4 Early Takeaways from Playing Kingdom Hearts 3

ast Saturday, New York City hosted it’s 12th annual Comic Con and not only were we able to attend but, after nearly thirteen years of waiting, I was lucky enough to get a quick 15 minute taste of Square-Enix’s upcoming much-anticipated action role-player: Kingdom Hearts 3. The demo features two worlds: Mount Olympus, which has you scaling the mountain to take on the Rock Titan, and the Toy Box, where Buzz and Woody need your help to find their friends. The game is set to release on January 25th of 2019, which sounds like an eternity for KH fans, but let me tell you: this is going to be worth the wait.

4. THIS GAME IS REALLY SMOOTH

Like, really smooth. The combat system is close to 0.2, which makes sense, but KH3 already feels much more fluid and versatile than that. Though I was initially unsure, the Keyblade swapping hotkeys have become my favorite new addition. Every Keyblade has several special combo and reaction skills. For example, I was able to use the Monsters Inc. Keyblade to gain robotic claws and channel my inner Wolverine before switching to the Tangled Keyblade, summoning Rapunzel’s tower and a ball of light. This Keyblade swap system should add a whole new layer of combo strategy where, if you’re a KH veteran like me, you can go ahead and add “creating fresh and unique play styles” to that long list of things to look forward to.

3. REACTIONS ARE BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER

Similar to Birth By Sleep and 0.2, there is a combo build-up system. There appear to be three types of combos that can be executed to create different reaction commands. The new implementation already has so many different outputs. There was a common reaction for Sora during the Rock Titan battle  called “Second Form” which changed the combo system and movement. Another reaction was the Keyblade’s special ability, and finally the attraction commands.

These commands were one of the most exciting parts of the game. They are designed so incredibly well and gave a nice break in between the standard combos. I was able to try Big Thunder Mountain, Mad Tea Cups, and the Pirate Ship, all of which were diverse yet equally inspired. However, it’s unclear on whether each one has a specific time or place they can be used in or if you’ll be able to call upon them at will. Veteran players should be familiar with this system, but it appears more refined than ever.

2. HEAVIER EMPHASIS ON PLATFORMING

There are plenty of new ways to traverse the world of KH3, from climbing walls to scaling mountains. Overall, this gave a newfound sense of freedom to controlling Sora, but I did find some unexpected rigidness in the Titan battle on Olympus. Climbing and transitioning from the ground to walls felt great, but turning left and right to dodge rocks was surprisingly sharp, sending Sora unnaturally straight in either direction. Overall, I still welcome this update and thought it suited the combat and game feel.

1. THE VISUALS

We have to talk about the visuals. They look amazing! Like every trailer and piece of gameplay we’ve seen, the worlds and environment are absolutely stunning with incredible attention to detail. Even something as small as switching Keyblades has polish. I really enjoyed how the Tangled Keyblade appeared with some light and flower petals, while gears materialized to load in the Monsters Inc. blade. Everything has a great sense of personality and I’m all for it.

I couldn’t have been happier with this demo. The kid in me, who waited through the KH2 delays and bought every subsequent game on launch, has only gotten more excited for KH3’s launch next January.

Who else has gotten to play the demo? What are your takeaways? Is there anything else you’d like to hear about? Let us know. ‘Til next. 

ast Saturday, New York City hosted it’s 12th annual Comic Con and not only were we able to attend but, after nearly thirteen years of waiting, I was lucky enough to get a quick 15 minute taste of Square-Enix’s upcoming much-anticipated action role-player: Kingdom Hearts 3. The demo features two worlds: Mount Olympus, which has you scaling the mountain to take on the Rock Titan, and the Toy Box, where Buzz and Woody need your help to find their friends. The game is set to release on January 25th of 2019, which sounds like an eternity for KH fans, but let me tell you: this is going to be worth the wait.

4. THIS GAME IS REALLY SMOOTH

Like, really smooth. The combat system is close to 0.2, which makes sense, but KH3 already feels much more fluid and versatile than that. Though I was initially unsure, the Keyblade swapping hotkeys have become my favorite new addition. Every Keyblade has several special combo and reaction skills. For example, I was able to use the Monsters Inc. Keyblade to gain robotic claws and channel my inner Wolverine before switching to the Tangled Keyblade, summoning Rapunzel’s tower and a ball of light. This Keyblade swap system should add a whole new layer of combo strategy where, if you’re a KH veteran like me, you can go ahead and add “creating fresh and unique play styles” to that long list of things to look forward to.

3. REACTIONS ARE BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER

Similar to Birth By Sleep and 0.2, there is a combo build-up system. There appear to be three types of combos that can be executed to create different reaction commands. The new implementation already has so many different outputs. There was a common reaction for Sora during the Rock Titan battle  called “Second Form” which changed the combo system and movement. Another reaction was the Keyblade’s special ability, and finally the attraction commands.

These commands were one of the most exciting parts of the game. They are designed so incredibly well and gave a nice break in between the standard combos. I was able to try Big Thunder Mountain, Mad Tea Cups, and the Pirate Ship, all of which were diverse yet equally inspired. However, it’s unclear on whether each one has a specific time or place they can be used in or if you’ll be able to call upon them at will. Veteran players should be familiar with this system, but it appears more refined than ever.

2. HEAVIER EMPHASIS ON PLATFORMING

There are plenty of new ways to traverse the world of KH3, from climbing walls to scaling mountains. Overall, this gave a newfound sense of freedom to controlling Sora, but I did find some unexpected rigidness in the Titan battle on Olympus. Climbing and transitioning from the ground to walls felt great, but turning left and right to dodge rocks was surprisingly sharp, sending Sora unnaturally straight in either direction. Overall, I still welcome this update and thought it suited the combat and game feel.

1. THE VISUALS

We have to talk about the visuals. They look amazing! Like every trailer and piece of gameplay we’ve seen, the worlds and environment are absolutely stunning with incredible attention to detail. Even something as small as switching Keyblades has polish. I really enjoyed how the Tangled Keyblade appeared with some light and flower petals, while gears materialized to load in the Monsters Inc. blade. Everything has a great sense of personality and I’m all for it.

I couldn’t have been happier with this demo. The kid in me, who waited through the KH2 delays and bought every subsequent game on launch, has only gotten more excited for KH3’s launch next January.

Who else has gotten to play the demo? What are your takeaways? Is there anything else you’d like to hear about? Let us know. ‘Til next.

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