Viewing Orders

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Scarred Nobody, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Scarred Nobody Where is the justice?

    May 14, 2007
    In the simplest of words, how would you suggest someone experience a series that was not released in a chronological order?

    This being a Kingdom Hearts forum, I decided to use Kingdom Hearts as my main example.

    Now, before these remasters, where they are neatly bundled together, we had the individual games. If someone were to want to get into Kingdom Hearts, their big question would be to where they would want to start. There exists two possibilities (discounting just starting from starting at any random place): the order in which the games were released, and the order in which the stories are in chronological order.

    Release Order (Japan):

    Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts: Coded, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

    Chronological Order:

    Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts: Coded, and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

    Now, both have their merit. The release order will give the player a similar experience to those who have followed the series from the very beginning. As well, there are various twists and turns that are revealed that help enrich the narrative. In chronological order, the story is somehow easier and more difficult to follow, but you see a natural progression.

    Another example of alternative viewing order is that with the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. When it was released on television in Japan, the episodes were premiered in a seemingly random order (1 3 8 4 10 9 11 14 5 13 12 6 7), but somehow were able to pull off a cohesive story and a strong ending. In the subsequent DVD releases however, they are in chronological order, with episodes 2-7 telling a cohesive story while the rest are side stories and has a rather disappointing final episode. So, when someone wants to try out the series for the first time, which order would be more preferable to help enhance their experience?

    And, of course, this idea of “viewing orders” stems much further into different forms of storytelling.

    And that leads me to my ultimate question: is there an overall “better” experience when it comes to these kinds of stories? Does it depend on the genre, or the series itself?

    Or, does it even matter at all?
  2. ~Master Xehanort~ KH3 was amazing. Fight me.

    Nov 2, 2011
    New York City
    Different people have different ideas on which would be best. Me personally, I would prefer having a natural progression, so I'd definitely go with chronological order.
  3. Antidote Façade

    Nov 26, 2006
    I honestly haven't had much experience with a series that jumps around so much chronologically than Kingdom Hearts, but I personally would play them in the order they were released rather than when they take place, reason being that some of the newer KH games add on story elements to existing titles that weren't actually present or even mentioned in their respective game. I especially think that starting with Birth by Sleep without having prior knowledge to KHI would be confusing.
  4. Mixt The dude that does the thing

    Oct 18, 2006
    This is more a matter of preference as opposed to one is better than the other. Having information before the author intended you to have it (spoilers) has been shown to have minimal impact on enjoyment of a story and can often improve it. The real danger comes in when you don't have information that you are supposed to have. But the odds of hitting a significant case of that is rare if you follow chronologically. While you might not grasp the significance of something, it is unlikely to be confusing as to why it happened.

    But like Coma, I would lean on release order. A writer that plans well ahead has a reason for putting things in the order they are, a writer that doesn't is going to build off of what they had written most recently. Either way the flow of the story works better from release order, and in the case of the latter things like retcons become less obvious.
  5. 0blivionkeeper Merlin's Housekeeper

    Dec 29, 2014
    The Emerald Isle :D
    I generally prefer release order, especially in video games. For example I started playing the Metal Gear Solid series, and I feel if I started with 3: Snake Eater, I'd find it more difficult to play the original MGS seeing as it has such a drastic change in gameplay.

    Tho I've had exceptions. I played Crisis Core before playing FFVII, and enjoyed VII more in the process. It really depends on the series for me I guess.
  6. cstar stay away from my waifu

    Dec 19, 2008
    This really does come down to personal preference, I am personally more of the person who plays it by order of release rather than chronologically. It may be because I grew up finding myself watching in the main plot then prequel order.

    With a game series like Kingdom Hearts it's really complicated, I don't personally see the difference between starting with Kingdom Hearts I or starting with Birth by Sleep. But I do see the difference between playing Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II first. I don't know if any of you fell into this category but I didn't know Chain of Memories existed for so long since it was on the gameboy and I was really confused how Sora ended up in a coma for a year. In a case like that I would push more for playing Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days before playing Kingdom Hearts II. I would obviously encourage people to play Kingdom Hearts I before Kingdom Hearts II but Birth By Sleep is one of those games that I don't really feel like the experience is ruined by playing it before or after Kingdom Hearts I and II.

    Meh, maybe KHI, CoM, 358/2 Days, KHII, (Coded or BBS), DDD

    so basically KH HD Remix order.