FANDOM


This week, Yahtzee reviews Kingdom Hearts III.

Transcript Edit

I'm not into Disney or Final Fantasy, not being a child or an overweight female cosplayer who has never once in their life been able to cum, so I've steered clear of Kingdom Hearts. But I admit, I was curious about Kingdom Hearts III; the series has a high profile, and some people I would never admit to respecting say they like it. The same people have also said that the plot is completely fucking incomprehensible if you haven't played Kingdom Hearts I, II, Chain of Memories, Birth by Sleep, Dream Drop Distance, and every other side game with a subtitle that reads like a bag of marbles fell on a keyboard with an overzealous autocorrect.

But hey, I like "incomprehensible"; some people called me "incomprehensible" when I clenched a strawberry between my buttocks and went to the costume party as a jam sandwich. Besides, I couldn't quite believe that a company like Disney would let their name be on something incomprehensible; I mean, these are the guys who always pursue the broadest audience possible with psychotic tone-deafness. "Yeah, let's put a happy ending on the fucking Hunchback of Notre Dame, and after that, let's put stiletto heels on a camel." So I gave Kingdom Hearts III a chance, and you know what, viewer? Sometimes, you totally should go with your first instinct.

Things started okay: You are Sora, anime protagonist in a big Disney crossover multiverse with some kind of slightly unclear peacekeeping role; I assume he's the equivalent of a police officer because his job seems to largely entail beating the shit out of black people, ha ha! He's followed around by Goofy and Donald Duck, presumably so that he never forgets even for a moment who's signing the fucking paychecks around here. Something that happened in the previous games has reduced Sora's power, so he needs to set out into the world to start building it back up. Great, reset button! That's all the acknowledgement of the previous games we needed, Kingdom Hearts III! Let's go spend the next twenty hours referencing Disney movies and wallowing in the delicious warmth of our filled nappies!

Sadly, it was not to be, and things soon began to fall apart. Who are all these other characters? Why is Mickey Mouse knocking about a black desert with the Muppet Babies version of Sephiroth? Who are all the dudes in black coats, and why don't any of them know how zip fasteners work? Sora's motive keeps changing: sometimes we're getting his lost power back; sometimes we're looking for three missing warriors; sometimes we're looking for Roxas, who is in Sora's heart, which he already knew, so why the fuck is he looking?; or we're just generally opposing the main bad guys, who are three versions of the same dude, and none of them could figure out how zips work, either.

The story of Kingdom Hearts III made me angry - not "Liam Neeson" angry, more "teaching Facebook to your grandma" angry - but it wasn't so much my lack of story background as the way the story was told. Here is my impression of a Kingdom Hearts character going to the toilet: "Ooh!" "What is it?" "I think I need the toilet!" "Hmm... Hey, look! Isn't that a toilet over there?" "Right! Let's get going!" Break into a sprint, bloke in a black trench coat appears, everyone stops dead. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." "What!? The Organization!? Why shouldn't we go to the toilet!?" "Simply because... I just did a very big poo in that toilet." "Huh!?" "Gawrsh, if he did a very big poo in the toilet, it probably still smells!" "It doesn't matter." "Hm?" "As long as we're together, we can take on the smell of any poo! That's what friendship is all about!"

Imagine this conversation happening several times an hour, and some of it is in a Donald Duck voice. I was prepared for Donald Duck's voice. Everyone knows Donald Duck's voice; it's one of the things we've just accepted about the world, like climate change and the Ebola virus. But it still compounded my irritation! Oh yeah, listening to Donald Duck's voice is like sticking your entire head in a soaking wet condom and then trying to remove it with an orbital sander. So it might have put me in the right mood to want to start twatting some things with sticks, but sadly, there wasn't much catharsis to be found in the combat.

It's yet another modern JRPG combat system that figured there had to be some happy middle ground between real-time and menu-based combat, by the same principle that onion gravy mixed with marmalade would presumably be superior to both. So mostly, it's mashing the one "Attack" button at whichever enemy happens to be nearest, but when you want to cast a spell or use an item, you've got to fiddle your way through the menu options, hoping not to get hit as you stand there in the melee like an erection in a rugby scrum. You can also occasionally do super-moves, in which you pilot particle effect-drenched versions of Disneyland rides that fuck up the enemy, which is one of those trademark Kingdom Hearts moments where you're not sure if you're being advertised at; oh, and by "occasionally", I mean "in every fucking fight", regardless of threat.

So that's the core gameplay experience: you go to a new world themed around a Disney film, you advance from room to room fucking up one batch of dark lads after another, learn once again the same lesson that My Little Pony successfully brought across with three fucking words, watch an incomprehensible cutscene or two, then move on to the next, and when I say "Disney film", I mean "Pixar film". Well, partly. The first level's themed around Hercules - Bit of an odd choice for the opener; who the fuck has spared a thought for Disney's Hercules the last twenty years, besides mythology professors who can't let go of a grudge? - but after that, it's CG movies all the way, those being the fucking moneymaker these days. But Pixar films tend to be a bit too intricate and high-concept for this format; Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. are levels, but aren't both of those tangentially set in the real world? Last I checked, reality isn't a subsidiary of the Disney Corporation. Not yet, anyway; give them a few more years.

