Kingdom Hearts III – Review
Follow Genre: Action/adventure, RPG
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Kingdom Hearts III – Review

Site Score
8.4
Good: Combat is fluid because of the combo system
Bad: Convoluted plot
User Score
8.4
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.4/10 (5 votes cast)

‘Square Enix, are you trying to do a Valve?’, ‘No’ Square Enix replies, guiltily shaking its head while trying to erase the cheeky Kingdom Hearts II.9 screen behind the Kingdom Hearts III starting screen. ‘I can count! I’m not good at making up titles that aren’t full paragraphs and don’t make a lick of sense, but I can count!’ ‘That’s great, buddy, here are your crayons, and remember, don’t doodle on the walls like last time…’ This is probably what transpired during the elevator pitch of Kingdom Hearts III. Fans, rejoice, for the latest piece in the Kingdom Hearts puzzle has dropped.

Story

Oh, Gawrsh fuck a Nobody. The story leading up to Kingdom Hearts III is so convoluted that trying to make sense of what goes on in the latest installment without writing down several paragraphs and still missing key components is nigh impossible in a review. So if you’ve played the previous versions and you’re half caught up on the lore with all the Heartless and the Nobodies then you can jump into Kingdom Hearts III. Not doing so will leave you bewildered and annoyed at how much information is dumped at your feet that’s trying to explain what happened in the other games.

So Kingdom Hearts III is all about Sora trying to gain his power of waking and save several kingdoms with the power of the Key Blade. He needs this power to stop the ‘Real Organisation 13’. It all sounds simple but several times during the game moments occur where cutscene is followed up by cutscene trying to explain and it’s just way too much tell over show. ‘Oh, you don’t know this guy? That’s okay, let’s just write his whole backstory into this cutscene so things are less confusing for the player.’ So if you are looking for a story that isn’t convoluted and bloated then this game isn’t going to pull you in on that front. Then again, there’s always the option to skip the scenes, so you aren’t forced to even care about why you are going from Disney realm A to Disney realm B bonking things over the head with a very large key.

Graphics

Kingdom Hearts III is a Square Enix game that has a bit of the Final Fantasy XV going on. It’s colorful and the combat is flashy, even overly so, making it that once you get into the full swing of things, fights become very overbearing with all the particle effects and polychrome explosions going on, not even mentioning the weaponized theme park rides that are at your disposal once you get into brawling. With all that going on, it must be said that the game runs really smooth. There are little to no framerate drops and it makes for a very, very enjoyable combat experience.

Different worlds have different aesthetics and thus feel unique, and all of them work out quite well, making them feel distinct enough, while still keeping their own identity within the whole ‘Kingdom Hearts’ universe.

Sound

Square Enix have done their best with the audio mixing, and truth be told it’s done really well. The music switches between battle mode and exploring mode fluidly. It is noticeable when you go into combat before the first enemy has even spawned which makes it possible for players to ready themselves subconsciously for the fight to come. Only when you pay attention to it does it become obvious and that speaks volumes of the amount of detail the audio team put into it.

Speaking about the voice acting, there’s nothing offensive or egregious about it. It’s just standard anime-like writing which translates to a lot of weird gasps and exclamations. Some dialogue is delivered without much animo which tends to make tense moments fall flat.

Gameplay

Kingdom Hearts III is an action/adventure RPG. The controls are really rather simple, the left joy stick moves Sora and the camera is moved by the right joy stick. X/A is used for combat, pressing it consecutively strings together combos doing more damage with each successive hit. Sometimes you’ll be prompted to press triangle/Y which will do a myriad of things. It might unlock a second form and third form of your Key Blade, an alternate form of Sora, or even call upon the power of a theme park ride to assault enemies. Every time you cut down an enemy, you gain experience, which levels up Sora, Donald and Goofy. The combat is easy because of the one button combo system, but this also makes combat fluid and fun, so even if you do die, jumping back in isn’t much of an annoyance.

When you level up, you will upgrade certain stats when hitting certain levels, or unlock new skills. These skills take up ‘AP’, which is short for attack points. These can be spent to activate them and make them useable for combat. You’ll have to switch things up as the ‘AP’ is finite and you’ll have to change skills to have the most usefulness. So you might want to pick four 2 ‘AP’ skills or take one 8 ‘AP’ skill to fill up the bar.

Traveling between worlds is done in a gummy ship which you can upgrade too, and shoot down enemies which might stand between you and the world you are trying to rid of the Heartless/Nobodies/Real Organisation 13.

Conclusion

Fans have waited for this game for YEARS, and now it’s finally here. Newcomers to the series are best to play the previous games so that they are more or less caught up, lest they be consumed by the very large pieces of information that are dumped upon the player willy nilly. With a background these pieces of information tend to make the players head spin less hard. That being said, the combat is rewarding, the game’s aesthetics are beautiful and the sound design is top notch. Fans of the series will certainly find their pick of the litter. Those who haven’t played a KH game yet might want to consider playing the older games first.

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Rating: 8.4/10 (5 votes cast)
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Kingdom Hearts III - Review, 8.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

2 Comments

  1. […] Square Enix has recently added some very nice looking figurines to their collection, depicting our Kingdom Hearts heroes: Sora, Donald and Goofy. And now these Bring Arts-figurines have a starring role in a new stop-motion video released by Square Enix, set in the Toy Story world we also get to visit in the game. You can get these new figurines in a bundle when buying the Kingdom Hearts 3 Deluxe Edition at the online store. You can see the very amusing video down below, as well as check out our review of Kingdom Hearts 3 here. […]

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  2. […] KINGDOM HEARTS III is now available for Xbox One systems and the PS4. There is also a sale going on of -67% till the 22nd of November, so it is quite a good idea to check out the game now. We have reviewed the game ourselves, you can check out the review here.  […]

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