Kingdom Hearts 3 Review | PS4 & Xbox One


A story almost 17 years in the making, Kingdom
Hearts 3 brings the long-awaited conclusion to the dark seeker saga. With plenty of tears both of joy and despair,
Kingdom Hearts 3 feels exactly how I imagined it. A booked end that’ll have you face your
fears of what lies ahead, where nothing is simple and clean. This is a story built upon not just Kingdom
Hearts 1 and 2, but the entirety of the Kingdom Hearts series thus far. Yes, that means the spin-off games and the
mobile game. If you’re watching this review wondering
if you can jump straight into 3, you’ll be doing yourself an incredible disservice. Kingdom Hearts 3’s narrative is built upon
the foundation started by the previous games, providing a major pay off for those that stuck
around so far. Taking place after the events of Kingdom Hearts
Dream Drop Distance and the ending of a fragmentary passage, the story has you following Sora
and his friends as they gather the seven guardians of lights. These guardians of light are keyblade wielders
needed to stop the evil Master Xehanort who at the same time is seeking out his own 13
wielders of darkness. Legend has it that when these 13 pieces of
darkness and 7 guardians of light clash, the mythical χ-blade will be created, the very
same weapon that Xehanort is after. The 25-30 hour adventure had me smiling, crying
and laughing the entire time. As a fan of the series so far, there’s a
lot of genuine heartfelt moments that I’ve been waiting so long to see. Likewise, the narrative had some of the most
brutal scenes in the series by far, it lives up to the climactic conclusion the series
has been building up for years now. Sure some of the common tropes of the Kingdom
Hearts series are still here like odd dialogue choices, but even the comedic characters like
Donald and Goofy, get their own time to shine. Certainly one of the best parts of Kingdom
Hearts 3’s story is how well the Disney worlds are treated. Rather than being complete retellings of the
movies, they feel much more original. While some still follow their film’s story,
most have an original premise to them and actually feel part of the grander Kingdom
Hearts narrative. In general, it helped make sure the pacing
of the story flowed smoothly despite each world feeling so completely different from
one another. In the end, Kingdom Hearts 3’s story succeeds
in living up to the expectations many have set for themselves. The conclusion though predictable to some
extent still managed to take me by surprise with an ending that has me eagerly waiting
for the epilogue and secret movie. The dark seeker saga may be over but the true
Nomura fashion Kingdom Hearts 3 leaves you itching to find out what comes next. Kingdom Hearts 3 feels like a culmination
of all the different battle mechanics that the series has experimented with throughout
the years. At its core, it feels a lot like Kingdom Hearts
2’s rpg mechanics. Sora and his team use AP to add new abilities,
different keyblades have different stats and so on. What has changed is the battle gameplay and
it’s so much more fun. I’ve always enjoyed Kingdom Heart’s combat
despite it occasionally being spam of the attack button in earlier games. Kingdom Hearts 3, on the other hand, feels
so much more fleshed out where there’s always something going on in a battle. Every single keyblade now has a transformation
that turns into these amazing looking finishers. In one instance you’re swinging your keyblade
and in another, it’ll transform into a pair of magic-wielding guns or an electric shield. The transformations are beautifully animated
and flow smoothly throughout combat. Also new to the battle mechanics are attractions,
you can think of them sort of like summons although they’re based on Disneyland rides,
perfect for crowd control. Summons also make a return bringing some new
faces to the series like the recent Wreck Ralph films. Across the handful of Disney worlds, each
one has a gameplay quirk that changes up the feeling of combat. For example in the Toy Story world, you can
get into these giant toy mech suits that completely change up the combat. Additionally, the amount of characters in
your party has been raised up to 5, letting you quickly switch between performing limits
with Donald and Goofy, only to immediately follow up with a special attack with the help
of a Disney friend. Altogether these new additions along with
refinements to the battle system, make combat so addicting. Where in previous games I’d try to avoid
fights at times to continue the story, in Kingdom Hearts 3 I actively chased them down. Outside of the combat, you’ll travel to
different worlds l across the Disney universe. They all feel so much grander than before,
