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  1. Oh my god I've never heard of Up Up and Away or Jump In but I firmly remember how hard it was to escape from both The Cheetah Girls and High School Musical. I'm not even the slightest bit ashamed to say I was a fan of The Cheetah Girls (what can I say they had Raven Simone and two thirds of 3LW in there and Sabrina Bryan was given a really relateable character, it was kind of a recipe for success). High School Musical is something I didn't watch in its entirety until three years after it had first aired, but by the time I did I already knew all the songs and the plot because of just how strongly promoted it was. I voted for The Cheetah Girls of course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2svIyvmwFKc - This still hits the heart strings like it did back in the day.
  2. On the subject of songs in KH, I would love a Japanese Character Image Songs album for KH. The vast majority of the Organization's members and the Destiny/Seasalt/Wayfinder trios have Japanese VAs who can sing. Not doing a Character Image Songs album is a huge missed opportunity for KH with that amount of talent. I would worry about future vocal songs in KH even if they are Japanese ones because a lot of Japanese studios who the music could belong to are just as likely to throw a copyright claim at you if you're doing a let's play or stream of any KH game that ended up featuring their music as Disney is to throw a copyright claim at you for not cutting out the KH3 version of Elsa's performance of Let It Go. It's really a lose lose situation to have vocal songs in the games worlds because of the copyright issues but really if they're not going to be crucial to the world's storytelling having them there would just be a bonus and in its own way even a detriment as they'd serve as nothing except fancy padding out for the game. This is what made Atlantica forgivable. The whole story of this world in KH2 revolves around preparing for a musical which obviously includes rehearsals. Compared to having Let It Go redone shot for shot for KH3 Arendelle just because super famous song from the movie that made sense. Same applies to having Do You Wanna Build A Snowman in there (and having it play over/alongside a scene where Anna and Sora are talking to each other was even more stupid).
  3. I voted for Medieval because of FFIX. Trying to fit Spira into one specific setting is too difficult though it also fits Medieval a lot especially with the backwards thinking of some of the fictional races in it, but it also fits everything else IMHO. In X-2 especially Spira gets far more futuristic thanks to the population being more open to machina and technological advancements in general. And then across both entries Spira has some locations that are very steampunk and modern by comparison to the rest of its locations.
  4. Didn't see this in time to vote. Would've voted for KH2 Kairi. @TrinityXaos# (I wonder why they find that version of Kairi the best) <- Assuming that isn't sarcasm; Answer: Because of the BAMF Kairi in the DLC).
  5. @ienzo628 I'm not sure if it'd be right to say they wanted to appeal to gamers of present day but a case can be made just by looking at the more balanced gameplay of what is essentially a KH3 demo, Birth By Sleep A Fragmentary Passage. I also think tying things to the "cruddy mobile games" is a bit much; they managed to stick relevant (if mostly redundant) overarching story into a rhythm game after all. Eventually we'll end up with a Kingdom Hearts version of Mario Kart that has relevant story in it or a good old fashion physical board game with relevant story in it (as opposed to an in game board game that rewards you nicely if you can get good at it as is present in Birth By Sleep). I don't think it is necessarily true that they didn't care about the other characters and their plot development, it is more that they went with the same mentality that the team writing Dragon Ball GT did. Goku is the protagonist, Goku is everyone's hero, he does the hero stuff. Sora had already been picked for this same role in the past, with Coded insisting Sora had to save the birth by sleep trio and the Days trio and DDD reinforcing it. Also Blank Points or whatever it was called which has all of those characters calling out Sora's name like he's God himself. The issue arose with how they then divided this task up. Riku and Mickey deciding they'd go save Aqua only to be unable to and Sora having to come to the rescue (and the way Riku gets a badass little speech and is ready to rumble with Aqua before that rescue tells of how they were something like 50/50 or 40/60 on if they should or shouldn't commit to their original plan of Sora saving everyone from the Birth By Sleep and Days trios or let Riku and Mickey have this one). Same applies for the fact Aqua had vowed to restore Ven to normal in Birth By Sleep well before the decision for Sora to be the savior for her entire trio was made in an extension to the game and reinforced by Coded and DDD; with her also getting robbed of her hero's moment because they chose the easy route of the main protagonist doing everything important themself. DDD has that whole bit with the Guardian recognizing Riku and Riku