Exciting and Frustrating: Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Announced

Last night at TGS, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was announced after being leaked a week or so ago. The game contains an HD remake of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, an HD movie of the Kingdom Hearts browser game titled Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Back Cover, and a new experience called Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2  -A Fragmentary Passage-.

As a huge Kingdom Hearts fan, this announcement is equally frustrating and exciting. So, I’m going to break down my emotions on the subject and start with the more negative which just kind of highlights a lot issues Square Enix has a whole.

For starters, the name of the collection is stupid. Not only is the collection name stupid, the name of the movie and Birth by Sleep pseudo-sequel are also really dumb. This kind of falls under the category of tradition though considering just about every Kingdom Hearts game has had a terrible subtitle that means just about nothing until you play and beat the game. In fact,  the only subtitles I can think of that are at least decent are Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep.

Secondly, this is super  annoying because it seems like it’s a waste of time and resources over at Square Enix. I had a similar issue when Square Enix announced the demo of Final Fantasy XV and then even more so when they made an update for that demo. The development teams should be putting all of their efforts into the actual games (Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III) themselves instead of these side projects so the games will come out earlier. Final Fantasy XV has been announced for what seems to be nearly a decade and Kingdom Hearts 3 will mostly be four years after the announcement by the time the game is released. That’s ridiculous and these side projects really need to stop.

Besides that, I will buy this game because I’m a huge fanboy but I’m not nearly as excited about it as I was about the 1.5 and 2.5 collections. The only part I’m really looking forward to is Birth by Sleep 0.2. Birth by Sleep is my favorite game in the series and in 0.2 it looks as if Aqua is the main playable character, and  she’s the best character in that game. In fact, Aqua might be the best character in the entire series.

Birth by Sleep 0.2 looks exciting because,  besides being about Aqua, it looks to be in the same engine as Kingdom Hearts 3. This will probably give us the closest look and feel of Kingdom Hearts 3. Actually, the more I think about it as I’m writing, this will probably be the KH3 equivalent to Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae. That’s awesome, but at the same time I could’ve lived without this announcement and game and preferred for all the developers to be working on KH3.

This announcement also implies a few things about the status of the franchise. For one, this game will most likely be the final yearly Kingdom Hearts release before Kingdom Hearts 3. This sets KH3 for a 2017 release which sounds about right due to the progress they’ve been making on the project. Also, if the trend continues from the previous collection, a few months before the release of the game a collectors edition will be announced that includes 1.5 and 2.5.

With this slightly infuriating news out of the way, expect more information on KH3 during the upcoming Japanese D23.

Predicting the Features and Release Date of Kingdom Hearts III

WARNING! This article contains possible spoilers of the Kingdom Hearts series! You’ve been warned!

And the day has finally come where I finish my series of articles that predict everything related to Kingdom Hearts III. The first part discussed the worlds that will appear in the game and the second part predicted the story. In this last part, I will be discussing more general things about the game itself. Since I started this series, some of my predictions have already been proven false, but I believe a few of my ideas have also been validated. All that means is to take what I write here with a grain of salt, all of the stuff I’ve put in these articles aren’t necessarily going to happen, they’re just mere educated guesses and ideas of mine based on the series and news on the new game so far. Also, considering Kingdom Hearts III has been confirmed to appear at D23 this August, some of my theories will probably be confirmed or denied then. That being said, let’s begin starting with the release date.

I have no facts to really base this on, but I have a gut feeling that the game will come out in Japan in Q4 2016 while it will come out in Q1 or Q2 of 2017 for the rest of the territories. This would give the development team at least 4 years of development (2013 when it was announced, 2014, 2015, and 2016) and about 6 to 8 months for localization. Odds are the game has been in development for much longer than that though because I remember reading articles back when Birth by Sleep came out in 2010 that very early design and story development had already started for Kingdom Hearts III. Regardless of whether or not those articles were true, it’s a pretty easy assumption to make that the game started development before the announcement.

Besides the release date, most of the features and mechanics of the game have been been announced already. Flowmotion will probably be incorporated in small doses in specific traversal segments during certain worlds. The attraction flow will most likely be this games version of the special moves you could pull off with the Dream Eaters in KH3D. The special keyblade transformations shown in the most recent trailers for the game are probably an evolution of the shotlock from BBS. The HUD in the game also appears to be a bit more interactive. There is only one thing that hasn’t been announced that I think will appear in the game when it comes to its mechanics.

