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Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts survey photo
Kingdom Hearts survey

Kingdom Hearts survey references last-gen consoles, Vita, Wii U

Also asks about localization
Jun 10
// Jed Whitaker
The official Kingdom Hearts Facebook page posted a survey for fans to fill out that will be available till June 12. It asks about how important it is to fans to have games localized in their own language, be it text...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Looks like Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] will be coming to North America after all

Remember when KH was just a trilogy?
May 14
// Alissa McAloon
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi], the iOS and Android game announced earlier this week, might actually be coming to North American devices. In an interview with Famitsu, Tetsuya Nomura mentioned that the app is currently ...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Newly announced Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] is adorable as heck

Japan always gets the best things
May 13
// Alissa McAloon
Usually I wouldn't make this big of a deal over something that is (so far) only releasing in Japan, but Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] is just too cute to pass up. The iOS and Android game is based off a Japan-only...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Battlefield Hardline, Banjo-Kazooie, Final Fantasy XV, and more

Zen distilled stories
Mar 23
// Darren Nakamura
Last week we took a break from the usual poetic news recaps to highlight our favorite games from PAX East, but now we are back in the swing of things. You can check out all of the past episodes on the Game News Haikus YouTub...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Cancelled Kingdom Hearts concept art with Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Star Wars

Two new key wielders we may never know
Mar 15
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: As pointed out by Drake in the comments, there is some debate as to whether these are real or not, although no concrete evidence has been shown either way. So take the following with a grain of salt and I'll update i...

