Kingdom Hearts has been a big part of my life since the first game came out in in 2002. There have been three main instalments in the series and countless side-games released across multiple platforms. This could be annoying if you didn’t have the consoles to play them (Thank God for the HD collection that allowed me to play them all because Kingdom Hearts is definitely a series where you have to play them all to have any idea of what is going on).
I’ll admit I got a little teary-eyed at the long-awaited finale of the Dark Seeker Saga before being filled with that immense sense of emptiness you feel when you finish a game in which you’ve been really immersed. The moment when you sit there, staring at the end credits thinking ‘now what?’ is something I’m sure all gamers have experienced at least once.
Luckily for fans, Square Enix hasn’t left us hanging.
On June 16th, Square Enix took to YouTube with a brand-new trailer detailing what is in store from the world of Kingdom Hearts.
The first update comes in the form of Kingdom Hearts Union X. The game was initially released in Japan in 2013 as a web browser game under the name Unchained X before hitting Android and iOS worldwide in 2016. It was rebranded as Union X in 2017 and has been regularly updated since the initial release. As a prequel to the other games, Union X is set before the first Keyblade War and has the player take on the role of an unnamed Keyblade wielder who joins one of five unions. No date for the latest update has been set just yet, but the trailer assures us that it is coming soon.
The second update ties in nicely with the first.
Kingdom Hearts Union X: Dark Road was announced in January this year, but a date has finally been set – June 22nd. Dark Road is classed as a standalone game that, upon release, will be accessible via the Union X app and follows the exploits of Xehanort before he became the Big Bad we have all come to know. As it turns out, Eraqus was not the only student training alongside Xehanort, and we are set to be introduced to these new characters: Hermod, Vor, Urd and Bragi. Exactly how these new characters tie into the overall story is, for the time being, not clear, but regardless, it will be interesting to get a deeper insight into Xehanort’s past.
The official Kingdom Hearts III soundtrack is due to release in Autumn 2020, though no specific date has been given as of yet.
The final and, perhaps, most exciting update is the announcement of Melody of Memory – the first rhythm game in the series. From the look of it, players get to revisit some (if not all) of the worlds visited throughout the series and fight (and fly for some of the more melodious tunes) along to the beat of over 140 Kingdom Hearts songs. There is supposedly an online mode, but details on how that will work have not yet been released. It is not clear from the trailer to what extent this is the case, but it seems that Kairi will feature in this game heavily, with the trailer including snippets of flashbacks from her past, so it seems we might finally learn more about who Kairi is and how her destiny became intertwined with Sora’s.
Melody of Memory will be available for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, and while it has no definitive date outside of 2020, there is no denying that this year will be an exciting one for Kingdom Hearts fans.