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Kingdom Hearts III Review

Kingdom Hearts III Review – Written by Jose Vega

Copy purchased for review.

It began in 2002 when Squaresoft and Disney would collaborate to bring Kingdom Hearts. Combining the role-playing adventure of Final Fantasy with the cute and memorable side of Disney, the first game would give way to a franchise that tells a tale about light against darkness. Fans waited years for a sequel after Kingdom Hearts II but what they got is Square churning out more games that would help shape the lore of the series. But come 2013, Square-Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III would be in development. After six years of anticipation, it has arrived. Being the final entry of the supposed Xehanort Saga, is it worth the wait? Is Kingdom Hearts III worth a chance?

Let’s begin with the game’s story and yes, Kingdom Hearts’ plot is a bit convoluted at times. Sora, along with Donald and Goofy are back yet again as they travel on a new journey, heading to different worlds and taking the fight against Xehanort and his true Organization XIII. While that occurs, Riku along with Mickey head to the realm of darkness to find Aqua, a keyblade master. Both of these plots eventually coincide, leading to two factions battling one another to determine the fate of every world. It’s a battle between the forces of light against the forces of darkness.

From my experience, I did enjoy the story. It has enough to get me invested but also enough to literally hit you where it hurts, emotionally. Every world has its own story to tell, characters to meet and things to do. But the plot itself connects since the bad guys are invading each world and it’s up to the good guys to save the day. However there is some criticism. People who haven’t played every game and going into this one will feel lost, not knowing certain things such as characters and plots. Thankfully the game has a Memory Archive where players can catch up in preparation for this one.

If you have played any of the Kingdom Hearts games, then this will feel really familiar to you. Kingdom Hearts III is an action RPG game that borrows elements from many of the entries and incorporates them into this one. You have access to your Keyblade, as well as Magic but this game also has some new stuff. One instance is the Formchange. Depending on what Keyblade Sora has, he gains access to a different form that can add a bit of flair to his offense. Some keyblades have more than one form with devastating finish attacks. Not only that but Sora can also hold more than one Keyblade. In fact he can hold onto three. This gives Sora the chance to mix it up and he can save a formchange for later if needed. Shotlocks make a return, from Birth By Sleep where you lock onto multiple enemies and deliver a powerful attack. This time, depending on the keyblade, you get access to a different shotlock and plus, some blades will have more than one. It’s a sense of variety that feels rewarding for players. New to the series is Attractions, giant amusement park rides that can do a variety of attacks. They all offer something new but some instances will give Sora rides that will deal heavy damage to foes. Another new feature is the Link command. Link Commands allow Sora to summon a special ally to the battlefield. They range from Meow Wow to even Stitch and can turn the tide of the battle. Only drawback is that it costs all your MP but your health does recover so it also serves as a lifesaver if things go bad. You also have access to team-up attacks with your allies and this time, Donald and Goofy don’t have to leave. In fact you can have up to 2 guest allies in your group, raising the party up to 5. It’s awesome and some of the support cast even comes with their respective team up attacks too.

In terms of content, Kingdom Hearts III offers plenty to do. You have the Gummi Ship but this time, Square-Enix decides to make it a free flight mode where you can travel around to wherever you want to go. Like in Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, you can customize your Gummi ship however you want. Each of the three systems have plenty of quests and challenges to do. There’s also Little Chef aka Remy from Ratatouille and his restaurant, the Bistro. As you travel on your journey, you will find ingredients. They’re for Remy’s mini game. Most of it is simple but it’s trial and error cause if you screw up, you lose the ingredients. But when you succeed, you acquire meals and combining different meals together can boost stats for you and your party. It’s a nice temporary benefit if you feel the game is a bit challenging. There are mini games in each world, there’s the Classic Kingdom where you play handheld mini games to get a high score, there’s a lot to do. I kid you not.

