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Best Video Game Trailers 2019

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The Top 10 Video Game Trailers of the Year

Best Video Game Trailers 2019

With 2020 fast approaching, now seems like a good time to reminisce on various elements of the gaming world from 2019. Trailers can be a great insight into an upcoming game title or they can be a total curve ball in regards to what the actual game is (*cough* Dead Island *cough*). Either way, trailers are a great way to create excitement and anticipation. Luckily for us, there were plenty of them released in 2019. We’re going to be counting down ten of the best trailers that were released this year for games across all platforms.  I will include both cinematic and gameplay focused trailers.

Side Note: It is November at the time of writing so The Game Awards have yet to happen. There can often be some good trailers released alongside the ceremony. If any great trailers come about during the awards or in December in general, I will add them to the list as special additions.

10. Death Stranding- Official Release Date Trailer- May 2019

Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding may have gotten mixed reviews upon its release on November 8th, but the trailers leading up to launch were pretty interesting. They suggested a game that was something a little bit different and, in true Kojima style, just plain weird. Whilst that all came to be the case, the game has had a polarizing response with critics. Some praise the general ingenuity and uniqueness whilst others criticised the slow and sometimes boring nature of the game. The trailer depicting the release date of the game is more of a short film than an actual trailer. At almost nine minutes long, the trailer demonstrates a little bit of everything. Various aspects of gameplay are show from traversing dangerous terrain on foot to riding motorcycles, confronting mysterious creatures known as B.T’s and using the packages you are delivering to smack people in the face. Cut scenes are also shown and there is no doubting that the games graphics are incredibly impressive. A roll call of the actors involved is also included, making the game feel even more like a movie. Including well-known film and television actors- such as Norman Reedus, Lea Seydoux and Mads Mikkelsen- with video game elite such as Troy Baker is a good way to interest fans of all sorts of media even if they aren’t particularly well versed in games. However, the odd nature of the game is still emphasised by the fact that despite the long run time and snippets of gameplay, it is still very hard to tell what is actually going on. All that I could really decipher from it after watching it for the first time was that the major theme seemed to be creating connections within humanity after some kind of event broke us apart. Maybe…? I haven’t played the game so I can honestly say that I still have no idea what is going on with Death Stranding. In a time where pointless sequels, endless reboots and tepid remakes have infiltrated every form of entertainment, Death Stranding is a breath of fresh air. No matter what the consensus was of the actual game, this trailer was epic, original and downright undecipherable at times and made for one of the best game trailers of 2019.

Death Stranding is available now for PlayStation 4 and will become available of the PC in 2020.

9. Destroy All Humans!- Official Remake Reveal Trailer- June 2019

Like I said, remakes have been dominating the entertainment industry recently. Whilst they tend to represent a lack of original ideas, video games seem to be killing it when it comes to remakes of classics. Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot and Resident Evil 2 are just a few examples of some great remakes and the next trailer in this list has the potential to be added to that list. The remake of Destroy All Humans! was announced just before E3 2019 and had one of the funniest and most bizarre trailers of the year. The trailer shows alien protagonist Crypto invading the Earth and brainwashing several inhabitants of a small town. As he does so he sings along to “Ich Will”, a song by German band Rammstein. He stages a concert and the brainwashed people rave it up before Crypto disintegrates them. The essence of the franchise is captured perfectly in the trailer. The best part is the use of the Rammstein song. “Ich Will” is integrated as part of the story of the trailer, with Crypto using it to control the minds of his victims and lure them outside to his concert.  It is not merely a background tune, but instead a key element. The graphics of the cinematic are also fun to look at as they perfectly resemble the cartoony style of the PlayStation 2 version.  It shows that Black Forest Games- the developers behind the remake- are not looking to reinvent the franchise entirely. Rather, they want to bring the fun cartoon style into a new generation of gaming. The wackiness that is Destroy All Humans! is reflected perfectly in this trailer, suggesting that the remake is in good hands.

The Destroy All Humans!  remake is due to be released early 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Google Stadia.