seemingly recognizing Terra's in there somewhere that proceeds to go nowhere in KH3 even though the trope of a student saving their master is a classic that almost never fails to land, but for whatever reason they couldn't figure out how to incorporate Riku over Sora into returning Terra to normal nor even the compromise of making it a group effort with you deciding if you wanted to play as Riku or as Sora (it's an absolute low blow that we got character selection only in the DLC, feels like a Triple A developer forgot how to make a game nevermind how to make a good one). Aqua herself who is there when Terra's returned to normal and has such a long history with him likewise suffers a great character disservice with how poorly they integrate her into the save. And here there is no real excuse of gameplay vs narrative dissonance. Motivations wise Aqua has more than enough to be doing what she can to to save Terra, and as a Keyblade Master she has the Power of Waking she can do the same thing as Sora here. That covers narrative, lets talk gameplay. Aqua's also serviceable enough in the base game that you could easily have won a fight against Terranort and Vanitas playing as her with Sora as the third party member instead of the other way around. Especially true prior to them patching in Critical Mode in preparation for the Remind DLC. At the end of the day Sora would've still had major contributions to make (returning Roxas and Xion's hearts to them, saving everyone when they were felled in the Keyblade Graveyard the first time around but clung to the mortal realm, going off to save Kairi at the end and into the DLC, defeating Xehanort at the end with Donald and Goofy in the base game and with Kairi and an assist from the other guardians of light in the DLC). I'm of the opinion that taking the easy route of the main protagonist doing everything hurt KH3 more than it hurt Dragon Ball GT because the former had built towards so many other possibilities that they just didn't embrace, unnecessarily sabotaging several characters in the process; meanwhile Dragon Ball had always had a habit of Goku saving the day in the end with his allies becoming less relevant the longer the series went on so by the Buu saga in DBZ the majority of the fanbase was very much used to it. The difference in medium also takes some sting off of Dragon Ball GT. It being an anime/manga means there's plenty of time in between the heroics for character development of a different sort. This is why a scene like Vegeta telling Pan to take care of a set of Goku's fighting attire towards the end of GT is so powerful. With a video game unless you're willing to take your time and make it very long you can't do slice of life as effectively as an anime or even a manga. And we don't exactly live in an era of 180 hour long RPGs anymore. But I frown upon Kingdom Hearts for the fact that it mostly doesn't even try with the slice of life side of things. Also at this point there are more mobile/hand held Kingdom Hearts games than there are home console ones making the console ones the outliers not the mobile/handheld ones. The sooner the fanbase accepts that the better off the series will be. And if the console games are going to be lackluster because they're expensive to make I think the series it probably better off continuing to release mobile/handheld games every year or two rather than having a huge cool down between one console game and the next with nothing in between. And from a business standpoint I can't fault Square Enix for capitalizing on Japan's love of mobile/handheld gaming.
  6. @ienzo628 Pretty sure DDD being the precursor to KH3 is not and was never a secret. All of its major story bits bleed into KH3 (as per usual for this series outside of only a small portion of Coded's story bleeding into DDD, though concepts introduced in it certainly bled over into DDD and beyond). Also in Olympus they were seemingly committed to the idea that Sora was going to regain his strength with the Power of Waking being the culminating ability, but you can tell from the rate at which Sora was gaining skills and abilities that they opted out of keeping the gameplay and narrative balanced pretty quickly. Sora's arsenal is bigger than Riku's coming out of the second world in the game and bigger than Aqua's coming out of the third. So they committed to the idea for exactly one world, which they treated as a mock prologue and labeled it Kingdom Hearts 2.9 because that was just oh so funny to them. Don't get me wrong the fast rate at which Sora was gaining skills and abilities makes complete and total sense for a modern action RPG (that's just how most gamers like it these days, they don't care to have to work for things, it's one of the express reasons why in many RPGs you can just pay to get everything from the get go now rather than as you level up and even for exp modifiers or amplifiers or straight up for levels themselves rather than exp). However that leaves the narrative around Sora falling flat at every turn. And it really doesn't help that the other playable characters get such limited an amount of skills and abilities to work with. Fixing that would at least maintain an illusion that Sora was catching up to his not back to level 1 allies.
