What Critics Are Saying About ‘Kingdom Hearts 3’
Well folks, we’ve made it. We are only five days away from the release of Kingdom Hearts 3. It’s almost unbelievable – after waiting 13 years I am mere days away from finishing the story I began so long ago. But, just because the previous games were great and they’ve had near unlimited time to work on Kingdom Hearts 3, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be good. Unfortunately, my opinion will have to wait until I get my hands on the game on the 29th like everybody else, but many reviewers were lucky enough to get advanced copies and began posting their reviews this morning when the review embargo lifted. So I’ve compiled a list of reviews to help you decide whether the game is worth a purchase.
So, is the game any good? For the most part – yes. It seems most reviewers loved the game, despite minor nitpicks (which, let’s face it, the Kingdom Hearts series has always had it fair share of pros and cons), with only one reviewer (thus far) who just did not enjoy the game.
Let’s get the only negative (so far) review out of the way:
Polygon, while not entirely against KH3, did find It to be rather repetitive and anti-climactic. “Kingdom Hearts isn’t simple anymore; it isn’t joy and bright colors and Disney heroes. Instead, the conclusion of this story is tangled up in so many conflicting threads, each one a heavy burden on its hero, whose smile now feels unnerving. Kingdom Hearts 3 is an example of what can go wrong when a series that once stood in contrast to its peers as a lighthearted alternative loses its way.” Polygon also said, “after years of buildup, the story’s conclusion fails to do it justice,” and “I’ve hoped for a game that would bring Kingdom Hearts into 2019. How crushing it has been to discover the end result is little more than a lackluster leftover from 2006.” Ouch. Polygon does not have a formal review rating scale.
But, that aside, here are some of the more positive reviews – although they all seem to have at least a few nitpicks.
Gamespot said, “In 2002, as Sora, I left Destiny Islands to travel across the universe and make new friends. In 2019 I brought old ones home, and I had so much fun doing it,” and “the amount of gameplay variety in Kingdom Hearts 3 is impressive, and although the extras may be short-term distractions, for those who want to spend more time in their favorite worlds, they’re a fun reason to make the return trip.” But Gamespot was not without their own gripes, stating that, “With the finish line in sight, the game disrupts the pace with one arduous boss fight after another – not challenging in any way, just more of a slog. The payoff, meanwhile, isn’t entirely worth it, as Kingdom Hearts 3 wraps up its story in an incredibly unfulfilling way.” Gamespot gave the game an 8 out of 10.
IGN said, “Kingdom Hearts 3 is a fulfilling evolution and resolution of the franchise that shows it’s still full of heart,” and “it’s nice to see that, even so long after the very first game, Kingdom Hearts 3 is so full of heart.” IGN does admit the game has its slow moments, “Characters are peppered into each Disney world and small updates about the overarching story are provided, but the real confrontations and character shifting moments don’t factor into Sora’s journey until it’s nearly complete. I’m used to that by now in this series, and the intermittent character cameos often intrigued me, but after the fifth or sixth mid-world story tease I wished the same considerations that went into making the gameplay flow so well were applied to the storytelling.” IGN rated the game an 8.7 out of 10.
Gamesradar+ said, “whatever the flaws, there is nothing quite like Kingdom Hearts 3, and it’s a wild, wonderful ride as a result. Name one other game where you can watch Elsa belt out Let It Go before hammering some monsters to death with a giant key,” and “still madder than a box of frogs, but its magical Disney charms make it worth the long wait.” My favorite part was when they said, “a storyline so complex it would give George RR Martin nightmares.” Gamesradar+ rated the game a 4 out of 5.
Venture Beat called the game, “excessive, yet satisfying,” and said that, “Kingdom Hearts 3 can’t help itself. It feels pressure to be the most Kingdom Hearts game ever, and it is … for good and bad. The Disney side is still the best side of Kingdom Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts 3 nails that part. But even it’s story, as ridiculous as it is, gives fans emotional moments and satisfaction. I wouldn’t say it’s better than Kingdom Hearts or Kingdom Hearts 2, but Kingdom Hearts 3 is magical enough to resonate with this big Disney geek.” They aren’t huge fans of the overall story though, stating that, “The story is garbage. Still, I have to admit, I devour it. It’s like fast food. Of course, it’s garbage, but it still tastes good going down. The story isn’t about much of anything, other than that having friends is good or something. But I’ve been playing these games for so long, I can’t help but have an emotional attachment to these characters and their plights, no matter how dumb they are.” But fear not, as the reviewer ensures readers that, “For all the story’s faults, Kingdom Hearts 3 does tie up just about every loose end. It has a satisfying conclusion that rewards fans like me that had the patience to try and keep up with this weird narrative.” Venture Beat rated the game a 90 out of 100.
Game Informer said, “While not perfect, Kingdom Hearts 3 is the game I’ve been waiting for. After finishing it, I was delighted by how satisfied I was with the journey. The series still has a lot of hearts, and that’s what makes it so endearing.” GI also said that, “The new installment addresses threads that have been left hanging for years, and it does so by leveraging the Disney magic that seems to make anything possible. The result is the series at it’s strongest, and most importantly, it provides satisfying answers to the biggest question marks.” Again, they had a few nitpicks. “I wasn’t fond of the repetitive boss battles towards the end, since repeatedly facing similar foes is a tedious way to drag out the finale,” and that “the extra content is of uneven quality, like minigames sometimes being too simplistic for their own good.” Game Informer rated the game a 9.5 out of 10.
Will you be picking Kingdom Hearts 3 when it launches on January 29th, 2019? Do you understand the story? Who do you hope to see return for the finale? Let us know in the comments!