Kingdom Hearts 3

Brought to you from a wonderful seventeen-year old collaboration between Disney Interactive and Square Enix, Kingdom Hearts 3 is out after much anticipation from fans of the series. Released last month on both Playstation 4 and Xbox One, the game marks the final chapter in the Dark Seekers trilogy, which began back in 2002 with the original Kingdom Hearts on Playstation 2.

In that time, there have been twelve games in the franchise across multiple platforms, each centered around Sora, a young adventurer journeying through various Disney worlds to put a stop to the Heartless and their frightening leader, Xehanort, while helping his friends along the way. Allied with the likes of heroes such Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, as well as with further characters from Disney, Final Fantasy, The World Ends with You, and Pixar, this time we see Sora continue his search for the seven Guardians of Light and the ‘Key to Return Hearts’ in what hopes to be the most magical game of the year.

Beginning with Sora, Donald and Goofy joining up with Hercules to stop Hades in his attempt to overthrow Zeus, Kingdom Hearts 3 then tells a story that travels from one Disney universe to the next, including the worlds of Tangled, Wreck It Ralph and Frozen. As the menacing plans of Xehanort are revealed, it becomes Sora’s prerogative to prevent his nemesis from bringing about a second Keyblade War. Eventually regrouping with Mickey, Riku, and Aqua, along with a troop of Disney’s best heros, Sora faces Xehanort in one of the most dazzling battles of the franchise.

While the premise of the game may be gripping enough for Disney Interactive fans, perhaps Kingdom Hearts 3’s frantic sort of fun comes from its excited – if not slightly ridiculous – gameplay. Driven by a hack-and-slash combat system used by three playable characters – Sora, Riku and Aqua – the player will often them find themselves leaping around skirmishes of the game, slicing and dicing at Heartless, Nobodies and Unversed with their keyblade in an otherworldly fashion.

During these battles, Sora has the ability of summoning powerful attacks, coined ‘Attraction Flow’. These attacks are probably the most bizarre as well as brilliantly fun element of Kingdom Hearts 3, since they are each inspired by several Disney Parks attractions, including Grizzly River Run, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Mad Tea Party. Also drawing visual inspiration from Disney Parks’ Main Street Electrical Parade, they prove to be both an effective and stunning way of fighting enemies in the game – particularly against huge bosses. Sora can also use magic in combat, shooting fire and bending water.

With various mini-games available throughout Kingdom Hearts 3, gamers are not likely to get bored of playing despite the somewhat repetitive nature of combat. Perhaps the most impressive of these are the 1980s LCD games found on the Gummiphone feature, containing over twenty games such as the classic Game & Watch. Players can even cook with Ratatouille’s first-class little chef, Remy, in a Cooking Mama style. Frankly, the game might be worth picking up solely for these mini-games, if not for the staggering main storyline! Either way, if you’re in the mood for some Disney chaos, then Kingdom Hearts 3 is definitely the game for you.

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Jordan Hunnisett

July 2021
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