I believe this game will have something similar to the quick character switching that was used in certain sections in Batman: Arkham Knight. In that game there were quick sequences where you could click L1 to switch to the other character fighting on your side, and it worked very well and smoothly to not interrupt the flow of battle. I believe Kingdom Hearts III will also have sections like that considering the story of the game will have more Keyblade wielders than any other game in the series, most of whom were playable in previous games. It would be really rad if you were stuck in a battle with an overwhelming amount of heartless and could click a button for someone like Riku or Aqua to jump in and help you out. Kingdom Hearts II also had a similar function where if you died during certain boss battles, King Mickey would jump out to help finish the fight.

So that’s the last of my predictions! If you enjoyed this short series please let me know in the comments and I will look into doing a prediction series for another upcoming game. If not, then this was a nice writing experiment for me and I thank you for reading.

8 Worst Moments of E3 2015

All things considered, this year had a pretty phenomenal E3.  Between The Last Guardian, Shenmue III, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Earthbound Beginnings, Fallout 4, and so much more, almost everyone had a dream come true.

That said, it was still a long way away from perfect and there were plenty of embarrassing and frustrating moments to spoil the fun.  These are the worst moments of E3 2015, in our opinion.

HitmanTrademarked

8) Name-Recycling

Name-recycling is what I like to call the trend of giving a sequel, reboot, etc. the exact same title as the original.  The gaming industry has had numerous examples in recent years: Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Twisted Metal, Crackdown, Prince of Persia (twice).  I don’t know why so many companies keep pulling this stunt, but it is one of my major pet peeves.  I’m not saying that any of those games are bad, but their naming convention frustrates me to no end.  I’ll let it slide if it actually is a remake of the original game that it’s named after (i.e. Ratchet and Clank for PS4) or if they’re trying to reboot a franchise that’s been dormant for a decade (i.e. Splatterhouse).  When it’s an entirely new entry in a well-known series, it gives the impression that the creators of the game just don’t care.  Naturally, I was less than thrilled to see this pop up no less than three times at E3.  We already knew that the newest Doom game would just be called Doom going in, but then we had EA announce the newest Need for Speed game as Need for Speed and Square-Enix reveal the next Hitman game called Hitman.  I’ve officially had all I can stand with this trend, so I’ve decided to come up with my own names for these games.  Doom 4 is an obvious title for the new Doom, while I’ve dubbed the new Hitman game Hitman: Trademarked.  Hey, its already got that trademark logo in the title and that actually is a surprisingly good subtitle for a Hitman game.  Finally, the new Need for Speed can be called Need for Speed: Subtitle.  Yeah, I completely copped out on that one, but it’s still more effort than EA put into naming it.

project_setsuna

7) Project Setsuna is a New Low in Non-Reveal

When discussing all of the things that I didn’t want to see at E3 this year, the one thing I wanted to avoid most and knew was the most unavoidable was for an entirely new game to be announced, but have no actual details on how it plays or who should even be interested given.  I actually came incredibly close to getting my wish this year as almost every new game had actual gameplay attached to it.  Games like For Honor and Horizon: Zero Dawn immediately arrested my attention with their demonstrations.  Even titles that I don’t have much personal interest in like Sea of Thieves and Trackmania Turbo were still able to catch my eye thanks to their focus on mechanics over cheap theatrics.

Sadly, we couldn’t escape non-reveals entirely and there were still a few particularly egregious examples.  It looks like Hearthstone copycats are the next big bandwagon with Bethesda and EA revealing their own digital card games based on the Elder Scrolls and Star Wars universes respectively.  What they both failed to mention was how these new games would actually differ from Hearthstone and manage to stand out on their own in what’s about to be a very crowded genre.  While I’m a big fan of Hearthstone, I’ll be the first to admit that it has plenty of problems and either of these new games may be able to convert me.  However, I need actual details before I even consider switching.  I’m also tempted to bring up Media Molecule’s Dreams on the topic of non-reveals, but I think that has more to do with even Media Molecule themselves having no clue what they’ve created with that thing.

