'Kingdom Hearts 3' review: Buckle up for an insane roller-coaster ride


Kingdom Hearts 3 Review
Available on PS4 (Reviewed) and Xbox One 

Kingdom Hearts 3 was one of the most anticipated games for what seemed like the longest time now.

Nearly everyone I knew was hyped for the release of this sequel, but the reason for the hype was split into two. The first is for the long-time fans of the series who have patiently waited for updates for 13 years. The second is for those who are generally new to the series and who have wondered about it for roughly more than a year. I fall in the latter.

If you think about it, there’s no chance that you wouldn’t at least be interested at game's concept. It brings in your favorite childhood cartoon characters and other characters from classic Final Fantasy games. That pretty much spans a large spectrum of this generation.

But the reality of it is if you haven’t played any of the first Kingdom Hearts games, you’re bound to be lost in translation. And you’re going to have to find your joy in elements outside the narrative if you want to keep pushing through and finish this game.

This has happened to me quite a few times. I’ll pick the game up, play a few hours, be lost by the bizarre story, put it back down and pick it up again after a few days. At one point I had to force myself to stick with the narrative and try my best to pay attention to much of it. I may have also done a bit of research by asking around and watching summaries of the previous games. (It may be the reason why this review took so long.)

Even after all that work, yes, there will be moments that will leave you lost and confused, but I invite you to play this game with an open mind and let your heart be your guiding key here.


Sure, it might take a little while for you to piece everything together. It’ll require some extra work. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t relate to many of the themes discussed in this game whatever your age. While the plot might be slightly convoluted and confusing – especially once they introduce so many characters at once – at the end of the day I realized it wouldn’t even matter in the face of these pure, heartwarming scenes that when strung together display such emotional range.

Also, Donald Duck has some amazing one-liners that just helped me stick with the gang even more. He’s somehow made it to my top favorite video game character list all because of his lines. No, not the repetitive ingredients or lucky emblem indicators. I meant the regular sarcastic ones.


Anyways, looking beyond the narrative and the characters, there are plenty more things you can love and enjoy about this big, beautiful, and charming game. It’s hard not to just be at awe and amused with what the combat has to offer. It’s quick and easy, it’s light and fluid. And as you progress and unlock more abilities and features of the game you’re just treated to some serious and wacky eye-candy moves, summoning amusement park rides that act as weapons to defeat the enemies.

The first time that ever happened to me I had my mouth agape as I was fired off the move. It makes me so thankful I played this game blindly without even looking at the trailers or demos before close to release date. The shock factor was all worth it.

The game also reminds me of Nier: Automata in a way because it not only bends expectations in terms of combat, it also bends genres. About 2 hours in, once you’ve gotten on your ship, you can steer it in open space and get into some adorable aerial battles that reminds you of Space Impact, or unlock puzzles to get more resources. And on the ground, you think you’d only be fighting enemies in the game but you also end up doing chores such as picking up ingredients for The Little Chef from Ratatouille. You can also make food like you were at a speedy Cooking Mama game.


If there’s one thing I have to comment on the gameplay in general, it’s the boss fights. A good chunk of the boss fights are not fun at all. It feels like for the most part, I’m supposed to just get in front of them and whack their faces over and over and over again until they keel over. A lot of them are massive in scale and don’t really do much of a dent on you so you just hit multiple times, wait for the next opportunity, and do it again - rinse and repeat. And they’re a little too easy.

But I guess, considering the ambition of bringing so many things and aspects together, I’m not even too mad. Yes, it’s a confusing mesh of themes, worlds, and genres, but in general, it’s still amusing and entertaining. Whoever said the Avengers is the most ambitious crossover in history is clearly wrong. The game is such a bizarre yet wonderful experience to have. I can understand all the excitement for it beyond the nostalgia.

So yes, if you haven’t yet, do consider picking up KH3. At least to give yourself a taste of one of the most insane and charming video game series in history.

Even if you’ll end up lost in the mess of genres and stories and the amusement park moves, it’ll still give you a wacky and wholesome experience that’s not easy to find in most games of today. – Rappler.com


Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher