Review

Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind Review - Don't Remind Me

  • First Released Jan 29, 2019
    released
  • PS4

Rewriting history one contrived moment at a time.

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Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind's title doesn't lie. It's more of an addendum to Kingdom Hearts 3 than a meaningful addition. In some ways, it's fitting that a franchise as labyrinthine as Kingdom Hearts received such a strange expansion. Re:Mind is a brief but laborious retread of events we already experienced last year, dressed up with new details that only make the already maddeningly elaborate story all the more obtuse. The DLC also brings back Replica Data bosses, which provide a ridiculous challenge that requires inordinate level grinding. [Editor's note: This review contains spoilers for the ending boss and area in Kingdom Hearts 3.]

Kingdom Hearts 3 ended with Sora going off on his own to search for Kairi. Re:Mind takes you on that quest in typical Kingdom Hearts fashion: neither simply nor cleanly. It runs synchronously with the events at the Keyblade Graveyard, meaning you actually have to replay the climax again from the Keyblade Graveyard maze all the way to the showdown with Xehanort. Though the explanation for how this is possible is very silly, Re:Mind is essentially a director's cut.

As a reminder, the Keyblade Graveyard doesn't really feature any exploration. It's a series of boss fights separated by lengthy cutscenes. Luxord still hides behind a playing card taunting Sora, and cutscenes stop the action in similar spots. Some of the dialogue and cutscenes are reworked while others are new, but the biggest difference is the option to play as Riku, Roxas, Kairi, or Aqua in several fights. Unfortunately, playing as these characters actually makes the slick and stylish combat less fun. All of them feel like weaker versions of Sora with limited movesets, and it also doesn't help that the Keyblade Graveyard itself is the blandest world in Kingdom Hearts 3, devoid of the colorful and pleasant trappings of the Disney worlds that made the majority of original campaign hum.

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Even the new content that's spliced into the repeated events largely fails to make the journey worthwhile. Scala ad Caelum opens up to reveal a new section before you square off against Xehanort. Though the area is fairly big, it's desolate and exists only as a space to complete a rather banal fetch quest. It's filler content in a story filled with recycled fights. There's a fan service sequence that's actually pretty enjoyable, however. Without spoiling it, it's the type of scene that will make fans fondly remember the decades-long journey that brought us to this point. It's a brief event that doesn't make up for five hours of deja vu, but it still stands out.

For die-hard fans, the Limit Cut Episode that unlocks after watching the same closing cutscene from the base game is the meat of the package. Those who played Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix will be familiar with the mode, which sees Sora in a computer simulation fighting data versions of Organization XIII members like Xigbar, Ansem, and Xehanort. It even features cameos from the long-lost Final Fantasy characters.

Unfortunately, the barrier for entry is extraordinarily high, because Limit Cut bosses are exponentially more challenging than any of the fights in the base game. If you didn't grind near or all the way to the level 99 cap in the main campaign--and there was no need to--Limit Cut will probably feel like an insurmountable challenge. I'm still working my way through the bosses, and I seriously doubt that I'll ever actually beat them all. The ocean that exists between the difficulty of the base game and the data bosses is jarring.

It's of course impossible to separate the DLC from the game it builds off of, and Kingdom Hearts 3's best moments came in the Disney and Pixar worlds--the individual stories of friendship and love and good conquering evil that could almost be appreciated as self-contained short stories. Re:Mind seeks to tell a very specific story, but along the way it becomes blindingly clear that Kingdom Hearts' strengths lie in its pieces and parts, not its convoluted sum that threads through and disrupts the franchise's magical moments.

Even as a longtime fan of the series who adored Kingdom Hearts 3, it's hard to muster up any sort of enthusiasm for Re:Mind. What's more, Re:Mind made me understand Kingdom Hearts 3's story even less, which is a testament to how bonkers it really is. It's not all that surprising this happened; after all, it's Kingdom Hearts. Nevertheless, Re:Mind is an incredibly peculiar expansion that simultaneously falls flat and partially obscures the brilliance of Kingdom Hearts 3.

Back To Top
The Good
Brief but enjoyable fan service sequence
The Bad
Rehashes and further complicates events you've already played
Data bosses aren't really feasible unless you're over-leveled
New playable characters pale in comparison to Sora
4
Poor
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Kingdom Hearts III

About the Author

Steven Petite beat Re:Mind in about five hours, though he's still working his way through the Limit Cut Episode that he'll likely never finish.
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Khfreak9

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You have to beat all the data bosses to unlock the secret episode. You fight Yozora and it seems detrimental to the plot of the next game/series. It was insanely difficult but I was able to beat him. Win or lose, you still get an ending out of it.

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edhc44

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"neither simply nor cleanly"
I see what you did there.

Nice.

2 • 
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bobbo888

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To all the grown ass men complaining about reviews on a disney themed game, REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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Takfloyd

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It's no surprise that "professional" video game reviewers don't understand this DLC - none of them are actually good enough at video games to enjoy the many, many amazing boss fights it adds.

Yes, the added story is superfluous and should have just been in the base game, but the data fights are worth the price. And no, you don't have to level grind to beat them, even on the hardest difficulty. That only makes them too easy, defeating the point of the challenge. And even for those who do want to max out their level before tackling them, getting to level 99 takes less than 30 minutes of grinding in this game thanks to the gratuitous EXP the game hands out in the endgame.

