FEATURES By Ysabellerocks Jan 21, 2016 at 11:46am (EST)
The Gummi Ship is an integral part of Kingdom Hearts, allowing Sora and company to travel from world to world and seal each world’s keyhole. Implemented into the gameplay as fence off content, the Gummi Ship segments are an unavoidable aspect of a Kingdom Hearts playthrough. Evolving throughout the series, the Gummi Ship has felt for me largely disconnected from the overall feel of Kingdom Hearts.
In the first Kingdom Hearts, the Gummi Ship was mandatory. For a large proportion of the game we were all forced to play the same Gummi Ship routes over and over as we traversed those classic Disney worlds. It felt fun at first but, for me, I soon tired of having to space battle for a few minutes whenever I’d forgotten something in another world. The gameplay isn’t bad per say but it isn’t amazing either- just a generic on the rails shooter. Sometimes it even felt as if the Gummi Ship segments were a completely different game. All this changed with Kingdom Hearts 2.
With the release of Kingdom Hearts 2 it was now only compulsory to play through each route once to open up a new world. Even the routes themselves were redesigned. It may have still been an on the rails shooter but it looked so much more exciting now. Chip and Dale would chirp warnings into my ear as I frantically tried to take down a Heartless pirate ship or a Nobody Death Star. Even the enemies felt more in tune with the series. For those who enjoyed these missions there were now options to redo them with different challenges, from destroying as many heartless as you can or collecting lots of medals.
With Kingdom Hearts 3, it’ll be interesting to see how they advance Gummi Ships further or if they even choose to include them. The Gummi Ship segments have always been a way to both unlock further content and literally each world’s keyhole, so it would make sense to keep them in Kingdom Hearts 3. Personally, I think it’d be fun to make these more open-world. It’s fun to shoot at all those heartless spaceships but, to add some variance, exploring the Ocean Between would really emphasize how broken the world of Kingdom Hearts truly is. Equally, it’s understandable that not everyone wants to play the Gummi Ship parts, so keeping the ability to skip these after the first play is essential to keep.
Of course, there’s also the Keyblade Glider from Birth By Sleep to consider. This doesn’t seem feasible for Sora and company for plot reasons, but for other Guardians of Light this is definitely an option. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance had a wonderful drop system, with fun mini games before each World was unlocked. I loved defeating that giant Wasp Nightmare and collecting mini Soras. Everything was diverse enough to be different but equally, it felt like Kingdom Hearts to me. Implementing mini games similar to these but with the Keyblade Glider would be a dream come true.
Over time, the Gummi Ship has evolved to feel more at home in the Kingdom Hearts series but it has the potential to become even greater. What changes would you make to the Gummi Ship segments for Kingdom Hearts 3? Let us know your thoughts!