A Long Awaited Treasure
“A scattered dream that’s like a far-off memory, a far-off memory that’s like a scattered dream. I want to line the pieces up, yours and mine.” Kingdom Hearts IIDespite being the opening line for Kingdom Hearts II instead of III, this quote succinctly summarizes the Kingdom Hearts series: a Disney/Final Fantasy mashup scattered across ten games that finally pulls everything together in Kingdom Hearts III. Kingdom Hearts III truly feels like the final installment of this saga because everything about it is so big. While there are glaring flaws, these areas, attacks, world bosses, etc. are the biggest you’ll ever find in a Kingdom Hearts game.
Kingdom Hearts III picks up after the events of Dream Drop Distance, where Riku passed his Mark of Mastery exam to officially become a Keyblade master and Sora failed, albeit due to the interference of Organization XIII. The two wielders, along with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, go out to find the remaining “Warriors of Light” to prepare for their fight against Master Xehanort’s thirteen darknesses. Further, Sora failed his exam because he fell too deep into the darkness to be able to get out on his own, and as a result, needs to regain his “Power of Waking.” Riku and Mickey go to the Darkworld and Radiant Garden to search for fallen Keyblade warriors, Terra, Ventus & Aqua, while Sora, Donald, and Goofy start looking for Roxas among Twilight Town and the various Disney worlds the series is widely known for.
Conversely to the plot, these are the most fluid and powerful mechanics a Kingdom Hearts game has ever had. Sora can run up walls, perform stronger attacks the more he chains regular attacks together, coordinate attacks with his teammates, the list goes on and on. Kingdom Hearts III’s combat system is designed to make the player feel powerful and fluid from the get-go without needing to take away powers after the tutorials.