It has been 13 years since the last main title of Kingdom Hearts was released, and finally the sequel, Kingdom Hearts III is here. We are lucky to be able to get our hands on the PS4 game earlier, so here is our Kingdom Hearts III review where we will tell you what we love or don’t like about the game! Noted that this might contain spoilers so read at your own risk.
The Story and Worlds
Some of you might ask, is it possible to jump into the series without playing the previous games? The answer is yes. You can still enjoy the game (TBH, I wasn’t a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series before this as well). However it is recommended for you to play the previous titles, or else you might get confused on the flashbacks and references. Thankfully, there are some Memory Archives in Kingdom Hearts III that you can read before you start the game.
The story of Kingdom Hearts III basically focuses on the trio – Sora, Donald and Goofy on their journey to gather the Guardians of Light to fight against the dark forces. This time, the game is featuring an assortment of Disney worlds including Tangled, Toy Story, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Frozen and Big Hero 6. Of course, many of the iconic characters from the previous story and new worlds will be making their appearance.
Using Unreal Engine for Kingdom Hearts III was a smart move by Square Enix. The transition between the cinematic cutscenes and gameplay are both equally amazing that you won’t feel cut off from the experience.
The visuals are impressive too. As you progress through each world, you can see the uniqueness each world has to provide.
On the gameplay aspect, Kingdom Hearts III offers diverse gameplay with a lot of new elements. The controls are simple, you can also program your favourite magic skills into shortcuts so you can cast it easily. Square Enix is emphasizing on the teamwork elements with the teamwork-based attacks, which you can trigger it with just one button that pops up when you accumulate enough attacks. There are some flashy special attacks based on amusement park rides such as Pirate Ship and Mad Tea Cups too.
Every key blade has its own special combos and uses, so feel free to switch around the key blades to suit your strategy or playstyle. Progressing further into the game will allow you to perform Link Summons. You can summon an ally (such as Ralph, Ariel and Simba) and use their abilities to aid you in the battle. While for the bosses, there are many of them, all have their own forms and different attack patterns. The difficulty of the game ramp up as you progress.
The Gummi Ship, your transportation to travel between different worlds got a full makeover and revamp. You can fly around freely between worlds (no fixed route) and shoot down numerous enemies if you want to. Customization is allowed for the Gummi Ship with more options available than in previous titles.
Also, Sora will have a Gummiphone that he can take selfies with the various characters or take photos of his surroundings. And if you want to take a break from the main story, there are some mini-games that you can challenge for high scores.
Square Enix did a really good job in capturing the same feeling of nostalgia with the theme song from every series. The songs from Kingdom Hearts III is available in both Japanese and English, both sang by the same singer, Utada Hikaru. The background music and character themes successfully bring out the mood for the scenes as well as the fights. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with the soundtracks.