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Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind Game Poster Image
OK expansion covers old ground, adds maddening difficulty.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Themes of friendship and sacrifice run through the story. Plot developments will likely leave many players thinking about what they would do -- and give up -- to save the ones they care about.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sora is a true hero, focused entirely on doing what's right and helping his friends, no matter the personal cost.

Ease of Play

Players who've finished the original game (which is necessary to play this downloadable content) should have no trouble diving back in and working through the new story content using skills and tactics they already mastered. But the Limit Cut episode boss battles really crank up the difficulty, and could leave more casual players unable to progress.

Violence

The heroes -- a mix of humans and cartoon characters -- use stylized swords called keyblades as well as magic attacks to attack a roster of fantasy enemies, including humanoid bosses. The action's presented from a third-person perspective, and there's no blood or gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players will encounter plenty of familiar faces from both Disney and Final Fantasy, which could drive their interest in searching out related media and products. This is the latest installment in the long-running Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is a downloadable expansion to the action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts III for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and that the original game is necessary to play. This extra content allows players to re-experience the final chapters of the game, sometimes taking on the roles of other characters in battle. Between story scenes, players once again engage in third-person combat using keyblades and over-the-top magical attacks against fantastical enemies, without any blood or gore. Battles grow steeply in difficulty -- potentially frustratingly so -- once players finish the extra story content and begin taking on the bosses of the new Limit Cut episode. Parents should also be aware that this DLC (downloadable content), much like the base game, includes plenty of iconic personalities, not just from Disney's pool of cartoon characters, but also Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. This exposure could form the basis for new pop culture obsessions.

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What's it about?

KINGDOM HEARTS III: RE:MIND gives players a chance to re-experience the ending of the epic 2019 action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts III as series hero Sora heads back in time to search for his friend Kairi. Abandoning his body, Sora finds himself once again in the Keyblade Graveyard, where he takes on familiar bosses -- players can experience some fights as other characters, if they choose -- in hopes of gleaning a little more information and filling in some narrative holes left open in the original game. Once players have finished revisiting the original story, they can move on to a brand new episode called Limit Cut, which pits players against a series of extremely challenging bosses that are far harder to defeat than most of the baddies in the base game. Players who manage to successfully work through this lengthy gauntlet will be rewarded with a short final episode that provides some clues as to where the series might be headed in the future. Note that you'll need a copy of the original game in order to access this DLC (downloadable content), and that having a high level character will greatly help in fighting some of the harder bosses.

Is it any good?

If you think this expansion will provide a few more answers to some of the questions left burning at the end of the original game, think again. In order to allow Sora to travel back in time to search for Kairi, Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind introduces a whole new stew of weirdness and inconsistency within a franchise that's already burdened with more oddities and narrative holes than a ten pound wheel of Swiss cheese. And once you get through reliving a bunch of fights and videos most of which will feel very familiar, earning a handful of new story and character tidbits along the way, chances are you'll feel even less certain about everything that's happened than you did before going into the DLC (downloadable content). What might make it all worth it for some, though, is the final (secret) episode, which provides some hints as to wear the series might eventually go after the events of Kingdom Hearts III.

Of course, to get there you'll need to wade through the bonus Limit Cut episode, which has some of the toughest bosses in the entire series. You'll need an in-depth understanding of all the game's combat mechanics -- many of which casual players are likely to have ignored up until this point -- to have a realistic chance of defeating them. Many players are bound to quit in frustration and simply look up the final video on YouTube. In the end, that may be the best way to experience this expensive add-on, which costs half the price of a full game and is essentially just a rehashing of the final moments of the original game plus some tough boss fights and a short epilogue/teaser of what's to come. Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind will be fun for diehard fans and players who can't get enough of the series' combat, but others might do better saving their money.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing at kids. Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is loaded with pop culture characters that exist outside the game in TV shows, movies, games, books, and toys, so how do you keep from growing infatuated with pop culture characters specifically designed to be appealing to kids?

  • When is it appropriate to make a sacrifice for a friend? How do you determine how much to sacrifice in order to help someone?

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