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There’s A Lot Of Untapped Potential In Kingdom Hearts Mods

When it was announced that the entire Kingdom Hearts franchise was coming to EGS last month, I was terrified. The cast of Kingdom Hearts are some of the most beloved and innocent (and underaged) characters in all of gaming, so of course, modders are probably frothing at the mouth to defile them. In the two weeks since the games came out on PC, surprisingly, I haven’t had to make one call to the horny police. In fact, mods for Kingdom Hearts are pretty scarce so far. There’s a ton of potential in KH mods, as long as they stay PG, of course.

The only mods available on NexusMods are all for Kingdom Hearts 3. If there are mods out there for 1.5 +2.5, 2.8, or Melody of Memory, I haven’t been able to find them. The Kingdom Hearts 3 mods that are available today are mostly asset swaps. This isn’t surprising, considering asset swaps are some of the easiest mods to do and people seem to like reskinning characters and changing the models. Right now, you can replace Sora with either Roxas or Cloud and change out several of the keyblades for different models. There are also some different outfit options for Sora, including ones based on the forms from Kingdom Hearts 2, a custom texture based on Yozora’s outfit, and my favorite, Drip Sora.

There are also a few mods that change the models of other characters. There’s a simple mod for changing KH3 Vanitas into his much cooler Remnant form, a mod to replace the Twilight Town train with Thomas the Tank Engine, and a mod called Kairi In A White Dress that “gives Kairi a nice white dress.” It’s borderline, but I’ll allow it.

Beyond these texture and model swaps, there are just a handful of mods that actually affect gameplay. One I would recommend is the Re:Mind Ability Integration mod that rewards you with the DLC abilities as you progress through the game rather than unlocking all of them at once when you finish the main story. There’s also a mod that removes all of the wall effects, which improves the game simply by taking an underdeveloped mechanic out of it. I like these types of QoL mods, but modders can go much further with Kingdom Hearts.

The mod at the top of my list would overall the combat in KH3 and return it to the more weighty and fast-paced action of Kingdom Hearts 2. So much of the challenge and technique of the series was lost in Kingdom Hearts 3, and it would be awesome to see some mods that could help bring that back. There are some current mods that affect damage scaling, which helps, but KH3 needs a full “Combat 2.0” overhaul.

Kingdom Hearts 3 also has some pretty major pacing issues that mods could solve. Maybe the entire Keyblade War scenario at the end of the game (and repeated in Re:Mind) could be broken up and spaced out between the Disney World so that the final act doesn’t feel like one long grind. Maybe the Frozen world could be removed entirely. There’s a lot of opportunity to tighten up KH3, even if that just means removing some of the backtracking.

Cosmetic mods are always nice to have, but I’m waiting for the mods that overhaul the game in major ways. Maybe I’ve underestimated how long it takes to create meaningful mods, but after a couple of weeks, I’m surprised there isn’t a lot more already.

Next: Modders Add Hayner, Pence, and Olette’s Original Outfits To Kingdom Hearts 3

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Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey…but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.

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