An opening cinema worth buying the game for

Kingdom Hearts 3D is a wonderful game *and* a fun monster pet sim. On top of that, it features the most brilliant opening cinema I’ve ever seen. It’s very much like a Disney theme park attraction, in that you can’t get the full effect from promo films or Youtube videos; it can only be fully experienced at the source, and in this case that means the dual screens of the 3DS.


In a tribute to Fantasia, a hand-drawn, silhouetted Mickey — wearing the sorcerer’s hat — eagerly takes his place on an orchestra rostrum. The scene’s on the upper screen, but in flat 2D. As the Kingdom Hearts theme swells, the shadow-Mickey suddenly drops to the lower screen as the upper screen bursts with full 3D CGI. The Mickey silhouette below “conducts” the upper screen arrival of Donald, Goofy and Sora into a storm of swirling book pages.

As the video continues, and the upper screen characters face a montage of dangers and duels, the lower-screen Mickey loses control of the events and is tossed about by the winds, eventually regaining some control, but then becoming concerned and focused on the bad turn of events in the upper screen.

When things look darkest for the heroes, Mickey leaps up from the bottom screen and arrives in CG form on the upper screen to fight and restore order.

As the game logo appears at the overture’s finale, there’s a moment of quiet. Then, as the last notes play, Sora and Riku, asleep, fall downward through both screens.

It’s just awesome. The team at Square Enix put a lot of thought into this video’s design, and took full advantage of the contrast between the 2D and 3D worlds on the two screens.

So, KH3D now tops my list of opening cinemas. What’s your favorite game opening movie of all time?