Kingdom Hearts 3: A Disappointing Entry in an Otherwise Wonderful Series

Kingdom Hearts 3

I am a huge Kingdom Hearts fan. I have been ever since it came out on the PlayStation 2 back in March of 2002. Kingdom Hearts 2 remains my favorite in the series but I have replayed them all. All except for one, at least. That one game is Kingdom Hearts 3.

Kingdom Hearts 3 cover art showing multiple characters.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Didn’t Live Up To Its Long Wait

First things first, Kingdom Hearts 3 wasn’t a bad game. I enjoyed my time with it, even though it wasn’t what I wanted. It took forever for us to finally get Kingdom Hearts 3, but it doesn’t feel like they spent all that time actually working on it.

The Kingdom Hearts franchise is a difficult one to follow, as the games are spread out between multiple consoles. Thanks to the remastered collections, it has since become easier to catch yourself up and play them in the right order.

However, Kingdom Hearts 3 left me with more questions unanswered. It is a game that feels extremely rushed and far too easy to complete. Not to mention, it feels like mostly cutscenes.

Unfortunately these cutscenes were mostly uninformative to the overall story, or too vague to really follow at all. With Kingdom Hearts’ history, I wasn’t expecting to be able to follow the story easily, but I feel like there wasn’t much of one to begin with.

For me, it was an unfortunate let down. I was extremely excited to dive into it when it come out but even before I left The Colosseum, I was already noticing some concerning issues.

Not Challenging Enough

Kingdom Hearts 3 was by far the easiest game in the series. I remember having to grind so much in Kingdom Hearts 2 to level up my characters as well as Sora’s Drive Forms. In Kingdom Hearts 3 I don’t think I had to stop to level anyone up at all. For an RPG, that was very disappointing.

Combat was fun and smooth, but again, presented itself with way to many gimmicks and not enough challenge. The Disney ride commands showed up for me multiple times during every battle. At first, they were fun to experience, but they soon became overused and definitely too powerful.

The same can be said about any of the combo moves you can perform with Donald, Goofy, or other Disney characters. The game just ended up being me pressing the triangle button and combat became less exciting.

Some Great New Things

There were aspects of combat that were new and exciting though. The biggest one for me was being able to finally cast magic while still moving. I can’t tell you how many times my spells were interrupted by enemy attacks in previous titles. In this game, magic was exactly what I wanted it to be and I could cast Blizzard on the move.

The graphics looked amazing, too. Granted, some of the worlds felt absolutely empty, especially Arendelle, but combat was extremely smooth and gorgeous. Magic effects, and other battle effects looked great, too.

Shows the main cast of Kingdom Hearts 3 preparing for battle
New combat features, and updated graphics help combat a little

It was exciting to finally see some Pixar representation, but I quickly missed the feeling Kingdom Hearts 2 gave me of Sora revisiting old worlds. There’s nothing quite like popping in on old friends to see if they are doing okay. I understand the need for new content and new characters, but I missed Jack Skellington and Halloween Town.

Visiting the new worlds here was still an exciting thing though. I found myself more invested in these worlds and their characters’ stories than I was in the main story. Like in previous titles, visiting other worlds was still a magical experience.

Overall It Was Forgettable

Kingdom Hearts 3 just didn’t stay with me like the other games did. Maybe I outgrew the childish whimsical RPG, but I think instead, Kingdom Hearts 3 just ended up watered down. I’m sure I will replay it again at some point but for now it just doesn’t present enough challenge to be replayed. I can’t help but compare it to other titles in the franchise and am continuously let down by it.

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By Dakota Deitsch

I love all video games but primarily enjoy RPGs. Pokémon is my favorite franchise, but I’ll play any game really. I tend to game on PlayStation and on my Switch the most.