Tag Archives: Square-Enix

Kingdom Hearts’ 20th Anniversary Trailer Reveals ‘Dark Road’, ‘Missing Link’, and ‘Kingdom Hearts 4 (IV)’

11 Apr

Yesterday, Square-Enix dropped a trailer celebrating Kingdom Heart‘s Anniversary, adding announcements for all brand new projects to be released, extending the Kingdom Hearts universe.

It has been a little over year since Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, the game that focuses on Sora’s love interest Kairi, was released, and Kingdom Hearts Union X [Cross] has been updating as well (though Square-Enix announced the online game is due to end).

It doesn’t look like the journeys for the Keyblade Masters in this never-ending tale are over. That’s great news for fans looking for more content to be poured out of a 20-year franchise. The real question is: Does Kingdom Hearts have any more juice left? Based on the reactions of many fans across the fan space, including Youtube and Twitch fan influencer The Gamers Joint, it does.

For decades, Kingdom Hearts has excited fans with its amazing graphics, open game-play, ability to wrap audiences into its heartfelt story, and relatable characters.

Kingdom Hearts began in 2002 as a surprisingly successful role-playing game combining Square-Enix’s “Final Fantasy”-style anime-like characters and Disney. It followed the character Sora, a keyblade wielder, and his team of Disney lovables, Donald and Goofy, as they fought creatures called “Heartless”, denizens of darkness. It was updated to include an extension called Final Mix.

The story was much simpler then, though more complex than the average game’s story at the time.

Throughout the years, other games have expanded the Kingdom Hearts universe with new characters, new worlds, new “dark” enemies, and even more additions to the already-complex story.

Throughout, the franchise has released Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004, remade into Re: Chain of Memories), Kingdom Hearts II (2005, extended with Final Mix), Kingdom Hearts: Coded (2008, later remade into Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded), Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (2009), Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (2010, extended with Final Mix), Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts X [Chi] (2013, later extended into Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ / Union χ around 2015), Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep-a fragmentary passage- and Kingdom Hearts X Back Story (2017, included in the packaged game Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue), finally, Kingdom Hearts III (2019, extended with Remind), Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory (2020), and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road (2020).

Sora was also a featured character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The franchise has expanded on various gaming platforms, including PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Mobile phones, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Web browsers, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows.

Many of the games were re-packaged into one, onto singular platforms (Playstation 4, Xbox one, Nintendo Switch), probably one of the first franchises to do this with its older games so that new fans can keep up with the story. Recently, Kingdom Hearts – All In One Package has been the repackage that carries all the most current titles.

And just when we all thought that was the end of this very involved gaming series (insert sarcasm here, because we all know that there were already cliff-hangers and secret scenes at the end of the most recent games), here came the announcement of three new extended projects.

The Kingdom Hearts X story is finally wrapping up and coming to a conclusion with Kingdom Hearts Union X Dark Road, set for iOS and Android users.

Next, Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link was announced, and it appears to cover the world Scala ad Caelum (a world originally designed for Kingdom Hearts III that was left bare and hardly playable). Along with being a long-asked-for extension of the world, it appears fans are amazed that the game has managed to capture the Unreal Engine feeling for iOS and Android phones. For an app game, the game promises to be almost on-par with hard console games and it is a sign of the future of gaming. As online gaming becomes more and more advanced, the appeal will allow players to play beautiful and detailed games from the convenience of anywhere they bring their phones. It’s the portable gaming experience brought to the modern world.

There are many sides to the debate as to whether online app gaming can truly replace hard-copy console gaming. The ability to watch your gameplay on a master screen, giving a fully immersive experience, is clashing with the convenience of carrying your games on a rectangular brick, on an item that already carries tons of other important and non-important apps, anywhere you want to. Wherever games are going, though, Kingdom Hearts doesn’t want to be left behind.

The new game appears to also offer brand new playable characters, including more female characters that wield keyblades. There’s a lot to look forward to.

However, I’m sure, at this point, for most people, the story will get even more confusing with the addition of more character connections (though that’s basically the fun of Kingdom Hearts, since most fans get a kick out of piecing together this very convoluted story).

Finally, the most important piece of information fans have received is the announcement of Kingdom Hearts IV. Could this mean that the Kingdom Hearts saga we know and love will have its real final conclusion soon?

