This is honestly rather an epiphany for me. I’ll be upfront. My favorite TV show of all time is LOST. I will not even attempt to describe or make sense out of the mystery of that show, but one thing the series was known for was to make the fandom think and come up with their own theories about the unfolding plot from one episode to the next. On top of that, the show had this keen ability to raise more questions in a single episode than it answered, often times putting to bed theories we had formulating for a few episodes back, to even questions lingering from seasons past. Looking back on that show now, I’m so thankful I got to watch the show over the six years it aired, long before instant streaming on Netflix and Hulu came along. Otherwise, the joy of thinking and experiencing the show’s plot would not have had a lasting impact if it was just dropped in my lap all at once.
Moreover, my favorite film franchise of all time is Star Wars. When Disney bought out Lucasfilm a few years ago the Expanded Universe, encompassing everything from novels, comics, and video games was essentially wiped out of existence, and the canon reverted back to a clean slate. Since then there have been many good stories in novels and comic books that have cemented themselves into the framework of the Star Wars saga. Today I still get to see these movies, which I have seen hundreds of times over the years, through new eyes. I could finish the latest video game and watch Return of the Jedi only to think that, “oh yeah, so Inferno Squad (from Battlefront II) is also wandering the Forest Moon of Endor [offscreen], tracking down the Rebels right now. Cool.”
That being said, could my interests in film, television, or other mediums be a good factor in jumping immediately into Kingdom Hearts III? Do I rob myself of all kinds of enjoyment, whether by story, gameplay, or music, by jumping that large gap now? On the other hand, is there still a lot of enjoyment to be found by filling in the gaps later, finding answers to questions after the end credits have rolled? I’ve reached an impasse, but I think no matter what happens my interest and curiosity to learn more about Kingdom Hearts, and its story and characters, won’t be diminished any less. Admittedly, I do already have questions continuing to form in my head. For one, if Sora secured the locks to many worlds in the first game, why does he return to some of those worlds again in future games?
More and more it looks like Kingdom Hearts III is a treasure trove full of fun. It looks brilliant to play, and it may just be difficult to put that controller down. Where the original Kingdom Hearts had small scaled worlds, the Disney worlds of Kingdom Hearts III are expansive and more open to exploration than ever before. I also see friends sharing their in-game pictures through social media and it has been terribly hard to resist visiting places like Andy’s Room from Toy Story, the frost-laden slopes of Frozen’s Arendelle, or the grassy plains of the Kingdom of Corona from Tangled.
Perhaps for a few gamers, Kingdom Hearts III acts as a fun romp through many iconic Disney brands set against the foreground of a modern day Japanese RPG. For a significant number of people around the globe, Kingdom Hearts III is the culmination of many years of waiting, of appreciating and even dissecting every single morsel of the “stepping stone” games leading up to this chapter’s release. I understand that Kingdom Hearts is far from over, but a significant plot thread; this so-called “Dark Seeker Saga”, will finally draw to a close and you can fully expect that an event like this is going to carry some exceptional weight.
Therefore I will welcome suggestions on how to best experience Kingdom Hearts III. Would the best approach be to just go for it and get started with the final chapter? Perhaps I should bide my time and experience some other stories to make Kingdom Hearts III more enjoyable, or maybe more understandable in regards to the overarching plot. Given how tumultuous the series’ plot has been over the years with so many spin-off games, it could be conceived that it would only be fitting that there’s no right or wrong point to begin Kingdom Hearts III. That’s because I believe that Kingdom Hearts, at its very core, is more than a series of fragmented chapters or games, but now, more than ever (or at least I think), a complete and heartful lifestyle.
Thank you for having a read. If you do consider yourself a fan of Kingdom Hearts what would you suggest for a series newcomer? Also, be sure to take a look at our Kingdom Hearts retrospective leading up to the launch of Kingdom Hearts III, for which we also have a review. For more on Kingdom Hearts and other gaming goodness be sure to keep your eyes on Mammoth Gamers!