It seems like an eternity has passed since that far away E3 2013, Where Square Enix finally officially announced the development of Kingdom Hearts III su PlayStation 4 e Xbox One. That simple but intense trailer meant a lot to fans of the saga, as it confirmed that Tetsuya Nomura he had finally decided to give the public a numbered chapter to the fans who were waiting for him.
Over the years, however, development has suffered several slowdowns, even since Luminous Engine we have moved on toU.
In spite of what happened with Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the title of Nomura has almost always been felt, despite there have been periods of silence. Development was constant and intense, setting a real release date that was respected by the development team.
After having reviewed the Collections dedicated to the series, we are finally here to talk about the third chapter and why it is a production of a very high value. We would like to thank you Square-Enix for allowing us to get our hands on the title in advance of Day One.
"But if it is your destiny, every step forward will bring you home ..."
The story immediately presents us with choices and the place where we will find ourselves will be very familiar to those who have played the series to date. The choices are made through some sequences of the previous chapters, each box corresponds to an element such as strength or wisdom.
This phase serves to balance the parameters, moreover it also works from tutorial for newbies to the series. After this phase and the spectacular opening with Face My Fears - we remind you that this is the new single by Utada Hikaru in collaboration with Skrillex - we will return to where we left the game with the 0.2 of the Kingdom Hearts HD Collection 2.8.
At the tower of Yen Sid we will be told that we will have to recover the power lost during the last battle, as Sora was one step away from being taken Xehanort to then become its container.
The first stage of the cheerful group is that of Mount Olympusin fact, if you remember well, Hercules some time ago he had lost his power and then recovered it.
The second main objective is to seize the power to awaken the ancient dormant lights, so that you are prepared for the final battle against the lights of darkness.
Our trusty hero won't be the only one who has to fulfill an important task, since Riku together with Mickey mouse will investigate the disappearance of Aqua, diving to the Realm of Darkness, while Kairi together Axel they will have to follow the teachings of Merlin to master their Keyblade.
Hey, that's Mike Wazowski!
Within each world, the story alternates between Disney and that of Kingdom Hearts, finding the right balance to give both the right importance. This third chapter features a new formula, being called upon to use other characters as well Sora in certain moments of the game. The worlds Disney e Pixar they are well structured, each has its own peculiarities, in addition to the cast of characters of a certain thickness.
The most beautiful aspect of the narrative is that there is no difference between the cutscenes and the actual gameplay, since there is some transition, which in fact almost always happens in real time, guaranteeing an immersive experience in the intense action of the title.
At the stage level, all the elements that the respective films presented have been maintained, that is, it is due to the fact that those who granted the licenses to Square Enix did so under certain qualitative pretensions. Among the returns there are the changes in the appearance of our Heroes based on the worlds we are going to visit, a bit like it happened on Kingdom Hearts II. Our favorite is precisely that of Toy Story, where our heroes will become toys just like Buzz Lightyear e Woody.
The story has been studied at the table, in fact after we have completed the last Disney world, we will be catapulted to a final phase where films and battles will alternate, thus reaching the final battle. Fortunately, the information is given with the right timing, being a very complex story, Tetsuya Nomura has decided to manage the narrative flow in an impeccable way.
The message that Kingdom Hearts III leaves at the end of its course is important, especially for those who have followed the series to date. This chapter effectively marks the end of the Dark Seeker Saga, also known as Xehanort Saga.
It's time for news
One of the new features is that of the Rubber phone, a sort of phone that will allow us to take souvenir photos for our trip. To unlock the secret ending we will have to photograph some Mickey Mouse symbols, called in this case lucky charms. The developers thought of inserting some sort of I.nstagram during the uploads, where we will see posts with an attached image published by our protagonists.
Combat is basic what we got to know during the battle phases of Birth by Sleep and the main Kingdom Hearts. It is useless to deny that in this case an impressive level of fluidity has been reached, giving the battles a series of interesting goodies.
