Kingdom Hearts originally released on 2002 as fruition of a cooperative initiative between Square Enix and Disney. Since its first game, Kingdom Hearts found a very special place in the hearts of its fans. No game had ever explored with such intricacy the charm that Disney worlds are famous for, specially not through the layers of complexity that a Square Enix cast and story can add.
This alliance resulted in a magical mix that gave Sora, Mickey and the rest of the amazing cast of Square Enix and Disney characters a solid first step towards becoming one of the most memorable game series in the industry.
Three years later we got Kingdom Hearts II. It was a highly regarded as the first one. 2005 marked the year in which the last main entry in the series was released, leaving fans with a wait of almost 14 years to get an ending to this convoluted yet masterfully crafted story. During this long wait we got many portable, mobile and even some HD remixes, these focused on several characters of the saga and added depth and lore to the main story. Nevertheless, all of those left us looking for something none of them offered: closure.
The wait is finally over, and for those who grew up with this series in their hearts. The moment has finally come to tie al the missing knots and get the conclusion to this seemingly never-ending story. KH3 go by the rules of its predecessors and continue to be an action RPG. The stunning visuals are delivered this time around by an Unreal Engine 4 implementation, which has resulted in Kingdom Hearts looking better than ever. The incredible cut scenes, which are a trademark of the series and Square Enix, are breathtaking and even more so when you’re able to experience them in higher resolutions on the top tier consoles.
Combat has also benefitted from the years that have passed, and it is as fluid as you would expect it to be in 2019. The battle system remains similar but has been overhauled with a much-varied combat style. Your Keyblade now transforms and depending on the Keyblade you get one or two more forms, which drastically affect your approach on combat and truly adds another layer of both complexity and fun to the gameplay.
One of the most enjoyable additions to the combat system is that you can summon Disney attractions, like the famous Tea Cups or the Pirate Ship attraction. This may sound crazy on paper but in-game this looks gorgeous from a graphical perspective and adds certain enjoyment and hype level for each battle that had never been as present in the series as it is now. That being said, since we have all these combat elements working together and sometimes chained simultaneously, combat might get somewhat hectic and crowded with effects and particles for some players.
Kingdom Hearts 3 tries to bring together years and years of story and gameplay mechanics together, and in this endeavor, they are successful. There are familiar mechanics from the previous entries all around, such as the sliding and grappling that was present in KH: Dream Drop Distance. On the story’s front, the Heartless from the original entry, the Nobodies from KHII and the Unversed from KH: Birth by Sleep are all here, for a final stand that leads to an epic closure. The Gummi ship is also back, no longer in rails and this time around, enjoyable.
Even though we are getting am upgraded mix of all the old elements that made the saga such a stellar landmark in gaming history, we also get innovation in the form of a fresh coat of novelty IPs from Disney. The Disney Worlds that we see in this entry are focused not only in the one’s that are familiar to us, but also brings on Disney’s newer IPs, such as Tangled, Frozen and Big Hero 6. Some worlds aren’t as complex to explore as others, but all of them share one thing in common: they are crafted with so much detail that it blurs the line between the game and the movies they are inspired on.
Kingdom Hearts III raises the bar once more for the series, this time leading its lasting hours to be what many gamers from a whole generation expected this story to conclude with, pure awe, charm and excitement. The grandeur of the boss battles and the moments leading to the end of the story are worth every year of wait and deliver completely, although probably not in a surprising twist, on the promise of a fulfilling end to the adventures of Sora and his pals. Saying that Kingdom Hearts III is a great game is an understatement, it’s more of a staple in the Action RPG genera of gaming, it was and will continue to be magic for a generation.