There’s no telling. There were 14 years between Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III, with plenty of other games in-between, and some fans thought the third game would finally wrap everything up (though hard-core fans knew better). As long as Kingdom Heart’s story remains so complex, with the holes not quite sealed, there appears to be more information to squeeze out across new games, with fans begging for more information. Could Kingdom Hearts IV really clean everything up neatly with a bow? And do the developers really intend it to? It seems like Kingdom Hearts has amassed a solid following in the years it’s been kicking, and Square-Enix seems pretty interested in keeping the enthusiasm alive by advancing Kingdom Hearts into the future.

As to what fans can expect from Kingdom Hearts IV, it’s too early in development to tell. So far, the trailer focuses on Sora, asleep in an apartment building or flat, in a Tokyo-like city called Quadratum (a world built off of a fictional video game in Kingdom Hearts III’s “Toy Box”, a world based off of Toy Story). The trailer doesn’t seem to focus on promoting Disney-ish Worlds, like trailers of old have, so it appears that’s under wraps.

Then again, in the past, many secret endings or early trailers avoided revealing the Disney developments (especially since gaining the rights to the worlds is a slow process). It is clear that Donald and Goofy (and possibly Hades?) will appear in the next installment. It appears that Sora is in the “After World”, some sort of “after life”, possibly passed on. That could be why Hades, from Disney’s Hercules, with his flaming hair, seems to appear in the trailer lurking behind Donald and Goofy.

Many are analyzing how “realistic” the art style looks (so far) in comparison to games before. I’d compare the newly-revealed world to Sanfransokyo in Kingdom Hearts III with a more dark and sinister twist. My theory is it is an “entry world”, similar to Traverse Town, Twilight Town, or Daybreak Town, that the character Sora and other keyblade wielders would often return to for perspective, to recharge, or to complete the main story. It definitely deviates from the other worlds’ more colorful and cartoonish feeling.

To be honest, based on my analysis, it appears that Sora’s “real world” is full of magic and cartoonish color, while the “after world” is our real world. I can get with this symbolism. Our ordinary life can feel like the underworld. It’s already making me think, and I can’t wait to see how Sora navigates it all. If someone in the Kingdom Hearts universe passes on, do they then go on to live in our hum-drum world? It’s almost as mentally stimulating as The Matrix.

Kingdom Hearts may be changed to fit its older audience now, so the realistic touches almost force us to realize that the kid Sora is all-grown-up now.

Aside from these types of changes, I’m sure most fans hope to see some improvements in the next game. To get a break-down on how I believe Kingdom Hearts IV could improve from Kingdom Hearts III, I created an in-depth review of the pros and cons present in the the third major game here.

As Kingdom Hearts IV is coming in, after everything that has happened recently, I can say I’m finally going in with a fresh palette of expectations. Many Disney worlds have been used already, the story has really gone from one extreme to the other, and the gameplay and graphics can only move forward from here. For the first time in years, I feel like I’m looking forward to a brand-new Kingdom Hearts experience, and I didn’t expect to feel that so soon. I really don’t know what to expect next.

It would be nice to see more Disney worlds with characters of color enter the game, worlds found in Disney movies such as The Princess and the Frog or Coco, but we’re talking about a game based in Japan. I don’t even think they promote Tiana at their local Disney Land. Still, I can hope that those movies appear.

Thinking of all that the franchise has put fans through, the journey we’ve all experienced through the many games released, I think most of us can expect it to be a while before this game is completed to perfection. I’m not getting my hopes up that this game will arrive any time soon. We all have time to come up with our hopes and dreams for the perfect Kingdom Hearts game, and the company has plenty of time to listen.

Playing this franchise as a kid, to now as a full adult, it seems so surreal to be able to witness how everything is unfolding as it is. But through it all, I’ve also learned not to expect too much from a game I’ve really fallen in love with. My love for Kingdom Hearts has become unconditional, as it were, with me embracing its flaws and all. No matter how much I try to say I’ve had enough, it draws me in one more time.

So, amidst my suffering pockets, and odd jobs, I will be the first in line when this game finally drops.

In the meantime, all of us fans can still play all of the other games and freshen up on the story. It’s a lot to comb through for newcomers, so I suggest buying the latest repackage to keep up. For old-timers, it’s time to dive back in so everyone is ready for the next chapter.


My Kingdom Hearts III Experience + Kingdom Hearts Ranking

5 Mar

ANOTHER KH3 Theme Song Announced! “Face My Fears” By Utada Hikaru and Skrillex!

