Kingdom Hearts is one of the biggest franchises, not just for Square-Enix, but for video games in general. It is a franchise than has been around for almost 15 years, starting back on the Playstation 2. Kingdom Heart III is the long awaited sequel, and while it is not the third entry in the series, it is the canonical ending to Sora and Xehanort's story, which started many years ago. When it comes to video games will such anticipation, it is important to review the game from both the perspective of someone who has played every Kingdom Hearts game, and the perspective of someone who has never played a single Kingdom Hearts game because both perspectives are just as valuable.
As the game starts, it is clear a lot of effort went into presentation. From beginning to end, Kingdom Heart III wants to give the player an experience that very few games offer, and in a way, they capture it. From the luscious environments, to the expressive characters, to the flashy combat, it does offer a lot of magic. While in combat, the player can execute a special action, and it can be either a buddy attack or using a Disneyland Ride to fight enemies. It is fun, flashy, and never really gets old because it is done so well. While combat is not difficult, it never gets old because as you progress through the world, there is always something new around the corner.
The problem comes with everything else. The direction in Kingdom Hearts III is very poor because the moment you ask questions, the game fails to give answers. The story is that Sora has forgotten his memories, and Sora has to go and find waking. However, halfway through the game, Master Yensid says you did not need to do that, waking was already inside him with his friends. Going between the Disney worlds has no purpose, and each world has their own stories. It is usually either a very simple and lazy story about friendship, akin to an episode of a bad Saturday Morning Cartoon, or a poor retelling of a Disney movie with missing scenes.
The Voice Acting is terrible, as every dialogue sounds like the Actors did not read the script at all. All the emotions are simultaneously all over the place, and so flat that they lack emotion. Nothing sounds natural, and while the Japanese Acting is slightly better, it still leave much to be desired. The Sound Department is well done as every sound is sharp, clear, and works well with the actions depicted.
There is an open-space section of the game which acts as a hub-world to get to each world, and that was possibly the most interesting. It mostly involved collecting XP spheres for the Gummi Ship and fighting Heartless in Space. The customization for the Gummi Ship is arguably the best it has ever been. There are more parts and selection of parts than ever before, allowing for very complex designs. Exploring space was the most fun, but it arguably never really felt like a Kingdom Hearts game at that point.
Presentation can only help a game so much, and while Kingdom Heart III is a fun game to watch, it is not exactly a fun game to play. As well, considering the amount of RPG elements that were in the previous Kingdom Hearts games that have been taken out in Kingdom Hearts III, there really is not a lot for fans to play in the gameplay department. The game looks beautiful, but the stories are not good, the combat is not good, and there is so much lacking that it makes you want to play something else.