The worst of the bunch, without a doubt, was Project Setsuna.  Being developed by Square-Enix’s newest studio, Tokyo RPG Factory (ha ha), Project Setsuna is an entirely new JRPG… And that is literally all we know about it at this point.  It hasn’t even gotten past the concept art phase of development and Square-Enix decided that it was the best way to close out their press conference.  That image pictured above is literally one third of all there is to know about the game.  The idea was to send the message that Square-Enix is still committed to RPGs as the genre that put the company where it is today.  Given that  they had already shown off Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts III, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, NieR 2, and Star Ocean 5, I highly doubt anyone was going to walk away thinking that RPGs were dead.  Plus, Project Setsuna could end up just being a mobile game for all we really know about it.  There’s simply no point in taking an interest in any of these games until more actual details emerge , and we’ll likely be left dwelling on nothing in the meantime.

MetroidPrimeFederationForce

6) All the Right Nintendo Games in All the Wrong Ways

I don’t think Nintendo’s showcase was nearly as bad as a lot of people are making it out to be, but I certainly share in the frustration.  There has been a great deal of anticipation for a new Metroid game and an Animal Crossing game on Wii U and we technically got both of those, but not in the ways any of us were hoping for.  Metroid Prime: Federation Force drops the isolation, exploration, and darker tone for a co-op shooter with a cartoony art style and an FPS soccer minigame.  Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival brings Animal Crossing to the Wii U in the style of a board game reliant on amiibo figures in order to be played.  Neither of these look like bad games by any means, but fans of these franchises have been left waiting for years and these announcements came across as a slap in the face.

The backlash against Federation Force in particular has been massive, to the point where the only thing that seems to come up in interviews is how much Nintendo is trying to run damage control.  I’d like to call it an overreaction, but Metroid fans have not exactly received the best treatment in recent years.  After enduring the infamous Metroid: Other M, there was five years of silence with nothing but crossovers with Nintendo Land and Super Smash Bros, and now the silence is finally broken with something that just seems to move further and further away from everything that made the series great in the first place.  On the bright side, it seems that this could be building up for a Metroid Prime 4 announcement from Retro Studios, possibly as a launch title for the NX, but that hypothetical is little comfort after how badly fans have been burned.

As for Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, the general opinion on amiibos has started to turn around as customers are continuously exhausted to try and find their favorite figures, so a game completely reliant on having specific figures isn’t exactly joyous news.  While the game itself is a free download, those compatible figures are bound to be in short supply and every player needs to have at least one of their own in order to play.  Not only that, the game that people were actually hoping to see was an actual, mainline Animal Crossing game for the Wii U.  It’s been three years since Animal Crossing: New Leaf released for 3DS, so the timing seemed right.  Instead, fans will have to make due with meager spin-offs for the time being.  I understand Nintendo’s decision to focus on the immediate future as they can make major announcements whenever they want with their Nintendo Directs, but they definitely came up short compared to Microsoft and Sony this year.

PitchAMeme

5) Aisha Tyler Drops Some Dank Memes, Yo

Aisha Tyler (pictured left-center), the main spokesperson for Ubisoft for the last few years, has a fairly divisive presence at E3.  Personally, she’s grown on me and I really feel that the Ubisoft press conferences are general made better by her.  She has a great deal of charisma and always keeps a high amount of energy going at the show.  However, there are definitely times where she tries too hard to be funny and this year had her biggest dud yet.  After approaching an Assassin’s Creed cosplayer in the audience, Tyler asked for him to “pitch a meme”.  Anyone who actually knows thing one about how internet memes work knows that they have to happen naturally as a public response to things and can’t just be manufactured on the spot.  It seems like the cosplayer was at least aware of that as he timidly tried to get this whole awkward affair to pass as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Once Tyler started going on about “who left the Christmas lights on during the apocalypse”, I think he may have been scared that she was about to turn into a giant mantis and eat his face off because reality was clearly ripping itself apart before his very eyes.  On the bright side, Ubisoft did get their meme out of the whole ordeal.  Unfortunately, it was all centered around how laughably out of touch the company is.