Holy hindsight! Five series that should have been on Wii

Mar 10 // Tony Ponce
In a 2009 interview with Kotaku's Stephen Totilo, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime expressed frustration regarding why the biggest third-party titles were skipping Wii: "I've had this conversation with every publisher who makes content that is not available on my platform. The conversation goes like this: 'We have a 22-million unit installed base. We have a very diverse audience... We have active gamers that hunger for this type of content. And why isn't it available?'" The unfortunate reason was that, prior to Wii's launch, most publishers didn't have faith in Nintendo's unconventional strategy, especially coming off of GameCube's lukewarm performance. By the time they realized that Wii mania was real, they were too entrenched in HD development to easily shift gears. When support did come, it was in the form of minigame collections and low-priority efforts farmed out to C-team studios, most of which seemed to target the stereotypical "casual" gamer while ignoring the rest of the audience. The Wii wasn't conceived as a "casual machine," but rather a low-risk development option that could ideally satisfy everyone -- with a focus on videogame newbies, true, but not an exclusive focus. From the beginning, there was enormous interest among the enthusiast crowd for more substantial software, but as the years slipped away and their needs weren't met, they simply turned their attention elsewhere. There were sporadic attempts to appeal to enthusiasts, though most typically fell into the mid-tier category -- the types of games that, on a well-served platform, would help round out the library. But without headliners to attract an audience in the first place, the MadWorlds and Little King's Storys of the world were stuck playing an empty venue. It's clear that the Wii was no powerhouse and wouldn't have been able to realize many of the eventual HD hits in a satisfactory fashion. However, you can't tell me that publishers weren't sitting on golden preexisting properties that could have easily been adapted to the hardware -- properties that had a near guaranteed chance of finding success, which would in turn have led to a greater influx of auxiliary Wii software and a healthier third-party ecosystem overall. Just to name a few examples... Kingdom Hearts Remember the rumors years ago that Kingdom Hearts III on Wii might be happening? A series whose chief draw is allowing you to visit famous Disney worlds and battle alongside famous Disney heroes seemed like the obvious choice for a Nintendo platform, where family-friendly entertainment is the order of the day. Square Enix thought so too, just not in the manner we had hoped. Following Kingdom Hearts II in 2005, numerous word-building side stories and interquels were released on portables, with the bulk appearing on Nintendo machines. One in particular, Dream Drop Distance for 3DS, was even billed as a lead-in to the eventual Kingdom Hearts III. Meanwhile, the series was completely absent on home consoles. This would have been a perfect opportunity for Square Enix to port KHI and II onto Wii in their "Final Mix" forms. That way, those who followed the series on PS2 would be able to transition smoothly, while others with little exposure to the games would have the perfect entry point. And with all these returning and newly minted fans on Wii, maybe the PSP-exclusive Birth By Sleep would have had another platform on which to score sales, which were otherwise soft in Western territories. Metal Gear When Super Smash Bros. Melee was brought out West, it introduced players to Marth and Roy, two unknown characters from a Japan-exclusive franchise called Fire Emblem. The warm reception these fresh faces received gave Nintendo the incentive to start localizing future installments in the tactical RPG saga. I had hoped that Solid Snake's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl would have led to a similar decision regarding Metal Gear, but no dice. Why was Snake in Brawl to begin with? Definitely not because of his rich history on Nintendo platforms -- Metal Gear did more for PlayStation than it ever did for NES. No, it's because Hideo Kojima practically begged Masahiro Sakurai to put him in. Regardless of how the arrangement came about, Snake was a welcome addition to the Smash roster, quickly rising to the top of many players' lists of favorite fighters. A smart publisher would have tried to capitalize on that kind of exposure. Konami could have tested the waters with a Wii reprint of The Twin Snakes, which had become quite rare in its original GameCube format. Follow that up with with MGS2 and 3 ports, possibly an up-port of Peace Walker as well. MGS4 was never going to come over for obvious reasons, but hey, 360 didn't get it either, and Xbox and Metal Gear are good buddies these days. Instead, the only Metal Gear to appear on a Nintendo platform post-Brawl was Snake Eater 3D, which was made redundant a few months later with the release of HD Collection on Vita. One of the most popular characters