This will not be an analysis of the trailer that was revealed on April 10th 2022, just my thoughts on the community reaction to the announcement. I will be linking the video to each reaction below each person discussed. These are not all the reactions available! There are just the ones that I watched the day of the announcement. Enjoy!

All around the reaction from the community to this announcement is shock. Waiting for KH 3 has definitely made the fandom more patience when it comes to numbered titles in the series. I personally thought we were going to get a side game after KH 3 (forgetting that both Melody of Memory and the Re: Mind each released a year apart from the main title). Excitement is also universal from the community, even from people who weren't a fan of KH 3. Moving on to the individual reactions I want to highlight.

Cynical from the Gamers Joint seems to be the most excited for this new game. He is a Kingdom Hearts news focused YouTuber, so it make sense. His reaction is the most fun, I highly recommend watching it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exje4qBpXCc

Bio-Roxas reaction is probably the calmest, cause he had to wake up to react to it. He later releases an analysis of the game play, go check that out when you have the chance. Just thought it was funny how laid back he was about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce88CnGSIy0

Regular Pat has the best reaction in my opinion. While being excited, he is keeping his expectations in check. He made an excellent video about how the release of too many trailers led to the over exposure of Kingdom Hearts 3, which lead to a lot of disappointment in its reception.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-SIB9xtYRo

Night Sky Prince, a Final Fantasy focused YouTuber, mainly looks at the aspects of this game that are similar to Final Fantasy Vs. Thirteen. Vs. Thirteen was a project that Nomura wanted to develop, but due to many production issues it was promptly cancelled and re-branded as Final Fantasy Fifteen. Scenes and character designs similar to Vs. Thirteen in KH 3 (and now 4) have many fans speculating that the new Kingdom Hearts games are Nomura trying to live out that vision. Nomura has denied such allegations. Night Sky Prince has many videos on the matter, and I recommend you check those out to understand the Vs. Thirteen connection to Kingdom Hearts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OunalDt8dE

Rogers Base, a One Piece focused Youtuber, also reacts to the new trailer. He seems to love Sora's new design and is excited about where the story is headed after Kingdom Hearts 3. However, there is a problem I want to address with his reaction. He has no idea who Strelitzia is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70mTwsA_86c

Stelitzia being a character introduced in the Union Cross mobile games, its understandable that the more laid back fans of the series wouldn't know who she was. And yet she is an important part of the lore and story. Kingdom Hearts has what I would like to call an accessibility issues. Multiple games containing vital information to the overall plot are placed on multiple different consoles. They fixed that problem by remixing the entire series into one bundle called "The Story So Far" which has all the necessary games in order in one purchase. Sadly, the mobile games are not included in that bundle.

Not all hope is lost though. There are many explanation videos online that explain what happens and how it is relevant to KH 4. (Damo279 has a very lengthy video explaining the entire plot of Union Cross here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ0J7mo5_J8)

What I want to ask is how far are creators willing to alienate their audience to produce what they believe to be the best version of their story? In an effort to be challenged when creating a new game, Nomura chose a console before thinking of the story. And while this arguably lead to some of the games having better story and or gameplay, at what cost was this achieved?

I don't doubt that these issues cost Kingdom Hearts some loyal fans along the way. But it may have gained more fans due to the creation of "The Story So Far" bundle. There seems to be a sub community of new gamers playing the entire series for the first time throughout the community. It adapted to the times and made itself accessible so that new and old fans don't feel alienated.

Now more people are just as lost as we are :)

Kingdom Hearts evolved into something everyone can play, even if the story is hard to comprehend. The gameplay is fun, and the characters are charming. That's all a game really needs at the end of the day. And if one does understand and enjoy the lore, kudos to them.

This is the first time I've gone into a release understanding the lore and story of Kingdom Hearts, so I can happily say I am super excited to see what comes next. (The Regular sized shoes are here to stay!)