Beating the game alone will take you around 20 hours but if you want to 100% the game, it’s double the length. Not to mention there are three difficulty settings: Beginner, Standard and Proud. If you want a real challenge, the Proud difficulty is your best option. There is no Critical mode sadly but I hope that Square-Enix will consider adding it in a future update. Kingdom Hearts III is amazing. It’s truly awesome to look at. Running at a rock solid 60 fps, the game runs great but is flawless too. Not only that but load times are minimal especially when it transitions from cutscene to gameplay. I love it. It’s seamless. As for the voice acting, it’s still top notch with many familiar voices along with new ones, especially from the more recent Disney films. It’s pretty good. The music is enjoyable. Yoko Shimomura is truly a goddess when it comes to music. I’m not kidding. She delivers on some amazing tunes, not to mention remixes of familiar tunes. Every world you travel always offer something enjoyable, even when you are at the end of the game as well. It’s just awesome.

But for all the good things that this game has, there are some flaws. One example’s the Attractions. They can be really overpowered and they come too frequent. Even when you turn off Attraction Extender, they still have a tendency to come in and can turn most fights into a joke. I wish Square-Enix could either tone them down or have them show up less. The game is also a bit easy, even at Proud difficulty. By the time you reach the end, Sora will probably have a lot of abilities that can help turn the tide of any battle, even the final boss. There is an ability that disables experience and it can make the game challenging but it isn’t enough. Sure this game is also meant to attract new audiences but it should offer something for players that want a tough challenge. The lack of Critical Mode doesn’t help matters. Last but not least, unless you’ve played every other game in the series, the plot will make your head scratch and wonder who some of the characters are. The Memory Archive does help for those that want to be up to speed but for anyone that has no idea, they may be in for a really confusing ride.

So in conclusion, Kingdom Hearts III is a game that fans waited years for. Is it worth your time? Absolutely. Does it have flaws? Definitely. For all it’s negatives, this game has a lot going for it. It looks amazing, it’s easy to get into and play and it has enough that’ll keep you going for a long while. A 13-year wait reaches its end and surprisingly, it’s also on Xbox One so that’s a first. This game serves as an end to the Xehanort Saga and the end of a journey that spans 17 years. Let’s hope that Square-Enix doesn’t take too long for the next entry… hopefully. Seriously get Kingdom Hearts III. It’s worth your time.

I give Kingdom Hearts III an 8.5 out of 10. It’s worth your money and your time.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Review

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for this review.

Last year, Kingdom Hearts celebrated its 15th anniversary & Square-Enix made several announcements. One was that Kingdom Hearts III would finally be in development after it was announced in 2013. The other announcement was two compilation games that would get fans up to speed with the series. One compilation takes two PS3 compilations and put them as one big package on PS4. The other served to help set things up for the eventual third Kingdom Hearts game. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. Like 1.5 and 2.5, it’s a compilation but does this get people excited for the upcoming third game?

Final Chapter Prologue is a compilation game like the others. What’s different from the others is that almost all the content provided here is entirely new. It comes with three different games: HD Dream Drop Distance, 0.2 ~A fragmentary passage~ and a short movie called chi Back Cover. For a full price game, this provides plenty but now, at around $30, it’s still worth it.

Up first is Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. This game was released on the 3DS back in 2012. Here, Square-Enix decides to take this handheld game and give it a facelift, updating the presentation. It pays off, allowing the game to run at 60fps at 1080p. Also they improve some gameplay aspects such as the Reality Shift to accommodate the PS4 and the Dual Shock 4 controller. It works but if you played it on 3DS, you will find this to be a familiar yet different experience. Reality shifts have been modified, or in some cases changed, requiring you to use either the touch pad or face buttons. Sure it’s simplified but it doesn’t hinder the game all that much. Most of the game follows the formula that Birth By Sleep and Re: Coded had but it stands out on its own thanks to the Dream Eaters. Speaking of the Dream Eaters, you have access to all of them available including the ones that were in 3DS that required special cards. It’s pretty nice for those that wish to collect them all.

