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We suppose our regular readers, weaned on the violent acts of Marcus Fenix and Solid Snake, deserve an explanation. Why has GamesRadar devoted five whole days to anthropomorphic rodents and smile time gags on the week Halo 3: ODST hits shelves? It’s partially due to poor scheduling (not necessarily on our part!) and a lifetime of love for The House of Mouse. And it wasn’t all that long ago when Disney’s name actually meant something.
Above: During the early to mid ‘90s, Disney’s games earned an illustrious slot in Nintendo Power’s Game Atlas right alongside Mario and Link
For almost a decade prior to the first Kingdom Hearts, the name “Disney” meant approximately jack and shit to gamers with disposable income and pubic hair. While the Kingdom Hearts’ releases didn’t quite create a resurgence in quality cartoon products, they were at least robust and rewarding enough for animation fans to look forward to. So, it’d be a shame to see that go away because of some spiky haired people we could do without.
We love Kingdom Hearts (Duh!)
It’s not every day that two of culture’s most prolific stables of characters crossover into a singular universe! Even if you’re a gamer who claims not to care about either Final Fantasy or Disney, you should at least be curious for the medium’s sake. Which reminds us:
Above: Check back Thursday for our EXCLUSIVE KH 358/2 review
We’ll always have a soft spot for Kingdom Hearts, and with over ten million games sold over the course of three games, we can safely assume you do, too. To put that in perspective, the original Kingdom Hearts on PS2 individually moved more units than the all but a few Madden titles available on multiple platforms, as well as a majority of games in the ultra-successful Zelda series. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.
Final Fantasy doesn’t matter
Why not a “Week of Kingdom Hearts?” Well, not to sell Square’s cast of characters short, but Kingdom Hearts matters because of Disney. After all, it’s their story. You see, if we have one beef with the KH franchise, it’s that the Final Fantasy folks have never served much of a meaningful purpose. Cloud and Auron have had moments in the spotlight, but they’re extremely brief within the scope of the series, and just about every other FF character is reduced to cameos and roles of pure exposition.
Above: Dude, your sword has a gun in it… Little help?!
Think about it: With twelve games featuring the most richly distinct universes of all time, how is it Kingdom Hearts has never once taken us to Midgar, or Zanarkand, or Esthar? Apparently, they’re less important than the 100 Acre Wood and Tarzan’s Jungle, which we’ve been to repeatedly!
Above: Who would want to play here? Oh yeah, Everybody!
When we say “Final Fantasy doesn’t matter” that doesn’t mean we don’t wish it did. But it looks like the people at Square believe the people of Gaia are better served outside of the Kingdom Hearts universe. And if you don’t believe us, take a look at the brand new Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days… because this is the only Final Fantasy representative you’ll find in the DS game:
Above: “Hey, the other guys couldn’t make it…”