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Kingdom Hearts 3

 

  • Genre: Action role-playing
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Players: 1
  • Network Players: 0
  • HD Space: 14 GB

The finale of an epic Disney trilogy

Kingdom Hearts is a crossover of various Disney properties based in a fictional universe. The series centers around the main protagonist, Sora, along with fellow companions Donald and Goofy, as they make experiences with various Disney worlds. The three friends embark on a journey to stop a Keyblade War from happening as it is prophesied that 7 Keyblade Wielders will fight against 13 Guardians of Darkness.

One of the most gorgeous scenes. 😱☝️

CONCEPT

Kingdom Hearts 3 is an amusing ride from the moment you start until it all ends. You play as Sora, the main protagonist and Keyblade wielder, who travels alongside his two best friends, Donald Duck, a short tempered Royal Magician of Disney Castle, and Goofy, an anthropomorphic dog and Captain of the Royal Knights, on the search for their friends and the King.

They travel to different Disney worlds to bring peace wherever there are Heartless, entities of darkness that reside in people’s hearts. Each world is separate and neither character knows of the existence of another protagonist from other franchises to maintain ‘the order’ of the worlds. For this reason, your team takes on the appearance of the inhabitants of the world to blend in (Ex: Toys for Toy Story, Monsters for Monsters Inc.).

Sora, Donald and Goofy disguise their appearance depending on which Disney franchise they visit.

The plot for each world is based on their films storyline while in some cases including more content treating them as short sequels. All of the main characters come together for a last stand against all the evils but even throughout the story the main cast lose sight of their objective and forget half of what they’re supposed to do. Sora still doubts in himself, appearing weak in many of the pivotal moments even after all that he’s accomplished throughout the series to get there.

DESIGN

You’ll explore different Disney worlds going through fragments of the stories from recent releases of film franchises like Toy Story, Tangled, Frozen, Big hero 6, and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few. Once you’ve landed, you’ll encounter the problems each characters is facing. The solution is straight forward with you fighting hordes of enemies and then a set of mini games to progress. Each of the stories are cut short and hardly take the time going into any detail by rushing/skipping many of the important aspects of each film. The set pieces for many of the levels are over the top with stunning visuals and an incredible demonstration of physics.

Sora is more agile and has abilities that will allow him to reach new heights. (No pun intended) 🧗‍♂️⛰

The main form of combat is with the Keyblade. Sora can use it to attack, block and create magic using a variety of Keyblades, each with their own unique characteristics. Sora’s clothes allow him to transform his Keyblades to become even more powerful for a limited amount of time. The player can summon characters such as Simba, Stitch, Ariel or bring in gorgeously decorated attractions based on real world Disney rides to aid in battle. Combine attacks with your party members, ricochet off surfaces, lock onto enemies and use other sorts of contraptions to use at your disposal. There are many ways to attack which allows less repetitive moves and more use of combinations.

Use magic to assist you in battle. 🧙‍♂️⚡️

One of the new additions is the ability to swap between 3 Keyblades at any time, even during battle. The player is able to upgrade a Keyblades performance when they have acquired the necessary materials.

After having resolved the situations in one of the Disney Worlds you’ll be moving around in the Gummi Ship, a small ship designed by Chip and Dale that help Sora and the gang fly through the different galaxies. During these scenarios you’ll shoot your way through hordes of enemies and find new upgrades that you can use to customize your ship. Increase the health, speed, power and even change its appearance before embarking on your next journey through space.

Flying through space with in the Gummi Ship. The radar is on the bottom left corner and the fuel and energy bars are on the bottom right corner. ⛽️

A lot of the areas like Twilight Town have decreased in size and hardly allow any room for exploration. They almost have nothing to offer expect for a few specific areas where ingredients will be to pick up. Depending on how well you cook them into gourmet food, these ingredients can be taken to Little Chef (Remy from Ratatouille) to temporary increase stats.

Your statistics will be displayed on screen once you die. ☠️

AESTHETICS

I can’t deny that this game looks stunning. It’s absolutely beautiful. Every single animation and special effects is gorgeous. From the extravagant attractions that fill the screen, to all the glittering particles that are emitted from magic attacks – Kingdom Hearts does a superb job at presenting quality animation, especially with the help of artists from Pixar. Characters move fluidly and commonly express emotions through Japanese body language.

