• Spoiler tag your spoilers, please. That includes all unknown content from the DLC that was not shown in trailers or discussed in pre-release interviews.

A year later and I feel more at peace with KH3



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GreyouTT

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Overall I liked it then, and still like it now. Just sitting awake at night wondering what the hell main story changes entails.
 

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Over the year I found that my issues with the game hasn't detracted from my enjoyment of the game and series. I still have a lot of issues with the game, probably enough to fill a long box with, but at the end of the day I still enjoyed the game. It made me feel something for the characters, it gave me things I had been hoping for for the longest time and I find myself coming back to it more than I'd expect to.
Kingdom Hearts is a series that can make me feel things like no other series quite can and this game was no exception. It's not my favorite, but far from my least favorite entry in the series.

I look forward to the DLC next week and as long as Kingdom Hearts continues to be a fun experience and I can find myself caring for the characters I'll continue being a fan and supporting the series.
 

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I don't know what I could possibly say that I haven't already said over the course of the last year.

I was barely around / a guest during KH2's release and floated from site to site looking for news so a lot of the discussion about the game after it's release that I saw and joined in on was when the Final Mix was announced (remember when Famitsu would show off screenshots and renders for Final Mix material?) and when the next trio of Kingdom Hearts games were announced. I know of the toxicity that stemmed from vanilla KH2's release from looking at old threads across a variety of platforms and I can see the issues that people had then are reflected now, post-KH3, and it seems likely to me, going off of history, that KH3 is going to retroactively become a good game in the eyes of the fandom. It sure will when the next game comes out and people tear it to shreds.

I had hoped that some of the more wild reactions to the game would have mellowed over time but seeing this thread it appears that they hadn't. It's just a game and we have had a lot of time to reflect and review what Nomura and Square Enix had provided for us. Our thoughts and opinions change and it's been a year and we're about to get some fan-requested feedback and closure so it's yet to be seen if the fandom will react well to Re Mind or negatively. And I really hope it's positive because the negativity has been insane and draining.

To drive home a point about reflecting and how our opinions can change, I was against the future building that KH3 leaned into because I was expected a game that would be completely about closure, and that wasn't delivered. At the same time the future building that was in the game wasn't enough. If there was more, without taking away from the closure of current story lines, then it wouldn't have been so jarring, imo.

This is probably a knock-on effect of KHX / both KHUX's being so slow with delivering story that getting even a tiny sense of what the hell that story is all about and how it ties in with KH3 didn't feel fulfilling. I don't know why Ephemer turned up with the keys of wielders past because for the last several years, and now a year after KH3, he's still kicking it in Daybreak Town and that made it hard for me to care or understand what Nomura was trying to do.

Now, with a bit more KHUX story under our belts, Maleficent being shoehorned into that (for the love of gosh, give her SOMETHING IMPORTANT in the next game, PLEASE!!! Re:coded and DDD set her up for a great conflict in 3 but that was tossed aside and I'm still wounded from that), and the promise that Re Mind will give some more insight into the KHUX timeline, I'm excited for it. The future building has me excited. We are still no doubt far away from learning why Demyx and Luxord are important with KHUX but I'm keen to see where things go with this next conflict.

This was an opinion that I didn't have when KH3 launched. I hated everything about the focus KH3 gave to KHUX, a focus that I felt was undeserved.

The ending also left me annoyed and a bit angry. I felt it was rushed and made little sense, but several hours ago I played through the final boss fight and watched the cutscenes through to the secret ending just for fun and I now feel it's a nice conclusion to the vanilla game. It's emotional, has a nice hook, and feels like it's the start of a whole new adventure. How much Re Mind changes that, idk, but today I was left feeling satisfied with the ending of KH3, an ending that a year ago had me feeling a bit iffy about it.

I still think the combat is incredibly varied and fun. I still think the Disney worlds were a fantastic choice (though next time we get a Monsters Inc world, could we have a fun plot that isn't an hour of trying to make Boo laugh?) and I love just jumping into a world and running around. Corona is an absolute delight and Port Royal was one of the best gaming surprises I had in 2019.