in Nintendo's all-star roundup wound up being nothing more than advertisement for competing platforms, even though he didn't have to be. Street Fighter Did you know, if we disregard the combined-SKU Resident Evil 5, that the original Street Fighter II for Super Nintendo is the single best-selling game in Capcom's history at 6.3 million copies? It also happens to be the best-selling third-party game in the SNES library -- and that's before we even factor in the various updates! Among Wii owners were a fair number of lapsed gamers -- people who may have gamed in the arcades or on an NES or SNES back in the day but have since lost interest. I guarantee a significant cross section of that group were former SFII players itching for a proper follow-up. And since the goal of the Street Fighter IV project was to make the series accessible again to the widest possible audience, it would have behooved Capcom to include in its multi-platform plans the console built entirely around the concept of accessibility. You can't tell me that SFIV was dependent on high-end hardware -- it was designed to be a traditional 2D fighter with 3D window dressing. The fact that a spot-on port was later developed for 3DS, with static backgrounds as the sole concession, should be all the proof that a Wii version could have looked and played just fine. If you want to argue that SFIV was ill-suited to Wii because the Wii Remote was an inappropriate fighting game controller, I think you're overestimating the general game-playing public's need for the "perfect gaming controller." Besides, anyone who desired a more traditional pad would have made the effort to buy one -- such as with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Speaking of TvC, there's a game that strikes a fine balance between technical skill and accessibility. Although I appreciate the effort it took to localize such a licensing nightmare, that seahorse in the logo was the kiss of death -- only hardcore anime aficionados had the slightest inkling who these strange new characters were. It's odd that Capcom would invest in TvC yet couldn't be bothered to hammer out an adequate SFIV port, which would have had a significantly larger shot at finding a receptive audience on Wii. Persona Atlus has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Nintendo since the former's founding in 1986, and that relationship thrives to this day. In fact, over the past generation, the bulk of Atlus' in-house productions have found an exclusive home on Nintendo platforms, including new IPs like Etrian Odyssey, Trauma Center, and Radiant Historia. Of important note is how Atlus has gradually been shifting the entire Megami Tensei franchise back into the Nintendo camp, beginning with Devil Survivor on DS and culminating with Shin Megami Tensei IV on 3DS. One particular MegaTen sub-series, however, has remained with Sony: Persona. It's apparent that Atlus was reluctant to jump into HD development right away. Releasing Persona 3 as a late-gen PlayStation 2 title was one thing, but sticking to PS2 for Persona 4 as well? That earned the company quite a few stares. But if Atlus was insistent on squeezing out every last ounce from legacy hardware, why not prep those Personas for simultaneous release on the low-spec Wii as well? Atlus already had a Wii development pipeline in place, so the financial risk would have been extremely minimal. Wii versions could have only added to those games' success. The series has finally come to Nintendo in the form of Persona Q on 3DS, although the game's main selling point -- the crossover of P3 and P4 characters -- would feel more appropriate had those two titles actually appeared on a Nintendo platform prior. Grand Theft Auto "Nintendo has done all it can to persuade Take-Two Interactive Software to bring the Grand Theft Auto franchise to Nintendo consoles, and it is now up to the third-party publisher to decide whether Rockstar Games' immensely popular series will appear on Wii." Reggie Fils-Aime shared this nugget in December 2006, shortly after the Wii's launch, to let the world know that Nintendo desired the violent crime series on its hardware (those Game Boy Color and Advance titles don't count). Sadly, Take-Two didn't seem to want to play ball and even laughed at the notion just one year later, when then-executive chairman Strauss Zelnick asserted, "[T]here are other titles better suited to the Wii than Grand Theft Auto." Nonetheless, talks continued, and Take-Two and Rockstar Games eventually decided to give Nintendo a shot... with a DS game. That's not what fans were asking for, but baby steps, we figured. Take-Two CEO Ben Feder did state that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was an important step in the company's relations with Nintendo and suggested that this new title could pave the way for future developments. The rest is sick, sad history. Chinatown Wars earned rave reviews, becoming the highest-ranked DS title on Metacritic, yet sold just under 90,000 copies in the US in its launch month. Not willing to take any chances, Rockstar quickly announced