Kingdom Hearts: why the “side-games” aren’t THAT bad
The Kingdom Hearts franchise is particularly well-known, not only to be a ridiculous combination of Final Fantasy and Disney, but to be a series that doesn’t know the definition of what a side-game really is.
In case you’ve lost track over the years, here’s a list of every single Kingdom Hearts game, excluding re-releases.
Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts II
Birth by Sleep
Dream Drop Distance
0.2 Fragmentary Passage
Unchained X/Union Cross/Back Cover
That’s a… lot of games.
Only 2 of these are actual numbered titles, supposedly the “main” branch of the game. This being said, the other games should only have little details and aren’t exactly necessary to understanding the plot of the games.
Now, any self-respecting Kingdom Hearts player knows this is bullshit. If I had to pick only one side game you absolutely needed to understand, I wouldn’t be able to. Each of them is vital to understanding the “bigger story” in Kingdom Hearts. If they’re meant to be side-games, spin-offs that are unnecessary to the plot and would provide little information towards the main story, they failed horrifically.
Now here’s where these side-games do their job.
@derekscorner was one to point this out. They only mentioned Coded, but this can apply to all of the side-games that were released.
A side-game is meant to extend the story away from the bigger plot, focusing on things that they couldn’t fit into a main game because it wouldn’t be relevant.
Chain of Memories takes your focus away from Sora’s fight against the Heartless to his journey to find Riku and this new mysterious girl from Sora’s past.
358/2 Days gives you more story on Roxas, who he was and how he came to betray the Organization while also characterizing Axel and introducing Xion.
Birth by Sleep gave you backstory on Xehanort, what he did to end up betraying Ansem, and what happened to make him lose his memory in the first place. It also gives more detail about how the Keyblade came to be such a scarce weapon, introducing new characters that are tied into it’s violent history.
Coded, probably the best to define as a side-game, took you completely away from the main plot, delving into what happened with the journal, how Naminé is connected to it, and what Sora’s true purpose is.
Dream Drop Distance tells you about the exam Sora and Riku must take in preparation for the battle with Xehanort and what exactly Xehanort intends to do to achieve his goals.
0.2 Fragmentary Passage tells about Aqua’s time in the Realm of Darkness and how she played a pivotal role in helping seal the Door to Darkness. It also helps set up for Kingdom Hearts III.
Union Cross gives backstory on the Keyblade War, further delving into how the weapon managed to start a war and what exactly happened to the worlds to separate them all.
In honesty, the games do a really good job of keeping most plot-heavy stuff to the numbered titles. The only time it seems to ignore this principle is in Birth by Sleep with the introduction of several new characters whom we’ve never seen in any of the other games and how important they are going to be in the upcoming titles.
Kingdom Hearts, while every game is sorta important to understand in order to enjoy the story to it’s fullest, does keep it’s most important information in the numbered titles.
i have an interest in kingdom hearts lately which is so weird for me cuz i never really had an interest at all but here i am kinda wanting to dive in... but where do i even start. like a few months ago i saw a video talking about how the game order was weird or something. also,,, this probably sounds stupid but is it ever too late to get into a game series? wow im sorry for ranting about this to you, your the only person i follow who posts kingdom hearts and youve fueled my interest lol.
If you have a PS4, you can buy Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5, which includes all of the games! (Though two of them have been converted to movies where you just watch the cutscenes.)
1.5 and 2.5 are each available separately for PS3, as well. There’s also Kingdom Hearts 2.8 for PS4, which includes a prologue for Kingdom Hearts 3, a movie based on the mobile game, and a re-master of one of the more recent titles (by which I mean it came out in 2012… hahaha).
That is probably incredibly confusing… What I’m saying is that it’s absolutely not too late to get into the series! Here’s a list of the games in order of release date:
Kingdom Hearts (PS2, PS3, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA, PS2, PS3, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts II
(PS2, PS3, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS, PS3, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP, PS3, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts: Coded (DS, PS3, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (3DS, PS4)
Kingdom Hearts x (iOS, Android– plus a movie for PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- (PS4)
I actually recommend you play the games in the order that they were released. Even if they’re not in chronological order, that’s the order we all played them in at the time. :)
P.S. It’s never too late to get into a game series!! You might have some catching up to do, but if you try out the first game and like it, you have a whole bunch of games you get to play– without having to wait years between each one! You can binge them all at once if you want! :D