Kingdom Hearts III Critical Mode and New Game Plus updates 1.04 and 1.05, all the details

Square Enix has released the first major post-launch update for Kingdom Hearts III, bringing the anticipated Critical Mode difficulty option to the game, as well some New Game bonuses and other fixes.

This newest update comes in two parts - 1.04 and 1.05 - which comes to about a 692 MB download on PlayStation 4. The former deals with Critical Mode and some other adjustments, while the latter adds a New Game Plus functionality and increases the photo limit.


Here are the official English patch notes for Version 1.04 and 1.05. For those who might be wondering, neither of these updates bring any new PlayStation trophies or Xbox One achievements.

Version 1.04

  • A new game mode (Critical Mode) with new abilities has been added.
  • Some enemy mechanics have been adjusted.
  • Treasures obtained in the Frozen Slider minigame now appear in the Summary Screen and can also be viewed in the Gummiphone.
  • A check mark now appears next to items in the Workshop menu that have already been synthesized.
  • New Game Help text and other various messages have been added.
  • Various issues have been fixed.
  • New save data will be created upon installing this version

Version 1.05

  • Keyblades and other elements from clear data can now be carried over when selecting New Game to replay the game.
  • A maximum of 200 photos can now be saved.
  • Various issues have been fixed.

Kingdom Hearts III Update 1.04 - Critical Mode

So what exactly does Critical Mode entail? According to Square Enix, Critical Mode "cuts Sora’s HP and MP in half and decreases the frequency of situation commands and magic that Sora and team can use." 

However, Sora gets a few special abilities in Critical Mode to help balance the increased difficulty. These abilities, like any other, can be toggled on and off:

  • Critical Counter: Deal extra damage with reprisals by blocking right before an enemy attack lands.
  • Critical Recharge: Fill situation command gauges more quickly while recharging MP
  • Critical Converter: Green attraction indicators no longer appear, but filling the gauge produces a formchange command. (Indicators may still appear for certain battles.)

Kingdom Hearts III Update 1.05 - New Game Plus

As for replaying the game, what specifically does the game allow players to carry over into a New Game? As stated in the patch notes, players who choose to can use any Keyblade right off the bat at the start of the game. However, it's worth mentioning that keyblades brought into a new game will not be powered up, so you'll still have to recollect materials to boost your weapon stats. The only other thing that can be brought into a replay are unlocked Selfie Poses.

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