“Kingdom Hearts 3”: Why long-standing franchises mean so much

Enrique Castaneda-Pineda – Senior Layout Editor

In December 2005, I was eight years old, without a care in the world. That Christmas, I was unaware that being gifted “Kingdom Hearts” would leave such a lasting impression on me into 2019.

Throughout the years, media has continuously evolved into something people can latch onto for entertainment. Whether it is the older generation still excited about “The Young and the Restless” or the younger generation excited about the next Marvel film. For me and many others, this month marked an important milestone for gaming, with the release of “Kingdom Hearts 3.”

Released in 2005, “Kingdom Hearts 2” the game was exciting for an eight-year-old like me who was familiar with the crossover Disney characters that were in it. I received a Playstation 2 with both “Kingdom Hearts,” which I proceeded to play for days. After spending hours on the games, I realized that I went into the games excited for Disney and came out loving the original characters. Explaining to someone the idea of “Final Fantasy” characters and Disney characters in a full-fledged story together is crazy enough; the fact that it works well is even crazier.

Thirteen years later, the next full installment has been released, while the last sub-game was released in 2012. Fans have been clamoring for a new release to push the overarching narrative to its next chapter, while it was confirmed that this game will finalize the “Dark Seeker Saga.” Announced in 2014, the knowledge of a new game and the finale for this story led fans aching for the new game. After development hell, fans patiently waited until now.

The meaning behind films, games, and other media being so important to someone boils down to nostalgia. However, despite nostalgia being a factor and blinding fans to the sometimes corny writing for the game, ideals are a large part. The game is a constant battle of darkness vs. light, good and evil, right and wrong.

In a society so divisive, the idea of shutting everything out to play a hero whose strengths are love and friendship is exciting all over again. The inclusion of Disney and Pixar, companies that are known for creating heartfelt animated films, bring people back to their childlike innocence.

After waiting years, the fandom wants to return to a familiar place where everything feels right, and for at least a few days, pretend like Sora, Donald and Goofy’s journey are their only problem.

“Kingdom Hearts 3” is now available for Xbox One and Playstation 4.