Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind Review – Forget About It
It’s more of an addendum into Kingdom Hearts 3 than a meaningful addition. In certain ways, it’s fitting that a franchise as labyrinthine as Kingdom Hearts received this kind of strange growth.
Re:Mind is a brief but laborious retread of events we already experienced this past year, dressed with new details that only make the already maddeningly elaborate story all the more obtuse. The DLC also brings back Replica Data bosses, which provide a ridiculous challenge which needs inordinate level grinding.
[Editor’s Note: This review includes spoilers for the end boss and place in Kingdom Hearts 3.]
Kingdom Hearts 3 ended with Sora going off on his own to search for Kairi. Re:Mind takes you on this particular quest in typical Kingdom Hearts fashion: neither simply nor cleanly. It runs synchronously using all the events in the Keyblade Graveyard, which means you actually have to replay the climax again from the Keyblade Graveyard maze all the way into the showdown with Xehanort. Although the explanation for how this is possible is very silly, Re:Mind is essentially a director’s cut.
As a reminder, that the Keyblade Graveyard does not actually feature any exploration. It’s a collection of boss battles separated by lengthy cutscenes. Luxord still hides behind a playing card Sora, and cutscenes prevent the activity in similar spots. Unfortunately, playing as such characters really makes the slick and trendy combat less fun. All of them feel like poorer versions of Sora with limited movesets, and it also doesn’t help that the Keyblade Graveyard itself is the blandest world in Kingdom Hearts 3, devoid of the vibrant and agreeable trappings of the Disney worlds which made the majority of initial campaign hum.
The new content that is spliced to the repeated events largely fails to make the trip worthwhile. Scala advertisement Caelum opens up to reveal a new segment before you square off against Xehanort. Though the area is fairly big, it is desolate and is present only as a space to complete a rather banal fetch pursuit. It is filler content in a story filled with recycled fights.
There is a fan service arrangement that’s actually pretty enjoyable, however. Without spoiling it, it’s the kind of scene which can make fans fondly remember the decades-long travel that brought us to this point. It’s a brief event that doesn’t compensate for five hours of deja vu, but it still stands out.
For die-hard fans, the Limit Cut Episode that unlocks after viewing the same closing cutscene from the base game is that the meat of this package. Those who played Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix will be familiar with the manner, which sees Sora in a computer simulation fighting statistics versions of Organization XIII members such as Xigbar, Ansem, and Xehanort. It even features cameos from the long-lost Final Fantasy characters but maybe in Kingdom Hearts 3, we will get something new.
Unfortunately, the barrier for entry is extremely large, since Limit Cut managers are exponentially harder than some of the fights from the base game. If you didn’t grind near or most of the way to the degree 99 cap in the main campaign–and there wasn’t any requirement to–Limit Cut will feel like an insurmountable obstacle. I am still working my way through the bosses, and I seriously doubt that I’ll ever really beat all of them. The sea which exists between the difficulty of the game and the data supervisors is jarring.
It’s of course impossible to separate the DLC in the game it builds off of, and Kingdom Hearts 3’s greatest moments came from the Disney and Pixar worlds–the person stories of friendship and love and good beating evil that may be appreciated as self-contained brief tales. Re:Mind attempts to tell a very specific story, but along the way it becomes blindingly apparent that Kingdom Hearts’ strengths lie in its pieces and parts, not its convoluted sum that threads disrupts the franchise’s magical minutes in Kingdom Hearts 3
Even as a longtime fan of the show who adored Kingdom Hearts 3, it’s difficult to muster any sort of enthusiasm for Re:Mind. What’s more, Re:Mind made me understand Kingdom Hearts 3’s narrative even less, which is a testament to the way bonkers it really is. It’s not really that surprising this occurred; after all, it’s Kingdom Hearts. Nevertheless, Re:Mind is a remarkably peculiar growth that concurrently falls flat and partly obscures the brilliance of Kingdom Hearts 3.