Review: Kingdom Hearts 3

Overall Score 1/5

Let’s just say I have more hope for the next one.

Warning: Spoilers, including secret ending spoilers.

Storytelling

The story was the worst part, which is disappointing because I fell in love with this game because of the story in the first game. It was all over the place while trying to tie all the loose ends all the previous games left us. For a game for kids, it’s way too complicated for a child to understand, and the writing is terrible.

Nothing was really happening in the beginning of the game. The story just drags while you’re left to explore just seven worlds, and to be honest, I don’t know why we needed to go to those worlds, I simply don’t remember. Something about Sora needing to find the power of waking. He, Donald, and Goofy are followed around by the evil people within Organization XIII, which, I still don’t know how they came back, I’m still confused on that.

Basically, the story was so forgettable, I can’t even remember most of it for this review. Nothing actually happens until after the Big Hero Six world, and then it’s the end. The ending is anti-climactic at best, and Xehanort is no more, so I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next game, even after watching the secret endings. All I know is that Xigbar’s got some plans, and that video game from the Toy Story world is actually its own real world.

Setting

The worlds were cool and different and fun, but this game was a lot smaller compared to the previous games. There weren’t as many worlds in this one.

You automatically start out in Hercules’s world, Olympus, which is in every Kingdom Hearts game, so no surprise there. You finally get to travel within the city of Thebes, which is interesting, as well as going onto Mount Olympus where all the gods live. It would have been cool to also include the Underworld, too, but then maybe the world would have been too big.

From there, you go to Twilight Town and meet Hayner, Pence, and Olete again. I was very disappointed that we couldn’t travel most of Twilight Town like in the previous games. This world is basically the sanctuary of the game where you can buy anything you need and make food for your adventure. I loved how they included Ratatouille as the chef, that was just perfect and he was so adorable, but those quick time cooking mini games were annoying. Also, there were actual NPC citizens instead of an empty desolate town this time, which was nice.

The Hundred Acre Wood has a couple new characters in it, and new mini games that help you get food. But that’s about it.

The Toy Story world was a lot of fun. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to be a small toy in such a big world, and I got to feel that in this game. But we don’t get to see any humans because the toys are in a copy of their world or something? It would have been kind of cool to have to play dead whenever they were around, that would have been a fun little stealth element in the game.

The Kingdom of Corona was basically like watching Tangled all over again, but with Sora, Donald, and Goofy standing in the corner. You practically don’t even have to see the movie to know what’s going on. But this world was one of the most beautiful ones to explore.

Monstropolis felt like a waste of time. I barely remember that one at all. I just liked taking pictures of Boo cowering in the corner whenever we were fighting the unversed. It made sense that there were unversed in this world and not heartless since the monsters used to harvest the screams of children for their energy. The story takes place after the events of the first Monster’s Inc movie, and Sully fixed Boo’s door so she could visit. But Randal is trying to make it so they use screams again instead of the much more sustainable laughter.

The Caribbean looked the most realistic out of all the worlds and the game in general, but they still made Sora, Donald, and Goofy look like they fit right in. How? I don’t know, art magic. And it was fun to explore under water. Pirate ship battles were fun and simple, the controls were actually pretty intuitive for it. This world was a favorite of mine because of how well they created it, the artwork was great.

But Arendelle was terrible. You don’t even need to watch Frozen to know what’s going on. This world was the most tedious and the story made no sense. I wanted to go inside that ice castle, but you just don’t, and why does Hans turn into an ice wolf? And holy shit, if I have to listen to “Let it Go” one more fucking time, I swear to god!

Big Hero Six was also forgettable in terms of the first play through, but it’s a fun world to go back to if you want to explore San Fransokyo. I was disappointed with this one because Big Hero Six was one of my favorite movies.

After all those worlds, you go to the Keyblade Graveyard and the games ends. The Keyblade Graveyard hasn’t changed since Birth By Sleep.

There’s also the Realm of Darkness, but you can’t really travel there willingly. This is where they save Aqua from.

And Scala ad Caelum, Xehanort’s home town where the final battle takes place.

I hated navigating through the World Map, but flying through space wasn’t terrible. There was a lot more freedom than the previous games, being able to fly in all directions instead of being stuck on a track going straight.

Characters

There is no way I am going down a list of all the characters in this game. I’m just going to mention how disappointed I am at the fact there there were no Final Fantasy Characters in this one. I will also mention that Kairi was a lot more bad-ass and daring in KH2, in fact, she looks younger in this game, which threw me off.

Plot

-Sigh- I actually had to use JIminy Cricket’s Journal to remember the story.

Xehanort has been revived by the new Organization XIII, and his plans are almost complete. He wants to stage a clash between seven guardians of light and thirteen seekers of darkness to form the X-blade and plunge the worlds into darkness again (Why, though? Who knows?). So, Sora and the gang have to find guardians of light and meet his challenge before he attacks seven innocent people instead.

