Fans of Kingdom Hearts 3 feel that the game is much easier than its predecessors, and are hoping for a "Critical Mode" DLC in the future.
After 14 years, the sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2 is finally here, boasting graphical improvements, improved combat, and several new features, including a "selfie mode" and the ability to summon Disney Attractions. However, many players are beginning to ask if this new entry favors style over substance.
Despite the name, Kingdom Hearts 3 is not the third entry in the series. The Disney and Final Fantasy mashup has boasted several spinoffs, prequels and obscure titles spanning multiple systems, from the 3DS to the App store. Because of this, fans jumping from Kingdom Hearts 2 to 3 will likely be lost as these spinoffs contain information crucial to the Kingdom Hearts lore.
PREVIOUSLY: Kingdom Hearts 3's Story Explained
The story in Kingdom Hearts 3, which seeks to tie in almost a dozen mainline entries dealing with light, darkness, friendship and occasional time travel is often seen as a tangled mess as a result, but fans on the GameFaqs boards are upset over something else entirely: the combat.
"KH3 is lacking in tools with a strong niche and nuance ... everything just kind of blends together," SBK91, a user on the board writes.
"You're not even scratching the surface with what the game allows you to do," one user retorted, while another chimed in with "Having depth and having a reason to explore that depth are two entirely different matters."
Kingdom Hearts 3 seems content to dazzle with spectacle, throwing skills and abilities at you in the heat of combat without rhyme or reason. One moment you're riding sparkling teacups through baddies, the next you're jumping on a rocket ship with Buzz Lightyear and Woody to launch yourself at a giant, floating doll. It's a feast for the eyes, but when it comes to gameplay, the community agrees that the challenge just isn't there.
UberDarkGuardia looks back on Kingdom Hearts 2, and how it pushed them as a player. "If you play on the highest difficulty (In Kingdom Hearts 2) and can't beat a boss, you really can't beat the boss. ... The secret bosses again in their respective games really punish you if you mess up. Kingdom Hearts 3 has none of that."
The problem stems from a lack of risk vs. reward. When I played Kingdom Hearts 3, there was no reason for me not to use everything in my arsenal. You're given Attractions, Shotlocks, Drive Forms, Links, and Spells so powerful they clear a room in an instant. The power is handed to you from the beginning, and it doesn't feel like you've really earned it.
The hardest difficulty, Proud Mode, feels like Normal or Easy Mode on Kingdom Hearts 2.
Because of this, users are clamoring for future DLC and the return of "Critical Mode."
Critical Mode, introduced in previous entries, increases the difficulty by lowering the damage you deal to enemies, increasing the damage they do to you, and introducing a "0 exp" skill that allows you to play the game at lv. 1. While this skill is available in Kingdom Hearts 3, it still feels like a cop-out.
"KH3 is just too easy to even warrant pressing the block button on Proud mode, says user Wynvkius.
The game does a lot of things, spreading itself thin and trying to include as much as possible from previous entries. There's a space shooter section, a cooking minigame, racing segments, secret smartphone games and more. But does it do them well, and is it worth the sum of its parts? That still remains a heated subject.
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