Star Wars, Marvel, The Muppets, and more DLC suggestions.
Kingdom Hearts 3 has now been available for a few weeks, and while many of us are still working our way through Battlegates, the Ultima Weapon quest, or a Flantastic hunt, it’s hard not to look to the future of Square Enix’s action-RPG series. While the ending(s) of Kingdom Hearts 3 leave us plenty to chew on, the sequel also presents a unique opportunity for Square to expand on their franchise-hopping adventure with DLC, a would-be first for the Kingdom Hearts series.
Star Wars and Marvel
These two feel like the most obvious choices, but with Disney’s acquisition of both Star Wars and Marvel properties in the years between Kingdom Hearts 2 and 3, almost every interview about KH3 came saddled with questions like “Will Sora get a lightsaber Keyblade?” and “Is Wolverine going to have a cool team-up with Goofy?”
Of course, neither property appeared in Kingdom Hearts 3, but that doesn’t mean Sora couldn’t travel to a galaxy far, far away or hop a ride on the Quinjet. If Square Enix decides to make DLC worlds for Kingdom Hearts 3, Marvel and Star Wars would be at the top of our lists as potential properties to consider.
And, with both having a cosmic bent, they could easily be integrated into either the story or post-game play. While venturing around one of the Gummi Ship galaxies, Sora could have a run in with the Guardians of the Galaxy and end up on Knowhere, or a Tie Fighter could come flying by to pull the gang into an unexpected adventure. There’s obviously plenty of potential for these properties to be integrated into the KH world, and given how big a year this is for both, with Star Wars and Marvel with Episode IX and Avengers: Endgame, respectively, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have that cross-platform integration.
I get it. The Muppets acquisition hasn’t nearly been as big a priority for Disney as the last couple. But… c’mon – Sora, Donald, and Goofy as puppets would be adorable, teaming up with Miss Piggy would lead to some incredible kung-fu action, and an end battle backed by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem music would be epic.
Smaller Storybook Levels Like Winnie the Pooh
I never would have expected Winnie the Pooh to be one of the most controversial levels in Kingdom Hearts 3, but here we are. I personally like the idea of a small, lowkey break from the more bombastic action of the other worlds, but I also understand the criticism of this vignette’s length and simple minigame gameplay.
At the same time, I love the idea of Kingdom Hearts integrating Disney properties in smaller, more compact worlds. While I’d obviously like to see more varied gameplay than Pooh’s mobile game-like activities, I’d love to see already visited Disney franchises, like Peter Pan or Snow White, or ones not yet visited, like Robin Hood or Treasure Planet, be serviced by smaller, more focused and dynamic worlds. A three-pack of worlds, maybe, either told via storybook or in full-fledged worlds, that aren’t quite as big as other levels but still allow for interesting gameplay and story twists could be a nice way to give Kingdom Hearts 3 longevity beyond its story.
Similarly, if Square Enix is adding in more worlds, I’d love to see some of the best previous worlds remade in Kingdom Hearts 3. Halloween Town from Kingdom Hearts 1 or Pride Rock from Kingdom Hearts 2 would be an absolute joy to see remade for the modern era. I spent so much of my time playing through Kingdom Hearts 3’s worlds wishing I could see those earlier adventures look and sound as good as Olympus or San Fransokyo.
And, look, I’d happily take a full-on remake of the original Kingdom Hearts. But, with Final Fantasy VII already on the docket for that treatment, I’d happily take a couple of worlds integrated into Kingdom Hearts 3 with the loosest of story reasons to justify their existence.
An Olympus Coliseum Analog
One of my favorite aspects of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 were Hercules’ world’s gauntlets, both in the Coliseum and in the Underworld. While Kingdom Hearts 3 has the end-game Battlegates, they don’t quite capture the excitement of dozens of battles in a row, or offer the satisfaction of pushing ahead through tough groups of enemies and surprising bosses.
Kingdom Hearts 3’s Realm of the Gods is practically begging for a similar feature, and it could be pretty easily integrated into the opening area of the heavens. (Seriously, the sparse introductory area feels like it’s meant to be filled with other content.)
Having cups or events named after different gods in the pantheon could be an easy way to mine the Hercules lore. And, adding additional bosses would be an easy way to revisit the Kingdom Hearts franchise’s past, and maybe even bring back battles against Cloud or Sephiroth, because we really need…
Final Fantasy Characters
A couple of dusty statues in a cutscene isn’t enough, Square Enix. Let me fight Sephiroth. Let “One-Winged Angel” fill the halls of the gods. Let me just grab some sea-salt ice cream with Leon, Aerith, and Yuffie. Please.
Be sure to let us know what you’d like to see from Kingdom Hearts 3 going forward. And, of course, for more of our coverage, be sure to read our Kingdom Hearts 3 review, check out our full wiki guide for help with Lucky Emblems and much more
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s News Editor. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.