While we’ve received two core Kingdom Hearts entries in the console space, the majority of titles have arrived on different platforms. Kingdom Hearts 3 is a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts 3D: Drop Distance, which released on the Nintendo 3DS. You were able to get the complete series separately, taking place between parts 1 and 2, by either collecting all of the games across these formats or more recently the single complete set on the PS4. Regardless, I’m not going to attempt to convince you to love this game and/or series. I’ve learned this generation that this series has excited fans, but others couldn’t care less about this long awaited release.
So what’s new? What did Square Enix change from past main entries? Well, I can start by telling you that the overall gameplay is very similar, just deeper. Combat is some of the most fun I’ve had in a game like this but also one of the most frustrating. I love the amount of keyblades you collect, team moves you can activate with the characters of the worlds, and move sets you can level up while fighting in each world. The main problem comes from the horrible camera that simply can’t keep up with the battle you’re in the middle of. Many times I found myself not knowing what I was hitting or if I was even making contact with enemies.
The story isn’t as convoluted as previous entries, and does make an attempt to explain things, but newcomers to the series will still struggle with what’s going on with the plot. This title does bring the end to the Seeker Saga, but not the end to Kingdom Heart stories. And I’m sure many will miss Sora.
Graphically the game is beautiful. I’ve labeled it “magic” when discussing with friends. If you love recent Disney stories, you will love all nine worlds the game lets you visit. Each world is a character in itself, and you fall in love with each short story that you become a part of. Some are stronger than others making you wish the weaker ones had just a bit more time to flesh out an interesting story and level design. I also found myself pulled out of the experience while flashbacks took place as the footage used is from previous mobile games and remasters, which contrasts sharply from some of the other Pixar perfect gameplay.
I personally spent about 35 hours exploring and re-visiting worlds looking for hidden collectibles around the world. If you want the full and complete experience, you can easily spend 50-60 hours hunting for everything. I’ve encouraged anyone that may have the slightest bit of interest to try this game, as you may fall in love. At the same time, recognize that it’s not for everyone.