Not Experiencing Past Kingdom Hearts Games Diminishes Kingdom Hearts III's Impact

You don't need to have played the past games to enjoy Kingdom Hearts III but you won't have the same experience as someone who did.

By Grayshadow, Posted 04 Feb 2019


The Kingdom Hearts franchise is notorious for having one of the most complex and densely packed narratives in gaming. Rivaling Metal Gear the Kingdom Hearts deals with time, multiple worlds, and numerous characters to require players to dedicate a large portion of their time understanding it all, simply playing the games isn't enough. With Kingdom Hearts III now available many wonders if you need to have played the past games to enjoy the title. While it's possible to enjoy the combat and exploration without understanding the story it lessens the impact the profound scenes have. Weakening the overall experience of the game.

Kingdom Hearts III,Square Enix,NoobFeed,

Kingdom Hearts III attempts to give newcomers, and fans, a summary of key points within the game. Including important characters, events, and what Sora is fighting for. It's an effective summary but doesn't provide the same experience of actually playing the games. This is difficult for many given how many titles are out there and many of them haven't aged well, like Kingdom Hearts 328/2 Days, but those who did know how significant many of these characters were too one another.

During the final events of Kingdom Hearts III, we finally get a lot of closure for many of the character's conflict, and a lot of them are emotionally tense situations. For example, the relationship between Axel, Roxas, and Xion was a profound development in Kingdom Hearts 328/2 Days that ended in tragedy as Xion died in Roxas' arms and her memory wiped from everyone but Axel remembering small glimpses of his dear friend while mourning Roxas. This moment was recaptured in Kingdom Hearts III as Xion's memory is resurrected and Axel desperately tries to save her from Xenmas, allowing Roxas to be reborn and the 3 reunited with tears streaming down their cheeks as they hug.

This same emotionally charged moment happens when Aqua reunites with Ventus and Terra finally breaks free of Xehanort's control. All these moments made more profound because I experienced Roxas losing his friends and Aqua sacrificing herself to save Ventus and Terra. Moments like won't have the same heartfelt impression as those who witnessed and experienced Birth by Sleep or any other Kingdom Hearts game since many significant characters rarely make an appearance throughout the adventure.

Kingdom Hearts III,Square Enix,NoobFeed,

Granted, this argument can be used for any sequel. Players diving into Halo 5: Guardians won't feel the same way when Cortana betrays Master Chief as someone who has played the games since the original or seeing Commander Shepard make the final decision at the end of Mass Effect 3. Kingdom Hearts deals heavily with these moments touching moments of unity and betrayal, with players already having invested emotionally attachments to many of these characters. Much of the franchise focused on building the personas and backgrounds of many of these various characters so when Kingdom Hearts III finally shows 

Seeing Terra lose control of his body because of losing control to darkness or Replica Riku's inner turmoil about his existence, all of which is touched on in Kingdom Hearts III. It made these, and many other situations, that more intense because of the knowledge and experience of seeing these characters evolve due to specific motivations sparked by a long history of difficult lives.  You don't need to have played the past games to enjoy Kingdom Hearts III but you won't have the same experience as someone who did.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
Twitter | YouTube | Facebook

comments powered by Disqus

Related Feature

  • 0

    Top 5 Secret Boss Fights

    By Grayshadow, Posted Apr 09, 2019

    ome gamers aren't satisfied with the core game's challenges. To combat this desire for a challenge some video game developers provide an extra secret boss fight that t


General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2019-01-29

View All

Popular Articles