This week, Kingdom Hearts fans who have been waiting thirteen years for an actual sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, have had their dreams realized in the form, finally, of Kingdom Hearts III.
Last year, Persona fans got their hands on the series latest installment, the much-heralded Persona 5 after just a ten-year wait. Dipping into the past, we had to wait about the same amount of time for favorites such as Doom 3 and Super Street Fighter IV, as well as Fallout 3. (Okay, so that last was closer to an eleven-year wait.)
People hungry from the next Metroid Prime game will apparently have to wait a little longer, since Metroid Prime 4 has been sent back to the drawing board.
And, if you’re following Death Stranding news, you probably caught that Hideo Kojima sent out a tweet a few days ago stating that the game will “take a while.”
No surprise there.
As video game players (and, fairly, general consumers of culture), we are used to waiting. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we like it, but, we’re used to it. We understand that making games takes time, and there’s no magic wand that’ll speed up the process. The examples I’ve mentioned here are but a handful of games that arrived years after their previous installments, and not all games are worth the wait. But sometimes, they are. Aren’t they?
I find myself questioning this with Red Dead Redemption II, a game for which we only had to wait a mere eight years. I’ve chronicled my triumphs and struggles with the game well enough, so no need to bore with details here. Suffice to say, I really don’t know if it was worth the wait. It’s a better game in numerous respects than the original, and yet, it’s worse when it comes to the one thing that matters: gameplay. I am not ready to give up on it, but that one factor is, well, a bit of a game breaker.
My Kingdom Hearts flame died years ago, but I’ve been enjoying reading reviews of KHIII, which have been mostly positive. And that’s good, because I’m glad to hear that it survived both the time gap and people’s expectations. The latter notion is significant one when it comes to games, because the longer we have to wait for our favorite sequels, the more time there is to ruminate, speculate, and formulate. And with all that thinking and unrealized hope may come fatigue, and that’s the last thing developers want to have happen. Maintaining that hype machine is a big deal, and it seems that internal folks did a good job with it for Kingdom Hearts III, at least.
So, as gamers, are we a patient lot? The answer probably depends on the temperament of the person you’re asking. Consider Cyberpunk 2077. Have you been dying for its release ever since it was first announced in 2012? We’re coming up on seven years since, which isn’t that long a wait, all things considered, and maybe, now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel? Could the wait possibly be over later this year? Surely some people are keeping their fingers tightly crossed.
It only feels like an eternity has passed since Death Stranding was first announcement way back in ye olde 2016. It also seems like I’ll be old and gray by the time it sees the light of day, but there’s an illusion to that, which is partially fed by understanding at least a little bit of how Hideo Kojima works. Unlike companies that may cave to fan-made pressure, he (along with the likes of CD Projekt Red) appears set on releasing his game his way. Which is fine. He can, and should, do that. And I’m pretty patient. I have lots of things I can do, and play, in the meantime. Though…I’d rather not be polishing my dentures while experiencing Norman Reedus’s surreal trip into a surreal world. It seems like a game that requires a certain amount of brain space and lucidity to enjoy.
But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe. My attention span is not infinite, and honestly, neither is my patience.