Kingdom Hearts III

   After nearly five years of waiting, “Kingdom Hearts III” will finally be released at some point in 2018.

   The game was originally announced for the Playstation 4 at E3 2013, causing a stir among fans that were excited for the release of another main series installment. However, with the wait finally coming to an end with a solid release date for this year, fans are gearing up for when the game drops in stores.

   As “Kingdom Hearts” has always featured worlds that the characters traverse through that are based on Disney films, it comes as no surprise that the latest game would follow suit. So far, worlds for “Big Hero 6”, “Toy Story”, and “Tangled” have been announced to be joining the line-up.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 10.21.45 PM   The original game was released nearly 15 years ago on March 28, 2002. The game begins on the Destiny Islands where the player is introduced to Sora, Kairi and Riku. They intend to build a raft to leave their home and explore worlds outside of the Destiny Islands.

   However, enemies known as the Heartless attack during the night. Sora receives an item known as the Keyblade that allows him to fend off the Heartless. However, his home ends up destroyed along with Riku and Kairi vanishing. From there, he drifts off into space.

   Meanwhile, King Mickey leaves his home to deal with the increase in Heartless and leaves instructions for Goofy and Donald to follow. The stories come together as Sora drifts to a place known as Traverse Town where Mickey’s companions encounter him. From there, they start off on their quest to find their missing friends.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 10.20.34 PM   Following the release of the original “Kingdom Hearts,” several other games were published throughout the years. “Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories” was released on Nov. 11, 2004 in Japan for the Gameboy Advance. The game falls between “Kingdom Hearts” and “Kingdom Hearts II” and is the direct sequel to the original game. While it was the least successful commercially, it received positive reviews and high sales figures.

   “Kingdom Hearts II” takes place a year after the events of “Chain of Memories” and is the next Playstation game in the series. The game begins with a boy named Roxas in Twilight Town. The perspective switches away from Roxas after a man named Axel infiltrates this town with enemies known as Nobodies.

   Like the other two entries, “Kingdom Hearts II” received praise along with several rewards such as tying with “Resident Evil 4” for Game of the Year according to Famitsu, as well as earning an award for being the Best Sequel.

   Branching off from “Kingdom Hearts II,” a wide range of games for the series have been released between then and the upcoming “Kingdom Hearts III.”

   For example, the DS game “Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days” focuses more on Roxas as opposed to Sora and his crew. In “Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance,” characters of another Square Enix game called “The World Ends With You,” appear in a spin-off storyline.

   “Kingdom Hearts” is a diverse series with elements that can appeal to younger children as well as adults. For long time fans, the release of the final entry into the Dark Seekers saga will hopefully end up meeting their expectations.

Erica Brandenburg
Staff Writer

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