I grew up in the late ’80s and the ’90s and, without access to streaming services, would do nearly anything to be able to watch more cartoons. For example, I suffered through awkward skits between a middle-aged man and a lamp in Glen Michael’s Cartoon Cavalcade, begging for the next proper animated bit to, please, just start.
It’s in this spirit that the Kingdom Hearts series seems to have been made: lure in children with the promise of Olaf from Frozen and other beloved Disney and Pixar characters, but then make them work for those appearances by having them sit through dozens of hours of spiky-haired JRPG characters with too many belts and zips.
The Kingdom Hearts series is out on PC now via the Epic Games Store – and it costs too much, too.
Kingdom Hearts 3, the most recent game in the series, will cost you £50, or £40 with its current launch discount. That’s maybe not too bad for a long game that came out on consoles in 2019. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (a complilation of three games) is the same price, however, as is 2020 rhythm action spin-off Kingdom Hearts: Melody Of Memory. Finally, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX is £40, or £32 with the launch discount.
Given that this is the first time the series has appeared on PC, it’s a shame there’s no easy-to-recommend entry point for people simply curious what the games are about. Instead, I’m going to suggest you read Kat Bailey’s excellent article about the Kingdom Hearts series, which frames it in the context of the larger struggles of its developer, Square Enix.
Sorry if you love Kingdom Hearts. I listened to all the podcasts about its lore, every one, and I’m sure they’re right and that it’s great. I like melodrama. I appreciate the absurdity of the mashup.
But I also know myself. I’ve never liked a JRPG, and this series in particular feels to me like being four-years-old, desperately wanting to watch Bugs Bunny, but instead being stuck watching a man I don’t know open Christmas cards and Alan Cumming advertise a pantomime. I’ll stick to Disney+.