Role-playing action games have been people’s favourite for a long time now. The best of the development houses and gaming circuits have appreciated role-playing games as the most played gaming genre after battle royales and team up shooters. It is excellent because it is also strategy based. No role-playing action game can be won without proper deduction and calculation of character health, HP and attack set.
A great role-playing game with elements of action was made and released in the year 28th March 2002. It has gained immense popularity since then. It is The Kingdom Hearts Series. Developed by Square Enix, Jupiter, h.a.n.d, BitGroove inc. And Success combined and published by Square Enix, and it is the best hack and slash role-playing action game of all times. It was collaborated and funded by Disney. The director of the game, Tetsuya Nomura, had given his all in the first project and when it paid off; he just continued the good work with greater efforts.
There are a total of 13 games in the series, and the characters in it are an epic crossover of Square Enix and Disney characters. Out of these 13 games, 10 are the actual part of the series. The remaining 3 are just the first game on different servers or visions. A game has been planned to release in future as well. There are remastered editions and remixes of the parts which cannot be taken into consideration.
The Kingdom Hearts Series:
Kingdom Hearts was released on 28th March 2002 for PS2. Sora, Riku and Kairi were the main characters of the plot. The original version was Japanese but, later when it was released North America, the content was added. The game also had cameos by characters of the great role-playing game, Final Fantasy. On the opposing end to our main characters (called as Hearts) are the dark characters also called as ‘heartless’? The game with additional content was later launched in Japan under the name of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix on 26th December 2002. This version has new enemies, weapons and cut scenes.
- 1.Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- 2.Kingdom Hearts II
- 3.Kingdom Hearts Coded
- 4.Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days
- 5.Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
- 6.Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
- 7.Kingdom Hearts ϰ
- 8.Kingdom Hearts: Unchained ϰ
- 9.Kingdom Hearts III
- 10.Kingdom Hearts (V CAST)
- 11.Kingdom Hearts Mobile
- 12.Kingdom Hearts VR Experience
- 13.Kingdom Hearts Dark Road
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This game is a direct continuation of the first game. It was a GBA (Game Boy Advance) version released on 11th November 2004. This is the connecting link between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II for PS21. It had previews and plots regarding the sequential development of the plot in the next part. It was more of a card game version than the stock Hack and slash action game. It had polygonal graphics and was released as Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories. It was released as a mixed game with the first part on 29th March 2007 in Japan. It was released in North America on 2nd December 2008 after demanding from foreign plans.
The game was released on 22nd December 2005 for PS2 and showed the character development after a year from Chain of Memories. This game carried the narrative interface of the Hearts further and has a new group of enemies called Nobodies. Nobodies can cast-off shells of the previous antagonists of the game, the heartless. This was a more well defined and contextually driven hack and slash game as compared to the first game. There was limited action you could do in the game and more focus was laid on the story as by now, the makers of the game were already aware of the fame the future versions were going to be received. It was re-released with additional cutscenes and boss battle as Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. This was later released as Kingdom Hearts II Final mix+ as a combination of the mix with Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories on 29th March 2007.
The game was an episode based mobile game which is the direct successor to the Kingdom Hearts II. A pre-installed (demo) episode was released in Japan on 18th November 2008, and later, 8 episodes were released by 28th January 2010. The Recoded version of the game was released for Nintendo DS as a combination of the two successors of this version, the Kingdom Hearts 358/2 and Birth by Sleep. It was not country-specific and was distributed worldwide. By 14th January 2011, it had taken the world by storm. It was released in Japan on 7th October 2010, 11th January 2011 in North America and 14th January 2011 in Europe.
This sequel of the game was released for Nintendo DS on 30th May 2009 in Japan. There was a very established character in Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts II called Roxas. This version of the game is set between these two parts and aims at discovering the journey of Roxas. Roxas was an integral part of Organization XIII and had later left the team. This part concentrates on that reason. Kingdom Hearts was always a one-player game until this version was released. It was the first Kingdom Hearts game to feature a co-op multiplayer. It also had the AI-controlled partners but, this new addition was an addition to the list of reasons why this game is widely loved. This game also added optional missions that could yield extra rewards to the player upon completion apart from the main mission. It also introduced a unique panel that the player could use to change weapons, abilities and see the character improvement during the game.
This is not a sequel; it’s more like a prequel to the very first game and is set 10 years before the story of the first game began. It was launched for PSP in Japan on 9th January 2010. The additional content was launched in North America on 7th September 2010. The villain of the game, Xehanort and his origin is the main theme of the game. The game totally has four main plots out of which 3 belong to the protagonists Aqua, Terra and Ventus. There is one which belongs to Xehanort. The game was released in Japan with an additional fifth scene in the game that was renamed as Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix on 20th January 2011.
The game was released for Nintendo 3DS in Japan on 29th March 2012. This is a major plot in the entire game series. Riku and Sora, the protagonists of the very first game, are giving an exam under the guidance of Yen Sid so that they could tackle Xehanort who has just returned along with other enemies of the past. The exam is to prove their mastery in the art of combat. This game has Dream eaters who can either be friends or enemies depending on who bred them. The players are allowed to collect friendly dream eaters and train them to have a tactical advantage in the matter of power.
This game is just the web browser version of the first Kingdom Hearts game for people to be able to play it on Windows. A war called the ‘Keyblade war’ was one of the main events in the first part of the game. This version of the game focuses on being the prequel of the Keyblade War in a 2D gameplay. It was only released in Japan on 18th July 2013.
This was an international version of Kingdom Hearts ϰ released for Android and iOS. It started off with content from the real game, and then it just deviated and started forming plots and stories of its own. It was widely accepted as well. It was released in Japan on 3rd September 2015, 7th April 2016 in North America and 16th June 2016 in Europe. It was later renamed to Kingdom Hearts: Union ϰ in April 2017.
This game had started being worked upon under very harsh conditions. The designing team of the game was busy with Final Fantasy XV. The directorial team led by Nomaru was busy finding out how to make the game HD. It was in rumours for almost a year when the trailer actually came out on 10th June 2013. It was declared to be released for PS4 and XBOX. The plot of this part revolves around Sora, who is on a journey of reinstating his lost ‘power of waking’. Meanwhile, Riku and King Mickey are searching for Ventus, Aqua and Terra, the Keyblade wielders so that they could train and prepare for an attack against Xehanort. It was released in Japan on 25th January 2019 followed by a worldwide release on 29th January 2019.
Other games of the series:
This game was published by Disney mobiles for V Cast service, i.e. Verizon Wireless’ broadband service. It was released in Japan on 1st October 2004 and in the US on 4th February 2005. It was just the first Kingdom Hearts game but, with mobile phone input methods.
This was not a storyline driven Kingdom Hearts game, and it was more of a mobile socializing service. It allowed players to make avatars for the Kingdom Hearts Coded game and then download wallpapers, ringtone and other items from this mobile service.
As the name suggests, it is a Virtual reality experience of the game. But, it is not quite a game. It is more like a ten-minute long interactive video. It has been able to release only two chapters since 25th December 2018 and is believed to release more with the progress of time.
The developers claim that it would be a game for android and iOS platforms which would revolve around the origin of Xehanort and how he turned towards darkness.
As you would see, this game has been quite impactful, and people love to play it. It is specially designed and deserves a try. If you are a fan of role-playing action games, give it a try. It is going to be a treat to the gamer within you.