KH3 has gone from a "moderately great" game to "an excellent, exciting and engaging" game just from sifting through my feelings for it and reviewing certain elements against my stupid expectations; expectations that I only built for myself and thus let myself down because I should have seen this coming (it was evident from all the box talk in the trailers, idk why I ignored it.)

I really like the direction that Re Mind is going and I do hope that people are more warm and receptive to it. It looks to be built with a lot of fan feedback in mind (though let's be realistic I really don't expect Cloud and Sephiroth, let alone a whole boss fight.) This is feedback that the more vocal, negative fans have put forth so I hope those people are able to find something they like within it. It focusing on the end of the game and then leading into the future should be enough to really excite me now that there's becoming a slightly clearer picture of where we'll be going with the next KH game.

Anyways, thanks for putting up with this stupid wall of text. If you managed to read these tired ramblings all the way through, good on you because I sure as hell wouldn't have bothered aha. See y'all in 8 days for Re Mind.
 

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I admit I haven’t paid close attention to the Re:Mind additions, but I thought the characters were to appear briefly in cutscene only? I didn’t hear anything about a Radiant Garden visit.
Sorry, I think I worded my post too vaguely. Didn't mean to imply there would be a full-on world visit. I'm honestly expecting they'll only appear in that one cutscene with Riku. It' all we've been shown, so it's all I'm expecting.

After they were totally absent from the base game, I'm just happy to see them. For me it just felt like a really egregious omission to entirely leave out the characters who have been there with Sora since the series beginning and not have them appear at the 'final battle fate-of-all-worlds'-type saga finale. I mean, Sora even met Leon and Yuffie before he ever met Donald and Goofy. Ultimately I suppose it just ties into my complaint about 'the finale doesn't feel like a finale'.
 
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I also think, for me, what helps is what a lot people here are also doing: not expecting anything more from what we've seen already. I'm not expecting a Cloud and Sephiroth rematch or an expanded Twilight Town as there's no reason to.

I think this will help being satisfied and happy with my expectations. I think mine were way too high for the base game.
 

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So yeah, where do y’all stand with the game a year later?
Same as I standed a month after release. I made my peace an acepted it as just another borderline (below) average game that has a lot of mindless fun, flash & style to distract most players from the fact that it lacks substance in most areas (be it writing or gameplay) and move on to better games like the early ones and keep waiting for fresh new blood overtaking the franchise asap.
 

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When I played it a year ago I took it with a grain of salt. It wasn't worth the ridiculously long wait but it wasn't HORRIBLE.

However after replaying it from start to finish again a year later without the nostalgia goggles I have to say I really think the game is just bad. I think it really stemmed from my expectations after playing 0.2.

I actually REALLY enjoyed 0.2 with Aqua. Combat was actually very well balanced in my opinion. Aqua's damage output was great, she did sufficient damage to enemies and taking away one bar of health on a multibar enemy seemed like a challenge and while yes the combat was somewhat floaty it wasn't so bad that I died because of it. Grand Magic felt rewarding and also made me feel very powerful because it did significant damage but didn't absolutely NUKE everything it touched (except maybe Thunder). All in all everything felt very fresh and flashy but not flashy for no reason. Also the Zodiac Phantom Aqua presented me with an actual challenge that couldn't be overcome by mashing X. I was required to watch, observe her patterns and look for openings to attack her and notice when after certain amounts of damage she would ramp things up and put the hurt on me, she only had about 5 bars of health and she made me WORK for every single combo I unleashed on her. From a gameplay perspective 0.2 really got me excited for KH3.

Fast forward to KH3 and to everything is a lot different to what I expected. First of all i'm noticing Sora's damage output is much much higher than Aqua's. Nothing really required much thought into fighting as if you just had to mash X and eventually you would end up in the air with a flashy combo and end up exploding with some kind of finisher that destroyed everything within a 10 meter radius. Heartless like Large Bodies that required some kind of tactic to defeat them didn't really seem like much of an obstacle anymore, it didn't really matter where I approached it from as the combat would inevitably propel me into the air and be attacking it from different angles constantly. This game was so damn floaty, I remember Square increasing production time for this game after comments that 0.2 was too floaty yet the ENTIRETY of Master Xehanorts armoured boss battle takes place in the air.

