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Kingdom Hearts III: The best disappointment I’ve ever played

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The Kingdom Hearts series has been around since I was born and since many people were kids. We have grown to love the series and enjoy it for all the twists and turns it brings us. Finally, after fourteen years, the third numbered game of the series has been released. Ever since its release date was announced, fans all over the world were hyped about the game. As a massive fan myself, I had to have this game. Before I give my judgement, I interviewed fans of the series and asked how they felt about the game. 

The streamer I interviewed a few months ago, Felix Wind, has been playing the series since 2002 but became a big fan in 2006. He was so hyped for Kingdom Hearts 3 that he streamed all the other games until the games inevitable release. My friend Emily has a similar history, having grown up with the games and binging all of the series until 3’s release. I asked them about their opinions of the complexity of the plot and both stated that since they are “veterans” to the series, having an understanding of everything that is going on, where if someone is new they are most likely going to be confused. Felix felt that the combat was very fluid and added good new changes to the mix. Emily on the other hand felt that the combat was “floaty” and was not as good as previous entries. Both agree though that the attraction flow rides, attacks in which you use Disney rides, were not needed and should have been excluded or should have a toggle to be turned off. Felix felt that the difficulty was too easy compared to previous entries and the lack of a Critical mode took some of the fun out of it. Emily on the other hand felt that the game started off hard, got easy, and then had some smaller hard points. They both agree that the voice acting was fine for Kingdom Hearts. Felix’s only issue was with the characters Sully, Woody, and Tia Dalma. Both also believe that, save for a few textures and characters, that the game looks beautiful especially when compared to previous entries in the series. Both had their own experiences with the game though. Felix walked out enjoying the game while Emily walked out feeling like she just finished playing an interactive insult.

Now in terms of combat I agree with Felix more. The combat is pretty fast paced feels very fluid. The attraction rides are too overpowered and I feel, like Felix said, there should be a toggle to turn them on or off. The magic system feels very similar to Kingdom Hearts 0.2. You can use it while moving, in combos, and can stack them up to get reaction commands that activate stronger magic attacks. The keyblade forms help the combat as well. They are a fun way to dispel enemies and are unique. The shotlocks, attacks that lock onto opponents and send blasts to each locked on opponent, are even better than they were in 0.2 and BBS. They are not ridiculously overpowered or ridiculously underpowered- perfect balanced, as all things should be.

In terms of difficulty I once again agree with Felix. The game is much, much easier than most entries before which, in my opinion, is highly disappointing. The game on Proud mode, the hardest level of difficulty available, feels like the other games’ beginner or standard mode. It’s simply too easy to go through hordes of enemies. I am almost finished with the game, and I’ve only died once. The Disney rides don’t help either, being strong enough to one shot most opponents. I also feel that the lack of a critical mode takes away from the replay value of the game. Once you 100 percent the game on proud mode there’s really nothing left to do.

Now, the voice acting was fine in my opinion. I had no issue with anyone for the most part except for Tia Dalma. Her actress butchered the character and made me dislike the Pirates of the Caribbean world. People called the voice acting in the trailers cringy, but that was mostly because it was taken out of context. Yes, there are some corny lines in the game, but not as many as some might think.

The art design in itself is magnificent. I feel like the games backgrounds are mesmerizing and the character designs as well are massive improvements from previous entries. Everything in the game is aesthetically pleasing, except for a few minor textures here and there throughout the game.

Now I have been avoiding this the whole time, but the story in Kingdom Hearts 3 is rather disappointing. The entire conclusion that has been alluded to the past few games doesn’t make an appearance until late in game and sometimes speckled throughout the worlds. I hoped the story would have been better but it’s just a let down, especially after such a long wait for this game.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is a fun game and I had a ball playing this. It’s a shame that it wasn’t the game I was expecting. It was not nearly as good as some previous entries, and the plot is such a disappointment. The combat is fantastic though, and I still have a special place in my heart for this series. I have decided that this game deserves and 8 out of 10. The combat is great, design is fantastic, but the story is just a massive disappointment.

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