First Impressions| Kingdom Hearts III

First Impressions| Kingdom Hearts III

Why hello BAYOG Fam!~
If you haven’t heard, Kingdom Hearts III finally came out (after an eternity of waiting)!

Its Been GIF - Its Been 84 GIFs
Okay…it’s more like 13 years…but that’s almost half my life right there…

The concepts for Kingdom Hearts III began as early as 2006, but wasn’t announced until 2013. There were a few times it was being announced as “being released next year”, or “being released soon”. The release kept getting delayed and getting a TBA. Honestly, I was thinking I’d never get to see the game. However, the game was finally released January 25, 2019. It was released world-wide on January 29, 2019.

So before we get into it, I thought I’d just throw some things out. I’m a hella casual gamer. I’m awful at breaking down all the technical stuff like the bros. I just like playing things for the fun and experience, to admire the story and details, and just to explore and get lost into the game’s world(s). So this is just a simple first impression post from me, as a hella casual gamer and a fan of the Kingdom Hearts, Disney, Pixar, and Utada Hikaru.

So, we all know that I’m Minty: BAYOG’s Hella Basic Asian Chick ™ . I think Nick will agree that that’s my official tagline. Anyway, if you haven’t heard [HERE][HERE][HERE], Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite games. It’s got all the things I love: Japanese anime-esque characters, Disney, Utada Hikaru, and cute characters and graphics. Again, I’m a hella basic Asian chick. Anyway, I pre-ordered the deluxe edition of the game when I was at the Kingdom Hearts III pop-up event. As a gift for pre-ordering it there, I received some special little gifts: a sticker set and a lanyard. The stickers were of some of the worlds: Toy Box (Toy Story), Kingdom of Corona (Tangled), Twilight Town, San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6), and Monstropolis (Monsters, Inc.). They were kinda cute, but also like whatever. I do love how pretty everything looked for the deluxe version of the game.

MUSIC

All 4 tracks were released in her “Face My Fears” single.

So let’s talk music first. We all know music is my thing, and I love Utada Hikaru. For Kingdom Hearts III, we get 2 (a total of 4 if you count all the Japanese and English versions). The theme song for Kingdom Hearts III is
 “誓い” (Chikai, or “Oath”) for the Japanese version, and “Don’t Think Twice” for the English version. I admit, I didn’t love it when it first came out. I don’t hate it. It’s just that the theme for the original Kingdom Hearts will always be my favorite. I will admit that the song has grown on me. A soft piano instrumental of the song is used instead of “Dearly Beloved” for the menu and all that. Not gonna lie, I didn’t expect that. However, it’s pretty so I liked it.

“誓い” (Chikai, or “Oath”) for the Japanese version
“Don’t Think Twice” for the English version

However, Kingdom Hearts III also has another song! “Face My Fears” is a collaboration track by Utada and Skrillex. It’s basically used as the opening of the game. Interestingly, Skrillex is a known fan of the Kingdom Hearts games. Utada had wanted him to do the remix of “誓い” and “Don’t Think Twice” for the game because of it. However, he proposed to make a whole new song. Thus, “Face My Fears” was born. It’s a good thing too, cuz it’s a bop. In all seriousness though, it received very positive feedback when it was teased and released. I gotta say, I love it more than the actual theme song for the game.

The Japanese version of “Face My Fears”
The English version of “Face My Fears”

The Game Itself

So I’ve been slowly playing the game over the past week. I’ve been doing the standard difficulty. Usually, I start off with beginner because I just wanna rush through and get a feel of everything. However, I decided to take my time (kind of had to because of working/adulting and being sick). Currently, I’m still kind of at the beginning of the game with being in the middle of Kingdom of Corona world from Tangled. I’ll be keeping it pretty spoiler free sans one thing all the way at the bottom.

Image result for kingdom hearts 3

Graphics wise, the game is stunningly beautiful. It’s amazing to see how much the graphics have changed and improved since the original Kingdom Hearts game. Overall, it’s all very bright and colorful. However, the noticeable difference is how much more 3D everything looks. There’s definitely more texture, depth, and shadow to everything. It makes for a more immersive and impressive atmosphere. Here’s a video I found that better shows and explains the differences. He goes into the more technical stuffs, if you want to hear about all of that. He also compares the differences in other things like the sound design and effects.

