Entertainment

‘Kingdom Hearts 3: ReMind’ begins at the end

Dark Aqua looms behind her Light counterpart.
Dream Eaters, former enemies turned allies, gather on the beach of the Destiny Islands.
Sora poses with the Flan enemies.
All the Guardians of Light and company pose for a selfie.
Master Xehanort stands in front of the ocean city of Scala ad Caelum
Sora looks on as clouds float by in the Final World.
Goofy, Sora and Donald admire their new “toy” disguises.
Heartless chase the trio at Port Royal.
Ventus and Aqua fight a Xehanort possessed Terra.
Master Xehanort throws his x-blade as Sora blocks.

This article may contain spoilers for “Kingdom Hearts 3: ReMind.”

The key to a good reminder is revisiting what has already happened.

A little over a year after “Kingdom Hearts 3” hit the shelves, the first paid downloadable content for the game “Kingdom Hearts 3: ReMind” was released on Jan. 23.

“ReMind” acts as a story expansion to the third installment in the series, including several different sections divided up into “episodes.”

The first episode titled “ReMind” takes place both before and after the end of the game.

Picking up right before the end of “KH 3,” we see Sora return to The Final World in the hopes of recovering his friend Kairi, who was lost during the battle at the Keyblade Graveyard.

Knowing that saving her would result in the loss of his own life, Sora’s heart is sent back in time to the beginning of the Keyblade War, the start of the game’s climax.

From there, Sora travels between the hearts of each of his comrades, searching for a link to where Kairi may be.

The second episode, titled the “Limicut episode” takes place after the finale of the initial game, with Sora’s friends trying to search for him after his disappearance at the end of “3.”

The last episodic addition, only referred to as the “Secret episode” takes us back to Sora after his disappearance, waking up in The Final World once again.

There, he encounters a boy named Yozora who proclaims he’s there to rescue Sora.

Yozora’s presence is especially confusing, as he was previously seen in the “Toy Story”-based world of The Toy Box as a fictional character in the game “Verum Rex.”

However, Yozora draws his weapon on our dumbfounded protagonist and we get one final showdown, with both “Good” and “Bad” endings depending on the outcome of the fight.

These three episodes make up a large portion of what the DLC contains, with some additional features existing.

The first addition to the game’s content that is unrelated to the story is the Premium Menu.

The Premium Menu is an options menu that appears upon starting a new game for the base game of “Kingdom Hearts 3.”

In this menu, players have the option of choosing between “EZ (Fast Pass)” and “PRO (Black Codes)” premium codes.

The codes add perks or limits to the gameplay to make the experience easier or more challenging.

Each set of codes also comes with its own set of bonuses depending on how many codes are enabled at once.

The downside of unlocking these codes lies within fulfilling certain merits that increase your rank within each mode.

In regards to the EZ merits, they are usually challenges to be completed during normal gameplay and free roaming.

Unfortunately, PRO merits are exclusively fulfilled during boss fights, meaning that if you fight the one-time boss and do not earn the merit, you won’t have the chance to complete it again.

The other mode added is “Data Greeting” mode, a simple but fun photo booth mode that allows players to place and pose characters in a variety of locations with the addition of photo filters and props.

While “ReMind” includes some interesting features, the primary focus of the DLC is adding onto the story of the base game.

The “Kingdom Hearts” series has always polarized players as a result of its complex story line, which spans across 13 different games and is seen on different game consoles.

To say “ReMind” is any different wouldn’t be doing the DLC any favors in the eyes of some, but to those who delight in the story it is an exciting addition.

The biggest drawback of the ReMind episode is how familiar it already is.

When Sora is sent back to the past at the beginning of the Keyblade War with his friends, a large portion of the episode is spent fighting through a boss gauntlet that has already been completed if the base game was already finished.

It isn’t until near the end of the episode where the enjoyment begins to pick up a bit.

Following a dull search quest across the city of Scala ad Caelum, players are taken back to the Keyblade Graveyard where the seven Guardians and company begin to face off against thirteen clones of Xehanort.

This battle allows the player to take control of nearly every Guardian simultaneously, demonstrating how far their teamwork capabilities have evolved over the course of the series.

The combat within the sequence isn’t any more elaborate than hitting attack and guard, but there are occasional special moves to execute that activate quick cut scenes showing different pairings of the group working and fighting together.

The strength of the sequence certainly doesn’t come from the combat itself, but rather the satisfaction of seeing the ragtag group band together as one unit for the first time.

The Limicut episode doesn’t feature much story content aside from quick cut scenes bookending the content of the episode.

The episode also features the return of “Final Fantasy” characters Aerith, Leon, Yuffie and Cid, characters that were completely absent in the base game, much to the dissatisfaction of fans.

The premise of the episode focuses on Cid compiling all of Sora’s combat data, along with the rest of Xehanort’s Organization XIII in hopes of finding some trace of where Sora has disappeared to.

The actual gameplay of the episode is nothing more than another boss gauntlet.

It involves the same Organization XIII members that players have now already fought twice during the Keyblade War climax and the ReMind DLC.

While these boss characters return, they now have different move sets and are much more difficult to fight.

The DLC adds new voice actors such as Christopher Lloyd who now voices Master Xehanort after the passing of Rutger Hauer, who had replaced Leonard Nimoy.

Along with Lloyd, former Disney Channel actor Dylan Sprouse now voices Yozora, as the character was silent in any scenes featuring him before.

Altogether, “ReMind” is a mixed bag of quality.

It builds upon the story, but features gameplay elements that are recycled or do not add much depth other than the new boss fights.

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