king­dom hearts 3

COME FOR THE DIS­NEY WORLDS, STAY FOR THE SHEER SPEC­TA­CLE

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS - n Pub­lisher Square enix / De­vel­oPer Square enix / eTA Jan­uary 29 2019

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.

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