Kingdom Hearts the animated series almost happened

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When Kingdom Hearts released in 2002 it was immediately clear to Square and Disney that they had a hit on their hands. In that same year Disney started work on a pilot based off the first game that would hopefully lead to a television series. While this project had been heavily rumored for over ten years it was Seth Kearsley who was heavily involved with this project that proved it’s existence when he uploaded a story board he drew for the pilot on his Deviantart page.

This story board is from an episode that would feature Sora, Donald, and Goofy visiting Agrabah. Riku is also visiting this world at the same time on a mission for Maleficent. Seth played through the entire first game when he started the project and his love for the game really shows in these few boards he drew. Also since he was working with Disney at the time he was allowed to use the original art used in the movie Aladdin for backgrounds.

While the pilot tested extremely well, the project was cancelled before anything else could come from it. This was due to the fact Square had already started planning more titles in the Kingdom Hearts series and the creators of the series thought that the animated series might confuse the audience. This story board may also be the most we ever see about this project since Disney isn’t known for releasing their unfinished pilots.

This news comes from the Kingdom Hearts Union podcast who interviewed Seth and talked about the history of this project. Be sure to listen to it here to hear more interesting details from Seth’s time working on the project as well as what he would do with it now if the opportunity came again.

How would you feel about a Kingdom Hearts animated series coming back and how would you like them to do it? Let us know your ideas for a Kingdom Hearts animated series in the comments below

 

Final Fantasy XIII & XIII-2 added to PlayStation Now beta

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PlayStation Now has been in a private beta on PlayStation 3 since January and just recently began on PlayStation 4. The latest update to the PS Now beta not only added a whole new slew of games, but also gives us a preview of how the pricing will work. Two of the newest games in the beta games rotation are Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2.

PlayStation Now is a service that will let you stream a game straight to your PS3, PS4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, and Sony Bravia TV’s. Since the games are being streamed there is no need to download the game and this allows you to hop right into the game as long as you have a somewhat decent internet connection. Prices are going to vary depending on the game as well as when it was released. Sony has also talked about having a subscription plan closer to the full launch of the service. 1545069_869094549771878_2649577431466702768_n As of now if you were looking to rent a game your options are four hours, seven days, 30 days, or 90 days. If you own a game digitally it will be free to stream right away on your PS3. If you are looking for these game on your PS4 they will not appear as free until you set up your rental on PS3 first. Since this is a beta hopefully this will change soon. Let us know what you think of being able to play Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 on your PS4 with PlayStation Now in the comments below.

Why Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a distraction and not a gift for fans

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Square Enix had a great E3 in 2013 with the announcement of Final Fantasy XV along with many other great titles releasing soon. Ever since then Square has been doing its best job to keep fans of the series content until they were ready to show  more with other titles such as Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy X|X-2. Naturally most people assumed they were waiting for E3 2014 since no major news for Final Fantasy XV had appeared since its reveal last June, but a few days before the event started we got word that the game would remain silent for some time longer. While many fans were extremely disappointed to hear this, it must have been a real surprise to Square Enix just how little they had to show without it at E3 this year.

Die hard Final Fantasy fans did glimpse a glimmer of hope, however, with the announcement of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – although ultimately it ended up coming off as a real afterthought as it was “officially” announced at the end of a trailer for the iOS and Android game Final Fantasy Agito, a free to play companion to Type-0. The announcement included a single screenshot from the game and proclaimed the localization of Type-0 HD was officially underway after months of organized fan efforts. Now over a week since that trailer released and no real news aside from a few voice actors working on the game have surfaced and the original announcement has sort of lost its original luster in light of its aftermath.

This is important to note because for all extensive purposes Square Enix has probably just started on this project and it was only announced so fans who were excited for Final Fantasy XV had something to look forward to. When I first saw that this game was finally coming to the west I was excited like many other people until I started really thinking about it. Why else would Square Enix finally announce a title that has been heavily requested by fans and have such a lackluster showing for it? The only possible reason I could come up with it is that they saw the negative feedback towards Final Fantasy XV not being at this years show and had to rush something that was clearly not ready to show off out the door. The lack of real footage and details – similar to what Square Enix pulled back in 2011 with Final Fantasy X HD ahead of the Vita launch – only cements my hypothesis.

Not only have we still not seen any gameplay for Type-0 HD, but we also don’t know when it will release or if it’ll include any new features besides the game being displayed in HD. For the most part HD collections are centered around buffing the original content with some new textures and character models here and there – and by Square Enix’s own admission, the game will most definitely not be a remake. The lack of information is concerning because Square Enix has fallen into development troubles in the past like it did with Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster, although they had more success with both of the Kingdom Hearts HD collections, readied alongside the development of Kingdom Hearts III. Ultimately, fans are left to speculate based on that uneven history.

14388493685_3751c7ed9f_zTo add insult to injury this announcement came less than week after the talented team at Sky’s RomHacking Nest just wrapped up their fantastic English translation patch for the original PSP game. Now while this doesn’t make any of their work translating this massive game mean any less, it just seems like Square Enix hasn’t been able to properly tell the fans anything in regards to Type-0. That became especially evident when we received Square Enix’s official press release for the game, confirming the title was on its way to both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. At the same time, a post was made on the PlayStation Blog by a Square Enix representative to indicate it was instead coming to PlayStation Vita, which sadly was a mistake soon amended.

Fans were confused and outraged – something I don’t really blame them for. After all, it was them through the efforts of campaigns such as Operation Suzaku and the more recent #JRPGVITA that helped catapult Type-0 to both Sony and Square Enix’s attention. Slighted Vita owners have taken to social media to voice their concerns, yet Square Enix has remained silent. The lack of response unfortunately continues to muddle the message of what should have been an exciting announcement. Is there hope for a Vita release? Perhaps, but it’s up to Square Enix to come clean. After all, this is still a remastered PSP game we’re talking about.

For those who anticipated the announcement of Type-0 HD there’s still plenty to be excited about – I’m just waiting to see it. If the game is far out, just let us know! Or show us some real gameplay footage rather than leaving people to endless speculation. It’s obvious that Final Fantasy XV is being strung along with Type-0 as a distraction to make up for the immediate future, but whether that’s the right decision for the franchise continuing into the new generation remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts on the Final Fantasy Type-0 announcement? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Nova Crystallis as an organization.