7 Oct

Greetings readers! This is Gen Next! I am back with some more Kingdom Hearts 3 news! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve come out with some news on Kingdom Hearts 3…but here I am!

I know I’m a little late on the news due to other obligations in my life, but I just had to get in on the news about Utada Hikaru and her newest opening song for Kingdom Hearts 3!

That’s right…it’s an ALL NEW THEME SONG. The name of it is “Face My Fears”. This isn’t just any old KH song though. It is a song made with the collaborative efforts of Utada Hikaru (the main songstress of Kingdom Hearts) and EDM DJ Skrillex!

Source of info

According to Kingdom Hearts’s official twitter, the opening song for Kingdom Hearts was originally going to be a Skrillex remix of “Don’t Think Twice” (the first KH3 theme song). However, as stated on twitter “owing to the pair’s friendship, this has now developed into a new and original collaboration…” Awesome sauce!

This is some seriously big news because this is the first time in Kingdom Hearts history that we get TWO Kingdom Hearts theme songs for one game (the opening will be “Face My Fears”, while the ending song for Kingdom Hearts will be “Oath” for Japan and “Don’t Think Twice” internationally).

Of course, some may have mixed feelings about Skrillex being on board with this collab. Skrillex is an EDM DJ who is known for his “head banging” beats that may not seem to fit with what we are used to from a KH soundtrack. Honestly, I have seen great Skrillex songs and not-so-great ones in my opinion…But Utada’s vocals can make any song a good one, so I am not worried!

Skrillex has done collaborations with Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Korn, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Fifth Harmony, Ellie Goulding, Zedd, and so many other really popular artists. The fact that Square-Enix is getting a more well known EDM composer on board shows that Kingdom Hearts is expanding and more popular than ever. Hopefully this collab will bring in more newcomers who are fans of Skrillex to the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Who knows, they may decide to purchase the game due to Skrillex’s involvement with the opening theme song. I’m excited to see what will come from this combo!


I must also mention that Skrillex has been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts game series for a long time, longer than some KH fans were born. This is another reason why I do have a little faith in this collab.  In an interview with 98Rock Baltimore back in 2011, when he was asked to think of an ideal setting for his music, he responded, “If anybody’s ever seen the video game Kingdom Hearts, there’s Destiny Island, which is the first level that you play on, which is like total RPG from Square-soft or Square-Enix.” He also says later in the interview “Its the most beautiful island in the world and I would love to play in it”.

For a KH fan, this collab is obviously a dream come true for him. Not only is he working with one of the greatest Jpop singers of all time (a close friend of his) but he is also working on a song for one of his favorite video games. What a lucky guy!

Alongside Skrillex on this project is Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, who has worked with Skrillex on several projects and another person who has worked with famous people like Justin Beiber. From what I’ve heard, Poo Bear is quite a talented singer so I can’t help but be excited about his involvement in this project as well.

So, what do you guys think about this piece of news? Do you like that we are getting TWO brand new KH3 theme songs, or would you have preferred a remix to the original song? What do you think about Utada and Skrillex doing a collab on this? Let me know in the comments below!

Kingdom Hearts III Trailer @ TGS + Big Hero 6 Trailer!

21 Sep

If you think I forgot to post these trailers…You’re absolutely right. 😛

I’m just ready for the game already!

But you all can enjoy a few teasers today!

Brand New Kingdom Hearts III Trailer @ D23 Expo Japan 2018! + New Utada Theme Song!

11 Feb

A brand new Kingdom Hearts III trailer just dropped…and I’ve been trying not to get over-hyped, but…this trailer snatched my soul.

Let me share the trailer with you all so you’ll get the feel of what I’m feeling right now.

Wow. There was so much to take in, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll try to talk about everything. But at this point, Square, Disney, and Tetsuya Nomura can just take my wallet.

The following review will contain some spoilers. So if you haven’t played all of the in-between games, and you still want to play them, be cautious when reading or just enjoy the trailer above and all the trailers below the article. I can tell you right now that playing all the games are important if you don’t want to be confused playing this new game…Get the HD remixes if you have PS4!

If you want to catch up with the Kingdom Hearts timeline, click this article—> Kingdom Hearts Timeline Completed

Now, let’s talk about this trailer.

