One of my most recent and highly anticipated game releases was Kingdom Hearts 3 in January. I was so happy when we managed to get the All-in-one package pre-ordered. I’ve now completed the story and I’ve only got all the extras to complete and believe me when I say that this will keep me busy for a while as there’s so much! At the time of writing I had 67% of the trophies earned. I have thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the Kingdom Hearts series; it had been a long almost 15 year wait after Kingdom Hearts 2 but it has honestly been worth it in my opinion.
The developers have done a great job choosing Disney worlds, which includes worlds seen previously in the Kingdom Hearts series as well as brand new worlds to explore including Toy Story, Tangled and Big Hero 6. I loved the fact that Olympus has had an extended story and not just Coliseum tournaments and I thought the Caribbean was fantastic how it has been improved on from previous versions.
I love how the developers have altered the physical aesthetic of Sora and friends to suit whatever world that you’re exploring. It would have been simple to just add a monster appearance to them while in Monstropolis but to add the look from each individual movie to the matching world takes it to another level. For example, the graphics in Twilight Town look completely different to the Toy Box which looks dramatically different to the Caribbean.
I loved the world choices but there was one world which I wished would finish faster so I could just explore and carry on with the story and that was Arendelle. I like Frozen (Olaf in particular) but I felt that the Arendelle world was a little forced because of the film’s popularity. It got to the point that I wanted to move on from the world because of the constant “Lets climb this mountain to find Elsa” and when you reach the summit being knocked back down and start the climb over again. It felt quite monotonous compared to the other worlds.
I’m not sure why but Eeyore wasn’t included in the Hundred Acre Wood; he has instead been replaced by Lumpy the Heffalump. I know the Hundred Acre Wood is technically all mini games but I would have loved to have seen Eeyore appear alongside Winnie The Pooh and his other friends but maybe that’s just me being picky as Eeyore is my favourite. In this edition, the mini games centred on harvesting Rabbits gardens in a sort of ‘bubble shooter’ game but matching flowers, fruit and veg with the help of Rabbit, Tigger, Gopher and Lumpy.
Eeyore wasn’t the only character I felt was missing from the whole game. With the exception of the shop Moogles, there were no Final Fantasy characters featured in Kingdom Hearts 3. This is where I felt the idea of Disney meets Final Fantasy lacked considering how many of those characters featured in previous games. I also felt like the appearances of characters such as Maleficent and Pete were quite lacking with the game having them appear as a small bit part and focusing more on Organization XIII.
I enjoyed flying the gummi ship more in Kingdom Hearts 3 than in the previous games. There was more to do in the galaxies than battling Heartless and flying to the next world. It gave you a reason to fly the ship rather than fast travelling. There are many battles to fight, challenges to complete and treasures to find.
The gameplay as a whole felt more fluid and the addition of some new gameplay elements has given the game the extra edge. It feels a lot more control responsive and the combat is more fluid in terms of your attacks and moves.
I also really like the way you upgrade your Keyblade. It’s another take on synthesising but slightly different. Even though it doesn’t give you a new Keyblade it upgrades the stats and unlocks new abilities for that Keyblade. With these upgrades and the fact that you can equip multiple Keyblades at once, you essentially have a gameplay more tailored to yourself. My main use Keyblade is the one you earn by completing the Big Hero 6 world which I have fully upgraded.
Other great additions are the Flantastic Seven mini games and the fact that you can cook with the help of Remy from Rataouille at Uncle Scrooges’ bistro in Twilight town. The ingredients for cooking are earned by defeating heartless, gathering from the world and completing some mini games, Flantastic Seven games included!
I also love the fact that there is a camera feature with the newly added Gummiphone which has replaced Jiminy’s Journal. You can take photos of the worlds, Heartless, selfies and also use it to take photos of the Lucky Emblem collectables, which are hidden Mickey Mouse heads scattered throughout each world. Some are easily spotted, but others are very well hidden.
Worlds I Would Have Loved To Have Seen In Kingdom Hearts 3
Don’t get me wrong, as I said earlier, I love the world choice for this game. It’s given us a Kingdom Hearts look at a variety of worlds rather than having all the same worlds from previous games. We’ve seen The Caribbean as the underwater world instead of Atlantis again and we’ve seen the appearance of the ever so popular Frozen world of Arendelle. I wouldn’t change any of the worlds that featured in this edition to the series but what would I have loved to have seen appear alongside them? Here are 5 of my ideas.
- Moana – I have an idea surrounding a Moana world. Maleficent and Pete or Organization XIII had stolen Te Fiti’s heart and the Heartless were stopping the heart being returned. I loved the Moana film and think it’d fit into Kingdom Hearts pretty well.
- The Jungle Book – I don’t know about you but I kind of imagined that The Jungle Book might appear in Kingdom Hearts 3 after the popularity of the live action film. I think seeing a Jungle Book world would have given players a new take on a world similar to the deep jungle world from Tarzan in the first Kingdom Hearts.
- Inside Out – There’s something about the idea of seeing Sora, Donald and Goofy fitting into the world of Inside Out alongside characters such as Joy, Anger, Sadness and Bing Bong that seems to resonate with me. It’s something that would be different and unique, just as many of the other worlds have been.
- A Bugs Life – I think a world inspired by A Bugs Life would be so interesting to see in the Kingdom Hearts world. Just imagine a variety of more insect looking Heartless.
- Wreck-It Ralph – I know Wreck-It Ralph appeared in Kingdom Hearts 3 but not in a huge capacity; he only appeared as a link summon. I understand why a Wreck-It Ralph world wasn’t created, with the video game mini-game in the Toy Story world, but I think it would have been intriguing to see an 8-bit Sora and heading across various arcade games.
My verdict on Kingdom Hearts 3, definitely a must play game. It’s a game that has been worth the wait but it felt exceptionally bittersweet. If you haven’t yet, go and play it! I loved it from start to finish and will continue to go back.
And to end with the words of Master Yen Sid…