Taylor Mitchell , A&E Editor
So it is finally here my dear friends, Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally here. We have been waiting a very long 6 years for this one, but it finally made it. Since I was lucky enough to pre-order it (first pre-order ever), I thought i might take some time to give you my first impressions. Not a review mind you, that will take time, but a nice little discussion on how it is so far.
First off, we must answer the question: How does it play? The answer is as complicated as you want to make it, just like the gameplay. This game seems to make it its mission to give you as many options as possible. Thanks to athletic flow, you have movement tech in spades. Sora can jump around like a mad man, run up walls, and you get dodge roll and air slide at level 1. I have been telling folks I can’t wait to see this game at a Games Done Quick event just because I want to see how they use all of these options. In combat it’s the same kind of buffet. You can summon theme park rides, transform your keyblades, or just stick to your old faithful strategy of magic and whacking things. It’s all up to the player. Personally, I have found that a good miss works best. All the options come together to make it feel like combat is on your own terms. The player gets to decide how they approach it and that freedom feels pretty good.
Second, we have the story to look at. I won’t spoil anything here, but I do want to say that i am enjoying it so far. The main issue with it is that it expects you to have a basic understanding of things from ALL of the previous games. It helps that Sora himself generally has no clue about it either so you normally get some explanation, but don’t expect it to stop and catch you up. There is the memory archive that tell you basically what has happened and introduces core concept, but it’s far from comprehensive. I do want to say that I don’t see this as an inherently bad thing. If the game stopped and told me the whole story every time something came up, it would drag down the pace and feel bad. So just remember to not be surprised if you feel the need to get a refresher.
I think I will leave you with that for now. I do want to say expect a review in a few weeks though. There are several things like gummi ships, and mini-games that I want to leave for that. This is a game I want to take my time with and really get a feel for before I say anything definitive. Yet, for now this is looking like a game that, at the very least, longtime fans are sure to enjoy.