PSP and mobile ports. Mature games were reaffirmed as poison on DS, and all hopes of another GTA on a Nintendo platform vanished. Let's try to understand why Chinatown Wars failed. First, GTA is not a handheld series. Some brands are simply better suited to home consoles than handhelds or vice versa -- Monster Hunter, for instance. Yeah, both Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories on PSP were million sellers, but those sales were a drop in the bucket compared to what the console installments regularly pull in. Those were ported to PS2 months later too, so it's not like Rockstar had full confidence in them either. Still, both LCS and VCS sold much better than Chinatown Wars, which brings me to my second point: GTA only became a phenomenon with GTAIII and the leap into the third dimension. Taking the series back to its top-down roots was never going to appeal to all the same people who fell in love with the real-world atmosphere and fully voiced and acted cutscenes, no matter what kind of review scores it earned. Need further proof? Although you can find copious news bites around the web lamenting the poor sales of Chinatown Wars on DS, you'd be hard-pressed to find any mention of sales of the PSP port. It's safe to surmise that it tanked even worse than on DS, because Take-Two would have said something otherwise. The mobile ports likely outsold those two combined, though it's difficult to draw a solid conclusion there when sales were aided by rock-bottom mobile pricing. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was the wrong game for the wrong platform. From day one, Rockstar should have been working on a Wii game in the desired 3D style as Nintendo had originally intended. It would have been more expensive to produce, though I doubt anywhere in the range of GTAIV's $100 million price tag. If Rockstar didn't want to take that gamble, it could have assembled a PS2 trilogy collection, or ported the PSP games, or anything! We're talking about the biggest home console of all time, after all! If you still doubt the viability of GTA on Wii, consider Call of Duty: World at War, which sold over a million copies on Wii. Big deal, you figure, since sales of the PS3 and 360 versions vastly outstripped it. But also consider that Activision has repeatedly withheld information regarding the Wii versions of Call of Duty installments up to and sometimes even after release, limiting awareness to those who had prior knowledge or had seen one of the rare TV commercials. Somehow, the game still broke a million -- can you imagine how much better it could have performed had Activision given it exposure comparable to the HD builds? How could Take-Two wholeheartedly say, during a period when Wii was selling faster than any other home console before or since, that the audience wasn't there? Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest gaming brands of all time! Its most recent entry has shipped 45 million units across all platforms! Its consumer base includes every type of gamer, from kids to adults, from the hardest of the hardcore to those whose only other gaming purchase in a year is the latest Madden! If Take-Two honestly believed that there was little to no chance of success in adapting Grand Theft Auto to Wii, it means that either its marketing department is completely clueless as to what makes GTA so appealing, thereby attributing each record-breaking achievement to blind luck, or everyone in management simply didn't give a shit. As you can see, I'm not suggesting that publishers should have thrown millions at unproven concepts. All it would have taken to get the ball rolling was some low-risk ports based on established, popular brands. Even if some of these franchises wound up not resonating with the Wii audience, most are powerful enough that they would have been accepted without question. Had key third-party tentpoles been established and found success on Wii early on, smaller studios would have felt comfortable in producing Wii content. Instead of the sudden decline as casual players lost interest, Wii could have maintained a steady momentum by serving the enthusiast crowd low-tech yet feature-rich software, in turn extending its life. By the time Nintendo introduced a follow-up console, publishers would have been far more willing to offer support than they wound up being with Wii U. Though we can only speculate precisely how such a movement would have affected Wii and the industry overall, it could only have been a net positive -- for Nintendo as well as third parties that struggled to stay in the black or simply wanted to grow their consumer base. You can blame Nintendo for certain Wii shortcomings, but third parties are at fault for letting painfully obvious opportunities slip through the canyon-sized cracks.
Wii got shafted photo
Third parties missed some major opportunities
By the end of 2014, Xbox 360 had slid past Wii to become the best-selling seventh generation console in the US. While a fantastic achievement for Microsoft, this event also punctuates the drastic shift in Nintendo's market do...

