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Game review: Kingdom Hearts III finally releases on PS4 and Xbox One
Tue, 5th Feb 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

It's been well over a decade since the last time I played a Kingdom Hearts game, but the wait is over now that Kingdom Hearts III is finally out. The latest iteration in the action RPG series is available now for you to purchase on the PS4 and Xbox One gaming console platforms.

The rollout of the series is very unique mainly because the franchise has been released over many different platforms since the first game came out in 2002. The last main entry title in the series was Kingdom Hearts II which was released for the humble PS2 console back in 2006. Kingdom Hearts ignored the PS3 and Xbox 360 era, but now the series is back and better than ever on PS4 and Xbox One.

Due to the large number of games that is available in Kingdom Hearts, it takes a lot of effort to understand the series' long and convoluted storyline. Thankfully, Kingdom Hearts III adds a summary to get you up to speed, although the story is still hard to follow even if you are a fan of the series!

While it might be hard to understand the main plot of the game, the individual side stories when you visit Disney movie themed planets are where the game truly shines. Some planets follow the exact plot as their respective movies such as Tangled, while Toy Story is cool because it features an original plot of its own.

The human Sora is still the main character in Kingdom Hearts III and he is joined by his old pals Donald and Goofy. King Mickey is also a main character, but there are a lot of new faces for you to see as well. Some familiar faces include the likes Woody from Toy Story, Elsa from Frozen and many more.

Square Enix has included many recent 3D animated movies that were not in the previous games. If you want to experience movies like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, you're better off playing the other older games in the series instead. Some other well known characters only appear in small cameo appearances too.

Another thing fans should not expect to see in Kingdom Hearts III is any references to the Star Wars or Marvel franchises. I'm actually glad they're not in the game because those worlds would feel out of place and awkward if added.

That being said, the variety of different films you can visit makes this game have one of prettiest games I have ever played in recent memory. Video game technology is so advanced these days you'd think you're watching an actual movie in lieu of playing a game on a gaming console. I had the chance to play Kingdom Hearts III on Xbox One X and it's a pleasure just to look at the many detailed characters and environments.

Outside of the graphics, the core gameplay in Kingdom Hearts III is also fun and addictive. Sora has much faster and swifter combat controls as he can string combos with ease. He also has access to different Keyblades throughout the game allowing you to experiment with new attacks each and every time you visit a different planet.

The only disappointing thing about the combat is that the player is only allowed to play as Sora. It would have been cool if you were able to control other characters that join your party just to make the gameplay less repetitive. However, it's not too bad since the A.I. partners are usually helpful during boss fights and other encounters.

I don't want to spoil too much about the gameplay, but there are lots of cool boss fights for you to defeat at the end of each chapter. Many of them take several minutes for you to take down because all of them have multiple health bars that you have to decrease.

Even though I enjoyed Kingdom Hearts III, there are a few flaws that slightly ruined my experience. One thing I still don't like about the game is the annoying “Gummi Ship” missions. These are segments of the game where you pilot a small spaceship and you have to travel to the different planets.

I never liked the Gummi Ship missions in the original game and nothing has improved here. If it were up to me, I would have gotten rid of the spaceship missions entirely. The Gummi Ship missions break the flow of the game as they are annoying more than they are fun.

As aforementioned, another flaw about the game is the confusing plot. You're better off watching a summary video on YouTube to fully understand what the heck is going on because it's hard to follow anything.

Despite a few minor flaws, Kingdom Hearts III is still an enjoyable action RPG that contains many of your favourite Disney films and characters. The combat is better in this game, plus the visuals are delightful. This game is highly recommended if you own a PS4 or Xbox One console.

Verdict: 9.0/10