Kingdom Hearts 3: Critical Mode difficulty changes these settings

Square Enix
Square Enix /

If you’re looking for a harder challenge in Kingdom Hearts 3, you can now raise the difficulty to the brand new Critical Mode.

As promised, Square Enix has delivered the Critical Mode to Kingdom Hearts 3. The new mode ramps up the difficulty of the game and is now the hardest setting you can play on, topping Proud Mode as the most difficult setting.

To celebrate the occasion, Kingdom Hearts 3 co-director Tai Yasue offered this personalized message to fans:

Described as “the ultimate test of your action skills,” Critical Mode tweaks a few of the game’s basic settings. With today’s update, Square Enix has detailed what those changes will entail.

For starters, Sora’s maximum HP and maximum MP are halved. The mode also lowers the frequency of situation commands as well as magic. Interestingly, there was no mention of halving the damage dealt to enemies or doubling the damage Sora receives — both common changes with Critical Mode in previous games.

Still, the changes are big enough to warrant the addition of some new abilities that are exclusive to Critical Mode, including Critical Counter, Critical Recharge and Critical Converter. These should help balance out the difficulty brought on by nerfing commands and magic.

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Another helpful feature this mode introduces is the ability for players to carry over already obtained Keyblades from the previous playthroughs into a new game. If you’ve already played Kingdom Hearts 3 and unlocked some Keyblades, you’ll have the option to access them; however, they will return to their default strength.

Kingdom Hearts 3 released back in January, marking the culmination in the Dark Seeker Saga. In App Trigger’s review of the game, reviewer Eric Chrisman said it was “a little too reliant on side entries” and remembering the complicated backstories told throughout the series. At the same time, it was also hailed as the best game in the series to date.

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Even with the complicated history leading up to Kingdom Hearts 3, the game has managed to become the best-selling title of 2019 thus far. Do you plan on playing through Kingdom Hearts 3 on Critical Mode?