Leonard Nimoy photo
Leonard Nimoy

Multimedia icon Leonard Nimoy has passed away

The original Spock died today at age 83
Feb 27
// Jonathan Holmes
Videogames aren't the first thing that most people associate with actor/writer/director Leonard Nimoy, but he made his mark on the medium over the years, providing narration for such classics as Civilization IV and Seaman&nbs...
Kingdom Hearts III photo
Kingdom Hearts III

Bill Farmer, voice of Goofy, goofed: Kingdom Hearts III not dated yet

Square Enix breaks the silence
Jan 09
// Chris Carter
Over the holiday break there was a pretty big commotion over some recent comments by Bill Farmer -- the voice of Goofy. He noted that Kingdom Hearts III was coming out "sometime this year," which he soon corrected i...

Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX

Dec 15 // Brittany Vincent
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX (PlayStation 3)Developer: Square Enix 1st Production Department Publisher: Square Enix Released: December 2, 2014MSRP: $39.99  But the mind’s eye can all too often paint a picture through rose-tinted lenses. When Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX was released last year, I completed my first playthrough of Kingdom Hearts since the release of Kingdom Hearts II. I’m still very much in love with the wonderful world and story told in the first game, but upon revisiting, it definitely felt like a game from the early 2000s. Additionally, 358/2 Days was reduced to an abhorrent extended cut scene. Still, even for its flaws I was still impressed with the effort that had gone into Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX. So it makes sense that I was apprehensive about Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX possibly having aged as badly as the first entry had. Luckily, my fears were for naught. Kingdom Hearts II in its original iteration expands and improves on the first game, improving the camera as well as tightening and expanding the combat system. All the bonuses from the Japanese only Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix are here as well, with all the new (to the West) cutscenes being fully voiced in English. Roxas also receives his Final Mix makeover and many of the new cutscenes are there to flesh out his story. The members of Organization XIII that were taken out in Chain of Memories are also available to fight in the various worlds and add to the already impressive list of boss fights. In addition to the massively sharpened visuals, the game also features a completely re-orchestrated soundtrack. [embed]284872:56663:0[/embed] This is a faithful translation of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and besides the updated visuals, audio, and trophy support, nothing really new has been added. However, since that version of the game was never released in the west, and it added quite a bit more than the first game’s Final Mix edition, it brings a lot to the table. However, it would have been nice to have a few changes in place, particularly having the option to streamline the boring prologue (a sentiment I share about the first Kingdom Hearts as well). Another issue players might have is that Kingdom Hearts II is much too easy, the ReMIX version remedies this a bit with the addition of the new Critical Mode difficulty. Still, even on that mode, veteran gamers won’t have much trouble sweeping through the game. This is the definitive edition of Kingdom Hearts II though, and is great for both those that are new to the series or those that want a replay before Kingdom Hearts III drops. To me, the crowning achievement of the collection is the prequel to the original game, Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix. Unlike 1.5 ReMIX’s handheld offering, Birth By Sleep feels original and vital. Where Re: Chain of Memories felt like more of a coda to the first game, Birth By Sleep features original characters (later appearing briefly in Dream Drop Distance) and fills in a ton of back story, which helps greatly to untangle the overall plot of the Kingdom Hearts series. The visual fidelity of this edition of Birth By Sleep is almost as good as what Square Enix did with Kingdom Hearts II HD, which is surprising given the title's origin on the PSP. The camera controls have been changed similarly to the improvements seen in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD and a few of the games songs have received re-orchestration. The main draw of this game for me is just how much more fun it is on PS3. While Kingdom Hearts I and II saw improved play in their ReMIX versions, this game seemed like a completely new experience. Being able to really appreciate the work that went into the visuals in this game that were somewhat obscured on the smaller screen of the PSP gave me a chance to look at this entry in a new light. Along with the more complex combat system and the change of pace in narrative compared to the main entries, the HD version of this game has allowed the enjoyment of a game I hadn’t really given a chance to before. Last and certainly least, is a 3 hour summary of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. It’s done a bit better than the first ReMIX’s take on 358/2 Days, but I was not a fan of the source material as it didn’t add a ton to the story and was fairly nonsensical (even for Kingdom Hearts.) Unless you really want to watch it, you can easily catch up on the story by reading a wiki or playing the original game on DS if you’re so inclined. Re:coded, while the weaker part of this offering, is not an integral part of the overall plot and it’s obvious that the developers worked with what they had the best they could. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX was even more enjoyable to me than the first collection. I have a few nit-picky problems with the entries, and the omission of any form (even a movie) of Dream Drop Distance, while understandable, is a bit disappointing. However, these games are iconic, and these HD remasters help remind why. The unlikely blend of Disney and Square Enix have formed a truly magical world and I can’t help but smile every time I enter it. While Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix HD didn’t add a ton, it didn’t particularly have to. It is, as it was upon its first release, a polished and wonderful experience, only made better by its conversion to HD. Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix HD on the other hand is almost worth the purchase by itself. It adds a ton of depth to the Kingdom Hearts universe without making the mistake of further muddling the plot. For me, it finally brought the narrative together in a way that made me genuinely fond of the Kingdom Hearts IP in and of itself, and not just for the fun and fantastic presentation of the source material.  For those new to the Kingdom Hearts universe or fans just brushing up before the release of Kingdom Hearts III, this is one of the most faithful remasters of any game I’ve ever played. With the PlayStation 3 nearing obsolescence, it’s great to see such an amazing system have this collection as one of its swan songs. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Kingdom Hearts review photo
Simpler and cleaner
The odd concept of melding a host of characters from Square Enix’s seminal Final Fantasy series, Disney’s perennial film favorites, and a cast of original personalities, seemed as though it was destined for failur...

