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Dagesh Lene

Dagesh Lene's Kingdom Hearts III Review

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Kingdom Hearts III: the game that everyone has been waiting for, but no one thought was ever going to actually be made.  Finally, it is here, but was it worth the wait?  When I first finished the game, I would have had to say, “No.”  However, now that I have taken some time to process my thoughts and play through the game again with adjusted expectations, I can see that my disappointment came from the fact that it was never going to live up to the hype.  So, now that I can see the game for what it is and not what I wanted it to be, I am finally posting my review of Kingdom Hearts III.

The gameplay was fun, and it provided us with more options than ever before.  However, I found myself relying mostly on hitting X, casting magic, and using Situation Commands.  The rest of the options didn’t seem that useful to me (except for Airstepping, which I found really useful, but I kept forgetting I could use).  Flowmotion was nerfed, which I appreciated, but I also felt like it was nerfed to the point that I never used it unless I had to reach an area that I couldn’t reach by just jumping.  I didn’t find any of the Link Summons other than Simba worth using.

The attractions were disappointing, and it was one of the things that I was looking forward to the most too.  There aren’t many different attractions, and you can’t choose which ones you use.  In addition, they take you out of the battle, especially since the music changes in most of the battles when you use one.  The only one I found myself using, again and again, was Splash Run.  I liked Mountain Coaster the most, but it was only used in two battles and had very specific things happen during it, such as the Rock Titan attacking you while you flew around the mountain or massive amounts of Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed being taken out at one time whenever you attacked with it, which is probably why I liked it so much.

The Keyblades are better than ever in this game.  The Formchanges for the Keyblades makes every Keyblade useful in different ways, although some of them just reuse forms from other Keyblades, which seemed unnecessary since there aren’t that many Keyblades compared to previous games, and therefore, aren’t that many Formchanges.  However, Formchanges are still fun.  In addition to Formchanges, the ability to upgrade the Keyblades makes them feel even more useful.  The cherry on top is the ability to switch between three of them at any time during the game.  You can even have Formchanges or Finishers saved on the other two Keyblades that you have equipped that you are waiting for the right moment to use.  I, admittedly, did not use this very often.  However, unlike the other gameplay options, it’s not because I didn’t find it useful.  It’s because I kept forgetting you could do that, or I liked the Keyblade I was currently using.  It was the same with the Shotlocks.  I didn't have a problem with them, but I kept forgetting that they were an option.

The world specific gameplay was fun too.  I loved using the Gigas in Toy Box and loved exploring the Caribbean and fighting enemy ships in the Leviathan (although collecting crabs to level up the Leviathan can get a bit tedious).  I even enjoyed the underwater gameplay in the Caribbean.

The Gummi Ship was better than ever.  I loved the open map and the exploration element that they added.  The cherry on top was the ability to exit battles.

The Disney worlds, with the exception of 100 Acre Wood, are bigger and better than ever before.  There was so much detail put into them, and the worlds actually felt lived in this time with the addition of way more NPCs.  However, the original worlds were not as well done as the Disney worlds were.  That being said, the worlds in Kingdom Hearts III overall are the best yet.

The game is visually stunning, and the characters are a lot more animated in cutscenes.  There were times when I felt like I was watching a movie with how the cutscenes were made.  The dialogue is also the best it has ever been, and there were many moments that actually made me laugh this time (it felt like there weren’t a whole lot of those in previous games).  However, there were moments when it felt like the cutscenes were going on for too long, and this wouldn’t have been too bad, except in most of those cutscenes, there was a lot of talking, but not a lot of action.  However, that wasn’t enough to ruin the cutscenes for me.

The music is the best in the series.  The new tracks were amazing, most of the remixes of old tracks sounded even better than before, and I loved the mashups of different tracks that were used for many of the boss themes near the end of the game.  Probably my favorite thing that was done with the music was that original music was scored for many of the cutscenes, which made the cutscenes feel even more like movies.

There may not seem to be a lot of postgame content, but I still think that there is a lot there to keep you busy for a while.  There are quite a few minigames to complete, including cooking with Little Chef and the Classic Kingdom minigames.  There are plenty of chests, ingredients, and Lucky Emblems to find.  There are many items to synthesize.  There’s a lot to do in the Gummi Ship.  Finally, there are Battlegates to complete once you beat the game.  You can also play around with the camera on the Gummiphone and take some great pictures.  However, my party members kept wandering into the picture I was trying to take, which got really annoying, especially since they would usually do so just as I lined up the perfect shot.

The only thing that left me feeling disappointed about Kingdom Hearts III was the story.  Nothing too significant happened until after you completed all of the Disney worlds, which made everything that happened after that feel a bit rushed since it had to wrap up ten games worth of story at the end of the game.  The setup for future games made this game feel less like a finale and more like just another chapter in the story.  Because of the rushed nature of everything after the Disney worlds were completed, every single character whose name wasn't Sora was given the short end of the stick in this game, although they did each have some amazing moments.  Speaking of moments, this game had the best moments of any Kingdom Hearts game.  There were amazing moments given to the characters (as I already stated) and epic moments that left my jaw on the floor and that made me think that no future Kingdom Hearts game could ever top what happened in this game.  So, while the story could have been paced better, and while it could have done with less setup, it was still an amazing experience.

In the end, Kingdom Hearts III is a fun game to play with the best visuals, worlds, and music of any Kingdom Hearts game that came before it.  Not all of the gameplay options are great, but that did not make the game any less fun to play.  Some of the cutscenes went on for too long, but that did not ruin them.  The story has some issues, but the great moments in the story make it enjoyable nonetheless.  Is Kingdom Hearts III the game that everyone wanted?  No.  Is it a good game nonetheless?  Yes.  I give Kingdom Hearts III an 8/10.

Edited by Dagesh Lene

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