Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Public Service Announcement: Kingdom Hearts II

Today I want to talk to you about a very big concern of mine, one that will soon be consuming the internet.

Kingdom Hearts II.

For those of you unfamiliar with what Kingdom Hearts is, go upstairs. Your children are downloading fansubbed anime. Ask them. They know.

On the chance they don't, KH is a collaboration between Disney Games and Square Enix. Square is one of the giants of the video game industry. They're responsible for the Final Fantasy series and that unfortunate attempt at a feature film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Someone came up with the idea to combine Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters. A world where you—playing as the plucky hero Sora, and accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy—travel through various disney movies, occasionally running into Square characters, on a quest to... uh... stop bad things from happening and find Mickey Mouse. (If it sounds implausible, don't worry, the majority of gamers thought so, too. Somehow the game pulls it off.)

Despite that it won't be released in North America until March 28, inputting its title into the search command on on March 5 yielded 2207 results.

Obviously, the NA release is only going to work fans up into more of a frenzy. Sure, they'll be a brief respite while they all have to take time out to play the game, but soon after they'll return with even more fanworks. Not to mention blogged accounts of their progress and reactions to the gameplay, plot, etc.

So why does the bastard love child of two of the biggest entertainment coporations in the world—Disney and Square Enix/Sony—hold so many of us captive?

Many people will argue it's the nostalgia of beloved Disney movies mixed with the excitement of a Square game or the plot or how watching Sora jump up and down is hysterical or something else along those lines.

While that's a definite factor, there's something all of those solutions overlooks. Or, rather, someone.

Cloud Strife. (If you just went "who?" don't worry, you probably weren't going to be ensnared by KH 2 anyway.)

Admit it. His very name makes you giggle like a 14 year old girl. You love him. It's ok, most of us were so completely blindsided by Advent Children that we forget how badly we wanted to take him out of our party and put someone useful in. You know, like FFVII with a FFX battle system. (Tidus = tanned Cloud on super-happy pills.)

My point is Cloud has an innate fandom. His love child with Vincent Valentine (no, I'm not sure who the mother was, but I bet it was all in vitro and done in an Enix Lab) shows up in KH and we all freak out. Because he looks cool and convinces us that they've taken the good traits from two characters to make one exceptionally badass one. Or something.

His natural born offspring—I suspect Tifa was the mother, but the hopeful can continue to think Aeirth—Sora bounds into our lives with giant shoes, goofy hair, and the magic of Disney that makes everything he does undeniably adorable. FFS, he makes me believe there's some kind of practicality in hitting things with a GIANT KEY.

(Oh, yes, Sora is Cloud's son. If you haven't realized that yet, you really need to pay more attention. Look at this hair. Either he's Cloud's kid or someone else has hair that stupid. Do you really want someone else to have hair that impossibly stupid? C'mon. Think about it. Look at his "best friend." Silver-haired, green-eyed kid who turns to the dark side because he went a little crazy with power. Instant Sephiroth, just add Jenova—I mean the witch from Sleeping Beauty.)

Don't deny it. Sora has the same weird, infectious likability that keeps people watching American Idol or making the pilgrammage to DLand. It sucks you in and makes you its bitch.

I have freely admitted that I like the little weirdo. Giant shoes and all. I can't explain why. It's like I have to like him because he makes me think of Cloud, who makes me think of FF7, which was like the only FF I ever bothered to play through. Plus, he's so damn adorable and that appeals to the KAWAII that Japan instilled in me as some form of survival mechanism. As soon as it's KAWAII, it's required I like it.

Ok, now let's say you're a cold soulless individual that can withstand cuteness. You realize the giant key is impractical, even kind of stupid. That the big shoes are goofy. Not cute. Just strange. You won't touch any of that happy Disney stuff with a ten-foot pole. And you hated FFVII. (Well, mainly because you don't want to be seen as obeying the "popular" voice of liking it.)

Disney hears you. And raises you two Jacks. Jack the Pumpkin King and Captain Jack Sparrow.

If that doesn't win you over, they go in for the kill. It has a TRON level.

If you still manage to escape being sucked in by the appeal of this game, I suggest you spend the next year living under a cyberspace rock. Because it will find you. You don't think Ninja Mickey is standing by to keyblade-whip all dissenters into submission?


Sorcha Chumomisto said...

jacks, eh? i'll have to brave this game. but not until after its moved to the previously played bin, and i can get it for less than twenty dollars.

c.rooney said...

Has the first one moved there yet?

I think it'll be a long time, they want to milk this for all the money they can.

Sorcha Chumomisto said...

i haven't seen the first one in used bins yet. but that's okay. i only JUST picked up ffx-2. i have patience.

c.rooney said...

I could have given you FFX and FFX-2 for free if I knew you wanted them...

Sorcha Chumomisto said...

well i've had ffx for a long time. i didnt know you still had ffx-2.

all i know is that everyone refused to tell me the ending, even though i begged it of them. i could have looked it up online, but i figure if everyone was so adamant about nottelling me, than i should probably just play it myself.

Carly said...

haha this made me laugh! I love Sora for all of those reasons :P
Although, I think I might like Roxas a bit more :) haha