Kingdom Hearts III photo
Kingdom Hearts III

Star Wars and Marvel on the table for Kingdom Hearts III

Darth Vader as Organization XIII
Dec 02
// Steven Hansen
First, let's remember that Kingdom Hearts 2 did Pirates of the Caribbean and John Depp. And they released games called Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Birth By Sleep, and Dream Drop Distance, so the series is i...

I'm a sucker for a good Kingdom Hearts trailer: HD 2.5 ReMIX

Sparkles and chimes
Oct 08
// Dale North
That very first trailer for the first Kingdom Hearts game killed me. I still remember that first viewing, being completely overcome with goosebumps and trying to hide that I was tearing up. Moving? Oh man. Yes. I still love ...
Kingdom Hearts III photo
Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III will run on Unreal Engine 4 from now on

Square Enix's Luminous Engine is no longer the golden child
Oct 07
// Brittany Vincent
Tetsuya Nomura has revealed to a recent issue of Famitsu that Kingdom Hearts III will no longer be using Square Enix’s Luminous Engine going forward. Instead, it will be using Unreal Engine 4 while continuing developmen...
 Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 photo
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5

Well, here are some more Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix screenshots

Still lookin' familiar
Oct 02
// Brittany Vincent
Just in time for the two new trailers that debuted in Japan, we've got a whole new bushel of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix screenshots for your viewing pleasure. There's about 30 here, of which Sora making a goofy face nex...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

New Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix commercials just hit Japanese TV

Get hype!
Oct 01
// Brittany Vincent
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is hitting Japanese shelves this Thursday, and Square Enix has started their television advertising campaign with these two commercials titled "Friend" and "Story." The "Friend" trailer can be see...
PlayStation 4 photo
PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 software sales have surpassed 30 million games in retail stores

I'd probably buy two more just to play The Phantom Pain
Aug 13
// Brittany Vincent
Sony has announced that the PlayStation 4 software sales are impressively strong, with more than 30 million games sold in retail stores and digital downloads as of August 10. Software sales are anticipated to continue to grow...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX gets Ultimania book

And here I am still waiting for the Final Fantasy Ultimania series to be released
Jul 23
// Brittany Vincent
According to a listing on Amazon Japan, Square Enix is preparing to release a Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX Ultimania book: Kingdom Hearts Series Ultimania Memorial. It will supposedly cover all the games in the series to prepare ...
Kingdom Hearts X[chi] photo
Kingdom Hearts X[chi]

Kingdom Hearts X[chi] 'was' on track for localization

But missed the mark when Playdom was closed
Jul 16
// Chris Carter
Kingdom Hearts X[chi] is a bit of a lost number when it comes to the franchise. Although pretty much every other iteration was localized (even the mobile games in the form of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, chi is still a missi...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Here's a new Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer to tide you over

Not much longer to wait now, seriously
Jul 02
// Brittany Vincent
Can't wait for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX to arrive this December 2? You're not alone. Kingdom Hearts 2 was the best of the series for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. I can't wait to take a walk down memory la...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Here's a whole bushel of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX screens

Lookin' slick there, Sora
Jun 20
// Brittany Vincent
Ready for Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX? No, you're wanting Kingdom Hearts 3 instead? Me too. But on the off chance you want to experience the second game again, here's a bevy of newly-released screens that showcase how great-l...
Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square Enix confirms no new developments of FFXV and Kingdom Hearts 3 at E3 2014

Jun 06
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy XV: An Indignant Boy Eating Food, will not have any new developments at E3 this year. Neither will Kingdom Hearts 3. When asked point blank by Famitsu if these will show at E3, Square's Shinji Hashimoto stated, ...

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix out December 2, Kingdom Hearts 3 teased

Out December 5, 2014 in Europe
Jun 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
That's pretty much the news, folks. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix is out December 2, 2014 in North America, and December 5, 2014 in Europe. For more on Kingdom Hearts, co-director Tai Yasue will be on Square Enix Presents livestream on June 10 during E3 2014 to answer fan questions during the show. Oh, and watch this special E3 trailer through the end for a Kingdom Hearts III tease.

