Thirteen years. That’s how long the world has been waiting for “Kingdom Hearts 3.” It even got to a point where it became a joke that this game would never actually come out, but here we are in 2019. The game we’ve been waiting for finally came out. And it’s magnificent.
As a serious fan of the series, the story in this game was emotionally satisfying and exactly what the creators needed to do to wrap up everything so neatly. Many of the older games in the series, even the many spin-offs, have their loose ends tied and cliffhangers resolved. Still, I do have to point out some pretty glaring issues with this game and the series as a whole.
The Kingdom Hearts series has been criticized endlessly for two main reasons: its cheesy style and its convoluted plot. Both of these things are very true. Many of the cutscenes (and there are many) speak all too often about “hearts” and “friendship” and “my friends are my power.” It’s cute, but it’s very contrived, sometimes to a fault.
Worse, it becomes increasingly more and more difficult to keep up with all the story threads with dozens, if not hundreds, of hours worth of lore. That being said, the series has always been like this, so while newcomers may be turned off, fans will be getting exactly what we expect.
All the negatives out of the way, I’ll get to gushing about this beautiful game. First off, the graphics are impeccable, with Disney characters that at times look better than they do in their original movies.
All of the combat moves are flashy, with magic, summons and team-up attacks all looking like a rainbow-lit carnival. The combat is also fluid and feels rewarding. Every hit feels like it packs a huge punch, and while difficulty wavers from easy to brutal, it always stays challenging and engaging.
The best thing about the game, as well as in pretty much any of the other Kingdom Hearts games, is visiting the Disney worlds that play out adventures from their respective movies or even offer an all new story to get invested in. I loved scaling in Andy’s room with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, sailing the high seas with Jack Sparrow and singing Let it Go with Elsa.
Overall, “Kingdom Hearts 3” was everything I could have asked for and more. Although many may feel the game is too cartoonish or too convoluted, that’s just one of the things that gives the series its charm and lasting appeal. Most importantly, it gave me the perfect conclusion to a story that I have been following since I was seven years old, a story that is now unfortunately and thankfully over.