to like about some of the new faces that were introduced in the side games, and I’m excited to learn more about Roxas and Aqua and Lea and several others in III. But that can’t come at the expense of the original trilogy, Sora, Riku and Kairi. I’m of the opinion that all three should be playable at some point, or at the very least included as party members like Donald and Goofy.
- Speaking of which, it’s about time Kairi gets to do something, right? She’s been training with Yen Sid, so hopefully that’s a sign that she’s ready to join the spotlight instead of being a plot device who keeps getting yanked out of Sora’s reach.
- As more time passed between II and III, I used to think that I wanted Disney to capitalize on the new properties they had acquired in the gap: Star Wars, Marvel…ESPN? And while there are still some cool possibilities out there (like a Clone Wars world, for example), at this point I think it’s better to steer clear. There are already so many threads to resolve in III, and tons of Disney series that we haven’t touched yet. So far the selections are rock solid: Tangled, Big Hero 6, Toy Story, and Mount Olympus (which is certainly better than the Coliseum for the 90th time).
- We’ve been told there will be fewer Disney worlds, and I think that’s a good decision. Both of the first two games struggle a bit with pacing, and there are times where you almost feel forced to go through a Disney area just to get back to the main story (and for the record, I’m somebody who likes the inclusion of Disney material quite a bit). As such, it would be better to focus more on fewer worlds, making them a little more flushed out and longer in the process.
- I think we should get an additional 11 or 12 Ansems in KHIII. There clearly aren’t enough yet.
- Seeing more in-game footage makes it look like the combat is fluid, exciting and visually impressive. That’s great — one of II’s biggest strengths over the original is the battle system and how much fun it is. That said, reaction commands should be kept to a respectable level. Nothing ruined an awesome action sequence in the sequel more than doing it several times in the same fight. And I swear to god, if anyone says anything about getting up on the Hydra’s back, that game disc is getting shattered into a thousand pieces.
- Please make the Gummi Ship sections not suck. I’d rather not have them at all, but it looks like that’s not happening. II was an improvement, but there’s still plenty of work to do.
- I’d like to see the game come out. Outlandish, I know. A 2018 date is great, and miles ahead of expectations as recently as a month ago. But the clock keeps ticking on the gap between major releases — we’re looking at a dozen years if the release window holds up. Don’t make us wait all that time and then screw it up at the finish line. To be clear, a delay would be better than a faulty, incomplete product, but that just understates the importance of not giving a date if you’re unsure it will pan out.
I’m excited for Kingdom Hearts III. I love the series, and now that we’re finally getting more details, it looks like a fun game to play with breathtaking visuals (the Toy Story world looked phenomenal). Now I just hope it can deliver on all that promise.