Magic is incredibly overpowered and towards the end of the game all it really takes to clear a room is an Aeroga and everything is dead. We won't even get into Attractions and Summons as i'm pretty sure everyone knows they're basically fight enders. Form changes felt powerful yes but they felt like they were "flashy for the sake of being flashy". Every attack, every movement felt like it was too much and I found myself sticking to the Kingdom Key to avoid the flashiness and try to make the game more challenging with lower damage outputs.

Boss battles didn't feel immersive or impactful. A lot of the time I would get through a fight and be like "oh that was a mini boss?". The Organisation battles weren't anywhere near the level of challenging and not one of them felt like they had a weight to them. By weight I mean any significance to the story, KH1 when I faced off against Riku in Hollow Bastion I got goosebumps. BBS when I faced off against Terranort as Aqua I felt a drive and a connection to the character. KH3 I felt like I was gliding around an enormous battle field nuking minor enemies. Critical Mode against Saix I literally let Roxas do all the work, not once did his health come anywhere near to dangerous levels, I spent the majority of that fight waiting to heal Roxas and that bitch didn't even need it. He cleared away Saix's health in about 2 minutes and when he had one health left I flew in and smacked him over the head, GAME!! Needless to say the power scaling in this game was nowhere to be seen and no boss required me to think and observe like Phantom Aqua did (not even Dark Inferno, mash X , glide, block and it's dead).

The story progression was all absolutely terrible as well. Disney worlds felt pointless as the real story didn't actually have any progression until all the Disney worlds are finished. Organisation members had NO purpose in any of those worlds and posed literally no threat. The Power of Waking was a total a complete asspull. I feel like a lot of this could have been easily rectified if Aqua was rescued earlier, it would have allowed certain elements of the story to progress better and have allowed for the story to present more obstacles for us to overcome getting Aqua to Ven.

Character arcs had no fulfilling conclusions at all, literally years of build-up for Nomura to just go "oh they hugged on screen and then resolved everything off-screen". I'm really hoping Remind fixes a lot of these issues but honestly waiting a year to fix things that should have been done is the base game is just bad practice.

I've been a big negative nelly about it all but I still love Kingdom Hearts. I'm just disappointed with how poorly the developers did with this game. Also this is a giant rant that I haven't bothered to spell or grammar check. I'm not sorry about it.
 

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This game was so damn floaty, I remember Square increasing production time for this game after comments that 0.2 was too floaty yet the ENTIRETY of Master Xehanorts armoured boss battle takes place in the air.
Floaty combat doesn't mean aerial combat, it's about physics. KH3 is objectively better than the other Osaka games at this and liking or disliking aerial combat is a matter of personal taste and not inherently a flaw of the game.
 

Lyra Silvertongue

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My love of KH3 has stayed high and more or less the same since release. It also probably helps that I feel I'm pretty good at suspending disbelief as well as staying relatively unaffected by criticisms of other fans who may not have had an enjoyable experience with the end of this part of the series.

I get the complaints some fans have, but at the same time I have to give a realistic "What did you expect?" This isn't said with pessimism mind you.

