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I love Kingdom Hearts 3.

I hope this post gets to be read by someone because I have lots to say. TL;DR, this is a game made exclusively for the extreme fans of the franchise. It's not gatekeeping, but you simply will find the story incredibly boring (and there are probably more cutscenes than game) and you will not even get the same enjoyment out of the gameplay if you're not on top of things, and to be on top of things you have A LOT of backlog to play, including titles from other franchises and mobile free to play grind fests. It's a game that does a lot of " 'member this and that? ", gameplay wise too. For me the KH saga has been a 6 years long journey. In this sense kh3 is a terrible game to recommend, but for me it was as if it was tailor made. Also, the game is literally incomplete without its DLC Re: Mind.

I love Kingdom Hearts 3 and I think it's a fantastic game. I feel like the combat and the worlds and the story are all three created to make a videogame just for me, this is exactly what I like. BUT I have to stress that this is NOT a game for everyone. And there are a lot of BUTs to watch out for in order to enjoy a game like this

The gameplay is very similar to a Musou-like game (Dinasty Warriors, Drakengard, Persona 5 Strikers) where the premise is you're put against a large group of enemies that have limited movesets and their strength is in their numbers, while you have a lot of kickass abilities to shred them in pieces. Too many infact, that the game is usually considered to be a cakewalk to the point of boredom: but not if you fix it. To get an actual challenge in this game you have to play on Critical mode which is the hardest difficulty, and to get a rewarding challenge you must use the premium menu, a feature that allows you to customize the difficulty.

Here's the difficulty settings I strongly suggest to turn on in order to rebalance the gameplay:

1) Turn OFF Attractions (OP attack/explosion that randomly shows up and makes you immediately win. It's also boring and repetitive to execute and makes you bypass lots of bosses and fights)

2) Turn OFF Links (OP attack you can activate, you can also choose to ignore this feature instead of activating this difficulty setting)

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3) Turn OFF Kupo Coins (consumable that you can always buy that revives you once. It costs very little. You can also choose to simply ignore this feature)

4) Turn OFF Shotlocks (OP attack you can activate, you can also choose to ignore this feature)

With these four on + critical mode, you'll be forced to engage in the gameplay in a fun and rewarding way (if you're looking for this sort of thing), because you're still overpowered but only if you get good: the cool moves and the mega explosions will unlock only when you'll be capable of landing a series of combos (and which cool moves and which mega explosions you unlock will depend on what you did in these combos). This makes the game fun and spectacular without making it too difficult, and there's always the option to grind levels out if you fear you'll have trouble. The more damage you deal to enemies, the more damage you'll do to enemies based on the way you've played since then (which makes you feel as if your combat choices matter!), and this is really empowering and is going to make you feel like a badass anime superhero, also thanks to the fact that Sora's playstyle is very varied, very spectacular, and very responsive especially once you unlock Re:Mind's combat options.

There's also easy platforming, and probably the greatest thing about this game is the AIR combat that, combined with a grappling hook straight out of dmc that allows you to pull yourself close to enemies, I think it's the first game I've ever played where I never wanted to touch the ground ever again.

Some of the Disney worlds are great fanservice with huge areas to explore, some others are a basically complex corridors which is a shame, but the combat and the voice acting and the cutscenes are always enough to keep you going if you care about the lore, and that is why it is quintessential to know the story if you want to enjoy the game, or you'll spend entire hours rolling your eyes to the ceiling and not understanding why you should press on. But first, spoilers, a ranking of the disney worlds from favourite to least favourite.

1 Mount Olympos (it's the longest and also most varied and polished) 2 San Fransokyo (short but a huge love letter to the movie, i laughed out loud at some cutscenes) 3 Frozen (despite the fact that Elsa was clearly supposed to be the villain except they changed plans at the last minute) 4 Pirates of the Caribbean (I loved exploring islands) 5 Kingdom of Corona 6 Toy Box (amazing fan service but I didn't love the titanfall gimmick) 7 Monstropolis (still fun but a huge wasted potential, it's clearly the least interesting world)

So, here's the other problem, to enjoy the story of Kingdom Hearts 3 you must play every kingdom hearts game including dream drop distance, and to fully appreciate dream drop distance's (story wise the game preceding kh3) story you must play another Square Enix game, called The World Ends With You. That makes a total of 7 kingdom hearts games, 3 movies, 1 square enix game. Let's do some napkin math.

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kh1 takes about 35 hours. re:com takes about 25 hours. kh2 takes about 50 hours. bbs takes about 16 hours. ddd takes about 22 hours. bbs0.2 takes 4 hours. the movies have a run time of circa 5 hours and a half. The World Ends With You is 20 hours (I'm not gatekeeping it's actually necessary to understand the story, I know it's absurd but that's how it is). Together they make almost 180 hours of playtime back to back. It could be worse, but that's a lot of Kingdom Hearts and you're not going to enjoy plowing through so many games at once. Then there's the mobile game which is a huge timesink. I have logged into the mobile game 640 days, and I still haven't finished it, but they've made things WAAAAAAAAAAAY easier for newcomers, so you could get the story imo in a month of playtime tops, which is still a lot don't get me wrong, but it's a nice relaxing game that you should start playing after finishing birth by sleep.

So, if you want to embark on this journey, stay away from spoilers and take your time. Thankfully they're all pretty good games, and the bad games have been made into movies. For me, it has been more than worth it honestly, and I never was a fan of anime.

Now, I'd like to end this post by ranking the superbosses I've finally managed to beat today (after a week of trying them, in order of difficulty first and in order of enjoyment second.

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1 Xemnas is the hardest (his dm sucks) 2 Dark Riku (his dm sucks, actually all of his moveset sucks) 3 Vanitas (actually a piece of cake beside his dm which sucks, the only way to win is to cancel it) 4 Larxene (I won by pure luck, she's too fast) 5 Terra Xehanort (cool battle but his red attacks are hard to avoid) 6 Master Xehanort (the dm is impossible but the rest of the fight is manageable) 7 Saix (looks hard, piece of cake if you learn the timings and openings and you use Ultima Form's teleport ability to strike him) 8 Young Xehanort is so fucking cool 9 Marluxia 10 Ansem 11 Xion is pretty easy to parry 12 Xigbar I think it's impossible to lose here if you use potions it's just too long 13 Luxord (one of the most enjoyable battles but easy)

1 Young Xehanort has the best music and is the best battle, the perfect difficulty not too easy not too hard 2 Xemnas too if it weren't for his dm that is impossible 3 Xion is supercool to see 4 Terra Xehanort 5 Luxord is just too cool to not like 6 Marluxia is fun once you learn how to avoid his skull 7 Saix is satisfying to beat 8 Master Xehanort, would be way up if it wasn't for his dm which is way too hard 9 Larxene 10 Dark Riku is broken11 Ansem and his stupid projectiles 12 Vanitas fuck his dm is terrible 13 Xigbar is too boring and disappointing

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