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Kingdom Hearts 3 PS4 Review

  • Genre: Action role-playing
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix

The finale of an epic Disney trilogy

Kingdom Hearts 3 is a crossover between Disney and Square Enix franchises. The series centers around Sora traveling to different Disney worlds.

The story is very complex and confusing even for die-hard fans, but that doesn’t stop people from playing. What people most love about KH is the combat system and characters. Thanks to Kingdom Hearts, classic JRPG’s like Final Fantasy have been made more accessible to newer audiences.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is an entertaining ride from the moment you start until it all ends.

CONCEPT

You play as Sora, the main protagonist, and Keyblade wielder. Sora travels alongside Donald Duck, a short-tempered magician and Goofy, an anthropomorphic dog, on the search for their friends.

They travel to different Disney worlds to bring peace. Heartless, entities of darkness that reside in people’s hearts are consuming worlds. Your team takes on the appearance of the inhabitants of the world to blend in (Ex: Toys for Toy Story, monsters for Monsters Inc.).

Kingdom Hearts 3

The plot for each world is based on their film storyline. In some cases, stories include more content treating them as short sequels. There are a lot of plot holes, and the story loses focus more than once. Sora still doubts in himself, appearing weak in many of the pivotal moments even after all that he’s accomplished.

DESIGN

You’ll explore different Disney worlds like Toy Story, Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Pirates of the Caribbean, to name a few. Objectives are straight forward with players fighting hordes of enemies or a set of mini-games to progress. Each of the stories is short and hardly take time going into essential aspects of each film.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Keyblade Combat

The main form of combat is with the Keyblade. Sora can use it to attack, block, and create magic. There are different Keyblades, each with their unique characteristics.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Sora’s clothes allow him to make Keyblades more potent for a certain amount of time. Players can summon characters such as Simba, Stitch, Ariel to help in battle. Sora can also summon gorgeous attractions based on real-world Disney rides.

Combine attacks with your party members and use other sorts of contraptions at your disposal. More ways to attack allows less repetitive moves.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Gummi Ship

Players travel to different worlds with the Gummi Ship, a small space ship designed by Chip and DaleDuring these scenarios, you’ll shoot enemies and find new upgrades to customize your ship. Increase the health, speed, power, and appearance before embarking through space.

Kingdom Hearts 3

AESTHETICS

Kingdom Hearts 3 is beautiful. Every single animation and special effects are gorgeous. You can notice the details when summoning extravagant attractions and when using magic attacks. Kingdom Hearts does a superb job at presenting quality animation with no frame drops.

The set pieces for many of the levels have stunning visuals and an incredible demonstration of physics. Characters move fluidly and commonly express emotions through Japanese body language. Westerners still might not be as comfortable with those moments. 

 

Kingdom Hearts 3

Sora is more agile, and his abilities will allow him to reach new heights. 🧗‍♂️⛰

Polished surfaces that reflect light which bring detail to objects. The elements like fire, thunder, and water are a pleasure to watch.

Health bars are at the bottom right corner. Facial expressions change whenever a party member is gets hurt. Health blinks red with an alarm sound when it’s close to empty. The health bar grows when Sora levels up.Kingdom Hearts 3

VALUE

The story isn’t long as previous titles clocking in under forty 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 enhance your Keyblades, improve your skills.

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 except a few specific areas to find ingredients. Ingredients can be taken to Little Chef (Remy from Ratatouille) to increase stats temporarily.

There is a new section of the Gummiphone where you can play retro style Game & Watch mini-games with Sora and Mickey. There are more than a dozen games to play. It’s a great addition, but it would’ve been better if they spent that time developing the story more.

Check out replays of cinematics and learn about the lore through the Gummiphone, Sora’s cell phone. You can take pictures with Donald, Goofy, and all the other characters you’ll meet. Search for the symbol of King Mickey found throughout each of the worlds to unlock materials and a secret ending!

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

Verdict

Kingdom Hearts began with Disney and Square Enix merging popular characters from their franchise together. Somewhere along the line, the creators lost sight of focus. It’s important to state that the story is extraordinarily confusing to follow even for the more hardcore fans.

Disney is one of the most influential brands in the world. Have you ever been to Disneyland? You feel that same incredible magic with the characters and the amusement rides inside this game—that warm fuzzy sensation of allowing yourself to smile and be goofy.

Kingdom Hearts 3 allows our inner child out. The majority of us have grown up with Disney, experiencing all of their worlds together. In Kingdom Hearts 3, you get to do that and more.

Kingdom Hearts 3

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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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