Published on January 29th, 2019 | by Chris O'Connor
Kingdom Hearts 3 PS4 Review
Summary: Battle through some of Disney/Pixars best known worlds as you try and save the universe from the Heartless!
Kingdom Hearts is one of those games that periodically shows up on my radar… the images of an anime styled character beside some well known Disney characters, it frequently got my curiousity… but not enough to really delve into it. Then the opportunity to review Kingdom Hearts 3 popped up and I thought what better excuse to learn more about this intriguing game… that and my 8 year old son had recently said he’d like to be a reviewer too… so the chance to sit and log some gaming hours with him was a good excuse too.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is essentially the story of a group of friends, led by Sora, who travel between Disney worlds, defeating bad guys to save the day. Some of those friends are familiar Disney faces (you are accompanied by Goofy and Donald for much of your adventure) and many of the evil faces are familiar too (Maleficent, Pete and Hades to name a few). It has to be said at this point, given the beloved franchises being used, that the voice acting is very good. If the original voice artists aren’t in use they have people who are close enough to do the job without any “uncanny valley” type vocal twinge. The result is easy immersion into the world of familiar characters and who doesn’t want to spend hours running around adventuring with the likes of Hercules, Chip and Dale or any other number of familiar faces from Disney’s catalog?
The gameplay varies somewhat as you progress. The main action is a straight forward beat/slash em up with the addition of magic to keep things interesting. But as you progress things get even more fanciful as you begin to be able to use special abilities as you build up your gauges in battle. Special abilities range from your own unique attacks to team attacks in which you might join with Goofy or Donald or both and perform some maneuver that will help take down the bad guys. Some stages will see you flying around for a change of perspective or completing mini games (such as cooking in Uncle Scrooges restaurant). But arguably my favourite is the Disney Ride special moves… during battle an enemy may become highlighted… if you attack this target you are given access to a special move that will call upon a Disney ride, like the spinning tea cups or the swinging Pirate ship for example and the screen will fill with beautiful brightly lit attractions that will help you take your enemy out… or at least knock it down a few pegs.
The pacing of the game seems just about right too. You get the hang of things, start cruising through the gangs of enemies that pop up at you and all of a sudden you are facing a boss… you keep getting knocked back before finally figuring out the trick to tackle this enemy. New levels get unlocked and new challenges present themselves. That lure of continuing the game until you can unlock the next land or two, to see who you get to play with is a powerful draw card.
Kingdom Hearts is one of those games that has a lot to offer but how much you get out of it will depend on how much you put in. There is of course the main quest which in and of itself will give you hours upon hours of joy and no doubt a touch of nostalgia for some of us here and there. But then there are all the mini games and collectable elements… or just the fun of taking a selfie with Goofy or Donald in the middle of one of the familiar movie landscapes. It’s a great use of the Disney characters and imagining of the locations that should entertain young and old… it does in our house.