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The Kingdom Hearts franchise will continue beyond Kingdom Hearts III
Tetsuya Nomura speaks with Hero Complex of the Los Angeles Times about the future of the Kingdom Hearts series. Kingdom Hearts III is not just the third numbered entry in the series; it is also the culmination of ten years of Kingdom Hearts games, including various handheld titles that have all contributed to the story at large. Regardless of these significant yet smaller titles, though, fans have been clamoring for a numbered, console sequel to Kingdom Hearts II since 2006. In an interview, Nomura shares his process when it comes to determining the right time to develop such a sequel: "First and most important is the determination in my mind. That will launch the project. It's difficult to explain what kind of determination I am talking about. As you can imagine, expectations by the fans for franchise with sequels go up each time." Nomura then explains that fans are particularly excited for Kingdom Hearts III, and briefly mentions other influences such as gaming technology and the presence of Disney worlds. As Nomura has stated within the past few weeks, although he thinks it would be interesting if Kingdom Hearts could adapt Pixar properties, such decisions must ultimately be worked out with Disney. Nomura
See Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] gameplay in action
Disney Japan just uploaded a new "play movie" on YouTube featuring the web browser game Kingdom Hearts χ! The video shows the player character interacting with Disney non-player characters such as Aladdin. Worlds and background music alike are seemingly lifted from the entire Kingdom Hearts series, including the console games and the handheld games. Also included is a new version of the well-known "Dearly Beloved" track! The game itself seems a bit more expansive and smooth than we originally thought it might be, with fluid animation and gameplay that exceeds a simple side-scroller. As far as we know, the browser game is only available in Japan. Are people more interested in Kingdom Hearts χ now that we've seen the game in action?
Kingdom Hearts III still early in development
Speaking with Dengeki PlayStation, Tetsuya Nomura has revealed more tidbits about Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura stresses that the game is very early in development, so much so that not all of the worlds have even been chosen yet. Additionally, the trailer shown at this year's E3 was not running in real-time (although it would apparently look much the same if it were). This means that we can expect new outfits and better camera controls in the future. Kingdom Hearts is well-known for its "convoluted" storyline. All of the games, console and handheld, have been leading up to Kingdom Hearts III, which promises to conclude the storyline featuring the Xehanort antagonist. At the same time, however, the developers are looking into ways to make the game more accessible for those new to the series. In addition to releasing on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the development team is also considering smartphone/tablet support and online elements. How these features will be implemented, if at all, remains to be seen. Expect more information at the Tokyo Game Show later this year, and also at the upcoming D23 Expo Japan, where Nomura hopes to join some of the voice actors from the series on-stage. Via: Final Fantasy FXN
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Battle Event Recap
The Final Fantasy XIV battle challenge recap just wrapped up, which included a live commentary on the fight against Ifrit. Our hosts first started talking about the massive presence that the new FFXIV has at this year's E3. Not only are there large posters throughout the stadium (including in the elevator!), but images from the game can even be seen outdoors. The hosts later mentioned that the new FFXIV won Destructoid's award for Best MMORPG at this year's E3. The event consists of two teams made up of PC and PS3 users in a timed battle against Ifrit, with ten minutes in total given to the players. The hosts kept hoping the players would cast protect at the start of the battle, but noted that they've rarely been doing so all day long. The battle against Ifrit was scaled down compared to how such battles will be in the final version of the game, but regardless, the first team still lost. Ifrit used his physical mass, as well as various fiery techniques that interacted with the environment, in order to damage all of the players at once (this includes his infamous attack, "Hellfire"). Seeing the players fighting against a blazing Ifrit was evocative
Nomura @ E3, Part 2: Final Fantasy XV
Tetsuya Nomura's livestream interview at E3 2013 went beyond discussing the Kingdom Hearts franchise. After showing us a new gameplay trailer, they immediately began talking about Final Fantasy XV! Nomura right away explains that the trailer will be available to view on the company website after the livestream. Regarding the name change from Versus XIII and the "feel" of being a numbered title: within the company, about one to two years after Versus XIII was announced, discussions were had on its scale and concept. It was considered that the game may be appropriate for Final Fantasy XV. They talked about it for several years. Two years ago (sometime in 2011), developers began to hear about next-generation consoles, and the team decided to make Final Fantasy Versus XIII into FFXV. One year ago, they decided that all development will shift to next-generation consoles, and the name was officially changed. The game will be an action-based RPG. Not much turn-based style will feature in XV, but in the trailer, we can see a command system in the screen. Nomura tried to keep the "taste" of Final Fantasy; he's not trying to make it all action. The game being a Final Fantasy entry