Uh-hyuk! New Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX screens

Square Enix reminds that 2.5 ReMIX is on its way
May 30
// Dale North
The Final Mix versions of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep are coming our way this year as Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. This means we'll get new weapons, enemies, abilities, mini-games, and even cutscenes i...
Final Fantasy XV photo
Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV 'far into development,' 'high priority'

Not competing with Kingdom Hearts 3
Feb 14
// Steven Hansen
Final Fantasy XV, first announced in 2006 as Final Fantasy XIII: Versus before re-branding last E3, is "quite far into development," series producer Yoshinori Kitase told VideoGamer. I bloody well hope so. It's been eight god...

Here's a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix

Dec 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Here's a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix straight from the Jump Festa event in Japan. Sora, Roxas, Riku, and Namine are doing things with a bunch of Disney folks like Princess Aurora, Hercules, King Mickey, Capta...

Kingdom Hearts III: Possible Vita remote play, more video

Donald, Goofy get AI boosts?
Oct 16
// Dale North
You saw the hot new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III from Japan's D23 Expo, but there's a bit more to see in this PS4 Conversations With Creators video with Tetsuya Nomura. It's really just a mix of other things we've seen bef...
Magical rides that are weapons
Following the news of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix comes this brand new Kingdom Hearts III trailer from Disney's D23 Expo happening in Japan right now. The trailer is just a couple of major fight scenes that sees Sora, Donald...


Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix confirmed for 2014

Oct 14
// Dale North
Today at D23 Expo in Japan, Square Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX has started development. We'll see it here in North America some time in 2014.  This follow up to the recently released. Kingdom Hearts ...