Within the clashes we will be able to use the Fluimotion - to be clear, the acrobatic techniques implemented on Dream Drop Distance - which will allow us to launch very lethal and athletic attacks.
The real news are the attractions and special attacks, or the moves that will activate once the three bars are loaded by our combos. Starting from the attractions, these are nothing more than techniques that exploit elements such as: a large ship that continually crashes into the enemy or giant cups that will rotate on the enemies.
As for the attacks, we will find ourselves making special moves with Donald and Goofy, doing a lot of damage to enemies.
Ready for the new war
Our Hero can finally equip multiple Keyblades at the same time, which can be changed in real time in battle using the left and right directional buttons on the “Attack” item.
This new mechanic allows us to take advantage of the individual abilities of each keyblade in every situation, since each of them has a peculiar transformation and technique at its disposal. There are also skills, which can be activated and deactivated when we want.
Attention, skills are dictated by points, so you will have to be careful which ones to take with you into battle. The controls, even in this case, remain very simple and intuitive, they easily adapt to any type of gamer.
Clashes are never difficult, despite playing the title on Standard difficulty. We were a bit disappointed by the lack of "challenge" as happened on Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, which often put even the most level gamer with his back to the wall.
Given the great demand from fans, in Kingdom Hearts III travels aboard our beloved and trusty are back Rubber chip. the game will allow us to fully customize our little ship, creating truly lethal assets for space battles.
The game map is explorable, since to go from one world to another we will be able to wander the entire galaxy. Within the exploration aboard the Gummiship, we can come across some random encounters - as happens in long-standing JRPGs - where we will have to destroy enemies or survive until time runs out avoiding being killed by the ferocious space heartless.
Within the galaxy there are also secondary tasks that do nothing but increase the longevity of the title and throw some more challenges to those who had fallen in love with the interesting mechanics of Gummiship.
When it comes to exploration on foot, we have some dramatic improvements in the mechanics. Our Sora will have the possibility to climb palaces or huge structures without too many problems, thanks to the new climbing system introduced in this new chapter.
The game world is full of content and tasks to be fulfilled, the developers have also decided to include minigames of various kinds. The contents are so many, but those for the endgame will require a considerable amount of time to complete.
“Let me face my fears…”
The soundtrack edited by Yoko Shimomura has managed to break through our nostalgic hearts again. But the real protagonist of the audio sector is Utada Hikaru that with two tracks has managed to excite us both at the beginning and at the end of this immense adventure.
The English dubbing is always of excellent quality, the voice actors of Sora, Paperino e Pippo they are unbeatable, but the same we can say of Quinton Flynn who has always been concerned with Axel with his bewitching "Got it memorized?". Returning to the tracks that will be played during the game phases, among these there are some of the historical ones but rearranged for the occasion.
The power of the Unreal Engine is palpable right from the start, the worlds are able to give a splendid graphic rendering thanks to their immense areas and details. Seeing such a well-curated Kingdom Hearts is something we are happy to talk about, because the commitment of the developers is commendable.
The facial expressions, despite the title does not point to realistic, are unique and well defined, all decorated with polygonal models treated in a very maniacal way. The current generation has managed to make Tetsuya Nomura conceive the most beautiful Kingdom Hearts ever, giving us players an unforgettable chapter dedicated to the stories of the young Sora.
We have now reached the final note of this review, we can therefore tell you with certainty that Kingdom Hearts III is a masterpiece with no ifs and buts. The title is not without flaws, perhaps most of all a slight lack of narrative feeling in some worlds, but otherwise it is a simply perfect chapter that manages to give the right conclusion to what we call Dark Seeker Saga.
La Square Enix he learned from the mistakes he made with Final Fantasy XV: this time they weren't wrong to score their shot with a brand of a certain depth. If you have followed Kingdom Hearts to date, you cannot miss this third chapter, as it is a masterpiece that will be remembered for years to come.