Those that are actually interested in my work and gaming habits here at Pure PlayStation know there’s a lot (quite literally a metric f**k ton) for me to unpack regarding how Kingdom Hearts 3’s story was a bust. Even as I was writing this paragraph I almost went into a spiel about that and luckily stopped myself. I will save that for another article though where I’ll touch upon those thoughts once more and detailing how Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC absolutely saved the plot of the nonsequential third game. Perhaps even explaining the secret ending. Now it doesn’t uncomplicate matters or streamline the time-traveling, heart transporting, vessel creations and all that. However, it does make sense of it all with expanded details and scenes and even lightly retcons some events. As happy as I am there’s still absolutely no reason all of this shouldn’t have been in Kingdom Hearts 3 last year. After completing Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind it’s incredibly easy to notice the VAST holes in storytelling we were meant to just know in the base game.
Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind mostly takes place “during” the events of the many ending battles in the last act of the title. There are some cutscenes and combat challenges after the Kingdom Hearts 3 story wraps up and lays the way for whatever the sequel may be called. Also, a few exposition dumps from before Young Xenahort first starting concocting his plan of destroying life, but after the events of Kingdom Hearts Union Cross. Back to the present, Sora has decided to use the power of waking (which is still unexplained how he achieved it earlier in the game) again to save Kairi. For those that forgot she was quasi-murdered by Master Xenahort before the final battle. Turns out she wasn’t killed and rather preserved so to speak so her guardian of light status was still in play. Something about Xenahort’s backup plan for the giant, dark Kingdom Hearts in the sky.
With Chirithy’s help, Sora is guided back to the past once again to travel to between the heroes’ hearts but without his body. Our furry compatriot states this is needed because it would break the power of waking’s abilities and would incur further wrath on Sora for alternating the flow of nature multiple times already. So he cannot just simply “find” Kairi again and reconstruct her first. Alongside this main narrative, a few battles that took place in The Skein of Severance are fleshed out more with added details and scenes. Believe me, they were a joy to experience again and have the proceedings make a coherent, logical sense. Lastly, as this isn’t really a spoiler in 2020, the ending of Kingdom Hearts 3 saw Sora disappear. You best believe there are also explanations and setups on how the other characters are reacting.
Gameplay is more of the same with all the techniques, abilities, and items still at Sora’s disposal. The one pleasing and awesome difference is receiving the Oathkeeper keyblade at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind’s start. This classic weapon attributes its combat style with form changes as well. Only the form change is rocking out the Oblivion keyblade in tandem. That’s right! This iconic duo is duel-wielded again and let me tell you it claps. The power, style, and speed it has fitted right in with Kingdom Hearts 3’s fast-paced, overpowered gameplay. Oathkeeper can be upgraded too just like all the others at a Moogle shop. It was just a great way to start this DLC right.
With new scenes and battles to be had, you better believe it’s not just Sora who gets all the action. At some minuscule level, you’ll be able to play as all the heroes of light, but there are some fights, both old and new, where you’ll be able to play as other characters entirely. Kairi also claps by the way. They have the same mechanics as the rest of the Kingdom Hearts gameplay, but with different combos and techniques. This character swapping works well and I’m very happy it was included. It’s also worth mentioning that there are some badass moments and set pieces between everyone to enjoy here that blows the rest of the base game away. This portion of Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind took me about six hours to complete and I highly recommend anyone as disappointed as I was to invest that time
Once your quest of making sense of things ends, there are another thirteen data battles against the Organization. Although this time the Radiant Garden team of Leon, Yuffie, Aerith, and Cid have discovered that once these battles are bested, Sora may be located. Yes, the core Final Fantasy characters are back briefly and are working with Ansem the Wise, Ienzo, Demyx, Vexen (who’s nonsensical changing sides still doesn’t make sense), Dilan, and Aeleus to locate Sora. These new Organization battles are straight ridiculous if I’m being blunt. No easy mode here as you can’t hack and slash and have to time defense and offensive options. In complete honesty, I attempted one of them and noped out. As a still, somewhat, recent proper father of two and a backlog of games to work on, I don’t have time to master the ins and outs each of these battles would require. However, if you are looking for a challenge for once in Kingdom Hearts 3, this is it.
Now I, of course, purchased the $40 Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind offering. Which means I got the Kingdom Hearts World Orchestra tour recordings to view and listen to at my leisure. It by no means matches the experience I had watching this live in New York, but it’s still a nice addition for those that didn’t see it in person and for Kingdom Hearts fans in general. Even right now I’m listening to all the songs as I write this review. The video quality of the orchestra performing their craft could have been better though. As far as a ten-dollar upgrade goes though I’ve seen a lot worse. Finally, there’s a Data Greeting mode which some of you may have already seen and not realized. The pictures and straight memes of Kingdom Hearts characters making their way around the internet? Yea, this is that. You can enter a photo editor and choose different locations, character models, character poses, and expressions for snapshots of your choosing. Personally not my cup of tea but many are relishing this ability.
Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC PS4 Review
Overall - Must Buy - 9/10
Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC is a must for both Kingdom Hearts fans and Kingdom Hearts fans disappointed with the story. It fixes many of the problems and near all of the major ones. A nice cherry on top of this are wonderful new battles and the inclusion of Oathkeeper. I didn’t use another keyblade at all. The thirteen data battles were a little too opposite end of the difficulty problem for my liking, but I was able to unwind thanks to the Kingdom Hearts World Orchestra recordings. Kingdom Hearts 3 has by no means entirely made up for what it put me through this past year, but that whimsical light in me is back on and I’m more than looking forward to the next game.
- Almost universally makes up for the lack of details and plot information that should have been in the base game, to begin with
- Great new moments and battles that put the base game to shame
- Extra content can be enjoyed by the hardcore masochist all the way to the relaxing pacifist
- Not all story problems are explained
- New Organization data battles too far on the difficulty rebound fix for me
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital version of the DLC bought at retail at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed on a PS4 Pro.