For example,
  • Regarding the treatment of female characters
    • Kairi not playing as big of a role and/or being playable in non-dlc
      • The first two core games in the series pushed her aside with quite honest minimal roles/screen time despite being one of the initial reasons Sora set out on his journey in the first place. While it would have been optimal why would she suddenly be presented so differently than she has in pretty much the entire series so far?
    • Kairi dying so easily
      • Going to brutally honest here. Her entire established character in the entire series before KH3 was a loving friend who more or less just... waited for Sora... the entire time. No master, little to no experience with a keyblade in spite of having accelerated training in KH3. What did you expect here really, some uber impressive puella magica battle?
    • Aqua submitting to the darkness
      • She was an incredibly resilience and influential female master, but still human and fallible. I'd like to see many characters that could last a real time decade (more when consider realm of darkness 'time') before giving in to despair. Aqua temporarily giving into despair gives her character more depth, not cheapening it. Looking back I'd be tempted to feel awkward having her be completely optimistic (more or less), albeit weary, for all of that time.
    • Xion (Not having as much screen time I guess?)
      • Saved really for a later point in my post, but tldr version is trying to redeem/resolve over half a dozen core or semi core characters in just one game is setting up the game to feel rushed at times.
    • Namine
      • Same situation as above
  • Time travel again
    • It happens in series sometimes, suspend some disbelief. Plus, you weren't really going to have any kind of organization re dux without it when you think hard about it.
  • MX being "redeemed"
    • Somebody else on these forums a month or so ago already addressed this in a way that I thought was brilliant. They more or less posed the argument that MX wasn't redeemed or forgiven really in the sense that western audiences really view it, but that he more or less finally gave up control over all his scheming, in part due to the influence of the memories of one of his only friends. Going 'into the sky' and having his heart move on, for lack of better words, isn't the same as being forgiven or ascending to some heaven-like state.
  • Rushed plots/limited character screen times
    • I get this point, I really do. Hey, I even feel the same way a little too, but as I lightly glossed over above the game was really set up to do this from the get go. In KH3 we had to see multiple character backgrounds resolved or addressed in a hopefully satisfying way within one game. ONE GAME. That includes Roxas, Xion, Terra, Aqua, Ven, Namine, Eraqus. Even in a book form, over a video game medium, that would still be very rushed in a single installment of the series as a whole. The way I see it is either KH3 would have needed to be delayed even longer to add more content to delay character re-reveals/resolutions or you just introduce most of the characters earlier (which still would require more content and still mess with the game pacing). Not resolving any of the character plights before KH3 was just as much an issue with some of the earlier games imo as it was a KH3 'problem'.
  • Battle balance/power creep
    • Meh, I'm not a stickler here. Every game has one or more glaring balance issues (even the over praised KH2 with reflect magic almost soloing large chunks of some data battles *coughlexeauscough* or stagger times/OPOP combo chains being overdone).
In the end I love KH3 still, flaws and all. I just hardly allowed myself to be bothered by most of the game's flaws. It's okay if others have small or big issues with it. That's a difference of opinion and perspective and not mine. I don't allow critics of films tell me what to see or not see nor do I live by that with the KH series or other games either. It's agree to disagree.


In a semi-joking closing point and playful jab at the series I love I do have to say I was ecstatic that at least some of the worlds this time around weren't all just empty worlds like all of the games, left to just be a heartless sandbox generator ;) NPCs actually filled up Twilight Town and parts of the Carribbean and Repunzel's world, woot.
 

Joooeeeeyyyy

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I just went back and played KH3 for the first time since the game was released to prepare myself for the DLC next week. I can say like most others here, I was feeling very disappointed with how they handled the story and made the Disney worlds within the game basically irrelevant to the overall plot. The graphics, the gameplay and the music on the other hand, is by far the best that the series has ever had. However, unnecessary cutscenes coupled with having the overall story broken down into 10 minute cutscenes after each Disney world is what turns me off from the game. I wouldn't think that it would be too hard to tie the the overall KH plot into the plot of the Disney worlds.

Coming back to the game after a year hiatus really made me appreciate just how good the graphics and the gameplay was. The story pacing still feels a bit off to me, but I am hoping that the ReMind DLC will learn from some feedback from KH3's storytelling.
 

TheGreatEphemera

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Suprisingly for me, I actually really enjoyed KH3 and still do a year later. Then again, I also love the "Final Xehanort" Boss theme which from what I can tell is disliked a lot.
But I did notice some flaws to it:
  • Kairi's Character Development: Just a Pancake's "KH3 in a nutshell" sums this up perfectly (though we might be getting some development in Re:Mind)
  • Difficulty: The battle system looked and acted really cool but did feel a bit easy for me, funny enough I always start a KH game on Beginner but as this was the final one in the saga, I decided to play it in Normal. (Beginner in the previous KH games I often do die, for some reason I didn't die once in Normal difficulty for my first KH3 playthrough)
  • Questions: Some of them are unanswered such as Demyx and Luxord's involvement with the Past, though we might see this in a story update for KHUx and possibly Re:Mind.
  • Scala Ad Caelum: This world is just too small (LOL, KH pun!), but Re:Mind is extending it!
 

