One of the great things about Kingdom Hearts III is how it blends all of these worlds together, giving people new experiences with Sora, Donald, and Goofy as they head into familiar (and sometimes original) storylines. Toy Story’s Toy Box is one area that does some fun things, and another is Big Hero 6‘s San Fransokyo. This is another situation where the location, characters, and gameplay all team up to offer players things to do that you wouldn’t normally expect in a Kingdom Hearts III world.
What is really nice about San Fransokyo is how it is realistic, but not the same sort of hyper-realistic that the Pirates of the Caribbean world is We get to enjoy a modern world, but one in which Sora, Donald, and Mickey don’t look out of place. Sora’s character design is in line with Hiro’s, Fred’s, Go Go’s, Honey Lemon’s, and Wasabi’s. His keyblade works as a weapon in a world where one hero uses plasma blades, a person can “breathe fire,” and another uses various chemical compounds in the shape of bright, colorful balls that have different effects. Even Sora and Donald’s magical attacks aren’t out of place, given the explosions, lasers, and technological attacks the Big Hero 6 team is capable of.
It also allows for a seamless transition of our team into the environment. Where in the Toy Box world, the characters of Toy Story accepted everything due to their assumption that Sora, Donald, and Goofy were toys, here everything becomes plausible due to the superhero effect. A team where everyone has powers thanks to the powers of technology is very accepting of a group of people who can handle the Heartless they have been attempting to fight. To fit in, Sora doesn’t even have to change his appearance. (Though, he does get a nifty glasses that both match Big Hero 6 crowd’s duds and his outfit.)
San Fransokyo is also a world where we get to have an original story with characterizations that are true to the original movie. Big Hero 6 is an established team now. We can see that they work well together and understand the sort of threat the Heartless pose. They also acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses, something Hiro wasn’t always as aware of in the original movie, showing they have maintained the character development we remembered from the original material. They trust each other, enough so that the group is okay with splitting up to make sure different tasks are ll covered. It does feature an enemy that is something of a callback to the movie’s enemy, having Sora working with Big Hero 6 to fight the Darkubes that call to mind the film’s microbot robots that all work together.
It also means we get to see Sora and his group interact with Baymax, something that is an absolute delight. Scott Adsit returned to voice the character, which means there isn’t that strange sense of otherness like in the case of Woody where Jim Hanks, Tom Hanks’ younger brother, provides voice acting that is close, but different enough to keep things from being familiar and consistent with our memories. (All of the voice actors from the movie and/or show return.) Baymax is as charming as before, mistaking an awkward moment for characters needing a hug to increase their body heat due to standing around a cold garage. When Hiro has to do research, Baymax joins the trio to help fight the Heartless.
Once Baymax does join Sora, Donald, and Goofy, it gives us some fun things to do as we go around San Fransokyo. The team is being hampered by Darkubes in different locations. The group has to go and save them, setting them free of this sort of frustrating opponent/tool. It also allows Sora and Baymax to team up for a very handy Interceptor Wing pairing that has them dealing attacks, flying around the city’s skyline, and dealing damage together. It is very handy, considering the area that might need to be covered to take care of the Darkubes and help Big Hero 6. When Sora is riding on Baymax’s back, the game turns into a shoot’em up, and the way this is handled for different fights in San Fransokyo is pretty great. People get to explore the city and take advantage of the free movement. This is at its best in a boss fight that takes place during daylight hours.
The way the world of Big Hero 6 and its characters are pulled into Kingdom Hearts III works extraordinarily well. Sora gets to be the hero he has proven himself to be among a bunch of superheroes who are around his same age. The world isn’t all that dissimilar from his original one, allowing him to fit in without any gimmicks. The gameplay is a lot of fun, especially when Baymax joins up and Interceptor Wing can be triggered. It’s one of the best worlds in the game and shows how well Disney properties can mesh with the series’ storyline.
Kingdom Hearts III is available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.