even the ones that aren’t entirely new. Twilight town, for example, cuts away the
loading screens making one uniform world to explore. On the other hand, Mount Olympus gets this
brand new area to explore that feels so much bigger than what was in Kingdom Hearts 2. The worlds aren’t just far in view but there’s
actual vertically to them now. Ultimately it made exploring each one of them
a better experience even those that were in previous installments. Getting from one world to another is once
again done by the gummi ship and I personally haven’t been a fan of the mechanic. I thought the sequences were just padding
in previous entries and while I’m not entirely in love with it in Kingdom Hearts 3, it’s
definitely better. Instead of just being one mindless on rail
system, the gummi ship is now a complete 360 area exploration sequence. If you just want to boost over to the next
world, you can, if you want to fight some enemies or look for treasures on the way,
you can too. You can still build and create your own ships
like before but the general gameplay design feels much more entertaining now. When I started Kingdom Hearts 3, I was eager
to get into all the story cutscenes and just find out how my favorite series would end. However, as I played, not only was I excited
to keep on learning more about the story, but I was equally excited to visit a new world,
get a new keyblade transformation, jump into battles and so on. It’s easily one of my favorite rpg combat
systems and it features some of the best boss battles in the series to go along with them. Kingdom Hearts 3 continues the visual style
that was established in Kingdom Hearts 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage. Using the Unreal engine, both old and new
pieces of the Kingdom Hearts series have been completely remade in 3d. Despite being built on the same tech, Kingdom
Hearts 3 looks better than 0.2, with character models having a bit more life to them. From the details on a character’s piece
of clothing to the lighting in the environment, it looks beautiful. Personally, I’m a big fan of how combat
sequences can easily become firework shows in a plethora of different attacks and limits. Seeing all the particle effects spark up lights
and then immediately transition to a fully animated limit or summon, it flows so perfectly. The art style also does an incredibly good
job at recreating the style of the many different Disney properties in Kingdom Hearts. Hanging out in the Toy Story world looks like
something Pixar would have made in the early 2000s, scene comparisons between Tangled the
film and Kingdom Hearts, looks surprisingly comparable. Some of these examples look truly astonishing
and if anything, it helps further sell how natural this collaboration is done. Now I played on a PS4 Pro and an Xbox One
X for my review and both target a 4k 60 fps. The PS4 Pro resorts to checkboard upscaling
for its resolution and while 60 fps is hit most of the time, I did see a few dips on
the PS4 Pro. Xbox One X, on the other hand, had a more
stable performance. You do have the option to switch between prioritizing
the resolution or the frame rate on the enhanced consoles too. I personally recommend getting it on One X
for the best performance but you can still have a good time on the PS4 Pro as well. The Kingdom Hearts series has always been
known for its music. Simple and Clean, Sanctuary and the collection
of feeling inducing instrumentals that get my heart racing every time. All of them have become iconic and Kingdom
Hearts 3 continues that trend. Face My Fears despite being so different from
previous theme songs in the series, somehow finds a way to fit in with the theme of Kingdom
Hearts and it has easily become one of my favorite songs recently. Voice acting throughout the campaign is also
well done. Despite some of the Disney characters not
being played by their original voice actors, I still found their performances to be believable
and compelling. The same goes for the main cast of non-Disney
Characters. Sure there are some odd dialogue choices here
and there but that’s more appointed to the game’s writing than the acting in this case. At any rate, Kingdom Hearts 3 featured some
of the most goosebump-inducing scenes seeing those that have been cheerful and full of
hope up to this point, see their darkest point. After waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 for so
long, I’m happy to say from a story standpoint, it completely lived up to my expectations
while exceeding them on the gameplay front. Visiting the many Disney worlds and fighting
alongside my friends was a complete joy while the climatic ending was everything I was hoping
for. It was a long wait, but one that was well
worth it. I give Kingdom Hearts 3 a 9.5/10.

