The Kingdom Hearts series is one of the most convoluted in gaming history, packed to the brim with complex plot twists, evolving character arcs and ever-expanding lore. The franchise has seen its games released on the ridiculous number of 5 different consoles, ranging from the PS2 to the 3DS and including the GBA, the PSP and the original DS, making it a true feat to own every single disc or cartridge available.
Given the circumstances, gamers cried out excitedly at the announcement that every one of these titles (except for the latest 3DS instalment, but more on that later) were coming to the PS3 across two different collections. Who wouldn’t want to have all 6 entries in the series in two convenient discs?
As it turns out, the collections (or “Kingdom Hearts Remixes”, as they were dubbed) were a complete success, and players all around the world marvelled at the possibility of reliving their childhood memories of Sora, Goofy and Donald in glorious HD. It was also a perfect entry point for newcomers who posed the question “what is Kingdom Hearts?” like myself, and it personally allowed me to fall in love with the franchise for the first time.
The only shortcomings the remixes suffered came from the DS ports, which were only available as cutscenes and not as actual gameplay like the other 4 titles. The Kingdom Hearts movies were perfectly viewable and enjoyable, but they couldn’t mask the fact that those games should have been included in the first place. There was also a complaint about the lack of Birth by Sleep’s multiplayer component, but frankly, that wasn’t a huge deal and the PSP entry performed just fine without it.
With Kingdom Hearts 3 supposedly releasing sometime next year, fans are eager to catch up with the beloved series, but there’s just one problem: where are the PS4 and Xbox One ports of those collections? KH3 will be landing on both PS4 and Xbox One, but gamers that only play on those consoles can’t possibly be prepared for KH3 unless they own the original Kingdom Hearts series with their respective system or a PS3 with the newer remixes. What’s worse, no game in the series was ever released for a Microsoft system, be it the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One, which means that segment of players will be left completely in the dark if a revamped collection containing at least Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts 2 isn’t released.
There’s also the matter of the final game in the remix series, 2.8 Prologue (which includes the aforementioned missing 3DS titles and two extra tidbits) being released on the PS4 this year, which means that gamers who bought both 1.5 and 2.5 need to switch over to the PS4 if they want to be fully prepared for KH3 and supposedly the final entry in the series. If Square Enix wants a (larger) spike in sales they should put at least the essentials on the current-gen consoles.
A new collection including all games in the franchise would be the perfect excuse for owners of the newer consoles to jump into the Kingdom Hearts series for the first time the way the PS3 gamers did a while ago, or for veterans to freshen their memory by revisiting those games once again in HD. I for one would buy a remaster of KH1 and KH2 in a heartbeat if it came to the PS4. Besides, a revamped collection could finally fix the remixes’ shortcomings by making the DS titles fully playable and including Birth by Sleep’s multiplayer component. It might not all fit on a single disc, but the developers could split it up into two and sell them in a convenient bundle with 2.8 Prologue.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is one of the most anticipated video games in recent history, and fans have been waiting for another main entry in the series for almost 10 years. It would be a shame if part of its new fanbase is left in the dark before it comes out, which may end up resulting in fewer sales due to the fact that some gamers simply won’t know (or remember) what is what and who is who in this complex storyline.