‘Kingdom Hearts 3’ released 6 years after first trailer

Dallon Lewis, [email protected]

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The Kingdom Hearts series is a collaborative gaming experiment that spawned a glorious franchise. It is a mixture of animated Disney movie magic and the action role playing elements of Hironobu Sakaguchi’s video game series, Final Fantasy.

The series centers on the main character, Sora, and his journey and experiences with various Disney, Final Fantasy, The World Ends With You and Pixar characters. The heroes clash against the various incarnations of the antagonist, Xehanort.

The series consists of 12 games available for multiple platforms with future titles planned. Most of the installments have been positively received and commercially successful.

Kingdom Hearts director, Tetsuya Nomura, habitually works on multiple games simultaneously and leaves time gaps of development for Kingdom Hearts.

To put that in perspective, the last game from the Kingdom Hearts franchise to be placed on a major console was the colossal blockbuster “Kingdom Hearts 2.” However, this was released 13 years ago.

Nomura was given word that kids wanted to play his projects on handheld devices such as the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS. Following “Kingdom Hearts 2’s” debut on the Playstation, a series of side games were released that developed the plot beyond a combative Disney wonderland.

Even a mobile adaptation, that was initially poorly perceived by critics and fans alike, found its way into the rich lore of the series.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, “Kingdom Hearts 3” officially released after six years of trailers and the initial announcement at the E3 gaming expo in 2013. Fans have been at odds with Nomura’s decision to continue making handheld ports of a console-based franchise for years.

Many players have given Nomura a hard time about how long it has taken to release the next Kingdom Hearts game. While Nomura was upset by this, he explained there were many other projects happening at Square Enix, according to GameSpot.

A major reason behind the stall in Kingdom Hearts’ development was Nomura’s role as director in Final Fantasy XIII which was later renamed Final Fantasy 15 under new administration. Square Enix switched gaming engines for the new Final Fantasy installation in the middle of gaining headway.

This immensely slowed the expansion of both franchises as companies embraced the oncoming torrent of the eighth gaming generation.

Kingdom Hearts is a fusion that captivated the minds of millions who are currently invested in the series’ progression. Even after 13 years of waiting, Kingdom Hearts has a fanbase that continues to grow.