89 thoughts on “Kingdom Hearts 3 Review | PS4 & Xbox One

  1. After so many years of waiting, I was SOOOOO happy to finally play Kingdom Hearts 3. I loved it and just can't wait for everyone else to get their hands on it so we can all talk about the story and ending. Oh man it's been a ride! I'm working on my Resident Evil 2 remake review next but if you want to talk Kingdom Hearts or anything in general, check out my Discord ( https://discord.me/gvn )! I'm on it pretty much on all day and really want to use it more to talk to you guys 🙂

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVN

  2. Too bad it's gonna be awhile till I get this game cause i'm playing through the beginning of this series. Can't wait to get to KH3 sometime this year 🙂

  3. Great review of a beautiful long awaited game this is beautiful on the screen & I hope you're going to review Biohazard Resident Evil 2 remake soon.

  4. Now I'm thinking about getting a Pro just to play this game. Considering how I may be attaining a 4K OLED this coming week as well, this may be the right decision.

    Any input would be appreciated Luis. 🙂

  5. Wasn't really interested in this game because I never played a Kingdom Hearts game, but after watching and listening to your review, I got hyped up and now want to play it. Is there a "the story so far…" section or "synopsis of what went on before" for people who haven't played the previous games before?

  6. Great review! I've never been more excited for a game in my life, and knowing that I still have 3 days to go, the wait is even more excruciating than it was a week ago >.<
    Also, that clip of Lea at the end almost brought me to tears D:

  7. 2013, my younger self was looking through demos to play in the 3DS (which I lost last year 2017) Kingdom Hearts 3D, I tried it, got interested, hear and understand more and more of the series as I watch, read about it, 2016, getting a ps4 (prepare for it), 2017 to 2018 the new worlds and the release date and now 2019, the current me, will be getting the game after 5 years of hearing about this series and waiting, I am hype about this game. This will be my favorite game of 2019.

  8. The saddest part for me (non story related) would be that Lenord couldn't record his lines as Xehanort… He just brought SO much to the character. An almost Malleable sense of malevolence and ingenious. You could just Feel the combination of intellect and fanaticism in his search for answers. The genuine charisma he brought to the role. RIP

    And I'm not knocking the new va. But Nemoy isn't someone you can really expect to measure up to… lol

  9. I am ashamed to say I have never played any of the previous games… But I wanna try this one. Do you think I should watch a summary of the story to understand this one? Also, as a fan of shooters and rpgs, will this still seem fun for someone who has never played such a game?

  10. Great review! I feel like your review was bias because you're a huge fan. That's not a bad thing though because this game was made with those fans in mind.

  11. Off topic Luis. How do you capture video from console. Me & my wife wanna capture our gaming sessions, and make video journal

  12. Almost 20 years… For almost 20 years we waited to finally see this story through to the end. It feels a little surreal that we live in a world where Kingdom Hearts III actually exists as something that's in a finished state. It's real… and in a few short days we'll all be finishing the saga…

    Originally I was a little worried. All the big name reviewers with varying points of view on the series seemed to find more fault in the game that I was hoping for. But your review put all that to rest. Hearing such positive things from a true fan reassured me that this was worth the wait. Thank you, my dude.

  13. Man, your review is probably the one I most waited for. You were the one that convinced me to check this franchise out and I can't wait to play the game.

  14. I watched your review with my eyes closed because I wanted to hear your opinion but not see any spoiler, nice review 😄

  15. After your Monster Boy and GRIS reviews, I was pretty damn sold on this channel. After this one, I’m a lifetime subscriber. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  16. As someone who has only played the first game ( many years ago ), is the story easy enough to pick up. I know you say it's better if you have play the other games, though that's not something I want to do.

  17. This Game lost the essence of Kingdom Hearts. Battles became soooooo easy that even a 3 year old can beat this without any problems! In previous KH games you had to grind in order to defeat a boss and the abilities are a joke. You can release every single time a special attack in the game. In the first world of Hercules you already have 20 Abilities. WTF Square Enix?!?!
    This game got sacrificed it's essence in order to appeal to many players as possible. The same happened with FF 15. Shame on you Square Enix!!! You destroyed a beloved series of me.

  18. Thank you for actually talking about the Xbox One X and the Playstation Pro versions. I've been wondering about the details that other reviews did not mention. I can't wait to get Kingdom Hearts 3 on my Xbox One X. 🙂

  19. Square: the game will be at least 40 hours If you rush the story. This guy: 25 hours adventure. Why you lying square?

  20. I am most hyped for the bosses! In Kingdom hearts 2, there were very little bosses i hated while having some of my favorite bosses to fight!

  21. ITS FINALLY HERE! the only review that actually matters. Great job on this review Luis, really enjoyed the editing on this one specially the way you synced up the music to your points.
    The game looks incredible. I cant believe I actually saw a review for freaking kh3 after all these years!!! it looks like they gave me everything ive ever wanted visually and mechanically from this series.
    hopefully ill be able to afford a console where i can play this eventually and when i do im gonna be in for a treat (more like a feast) the 12 year old inside my heart of light is crying and cheering lol

  22. I've been a fan of this game ever since this series started. Has it been a rough wait? Yes. Extremely. Will it be worth it?

