Enrique Castaneda-Pineda –Senior Layout Editor
After over a decade-long wait, one of the most anticipated conclusions in videogame history, finally arrived. Closing the door on the “Dark Seeker Saga,” “Kingdom Hearts 3” reinvigorated the series with the new title, while still having room for improvement.
The series is a combination of original and Final Fantasy characters, joining forces with Disney characters.
After being stuck in the Playstation 2 era of gaming, the Kingdom Hearts series made its way onto next-gen consoles, with this title being the first available to Xbox owners. However, as the series faces an incredible challenge with having so many games on different consoles, the finale may leave many confused on what is going on. Luckily, the new title has options to look back at synopses of previous games so new players can be somewhat in the loop.
The series is known for its semi-open Keyblade combat, where you basically mash the attack button until the enemy is dead. As the series progressed, the mashing and occasional magic attacks got more complex, and this new edition proves its evolution further. Despite the elimination of quick-timed events for an attack, the player now has a list of action commands that pop up after using certain abilities like magic or the typical attacks. The dynamic team attacks, magic attacks, and attractions that can be used throughout a fight can be extremely fun and keeps the player engaged, using each move strategically rather than sporadically.
The game falls flat in some of the world design, with some of the best design coming from the open platforms, like in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Monsters Inc.” worlds. However, the world of “Frozen” was one of the biggest disappointments. Already not being a major fan of “Frozen,” the world felt shoe-horned in for Disney to build more hype around it. After the announcement of the second movie, I knew for certain that it was just a well-timed advertising move. The world was bland and with so many better Disney properties to choose from, it truly slowed down the games momentum. Even the world of “Big Hero 6” was not as impressive as I expected, with verticality preferred over discoverable expansion.
The main story did feel dragged out, as the most important things to happen throughout the game were in the beginning and then in the last few hours. However, when the last few hours of the game came along, the build-up from the previous titles showed as all the stories from each game tied together with the final fight.
The finale left most longtime fans satisfied; however, it isn’t a Kingdom Hearts game without making the plot more confusing. As the last few frames of the ending still haunt me, and the secret ending left me confused and wanting more, the series has a blank slate to do anything they want. Hopefully, though, it won’t take them another decade or longer to make the next one.