Honest to god, as costly as I know it would be, Kingdom Hearts Union Cross transition into a full on console game with gameplay that's pretty much KH3, 3D models, and the story being more fleshed out, is the direction that game needs to go to stay relevant.
Because as far as this game is right now... I just can't do it and I only engage when the story moves forward, watching cutscenes on YT as I wait for translation. Gameplay can be fun but gets too tedious and boring the more you play it. I don't know man, after playing almost 300 missions at this point and grinding up my stats just barely to a reasonable advantage, it just felt like a chore everytime I play it and its same feeling I get from everyone else, even people who love the game.
Say what you will about KH3 gameplay but I would've been far more engaged in doing the pointless constant side missions if it had traditional gameplay that always fun to play, at least for me. I don't know about anyone else but KH2 and KH3 gameplay is stuff I can never get bored with. The medal system just isn't doing for me and grinding is biggest chore I've ever had with a video game and half the time, the pay off for that grinding rarely matters or is even worth it.
And it would even help the story if you packed it with side quests, missions, and other type items that have a simple story to it so that the wait for the main story to continue doesnt feel like its taking ages because you're busy with other quests and upgrading your stats and weapons. Which granted, I guess it already does with the Disney worlds but it feels way more linear more it does a traditonal, open world, do whatever you want in the meantime MMO style game.
But of course... its costly. Doing all that requires a lot of time, people, and espeically a lot of faith from Sqaure given their last outing with an MMO title that they just barely saved. So I wouldn't be suprise that Sqaure just wouldnt be in the position to do it, even if they wanted. Also considering the fact that they have.
1. Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which is going to be two episode arc
2. The Avengers Project
3. Final Fantasy 16
4. FF MMO thats already widely popular.
and probably a lot more coming that I'm forgetting gonna be draining their staff and resources. And I feel like Sqaure is fully aware of their reputation right now and don't want to announce something that might not be released for quite some time. Because its also the issue of 3D modeling when its comes to the main story. And if the current game is taking this long to get story updates out the gate, imagine having to deal with 3D cutscenes. But still, they did manage to get Back Cover and 0.2 out the gate just fine so, again, maybe its not impossible
I think Kingdom Hearts Union Cross turning into a full on MMO, rename it as Kingdom Hearts X; making it the defintive version of this story with 3D models and KH3 gameplay with crafting, upgrading, a transfer system for plàyere to keep their stats, more clothing options, etc would be the best decision going forward for the series imo
For one thing, I think it would help keep Kingdom Hearts to stay relevant until the next main title. Kingdom Hearts always had a problem staying in the public eye. After KH2, most gamers just didn't care about this series for a lot of reasons. One of those main reasons was the games being on handhelds. And most casual gamers don't for handheld titles of series that was previously on console because the public eye will always view it as the less relevant version. And Union cross at this point is still an important part of the series' lore and probably isn't a game that should be ignore going forward.
And true, the general audience might get a fair grasp of the story going forward with a KH4 but the whole thing about worldlines and all is just going to further confuse people. So why not explore those ideas more in a previous spin-off that stands out from the rest of them? So the audience gets a better understanding of the lore going forward since thats pretty much the direction its going.
But no one will care and it'll make KH4 more confusing introducing that concept when its a game on a phone that most people aren't going to invest that much time in because its on your phone; and generally most gamers that play mobile play games that are basically one and done like Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja, not full on RPGs unless its a classic title from back in the way. And the people still playing are doing it out of obligation and maybe 5 minutes of fun before it gets boring and many others have just dropped it.
Not to mention, the game has changed its title almost three times now and since its launch, already adding to the stigma of KH just having titles that just sound stupid no matter how vaguely relevant it is to the story and doing it three different times for the same game.
But again, all of this is a pipe dream but its a dream that honestly would work for the better for this series. For one thing, I think in creating KH union cross for console, they can start experimenting with their KH3 gameplay for other future titles starring other characters we know and love. I though this might be a big stretch of a comparison but if Final Fantasy can have an ongoing MMO but are still able to put other FF title in the meantime throughout, I don't see how its completely impossible for KH but again, those might be different kind of circumstances with different type of games.
But I think its slightly possible, it would just mean that they would have to shift their focus from KH4 to this for a while... which, to be honest... I'm okay with. I know someone on this forum said it before but to me, the numbered titles are like the Avengers films. They are event stories; so you shouldnt expect to see one every two or three years after the fact. And I honestly the structure of how Kingdom Hearts works is perfectly okay with me because, again, it works like the MCU. The side games are still relevant to the story while introducing new gameplay that could potentially make into a KH4. The mainline games have always been a culmination of the previous storylines and I don't know of I want that trend to stop. If anything, it makes the series more unique in that regard.
And we are in an interesting position since Sora is gone for the time being, we can focus on other chatacters and flesh them out before we get back into SDG shenanigans. And the only reason that structure didnt work last time is because they were all on handhelds, automatically making them less relevant in the eyes of the majority. But now we can play with Unreal Engine with model and assets from Back cover and KH3, I feel like the possiblites are looking good for the series going forward. Heck, with Disney now more involved (for better or worse), maybe its possible they can led more resources. Its Disney, the most powerful entertainment corporation in the world, I doubt lending some help to your biggest video game IP somehow wouldn't be in their best interest in expanding their brand, something Disney has been activating doing for years.
In short, I think KH Union Cross and renaming it Kingdom Hearts X, creating the transition from mobile to console and PC, creating models using the assests to create engaging quests and side stories while the main story is still in the oven, maybe bump up the production; hire a whole new team and staff to work on it (which means more jobs for the unemployed or fresh out of collegeYah!!), changing up the way the story unfolds to a more traditional KH style (replacing the gummi ship with the book of prophecies and warp gates of course ) with Daybreak town being the central hub world like RG and TT, and while they do that, main KH team work on the other side games fleshing out the storyline and the main cast until they eventually get to KH4.
Its a pipe dream and its coming off of very minimal knowledge of game development on my part. Still, I think the series going in this direction would help keep KH in relevancy within the gaming sphere after KH3 is done and expand its capabilities gameplay wise and story wise.