8. Watch Dogs: Legion- E3 Reveal Trailer- June 2019

One of the more surprisingly exciting games from E3 2019 was Watch Dogs: Legion. The next instalment in the Watch Dogs series will be set in a futuristic London under surveillance from the big bad corporations. The main selling point (the cynical may call it the gimmick) is that there is no protagonist. Instead, the player will switch between a huge cast of characters each with different skills. The developers suggest that every NPC is able to be recruited and become playable, an interesting feature if it is able to be pulled off. The premiere trailer was a fun look at the world of Watch Dogs: Legion despite it being cinematic in nature rather than gameplay focused. It shows various characters that the player will be able to take on, including a retired assassin/grandma who shoots a guy in the face. The environment also looks like an enjoyable place to roam, with London’s famous landmarks given a technological upgrade due to the futuristic time frame. The city is under the control of a private militia headed up by an army of weaponised drones, so it’s up to the player to recruit various city dwellers to form a resistance and fight back. The trailers use of music also emphasises the fun atmosphere. This is what the game seems to going for now rather than the serious tones of the marketing for the first Watch Dogs game. It hasn’t gone full Saints Row yet, but the trailer suggests a game that is weird, wonderful and- most importantly of all- fun. At the end of the day, isn’t that why we play games? For an exciting experience that takes us out of the real world for a while?  Watch Dogs: Legion’s premiere trailer offers this and I just hope the actual game delivers. It is also set in my home country of the UK too, which I always get excited for. I shall be sitting down with a nice cup of tea and looking forward to how this one plays out.

Watch Dogs: Legion was originally announced for March 2020 but was delayed to an unspecified date in 2020. It will be released for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia and possibly on the next gen consoles: the PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett.

7. Ori and the Will of the Wisps- E3 2019 Gameplay Trailer- June 2019

A follow up to the stunning Ori and the Blind Forest was announced back in 2017 and we got a new trailer to confirm the February 2020 release date at E3 this year. The trailer shows the different mechanics of the new game, showing Ori fighting off creatures like giant spiders and wolves. The aesthetic of the first game is one of the elements that made it feel so memorable and magical and this definitely continues by the looks of the trailer. There is also a certain maturity emphasised here, with Ori fighting off these monsters whereas the only option would be to run from them in The Blind Forest. There is certainly a darker tone to the enemies here too, looking more frightening and maniacal than the ones encountered in The Blind Forest. Some of the music is showcased too and it sounds just as beautiful as the incredible soundtrack to Blind Forest. The final shot of Ori soaring through the sky on the back of an adorable owl is visually stunning as well as being painfully cute. The entire art style of Ori is spectacular and this trailer only shows improvement from the first game. With spectacular visuals, threatening foes, hints of gameplay and powerful music, the Ori and the Will of the Wisps trailer earns its place as one of the best this year.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps will release on February 11th 2020 for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

6. Halo Infinite: “Discover Hope” Cinematic Trailer E3 2019- June 2019

Having been announced at E3 2018, the next chapter in Master Chief’s story received a new cinematic trailer during E3 2019. Whilst there wasn’t any gameplay shown, the trailer emphasised the nature of Master Chief’s character. We see Chief being revived by an engineer who is stranded on a spaceship. He tells the Chief that they lost their fight and there is nothing left for them there. In true Master Chief style, he refuses to run and instead decides to tackle the enemy head on. This focus on the Chief was confirmed by Chris Lee, Head of 343 Studios- who are developing the game- in a blog post. He wrote that they had heard the criticism from Halo 5 (which split time between Master Chief and Spartan Locke),saying the team also heard feedback loud and clear...In Halo Infinite, the game will focus on the Master Chief and continue his saga after the events of Halo 5.” It is clear from this trailer that this is the new strategy and it works very well. There are several call-backs in the trailer too, such as a hint of what sounds like the Halo 3 soundtrack, armour that looks very similar to Master Chief’s original look and a tease of Cortana. These elements all combine to create anticipation for a new journey with a familiar and beloved character whilst also tugging at our heartstrings via the blatant nostalgia. Add this to the awesome visuals within the cinematic and an interesting looking story (from the little it suggests) and you get one of the best trailers this year.

Halo Infinite will release during the Holiday season of 2020 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and the upcoming Project Scarlett.

5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: Official Reveal Trailer- April 2019

There was plenty of scepticism surrounding Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order following its announcement in E3 2018. Controversy was rife due to the numerous criticisms aimed at the Star Wars: Battlefront games, such as unfair micro transactions and lack of content. Fallen Order was said to be a single player experience with no multiplayer or micro transactions involved but wariness towards the title continued thanks to the track record of publishers EA. Thankfully, worries about the game were alleviated upon release. It is currently receiving mostly positive reviews. The reveal trailer- unveiled at the 2019 Star Wars celebration- was incredibly endearing despite the negative feeling that swarmed YouTube comments and Twitter posts. The trailer is cinematic in style, showing the player character Cal as he hides his true nature as a Jedi from the Empire. The trailer suggests that after saving his friend with his Jedi powers, Cal goes on the run as he is hunted down by the Imperials. The trailer suggests an interesting story and boasts some impressive cinematics. Despite the controversy at the time of release, there is no denying that Respawn Entertainment-the developers of the game- have put a lot of hard work and care into building on the world and lore of such a beloved franchise. As the trailer ends with Cal wielding a lightsaber, you can’t help but feel optimistic about the future of Star Wars in gaming as well as single player narrative based games. The power of hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I can honestly say that no matter how the game would have turned out this trailer would still be a brilliant one.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