Sora poses in front of Rapunzel’s tower. 💇‍♀️🏰

Each scene is brought to life with visualizing enticing backgrounds. In various areas there are polished surfaces that reflect light which bring detail to objects. The elements of fire, thunder, water etc. that appear throughout the game are a pleasure to watch. Smoke from fire, blurriness from the electricity, the clothes after getting soaking wet are just some of the details that appear. As they have always been, the health bars are located at the bottom right corner. Facial expressions change whenever a party member is inflicted with damage, blinking red with an alarm sound when it’s close to over. The health bar extends towards the bottom center of the screen as Sora levels up.

As you are engaged in combat, Sora will begin to rack up a list of moves that can be unleashed once they appear on top of the action commands on opposite of the health (left side of screen). As they begin to pile on top of one another the screen can appear saturated at times.

Great use of lighting, textures and verdant settings bring the Disney worlds we’ve grown up to know and love are the best in the series.

VALUE

Disney is one of the most powerful brands in this world. Have you ever been to Disneyland? You feel that same wonderful magic with the characters and the amusement rides inside this game. That warm fuzzy sensation of allowing yourself to smile and be goofy. This game allows us to let our inner child. The majority of the human population has grown up with Disney, experiencing all of their worlds together and in Kingdom Hearts 3 you get to do that and more.

Meet your favorite Disney characters and. It’s a shame that a lot of the worlds that made Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 so memorable aren’t present. It has shown more importance and focus on their recent releases of human centered characters (Frozen, Pirates of the Caribbean). The franchise started off with the two companies Square Enix and Disney merging popular characters from the Final Fantasy franchise into the Disney worlds but what was once an important aspect of the game isn’t given any thought or attention anymore. The series has diverged into a different path but sticks the landing on the core gameplay of action role-playing.

Right from the beginning it’s important to state that the story is too convoluted. It’s extraordinary confusing to follow even for the more hardcore fans. The game at one point even points out through one of the characters that there’s so much to understand they themselves are confused and help the player by mentioning there’s a manual where you can read upon all the events that have ever occurred in the franchise to be up to date. You’d have to play all the mainline series, spin offs and mobile versions of Kingdom Hearts to truly even comprehend a portion of what’s going on.

The story isn’t long as previous titles clocking in under 40 hours on pro. After completing the game the player can continue to scavenge for materials across the different areas to upgrade their arsenal of abilities. You can go around collecting ingredients, synthesizing materials to upgrade your Keyblades, improve your abilities.

Check out replays of all the cinematics and learn about the lore in great detail through the Gummiphone, Sora’s new cell phone. You can take pictures with Donald, Goofy and all the other characters you’ll meet as you explore different Disney worlds. You can share all your creations and battles online through Facebook and Twitter. Search for the symbol of King Mickey found throughout each of the worlds to unlock materials and a secret ending!

There is an interesting section of the Gummiphone where you can play retro style Game & Watch mini games with Sora and Mickey. There are more than a handful of games to play. It’s a great addition to the game but it would’ve been better if they spent that time on developing the story or more intuitive gameplay.

The locations of Mickey’s symbol are creatively scattered throughout the Disney worlds. 📸✅

It’s been roughly 14 years. I mean this in all seriousness, there have been people who died waiting for this game. I don’t think I’ve ever waited over a decade for the sequel to a franchise. For me it feels like I’m not able to close the circle. The story is not as how I expected it to be. So I cannot call this closure. We’ve waited so long for something that it didn’t meet my expectations in many areas. The game ends on many cliffhangers, unresolved pot points, and we’re given information for the next title in the series. After over 15 years, we’re shown a trailer of Sora and Riku continuing their journey in Shibuya, Tokyo. I was expecting to find a conclusion to all of the drama in the series but it felt like the creators wanted to rush through the story and close the chapter to this trilogy. It does feel disappointing in many ways. I feel let down but that’s only the story side of the game. What we all love about the Disney characters and Keyblade combat is all present and greatly improved upon. Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t take another 1.5 decades and is better than this iteration.
Concept8
Design8.5
Aesthetics10
Value8
Positive
Fight alongside favorite Disney characters and visit their worlds
Addictive keyblade mechanics and combat has improved
Incredibly stunning graphics and special effects
Epic original soundtrack
Negative
Story is short, confusing and plot holes are left unresolved
Disney Worlds don’t offer expansive exploration
Characters often repeat the same mundane dialogue
Missing memorable worlds, characters and magic attacks from previous titles
8.6
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