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    Kingdom Hearts IV: What It Needs To Succeed

    May your heart be your guiding key for what KHIV needs

    It’s still hard to believe that Kingdom Hearts III is actually a thing that we all experienced. Ever since the Birth By Sleep teaser in KH2 Final Mix, fans imagined what KH3 would be like. This curiosity sparked the creation of many story theories and fan art. To finally experience Kingdom Hearts III’s release in 2019 was a dream come true. Now with Square-Enix’s recent announcement of Kingdom Hearts IV, players ponder what improvements they would like to see in the future installment by looking back on KH3. Today, I would like to go over what I think Kingdom Hearts IV needs to succeed as a KH game.

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    *SPOILERS FOR KH3 WILL BE DOWN BELOW! IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THE GAME AND PLAN ON PLAYING IT, DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE! OTHERWISE, YOU WILL BE LIKE ROXAS AND DESTROY YOUR COMPUTER!*

    What Kingdom Hearts IV Needs

    *LET’S GET TO IT!*
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    Kingdom Hearts IV Needs: Better Story Structure/Pacing (1/2)

    “Too much Disney content and not enough Kingdom Hearts content”, is the best way to describe KH3. I always described the Kingdom Hearts games as a, “2 Games in one”, kind of game. You have the Disney side and you have the Kingdom Hearts side. The Disney side is where Sora interacts with the Disney characters in their own worlds, disregarding the overarching KH plot. The Kingdom Hearts side is where you experience the actual story of KH. Hardcore fans know that this is where the true interest of Kingdom Hearts lies. With Kingdom Hearts 3 hype building up at the time, players were starving for lore.

    Unfortunately, as stated before, Kingdom Hearts 3 didn’t give a lot of us the amount of KH content we wanted. While there were great moments in KH3, it all feels very condensed into the final act. This, in turn, leads to my bigger point.

    The developers should have fleshed out the final act of the game much more longer. From saving Aqua to defeating Xehanort, it all feels so short. There was so much they could have put in there such as updates on Kairi’s training with Axel. The amount of story content they put in the Re:Mind DLC also comes to mind. How was that not put into the full game? Fleshing out the final act more would have made up for the amount of time we had to spend playing all those Disney worlds. Playing through the cool Disney worlds felt like you were just constantly waiting for the “good stuff” to happen. If the developers go for this kind of structure in KHIV, I hope they take in this advice.

    Kingdom Hearts series

    Kingdom Hearts IV Needs: Better Story Structure/Pacing (2/2)

    In addition, the other way to approach this is by adding exciting KH boss battles/world experiences throughout the game. The Riku/King Mickey vs Heartless battle as well as the Twilight Town experience comes to mind. They were great because they all happen during the early parts of the game. Unfortunately, after Twilight Town there is a huge gap of only Disney boss battles/world experiences. You don’t get any KH boss battles/world experiences until the final act of the game. In fact, a lot of KH characters such as Axel, Kairi, and Riku didn’t appear much in the story like Organization 13 did.

    To remedy this, we could’ve saved Aqua and Ventus in the middle parts of the game. This would have made for a perfect balance of Disney and Kingdom Hearts content. A strong suit the franchise has always been known for! Here’s to hoping the KHIV development team takes this in!

    Kingdom Hearts IV Needs: Better Proud Mode Difficulty

    I get it. The biggest difficulty for KH games is Critical Mode. However, that doesn’t mean that Proud Mode has to be massively easier though. I think a lot of people can agree that KH3 felt like a cakewalk in a lot of ways. I’ve only died maybe 5 times in my playthrough of KH3, and that’s saying a lot! I do commend KH3 for giving you opportunities to make things harder for you. Turning off Donald’s ability to heal you and doing Level 1 playthrough runs are great. Honestly, the visual spectacle of battles are great! Even so, I would still like to see the developers make Proud Mode challenging. There are multiple ways they can go about this, but I would like to see them do what they can.

    Closing

    This franchise is near and dear to my heart. I want nothing but the best of it and to see KH grow immensely. Whatever we all want from KHIV, I hope that it turns out to be a great game for everyone.

    (Nomura, please add in some Final Fantasy characters in KHIV, thanks)

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