  7. @Iscreamer1 I think the retracing Aqua's steps by traveling to worlds she'd been to could actually have helped out from the standpoint of giving Riku and Mickey more to do as a gameplay duo than we got, but for that they'd have to have committed to making worlds Aqua visited feature in more than just cutscenes. The cramming Kairi in there I think wouldn't work so well. What we needed from Kairi (and Axel) for the game (outside of the reunion with Roxas and Xion and reconciliation with Isa on Axel's end) was for them to show us them actually training even if it was only them sparring with their keyblades or beating up animated training dummies in a cutscene or two. This was where their stories were headed at the end of Dream Drop Distance and I don't think doing a 180 for Kairi would've benefited her. Like honest to gods, just seeing Kairi training would've taken so much of the sting off of the way they handled her in the Keyblade Graveyard because at the very least we'd get to see she's made progress and it just didn't prove to be enough. With Axel a lot of people point out he was just as disappointingly handled, but Axel had been entrenched in good handling since his introduction to the series in Chain of Memories thus there's a lot less sting at play with him than with Kairi, especially given the heartfelt reunion with Roxas and Xion and the reconciliation with Isa. Even the critiques that he was reduced strictly to comedy relief don't add up because he's had a habit of maintaining a balancing act between being serious and being funny since day one and that didn't cease in KH3 or lean in one direction more than the other to the extent that some people pretend it did. That's not even mentioning that Kairi is the series female protagonist, which by default means she should be handled better than supporting characters even the elevated ones. I know people want Kairi to finally get in on the action at the front line really badly, but if they took their time to do a character arc for her correctly it would be a lot more rewarding than rushing her from point A to point B to point C like they have. And they even appear to have realized it between KH3, the Remind DLC, and Melody of Memory. I.E They took the heavy backlash on how Kairi was handled in the KH3 base game to heart for the Remind DLC responding in the easiest way to appease the critics, but the worst way for Kairi's character arc, making her way beyond a BAMF in a battle against a keyblade wielder as long lived and experienced as Xehanort; then come Melody of Memory they back pedaled, having her turn into Sora momentarily in a battle with a Phantom Memory of Xehanort. About the only thing they did do well in Melody of Memory was make her acknowledge that she needed to continue her training rather than having her insist on going with Riku (which she shouldn't even be able to do because she lacks the Power of Waking). The Power of Waking being a power that sleeps until you need it was a very disappointing way of going about Sora's journey through the Disney Worlds in KH3, but the power itself is so poorly defined that in Dream Drop Distance they don't even formally call it that. I think that was one thing that might've been destined for poor handling from the very beginning. Heck at the moment the Power of Waking's rules and what it even strictly is has been so poorly properly defined that it may as well be in the same league as the mysterious deus ex machina powers of the Princesses of Heart. Both of these are among the things that make me go "if you're not going to care to keep track of your own lore and rules why should the audience?" when it comes to Kingdom Hearts.
  8. That's not quite accurate IMHO. Things don't exactly cap off happily in KH3's Pirates of the Caribbean world given that Will and Elizabeth are left forced to mostly be apart and Sora's definitely the type to have wanted to fix that for them somehow, but he doesn't get a chance to from the devs. IMHO if a world is meant to have a less than happy or even a tragic conclusion they're going to let it happen regardless of Sora and co being inserted into the equation.
  9. It's really not about the IPs themselves, more about how they're incorporated. The worst thing for me is them using the IPs to insult the audience's intelligence by pretending that they matter more than they do or at all to the overarching story. I.E the whole mess of placing hearts in vessels of their choosing on the Organization's end with Toy Story (there is a wealth of attention to detail regarding the Toy Box world itself and the world's environment interacts very well with the gameplay, but aside from some meme-worthy one-liners the story is passable at best and redundant at its worst) when this is something Xehanort knew through Riku's gambit in Monstro and Pinocchio via Ansem Seeker of Darkness's possession of Riku as far back in KH1. Or Sora Donald and Goofy doing Disney Shenanigans in some worlds out of mere obligation because of how famous an IP happens to be like with Kingdom of Corona and Arendelle where they end up insulting the audience by pretending Sora has learned something revolutionary about love/hearts/bonds.
