When SquareEnix announced that ‘Kingdom Hearts 3’ was going to end the original story setup to date through the series, which at the time spanned 9 titles across consoles, portable systems and mobile, it was highly expected that we would see the end of Sora and his nemesis Xehanort. Little did we know that Dark Road would be releasing to flesh out the series’ antagonist’s younger days.
The first sequel to smash-success Kingdom Hearts wasn’t Kingdom Hearts 2, as many gamers were expecting. In fact that game was some time away from release when the Game Boy Advance received an ambitious bridging chapter in Sora’s story called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
The setup for a sequel to Square Enix and Disney’s break-out hit ‘Kingdom Hearts’ was baked into the finale of the original title, both in the final scenes of the main campaign and in the unlockable video that players got for fully completing the game. But few would have imagined that the Game Boy Advance exclusive title ‘Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories’ would have been so impactful on Kingdom Hearts 2.
Kingdom Hearts is perhaps one of the RPG scene’s best known franchises, in part because it features the mix of Squaresoft at its best with the star power of Disney, and in part because of its compelling and rich story.
If any game has been a long time coming it’s Kingdom Hearts III, which has seen its life as a series extended through a variety of handheld entries that have been as vitally important to its plot as the main series’ numbered entries. Kingdom Hearts III is the cumulation of not a trilogy, but over 10 games in the current plot thread that all need to be paid off in this instalment. But does Kingdom Hearts stick the landing?
Kingdom Hearts is no stranger to the mobile scene, having had ‘Kingdom Hearts: Coded’ and ‘Kingdom Hearts: Mobile’ lay the groundwork for what does and doesn’t work on a touchscreen. Kingdom Hearts Unchained is the latest canonical entry into the ever-growing lore of the series that blends Disney and Square properties in a near-seamless manner.