Name: Kingdom Hearts 3
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A self-bought copy of this game & Sponsored by a publisher for review
I’ve always been a huge fan of the kingdom hearts series, and when I heard the 3rd game got a release date I was screaming with excitement, soon we would finally get an end to the Xehanort saga and I could finally get more questions answered than asked. However, I underestimated Tetsuya Nomura, and with the ending of KHIII, I was left again with more questions than answers.
*NOTE* This review will have MAJOR Spoilers for the main plot in the story section, please do complete this on your own before reading that section
If I were to explain the story to you right now this review would be over 20 pages long, so here is a comedic summary to the whole story (with some minor mistakes but its just to give a rough idea) please watch it if you are confused about the mess of a story, all credits go to Barry Kramer for the creation of the video linked
The story starts off after the last game in the series was released, which was Dream Drop Distance for the 3DS, right after Sora and Riku have completed their mark of mastery exam. However their goal through this exam was to achieve the power of waking, which Riku did, and Sora failed to do, almost becoming Xehanorts vessel.
It starts off with Sora, Donald, and Goofy, at master Yen Sid’s tower (get it? Yen Sid = Disney backwards hilarious right?….. sigh) where Sora gets to attempt getting his powers back which he lost in the last game, due to almost becoming a vessel, and also to gain the power of waking. The reason he needs the power of waking is to rescue Aqua, Terra and Ventus, the other keyblade wielders and also to gather the 7 lights to fight Xehanort 13 darknesses (I told you this was confusing)
Now to get to the kinda good stuff.
Sadly the story doesn’t develop much in the Disney worlds around the game, which is quite sad. They kinda have their own flow which doesn’t really extremely relate to the whole main plot, which is kind of a missed opportunity. The only two satisfying worlds I really enjoyed in this game, was probably The Keyblade Graveyard which is basically an all-out war between the 7 lights and 13 darknesses, and The Final World which was a plane of existence between life and death and they made it so well and made it so empty and hollow and yet so beautiful at the same time, I couldn’t help but love it.
The story is one of the games stronger, and at the same time weaker elements, since I am already a fan of the series I understand this completely, but they are not doing a good job of explaining this more simplified to users who don’t want to spend 20 hours + going through everything from short movies, to shit ports like Chain Of Memories (don’t ever play the remake of that, play the Gameboy version, thank me later) However I can appreciate the story for building up a villain like Xehanort for so many games, and the final showdown did not disappoint.
Now, the graphics look gorgeous. They didn’t limit themselves on this one, and even though a console can have limitations, they made this game look really beautiful on all aspects.
Everything from particle effects to shadows, sunlight, water graphics, The hair works as well, and so on. However, some Disney worlds feel really outta place with this style. For example, Olympus feels a bit misplaced with this hyperrealistic graphics setting. It wasn’t a problem, just a bit weird
One world which really put my ps4 pro to the test was The Pirates of the Carribean world. Now, that one has many frame drops and random stutters, most of all because they really made it look amazing, and there’s a lot going on at the same time as well, which really makes your PS4 work for its money. Especially if it’s not a PRO version, I can’t even imagine the noise it makes.
My favorite world of the Disney ones, that looked gorgeous and set the setting, was definitely Kingdom Of Corona (Tangled). It was so beautiful and true to the movie, in almost every way.
All in all the graphics are really nice, and they fit most of the tone
Now, the gameplay is in 2 sections here. You have the world gameplay where you play as Sora where it’s the standard combat like you’ve always known, except the added attraction, and form-change commands. The Second section is the gummi ship, which received a massive overhaul, at least on the world to world part.
Let’s start with that
The gummi ship sections are actually enjoyable now, at least I don’t want to neck myself after farming gummi ship materials for specific items, so that’s a plus! To go into more detail, you actually have full freedom with the gummi ship in each galaxy now, which means you can go after treasure spheres, and go fight heartless in the space between the worlds. This of course also includes secret bosses and so on. The overworld section allows you to find heartless groups or enemies, at appropriate levels, and to start or initiate a fight you fly into them, to get to a “classic” gummi ship scenario where it’s basically easy mode bullet hell most of the time.