Review: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX

Sep 16 // Chris Carter
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX (PS3)Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixReleased: September 10, 2013MSRP: $39.99 Before the franchise was muddled with fractions in its titles and eons of "hearts darkness darkness hearts" dialog, there was the original Kingdom Hearts. Although it got a bit mystical and hard to follow at points, people fell in love with it, because it was a great action game that allowed them to adventure into the Cave of Wonders and befriend Cloud Strife over the course of an afternoon. It was an attempt to tug at all the right strings and feels of fans everywhere, and it worked. Kingdom Hearts puts you in the shoes of Sora, a keyblade wielder that has the power to travel across the universe and right as many wrongs as he can along the way. But he won't be alone, as Disney favorites Goofy and Donald will be there for emotional and practical support as you travel across lands like Aladdin's Agrabah and The Little Mermaid's Atlantica. Once the game gets rolling it doesn't really stop, as nearly every world will have you guessing as to who or what could show up, with some of the most top-notch voicework in the entire industry to boot. A few of the game's inherent issues are still there to rear their ugly head, however. It still takes a full hour to get started, after the intro, the beach, and Traverse Town are all said and done. There are still Gummi Ship sections that unnecessarily (although I'll fully admit that I do somewhat enjoy them) force you to wait before you explore new and exciting areas. But despite the lack of retooling in a few areas it's not completely same old Kingdom Hearts you know and love, as there are a few welcome mechanical additions on top of the obvious great looking HD sheen. For one, the shoddy L2+R2 camera system is gone, replaced by a sensible and modern right analog stick control system. You can also finally skip cutscenes on your first playthrough (YES!), so fans who have beaten the game more times than they can count don't have to sit through scene after scene when they can recite the lines by memory. Then, there's one major addition that's the biggest of all -- the fact that the HD set contains the Final Mix of Kingdom Hearts -- a version that was previously exclusive to Japan, and came with bonuses and additional content. For starters, a lot of the game's enemies are different compared to the original, and are otherwise remixed -- so it's not going to be exactly how you remember it if you haven't experienced Final Mix. There are also new weapons, items, abilities, and in-game story documents, as well as additional cutscenes, a few new bosses, and a revamped difficulty system that makes the Easy setting more accommodating and Hard more punishing. If you think back to playing Kingdom Hearts and cannot get past the Gummy Ship sections or the lengthy Beach and Traverse Town intros, I don't believe playing it in HD will magically change your mind. But personally, I think HD 1.5 ReMIX is worth it for Final Mix alone -- that's how good the original game is. Re:Chain of Memories is the second part of the compilation, and it plays a bit differently than the first entry. Okay, it's completely different, as it's one of those card combat games. Wait, where are you going?! Re:Chain is actually a solid remake of the GameBoy Advance game Chain of Memories (making this an HD remake of a PS2 3D remake), and adds a bit more action-oriented combat to the mix to help ease in those who normally cringe at the mere mention of "cards." My opinion on Chain of Memories itself is a bit mixed, as overall it's not really what you'd call an essential part of the franchise, but the experience itself does augment the overall narrative, and it manages to stay particularly engaging because of the sheer depth of the card based systems. Unlike other games in the series which may re-tread into exact locations, Re:Chain actually feels pretty justified because it's a direct companion piece to the original. It won't sell copies of this compilation, but it'll surprise some people. The third and final piece of the puzzle that is 1.5 ReMIX is the inclusion of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 as a non-playable feature film that's nearly three hours long. For the uninitiated, 358 is a DS game that takes place after the first title chronologically and tangential to Chain of Memories. Due to the limitations of the DS nearly all of its environments were completely recycled, and as a result, not many people played it. Because of the general disinterest in this forgotten entry, I really like this move to make 358 into a movie (that's fully voiced now, no less), so series fans who may not want to drudge through the tedium can still experience a piece of Kingdom Hearts history. The playback system itself is fairly rudimentary, but it thankfully lets you choose between various chapters like a DVD menu, and continue where you left it should you walk away or doze off. But at what cost does 358/2 grace the rather limited space in this trilogy? Put simply, if this is a compilation of the beginnings of the franchise's story, the lack of inclusion of Birth By Sleep is criminal. As the very first game in the timeline, many would argue that it's best in the entire franchise, and the most worthy of a remake given the fact that nearly every single location is brand new. As a series fan I consider it so essential that even if Birth was just a movie remaster it would be extremely welcomed -- but alas, it's not here, and you won't get the entire story of the early timeline without busting out your PSP. All we can hope for is a HD Remix 2.5 inclusion to wrap things up for newcomers before the long awaited Kingdom Hearts III. Barring a few antiquated (but manageable) mechanics that are still in place in the first Kingdom Hearts, HD ReMIX captures the essence of the franchise quite wonderfully. For those who are wondering, it's still fun to roam around and wreck shop as Sora, Goofy and Donald, and for many people, this is the first time you'll ever experience it in its Final Mix incarnation.
Kingdom Hearts HD review photo
Bringing back great memories
Some of my fondest memories were spent with the Kingdom Hearts series. Growing up equal parts Disney-kid and action-adventure fan, I was ecstatic when Kingdom Hearts was announced, and enthralled for weeks on end when it fina...

Kingdom Hearts HD photo
Kingdom Hearts HD

Reminisce with Sora in this Kingdom Hearts HD trailer

Get reacquainted with Mickey, Sora, and HD
Sep 11
// Chris Carter
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix launches this week, and you can celebrate with a brand new launch trailer showing off the game's various Disney flavored locales. Watching it brings back memories, as it's over 11 years later and ...
Kingdom Heart III release photo
Kingdom Heart III release

Don't expect Kingdom Hearts III soon, says producer

Rain wet
Sep 10
// Steven Hansen
Hopefully you weren't anyway. If you were expecting it soon, sorry to have ruined your day. Kingdom Hearts III director Tetsuya Nomura is also directing Final Fantasy XV. This conflicts. You may remember Final Fantasy XV as t...

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