First, I want to talk about this long catchphrase or sentence that has become KH3‘s staple: “Don’t Assume Your Dreams Are Just Fantasy. If You Can Imagine a World, Believe In It and Dive In.” I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. I’ve been trying to see how this may relate to KH3, aside from all the sky-diving I keep seeing in the trailer. This catchphrase is longer than “You never know what will happen next” from Kingdom Hearts I. And in that game, we never knew what was going to happen…

Second, more Toy Story. I’m still in awe with how it looks. Read my last article on KH3 to see more. Click the link. Everything looks amazing in that world!

Third, THE RETURN OF MARLUXIA. I thought he was dead! Then again, I don’t know if he fell back into darkness after the organization regained consciousness again. Axel, I mean Lea, is back (as we saw in KH Dream Drop Distance). And just as it was left last, Sora doesn’t remember Marluxia because he has no memory of Castle Oblivion (Chain of Memories).

Fourth, the Monster’s Inc world! It looks fantastic! I’m so excited for this world. Just the way it’s set up is so cool. It looks like we’ll be running from helicopters, sliding down the doors, and fighting tons and tons of heartless, nobodies, unversed, and nightmares! And we have a monster form! Sora’s monster form looks awesome!

And the Dreameaters are back from Dream Drop Distance! I’m fine about that, just don’t bring “drop” mode back. With other people in our party though, how will the Dreameaters play a role? That’d be interesting to see…

Fifth, in the Tangled world, we’re going to be fighting with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider! And there’s an ARIEL (from the Little Mermaid) command move! Maybe a summon? Or it could be like the amusement park and teacup commands we used to see back in the other older trailers. I just hope we don’t return to that world. No hate, but I want to see something new. Though it would be cool to see Atlantica with the Unreal Engine. Maybe they can re-do all the games in the future, like what happened with Crash Bandicoot.

On a positive note, I see some similarities to Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Fragmentary Passage 0.2 when it comes to a lot of the commands. That game got me amped up for this game. Shotlock really got a makeover!

Fourth, it appears Vanitas (from Birth By Sleep) has returned! And yes, we all knew Ventus has been sharing a heart with Sora. That’s why Roxas looked the way he did and why he didn’t really have any memories, unlike the other Nobodies. That’s probably why Sora was able to wield a keyblade even though he wasn’t formally chosen like Riku.

Fifth, my only disappointment-no official release date. But it’s great just being reminded that the game is set to come out some time this year. It may be pushed back, but just having that release window there…it’s comforting to know that it’s coming soon.

Sixth, I’m just now noticing this, but the keyblades change as we enter the new worlds! So does that mean we don’t have to wait to complete a stage to use a keyblade relevant to that world? That would be pretty cool, as long as we can switch keyblades whenever we want. Sometimes, I didn’t like the keyblades specifically chosen for some worlds in older games, as some of them were weaker or didn’t have the best stats. But if we can get new keyblades as we switch worlds, and we can change keyblades when we want, great! And maybe customization will be back from Fragmentary Passage 0.2! It would be awesome if we could customize our keyblades!

Finally, UTADA IS BACK! We were worried for a minute. Remember that article I made about that dilemma? If you don’t, click me. I would like to think that articles like that really helped in pushing for Utada’s return. I’m so happy she decided to make a new song for the game in this saga. I don’t know how I feel about the song overall, as it doesn’t feel like the other songs and we haven’t seen it put together with the opening footage yet. It’s a modern-sounding song and it seems to be the slower version (considering there’s always two versions of her songs in the games). At this point, I’m just glad I’m not going to be hearing Simple and Clean and Sanctuary again. And I’m happy to hear her voice again.

And then that bit with Riku and Mickey at the end of that trailer? Why are they back in the realm of darkness? And what does he mean by “the other me”? Don’t tell me he has a nobody or some other form too! That’s just a theory, don’t quote me. So many questions!

So, those are my thoughts on the trailer and new theme song! What do you readers think about this new trailer? Did you notice anything new that I didn’t notice? Please share your comments with me!

Enjoy other older trailers that gave us amazing reveals!

Another Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer + New Trailer and World At D23 in July!

18 Jun

There have been three Kingdom Hearts teaser trailers since 2013. Now, Square-Enix has given us a fourth. Now, things seem to be moving towards better development. For me, though, these teasers make fans even more hyped up, which can be good and disastrous at the same time (if the game takes too long to be released or if the game doesn’t meet expectations). Fortunately, we’ve been told that Tetsuya Nomura is a “perfectionist” and won’t release the game until it is perfect. Unfortunately, Nomura has also said they had to cut certain things out of the game to push up the release.

It has been more than 10 years since Kingdom Hearts II came out, and mostly the loyal fans (and the fans who can afford to) have played the side games (the most recent one being Kingdom Hearts 2.8). After looking at the reactions to this trailer, I was shocked. The fans really are still around!

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Coming December 2016 + Complete Kingdom Hearts Timeline Finished!

This new trailer was so popular, in fact, even among everything happening at E3’s event (and outside of it) a little over a week ago, Kingdom Hearts was the top story in the gaming world among stories missed, according to IGN!

Most Kingdom Hearts fans were expecting to see information about Kingdom Hearts III at E3. But, surprise! A new trailer was dropped at the Kingdom Hearts ORCHESTRA tour.

Of course, as a Kingdom Hearts fan, I was super excited about the trailer.

Let’s review the trailer, shall we?

1) We’re seeing more from the Olympus Coliseum “Hercules” world.

2) The Command Style from Birth By Sleep Fragmentary Passage 0.2 seems to be adopted.

3) Party member combination attacks seem to be back, but better than before.

4) Hercules is now a party member.

5) Hades, Maleficent, and Pete are back.

6) The “black box” was mentioned. All my fellow fans who watched the Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Back Story cinematic know where that line is going…

7) The magic has taken on the style from Birth By Sleep Fragmentary Passage 0.2. Awesome.

8) We see the drive forms have returned, along with the Sonic Blade command.

9) Sora is trying to bring Roxas back. Dream Drop Distance comes to mind. Sora made new revelations about the Nobodies, so I figured Roxas would come up sooner or later in KHIII.

10) I’m not seeing the “amusement park” attacks here. I hope they weren’t scraped.

11) Keyblade transformation seems awesome.

12) Shotlock has returned.

13) It looks like there will be a dive mode similar to what we had in Dream Drop Distance. Are they discarding the gummi Ship? I really liked the upgrades for the gummi ship in Kingdom Hearts II and was hoping to see better upgrades in the new game… Then again, it got annoying at times. Maybe the dive mode is back because Sora is trying to become what he couldn’t become in Dream Drop Distance… Ya’ll fans know what I’m talking about.

14) Aerial Finish is back!

15) Flowmotion has returned.

16) D23 Expo July 15, 2017 will reveal the trailer and a NEW WORLD. We already got the word that Big Hero 6‘s world will be in the game. I wonder if the new trailer will show a bit of it. This makes me excited, but I’m afraid of spoiling the game for myself. XD I’m so weak to these teasers.

I’ve been watching quite a bit of reaction videos, too. It’s strange when I watch reaction videos that question “the black box” and are confused about certain commands. The fan’s overall Kingdom Hearts experience is exposed when watching these videos, and it’s obvious when a fan hasn’t played the game since Kingdom Hearts II. XD The fans who have really been keeping up with things not only understand what’s going on, but they are creating solid theories.


There are many other reaction videos out there! It’s quite entertaining.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the Kingdom Hearts III trailer!


Kingdom Hearts III: The Theme Song Dilemma and the Utada Hikaru Controversy

23 Jun



Kingdom Hearts 3 has already been high in anticipation, but it has really been the talk of fans lately since the E3 gameplay trailer was released several days ago. Many speculations, rumors, and desires have been spreading around fiercer than before.

One of those speculations and desires involve the theme song vocalist Utada Hikaru…


If most of you haven’t heard, Utada Hikaru has been on hiatus since 2011, four years now. Utada Hikaru also stated in a 2009 interview that she wasn’t “paid enough” by the developers of Kingdom Hearts, considering the fact she created the melodies and wrote the songs in both Japanese and English. This was why she never sang new songs for the other Kingdom Hearts versions.

But it seems Utada plans to come out of hiatus soon (YAY!). http://www.khinsider.com/news/Hikaru-Utada-working-on-new-album-5684

Still, we don’t know if she’s willing to work with Square again.

This leaves many to question whether the iconic Japanese pop singer would return as the main theme songstress for Kingdom Hearts 3.

Okay, I know some of you might think that it’s pretty petty for some fans to whine and complain about Utada not being able to sing for the game. Some of you may feel bitter-sweet about her demanding more money to sing for Kingdom Hearts. It does sound kind of selfish, and some of you may wish to move on because of this news.

However, we all know that Utada Hikaru has come to be the staple singer for the series. Without her, it seems that the series isn’t complete. It’s almost like a character is missing. It’s like Kingdom Hearts without Dearly Beloved, the song that introduces Kingdom Hearts.

And sure, let’s not take it as far as to say the game will be awful without her because I’m certain the game will be awesome with or without Utada Hikaru. Whatever new singer, the game may still deliver.

But music has its purpose in any movie or game: It tells a story all its own. A good song and story add to the appeal of a game. This is why game developers work hard to choose the right music for each game. Without the right song, it is hard to advertise the game to appeal to the right demographic. It is hard to grasp the feelings of the characters without the music. The opening theme shapes the tone of the story. It is hard to remind “lost fans” of the games through commercials that remind them of the old days. And let’s face it people: the longevity of the series depends on the sales of the games out now and games coming out. If anyone expects this series to continue, Square-Enix needs to know that the game series isn’t disappointing. And they will know that through sales from hard-core fans, new consumers, and consumers who fell from the series but may want to return. New consumers need to be appealed to.

I remember, if you want the honest truth, that Utada Hikaru’s Simple and Clean was the exact song that really got me into the series. Yes, I would listen to that song on the commercials so much back in 2002, it got stuck in my head. I wanted to buy it. It was also the visuals, the Disney worlds we would fight in, and the foreign appeal. But the song sealed the deal. I mean, why do commercials have songs? To make the product more effective, right? When I bought it, I was fascinated to find the song to be the actual opening theme song! And there were lyrics in the back of the booklet that came with the game. The music drew me into the series. Who knows how many other people were drawn into the series because of the song! What a turn-off it could be for those fans! Some of you may think those fans are immature, but everyone is entitled to their preferences in a game. Is it immature to ask for anything in a game you are paying for? That’s like saying it’s immature to ask for worlds, keyblades, or expect the game to have excellent gameplay. They are all demands. There is no demand that is too immature if you are expected to buy the product. If someone complains, it’s because that’s what they expect from the product. And sure, they can just not buy the series. But think about the bigger picture. If that person doesn’t buy it, that’s one consumer who will not purchase the series. That’s one loss for Square-enix. There could be others who follow suit.

When Kingdom Hears II first came out, I had been waiting for the trailer. I was busy doing chores when I heard a familiar wistful voice on the t.v. I knew it was the same singer from Kingdom Hearts. It reminded me of the game. It was familiar to me. Therefore, I was able to notice Kingdom Hearts II had come out. Had the song been completely different, it would never have caught my ears the same way. So, it is not far-removed for fans to be concerned about the theme song.

The music has always been one of the most iconic things about Kingdom Hearts, and whatever songs they choose will set the mood.

So, this leaves us with two questions: what will be done and what could be done?

If fans want a new song from Utada and no one or nothing else, this could prove to be a challenge, even a legal one. Though Kingdom Hearts 3 is still in development, the release of a game-play trailer shows that development may be winding down. If we want Utada as the theme songstress, with a brand new song, we are going to have to act fast.

A petition will NOT work. The only way Utada will sing for the series is if she is paid to do so. This means Square-Enix has to pay her more than what they have been paying if they expect her to sing in Japanese and English. As fans, there are several things we can do to maneuver this situation in our favor if we really want this.

1) We can urge Square-Enix to loosen their demands and just ask Utada for a Japanese song, just one song, and put it on both games. In this case, they can pay her for less work. Lately, localized ( Dubbed) animes have been adapting the Japanese theme songs straight from the original Japanese animes. Why can’t this be done for Kingdom Hearts? We could still get Utada as the theme songstress and the game could even feel more authentic.

It may sound weird to other regions and it may have a hard time relating to new consumers….But at least the feeling of Kingdom Hearts will not have changed.

We can equally urge them to just ask Utada to make just one song in English, considering it’s a global language. But Nomura is Japanese and his main demographic is Japanese. It just wouldn’t be right.

So perhaps they can have Utada sing the Japanese version and get another artist to sing the English version… But just like with the Final Mixes, you’ll have people who will feel cheated because we weren’t “treated fairly”. And People, it’s very important that everyone feels satisfied with the series. This will increase the game’s popularity and sales.

