I uploaded this to my Twitter and few other social media. But I figured I should upload this here.
I am working on a dedication project that's in a way related to a countdown. I will play every playable game (including the DS games + their movie counterparts...Union Cross is an acception because the story is not finished yet LOL) then I will draw them out based on that game and this will be monthly. Example: KH1 in June, Chain of Memories (including reverse/rebirth) in July, KH2 in August, etc etc.
Starting with, of course, the beginning of the series, simply just Kingdom Hearts. We all remember: inserting the disc to our PlayStation 2, hearing dearly beloved, being blown away by the opening, going through the tutorial starting with out own choices (I know most of us chose the sword LOL), fighting the once terrifying Darkside, exploring Destiny Islands, hanging out as Sora with Riku and Kairi, fighting heartless, getting a Keybalde, meeting with Donald and Goofy, going to many Disney worlds, meeting a few Final Fantasy characters like Cloud, facing difficult bosses, solving puzzles, the final boss, the ending. All of that for the first time was magical. A mix of Disney with the aesthetics of Final Fantasy was what many of us would never dream of would exist. Here we are now with the many games after KH1 getting us prepared for KH3, a revolution we are ready to face.
And here's my review and thoughts overall here (synopsis included):
Our story begins with Sora, who lives on an island with his best friends Riku and Kairi. They attempt to build a raft to explore outside worlds. One night, the island is attacked by creatures if darkness, called Heartless, the forcibly separated Sora from his friends. Sora stumbles upon another world, with a strange weapon [the Keyblade] aside him. There in the new world, he stumbles upon Donald and Goofy (who are traveling looking for "the key" in hopes to find their missing King). They all travel together to many different worlds while fighting the heartless in hopes to find their friends.
This is the game that started it all. I first discovered this game at a friend's home in 2004 or 2005. What attracted me was art work of the cover. To think that there is a beautiful art work featuring Donald Duck and Goofy. Another attractive feat is realizing it was a crossover. Since I was a kid, I've always LOVED the idea of crossovers. Discovering this was a whole other level. We were able to burrow it to play at home. I inserted the disc and this song plays at the menu screen https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8LXTui5vl6Y . Something about it was so indescribable. It was unique, gave me a new feeling which I have never felt before. If that couldn't anymore unique, we have the [opening|https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=29KHZ3jVguk]. This is just the song for now because I want you all to experience it yourselves at your own time (also hoping to avoid spoilers). I STILL listen to this song to this day. The opening was....breath taking. I have never seen anything like it before. Growing up with Disney and this was something even I think Disney wouldn't pull off. Then we have he tutorial section. Had to go through decisions and learning the basics of fighting. I even had to deal with a boss that terrified me the first time fighting it. Then there was Destiny Islands. Seriously y'all, this is an island I want to visit. A place like that looks perfect for exploration and imaginative adventures. A child's dream play ground. It was saddening that I eventually had to leave. However, visiting Traverse Town was like home in a way. Meeting Donald and Goofy was also a highlight, because Disney of course. Traveling to many worlds, the plot thickening, fighting difficult bosses and feel like a champion winning them. The music was also a great feat of the game, the entire series for that matter, thanks to Yoko Shimomura (to which she became my absolute favorite composer of all time
This game was unique and strange but it was a good feeling. There was Disney magic, but this game had it's own magic that a mix of Disney and Final Fantasy. It was a truly magical experience I will never forget. Looking at it years later, the fact that it was possible to remaster the game that is over 15 years old, shows that it has aged well.
That being said, the gameplay is a mixed bag and it is heavily subjective. Sora did feel a bit clunky. But, I also felt this seemed appropriate for Sora honestly simply because it is the beginning of his massive journey. Of course you'd feel clunky jumping around swinging an oversized key (I'm sure this was not intentional from the developers) LOL. It was alright for me playing the game simply because my nostalgia was stronger than my own critique.
There was one thing that bothered me was the editing in transitioning via dialogue. The original had this issue before the final mix. However, I did know that there was one scene when a character made a deal and was offered the thing they were looking for. It took them about 5-6 seconds to respond....in the original it took them 3. Out of all the games, this game had the most awkward editing with dialogue.
This game is not perfect and I may be a bit biased because of nostalgia. But, in terms of gaming, his had changed me. When in was a kid, I remember my mother playing a lot of videogames growing up (particularly Ocarina of Time for example). I could never get past after the first round for most of the games. That is until I played Kingdom Hearts. This has me so invested in the story I had to work hard going through his game. It is all thanks to this game I managed to get through Ocarina of Time on my own. So, I gained independence for gaming LOL
The titles in the series is a journey in itself to reach to the one game we had waited for for so many years. I hope to entertain you with my thoughts and my artwork for this series. It is thanks to this series that I an doing this. I hope you all enjoy what I offer.
This was simply fun to do. I had some struggle trying to pose Sora the way I want him to. The shoes were especially difficult (I am not used to drawing huge shoes LOL). The water was my most favorite to do. The shore bit was something I am extremely proud of.
Sora from Kingdom Hearts © Square Enix and Disney