KH3Disney

4) Kingdom Hearts III Gets Dangled Like a Carrot

Kingdom Hearts III was easily one of the most anticipated titles for the Square-Enix conference and, boy, did we ever have to work for it.  Square-Enix easily had the worst conference this year and the unending build-up for the new KH3 trailer was the worst part of it all.  First, we had the executive producer for the Kingdom Hearts series, presented as such, take the stage and expectations were immediately raised.  Producer Shinji Hashimoto began speaking, but it seems that his translator fell asleep on the job as this segment was only presented in Japanese.  It probably wasn’t anything too important, though, because all he had to follow that up with was the exact same Final Fantasy VII trailer that had already been shown at Sony’s conference.  After that, Hashimoto, now with translation, said it was time to present a Kingdom Hearts game… For mobile phones.  Yeeeeeah.  But then, it finally came time to talk about Kingdom Hearts III, starting with… Two random guys from Disney telling us that we’d be seeing a Tangled world in the following gameplay trailer.  Yeah, because why just show when you can tell?!  Finally, we get to see the latest gameplay footage of the long-awaited Kingdom Hear-Wait, one of the guys we just had onscreen is actually right here in the audience, so why don’t we all wave hello to GET ON WITH IT!!!  At that point, it seemed like Square-Enix was just being intentionally malicious with how much it was holding out on their audience.  It’s a good thing that the trailer was actually really good because that crowd was gearing up for a full-scale riot at that point.

Hololens

3) The Microsoft Hololens Demonstration Was a Blatant Lie

Microsoft’s public demonstration of the Hololens impressed many with its ability to recreate a Minecraft world on a simple table and allowing users to directly manipulate virtual landscapes with their own hands.  It was certainly an inspiring look into what virtual reality is capable of, but there was one minor problem with Microsoft’s little showcase: it was completely fake.  It’s actually abundantly obvious that none of the footage we saw during the demonstration was actually taken from the Hololens display as the man we’re supposed to be seeing through the eyes of is constantly on-camera alongside the prerendered graphics imitating virtual reality.  While virtual reality has a great deal to offer the gaming industry and technological progress in general, Microsoft’s dishonest demonstration of how their headset works is bound to leave a lot of customers disappointed with how it actually looks.  If the first games that come to mind while playing with the Hololens end up being Watch_Dogs and Aliens: Colonial Marines, now you know why.

DeruloRejected

2) Jason Derulo Exists

In my article on things I didn’t want to see at E3, I briefly mentioned the trend of pop stars showing up at E3 press conferences for a short performance that only ever serves to eat up extra time.  In 2012, both Usher and Flo Rida performed at the Microsoft and Ubisoft conferences respectively.  Yes, these appearances are meant to hype up rhythm games and that makes sense, but having these artists perform one of their songs like their giving a concert when these events are meant to promote the actual gameplay just ends up being frivolous and pandering.  I also mentioned that the trend seemed to have finally died in that article, and I should really learn to keep my big mouth shut (cue obvious ribbing from the hecklers) because guess how Ubisoft decided to promote their latest Just Dance games.

To make things worse, they chose the single most boring musical act in the industry today (unless you actually count Florida Georgia Line as a musical act).  Jason Derulo, the man whose entire claim to fame centers around sampling a song that was best known for its involvement in a Saturday Night Live sketch and using it for what may be the insincere apology song that isn’t a joke.  Honestly, I’m surprised that he has yet to brag about how desirable he is over the tantalizing melody of Nyan Cat.  Although, it may have all been worth just for that brief moment where Derulo tried to get Aisha Tyler to dance with him on stage and she just pulled her hand out of his and stayed firmly seated like anyone with a sense of dignity would in that situation.  Still, it wasn’t the worst case of a celebrity wasting everyone’s time.  That honor goes to…

Pele

1) Pelé

EA has one of the worst press conferences at E3 every year without fail.  Admittedly, this year had one of their better showings with Mass Effect: Andromeda, Unravel, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, and Star Wars Battlefront 3 (that’s what I’m calling it and you can’t stop me).  Sadly, they couldn’t resist bringing up some of their classic bad habits.  It’s pretty sad when the most detailed demonstration at your conference goes not to Mass Effect, Star Wars, or even Garden Warfare, but to a generic cow-clicker starring the minions from Despicable Me that grandparents and toddlers will throw too much money at for about a week and then completely forget about.

