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Kingdom Hearts III

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 13 - 2019

Let it go.

How do you review a game like Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts III? I mean, it all started with what was seen to be a Final Fantasy game featuring Disney locations and characters, and it was everything that anyone interested in that concept wanted it to be. Then there was a sequel, and some part sequels, and some re-releases on other platforms, some bundles, and some HD remakes. Seriously, is it any surprise that people got confused? Anyway, after some 17 years since the first outing, we finally get the third numbered sequel which serves to wrap up the trilogy.

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The problem is that, with all of the different entries in the series continuing the same overall story, many players have just given up trying to follow what is going on. The overriding story is a confusing mess and Kingdom Hearts III does absolutely nothing to brief new players to what is going on. Even the long time players will struggle to keep track of everything referenced in the game. Square Enix did release some videos before the launch of Kingdom Hearts III to try and get players up to date, but most players will not want to do homework before they can even start playing, especially those gamers who have been drawn in by the bright Disney lights. The gist is, and this really is only the gist so I can get past this and onto the more important parts of the game, main character Sora (he of the spiky hair and big boots), along with a likely bunch of heroic Disney characters, are setting out to finally defeat evil Xehanort and Organisation XIII. Anything beyond that and, well, I’ll have to start loading up the Wiki pages. It really is a mess of memory manipulation and evil clones that is enough to make your head spin.

Fortunately, Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t rise and fall with the overriding story as Sora and companions will spend their time visiting various different Disney worlds in their quest, and will get caught up with their own easier to follow tales. While there are links and connections to the main storyline in each world, players will get to enjoy a smaller adventure in each world that is connected to the subject matter. For example, the first world is Olympus and players will once again have to help Hercules to defeat Hades and his Titans. The fan service in these worlds, and the rest of the game for that matter, is absolutely magical and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of players picking up the game just to visit a favourite Disney world, with no idea of what else they will have in store. The different worlds are created in keeping with the styles of their source material, and Sora and company will be changed to fit in with their surroundings. Seeing Donald Duck as a one-eyed monster in Monstropolis is one of many visual treats.

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Once the player has finished doing whatever they have to do in the world, they will jump into the worlds most badly designed spaceship and nip off to their next choice of world. Travelling between worlds is not without risk or interaction though, and players will find themselves embroiled in some space combat. This tends to see the camera behind the spaceship as the player fires weapons at whatever is blocking their way. It is probably one of the least interesting aspects of the game, and can disrupt the flow as players are trying to move from one exciting area to the next.

The gameplay on the ground though, is much more fun. The combat is over-the-top but fairly easy, with a simple attack button and another to jump. The encounters tend to take on a vertical aspect as Sora leaps through the air, chaining attacks, and using his ability to run up almost any vertical surface. There are also plenty of special abilities that Sora can use, different Keyblades to find and equip, and some truly amazing moves that actually bring forth the likes of Disney rides that are a real spectacle, although sometimes the camera can have trouble keeping up with the action and everything collapses into complete and utter chaos. Sora will also be joined by a character from that world at times, who will bring their own special abilities to the table, keeping the combat fresh and changing. The boss fights, of which there are a fair few, will involve having to gradually wear down multiple life bars and can drag on a bit, but still manage to be great fun and are thoroughly enjoyable to watch. In all, there are is a lot of fighting to be found in Kingdom Hearts III, but the difficulty is set quite low so most players will find it easy to progress, and Sora and co will level up as they move from world to world, so should be more than capable to dealing with whatever encounters they find. Compared to the confusing story, all of the systems in the game are easy to follow.

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As players make their way from world to world, visiting the likes of Toy Story, Frozen, Tangled and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few, players will not just be fighting, but also can enjoy some really great mini games. There is cooking with the rat from Ratatouille, snowboarding in Frozen and even a Puzzle Bobble type game in the 100 Acre Wood, along with loads more great little distractions.

But it is the worlds themselves that are the real stars of the show. Each world is meticulously constructed to tick all of those fan service boxes, and spending time in any of them feels magical, just like any Disney world should. Whatever conflict is going on, they are all happy places to visit and explore. Sometimes the story might miss a beat, other times the acting can be a little stunted, but somehow it doesn’t seem to matter as each of the worlds are joyous and entertaining. Kingdom Hearts III is all about friendship, making it a very happy place to be.

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But then, if you are a Kingdom Hearts fan, you probably already knew that. It is strange that, considering how convoluted the main story is, Kingdom Hearts III is probably the most accessible of the game since the very first. With fairly easy fun gameplay and visuals that will make your eyes cry with happiness, the various Disney worlds are open to anyone. Fans of the Kingdom Hearts series will need no convincing to dip into this sequel, but for the newcomers, simply ignore the main story and enjoy the healthy dose of Disney magic.




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