A good chunk of the WayTooManyGames staff loves Kingdom Hearts and has been waiting for the “third” game on the franchise for more than a decade. We even wrote about what wanted from it a year ago. Suffice to say, they would have killed people in order to play a Kingdom Hearts III demo prior to release. Kingdom Hearts III was available at BGS 2018 and yes, we had the opportunity to test it. The one who played it? Yours truly, the guy who only played the original Kingdom Hearts.
Let me be clear, I liked the first Kingdom Hearts a lot. I didn’t own a PS2 back in the day so I only just played the first one last year on the PS4. I actually want to tackle all of the other games numbered after car engines, but I just haven’t had the time for it. Square Enix did one heck of a job in its demo to convince me to do so, though: throw in some Toy Story characters into the mix and make my inner seven year-old burst in excitement with Kingdom Hearts III.
The Toy Box demo not only starred the good ol’ Sora-Donald-Goofy trio, but also Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Rex, the Aliens and the toy soldiers, all of them being magnificently voiced by either their original voice actors (John Ratzenburger and Wallace Shawn) or some really impressive impressionists. Whoever voiced Buzz sounded more like Tim Allen than Tim Allen himself. All of those characters’ dialogues, witty comments, the sense of humor, the “You Got a Friend in Me” instrumental being played on the background, there’s no way any human being with a beating heart wouldn’t smile at the cutscenes like an idiot.
This wasn’t just about watching cutscenes though. There was quite a lot of combat in this demo and it felt great running at a buttery smooth 60 fps. Sora’s a bit faster now and running on walls the action even more exciting. The controls are pretty much the same from previous installments, with the addition of new special summon attacks named and stylized after Disneyland rides. The pirate ship special – ironically enough, not inspired after a Disney park ride – looked absolutely ridiculous onscreen, but it managed to clear an entire army of Heartless drones in a matter of seconds.
There wasn’t much else to this demo as it was pretty short, but I really liked what I saw. Kingdom Hearts III boasts fantastic graphics, varied gameplay, and tons of charm for Disney and Square fans alike. Speaking personally, the addition of Toy Story made things even more appealing. Square Enix did a great job at making someone who has barely played the previous games in the franchise willing to play the final conclusion. All I need to do now is finish the previous game in time. What was the order again? Does 358/2 come before 2.5?