However, the award for worst of the worst naturally goes to their EA Sports segment.  I understand that sports games are the single greatest pillar of EA as a company and expecting them not to feature them during every press conference is like expecting Nintendo to not have a game featuring Mario.  The difference is that Nintendo never dedicates a good chunk of their presentations to assure us that they’ve tirelessly worked to improve Mario’s jumping animations, whereas EA does just that every single year.  They did have some interesting announcements, like the face-scanning app for NBA Live 16.  Just quickly showing off substantial innovations like that for their latest sports games would keep the energy of their presentations active rather than delving into redundancy.  Instead, they went with Pelé.  Now, I can’t exactly blame Pelé himself for not having much to say about actual video games while onstage at E3.  Expecting a 74-year-old soccer legend to be a well of knowledge on game design isn’t exactly realistic.  The problem is that EA wasted everyone’s time so that they could publicly shoot the breeze with a famous athlete.  At least when Ubisoft brought out Derulo, it was a (failed) attempt to just entertain all of the investors, journalists, and loyal fans in attendance.  EA invited Pelé to their conference purely for their own amusement while we got the privilege of watching them.

I certainly could have kept this list going with more missteps from the expo, such as the Nintendo World Championships focusing more on advertising Nintendo’s games than the spirit of competition or how the PC Gaming Show was essentially Day9’s three-hour public podcast, but I think that’s enough complaining from me for one year.  What was your worst moment from E3 2015?  Are there any moments from this year’s E3 that made you cringe missing from this list?  Can you come up with a better name for a Need for Speed game than EA?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Predicting the Story of Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

Warning! This article contains spoilers on the Kingdom Hearts series! You’ve been warned!

Welcome to Part 2 of my Predicting Kingdom Hearts III series! Last time, I discussed the worlds that will appear in the game, and this week I will be discussing the plot. In this prediction, I will be breaking up the plot into five parts: Prelude, Act I, Act II, Act III, and the Epilogue. While I am primarily a script writer, this will not be a fully realized script, just more of an outline of the events I believe will occur in the game based off of foreshadowing and events from previous games in the series. So, that being said let’s begin our story years before the first game, during a time of peace.

Prelude:

The game opens roughly 50 years before the events of the first Kingdom Hearts in Cable Town. This is where the scene between a young Xehanort and Eraqus playing chess from the E3 2015 trailer will take place. If you notice during that trailer, all of the chess pieces have a symbol representing a character from the game. The chess game is foreshadowing the final battle that will occur in the game and which characters will be fighting whom, but more on that later. After this scene between Xehanort and Eraqus, a scene will occur recapping the events of the series so far. Then there will be a CG intro with a new song by Hikaru Utada.

ACT I:

Picking up right where Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance left of, Yen Sid is telling Kairi she is a Keyblade wielder. This is a very rare and strange case considering she is already a Princess of Heart. She is told she will be trained along with Lea (formerly Axel) and this is where the tutorial will take place. The tutorial will be played as Lea and Kairi as they practice with Yen Sid trying to teach them. After the tutorial, Sora comes back from the Dream World, which he went back to at the end of KH3D. Sora then goes to the top of the tower to meet with Riku, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, Lea, Mickey, and Yen Sid. This is where the group gets broken up and assigned different objectives which will take up the first chunk of the game. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are in charge of finding Ventus, who unknown to everyone besides Aqua, is inside Castle Oblivion. Riku and Mickey are responsible for going to the Realm of Darkness to find Aqua. Lea and Kairi will stay with Yen Sid to continue their training. During their journeys both groups have to find the Princesses of Heart again to help for the final battle. With their goals now set, they head off on their journeys.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy start traveling the worlds on their gummy ship. They search various worlds to try to find leads that will reveal where Ventus is, but it is unsuccessful. Their search leads them to Twilight Town and the mansion, which has been blocked off since the events of the second game (proven since the path to the woods/mansion has been paved over as seen in the E3 2015 and D23 2013 gameplay trailers). In the mansion they find a hologram recording of Ansem the Wise where he reveals he found Aqua, and recounts that they escaped the Realm together much like how Riku and Sora did at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2.

Meanwhile, Riku and Mickey have been in Radiant Garden, which is getting closer to its original state from Birth by Sleep. They are working with Cid, Leon, and Yuffie to find a way back into the Realm of Darkness. They ultimately do and begin their search before Sora gets back to them with the information that Aqua escaped months ago. After searching, they realize there’s no way to effectively search the Realm, so Riku opens a Corridor of Darkness that takes them back to the Mysterious Tower.

Back in the Mysterious Tower, Kairi starts getting sassy that besides her, none of the Princesses of Heart have been gathered. She insists that her and Lea go on the search as well while Riku and Sora look for Aqua and Ventus. Yen Sid disagrees with them since they are not experienced, but lets them go due to necessity. For this time, Lea goes back to using his original weapon, the Chakrams.

