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  1. That’s kind of what I was thinking too. I’m really glad we got another Kingdom Hearts reference like this, though!
  2. For me, it’s a tie between Final Fantasy XVI and Star Ocean: The Second Story R. I loved Final Fantasy XVI so much, and I thought it was an excellent new mainline entry in the series. I found it to be truly amazing, and I found very little to actually criticize about it. To me, it was an excellent game overall. The original PS1 version of Star Ocean: The Second Story was also my very first RPG. It’s a big reason I became a gamer in the first place. While I personally love pretty much all the Star Ocean games, Star Ocean 2 has always been my favorite due to a mixture of nostalgia and that I just think it’s a great game overall. As such, I absolutely love what they did with Star Ocean: The Second Story R. It’s so faithful to the original, while offering so many amazing quality of life improvements too. I just think Star Ocean: The Second Story R is the perfect blend of old and new. So, honestly, both Final Fantasy XVI and Star Ocean: The Second Story R are tied for me as Square Enix’s best game of 2023.
  3. My favorite game published by Square Enix this year was Star Ocean: The Divine Force. I'm a huge fan of the Star Ocean series, and my very first RPG was Star Ocean: The Second Story on the PS1. After Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness came out around 2015, I thought we would never see another new Star Ocean game again. Most people really disliked Integrity and Faithlessness, and while I found many aspects of it enjoyable, I personally felt that Integrity and Faithlessness was just okay overall. We did get the mobile game, Star Ocean: Anamnesis a few years later, as well as remasters of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and Star Ocean: First Departure throughout those few years as well, so that was a reassuring sign for me. And when Star Ocean: The Divine Force was first announced, I was part of the niche fanbase who was actually excited to see a new Star Ocean. I was cautiously optimistic about it leading up to the release, but when it finally released in late October, and when I finally finished the game a couple weeks ago (at least from one of the characters' viewpoint; I still need to do the other route), I was safely able to say that I was very satisfied with it. It certainly wasn't perfect, and the Star Ocean series as a whole isn't always everyone's cup of tea, but I personally felt very impressed by Star Ocean: The Divine Force. My favorite in the series is still Star Ocean 2, but I am still very satisfied with this new sixth mainline entry in the Star Ocean series.
  4. Honestly, I’m always worried about getting backlash. It’s just something that I’m always afraid of. I’m surprised you could tell based on what I wrote. I guess my feelings came across more plainly than I intended them to, lol. Everyone has their own opinions and preferences, and everyone gets to make their own decisions on what they like and don’t like. I respect that. I guess I’m just always worried that if I speak my own opinion, people might poke fun at me or start arguing with me. It’s happened a lot, but it’s always unpredictable. That’s just the nature of the internet. I guess I’m just a little insecure about myself in that aspect.
  5. If I had to pick from just these four options (which I personally feel is a little limiting because there’s more than 4 films from the past 2 years that I think have Kingdom Hearts potential), I would go with Encanto. However, as much as I love Encanto, and as much as I would love to see a world for it in Kingdom Hearts, there is a film that I personally love even more than Encanto that’s not on the poll: Raya and the Last Dragon. I personally feel that Kumandra would make an excellent world in a Kingdom Hearts game. While a world based on Encanto would surely be exciting and fun, I personally think a world based on Raya and the Last Dragon would make for an even better and more diverse world with the potential to be rather expansive. Now, if both films end up getting worlds or representation, that would honestly be the best thing I can think of. I love both Encanto and Raya and the Last Dragon, and I think both absolutely deserve to be represented in Kingdom Hearts. But if I had to pick one or the other, I’d have to be in the minority and pick Raya and the Last Dragon. Again, I love both of those films, and either one would be incredible to see in Kingdom Hearts. Who knows? Even if it’s not both in the same title, maybe both of them will end up being represented in Kingdom Hearts eventually. That would be amazing in my opinion. The TLDR version: If picking from these four options alone, I would choose Encanto. However, I would personally prefer Raya and the Last Dragon more than Encanto. I love both films, though.
  6. Pat Carroll’s performance as Ursula is absolutely incredible, both in The Little Mermaid itself and in other projects like Kingdom Hearts. It is because of her outstanding performance that Ursula is my favorite Disney villain. May Pat Carroll rest in peace. Today I am a poor unfortunate soul indeed, for I mourn the loss of yet another wonderful talent that made this world a little more exciting.
  7. This is a wonderful list of impactful scenes from throughout the series. Reading through this was an inspirational and chilling trip down memory lane. Thank you for putting this together. One other scene that I found to be really impactful was the scene in Kingdom Hearts III when Ventus whispers, “Terra, I kept my promise.” Then, Terra is finally given the catalyst he needed to break free of his bonds and save his friends from death. It was surprising to me to see that Terra had taken the form of the heartless like being attached to Terra-Xehanort (I don’t quite remember what that being was called). That entire scene throughout, as well as the Birth By Sleep trio finally reuniting and hugging while in tears was just so beautiful and powerful to me. I felt like that scene in particular was one of the most impactful scenes in Kingdom Hearts III (and there were a lot of impactful scenes in my opinion).
