“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” – Queen.
After what felt like forever and a day, SQUARE ENIX Co.,Ltd has finally made good of their promise: Kingdom Hearts III is finally available for us lot to play! Much excite, much excite.
Now, does the latest installment of the Kingdom Hearts franchise truly lives up to the hype? Let’s get right into it!
*No plot spoiler. Read with abandon!*
Platform : Playstation 4 & Xbox One
Release Date : January 29, 2019 (International)
Developer/Publisher : Square Enix
For those who hasn’t seen the trailer (who ARE you??), bless thine eyes:
Kingdom Hearts III panders to those who are massive Disney & Pixar junkies, as much of its 10 WORLDS story arcs are dedicated to the studio giants’ universes. The theme of virtuous heroic camaraderie still features heavily in the game, where our protagonist ventures through a world where good clashes against evil.
The game plot revolves around an endearing trio of Sora, giant key-wielding regular boy who gains power as the story goes along, and his two Disney sidekicks, Donald Duck and Goofy, as they traverse a multitude of worlds battling against the dark forces while gaining friends along the way. Kingdom Hearts III also stays faithful to its hack & slash gameplay style but with new improvements to its combat mechanics, which is a much welcomed addition to its whole immersive gaming experience.
The amount of gameplay in Kingdom Hearts III is impressive. You could opt to summon not only characters to aid you in battles, but the devs has also programmed in several Disney-style theme park rides to decimate opponents: from magical merry-go-rounds to roller coasters that barrage your opponent with fireworks. Weaponized rides. Very Disney.
The devs has also paid a lot of attention to trio’s dynamics. Sora, Donald, and Goofy can now conjure up deadly combos that would devastate the enemies in an instant. You could also manage how you’d like Donald and Goofy to behave for their roles during battles, which is very important in ensuring a seamless battling experience (e.g, a tanky Goofy & a magical healing Donald).
Sora’s very own weaponized giant key is now customizable and comes in many variations for you to use however you see fit. Each Keyblades can be leveled up throughout the games, and each has their own unique attributes. Yes, the Keyblades now comes in Strength, Ranged, and Magic, so choose whichever permutation that you fancy.
A new feature in Kingdom Hearts III that is also worth noting is the fact that you can now make your very own stat-boosting items. Just pay a visit to Scrooge McDuck’s Le Grand Bistrot in the Twilight Town, and have Remy from Ratatouille teach you a thing or two about the chef-y way to prepare yourself some power-up meals.
The graphics of Kingdom Hearts III are jaw-droppingly awesome. The production for the cutscenes and battle special effects are stuff of graphic junkie wet-dreams. The musical scores are appropriate but none too distracting – moody when needed be, and invigorating whenever the situation calls.
The devs also deserves much praises for enlisting Utada Hikaru to do the game’s theme song. Child, I sobbed listening to the theme song. It was like theme song for a 13-years-long** promise that’s finally fulfilled. *cry*
As a passionate fan of the game, I’d be one to admit that I am partial to Kingdom Hearts III through and through. It’s hard to find flaws within the game, especially when every elements of the game speaks gorgeously for itself – the graphics, the mechanics, the camera-works/handling, the music, the characters – all of it made it clear to me why Kingdom Hearts III took so long to develop!
You deserve this masterpiece of a game. Go play it!
** In the span of 13 years, some of us die-hard fans had passed away in waiting for Kingdom Hearts III. My review is dedicated for the Kingdom Hearts fans that have crossed over. Your hearts are our guiding key.