As for the other two, they are entirely new to this package. Birth By Sleep 0.2 ~A Fragmentary Passage~ takes place after the events of the Secret Episode of BBS Final Mix. Centering on Aqua, it focuses on her time in the realm of darkness, meeting Mickey and how she played a role in the events that would end the first KH. This is all new and it also serves as a sneak peek as to how Kingdom Hearts 3 will go, using the combat system as a platform. It takes bits from various Kingdom Hearts games and combines them to make a definitive style. It works. In addition this game has a variety of objectives for players to complete, a total of 50. Completing them unlocks cosmetics for Aqua to customize in. It’s pretty nice and does give players something to accomplish and complete. Plus the replay value is good.

The last one, Chi Back Cover is a one hour movie that details how the Master of Masters give five of his six apprentices a copy of the Book of Prophecies and how the Book and his actions set in motion events that would lead to the inevitable Keyblade War. It’s very well done and enjoyable. Plus for those who played the mobile game, Kingdom Hearts Unchained Chi/Union Cross, they get to see events that would lead to the story’s end. The voice work is pretty good with some well-known talent lending their roles in this movie.

As for length, they depend on the game. Dream Drop Distance will take about 12-15 hours, A Fragmentary Passage will last you 3-5 hours and both games unlock a harder difficulty upon completion. With Dream Drop Distance, there are several mini games and challenges that extend the length, especially when it comes to collecting the Dream Eaters. As for A Fragmentary Passage, there are the challenges and a hidden boss rush. It extends by about an hour or two. That’s quite a lot for a compilation package and at an affordable price too.

All of it looks amazing, especially Dream Drop Distance and A Fragmentary Passage. It amazes me how Square-Enix took a 3DS game and pretty much gave it a graphical overhaul. If we are to compare the two versions, the HD one is without a doubt better. It looks better and some of the gameplay changes such as the Reality Shifts help make it streamlined. Did I mention that the game is upscaled at 1080p, running at 60 frames per second? There’s that & Square should be commended for pulling off such a feat. For A Fragmentary Passage, it’s beautiful. That mode’s presentation is insane. Yes I mentioned that this is pretty much a preview of how Kingdom Hearts 3 will be but the fact that everything in that mode is good is beyond me. The voice acting is still a delight although Willa Holland’s performance as Aqua feels a bit forced. Music’s great. Yoko Shimomura delivers on the soundtrack, especially for A Fragmentary Passage. As far as negatives go, there aren’t that many. Some stuff can be difficult but it’s nothing you can’t handle. The Dream Eaters can be a turn off for some people and the fact that you have to train them to unlock abilities can be really repetitive. No joke. Regardless, it shouldn’t stop players one bit.

Overall, Final Chapter Prologue is what it is, a compilation that helps get players prepped up for the eventual Kingdom Hearts 3. Dream Drop Distance is a big improvement while A Fragmentary Passage is a preview of what’s to come while offering a fun experience. Chi Back Cover is a nice movie and combined, all three deliver one good package. The wait for KH3 may have been a long one but I feel that compilations such as this are enough to keep people waiting. Want to experience what’s yet to come? This is it.

I give Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue an 8.5 out of 10.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix – Eps. 35-37

Today’s the day and here it is. The main game of Birth By Sleep comes to a close. So here you go. All three episodes, concluding Aqua’s story as well as the Final and Secret Episodes.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Final Mix – Eps. 29-32

Yeah, it’s been a while since I updated the blog and I’m very sorry that I haven’t. So its high time I get this under way. Here’s some more Birth By Sleep Final Mix. I promise to get it finished, that’s a fact.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix Eps. 25-26

Yep. That’s right. I’m back and I figure why not finish up Birth By Sleep Final Mix. I already have it saved up but right now I need to get all of these up for everyone to see. I have a lot of work to do getting the post-game stuff ready.

This is what the Post-Game of Birth By Sleep Final Mix will be about.

Birth By Sleep Final Mix Post Game

  • All Disney Town Mini-Games – Rumble Racing for Terra, Ice Cream Beat for Ventus, Fruit Scatter for Aqua
  • Locations for all Prize Pods. I will cover locations with multiple characters.
  • Unversed Battle Missions. Will cover with only one character but will provide all the locations.
  • Vanitas Remnant – All characters will be covered
  • Mysterious Figure – May cover with all but can depend
  • Mirage Arena Battles – Will only cover it with one character, Aqua and will include the extra events