What is Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts (KH) is a action role-playing game owned by Disney and produced by Square-Enix. Kingdom Hearts is a crossover of many different Disney characters in an alternate universe made specifically for the game. The story starts with the main protagonist Sora as he journeys with his two companions Donald and Goofy to find the King, which of course is Mickie Mouse himself. Throughout his adventures he encounters many worlds of the Disney characters, such as Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, Aladdin, Jack the Skeleton and etc. During Sora and his companions adventures throughout the many world, what makes this game unique is the fact that Disney and Square Enix does an amazing job of keeping the characters true to heart. All of the Characters in Disney maintains its own personalities. Furthermore, the villains from each Disney world has the same agenda as it did in the story. For example, Jafar from Aladdin wants the lamp for his own personal use. The game makes it so that Sora will team up with Aladdin to prevent this from happening, and this is one of the reasons why this game is so unique. This series consists of eight games across many different counsels that include, Playstation 2, 3, and 4, the Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance. Kingdom Hearts sold over 25 million copies worldwide and its uniqueness attracts fans worldwide. Its fan base can attract people of younger and older generations, since its characters are from Disney, yet the game has enough violence(hack n slash) to a point where anyone can have fun.
Game play (Link to a Game play Video)
Kingdom Hearts game play is actually pretty simple, most of the time you are basically just mashing the attack button (X) with the occasional action command of (triangle) that will let you do some special attack. Also you can toggle the menu on the side for different abilities and items that Sora picks up as he progresses throughout the game. The character is a 3-dimensional, third person view, and you only have control of Sora. However across the series there is different game play styles that we will not cover since its too complicated. Such as chain of memories in which you use cards and its more turn base than hack n slash. But all in all you will be mashing buttons throughout the game and as you level up your attack combos change into more complicated and flashier attacks.
Art or Not
In my opinion Kingdom Hearts is indeed considered an art. “Works of art, from this point of view, are not the products of individual makers, ‘artists’ who possess a rare and special gift. They are, rather, joint products of all the people who cooperate” (Becker 35) According to Becker and his idea of Collective activity Kingdom Hearts definitely fits this role. KH is a game made from different worlds in Disney. Each world that the main character Sora encounters, has a unique story of its own. Square-Enix does a fantastic job of keeping the original story lines of the Disney characters, in a sense of keeping the antagonist and protagonists, while incorporating the main story line of Sora and companions. Furthermore Hegel’s idea of “Ideal unity can enter the art consciousness only through the unfolding and then the reconciliation of the particularization of the Idea, and, through this development, artistic beauty acquires a totality of particular stages and forms.” The sense of ideal unity, with Disney and square-enix itself comes to be art. Disney itself and its many movies and characters are all animated, giving the characters life-like functions. The art of animating the characters and putting a plot and incorporating the characters into a movie is considered to many, a work of art. Now when you use the art from Disney with a different story line, where you can actually move and interact with the characters, it actually puts the gamer’s into a different world. A world in which you feel like you are in, since you as the player can control the body in the game and have it interact with the characters from Disney.
Howard Becker. (1982). “Art Worlds and Collective Activity” in Art Worlds. Berkeley:University of California Press: pp. 1-39.