But I really like the open world upgrade. It thrives more on exploration and is a huge improvement compared to older titles when it was a linear path.
Now to get to the real combat.
Somehow it feels less fluent in this game, I don’t know why, but in KHII I felt like I at least had control over Sora when it came to using specific commands or canceling combos to avoid attacks. Here it feels more clunky which is sad, however, the combat is more satisfying than in the older titles, at least to some extent. One of my favorite gameplay features that were added, was the ability to upgrade your keyblades. I just went full upgrade on my Kingdom Key because I loved that shit so much.
It also makes sure that you can actually make good form change builds and upgrade according to which build you enjoy more. In this one, however, once you get the Ultima Weapon, all other keyblades basically becomes worthless, since it has the best stats no matter what you upgrade to the max, which is good and bad at the same time so I can’t really hate on it.
One thing that I am gonna deduct huge points for is the difficulty. This was by far the EASIEST KH game I have ever completed. I even started on proud to make sure I got a challenge out of it, but no, only 2 bosses were a problem for me, Anti Aqua, and Xehanort. That was about it, and that was only like 10 deaths on each boss, which was really disappointing.
I don’t mind that you have easier difficulties, but if Proud mode is this easy, you could have added critical from the get-go, like 0.2 was way harder than this and that’s really bad cause this makes KHIII look really rushed.
One really redeeming factor with this game is probably the sound design and the sound effects + OST. I got goosebumps when listening to Scala Ad Caelum during the Xehanort fight because it blew every other boss OST out of the water because it was so greatly composed.
If you wanna listen to it, you should (linked below).
Besides that, the voice acting is really cringing, but again, none of the games had good voice acting, except for a few exceptions, like Ansem in some titles.
As I mentioned above, the controls feel way clunkier than in previous KH titles, which is really sad cause I actually really enjoy this game.
However, it doesn’t stop me completely. I got used to the controls halfway in, and I made do with the game mechanics and (some exploits) to get through nasty parts of the game (which there weren’t many of). Besides being the same control scheme as it has been forever, you have the menu bar on the left side of the screen, and magic shortcuts on L1 (which you have to bind yourself my dude) while you also can put items on that shortcut.
The new feature added from 0.2 is the shot clock mechanic (R2) which basically does magic based shot and locks on projectiles to your target. Quantity and power depend on which keyblade you use of course.
Run of the mill controls as usual, reflect on square while standing still, dodge roll while moving on the same button, attack on X, mash for combos, jump with Circle press again to double jump and again to glide (once unlocked), and of course reaction commands, form change, and attraction commands are all on Triangle respectively. It’s pretty simple if you played 0.2 because it’s completely the same
When it comes to replay value, KHIII doesn’t offer much, besides a secret boss and some washed up organization 13 fights known as “battlegates” which aren’t even org fights, just heartless battles for secret reports (which is really lazy btw Square Enix).
However, once you complete the story, there is a ton of collectibles to gather. You can also gather ingredients to help Remi (Yes from Ratatouille!) to cook dishes which is a cool idea in theory but frustrating in practice. The only trophy keeping me from platinum is that damned rat.
Besides that, the replay value is not great.
Replay Value 4
Kingdom Hearts III is a great game, it has many flaws, but if you are willing to overcome those flaws you can definitely have a great time with this game. However, with the short story and gameplay only being around 30 hours (60 hours for 100% everything), I expected more since older titles were at least 70% longer. Since I am also a fan of the series I am quite biased, but in this review, I tried to be as fair as possible.
I would recommend picking this up once you play all the others because the story is REALLLLYYYY confusing.
User Review( votes)
- Graphics are stunning
- Gameplay has been improved, and Xehanort saga ends with a decent twist
- Ultima Weapon doesn’t suck anymore
- Feels completely rushed with some worlds and gameplay directions, even though it been in development for so long
- The game is too short
- Voice acting is laughable and cringing at times