Is Kingdom Hearts one of your all-time favorite games? I know that it is absolutely one of my favorites. Addicting game play, an awesome story, and having the ability to fight alongside your childhood movie characters are all combined into this epic game. With the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance soon to release (July 31st, 2012), Kingdom Hearts has been quite the buzz. However, with so many side stories, the series has probably left many of you lost and not knowing what the heck is going on. I am going to give the breakdown of each game and where it fits in the story.
This is how the storyline flows in chronological order:
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (North American Release 9/7/2010) was released for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). It is a prequel to Kingdom Hearts, taking place 10 years earlier and acting as the first game in the series. The story featres three characters, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus while they try to locate Master Xehanort and protect the world from the Unversed. A Japan-only exclusive entitled Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix (1/30/2011) was released and included additional cutscenes and enemies to fight.
Kingdom Hearts (2/29/2002) was the first release in the franchise and is the main first game in the storyline featuring Sora, Donald, and Goofy. The concept of Heartless was introduced and the team was on a quest to defeat Ansem. A re-release of this game occurred exclusively in Japan called Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (12/29/2007). Kingdom Hearts Final Mix was pretty much the same game, but had a few extra cutscenes and enemies to fight.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories seems to be a major area of confusion in the order of games. This game was released for Game Boy Advance (12/7/2008) and is the direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts. The main source of confusion is that this game was released again for PlayStation 2 (12/2/2008), but besides the difference in graphics, they are the exact same game. This installment in the series introduced the ‘card battle system’ and is a quest to retrieve the memories of Sora, Donald, and Goofy. This game also introduced members of the Organization.
Kingdom Hearts II
Next came Kingdom Hearts II (2/28/2006) on the PlayStation 2 (my favorite). This continues the story from where Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories left off. In this game, Sora battles Heartless, Nobodies, and Organization XIII, all while trying to save Riku and trying to discover how he is connected to Roxas and Naminé. Again, a Japan-exclusive remake called Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ (2/29/2007) was released, which included additional cutscenes and enemies.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (9/29/2009) was released for Nintendo DS. Think of this game as an alternate timeline. The story in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days starts at the same time Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories begins and continues until the end of Kingdom Hearts II. The storyline highlights Roxas and his time in Organization XIII.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
First, this is a remake of a Japan-only mobile phone game called Kingdom Hearts Coded (11/18/2008). However, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (1/11/2011) was released for the Nintendo DS and is a continuation of the story after Kingdom Hearts II. The storyline deals with a message in Jiminy Cricket’s journal, which has been corrupted. The objective is to fight through various worlds to help correct the corrupted data.
I absolutely CANNOT WAIT for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance to come out. I am excited to see where the series takes us. There have been rumors [since Kingdom Hearts 2] that Kingdom Hearts 3 is on the way, but I remain optimistic that once Final Fantasy Versus XIII is out, then this long-awaited game will finally be released.