The Ultimate Gateway Game

Since my mom first graced my life with a SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and Donkey Kong Country, I’ve been a lover of videogames, especially RPGs – role playing games, for the less savvy gamers out there; and among my favorites is Kingdom Hearts.

Kingdom Hearts is the love child of Square Enix and Disney Studios and I thank god every day for the beautiful creature they’ve created. It’s about a boy named Sora, a doofus with big feet and an even bigger heart, who upon having a strange dream involving the shadows engulfing him entirely (foreshadowing alert) and being proclaimed as a ‘Keyblade Master’, goes on a quest to find his friends Riku and Kairi. But Sora doesn’t go on just any quest and he sure as hell doesn’t go it alone. With the help of several of the worlds’ favorite Disney and gaming characters, Sora takes questing to new levels – literally. And like gateway drugs, Kingdom Hearts is addicting and opens the door for a lot of gamers to explore the world of RPGs but why do we love it so much? Let me count the ways…

1The Kingdom Hearts universe. The game is based on several different worlds, each home to a special iconic Disney character. Head to the 100 Acre Wood to help Winnie the Pooh with his dilemmas or fly to Neverland to save Wendy from the dastardly Captain Hook. The game has a unique world for everyone to enjoy, with my favorite world being Wonderland with its tricks and puzzles. On top of that, all new characters from some of our favorite movies and games tend to pop up including the Gully Wings consisting of Yuna, Paine, and Rikku from Final Fantasy X-II, Leon, Bambi, Sephoriath and many more. It constantly has ways of surprising and delighting you and though there’s always something to do, if you’re feeling bored, see if you can hunt down one of the hundred Dalmatian puppies, or take your chance in Hercules’ coliseum of the champions!

2They say Disney World is the happiest place on earth, and when you bring Disney into your home, you invoke that happiness and that childish glee. I’m a huge lover of Disney (my favorite princess being Ariel but my favorite character being Stitch in case you were wondering), and Kingdom Hearts really caters to my Disney-kid side without taking the drive up to Orlando. Through Sora, you get to meet all of your favorite Disney characters from the old to the new. Sora mixes it up with the very first Mickey and Pete based off the show Timeless River (circa 1920s) before dashing off with Jack Skelenton to defend Halloween Town from Oogie Boogie. You get to sing with Ariel, surf vines with Tarzan, search for Princess Jasmine, defend Alice in court against the Queen of Hearts,and even help Jack defend Halloween town against Oogie Boogie!


3As if that wasn’t enough, you often get to become part of their world! Sora, Donald, and Goofy will often change their attire in attempts to “disguise themselves” to the inhabitants of the world they’re in due to the fact that each world is completely oblivious to the other. So while traveling, the gang will either become a group of mer-people or other aquatic creatures or in the case of Halloween Town, don some very spooky Halloween gear. How cool is that?


4But the real allure of the game comes with its overall message which takes gaming to a whole other level. Kingdom Hearts plays on the heartstrings revolving around the darkness inside us all, the value of friendship, brotherhood, and above all else love. Sora is a character who willingly does anything for his loved ones, even going so far as to literally give his heart up so that his friend could live. The game slowly but surely plays on your emotions, reminding you of your best friends, your first love, and what lengths you would go to for them. With the help of characters from the final fantasy franchises as well as a myriad of Disney characters, Kingdom Hearts is a the top of the list of games that open the door to a whole new world (Ha, see what I did there?).


Featured Image from “Kingdom Hearts” on Gamebomb:

Related Articles: “Top 5 Kingdom Hearts Worlds that filled us with nostalgia.” on Gamezone by Esmerlda Portillo

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