The Final Kingdom Hearts III Preview

Simple and Clean

Kingdom Hearts III is finally almost here and after years of waiting it still hasn’t hit me yet that this game is actually about to come out whether we like it or not. For better or worse we are less than a week away from the game finally being put into the hands of the players and I honestly could not be more excited. It feels as though I’m a kid on Christmas Eve, struggling to fall asleep because of my excitement all over again. I’m dying to find out what happens to Sora and his buddies in the end of this story I grew up with.But, while I’m very excited, I’m also equally nervous.

In no way will this game meet the hype and the expectations I have set for it. For as much as I have seen and heard of this game it honestly looks like an early front runner for my personal game of the year. But, even with those high expectations, I only leave myself room to be disappointed because it isn’t as good as I had hoped. While very little of the hype around Kingdom Hearts has changed, being monumental to its core fanbase but almost irrelevant to the overall gaming climate, it sits in a very precarious position. The wait has been long enough that this game almost feels like a tipping point for Square Enix. This game could either be a monumental success and bring a whole new generation of fans to the series with its return to consoles, or it could fall flat on its face and essentially kill the series. While killing the series may seem a bit drastic because sales will of course be through the roof, if it turns out like another Mass Effect: Andromeda, we may not see another Kingdom Hearts game until the PlayStation 7. That being said, I’m still cautiously optimistic about this game.

All the major voice actors are back, including getting the real voice actors from the Disney movies such as Idina Menzel from Frozen, Mandy Moore from Tangled, and the entire crew of Toy Story it would seem. This combined with the new gameplay mechanics that are being included to freshen up the series looks incredible. Switching between keyblades with different powers attatched to them is a unique idea and gives even more incentive to customize your layout frequently. The attractions, while still somewhat a mystery, still look flashy and powerful, bringing real life rides into bigger battles. But, the best improvement made by far is the partner system. Being able to just pick up two extra partners rather than having to manage a party and allowing one character to suffer for an entire world, is such an incredibly smart improvement. No longer do I have to worry about grinding enemies because either Donald or Goofy are too weak, now they all scale at the same time.

While notoriously confusing, the story looks to finally wrap things up and clarify a lot of questions and plot holes that have been exposed over the years. However, this is by far the biggest barrier to entry, the story is so intimidating for someone who is new to the series that it may completely turn them off. The biggest struggle for the game in the early hours is going to be finding the balance between giving enough context for new players, but not too much that they feel suffocated in the story. I’m interested to see how they handle covering as many games as there are in the series, I personally have only ever played the numbered titles until the end. I’ve played varying chunks of the spinoff games and I’m at the point where I kinda get the story enough that I can just roll with it, take it for the melodrama that it is, and still have a great time. The uninitiated may feel in way over their heads in the early hours however, and that could be the difference between this game being a hit with the fanbase, and a critical darling along the lines of God Of War.

Needless to say this game has all my attention right now and I am expecting the worst and hoping for the best. Worst case scenario it is an alright game that everyone forgets about by the end of the year, best case scenario this game looks to be the early front runner alongside Resident Evil II for game of the year. If they last throughout the year is the true question, that all depends on how much the game resonates with fans. We all finally get to see how Sora’s story ends in less than a week when Kingdom Hearts III FINALLY releases on January 29.

Are you excited for Kingdom Hearts III? Have you played any of the other games? Let me know in the comments down below and make sure to subscribe for more Bring Your Own Games.

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