4. Diablo 4: Official Announcement Cinematic Trailer- November 2019

This one may seem a little bit unfair as the trailer doesn’t feel so much like a cinematic but rather a mini movie in its own right, clocking at almost 10 minutes long. As one of Blizzard’s trademark animated trailers, the Diablo 4 reveal that was shown at Blizzcon 2019 is an incredible feat in terms of animation and storytelling. The trailer shows a small group of people as they escape some nasty looking guys by entering a dank dungeon that could only be opened via their blood. Not an ideal situation in the first place but things only get worse as one by one the men are sacrificed so that their blood can be used to bring forth a particularly scary looking lady demon known as Lilith. Lilith is a character who has only really had the surface of her narrative scratched within Diablo lore. She is the daughter of Mephisto, Lord of Hatred and Prime Evil, and she had a hand in creating Sanctuary- the realm where the Diablo games take place. She was a mini boss in Diablo 2 but her lore has not been delved into much in the actual games (though there is some information on her in official Diablo lore). She is depicted as incredibly imposing here, emerging from a cocoon of skin with a cape of blood and flesh flowing behind her. It all looks rather sticky. Her design, the way she is introduced and her imposing stance suggests that she will be the major villain but only time will tell. The hugely impressive animation, dark and devilish tone and intriguing hints of narrative make for a trailer that is better than most movie trailers out there today.

3. The Last of Us Part II: Release Date Reveal Trailer- September 2019

One of the most anticipated games of 2020 is The Last of Us: Part II, Naughty Dog’s sequel to the 2013 classic The Last of Us. Announced at the PlayStation Event way back in December 2016, information on the sequel has been few and far between. The most recent trailer for the game came with the PlayStation’s State of Play in September and it was definitely worth the wait. Incredible graphics show a huge upgrade from the 2013 game, which was already pretty awesome anyway. Characters look so life like that it is almost a little scary, but it doesn’t venture into the uncanny valley thankfully. The environments also look insanely beautiful. Stand out shots include some impressive snow physics as Ellie rides on horseback through a blizzard, an overgrown city and some amazing water effects as Ellie rides a boat down a river. The narrative is also hinted at and whilst it is likely that Naughty Dog will be throwing some curve balls at us to throw us off of the scent of the actual plot, the theme of revenge and how far you are willing to go to get it is prevalent. There’s a bit of gameplay too, showing Ellie mercilessly hunting down both the Infected and normal survivors on her quest for vengeance. The crowning moment is the appearance of Joel, the protagonist from the first game. He appears at the end alongside Ellie, telling her that he wouldn’t let her go alone. Joel seems weathered and aged, even more so than one might expect during the apocalypse. Fans of The Last of Us are sure to be curious as to what has gone on between him and Ellie since then. I know I certainly am. The big finale of the trailer was the February 2020 release date, which has since been pushed back. Disappointing as it always is to have to wait, Naughty Dog only want to deliver the best game they possibly can for us to enjoy. For that, I’m willing to wait as long as it takes.

The Last of Us Part II will now be released on May 29th, 2020 for the PlayStation 4.

2. Final Fantasy VII Remake- E3 2019 Trailer- June 2019

Another hotly anticipated release of 2020 is the Final Fantasy VII remake, a game that has technically been in the making since the early 2000’s. Going into full development in 2015, the game has received three trailers in the space of six months. The one I have chosen as the second best trailer of this year is the E3 2019 trailer as it shows off the perfect blend of cut scenes with a fair amount of gameplay. It is incredible to see characters who were once blocky PlayStation pixels recreated so beautifully in high definition. The same goes for the environments, the levels and the classic music. There is a new and polished feel to it but it is also extremely familiar. Even the combat that we see has an element of familiarity surrounding it, despite the large overhaul that it has had to modernise it. This is the first trailer where we get a proper look at a range of beloved characters. Some gameplay and cut scenes featuring Tifa, Aerith and Barret is shown and we also get a glimpse of the big bad Sephiroth at the very end of the trailer. This trailer is the epitome of how to do right by the game that you are remaking. For a game as influential as Final Fantasy VII, I would expect nothing less from Square Enix. Thankfully, initial reactions to the gameplay demo at E3 2019 suggest that the game is everything we are hoping for.

The Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released on March 3rd, 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.

