Kingdom Hearts was a game I loved during my teenage years. It was a fun mix of Final Fantasy favourites and Disney characters which was something I personally hadn’t seen before. The first two games were available on the Playstation 2 and there have since been prequels, mid-games and extras to fill out the story line into something that’s actually quite complex to get around if you haven’t played them all. Kingdom Hearts 3 has been a long anticipated game in the making and now I’ve finished the main story line I can’t help but feel disappointed.
I tried to avoid spoilers on Kingdom Hearts 3 for a long time so that I could enjoy more of the game and so there were a few things I was pleasantly surprised with. Firstly I really like the addition of The Bistro which features Remy the Rat from Ratatouille. You can make stat boosting meals which is a fun little mini game, earn stars for The Bistro with the more recipes you make and it gives you an edge during game play for around 30 minutes. It’s similar to the cooking skill in Final Fantasy 15 which was really helpful.
The controls are simple and most of the attacks are button mashing so it’s quite simple for younger players to play. The characters are all quite lovely, maybe a bit too much, so the language is very fluffy, again, catering to a younger audience. In particular, fans of Frozen will probably really enjoy the game as it has a whole sequence featuring Let It Go in all it’s glory.
At first I liked the addition of the special attack Attractions in Kingdom Hearts 3 which mimic popular games at the Disney theme parks. They’re again easy to control and make fighting easier. Levelling up happens pretty quickly, you can access a shortcut menu and you can circle through three keyblade weapons at a time which helps to vary the combat a little bit.
In Kingdom Hearts 3 we see the return of the Gummi Ship for navigating the space between worlds which I quite enjoyed. It was a bit more open and there were treasures to seek and mini battles. You are however a bit more limited in building your own ship for quite a while.
What I Didn’t Like
Pretty much everything else. Kingdom Hearts 3 has been long anticipated and has been in development for a really, really long time but it still felt incredibly rushed. The cut scenes were frequent and lengthy which often made it feel more of an interactive movie than a video game and from about a third of the way through I began skipping them as I just didn’t want to sit through another ten minutes of cinematic.
I genuinely like cut scenes in games but this just had so many with the Kingdom Hearts 3 characters going on and on and on about hearts – which is the main point of the game, I know – but it felt repetitive. As I haven’t fully played the other games I didn’t really know much about the other characters and had to watch a plot line explainer video to catch me up to speed.
Kingdom Hearts 3 main story line is too short, I mean the cut scenes drag it out a lot but the actual game play feels minimal in comparison. I think that’s what I was really disappointed with to be honest. I’m used to these games clocking up a good 45-50 hours of my time to get through the main story but on standard mode it was cut to about 30 hours. I actually think if I didn’t have kids and didn’t have to keep pressing pause and skipped all the cut scenes I could easily complete the game in a day, especially on beginner mode, probably on standard mode and maybe a little longer on the harder difficulty. For a £50 game on the day of release (£55 on the PSN store which I majorly regret purchasing as I now can’t sell it on) it almost feels like a bit of a waste of money.
The treasures and collectables in Kingdom Hearts 3 aren’t interesting enough. The maps are so big, hard to navigate without an expanding map and actually makes for quite frustrating game play. The addition of the camera is fine to hunt for the hidden Mickey lucky emblems but again I just felt it was something they took from Final Fantasy 15. Speaking of which, there are no Final Fantasy characters throughout the game that I’ve found which is what drew me to the series in the first place. I also haven’t found the usual arena competitions if there are any.
Overall the game just feels rushed, over too quickly and disappointing which is a real shame as I was so looking forward to playing it.