Later, when Riku and Sora return to Yen Sid with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, they apologize to Yen Sid for not returning with who they were looking for. After the apology, Kairi walks through the door with Aqua and the rest of the Princesses of Heart. She was able to find Aqua due to a connection they made when Kairi was just a toddler.

ACT II:

Aqua is now older and wiser, and takes charge of the group from Yen Sid. She reveals how Ansem the Wise helped her escape the Realm of Darkness. Ansem the Wise, however, is still left behind. She reveals to the rest of the group that Ventus is inside Castle Oblivion, but she is unable to get back to where he is. The only person who would be able to help get to him is someone that was born inside Castle Oblivion. Everyone is upset, because no such person exists. At this moment of hopelessness, Lea remembers something: Xion. Well, he doesn’t remember her, because his memories of her are lost since she died, but he remembers the Organization constructing Sora clones/puppets in Castle Oblivion.

To get access to this individual, Mickey and Riku use their Keyblades to open up Sora’s heart. From his heart sprouts not only Xion, but Roxas and Namine as well. Suddenly, Lea gets emotional because he is seeing Roxas again. Then both Lea’s and Roxas’ memories of Xion start rushing back. From here on out Namine and Xion guide everyone to Castle Oblivion to find Ventus.

After searching through the Castle and revisiting memories of worlds from the previous games, they finally reach Ventus. Aqua awakens him and they bring him back to the Mysterious Tower. Now that he is back, the group realizes there is no way to bring back Terra besides destroying Terra-Nort. With the group back together, they begin training for the final battle against the 13 Seekers of Darkness.

ACT III:

The 7 Lights: Sora, Riku, Mickey, Lea, Aqua, Ventus, and Kairi with support from their friends, trek their way to the Badlands. Once they reach the Keyblade Graveyard, Xehanort and the 13 Seekers of Darkness return. The final battle begins with the Princesses of Heart giving the 7 Lights a bit of a power boost. This part of the game will have the player switching over to controlling a different Keyblade wielder to show a different side of the battle. Think of the Battle of the 1000 Heartless from Kingdom Hearts 2, but more intense, fueled by bosses, and making other characters playable. Keep in mind, one of the ongoing themes and quotes from the series is, “My friends are my power!” Because of this, there will be other characters helping Sora and the  7 Lights in the fight like Donald, Goofy, Roxas, and Xion. Because not all of the 13 Seekers of Darkness have been revealed, I can only assume a few of the battles that will happen, but these are the ones I can gather:

  • Sora, Donald, Goofy vs. Xehanort
  • Riku vs. Ansem, Seeker of Darkness
  • Kairi vs. Xemnas
  • Ventus vs. Vanitas
  • Aqua vs. Terra-Nort
  • Lea vs. Isa
  • Roxas and Xion vs. Braig

After the battle, the Seekers of Darkness are destroyed, Terra will return to his normal self, and Xehanort will reveal that the chaos of the battle opened up Kingdom Hearts. Xehanort will then take on a final form and Sora will follow him to Kingdom Hearts alone. They will fight. Sora will win.

After Sora wins everyone goes back to their homes. Aqua will unseal Castle Oblivion and return it back to being the Land of Departure. Her, Ventus, and Terra act as the new masters of the world and train new Keyblade wielders. The Princesses of Heart will return to their original worlds. Lea, Xion, Roxas, and Namine will go to the Clock Tower in Twilight Town and share sea-salt ice cream with Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy will resume their normal duties at Disney Castle. Lastly, Sora, Riku, and Kairi will go back to the Mysterious Tower where Sora will officially be dubbed a Keyblade Master.

Epilogue:

The game fast forwards a few years. Sora is now in his mid to late twenties (that way his voice actor, Haley Joel Osment, will be age appropriate to continue voicing him) and he is talking to a teenager. Riku and Kairi are there watching. Sora is going through the ceremony that will grant this kid the ability to wield a Keyblade. After the ceremony, the kid summons his own Keyblade, and it resembles the one that Eraqus once used. This kid, Sora’s trainee, will be the protagonist for the series going forward.