1. Cyberpunk 2077- Official Cinematic Trailer E3 2019- June 2019

The trailer that truly took the video game world by storm this year had to be the cinematic for Cyberpunk 2077. Yet another highly anticipated 2020 game from The Witcher developers CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that has been in the making for many years. The game was announced back in 2012 and the first teaser came about in early 2013. Since then, we have been waiting patiently for more news. E3 2019 was when we got a significant look at the title, with a look at some more gameplay following on from the details we got at E3 2018. But the trailer was the main event. Despite it being a cinematic, there is a brief glimpse at how some combat works via the interactions within the trailer. As the player character V enters into combat during a shady deal gone wrong, he lets loose some rather dangerous looking metal spikes from his arms. These are known in-game as Mantis Blades, cybernetic enhancements that allow V to scale walls as well as use them as melee weapons as we see here. After taking out an enemy with the blades, V is then hacked into. His blades seem to malfunction and as we switch to V’s perspective, we see the warning “system breach” pop up. This is also something that can occur in-game- displayed in the gameplay demo- but V can be the one doing the hacking. V manages to shoot the hacker but is then shot by the last remaining bad guy. As V’s system reboots, we see that he has been left at some kind of dumping ground. He is then confronted by a character called Johnny Silverhand (played by Keanu Reeves) who instructs him to wake up as “we have a city to burn”. The appearance of Reeves at E3 2019 to announce trailer was a surprise enough but seeing him as a character-who will have a significant role in-game-was even more so. Silverhand is a “digital ghost” who will haunt the player throughout the game. Unfortunately, due to him being a ghost and all, he will not be romanceable. I plan to write a strongly worded letter about that but I digress. I believe this trailer deserves the number one spot as it manages to integrate gameplay elements into the cinematic without actually showing any gameplay. It is not just for show. Instead, it suggests what the player can choose to do when faced with the various conflicts in game. This is a smart move as it provides a narrative trailer for marketing purposes whilst also dropping hints to in game situations. I also think it is admirable that the game has accomplished all that it has so far when it is not a remake or a sequel, currently the dominating forces of all media. It is a part of the Cyberpunk franchise but this consists of a role playing board game first introduced in the 1980’s. It is refreshing for a game developer to take on a franchise that wasn’t necessarily hugely renowned. CD Projekt Red did the same with The Witcher series so I am certain they will do so with Cyberpunk too.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on April 16th, 2020.

Antonia Haynes resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. She's a simple girl with a passion for zombies, writing, film, television, drawing, superheroes, Disney and, of course, video games. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated. Follow her on Twitter on @RainbowMachete

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  1. shlilnal

    January 2, 2020 at 5:08 am

    I heard someone claim “Atlus makes better LGBTQ and female characters THAN ALL AMERICAN GAME COMPANIES!!!” which I don’t think is true. The reason it isn’t true is it’s an over generalization based on country, which isn’t fair.

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‘Coffee Talk’ Review: The Best Brew in Town

Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen.

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It’s 9:00pm. The rain just started coming down softly a few minutes ago, and the street outside is reflecting the lights above it. Neon signs shine brightly in the distance, although it’s hard to make out the words. You unlock the doors to the coffee shop and wipe down the counters in order to get them clean for the customers. The rain makes a soft sound as it hits the glass and passerby speed up their walking pace to avoid it. The bells chime as a tall, green orc walks in and sits down at your table in silence. You wonder what their story is…

I wanted to set the tone for this review because of how important atmosphere and audio/visual design is in the world of Coffee Talk. While it’s easy to boil the game down as a visual novel-type experience, it’s honestly so much more than that. A unique cast of characters, incredible user interface, and a mysterious protagonist combine to form the most enjoyable experience I’ve had this year on Switch.

Coffee Talk
Some of the subject matter can be pretty serious in nature…

Coffee Talk is beautiful because of how simple it is. The entire game takes place within a single coffee shop. As the barista, you’re tasked with making drinks for the patrons of the shop as well as making conversations with them. The twist is that earth is populated with creatures like orcs, werewolves, and succubi. The relationship between the various races is handled very well throughout the story, and some interesting parallels are made to the real world.

Making drinks is as simple as putting together a combination of three ingredients and hitting the ‘Serve’ button. If a unique drink is made, it will be added to a recipe list that can be referenced on the barista’s cell phone. This is where the awesome user interface comes in, as the phone has a series of apps that can be accessed at any moment in the game. One app houses your recipe list, another acts as a facebook for the characters in the game, one allows you to switch between songs, and the other houses a series of short stories that one of the characters in the game writes as it progresses. It’s one of the coolest parts of the whole experience and helps it stand out from other games in the genre.

Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen.

