I sit here sad about writing this topic. I love the Kingdom Hearts series so dearly - to the extent that I have quite the collection of Kingdom Hearts t-shirts, I even own a KH snuggie. But, here I sit frustrated with the series. I have supported all the entries that have been released, but lately I've found myself yearning for something new. So, imagine my frustration when re:coded was announced. I know I should be happy that I'm getting the chance to play the game, but at the same time, I'm just not excited for it. I felt the entries that have been released since KH2 have all been to tie us over until KH3, and yet, here we are around four entries later and we're still waiting for the game to just be announced. And once it is, how much longer will I have to wait to play it? I'm guessing...sigh...years.
Naturally, I'm a little miffed because I was a huge supporter of 358/2 Days. Many people started the whole cash-in label of the series (I'm talking fans, not those who initially dubbed it a cash in from the beginning) when 358/2 Days was released.
Many weren't too impressed with it - critics and fans alike, but I genuinely loved that game. There was something addicting about it, and the time I had on my train rides commuting to and from work would just melt away while I played it. I thought for a handheld it succeeded, and for those who were hard on it, I simply thought they were holding their expectations too high - expecting a KH3 or something close to a game made for a console and not looking at it as a handheld release. Plus, I supported fleshing out Roxas' story. I know a big argument from people was that the maps were all the same from previous KH games, but I let it slide. I still found it to be entertaining. And to this day, I still think it succeeds as a handheld. Now that Birth By Sleep is heading our way in September, I'm really hoping it surpasses 358/2 Days. I played it at E3 and was impressed, but something was lacking - it just didn't wow me like I thought it would. Here's to hoping when I finally do play it my impressions change, because I am just too distraught after still patiently waiting for a KH3 announcement.
So, when I heard about re:coded, I really thought: great, this is like Chain of Memories being released for the PS2 all over again. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to give people the opportunity who missed out on these games to play them, but if they aren't anything mindblowing, I'm not sure they warrant a release. Today I viewed footage of re:coded and was largely unimpressed. I was reminded the scenery will be all the same and it will be the same old maps all over again. Something about seeing Sora on the screen just didn't get me giddy like it used to - I think with all the releases I've really had my fill of getting excited over something I've seen him experience and do before in a game.
What would get me excited? Seeing Sora in a new adventure with new areas, maps, and an answer to the questions that lingered at the end of KH2. Let's add some new Disney levels in there while we're at it. Too much time has been spent on games that are putting together the pieces and filling the gaps in Sora and Co.'s story. Now it's time to continue his story, to advance it, to make it lead somewhere bigger and better than we ever imagined. KH3, where are you? The releases of JRPGs just haven't been great for consoles lately and we could really use you. Plus, teasing us at the end of KH2 like you did, lingering that a 3rd entry would be in the cards, is just plain cruel if you don't plan to follow through. Now is the time. Give me a KH3 and then I'll be excited. For a while I bought into having these other releases to tie me over while KH3 got sorted out, but now they just aren't making me happy. They've lost their luster, which means too much time has passed without another main entry in the series. Need some motivation? KH3 you could help save the JRPG, you could be the one that gets the JRPG started for consoles. Be the spark! And most importantly, don't let your diehard fans down.