Last week TGON was given a real treat in that we were invited by Square Enix to their video games showcase highlighting upcoming titles. Among other titles was Left Alive for which we’ll have a separate article.
La Piece de Resistance however was Kingdom Hearts 3. After roughly 13 years I finally got to play the long overdue sequel to one of the best games of the early 00’s. All of the spin off’s and prequels were fine but none of them quite scratched the itch that only a direct sequel would satisfy.
Square Enix let us play a demo which involved two parts.
The first was a boss fight in what appeared to be a Hercules setting. Sora, Donald and Goofy make their way up a mountain fighting enemies along the way. At a certain point you scale vertically up and have to dodge falling rocks from the boss up above (appears to be a titan character). When you get to his level you take out his legs and begin to climb him. When by his face you hit him with a barrage of combos until a special is activated: a flying, bright train with multiple shooters. It looks spectacular and is all the more impressive because the the mountain and level in general is quite dark. Eventually the titan knocks you back down the mountain and you have to scale your way back up all the while avoiding the falling rocks. Repeat the above and the boss is defeated.
The next piece we got to play was set in the Toy Story world. Essentially a lot of the toys have gone missing and only a handful remain. In come Sora, Donald and goofy, who look very much like toys, and advise Woody, Buzz, Hamm and Rex that the Heartless were probably responsible for the disappearance. What was interesting was that our three protagonists were known to the toys, Rex in particular, as alternate versions of themselves in their own toy series.
Of course this wouldn’t be Kingdom Hearts if we didn’t get some confusing dialogue about the ‘light and the dark’. Twice during this demo a member of The Organization appeared and spoke cryptically about the fate of the world and another ‘copied’ world; items that should become clearer as we play the full game.
Toy Box did introduce a cool mechanic, jumping into bigger toys and operating them like they were mechs. That was a neat trick that helped upped the pace amid a sea of familiar trash mob fights. As well, the alternate form of Sora, piling on toys to make a huge sledgehammer or drill bit to slice your way through enemies, was also quite enjoyable.
During our time with the game, we also saw a spinning teacup attack and a swinging boat themed around famous Disney World attractions. Other special attacks were gained by attacking enemies with a green target sign over them, unlocking alternative special attacks such as throwing the character Goofy at them or bringing in Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph to take out vast numbers of enemies at a time.
It also helps that the world is a faithful recreation of the Toy Story universe, exactly the way we remembered it. Those looking for a nostalgia trip need look no further than this latest Kingdom Hearts installment.
All told, this was an extremely fun demo if a tad bit on the easy side. I suspect they placed the difficulty on easy or some light version of normal. You could have easily hacked and slashed your way through the demo but the game was infinitely more fun when we started to experiment with the advanced move sets, and we hope the final release makes these feel necessary rather than optional.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is set to be released January 29, 2019 on PS4 and XBox One. Make sure to keep it locked on TGON for all your news and updates!