Rectify Gaming

E3 2018: Hands on Impressions of Kingdom Hearts 3 on Xbox One

I know what I’m about to say is sacrilegious.  Some of you will be angry. Some may be confused.  But I need to begin by admitting…that I have never played Kingdom Hearts.  Like, any of them. I don’t have any particular reason why, except I never got around to it (and mostly, I did not play Playstation games growing up).  Despite my lack of knowledge and experience with Kingdom Hearts, I was still excited to give it a try at the special media event after the Xbox conference on June 10th.  
Keep in mind that this impressions article is from a complete newb.  I’m sure that there is a ton of lore that I don’t know. There are characters and situations that I have no clue about.  So this article will discuss the two demos that were available and the gameplay that I found interesting. I unfortunately can’t comment on what is new, but I’ll still tell you what I saw.

The first demo featured the land of Olympus.  Now, we didn’t get an appearance from Hercules, but we did fight one of his greatest foes – a two-headed Titan.  The Titans in the Disney movie are humongous. Luckily, Square Enix understands that scope and made the Titan a huge and formidable foe.  
During this demo, I climbed walls, destroyed pots, collected orbs, and took out smaller enemies.  The attacks were pretty fast paced, with ground and air attacks and a team ups with Donald and Goofy.  You can unlock special team attacks as your combo meter gets larger. These attacks don’t last, which I kinda liked.  There’s no point in holding on to power ups – just use them when you get them! The movement and combat was extremely smooth and controls were very responsive.

One of my favorite aspects of the demo was the ride special attacks.  Imagine your favorite Disneyland ride, and imagine the destruction they can cause.  In this demo (along with the second demo that I tried), you can use the ride attacks in special ways.  A version of Big Thunder Railroad was used to send fireworks directly at the Titan. I also use a version of the Teacups ride to take out multiple enemies.  It’s very cool.
In the second demo, I experienced similar gameplay but on a much larger scale.  In the second demo, we visit Andy’s house and a toy store. I was blown away by how much area you can explore.  I was in Andy’s room, outside the house, and on the roof. It was a massive level. In the toy store, you can also control toy mechs and do battle.  I’m curious if each level will have something special, like the mechs, that you can access.

Smooth gameplay, wonderful characters, tons of cutscenes (can’t talk about them, but there were A TON….is this normal for Kingdom Hearts).  It definitely made me want to start from the beginning of the series. I can tell that there is a rich history and story in this series, and it feels like you need that knowledge in order to follow the story.  Overall, I am impressed with what I played, and I can’t wait to check out out again when it launches January 29th, 2019.

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