KINGDOM HEARTS 3: Diving Into the MagicMarch 8, 2019
Kingdom Hearts III is the third game in the beloved RPG series and features a mature Sora who sets forth on an adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy through new and legendary Disney worlds. Believing that light and darkness must remain in balance, Master Xehanort seeks to spark war against the ‘tyranny of light’ to restore equilibrium. To undermine Xehanort’s plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the “Key to Return Hearts,” while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders.
It’s been years since we saw a Kingdom Hearts game find its way back onto the console. If you were a fan of the first 2 games, it was almost guaranteed you were picking up the third one. The color is vibrant, the detail is stunning, the graphics are on point, and the gameplay is almost like we remember. With some new mechanics introduced into the game, it kind of helps forget how it lacks a little outside the box. None the less it’s what we imagine from a Kingdom hearts game.
The storytelling does fall short with lots of plots included, and some of them even kind of pointless. Some areas felt included just for the reason of being a Disney movie success. At times Sora, Donald and Goofy even start to question themselves why they are in a certain world. It’s hard to really pick at it too much when you realize the direction they were going. Which was a story of popular Disney movies, tied in with multiple story arches from other Kingdom Heart games. It seems somewhat balanced between the two, but it does not mesh together all that well and eventually start to feel all over the place. One thing Kingdome Hearts 3 seems to have done well is avoiding those slow prolonged dialogues found in the second installment.
What really helps drive this game and kind of pushes aside the plot issues, is the combat system. They did keep some of the same mechanics in combat from the previous Kingdom Hearts but added a few other features into the game. I personally enjoyed more of the combat over the story, as it always seemed to feel fresh world after world. Especially with the new summoning ability which I though was pretty unique in terms of keeping it Disney. The summoning ability allowed you to call upon park riders to help in combat which always ranged from ride to ride. It could be the Log Ride with a stream of water and logs going through enemies, or a swinging pirate ship that would deal damage on every hit. A nice way to perform some crowd control when in a tough spot and need a good clear of the area.
The transformation of keyblades was very useful if you understood the type of situation you were in. Some were repeats but for the most part each keyblade had a different ability. In some cases, you might have needed some more crowd control, were the Tangled keyblade allowed you to box enemies in. Maybe you needed to get out of a crowd so the Toy Story keyblade allowed for some area-of-effect, giving you space and some time to plan your next move. One way or another there was a style of combat for you and always a keyblade for any kind of situation you may have found yourself in. You might find yourself on the more offensive side of things and less defending, especially when you take into the elemental abilities which may make the game feel easier. Let’s be honest though, who wouldn’t want to see Simba roar out some fire?
There are seven different worlds which mostly include newer movies like Big Hero 6, Monsters Inc., Pirates of the Caribbean, and yes some of these movies came out years ago but for better terms little to no classic movies were included. The detail in each world was stunning and the classic themes tied to each movie really helped bring out the magic. Some of these worlds made you want to explore more like the Toy Story world. You play in the role of a toy, seeing the world in their perspective. Where one floor board seemed like a whole piece of land almost, and inside the toy store you almost wanted to explore and find all the things that looked cool as a toy. The Pirate of the Caribbean world was a mini version of Assassins Creed Black Flag. Were you sail the high seas and explore islands for treasure, with the ability to participate in naval combat. Worlds like Tangled and Frozen fell short in terms of style, especially with the sled ride where the controls seemed lack luster and the sequence didn’t seem to flow all that well. Other worlds like Monster Inc., and Big Hero 6 lacked a plot for the story but were enjoyable to explore. None the less the look and feel of the all so popular movies were there, especially when the music was on point.
Kingdom Hearts 3’s story is meant to serve as a culmination of everything that’s happened in the series so far. The story seemed to wrap up well, and for the most part able to finish telling the story for the series. For bigger Kingdom Hearts fans, and for everyone who played each game in the series, probably were able to see every twist and turn before it happened. Despite that it was a game all fans can be happy with. The ending really brought out good character moments, and it helps you remember why fans fell in love with the game in the first place. It feels slow and sluggish getting to that point of the game, and you might feel some of the characters you meet and worlds you explore seemed pointless, but the results feel worth it.
Kingdom Hearts 3 does a decent job for new players. You may not know the whole story, but you can get an idea of where the story is going and how it started. It gives you enough detail to not feel lost especially when you look back at the different games made in the series. One area new player will feel lost is the character backstories, as those can be complex and deep in story. Overall Kingdom Hearts 3 is a game everyone can enjoy, and one beloved long fan can be happy with. A well thought out game with excellent details and graphics, it’s worth a buy. Even if you just want to explore the worlds. There is plenty to do though like finding all those hidden Mickie’s.