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Hpufkmlffgo

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I guess some people just didn't play the DLC. This comment section is atrocious. These bosses are the best in years within the series. Get good.

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LeonBirkin02

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Edited By LeonBirkin02

@hpufkmlffgo: if you felt like the only thing KH3 was missing, were challenging bosses then clearly we play these games for very different reasons. The story has always been bonkers, but fun at the same time. There is nothing fun about the power of waking ridiculousness, nor how none of the Disney Worlds make any difference to the game. Clearly they ran out of ideas pumping up side game after side game and adding more and more characters no one cares about.

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Moistcarrot

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@leonbirkin02: I don't think you can fix KH3 without completely overhauling the entire game

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aross2004

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Edited By aross2004

@hpufkmlffgo: Some new bosses do not fix everything that is wrong with this game.

The only thing that needs to get good is the game itself, (oh wait, too late).

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Takfloyd

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@aross2004: It's a game about going into Disney movies. If you played it for any other reason than the gameplay then that's on you. And the gameplay is excellent, even moreso after the patches that have been released. So yes, some new, harder bosses to take advantage of the gameplay WAS what the game needed to be good.

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aross2004

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@Takfloyd: And the gameplay was weak as hell. Total buttonmashy crap. And the only world that really even remotely excited me was PotC. And don't even get me started on that ham-fisted story "wrapup".

I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I found very few redeeming qualities, and am glad to wash my hands of the whole series.

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rushabs

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very confusing in terms , story is all over the place, not enough adventure, lots of finger mashing. oh guys what up

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devilalex5

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I personally enjoyed the story and it made me understand the gap that was filled with sora searching to find kairi. The battle thats shown outside while sora is fighting xehanort was pretty awesome as well to see how all those characters protected keeping kingdom hearts from closing. The Org 13 fights are my favorite part though, they finally added a difficulty to this game because the base game felt way to easy, learning each boss battle is a blast adding to a well deserved challenge and it felt amazing to beat each and everyone of those characters. I understand where many people might not enjoy the DLC but imo I really did.

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Chillingnaire

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Edited By Chillingnaire

kh3 is absolute garbage. "I know hurt" - sora

5 • 
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LeonBirkin02

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Honestly, I have to thank Square Enix for finally killing my enthusiasm with the base game and reenforcing it with this crap DLC. Honestly, the 10 seconds of FF Characters that cameo was such a slap in the face that it doesn't even hurt knowing I'll never buy another of the KH games. Even the ridiculous boss fights are filled with Organization members instead of Disney Villains or Sephiroth. Lame, lame, and more lame.

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Ed_Dawg

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Edited By Ed_Dawg

@leonbirkin02: you and I both. What were they thinking? The game was built as Final Fantasy mixed with Disney. All these years later they just give a a Disney game.

That would be like if the next Madden that came out was soccer instead of football.

R.I.P. Kingdom Hearts.

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LeonBirkin02

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@Ed_Dawg: you know I wish I could say that they gave us even a Disney game, but the Disney Worlds in Kingdom Hearts 3 mean nothing to the overall story at all. It's the Disney components that don't make any difference to the story, and the complete lack of final Fantasy characters. Nothing that was present in the original game makes any difference in the third game is what is so unfortunate. they finally decided that they couldn't do anything better apparently than Organization XIII which is one of the weakest elements of the series on its own already.

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dlM0kn

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KH3? oh god, don't remind me....

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dts15

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Have tried at times to understand the story of these damn games and still have no idea what the hell is going on.

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aross2004

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@dts15: Don't give it another thought. You could drive a semi truck through the holes in the story.

But beyond that, even if you do mostly get the story, it's all still very meh.

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Thanatos2k

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What a scam.

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aross2004

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Edited By aross2004

My biggest letdown in recent memory, (even moreso than Fallout 76).

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TxuZai

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*Grabs popcorn, puts feet up*

This should be good!

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budah78

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bring the first two to xbox ill gladly buy them, i know ps3 has them.pass on this crap

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Ed_Dawg

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Edited By Ed_Dawg

@budah78: They are coming to Xbox soon. Might even be on the game pass. They announced the other Final Fantasys are coming to Game Pass too which is great cause now I wont have to pay to play the overpriced X/X-2 and XII

XIV is coming too :)

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KahnArtizt

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@Ed_Dawg: “overpriced”? They’re like $10 each on PS4. You picked the wrong console of you like JRPGs.

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gamingdevil800

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The base game trains you up with some pretty dumbed down and easy bosses throughout, now one year later the game throws at you so many deadly bosses in a row. I was already rusty considering how long it had been and them bosses didn't help.

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lionheartssj1

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Edited By lionheartssj1

@gamingdevil800: Do you feel like it was an overreaction (over correction?) to the 'too easy' criticisms? I thought the difficulty options they added were in response to those criticisms, but these boss fights sound like a total pendulum swing.

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gamingdevil800

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@lionheartssj1: It definitely is a pendulum swing, I tried spamming the links and rage mode but still couldn't beat them.

2 • 
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sakaiXx

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I love KH and played most of the game but let me tell you something, I am horribly confused by the story.

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Kingdom Hearts III More Info

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  • First Released Jan 29, 2019
    released
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    Kingdom Hearts III features a mature Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on an adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy through new and legendary Disney worlds.
    7
    Average Rating88 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Kingdom Hearts III
    Developed by:
    Square Enix
    Published by:
    Square Enix, Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre(s):
    Role-Playing, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence