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Gamer Tuesday

June 18, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: KINGDOM HEARTS III HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!

Last week, the video game industry gathered in California once again for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for show. The expo gave game companies the opportunities to show off their latest game systems and titles for the fall and beyond. It is certainly a big deal as that's where we gamers get to witness for the first time some of the best games we can expect this holiday season, as well as enjoy big game announcements. One of these was...

Wait for it...

KINGDOM HEARTS III!!

Kingdom Hearts 3 Logo

That's right! Having just celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, and nearly 7 years since the last numbered entry, Kingdom Hearts III will now become a reality! For those that missed it, here is the very first trailer:

 

Now as you may know, I have more than fondness towards this series. The very first Kingdom Hearts game brought me back into the Disney fandom in a big way thanks to an epic story that celebrated all things Disney in a beautiful, interactive manner. Thanks to it, I wouldn't be here today talking all things Disney with my friends!

But you may have a few questions about the game, which I hope to answer at this moment in time...

Why is the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III a big deal? We have had Kingdom Hearts games in the past...

Yeah, it's true. Since Kingdom Hearts II in 2006, we have had a total of four Kingdom Hearts games on various platforms. They are all very important in the grand scheme of things as they helped explain some of the mysteries left behind by the older games, as well as create brand new ones to decipher. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, in particular, took us back to the very beginning. However, these were all side-stories and spin-offs released on handhelds. Even if series creator Tetsuya Nomura oversaw the development of these titles, the original Kingdom Hearts team had been busy working on other titles, meaning that we have had to wait nearly 7 years for the next chapter in the series.

What happens in Kingdom Hearts III?

Tetsuya Nomura has stated in the past that Kingdom Hearts III will be the end of the 'Xenahort Saga', called like that because in all the game, the characters have had to encounter Master Xenahort, the series' main antagonist. Nomura said that the third game would bring an end to the saga and finally close this chapter in the series. That means that Kingdom Hearts won't end, but instead continue in another saga, possibly following Sora and friends yet again. So yes, ALL the mysteries should be solved by the third entry. At least, that's what the fan community hopes...

Have any Disney worlds and characters been announced yet?

Sadly, the trailer did not confirm any Disney worlds. However, this is the one aspect that has me excited the most. As much as I love the original story, it is the chance of visiting Disney worlds that brings the most joy. Square Enix has often done a great job of bringing these characters and their worlds in a stunning digital world, often replicating important scenes as perfectly as possible. Also, as the rest of the series has proven, Square Enix has little to no limitations as to what worlds they choose to represent in the game. The first Kingdom Hearts game saw the introduction of Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas, years before the quirky Tim Burton creation saw the massive popularity it has today. Kingdom Hearts II saw the premiere of worlds based on live action films, with a world based on Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and one on TRON.

Since the release of Kingdom Hearts II, we have had the releases of The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Bolt, Frankenweenie and countless other classics. Pixar also became part of the Disney family, and recently we got the Muppets, Star Wars and Marvel! It is a fact that in the past, Square Enix tried to turn The Jungle Book into a game world, and Buzz and Woody were supposed to have made appearances in Kingdom Hearts II as summon characters, but the only thing left behind were unfinished game models and programming code for the characters, so Kingdom Hearts III could finally see those elements come to life, as well as see very creative worlds based on Disney's expansive library of stories and characters!

For what system is it coming out?

Kingdom Hearts III will officially become a next generation release, making an appearance on the recently announced PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. While Kingdom Hearts has made appearances on several platforms, the main entries had been console released on the PlayStation 2. This marks the first time a canon entry sees releases in a system outside of Sony's systems.

When is it coming out?

And this is where we hit the biggest snag of the hype... According to Nomura, the game may have been shown off a little TOO early, hence why the trailer shows so very little of it. If the game was shown off too early, it means that the development team may still be in the early phases of game creation. This means that we might not see the game released till 2 or 3 years later. Square Enix could surprise us and have a finished game by mid-to-late 2015, but the company is known for their long development cycles, so who knows at this point.

Do I have to play the other entries in the series to enjoy this game?

Ideally, yes. The Kingdom Hearts story has become so extensive that now every entry features vital information about the plot and characters, and they often reference each other. It's like trying to watch a season 2 episode of Once Upon a Time without watching the first season: you WILL get confused. What's even more troublesome is that the series has seen releases on many consoles and handhelds, including PS2, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and more. Hunting down the games and the consoles to play them could prove problematic.

The good news, though, is that each game often has an expansive journal mode that details all the events in prior games as well as character backstories, so that should be able to help anyone that wishes to enjoy the games, but may have missed out on a couple of them.

Wish I could say more, but what we have is extremely little at this point. Stay tuned for any future development on the game!

 

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