What The Hell Is Going On In 'Kingdom Hearts'
The entire Kingdom Hearts series recently came out for the Nintendo Switch Cloud, which gives us the moral obligation of trying to prepare all possible players for the bonkers journey ahead. Few remember that the now gargantuan game series once started off as a neat little experiment where Squaresoft and Disney very heartwarmingly combined most of their big IPs to make an awesome
profit story. The original Kingdom Hearts does a surprisingly competent job of telling the tale of Sora, a kid who goes from planet to planet on a quest to find King Mickey and rid the universe of the evil heartless. My advice is for you to play that one, then go play something else because its follow-ups are only true Disney sequels in the sense that all Disney sequels absolutely suck. The Kingdom Hearts series is the only example known to humanity when getting a map of the whole thing actually makes it all harder to comprehend.
This thing is complicated down to the names of the games. If you pay close attention, you'll notice that there are only 3 main entries in the series, the rest being very weird fractions of numbers. Doesn't matter though, because they're all canon.
That probably doesn't do a very good job of helping the player navigate a series that features time travel, simulated reality, clones, semi-clones, and using someone else as an avatar. Worse, it's not even just the names of the games and the structure of the series making this impossible to comprehend. This thing is convoluted down to what you need in order to play it. Though the series had its start on the Playstation 2, the canonical entries are scattered around the Game Boy Advance, Mobile, Sony PSP, Nintendo 3DS, Internet browser, Playstation 3, and 4. You could skip them, but you'd be missing out on contrived but important story beats. Having your story divided between many platforms is a dumb decision storywise, but a straight-up reckless one when it comes to your fans. How many people can afford all those systems when most of your target audience relies solely on the income of a child?
Lastly, the series' story is made even more bizarre by the immense amount of context Kingdom Hearts stills you'll find scattered all over the Internet. It's not uncommon to see a character talking about universe domination in the middle of the frame, and Goofy staring at the distance in the background. Don't let that discourage you, because the reality is much dumber…
.. and even creepier than that
The good news in all this is that the Switch ports are apparently barely playable, so there you have the excuse you didn't know you needed to go back to enjoying the much tighter storyline of Super Smash Bros.
Top Image: Square Enix, Disney