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For the fights, I do enjoy the look of the special effects. It’s interesting and pretty to look at. Oh so colorful!~ The “Attraction Flow” attacks incorporate alot of iconic Disney theme park rides such as the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups. I will say that I kind of got over it after a couple times though. I went from “OOOOOHHHH~” to, “Oh. That’s cool.”

Image result for kingdom hearts 3 boss

I will have to say that the boss fights (all the fights in general, really) are pretty easy. Like, stupid easy. I haven’t died yet, nor have I been close to dying. I was simultaneously browsing stuff and messaging friends on my phone while I was playing. Still didn’t die. Which is a surprise for me. I mean, I guess it’s nice since it’s not stressful? However, the downside is obviously in that it doesn’t really feel like much of a fight. I just expected it to be a bit more challenging.

The game has adapted and grown up along with it’s original audience as well. In the game, Sora and crew receive the Gummi phone. It’s where you can go to check your progress. It’s also used to contact the different characters. Lastly, it’s also used to take pictures and selfies. We remember the little hidden Mickeys? Well, now we got Lucky Emblems. Basically you’ll find these hidden Mickeys that you have to take a picture of. The loading screens for Kingdom Hearts III also shows some Instagram type of thing too.

Aiight Sora…
Classic Kingdom games.

There are some little mini games as well. Notably the Classic Kingdom games, and cooking with Remy/Little Chef (Ratatouille) in the Bistro. You can play the Classic Kingdom games on the Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] mobile app as well. If you complete it before a certain date, you’ll be rewarded with a special keyblade to use in Kingdom Hearts III. You can also find the Classic Kingdom games through chests found in Kingdom Hearts III.

It’s called adulting Sora.

There’s also the cooking mini game. Throughout the game you can collect different ingredients that you can cook with. Of course these meals will have certain boosting effects on HP, MP, etc. To cook them, you have to play the cooking mini game, and the quality of the meal changes depending on how well you execute everything.

Still, I’ve been enjoying the game. It’s nostalgic, yet also kind of new. It’s interesting to see how it’s grown up like alot of us who played the original Kingdom Hearts game. I think it’s also great for having many of the original voice actors from all the movies and everything. Although, I admit I’m a tad sad that there are some different voice actors for some characters. Particularly Kairi. I don’t hate Alyson Stoner, and I know she’s probably the most consistent voice actress for Kairi. She’s cool. However, I wished they could’ve had Hayden Panettiere reprise her role. I just found something about Alyson’s Kairi sounded slightly off to me. I suppose because in my brain, Hayden’s voice=Kairi. It definitely would’ve been nice to have Hayden complete that nostalgic experience. Oh wells. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey…slowly, but I’ll still enjoy every moment. Although, I need to refresh my memory on alot of things it seems…

I may have missed a few things in my sleep deprived and sick state. So let me know what I might have missed! Also, who’s been playing Kingdom Hearts III? What do you think so far? What’s your favorite world? What do you love, and what do you hate??

[The Following Contains a Tiny Spoiler]
So there was something that surprised me when I went to Toy Box for the first time. See, I expected to get greeted with the expected Toy Story cut scene. Except something else played, and left me completely confused.

Y’all, I thought I broke the game at first. I was like “WTF?? Is this Final Fantasy?? Did I hit something by accident?? Wait…this isn’t…” However, my thought process slowly went to: “This reminds me of Final Fantasy Versus XIII….Noctis is that you…?? Ardyn?? Iggyyyyy??? WHAT THE FUCK??? WHAT IS GOING ON???” Turns out this little sequence was a commercial for “Verum Rex”, a Final Fantasy style J-RPG game in Toy Box.

You see, it was basically a re-imagined reference to FF Versus XIII. If you didn’t know, FF Versus XIII was basically the original idea for Final Fantasy XV. It basically got scrapped, and eventually changed into the FF XV that we know. Talk about a 4th wall moment. It was pretty amusing. Although, people have also pointed out that the main character in “Verum Rex” looks like Riku…and now I can’t unsee it.

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