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Loved it, my personal Game of The Year even though there's games that are objectively better (Death Stranding would be my actual GOTY because man was that game an experience). Currently blowing through Critical Mode right now in time for ReMIND, and I don't really care if people didn't like it... Since I'm the one who paid for my copy and my experience is solely mine. 🤷‍♂️

It's not perfect, and some criticisms are valid, but it's not nearly the dumpster fire people make it out to be. And like I've said before, in time... People will come around, I've seen many around the web do so already. So you can only imagine my excitement for ReMIND.
 

2 quid is good

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This time last year, I was furiously typing away at what an injustice FF characters not being in KH3 was on this very forum.

While I was playing through KH3, there were definitely moments where I was constantly trying to be one step ahead of the game and trying to figure out what might happen with what was presented on screen to me e.g
The Roxas subplot that showed up in twilight town, were we gonna go to the other TT? Was that dusk somehow sensing Roxas' presence? Is that why he saved Hayner?

I should probably say, I never felt disappointed during my play through except for 100 Acre Wood. And the second the end credits stopped rolling, I'd come to the realisation, that KH3 just wasn't the type of payoff that was needed after 9/10 years worth of setup. And I was very very disappointed, and pretty scared of having to put that opinion out there because I remember what it was like to say that you liked Days back in the day. I suppose I was pleasantly surprised that a decent number of people were up to having a frank discussion on KH3.

Now that's its been a year, I'm not angry about it any longer, nor am I dreading the future, I'm just totally apathetic, and to be honest I guess that's fine. It's not like I can't have fun with KH3, it's just flashy fun combat which is always nice, but from the characterisation to the plot I just don't care at all about it anymore, because I really don't have faith that Nomura can turn this series around, especially as the foretellers saga seems to be making the same mistakes.

I suppose I'm just tired of having constant setup without any strong resolution
 

alexis.anagram

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Over the past year, I've come to view the game and its failings in a broader context that takes under consideration the changes pop media and franchise storytelling have undergone in recent years, and what delivering a "successful" piece of work within these cultural lanes has come to entail. The issues plaguing KH3 can be seen writ large in most major media franchises-- particularly those under the Disney brand banner-- but they are uniquely transparent in KH3 due to the awkward nature of their implementation and I think it's useful as a reference point exemplifying the worst combinations of the patterns and tendencies of narrative short shrifting, contempt for the audience/consumer, and thematic recycling as a cheap form of intertextual self-justification that has made it possible for entrenched media empires to increasingly command not just the dialogue surrounding their products but also to set the terms of cultural agenda-building in general. There's little art left within the realm of social phenomenon; now we have IP (and attempted IP), massive ballistic corporate-cultural identifiers weaponized to make the common consumer a remote and powerless figure within the dynamics of a purely profit-driven creative enterprise, to nuke public consciousness of the necessary nuances in discourse, and to condition mass disarming of critical and dissenting voices by absorbing blowback into neutralizing bubbles of above-it-all indifference.

I view KH3 more negatively now than I did a year ago, not only because it has worsened with time and contemplation but because it has become a personal flashpoint in registering that larger degradation of the social spheres we share. KH3 has become one more (admittedly niche) entry in a corporate canon that is defrauding a generation of real cultural points of connection by coopting (and in many ways usurping) ideology as a driver of social action. On an individual level, its prioritization of franchise-building over world-building manages to turn KH3 from a finale with explosive potential into something safe, and polished, and fatuous. Taking a wider view, it's kind of the perfect prototype for the modernization of the series.
 

Tartarus

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I should probably say, I never felt disappointed during my play through except for 100 Acre Wood. And the second the end credits stopped rolling, I'd come to the realisation, that KH3 just wasn't the type of payoff that was needed after 9/10 years worth of setup. And I was very very disappointed, and pretty scared of having to put that opinion out there because I remember what it was like to say that you liked Days back in the day. I suppose I was pleasantly surprised that a decent number of people were up to having a frank discussion on KH3.
Yes, it is difficult to hold minority or unpopular opinions sometimes, particularly when people attack your character in some way as a way to dismiss them rather than argue with the points themselves. I liked 3D and hated KH2, for example, been there done that. Of course it's not a KH-exclusive thing, it's like that with every fandom, wherever people are really. Learning how to endure other people being upset over your opinion can be strengthening.
 