  10. Yes actually he could. They've done stuff where they cover multiple points in time for a world. I.E Beast's Castle (After the events of KH1 we see what Beast and Belle are up to in their homeworld in 358/2 Days (there is a reconnaissance mission with Roxas and Xaldin in this game where Xaldin first gets the idea to turn Beast into a Heartless so the organization can recruit his Nobody) and then we get the aftermath of the events from 358/2 Days in KH2). Then there is the absolutely blatant example of how they couldn't be bothered to care about jumping around timeline wise featured with Pirates of the Caribbean where they skip an entire film between KH2 and KH3's takes on that world. Also this is a series entrenched in time travel and world line shenanigans at this point so it wouldn't even be surprising if Sora ended up meeting both a young and old version of someone. Heck Xehanort himself says hello many times over on that front.
  11. As someone who has never been much of a Star Wars fan I'm not going to care one way or the other if we get one or more Star Wars world(s) or we don't. Whether I end up liking them will depend on how well they implement them.
  12. I'm in agreement about them finally giving us a game revolving specifically around the Destiny trio. I am not in agreement with Riku and Kairi as Sora's main party members though as I would want to get to play as both of them in addition to Sora. Also Sora, Donald, Goofy is too iconic to not have it and I can't imagine Mickey not eventually defying Yen Sid's order to refrain from following Riku into Unreality. He was just way too ready to go after his son in the post credits scene of Melody of Memory. On the Kairi front, assuming they actually aren't just using her training off screen some more as a way to fridge her for the foreseeable future we're probably going to keep getting damage control on their handling of Kairi by way of her completing her training off screen and taking the Mark of Mastery exam off screen to get the Power of Waking so she can go join Riku in Unreality. It'd be nice to see KH4 feature a campaign for each member of the Destiny trio with Sora/Donald/Goofy, Riku/Mickey/Someone New, Kairi/Someone New/Someone New. Heck if giving us fixed Disney or Square Enix mascot party members for Riku and Kairi to fill out their trios is too much to ask for I'd settle for solo campaigns for Sora, Riku, and Kairi where Donald, Goofy, and Mickey just join temporarily like the numerous world specific party members do in prior entries.
  13. With the 25th anniversary being in 2027 I'm honestly expecting them to capitalize on it. Either by taking advantage of the anniversary month itself for the release or releasing it during the 2026 Christmas/Winter Holidays season so that the first six months of people playing the game will coincide with the 25th anniversary and they can try to boost the sales with anniversary events tied to KH4's release. It feels like too much of a golden opportunity for them not to aim to release it between December 2026 and March 2027 is all I'm saying. Before that with FFXVI being another big project on the table my guess is that's the big title we could expect for 2023-2025. Along with FF7R Part 2. I actually wanted to vote for 2026 but since that wasn't an option of its own I had to choose Beyond 2026.
  14. I don't hate it, but it was certainly a bit jarring the first watch of the teaser trailer. Having had a bit to mull it over I actually like a few things about it. The fact that Sora's babyface features have been amplified for this version is nice and adds a whole new level of cute to him. I also like the way the hair was done. I look forward to seeing what he and other familiar characters will look like once KH4 actually releases (which I'm kind of expecting to happen for the 25th anniversary (2027) or the Christmas/Winter Holidays season the year prior).
  15. I was less disappointed that Riku didn't play a role and more disappointed that Terra mostly saved himself. There was a minor assist from Sora in there (especially without the Remind DLC factored in) but for the most part Terra really saved himself. It was pretty embarrassing to see how hard they over-complicated things for the sake of honoring Sora being the one who saved everyone instead of just letting certain plot threads reach their natural conclusions though. Aqua keeping her promise to Ven, Mickey and Riku actually having a proper role in Aqua's rescue (Sora didn't even necessarily not have to be there just make it a team effort and Dark Aqua a tougher boss) and involve Riku in saving Terra even if you keep Sora involved.
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