Master Yen Sid tells Sora and the gang to find the three lost keyblade wielders for a start, Aqua, Ventus, and Terra. Sora also wants to free Roxas’s heart still sleeping inside of him, and for that he needs the “power of waking” (very creative). But since there was no vessel for Roxas’s body, they looked to the former Organization XIII members turned back into scientists to make one for them (well, a couple).

The beginning of the game is spent trying to obtain the power of waking, and that’s what drags on for multiple worlds.

Meanwhile, King Mickey and Riku are exploring the realm of darkness to try and find Aqua.

Also, Kairi and Axel were in some kind of dimension where time didn’t matter so they could train to use their new keyblades.

Did I lose you yet? This is just the set up.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to the different worlds mentioned above trying to obtain the power of waking, protect the new princesses of light (Rapunzel, Elsa, Anna, and Kairi), and figure out what the new Organization XIII is after, all at once. Meanwhile, Maleficent and Pete are back and are looking for a “black box,” following Sora and his friends around but never actually doing anything. Sometimes the game cuts to Riku and the king in the realm of darkness and you get to play as Riku for a little bit, and even Aqua. I’m pissed we still never get to play as Kairi. I know she can fight, we saw her in KH2!

Anyway, Aqua gets consumed by the darkness but gets saved, because this is Kingdom Hearts and none of the main characters can have a tragic ending. After saving her, they were able to save Ventus because she knew where he was, Castle Oblivion. They fight Vanitas, who has also been following them around, and Ventus woke up sometime in the middle of it when Sora called out to him and released him from his body. That’s when they forced Vanitas to retreat.

The guardians of light meet back at Yen Sid’s tower, Axel and Kairi included, and they go to the Keyblade Graveyard for the final battle, which kind of also drags on. There are multiple battles, and you lose the first time, practically dying only to be revived by this creature I vaguely remember from the phone game named Chritithy. He guides you while you try to “piece back together Sora’s fragmented body.” I’m not sure why this had to happen.

Then you go back to the battle in the graveyard and keep fighting. There are a few fights, because you have to fight multiple Organization XIII members, Riku’s dark self, Vanitas, and all of Xehanort’s copies, one of them releasing Terra (finally). Oh, and Roxas and Xion both come back somehow, too.

After all of that, THEN you get to fight the real, old Xehanort. But when you defeat him, it’s anti-climactic, and he ascends into Kingdom Hearts I guess? Like, did he die or….?

And then comes all the endings. For some reason, Kairi needs to be saved again, so Sora goes to save her, and disappears for the rest of the ending while we see how everyone else ends up. Oh, and Namine also comes back with her own vessel, too. Why all these nobodies are people all of a sudden, I have no idea. I don’t know how Sora and Kairi can be whole without their nobodies, it just didn’t make sense to me.

Then we see that Sora somehow saves Kairi, but then disappears, and we see Kairi cry.

Xigbar found the black box Maleficent and Pete have been looking for in the Keyblade Graveyard, and he summons the people with the animal masks from the phone game. This is where the game lost me because I only played the phone game for so long, and that movie they gave us to watch was so boring, I didn’t pay attention to any of it.

And then the secret ending showed Sora was alive, but in an unfamiliar world, the game world from the Toy Story world the toys thought he actually came from.

…I have more hope for the next game. This whole story doesn’t make any sense. Maybe we’ll even find out what’s in that black box.

Invisibility

I did get pretty immersed in the game-play, but the voice acting and the awkward timing with the animations threw me off. I understand the previous games, but they could have done a much better job with the animation timing. It was just as slow and awkward, I thought I was playing the PS2 again.

Mood

The mood felt familiar, so they did a good job at keeping it consistent. But this game didn’t invoke much emotion from me compared to the others. I was mostly indifferent throughout the whole game. The only thing tugging at my heart was when Sora disappeared and we had no idea what happened to him after he saved Kairi.

But then the secret ending just told me he was alive so…it was short lived.

Movement

The story was stale and confusing and all over the place. Not much else I can say.

What I Liked

The game itself is fun, it’s pretty, the lighting is fantastic, and the design of the menus and everything were consistent. The music is always great, Yoko Shimomura never disappoints. And it’s fun taking pictures with the Gummi Phone. The controls were fluid (except when navigating the world map) and there were a few new worlds to explore.

That’s it. I hated everything else.

Conclusion

It’s a shame because this is my favorite franchise of all time, and they’re going to end it like this? After like, ten years of waiting, they’re gonna just dump us with this?!

I’m just going to blame Disney for why this game sucks. I already know they’re the reason the Frozen world was the worse one.

Just like with Final Fantasy XV, because this story is broken up into so many pieces, it’s hard to keep track of. I would consider myself a veteran fan, but even I didn’t play the phone game enough to understand everything by the end. I was kind of pissed, because I don’t feel like playing more of that phone game, nor do I want to watch that boring ass movie all over again.

I think this is just a bad habit Square Enix has, where they break the already complicated story up into a million, expensive pieces over the course of 10+ years and multiple consoles and handheld devices and mediums. I wish they would just keep it simple in the future.

How did you like Kingdom Hearts 3? Did you hate it as much as everyone else?