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Why Kingdom Hearts III is the Most Anticipated Title of 2019

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Kingdom Hearts is light! Come 2019 there will be kids playing Kingdom Hearts 3 who weren't even born when the original game came out 2002. KH3 has spent an enormous amount of time in the oven, and we have no doubt that it will be one of the biggest games of 2019, and it certainly is the most anticipated.

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Most Anticipated Title of 2019 - Kingdom Hearts III

As 2019 nears, so does the return of everyone’s favorite Disney fanfiction. “Kingdom Hearts” has been a big name in gaming for the last two decades, and finally its long-awaited third instalment is hitting shelves at the end of January. The winning combination of Disney, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, and Square Enix, one of the most esteemed developers in gaming, is set to take the year by storm – meaning we may already get 2019’s game of the year before the first month is over, if the hype is to be believed.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, “Kingdom Hearts III” was the most talked-about title shown at E3 2018, by a mile. It had 35,000 more posts about it on social media during the week of E3 than the second hot topic, which was “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” Dominating every conference with its beautifully-rendered and scored trailers, it’s no wonder that it became the only thing people could talk about.

While the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise certainly hasn’t gone anywhere, and has had numerous prequels, spin-offs, remastered and re-remasters over the years, it will have been a solid fourteen years since “Kingdom Hearts II” by the time the third one comes out. It may have only been seven years since the last story instalment, “Dream Drop Distance” in 2012, but the series has been limited by these other titles only releasing on portable consoles – namely the Nintendo DS, 3DS, PlayStation Portable and who remembers the Chain of Memories on Gameboy Advance. Since many gamers play only on mainstream platforms like Xbox, PlayStation and PC, these others releases just haven’t been experienced as widely as the original PS2 titles, making fans even more desperate for a fresh fix. Even though concepts for a third game started being developed as early as 2006, immediately after “Kingdom Hearts II” wrapped, it took until E3 2013 for any kind of formal announcement to be made that there really was going to be a third “Kingdom Hearts.” But many fans still briefly gave up hope that “Kingdom Hearts III” would ever really be released, as it got stuck in development hell.

There are positives to this long wait, however – the advancement in the technological capabilities of consoles being one of them. “Kingdom Hearts III” is going to be released on the most powerful games consoles ever developed, the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. Compared to the fact the last “Kingdom Hearts” came out in 2005 on the PlayStation 2, the jump in visual quality is going to be dramatic. While we’ve already seen some of the leaps in the promotional trailers already released, like the almost photo-realistic representations of Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” world, the game is sure to be one of the most gorgeous of this console generation.

The gap means there’s much more media to choose from, from both the Disney side of the game and the Square Enix side. There have been four more “Final Fantasy” games released since “Kingdom Hearts II”, as well as countless Disney movies, including the previously mentioned “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. “Toy Story” is also supposed to be heavily featured, as well as the most recent Disney princess movies like “Tangled” and “Frozen”, 2001’s “Monsters, Inc” and “Hercules.” The graphical improvements mean that visually, “Kingdom Hearts III” is going to be on par with the highest-quality Pixar movies, a far-cry from the PS2’s clunky polygons – especially with Square Enix as the lead developers, since if nothing else, the recent “Final Fantasies” have always had outstanding graphics.

If the very fact there’s going to be a “Kingdom Hearts III” wasn’t enough to get you hyped, though, there’s also going to be a very beautiful looking Special Edition. Some developers really do go the distance with their collector’s editions, and Square Enix are certainly pulling out all the stops this time around. It’s a must-have for any die-hard “Kingdom Hearts” fan – With limited edition figurines of protagonists Sora, Donald and Goofy in their Toy Story forms, as well as what’s certainly going to be a beautiful art book, an exclusive pin, and a steel book case for the game itself. Although its $230 pricetag is a pretty steep asking price, we guarantee you that the most dedicated of fans have already pre-ordered this. If you still want more, Sony are also releasing one of their limited edition PS4 Pros decorated with a “Kingdom Hearts” theme – so even if you don’t have a console to play it on, this is your chance to get a seriously cool and powerful one.

But it’s not all about the long-time fans who have been waiting over a decade to join their favorite characters again; “Kingdom Hearts III” has received an ESRB rating of E, for Everyone, and in Europe PEGI have rated it 12. This means that there’s going to be potentially millions of kids out there playing it who weren’t even born when the original games came out. With this in mind, “Kingdom Hearts III” does its best to accommodate new players – though we’re sure it won’t be skimping on any of its notoriously convoluted plot details to accomplish this . The take-away here is that you don’t need to be a long-time fan to enjoy “Kingdom Hearts III”, it’s perfect for anyone to jump into – even if your only reason for doing so is to have some fun playing with your favorite Disney characters in the zaniest crossover video games have to offer.

While with this much hype there’s always the danger of a game falling short of expectations – we certainly don’t want another “Duke Nukem Forever” on our hands – Disney aren’t in the habit of releasing anything that isn’t incredible in at least one regard. It has the story, legacy, and budget to be not only the best game of 2019 but one of the best of the entire generation. At least those are the claims; according to the millions of fans that have commented on WatchMojo videos for the last 5 freaking years NON-STOP! We get it guys!

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