This 16-year-old franchise has a special place in many gamers’ hearts for a variety of reasons. Some, for how convoluted the story has become from the original Kingdom Hearts, but many have come to love the franchise due to the crossover between the Final Fantasy and Disney characters, and how they interact with the original characters and settings within the world of Kingdom Hearts.

Now, on the topic of Disney films, who doesn’t love a good Disney film? From the films that you’ve watched growing up, to the films that you still watch now, each film has a special place in everyone’s heart. There’s just something special about the Corporate mouse.

And that’s why so many of us have been excited about the new franchises that we will get to visit in Kingdom Hearts 3 which includes Toy Story, Big Hero 6, Monsters Inc. and Frozen.

I managed to get some hands-on time with _Kingdom Hearts 3_’s Toy Box world at the MCM London Comic Con last weekend, and here are my thoughts.

We are opened to the story of the Toy Box world with Woody and Buzz fretting over the disappearance of the other toys and humans, including Andy, by mysterious creatures who have been popping up in their world. Hello Heartless, it’s time to be slain (again). Enter Sora, Donald and Goofy (those names can only be said in this order, don’t believe me? Then play through any game in the franchise and keep a counter). Our loveable protagonists have been transformed into toys and are hunting down the organisation and doing their usual job of freeing hearts.

Upon being thrust into this world, it’s immediately apparent the developers have fully recreated the look and feel of the Toy Story movie. Andy’s room is an exact copy from the films with the drawings of cowboys, his rocket ship bed covers and watch clock making you feel as if you are right there in the Toy Story world.

After the Toy Story gang get acquainted with Sora, Donald and Goofy, we set off to explore why everyone has disappeared.

Gameplay and Mechanics

The core aspect of the combat of Kingdom Hearts 3 is still relatively the same as the other titles in the series. We still have Sora mixing strong and fast melee Keyblade combos as well as using his magic abilities such as Blizzard and Fira.

An interesting mechanic which has been introduced is that you can now swap between three keyblades whilst in combat without having to go into the menu. With real-time weapon switching, the range of combat options available to you has been expanded immensely. Introduced in Birth by Sleep, we see the Shotlock mechanic return. The Shotlock feature has two options, one is the familiar magical blasts and the other option is to Shotlock into a flow-motion attack (flow-motion was introduced in Dream Drop Distance). Now back on to the point of keyblade switching; with the ability to change keyblades in real time, you have the option to change your Shotlock command depending on the keyblade.

There are new transformations introduced in this game which change the way Sora moves and fights within the game. The different keyblades have unique transformations which were explored in the Toy Box demo. The Toy Story keyblade transforms into yo-yos and can summon tea cups to attack the heartless with. The Monsters Inc. keyblade could transform into claws for a range of melee attacks and the Tangled keyblade offered a range of magic-based attacks. The key to drawing out these transformations was to build up a meter above the actions menu. You build up energy quite quickly, so feel free to spam your special moves.

In the final section of the demo, Sora hops into a toy mech and battles other mechs. With a first person camera angle, you feel as if you’re in control of an actual mech. This section was amazing just because of how different it was.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is looking to be an amazing game so far.

It will be released on the PS4 and Xbox One, apparently on 29th January 2019 (let’s hope that there’s no last minute changes/delays).