As much as I wanted to like Kingdom Hearts 3: ReMIND, I did not enjoy it. It’s not the downloadable content I expected after years of development. Instead, it’s a recycled take on the ending of the third numbered titled and an overbearing boss rush mode that I’m having issues finishing. It’s clear that this was made specifically for diehard fans of the series and I understand why this is catered to that crowd. However, ReMIND is an uneven mess and the questions I have after finishing the first half leaves me wondering what the meaning behind the finale was.
However, I don’t want to knock too hard on content because the second half is fun but hard and the boss rush is thrilling. Of course, I’m eager to get to the secret boss who I’ve been clamouring to best since hearing about who it was.
Split into two parts, the ReMIND story is essentially a fresh look on the final battle at the Keyblade Graveyard. As Sora, we revisit the hearts of the seven lights, playing as them while facing the 13 darknesses. A lot of this section is recycled content, and this is where my issues with the DLC lie – Square is charging a lot of money for this and they shouldn’t be. Returning to the finale of Kingdom Hearts 3 isn’t as fun the second time, and even with the bells and whistles added, there is a lack of anything resembling a coherent addition to the base story.
See, ReMIND attempts to fill in some blanks that Kingdom Hearts 3 left unfilled last year. Where did Sora end up after he restored Kairi? Is he ever coming back? I was curious to find out the secrets to last year’s ending, but I didn’t get that. Instead, it was objectively framed as a resolution to these threads left hanging but after five hours with the first piece of DLC, I’m as confused as ever. That said, there are a few standout moments and battles that stuck with me, in particular, one that has the entire cast battling together against Xehanort. We also get to explore Scala Ad Caelum, which is beautiful but there’s some busy work to be done there that breaks the pacing.
Also, the inclusion of Sora’s new Formchange that comes as a free update via 1.07, is calleed Light Form and Dark Form, and are earned by completing the Lucky Emblem challenge and completing the game on Critical. I’ve only unlocked the Oathkeeper so far but using Light Form with a maxed-out version of the Keyblade is exhilarating. After striking an enemy, you gain access to Double Form OKP, opening up more combat opportunities and one of my favourite forms available.
Limitcut Episode is where the real fun lies but offers very little story. If you manage to defeat all 13 bosses, you’re treated to a special boss battle that effectively adds a new layer of intrigue to lore. There’s also the inclusion of some familiar faces like Leon, Yuffie, Aerith, and Cid but they only cameo in this section of ReMIND. I’ve only been able to defeat a handful of them at the time of this review (due to their difficulty) but I’m still working my way through these exciting bosses, even though they are levels above the base difficulty of Kingdom Hearts 3.
If you enjoy video game photography, ReMIND includes a new photo mode called Data Greeting that allows you to make customizable scenes in each world featuring various Kingdom Hearts characters. You select the location, the character, and their expressions before adding additional enemies or characters to a scene. It’s fun but ultimately, it’s entirely optional, so if you’re someone who likes to take photos, you’re in for a treat.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is a good game but the DLC is subpar and it’s hard to recommend when you’re getting so much recycled content. I’m still not sure why this was released in the state it was in, and frankly, it’s a disservice to fans waiting for something special to come along. I enjoyed the Limitcut Episode but the difficulty spikes each boss offers is a hard sell for me, but you might like the boss rush mode. I’m still struggling to finish the last five bosses before taking on the secret boss I’m eager to challenge. If I’ve gained anything while reviewing ReMIND, it’s that I’ve learned no one at Square knows where the story is going and it’s still up in the air when it comes to resolution.