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GreyouTT

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Over the past year, I've come to view the game and its failings in a broader context that takes under consideration the changes pop media and franchise storytelling have undergone in recent years, and what delivering a "successful" piece of work within these cultural lanes has come to entail. The issues plaguing KH3 can be seen writ large in most major media franchises-- particularly those under the Disney brand banner-- but they are uniquely transparent in KH3 due to the awkward nature of their implementation and I think it's useful as a reference point exemplifying the worst combinations of the patterns and tendencies of narrative short shrifting, contempt for the audience/consumer, and thematic recycling as a cheap form of intertextual self-justification that has made it possible for entrenched media empires to increasingly command not just the dialogue surrounding their products but also to set the terms of cultural agenda-building in general. There's little art left within the realm of social phenomenon; now we have IP (and attempted IP), massive ballistic corporate-cultural identifiers weaponized to make the common consumer a remote and powerless figure within the dynamics of a purely profit-driven creative enterprise, to nuke public consciousness of the necessary nuances in discourse, and to condition mass disarming of critical and dissenting voices by absorbing blowback into neutralizing bubbles of above-it-all indifference.

I view KH3 more negatively now than I did a year ago, not only because it has worsened with time and contemplation but because it has become a personal flashpoint in registering that larger degradation of the social spheres we share. KH3 has become one more (admittedly niche) entry in a corporate canon that is defrauding a generation of real cultural points of connection by coopting (and in many ways usurping) ideology as a driver of social action. On an individual level, its prioritization of franchise-building over world-building manages to turn KH3 from a finale with explosive potential into something safe, and polished, and fatuous. Taking a wider view, it's kind of the perfect prototype for the modernization of the series.


This reads like you're trying to reach the page limit of a college paper. :ROFLMAO:
 

2 quid is good

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Yes, it is difficult to hold minority or unpopular opinions sometimes, particularly when people attack your character in some way as a way to dismiss them rather than argue with the points themselves. I liked 3D and hated KH2, for example, been there done that. Of course it's not a KH-exclusive thing, it's like that with every fandom, wherever people are really. Learning how to endure other people being upset over your opinion can be strengthening.
Oh for sure, it's definitely not a KH exclusive thing haha. I just had the misfortune of being a child with access to the Internet at a time when saying anything really positive about Days would get you immense flaming, far more and far less justified than what KH3 gets, and liking 3D sonic games at a time when they were still relatively new and Sonic having green eyes was still a legitimate "criticism" in the fandom. I never felt weathered down by those though I did tend to meme on Days rather more good naturedly than other people would.

It's probably why I can't take seriously the claims that some people have of KH3 getting undue hate. There are a handful of people on twitter who do just go around saying "it's shit" with no real backing, but other than that majority of the criticism I've seen is relatively fair and exceedingly tame in comparison to ten years ago. It seems to me that there's a new generation of KH fans out there who can't take slights against media that they love, we should all get some thicker skin imo
 

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KH3 was super fun, and I had a great time playing it with my family and friends. It’s actually the first game I’ve ever finished on my own due to my disability, so that’s a pretty big deal. Yet, I also agree with a lot of the criticisms. I’ve gone on here and ranted like the rest, but being able to recognize things like that is just a part of growing up to me. We wouldn’t have nearly the media representation we have now (which is still meh and needs a lot of work) if everyone just kept their gripes to themselves. Taking the time to analyze and pick apart kh, at least for me, is just part of liking it. I started nerding out on khi just to figure out why I like what I like, and to learn from something I loved in order to be a better writer. So yeah, maybe the optimistic feminist in me expected a little more from a kh game made in 2019 instead of 2004. Maybe seeing Kairi get shattered into a billion pieces, Xion get stuck with the organization, and Aqua get beat up by Vanitas killed a little bit of my childhood. But I’m fine with embracing the void in order to make things better in the future, and I can still love kh without being ignorant. So kh3 is still adorable and magical and I love the characters to bits, but after a year I also feel good about not being pleased with some things too.
 
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