‘Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind’: An Utterly Shameless Cash Grab

by Mike Worby

In the 15 year long history of DLC, we have seen some really shameless displays. The notorious horse armor incident of 2006 and a notable day one DLC for the ending game of a trilogy notwithstanding, few companies have had the utter audacity to offer so little content for such a high price point. Enter Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind.

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some social media nonsense for people who really hate themselves. That’s really it, that’s what you get. Honestly, Square-Enix should be utterly embarrassed by this DLC.

It’s been one year: 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes, or 31556952 seconds, since the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Let that sink in as you begin the meat of Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind. Think of it as the extended version of a movie you really like… you know, the kind where they add 4 minutes to the 120 minute runtime.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind, really is that cynical. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the game literally starts with an exact cut scene from the base game, and a cut scene that happens to be available from the theater mode of the main game that you’ve already bought if you’re playing this DLC. Yes, the introduction to this new content is… content you’ve already seen.

In fact, that’s kind of the sticking point here: most of what you get for your hard-earned cash is footage you’ve already seen, and battles you’ve already fought, and story you’ve already experienced, just with slight alterations for context. Remember back in the 2000s, when we were super obsessed with prequels? This is like that, except even more egregious.

Generally I’m not so unforgiving as to call a company out for a forthright cash grab, but that’s absolutely what Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is. There’s just no other way to put it. You might find someone in the marketing department for Square-Enix who would disagree, but being a company that has faced just these sort of allegations for their last two major releases, Square-Enix either doesn’t read the news, or doesn’t care what people think of their products.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Square-Enix was roundly accused of shipping unfinished products in the case of both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III — their two most high profile releases of the last decade. I personally gave mostly positive reviews of both games for this very website but if you want ammo to suggest that this company is deliberately trading on the nostalgia and passion of its fan base in order to make financial headway, there are few examples you could draw from that are as obvious as this DLC.

Look, maybe you’re a really big Kingdom Hearts fan. Maybe you just really wanted to know what the context was for that cliffhanger ending in Kingdom Hearts III. Maybe you just don’t do much research before you buy something. Or maybe… you just really trust this company for some reason.

Hey, I’m not judging… hell, I bought this DLC for $40 same as anyone else. I oughta be honest that I’m not reviewing Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind as some holier than thou critic, talking down to you from my position of privilege. No, I’m an angry consumer in this particular case. I’m a person who spent enough to replace a flat tire on my car, or buy my family dinner, on a game that is clearly playing off of my love for a franchise, and using it to bilk me out of money in a method that is so clear, and so concise, that those involved in the entire endeavor should be totally embarrassed for their part in the creation, marketing, pricing, and distribution of this expansion.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, fans had their complaints about Kingdom Hearts III. “Where are the hardcore boss battles? Where are the Final Fantasy characters? Where are the secret areas? Where are the hidden plot developments?” Still, to address these particular complaints by hammering a few minutes or seconds here and there into already existing content is truly like spitting in the faces of the people who have built the house you’re living in.

I haven’t sat in the board rooms at Square-Enix and I haven’t been in email chains about the planning of projects at their company but what I can say is that there is something rotten in Denmark if this is what passes for a satisfying piece of content for the wildly devoted fans of a hugely popular franchise in 2020. Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is literally, truthfully, and succinctly, the worst piece of DLC I’ve ever purchased.

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Timothy Dolan January 28, 2020 - 4:23 pm

I can whole heatedly say that I picked this DLC up because I heard they were bringing the FF Characters back, and what they gave me has not only killed any desire to pay for any KH game in the future. In fact, this combined with them milking FF7 fans for nostalgia, may be the end of my SquareEnix purchases all together.

Mike Worby January 28, 2020 - 5:47 pm

Right there with you. It genuinely makes me skeptical about the FFVII remake I was previously so excited for.

Luke January 28, 2020 - 4:55 pm

Yikes. Just yikes. What about the Scala Ad Caelum expansion? What about the continuation of story content? The work that probably went in to coding, testing and balancing 14 superbosses? Even in these bosses alone, there are callbacks in their movesets to previous Kingdom Hearts titles. What about the creation of new areas via the boss arenas? Playing through this content, you can see the work that SE put into it. Whilst you may not like ReMind (and you are more than entitled to this opinion), as any kind of Kingdom Hearts can you must know how well this DLC has been received. And, instead of having to buy a brand new title as SE has previously done witj the likes of Kingdom Hearts II, we got a cheaper (albeit slightly), DLC package. Your article goes too far.

As for your comment prior to mine, this was not a ‘rehash’. This built upon what we have already seen and tied in preexisting (and in some cases heavily modified!), cutscenes. I’m going to call creative difference here – I would not have written this article this way, at all. Especially if goombastomp.com is interested in clicks. Stuff like what I said about how movesets incorporate previous attacks should be mentioned and celebrated. Use your journalistic abilities to teach the reader something and draw attention to the article.

Mike Worby January 28, 2020 - 5:50 pm

The super bosses, as you call them, are just recorded versions of the enemies fought in the endgame battles of KH3. They’ve just been buffed and altered slightly. As for Scara Ad Caelum, that’s just an expanded version of an area we already played in the base game. And I didn’t say there was no new content, just that 80% of it is recycled.

Jenna January 28, 2020 - 7:01 pm

It’s $30 but okay. I do agree that $30 is still a tad expensive but I’ve seen much worse expensive dlc for a tiny bit of content.

Mike Worby January 28, 2020 - 9:05 pm

Honestly, if it was $10 I’d be fine with it. That’s a reasonable price for this content. Also, I’m in Canada, and I paid 42.39 for this DLC.

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