END PREDICTION

So that was my prediction of the main events of Kingdom Hearts III, hopefully it didn’t sound too much like fanfiction because that wasn’t what I was going for. Feel free to comment on what you think will happen and whether or not you agree with me. Also, I didn’t write this entirely alone. I had some help from my amazing friend Christine, so if you want, give her some love at her YouTube account Sheiks65. Lastly, keep watch next week when the last part of this prediction series will be published where I will predict the release date and features of the game.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Dev Reveals Keyblade Transformations, Secret Movie, New Info

Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 director, Tetsuya Nomura, was in a recent interview with Famitsu magazine (via Kingdom Hearts Insider). He talked about several topics while focusing specifically on the new Keyblade transformations and how the gameplay changes respectively, the game’s timeline and other new stuff involving Kingdom Hearts III, the highly desired Disney-RPG.

“There will be a neat story that will explain about it. It is possible to do it in the beginning of the game. You can transform the Keyblade if conditions are met and there are several transformation stages. When Sora’s Keyblade has been changed into a particular form, you will be able to use its form specific abilities.”

“In addition to the Keyblade transformations for Sora, it becomes possible to maneuver using specific forms and actions. There will be many battle choices. Take whatever strategy, it will be up to the player. Of course, for those who button mash will have an exhilarating experience but for those who want technical fights will also find fun making combinations. In addition to the Keyblade transformations, there is still the Attraction Flow to be appreciated.”

Tetsuya Nomura also detailed when exactly Kingdom Hearts 3 takes place.

It will be something like that. Sora and his friends are going on a new journey, immediately after KINGDOM HEARTS 3D. Also, in KINGDOM HEARTS χ and KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ, it will begin to significantly involve Sora’s fate.

He didn’t mention exactly how many forms the game will feature. Although he mentioned that they are currently deciding the game’s ending and it appears that there is a secret movie in the works.

“We are steadily progressing and deciding what to do with the ending… as well as considering content for the secret movie.”

“I’ll leave that to your imagination (laughs). Since there are still opportunities for us to publish information this year, in response to the reaction from E3, I am considering how much information I should show. It’ll be a while until it happens, please wait.”

Kingdom Hearts 3 still has no release date and it will launch for the Xbox One and PS4.

If you have any comment this review, please leave it below.

Predicting the Worlds of Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts

WARNING! This post contains spoilers for the Kingdom Hearts III. If you’ve played all the games or just don’t care about spoilers, feel free to read on.

So, as all of us Kingdom Hearts fan know, the new trailer came out a few days ago, and it was awesome. I have pages upon pages of notes I took from that trailer, analyzing every last pixel within it. Now, I could use these notes to post a thorough trailer analysis, but I think it’ll be more fun to instead write about what is indirectly told through the trailers and information revealed thus far. So, below is Part 1 of 2 (possibly 3) of a series where I predict and discuss everything Kingdom Hearts III.

I did a similar thing with my friends when Kingdom Hearts 3D was about to come out, and I was 99% correct on my predictions, so I feel confident to share my thoughts on the new one. Everything here isn’t necessarily what I want to happen either, they are predictions based on the history of the game series and comments made by people working on the game. This first part is all about the worlds that I feel like will appear in the game, part 2 will be about the story, and the possible part 3 will be anything I felt like I left out. Now, let’s get started!

1. Our Confirmed Worlds

  • Tangled (likely to be called “Corona”)
  • Twilight Town
  • Olympus Coliseum
  • Destiny Islands
  • Cable Town

No real surprises here. All of these worlds have been shown in trailers, and throughout the history of the series, every world in a trailer has so far been inside the game it was advertising. The only questioning world is this new Cable Town that was shown at a private event held late in 2014. But, judging by the descriptions of Cable Town, it is likely the world that Xehanort and Eraqus are having their conversation in during the E3 2015 trailer.

Also, from what we know so far about Cable Town, it’s easy to assume that it is the hub world for KH3, much like Twilight Town and Radiant Garden were in KH2. Judging on the games release and how popular these characters are in Japan, I would bet money that the Kingdom Hearts version of Lighting Farron from Final Fantasy XIII and Noctis from Final Fantasy XV are going to appear in this world as well. These two characters have been mentioned in passing for a while now to appear in Kingdom Hearts, so I wouldn’t be shocked if it ended up happening.

Anyway, now to the more interesting stuff.