  8. My favorite numbered title in the series is Kingdom Hearts III. I am well aware that some people don’t like it, and I am well aware of their various reasons for not liking it. However, I disagree with most of those reasons. Even before the updates that added Critical Mode and the Re Mind DLC, I had an amazing time with Kingdom Hearts III. I think that at that point, Kingdom Hearts III was almost as amazing as Kingdom Hearts II, but just a little, tiny bit less amazing than Kingdom Hearts II because of the lack of difficulty options at the game’s launch in 2019. However, I’m really, really thankful for the amazing effort that the development team behind Kingdom Hearts III put forth to address some of the biggest complaints that some fans had after its launch. They certainly didn’t have to add or address anything, but they did because they care about pleasing as many of the fans as possible. As such, when the free update that added Critical Mode was added, I replayed through Kingdom Hearts III again, and I felt like there was finally an option for higher difficulty in the game. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes play games on easy or normal mode as well so as not to stress myself out, but I am very glad that after this update the options of easy or hard were more readily available. It’s really when they added the Re Mind DLC that Kingdom Hearts III actually managed to surpass Kingdom Hearts II for me. It wasn’t necessarily the extremely difficult bosses that made Kingdom Hearts III my new favorite (although that was a great addition in my opinion), but rather the added context, additional plot details, and even more story that took place after the end of the base game. What really solidified it for me was the very ending scene and Sora’s and Yozora’s final lines in the game which tied everything back to the very beginning. Particularly, “I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately. Like, is any of this for real or not.” Although that ending didn’t necessarily answer any burning questions, it was strangely satisfying and very beautiful. One of my favorite aspects of the Kingdom Hearts series is its frequent and unique style of beauty and inspiration. It’s something that’s really only found in Kingdom Hearts and a little bit in a select few other JRPGs. Once I had watched the ending scenes after the very last boss of the Re Mind DLC, that unique style of beauty was, to me, found stronger and more powerful than ever before in the series. So, as much as I love Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts III is now my new favorite in the series. Still, I really just love all of the Kingdom Hearts games. It’s difficult to order all of them from most favorite to least because in my opinion, they all have their pros and cons, and they’re all just really great games in general too. I love the entire series, but if I really have to pick just one as my very favorite, it would have to be Kingdom Hearts III.
  9. I know a lot of people are upset by it being exclusive to the Epic Games Store, but personally, I'm just happy that more people can experience Kingdom Hearts now. I always felt like just having it on PlayStation and Xbox really limited the amount of people who could experience Kingdom Hearts. I'm super happy for all the PC gamers who are willing to give the Epic Games Store more of a chance and get to play the entire Kingdom Hearts series for the first time. Maybe it will come to Steam down the road later, but even if it doesn't, I'm just happy that more people will have the opportunity to experience Kingdom Hearts. I understand people's frustration with the Epic Games Store exclusivity, but I'm just stating my perspective. To me personally, I think this is a great opportunity for the series to reach more people. Here's hoping that even though they said they couldn't get it to run on Switch, that they'll hopefully still bring it to Nintendo Switch down the road too. I know that might be wishful thinking, since Kingdom Hearts III has much better graphics than the others, but I personally think they could make it happen -- especially with how popular the Switch is in Japan. For now, though, I'm glad we have Kingdom Hearts available on another platform.
  10. I do have to wonder if they will finally bring an official Kingdom Hearts III soundtrack to iTunes in the United States. I know none of the other Kingdom Hearts original soundtracks are available on iTunes in the United States, but it would be a dream come true for me if I could purchase this on iTunes. I know it’s not likely, but you never know. We did get some surprising, but incredible, music from the Final Fantasy series on iTunes. Namely the music from the Final Fantasy XV DLC (I was so happy when that happened). I know Disney would probably have to give permission too in the case of Kingdom Hearts, so it’s really anyone’s guess. Still, I remain cautiously hopeful.
  11. I can understand this being a little different and disappointing to some, but personally I am very excited for this. I loved the Final Fantasy Theatrhythm games, and this being a Kingdom Hearts version of that with a bit more to it is great to me!
  12. This is great! Congratulations to the development team of Kingdom Hearts III. Every award they are either nominated for or win is well deserved in my opinion!
  13. I wish I could go! I live kind of far way from there, but it sounds like such a great event for Kingdom Hearts fans!
  14. This is great news! While I don’t own an Xbox One (I’m playing games on PS4 and Switch), I think this is a great way to expand the audience for the Kingdom Hearts series. I’m actually one of the people who became a Kingdom Hearts fan because of the release of the remasters on PS3 and PS4. I wouldn’t have ever known how great the games are if they hadn’t have released those remastered collections. I firmly believe that even if it’s a smaller group of people who buy the games on Xbox One, there is still a lot of opportunity and potential to expand the fanbase by releasing the remasters on more platforms. I’m super happy for those who own Xbox Ones and end up buying these remasters along with Kingdom Hearts III and hopefully future games in the series down the road.
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