Kingdom Hearts III Review

Kingdom Hearts III Review
Kingdom Hearts III Review Darryl Linington
Storyline
Gameplay
Graphics
Sound
Lasting Appeal
8.4
User Rating: 7.8 (1 votes)

Developed and published by Square Enix, Kingdom Hearts III has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Now for those who did not know, Kingdom Hearts III comes in as the twelfth installment of the Kingdom Hearts series and finally brings the Dark Seeker saga to a close.

The story of Kingdom Hearts is an extremely convoluted one at that and would take a couple thousand words to explain. However, if you are new to the world of Kingdom Hearts then you can find the perfect breakdown of the entire story here. 

Kingdom Hearts 3 follows long-time Kingdom Hearts protagonist Sora. This time around Sora and his team of Goofy, Donald, King Mickey and Riku are on a quest to help Sora not only gain the power of waking, but also search for the Seven Guardians of Light in order to stop long-time Kingdom Hearts antagonist Xehanort from forging the X-blade in order to bring about Kingdom Hearts and a second Keyblade War. Along the way, Sora and the team traverse a number of Disney and Pixar themed worlds that bring them closer to putting an end to Xehanort’s plans.

While I won’t go too in-depth when it comes to the story, as a long-time Kingdom Hearts fan, I found that the story on offer here is one that was extremely enjoyable. While the story packs in a lot of Disney – perhaps a bit too much – it does deep dive into the Kingdom Hearts story and lore… and as a result offers a satisfying conclusion to the Dark Seeker saga in the game’s final 5 hours.

As mentioned, there are a number of Disney and Pixar themed worlds to visit and explore. Your journey begins on Olympus where you team up with Hercules and lay waste to the Heartless. You also have the opportunity to visit the gang from Toy Story in the Toy Box and even fight alongside the great Captain Jack Sparrow in The Caribbean. This is only the start as you also get to the chance to enjoy the story of Tangled as you adventure alongside Flynn Rider and Rapunzel.

A lot of these worlds and the stories they portray brought a smile to my face. I rather enjoyed teaming up with Mike and Sully from Monster’s Inc. in order to not only vanquish the Heartless, but also get Boo back to her home in order to keep her safe. I also thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it, singing along to Frozen’s Let It Go while enjoying some rather beautifully rendered cinematics from the film’s most popular scenes.

While the worlds are packed with entertaining storylines, colourful characters and set-pieces, I did have a slight problem with them… they felt empty. Apart from Twilight Town and The Carribean, I found that each of the other worlds were just giant battle arenas where I would fight against waves of the Heartless in order to move from point A to point B to progress the story.

The world of San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 felt emptier than the rest as no citizens walked the streets and the only way to interact with Hiro and friends was to go back to Hiro’s lair which felt like a save game hub. While Kingdom Hearts III does bring the Dark Seeker saga to a phenomenal close, the empty worlds that one needed to traverse to get there felt like a chore to complete at times… even though they did have some highly enjoyable moments.

While the worlds featured in Kingdom Hearts 3 could have been populated better, the overall game is presented rather well… There are some beautiful cutscenes and some rather impressive looking environments on offer here.

Players can also look forward to travelling between worlds in an open-world space setting in the iconic Gummi Ship. This time around, not only can you explore in the ship, but you can also upgrade and modify your ship. This adds an extra layer of enjoyment to Kingdom Hearts III.

While exploring space with the Gummi Ship is great, what makes Kingdom Hearts III truly stand out from the crowd is the game’s phenomenal combat mechanics. Hacking and slashing your way through Heartless is an absolute pleasure; however, what makes it even more satisfying is the fact that you can team up with Goofy or Donald to perform a variety of special moves to deal maximum damage to the enemy. To add to this, you can also summon famous characters like Wreck It Ralph and The Lion King’s Simba in order to deal a phenomenal amount of damage to enemies.

If that was not enough, Sora has the ability to cast magic as well as call upon various theme park attractions to blast through enemies. What I also loved about the combat here is there are a number of Keyblades that Sora can equip. Each Keyblade comes with a variety of form changes that allow Sora to deal deadly combos and finishers. When pushed too hard, Sora also has the ability to shift into a darker form. This allows Sora to punish enemies with brutal attacks and a mind-blowing finisher. While pretty simple and straight forward to use, Kingdom Hearts III features combat mechanics that are truly amazing. The game is pretty easy to get the hang of, which allows newcomers to the series to pick it up and play with ease.

Another part I rather enjoyed while playing Kingdom Hearts III was cooking with Little Chef from Ratatouille. While whipping up various dishes was pretty simple to do, it was just something that I found to be rather charming and sweet.

Conclusion:
I personally enjoyed Kingdom Hearts III. Not only does it feature a fantastic story, but it also features some of gaming’s most iconic characters… Characters that I have grown up with and grown to love and respect over the years. It also features an exceptional combat system that exceeded my every expectation.

In terms of visuals, Kingdom Hearts III is a stunning title; however, the developers could have populated the worlds with more NPCs or things to do instead of just having the characters move from point A to B in order to fight Heartless and progress the story. With visuals being stunning, Kingdom Hearts III also has a stunning musical score that you could listen to for hours on end.

Overall, Kingdom Hearts III is a fitting end to the Dark Seeker saga. Let’s just hope that future titles feature a lot more to do within the environments that they offer.

By: Darryl Linington
Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za
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Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter

Editor of Tech IT Out. Former radio host of Cliffcentral.com. Former Editor of IT News Africa and ITF Gaming. All round techie, gamer and entrepreneur. For Editorial Enquiries Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za or via +27788021400.