Coffee Talk cycles between talking with customers and making drinks for them. In the beginning, they will ask for basic beverages that can be brewed on the fly. Later on however, they may ask for a specific type of drink that has a unique title. These drinks often have certain descriptive features that hint at other possibilities in terms of unique dialogue. If the wrong drink is made, you’ll have five chances to trash it and make a new one. If the wrong drink is made, don’t expect the customer to be pleased about it.

The gameplay really is not the focus here though; it’s the characters and their stories that take center stage. An elf with relationship issues, a writer that can’t seem to pin down her next story, and an alien whose sole goal is to mate with an earthling are just a few of the examples of the characters you’ll meet during the story. There are tons of memorable moments throughout Coffee Talk, with every character bringing something unique to the table. The barista develops an interesting relationship with many of these characters as well.

Coffee Talk
Appearances can often be deceiving in this game.

Even though serving the wrong drinks can change some of the dialogue, don’t expect any sort of options or branching paths in terms of the story. It’s not that kind of experience; the story should simply be enjoyed for what it is. I found myself glued to the screen at the end of each of the in-game days, waiting to see what would happen in the morning. The first playthrough also doesn’t answer all of the game’s questions, as the second one is filled with all kinds of surprises that I won’t spoil here.


Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen. It’s an easy recommendation for anyone who loves video games, not just visual novel fans. There are characters in the game that I’ll certainly be thinking about for a long time, especially when the setting brings out the best in them. Don’t pass this one up.

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The Magic of Nintendo: How Mario and Zelda Connect us to Our Inner Child

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Magic of Nintendo

Nintendo is special. Many excellent developers depend upon story or progression systems to entice engagement, but not Nintendo. Nintendo games captivate because of their immediate charm. There is no need for a payoff. The games, themselves, are enough: they elicit feelings, hard to find in adulthood. Through intrepid discovery, playful presentation, and unfiltered whimsy, the best of Nintendo connects gamers to their childlike selves.

The heart of any great Nintendo game is discovery and no encounter encapsulates this better than Breath of the Wild’s Eventide Island. First, finding the island requires genuine gumption. Found far from Hyrule’s shore, the island is only clearly visible from other islands, and even then, it’s only a speck in the distance. Reaching the island requires players to brave the open ocean and head towards something … that could be nothing. Then, upon arriving on the beach, a spirit takes all the player’s gear, including clothes and food. Link, literally, is left in his underwear. From there, players must make clever use of Link’s base skills in order to steal enemy weapons and make traps. The scenario creates a marvelous sense of self-sufficiency brought on by one’s own desire to discover. The player comes to the island purely of their own choosing, tackles the sea, and then overcomes obstacles without the aid of their strongest tools. The game turns players into plucky children who are discovering they can take care of themselves.

The intrepidity of Breath of the Wild and other Nintendo greats mirrors the feelings Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of many Nintendo franchises, experienced as a child. “I can still recall the kind of sensation I had when I was in a small river, and I was searching with my hands beneath a rock, and something hit my finger, and I noticed it was a fish,” Miyamoto told the New Yorker. “That’s something that I just can’t express in words. It’s such an unusual situation.” In sequences like Eventide Island, players don’t just understand what Miyamoto describes, they feel it: Apprehension gives way to exhilaration as the unknown becomes a place of play.

 Nintendo’s intrepid gameplay is often amplified by playful presentation with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island being the quintessential example. The game’s visuals, defined by pastel colors and simple hand-drawings, appear crayoned by a child while the celestial chimes that punctuate the jubilant soundtrack evoke shooting stars. The overall effect cannot be understated. It takes the surreal and turns it real, allowing players to interact, tangibly, with imagination.

Super Mario Odyssey Wooden Kingdom

Even if one removes the presentation and gameplay from Nintendo’s masterpieces, an unabashed creativity remains that bucks norm and convention. The arbiter is fun; reason and logic have no say. For instance, Super Mario Odyssey’s Wooded Kingdom, takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting akin to Nier Automata. Players explore the metal remnants of a civilization that has become a lush home to robotic beings. However, unlike Nier, the dark undertones of the past have no bearing on the game or those who inhabit its universe. The post-apocalyptic setting is just a fun backdrop. It’s as though a bunch of children got together, began playing with toys, and one of the kids brought along his sibling’s adult action figures. There is no attention paid to the context, only unfiltered imagination.

When they’re at their best the creators at Nintendo invite gamers to come and play, like a parent arranging a play date. Pulled along by joyful gameplay that expands in unforeseen ways, players desire to play for the sake of play. It’s a halcyon state of being: No messy thoughts or contradiction, just joy.

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

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some other trash.

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Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

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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