The time has finally arrived. After many, many years of waiting, Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally out today. We’ve done our best to handle questions from newcomers to the series as well as series veterans
Anthony asks: How long is the game?
Playing through just the main game without going for all of the side content should take most people around 30-35 hours. It’s hard to put a universal estimate on hitting that 100% completion but I think if you go at a steady pace you’d probably double your time with the game. Ivan asks: What would you say the difficulty is for the platinum trophy?
The platinum is actually very achievable, especially compared to the Kingdom Hearts HD collections. There are no difficulty trophies and no missables as far as I could tell. For the most part it’s just about finding everything and maxing out Sora and his weapons. Joshua asks: Story wise, is it suitable for people who aren’t familiar with the lore or those who haven’t played a game since the original?
That’s a tricky one, in my eyes it’s perfectly playable with a minimum knowledge of the overall lore, mainly because Kingdom Hearts III starts things out fairly simple and saves most of the crazy stuff for the later chapters. That said, playing at least the core two prior titles and/or watching a bunch of series recap videos on YouTube is going to enhance your experience with the new game considerably. Ty asks: Do you think it lives up to the hype for someone who has waited 12 years?
As someone who suffered the wait, I can comfortably say that it’s lived up to my expectations of what the last chapter of the saga should be. I’m pretty confident other Kingdom Hearts fans should feel the same way too, but I’ll leave that up to you 🙂 Malachy asks: Is the story still absolutely bonkers?
Short answer: yep.
Long answer: the story up until now, from the prior games, hasn’t gotten any less bonkers than it already was. I was surprised though to find that Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t add to the craziness. It actually does a good job of pulling it all together into something compelling. If you quite didn’t follow everything before you probably will by the end of this one. Backinboneasks: Does the Australian version have Japanese voiceover/subtitles
No 🙁 Mattzyee asks: Why Pirate of the Caribbean? It’s not 2010 anymore
I felt the same way before I played Kingdom Hearts III’s Pirates of the Caribbean world. It’s actually really cool from a gameplay and visual perspective though, even if you’re well and truly over Pirates (which is most of us). Despite my best efforts it wound up being one of my favourites in the game. Retrokaiser asks: Is there a new game+?
No new game plus, and no critical mode or similar either. I’d almost hazard a guess at those coming in later patches, though. Vincent asks: Have all the Disney/Pixar worlds been revealed?
Yep! No surprises. Jean-Paul asks: Are the Gummi ship sections optional? If not is it at least easier to tolerate?
Not optional, but almost. You’re doing all of the flying through the Ocean Between (ie, space) now so it’s much more free-form. It also means you can pretty much get away with beelining it to each world and avoiding battles if Gummi really isn’t your thing. Of course once you’ve flown to a world you can fast travel straight there from that point on. Brendan asks: Have drive forms returned from Kingdom Hearts 2 and what are they like?
Not quite, the new system in Kingdom Hearts III is formchanges, which are a kind of mix of drive forms and the command styles from Birth by Sleep. Formchanges are tied to the weapons you’re using, and give you a slightly new look and new weapon types with improved stats and abilities after you’ve built up a gauge. Each keyblade has a different formchange and you can equip up to three keyblades at a time so there’s always a tonne of ways to switch it up. Jean-Paul asks: How many different gameplay styles are there? I’ve seen first person shooting gameplay & it worries me.
Don’t worry, you’ll still be fighting and exploring as per usual for the vast majority of the game. There are a few sections that switch things up but they’re mostly short and quite fun. The first person stuff occurs in the Toy Story world as an added optional battle strategy and also in some of the special ‘Attraction’ abilities. It actually makes for a pretty good palette cleanser sometimes! Jean-Paul asks: How customisable is combat? Are we talking Birth By Sleep levels or more stripped back like Kingdom Hearts 2
Closer to Kingdom Hearts II, though Birth By Sleep has definitely inspired some of the special abilities and mechanics. It’s a simpler approach, and some would say less challenging, but it feels amazing in action and fits nicely into the lore and Sora’s progression as a keyblade wielder. Jean-Paul asks: Is magic still important for tech points/exploiting weaknesses? I don’t want another Final Fantasy XV situation where magic was useless! Hate Final Fantasy XV so much!
Magic hasn’t changed much from the older core games, which is to say most people will only use it occasionally alongside their physical attacks but those that use it properly will find it pretty useful. Instead of the formchanges that come with using the keyblades, using magic repeatedly gives you access to high level grand magic which can really wipe the battlefield when used properly! Jean-Paul asks: How bad are the cheap deaths this time compared to previous games in the series?
Almost no cheap deaths. It’s quite a bit more forgiving, at least on the standard difficulty. If you’re a series veteran I’d even suggest taking a stab at Proud Mode right away. Jean-Paul asks: Is a long time fan who owns every version of every game in the series finally going to be satisfied by the ending, or will this make half my life feel less important?
Yes to both. Bwahaha.
Jean-Paul asks: Any new Final Fantasy characters that haven’t appeared before?
There are no Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts III, aside from one or two references to the series. Nomura addressed it a while back, saying that when the original game came out there were very few Final Fantasy crossover games around, but now there’s a whole bunch of ’em so he left them out this time.
Jean-Paul asks: Can summon sequences & cutscenes be skipped? They look like they take ages for summoning & I’d like to be able to skip a cutscene in the rare event I actually get game over.
Summon, attraction and formchange sequences can all be turned off in the options menu, though they’re not that long and never bothered me too much. Cutscenes are skippable, too!