2. Predicted Worlds

  • Traverse Town
  • Atlantica
  • Agrabah
  • The Mysterious Tower
  • Halloween Town/Christmas Town
  • Disney Castle
  • Hundred Acre Woods
  • Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion
  • Castle Oblivion/Land of Departure
  • The Keyblade Graveyard
  • Frozen (likely called “Arendelle”)
  • The Jungle Book (I’m not sure what the world for this one would be called)
  • Big Hero 6 (likely called “San Fransokyo”)
  • Lilo and Stitch (likely called something on the lines of “The Big Island”)
  • Toy Story (likely called “Andy’s Room”)
  • A new, unannounced, original world

The first 10 on my prediction list are returning worlds from the past games, but all of them make sense for a return. Agrabah, Atlantica, Hollow Bastion, Halloween Town, and the Hundred Acre Wood have all appeared in both of the main game titles, so their return is expected. The Mysterious Castle will presumably be in the game as well, since as revealed at the end of KH3D, Kairi needs to be trained with a keyblade. Yen Sid’s home might also serve as a “base of operations” of sorts, but more on that in part 2. Disney Castle is also likely to return in a bigger way since Mickey will seemingly have more screen time than ever before as he is one of the Seven Lights. The Keyblade Graveyard will also likely be the last world in the game since the opening of Kingdom Hearts 3D depicts it as being the site for the final battle between Sora and Xehanort. Thematically, it would also make sense for Traverse Town to return since it’s the first world you visit in the first game, which makes me think it might be one of the closing worlds in this new one. Lastly for the returning worlds, Castle Oblivion is a lock for appearing since Sora, or a keyblade master, still needs to save Ventus, and to our knowledge he’s still sleeping in the Castle.

Before I go into my reasoning and thoughts on the new worlds, let me address why I didn’t include the two most requested worlds: a Star Wars World and a Marvel World. I didn’t include a Marvel world where Sora would be swinging with Spider-Man, or beating heartless with Black Widow because quite frankly, the Marvel movies don’t have a tone that would make sense in Kingdom Hearts. The series tried making a world out of a movie with a differing tone of the game with Port Royal in the second game. Because that world wasn’t generally well received I don’t see Square Enix testing the waters again with another series. Star Wars is a completely different beast from Marvel though, because the tones can mesh well with each other. For the longest time, fans of the series have been clamoring for the obvious lightsaber keyblade. It would be awesome, but there is one big thing preventing this world from happening, EA. Currently, EA has the rights to do anything and everything Star Wars in the video game front, and it would be very unlikely for them to share that with Square Enix. Sure, the parent company of Disney could still potentially let them do it like they just announced they’re doing with Avalanche Software for Disney Infinity 3.0, but that still seems unlikely.

However, despite what I just said about a Marvel world, I did make an exception in a way. I have a strong feeling there is going to be a world set in San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6. This movie is technically Marvel, but since it would be based off the movie there’s no real connection between it and Marvel besides a few Easter eggs, so it doesn’t really count. The movie is fairly recent, which might make it hard for there to be a world on it, but we also have to consider that Tron Legacy had a world in KH3D and there was only about 18 months between the release dates of those two. Also, and this is where this idea gets a bit weirder, since San Fransokyo is partially based on Tokyo, I believe this is also the world where we will see the return of the cast of The World Ends with You. Tone wise it makes sense, and it’s not impossible to imagine Sora sharing the screen with Neku and Hiro.

I also put down that there is a big chance there will be a Jungle Book world in the game. This is because there was supposed to be a Jungle Book world in Birth by Sleep, but it was cut out. You can actually find some code of the world inside the game still. Anyway, the Kingdom Hearts series has had a history of going back to worlds that were scrapped from previous games relatively late in the development cycle, some notable examples being the Pride Lands and Prankster’s Paradise. There is also a high chance of there being a Frozen world solely because of how popular that movie is, especially in Japan. Toy Story also seems like a likely chance for a world since Buzz and Woody were planned to be a summon in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and technology is powerful enough now for a game to look as good as the CGI in the movie does. For the last new Disney world, I believe it will be one based off of Lilo and Stitch that takes place sometime after Stitch escaped in Birth by Sleep and when he meets Lilo.

Lastly, I believe there will be one more original world besides Cable Town. This world will be one of the last in the game and serve as this games The World That Never Was. It will most likely serve as a point between the main story and the Keyblade Graveyard. There’s not much more to say about it considering that it would be brand new.

So that’s it for part 1 and please share your thoughts in the comments on whether or not you agree with me and what worlds you you think are going to be in the game. Look forward to part 2 in the next few days where I will be talking about the story.