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Kingdom Hearts III

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: Jan. 29, 2019


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PS4 Review - 'Kingdom Hearts III' Re Mind DLC

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Feb. 14, 2020 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

A mature Sora sets out on a new adventure, as Kingdom Hearts III makes full use of next-generation console technologies to deliver more exhilarating, action-packed gameplay and various fun features.

Buy Kingdom Hearts III: Re Mind

The Kingdom Hearts series has a long history of post-release expansions. Every game since the first title has had a Final Mix that adds new content, new bosses, and often new story bits. All of those Final Mixes were from an era before DLC was really a thing. Of course, Kingdom Hearts III is getting its own expanded version in the form of Kingdom Hearts III: Re Mind, which adds new boss battles and new features to challenge players. At the hefty cost of $30, it may not be for all Kingdom Hearts fans.

The first part of the DLC, the titular Re Mind, is effectively a "director's cut" version of the game's final battle sequence. The context behind it is that you are playing a time-traveling Sora who is venturing back to find a way to save his lost girlfriend, Kairi. In doing so, you effectively sit through the entire ending sequence and a couple of new scenes. The primary selling point is that when you re-fight the boss battles in the endgame, you have the opportunity to play as other characters, such as Aqua, Riku, Roxas and even Kairi herself. They're simplified compared to Sora but have some cool gimmicks, and it's more satisfying to take on a character's rival as themselves instead of playing as Sora for the entire time.

Unfortunately, that's … really all Re Mind has going for it. It doesn't change the ending; it just provides some additional context and a chance for character interaction that didn't happen in the original ending. Because it is a "sequel," it's designed to go after you've already gone through all of this content once, so it is inherently repetitive. It may be DLC, but I think it would have worked a lot better if the bulk of the new features had been integrated into the normal ending. As it stands, you have the original game's ending —and DLC that is essentially a more fleshed-out version of the game's ending, and that is just weird.

Fortunately, the other big part of the DLC is absolutely worth the money. It's a series of boss battles against the entire Organization XIII, similar to the Data Fights in Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix. These are entirely new and remastered fights with their own gameplay mechanics and style, and they are fun. Finishing all the fights unlocks a secret bonus boss fight, which is extremely cool and provides a little bit more narrative.

I would argue that these Organization XIII fights represent basically the best fights the game has to offer, and it's one of the times when the game mechanics are not eclipsed by its general low difficulty. Most of the bosses will probably not be something you can defeat if you're just a casual Kingdom Hearts player. You'll want to go in at a high level and with the best equipment you can get your hands on, and even then, you'll need to be playing at your very best.

The DLC also adds a new Premium menu, which allows players to select special options for replays of the game. These come in the form of cheats. Some of these cheats are friendly, such as auto-blocking or recharging MP. On the other hand, some are designed to add extra challenge, such as disabling the Cure spell or certain mechanics. These are mostly there for players who want to customize replays of the game. They're pretty cool features, but they're not something that you really need to get.

That basically Re Mind in a nutshell. This is a DLC for people who want to fight challenging bosses and explore the mechanics. While it is technically a story DLC, 90% of that story retreads everything you've seen before, and the other 10% is foreshadowing the inevitable next Kingdom Hearts title. There's no new Disney content beyond a few scenes with Mickey Mouse.

Does that make it worth $30? That's tough. In terms of gameplay, the new boss fights are a huge chunk of the challenging content, and they're a ton of fun to play. If you enjoyed Kingdom Hearts III's combat enough to want to see it at its best, then Re Mind is for you. The Organization XIII fights alone are worth the price of admission in this case. If not, then $30 is difficult to justify for what amounts to a couple of add-ons to cut scenes that you've seen before and boss fights that you might not be able to beat.

Score: 7.0/10

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