Kingdom Hearts III Game Review

Kingdom Hearts III Game Review

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Christopher Ocker, Staff Writer

The Kingdom Hearts franchise has been constantly releasing spin-off games for years now. However, each one continues to leave the story on a cliffhanger that the eventual Kingdom Heart II was meant to resolve. After the release of Kingdom Hearts II, the third game is finally released on the PS4, promising to conclude the “Xehanort Saga” that has been built up for over a decade.

Kingdom Hearts III follows directly after Kingdom Hearts II with Sora, Donald, and Goofy trying to stop the efforts of the evil Xehanort to open Kingdom Hearts. That is most that can be told while being concise. Kingdom Hearts is infamous for its overly convoluted story and plot threads that make the entire overarching story a nightmare to understand and traverse. However, if you are someone who has been able to follow the previous games, the Kingdom Hearts III’s story will be satisfying on many levels. Nearly every game in the series up to this point has a payoff in this game, making it a perfect knot to tie together all the dangling threads that the series has left unanswered. There are also some great character moments that really resonate with long-time fans. However, despite promising to be the final chapter in the main arc, the game creates more sub-plots that lead into whatever the series goes next. It makes the finale feel like it is stuck in a limbo between being a conclusion and a set-up for a sequel.

Regardless of my feelings about the story, the main gameplay is still fantastic. Kingdom Heart III takes the basic combat of the main series games. The parkour mechanic of Dream Drop Distance returns to add a new dimension to movement. There are also special attacks that are exclusive to certain keyblades, allowing you to use basic attacks in new ways. There are even new additions such as the attractions, which act as the new summons, and the ability to have more than 3 party members at once. It sometimes feels too complicated for its own good, but that allows it to fit any play-style. All the Disney worlds you visit are equally exciting, with particular standouts being Tangled, Toy Story, and Big Hero 6. They all have great personality and contain great fanservice for Disney fans.

Overall, Kingdom Heart III left me very divided. On the one hand, the combat is the best it has ever been and it wraps up the past games in a very satisfying way. On the other hand, though, there are plenty of hiccups throughout the story and a bit of stimulation overload with the dozens of new mechanics and systems. Regardless, it is still a phenomenal RPG that will most certainly please fans of the franchise.