Kingdom Hearts 3 is crazy, delightful and packed with Disney glitter, but it's also denser than your grandma's rum cake and full of hidden features. It's been 13 years since Kingdom Hearts 2, so even an OG fan like myself rolled into Kingdom Heart 3 a little bit rusty on proper keyblade etiquette. To save you the same fate when you get your hands on the game, here are the essential Kingdom Hearts 3 tips you need to know.
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1. Keep Goofy and Donald in line
As party members go, Goofy and Donald are pretty good at looking after themselves in battle. As the fights get tougher though, you'll want to make sure their priorities match your needs. Me, I play like a tank on meth, oblivious to danger and desperate to land every hit. To make sure Goofy and Donald had my back I went into the Pause menu, then Customize, then to the Friends section. I set Donald's Recovery settings to make sure his healing was at the "Use Like Crazy" setting and he would always heal Sora. This means that I can focus on the big attacks, knowing that the grumpy Duck has my back when it comes to potions.
2. Keep your bellies and your boosts topped up
All that cooking with Remy at the Bistro is a nice break from battles, but it also is a great way to keep the team buffed. Head into cuisine, choose a menu (or let the chef choose) and enjoy boosts your Strength, Magic, Defense, Max HP and Max MP stats. You'll know when these boosts are active because back on the main screen there'll be a little knife and fork next to Sora's boyish face.
3. Tents aren't just for Boy Scouts
Cheap and cheerful and the perfect way to reset the team's health out in the world, stock up on these whenever you can. You can't use them in battle but you can completely heal your party and top up their MP after big battles, or when you get the sneaking suspicion that a big fight might be on the horizon.
4. Lucky Emblems and photo missions are for more than just killing time
Even if you're not usually a completionist in RPGs, hunting down Kingdom Hearts 3 Lucky Emblems (images of Mickey Mouse) and photo assignments - like snapping a picture of Olaf or a statue of Hercules - worth your time. They're easy to do and you'll get items and vital resources for very simple work. Oh, and remember some Lucky Emblems aren't simple pictures, some are items (like a set of hanging disco balls) that you need to find the right perspective on to snap the image.
5. Using Link completely restores your health
You can use Link in battle - a power that summons a character like Ariel the mermaid or the Simba the lion to fight with you - for massive damage. It's worth knowing though that it also completely heals you. If things are looking really dire, potions are low and you are making tough decisions on what to spend MP on, Link is always worth it.
6. You can turn off the cinematics
Look, I like a pretty animation as much as the next millennial who was raised on cartoons and sugary cereal, but once you've seen Simba arrive with an impressive roar 59 times it can start to feel a little... familiar. Want to save some precious seconds and skip all that? Go into Config in the Pause menu and you can turn off Attraction Cinematics (those cool special attacks based on Disney rides like Splash Mountain), Link Cinematics and even switch Keyblade Cinematics to basic.