I know, I’m late to the game — literally. But since Kingdom Hearts 4 (IV) was announced, I figured now is as good a time as ever to play the third (well, more like thirteenth) installment in the series.
I’ll preface this by saying I don’t remember much of the story from the earlier games because it’s been a while since I’ve played them, but I will likely watch a few recap videos during my playthrough. The general plot of Kingdom Hearts seems pretty complex and spans a plethora of games aside from the main three titles. I got about halfway through the Nintendo DS 358/2 Days game with Organization XIII members and tried to play Chain of Memories on the PS2 but didn’t like the fight style. I didn’t get to play the games exclusive to consoles like the PS Portable, as I couldn’t convince my parents to get me a new gaming system each time Square Enix came up with a new plotline for Kingdom Hearts.
I & II
What I do remember is singing along to “Simple and Clean” by Utada Hikaru when the first game came out, falling in love with the character of Riku, and taking way too long to defeat the Tarzan boss battle than should be normal. That invisible chameleon was no joke! I also think I hit a glitch in the Aladdin world during my first playthrough and had to start over.
When I played the second game (KHII), I noticed that the gameplay was a lot easier than in the first game and was able to breeze through, eventually beating the game (I still haven’t beaten the first KH game, sadly). I’m not sure if the gameplay differences were intentional or if I was just playing on an easier setting, but I was able to enjoy the game more without getting frustrated over boss battles like in the first game. And of course, Utada’s “Sanctuary” was also a hit.
One of my favorite parts of KHII was Twilight Town and playing as Roxas. While I don’t completely understand the concept of Nobodies, I thoroughly enjoyed skating around town, taking on odd jobs, and eating ice cream with friends. It gave me a huge sense of nostalgia that still brings a smile to my face. Playing KHIII, I’m glad to go back to Twilight Town. I also enjoyed “Face Your Fears” by Utada and am excited for KHIV’s opening song.
I chose the Beginner mode for this one so I can focus on the story, as I like to do when playing through games the first time. Later, I’ll go back on the regular or harder level to test my skills. So far, the gameplay is reminiscent of the earlier games and my muscle memory is starting to kick in. Being used to playing games like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Monster Hunter have me mixing up the controls a bit, but I’m glad that the play style is the same as I and II.
New Worlds, Same Fun
So far, I really like the new worlds and the integration of Little Chef’s Bistro. I haven’t mastered the art of cooking in a game yet, but I’m getting there! I also loved going back to the world of Pirates of the Caribbean with Captain Jack Sparrow. The Toy Story world is one of my favorites, mostly due to the mech suits you get to pilot at the toy store! The Monsters, Inc. world was also fun, as we get to see a “monsterfied” version of Sora, Goofy, and Donald. The Tangled world is gorgeous and I loved wandering around with Rapunzel as she exp I was hesitant about the Frozen world, because that movie has been overwhelming for the past several years, but I am enjoying it so far.
I still don’t know how to build a gummi ship, nor do I quite understand the plot with the Organization and Aqua’s plight, but I’m thoroughly enjoying my playthrough of KHIII so far and am excited for the latest installment in the series.
What is your favorite world in III? What did you enjoy most about it? Let me know in the comments below!