kingdom hearts 3
COME FOR THE DISNEY WORLDS, STAY FOR THE SHEER SPECTACLE
Ever fantasized about being part of a Disney film? Well, now’s your chance thanks to the newest instalment in this mash-up JRPG series that pulls together elements of Final Fantasy and friends of Mickey Mouse. Play as young boy Sora alongside Donald and Goofy fighting monsters called Heartless while jumping between Disney-themed worlds as you try to prevent a war from starting.
We get to explore the Toy Story world on Xbox One X, and it’s massive, bigger than any previous world in the series. It covers Andy’s room, the street outside, and a giant three-storey toy store full of robot toys to pilot and fight, as well as hidden Final Fantasy references and classic Mickey faces built out of the scenery. It’s absolutely rammed with stuff to see and hidden paths to check out. You can also interact with parts of the environment, be that bouncing on rubber toys or unleashing helium from balloon stands to make everyone’s voices go weird.
When we first saw the game revealed, we were worried about how much control we’d actually have—a lot of the more bombastic moves and rides seemed scripted, but when we went hands-on we discovered that isn’t the case. You have complete control over even the most crazy of stunts. Often you can activate a special move that will summon a ride such as a train or a swinging pirate ship, which can then be steered and they have movesets of their own to deal powerful attacks. The spinning tea cups are a particular favorite, letting you smack into enemies repeatedly while putting on a spectacular light show.
Every move you make is wonderfully flamboyant. It’s also a lot more aerial than previous entries—once you lock-on to a target, you can follow them up into the sky to continue your barrage. Each Keyblade you wield also brings its own unique attacks to the table. For example, the Toy Story blade can transform into a giant hammer to pound groups with or even a drill to dive under them and take them by surprise. Switch to the Mirage Wand based on Tangled and you’ll use magic attacks from a distance instead—you can even transform it into a giant tower that spews lasers to hit loads of foes at once. Switching between them is easy—and a simple press on the D-pad means you can
even chain these big moves together. With so many options combat feels varied and free-flowing.
If crazy Keyblades and colorful theme park rides aren’t enough for you, there are always ‘links’ to use—aka summonable Disney heroes. Each one has a different attack and finishing move—for instance The Little Mermaid’s Ariel can dive down underground or water to hit foes, before finishing with a fountain move that pops out of every spot she dived into. Wreck-It ralph is our favorite so far: he builds walls with lasers that trap enemies before smashing everything at once and doing insane amounts of damage. It’s all great fun.
however, we do have one concern still: Kingdom Hearts is a series with quite a complicated story and previous entries have never been on Xbox consoles before, so if this is going to be your first time playing you could be in for a confusing experience. Still, from what we’ve seen so far, Kingdom Hearts 3 looks like it’ll be worth it for the spectacle, and a great chance to go on a romp through some classic Disney worlds.
Above Wreck-ItRalph makes an appearance as a Link summon to smash enemies.