    Are there seven lights and thirteen darknesses? Hell yeah!!!

  23. I have a dilemma and I was wondering if anyone could answer my question. I was introduced to Kingdom Hearts II when I was 6, and I loved it, but I never understood the story. It was too confusing. I went back to try to play kingdom hearts II when I was 16 and got irritated because I didn't find the gameplay fun (it felt button-mashy). The combat of this game looks like a huge step up and I want to give it a shot, but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to find a recap of all the kingdom hearts games, understand the story from before, and then play this to finally understand it all. Any opinion would be appreciated.Thanks

  24. My PS4 PRO sounds like a jet playing this game in some areas or battle. Anyone has the same issue? Please let me know.

  25. they can take your job, they can take your wife. they can take your car. but the one they cant take from you…. is your college debt… because thats what matters. open your wallet to get out of debt 🙂

  26. Finished my KH series marathon last month, and I've been standing by since then. I guess I should probably hurry and finish Resident Evil 2 before tomorrow night. I've got to say, between DBS Broly, RE2, and now this, 2019 has been pretty great so far.

  27. Already played all the games and I’m currently playing through them all again with my daughter on the story so far bundle. Picking up KH3 tomorrow and gonna try to play it after finishing the story so far, but temptation is high (:

  28. Im about 14h, so in aspects like Story or the Level Design, i cant really judge.
    What bothers me thou are 2 Things
    1. This Game is so freaking easy, it hurts. I Play on the hardest difficulty that is atm available and i dies once because i got distracted. You get even told that you are way weaker than before and still tho, you wreck havoc. Sora has so many Tools : Combo reset with additional damage and I Frames? Check! Instant Group heal which results in an absurd damage output through summons? Check! The only Fact that you get so much freaking i Frames takes the cake alone tbh.
    2. Disney Worlds are originated too much towards the original. Yea you get to play Rapunzels World, but guess what you also get to play their movie, not something unique out of the Mix, no you get the MOVIE and a bit of KH here and there.

  29. Played the entire series over the Last month, never played KH before. Getting my pre order in the morning couldn't be more excited to be apart of this final chapter

  30. Ugh!!! I can’t wait to get my copy tonight!!! I’m trying to finish all of my college homework for the week so I can play this game! I told my friends to not expect to see me for a few weeks

  31. People need to stop bitching and complaining “oh there’s not as many gg characters in this one I’m not getting it” stfu . For one they had such a small role in the other games you could have litterly added anyone else to take there roles and it still would make complete sense . And number 2 final fantasy IS NOT as popular as it used to be 13 years ago , newer gamers wouldn’t even understand the references to them

  32. How do you get the sound effects and dialogue for the game to work on Xbox One? I can only hear the music. I am getting ticked off right now. I have tried to reinstall the game and nothing. I tried listening through my tv and headphones, the same thing happens.

  33. The fact that this game has no Final Fantasy characters is very, very, disappointing to me and hurts the integrity of what the game originally was. Might be a pass for me.

  34. This review is just full of so many lies. The visuals are sub-par for modern games. The music is good but the sound design during most scenes is flat and transitions into combat are clunky and jarring. The movement controls are horrendous and demand mastery from the outset to enjoy any of the gameplay, what little there is. The constant summons and special character moves are just "press triangle to win" and boss fights feel gimmicky and skill-less. The voice-acting (in english at least) is AWFUL. Donald and goofy talk so slow that I swear the director told them to act like they're talking to a 3 year old. All of Sora's lines feel like they're being said through gritted teeth by a man waiting for his paycheck, and everyone else just feels wooden and lifeless. The gummy ship sections are no longer fun and exciting side-missions but instead is the very epitome a of boring time-waster while you just travel from one location to another and avoid the heartless ships.

    I love this series but oh my GOD does this game pale in comparison to KH2 and BBS.

  35. In my opinion, the story was a bit poor. The pacing was terrible, and lots of stuff at the end was given little to no explanation. I still enjoyed it, but it wasn't quite what I hoped for. Overall I'd give the game a 9.5/10

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