Your standard Disney fare, pretty princesses vs. evil witches, fits more comfortably in an "epic" crossover setting, even if the Tangled and Frozen levels are just pointless recreations of the film plots that don't even hold up because several plot elements are missing, and Sora and his mates are there, standing awkwardly in the corner offering running commentary for the mentally disadvantaged. "Gosh, that magical lady with the puppy dog eyes looks like she's sad about something, doesn't she?"

I didn't expect to finish Kingdom Hearts III in the time I had, so I had just set out to play until I knew my opinion wasn't going to change, and that moment came at the Winnie the Pooh section. In-between two of the actual levels, it suddenly becomes important that Sora investigate why he's not on the cover of a Winnie the Pooh book; wasn't sure why he felt he should be, except his general sense of being the center of the fucking universe, but then we go to the Hundred Acre Wood, and it turns out everything's fine and they just wanted to hang out, although they won't let you leave until you've played some insipid color-matching games. Sorry, why was this important? Is the plot seriously being held hostage by Winnie the Fucking Pooh?! Actually, I didn't mind the color-matching games or that Ratatouille cooking side-quest, but I might just have been enjoying taking a break from the rest of the fucking game. In conclusion, Kingdom Hearts III is a fucking baffling experience, equal parts impenetrable and insufferably condescendingly twee with a creepy undercurrent of Disney thought control; kind of like trying to get off with Mary Poppins in a Scientology test center.

Addenda Edit

  • Disnae like Disney: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • I think the definitive definition of "shithead" is "the kind of person who tries to get people to dance when they don't want to dance"
  • Never did figure out that fucking egg-cracking minigame

Screenshots Edit

ZP - Kingdom Hearts 3 screenshot 1

Some people called me "incomprehensible" when I clenched a strawberry between my buttocks and went to the costume party as a jam sandwich.

ZP - Kingdom Hearts 3 screenshot 2

Oh yeah, listening to Donald Duck's voice is like sticking your entire head in a soaking wet condom and then trying to remove it with an orbital sander.

ZP - Kingdom Hearts 3 screenshot 3

Equal parts impenetrable and insufferably condescendingly twee with a creepy undercurrent of Disney thought control.

External Links Edit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2018
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2 · Metroid: Samus Returns
Q4 Knack 2 and SteamWorld Dig 2 · Cuphead · Hob and A Hat in Time · Middle-earth: Shadow of War · The Evil Within 2 · Super Mario Odyssey · Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus · Assassin's Creed Origins · Sonic Forces · Star Wars Battlefront II · Hand of Fate 2 · South Park: The Fractured but Whole
2018
Q1 Top 5 of 2017 · Okami HD · PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds · Fortnite and Dusk · Doki Doki Literature Club! · The Inpatient and Doom VFR · Monster Hunter World · Subnautica · Kingdom Come: Deliverance · Metal Gear Survive · Hot Coffee · Hunt Down The Freeman · Ghost of a Tale
Q2 A Way Out · Far Cry 5 · Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom · Extinction and Attack on Titan 2 · God of War 4 · Yakuza 6: The Song of Life · Silent Hill 4: The Room · Conan Exiles · House Flipper and FAR: Lone Sails · Detroit Become Human · Agony · E3 2018 · Vampyr
Q3 Jurassic World Evolution · Resident Evil 4 · Totally Accurate Battlegrounds and Moonlighter · The Crew 2 · Octopath Traveler · Observer · Chasm and This Is the Police 2 · We Happy Few · Unavowed · Guacamelee! 2 and Not Tonight · Shenmue · Marvel's Spider-Man · Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Q4 Dragon Quest XI · Star Control: Origins · Star Control: Origins · Assassin's Creed Odyssey · Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 · Return of the Obra Dinn · The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories · Red Dead Redemption 2 · Call of Cthulhu · Fallout 76 · Hitman 2 and Killer7 · Darksiders III · Just Cause 4
2019
Q1 Top 5 of 2018 · Super Smash Bros. Ultimate · Gris and Ashen · Katamari Damacy Reroll · Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes · Resident Evil 2 · Kingdom Hearts III · Metro Exodus · Far Cry New Dawn · Anthem · Crackdown 3 · Left Alive · Devil May Cry 5
Q2 The Division 2 · Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice · Unheard and Outward · Yoshi's Crafted World · Mortal Kombat 11 · Katana Zero · Days Gone · Close to the Sun · Rage 2 · Observation · A Plague Tale: Innocence
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.