Update: The long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 Critical Mode is coming tomorrow as a free update for players. The news about the Kingdom Hearts 3 critical mode release date was announced on the official Twitter page earlier today. The game’s director Tetsuya Nomura is promising fans that they have changed things up a bit from the previous games, so it should be pretty interesting to see what comes of that. A specific time for the update was not announced however, so you’ll need to keep an eye out tomorrow for the update. It should be pretty interesting to see what comes of the Kingdom Hearts 3 critical mode and if it really is different than the previous games.
After what seems like forever, we’ve finally seen new Kingdom Hearts 3 Critical Mode details revealed by the co-director himself, Tai Yasue, during a GDC interview with GameReactor. “We wanted to do it the right way,” starts Yasue. “It’s not just superficial,” like just increasing enemy HP bars, he continues. “We added new abilities for Critical Mode,” he continues, spelling out a focus on more technical play and offensive combat style.
The original modes allow gamers to play Kingdom Hearts 3 how they want. Anyone can cast a ton of magic spells or button-mash enemies with their latest keyblade to win. On the flip side, Critical Mode will force played to stop and think about their approach. “Cooking is very important all of the sudden,” for example. Cooked meals will bring up Sora’s stats and make battles easier, but such delicacies were never very necessary in the traditional modes. While Critical Mode will be a fair challenge, fans will have to take advantage of elements like cooking to survive.
Like in previous games, timing blocks and counters in Critical Mode is, well, critical. The artificial intelligence is smarter this time around and will attack in ways that can’t easily be dodged. Button-mashing won’t lead anywhere, and one can assume the “situational” in-game power-ups won’t be as frequent, either. If this mode is anything like the previous ones, there will also be drastic stat changes. For example, Kingdom Hearts 2’s critical mode started players with 50 AP points, more AP points were awarded on level up, and players dealt 1.25x damage over standard difficulty. However, Sora gained experience at three-quarters of the standard rate, stat bonuses were cut in half, and enemies dealt double damage.
Fans lamented Kingdom Hearts 3’s easy difficulty in comparison to the other numbered titles. Even on Proud mode, the game didn’t pose much of a challenge. Yasue is aware of this, claiming that the gameplay in 3 was for a “wider audience” instead of the hardcore. Of course, one can hope that the more interesting elements from previous Critical Mode entries will make their way into the third game.
Still making your way through Kingdom Hearts 3 or cleaning up the end-game content? Check out our Flan high score guide or our list of secret report locations. Still reeling from that ending? We’ve also got an epilogue explainer to clear things up.