Nomura @ E3, Part 1: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III
Tetsuya Nomura just concluded an interview on Square Enix's E3 2013 livestream, in which he discussed his work on both the Kingdom Hearts franchise and the new Final Fantasy XV (previously known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII). For part one, we'll be focusing on the Kingdom Hearts questions asked by the interviewer. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX The title of the franchise was meant to be appropriate to Disney. Nomura was inspired by amusement parks and wanted to call the game series "Kingdom" after Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hearts play a big role in the story, so they combined the two together. Shinji Hashimoto was friends with a Disney employee, as both Disney and Square shared offices in the same building. After chatting and deciding to collaborate in the future, Hashimoto asked Nomura if he was interested in developing a game. Nomura calls the relationship between Disney and Square Enix "good," since it's now ten years strong (and they also have the same counterpart at Disney that they've had since the beginning of the KH series). Although they've had heated discussions, they always resulted in many games in the franchise. Since the first Kingdom Hearts was created over a decade ago, the
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn also on PS4
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, in addition to its PC and PS3 releases, was just announced to be making its way to the PS4. Although this isn't the most exciting news to come out of the Sony conference at this year's E3, the reveal that the revamped XIV will soon be on a next-generation console shows that Square Enix is listening to its fans. How XIV will utilize the PS4's specific online and sharing features remains to be seen. Please tune in for more information soon as E3 2013 continues!
Kingdom Hearts III announced for PlayStation 4
Kingdom Hearts III has been officially announced for the PlayStation 4 at this year's E3 2013. Sorry we're late with this; so many people were accessing the site, it went down just after the big reveal! This was a HUGE surprise. The staff here at Nova Crystallis was expecting a reveal for the 2.5 ReMIX, so this went beyond our wildest dreams. The trailer began with Sora on the Destiny Islands. He picks up what looks like Eraqus' Keyblade and suddenly finds himself in Twilight Town, fighting a horde of Heartless swarming together in the air. The art style is reminiscent of previous KH games, but it contains the refinement found in the Versus XIII (or rather, Final Fantasy XV) trailer. Kingdom Hearts III has been expected for over seven years now, and we're so happy to finally see it in the works. More information and media will be posted as it is made available. Update: We've got a little gallery of LQ screenshots going. I'll bring you the better ones as soon as I can.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII revealed as Final Fantasy XV for PS4
Tetsuya Nomura's long-awaited project has now been revealed as Final Fantasy XV for the PlayStation 4. The trailer began with a video from Nomura hinting that he couldn't reveal more about the Versus project. After the video faded, the audience was greeted with a completely re-imagined game, completely different from the last time we saw it back in 2011. The trailer was fully voiced and featured Noctis, Stella, King Caelum (named Regis?), some of Noctis' buddies, and a new character holding a parasol. This new character seemed to be a villain. The battle system seems to be an evolution of the system we saw in the 2011 trailer. It contained elements we're familiar with: Noctis teleporting, wielding various weapons, and an enhanced Kingdom Hearts-style gameplay that seems to feature Noctis closer to the screen than in the previous trailer. We also saw Noctis fighting gigantic enemies, including preparing for battle with what seems to be a giant sea serpent. Other new characters, including a woman with long, black hair, can be spotted in the last few seconds of the trailer, when the cast's faces gather together side-by-side. The trailer ended with the Versus XIII logo, and rumblings of the "fifteenth coming." That's when the
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix manga releases tomorrow
The Kingdom Hearts manga returns to the west tomorrow, May 28. We already reported the acquisition of the Kingdom Hearts manga series by Yen Press, but that was a few months ago. Here's a reminder so you don't forget to go to your local bookstore or order online! Yen Press will be releasing the manga in two omnibus editions, both of which will be available tomorrow. Expect a new translation and a few new scenes, since this will be the Final Mix version of the manga (just like the Final Mix version of the game). Please look forward to a review in the near future that analyzes the manga series while comparing it to the previous Tokyopop version! The next Yen Press release will be the manga version of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, due out next month in one omnibus. Update/Author's Note: It has been brought to my attention that the Final Mix manga doesn't contain new scenes, beyond a few panel corrections here and there. My sincerest apologies for not checking this information first; I was in a hurry, but that's really no excuse. I'm sorry!