The only overall conclusion to this solution is for Square to ask Utada to sing one Japanese song and apply it to both games, risking the judgment of those overseas who do not understand the language. There are more pros. Old-time fans will get to hear Utada and the Japanese will be happy. And who knows what new fans may like it better because of the authenticity…It may be an effective risk.

2) We can raise money towards the Utada Project. I’ve thought of this little idea where I could donate some money every month towards the project of Kingdom Hearts III to speed up development. Considering Utada is looking for money, (And who can blame her! Think about how much work it is to make two songs) we, as fans, could donate money towards the theme song. We could organize a plan between Square-Enix and Utada. We could talk to both parties. Somehow, we could pitch in to keep Utada as the theme songstress, at least for one last game in this saga.

If you are not willing to put time and energy into getting anything, then it is not worth fighting for. How many of you would like to organize this sort of project? Leave me a comment and select an option in my poll below if you do. Then we can discuss further.

But if you are not willing to do all of this… Then there’s always option number 1….If you really want Utada back….And you really want a new song from Utada….

If you want Utada but don’t mind using an old song, this would probably be the easiest option for Square, but not the most creative. I mean, come on, this is our LAST GAME for this saga. We need to reminisce on the series through the music. We have to feel this series is coming to an end. We have to feel completely whole by the end of this series. We have to feel we have gone through this journey. Kingdom Hearts II managed to feel like Kingdom Hearts but it also felt like a major leap forward in the story because the song was so different. And let’s face it, using the same song over and over can get boring. We want KHIII to be epic, right? Maybe you don’t care. But we do want this game to appeal to everyone. This will decide sales. Music can influence sales, believe it or not.

I think in order to appeal to everyone the best idea would be to use an orchestrated version of Utada’s songs. That could make it feel new but also give an old feeling. The orchestrated version could be re-mastered in some way.

If you want a completely new song, with Utada or not, there are several things to consider here.

1) If they choose a completely new artist, the artist would have to “feel” like the game. Choosing any random anime Jpop/Jrock artist could completely take away the story-telling tone of the music. It would sound unfamiliar in commercials. Some people learn of the game’s arrival through commercials if they haven’t been following the series closely. Music really connects others to advertisements. Would they really take notice if the song had a completely different feeling? Some may, some may not. It may not feel like the final KH game, but more like we’ve already started on a new game entirely. It wouldn’t feel like a “wrap-up”. The game could lose its identity. Theme songs, characters, worlds, game-play-they all cater to a game’s identity. We want a game that has everything well-presented, especially if we are the ones spending money, correct?

They would really have to choose an artist that can match Utada’s melancholy, yet wistful, voice. She had a distinct voice. She also spoke excellent English and Japanese. Keep this in mind. Choosing the right artist is very important.

2) They don’t have to actually have a singer. Perhaps they can have an epic orchestrated song as the opening to show that this is the finale. It doesn’t have to be a Utada song, but they don’t have to screw up the “feeling of nostalgia” signing some other singer into the series at the very end of one of its most anticipated sagas. When we anticipate a saga, we anticipate how everything will fit, including the music. This solution might be the best one.

3) They could use one of Utada’s other songs even if it isn’t specifically written for KHIII. They could buy a song from her. Perhaps they could use a song she never got to release or something…

Even though Utada has showed disinterest when it comes to being involved with Kingdom Hearts, she doesn’t seem to be on bad terms with Tetsuya Nomura. Last year, Tetsuya Nomura made a beautiful design of Utada in Kingdom Hearts style for her 15th Anniversary album. It seems to be a sign that the two are on good terms…


Overall, this theme song mess really tells me that KHIII still has a lot of kinks to iron out before anything is released. Tell me, readers, Which solution appeals to you? Leave me a comment in the comments’ section and tell me what you think!

Kingdom Hearts 3 and Kingdom Hearts Unchained @ E3 2015!!!!

17 Jun

Yes, Kingdom Hearts fans and potential fans, KH3’s gameplay trailer has officially been released! Even in my adult years, this big kid has been waiting patiently for this game for 9 YEARS.

I’ve been waiting for this game for too long. We all have. And now, finally, Tetsuya Nomura has caved and teased us with an official, mouth-watering trailer.

It has been a while since the developers at Square-Enix gave us some footage or updates on the development. Finally, they have showed us what they have sharpened up on at E3 2015. I also hear there will be more gameplay trailers November 2015. So excited!

I just want to go over the things I noticed in this trailer with fellow readers and Kingdom Hearts fans.

1) The visuals-Despite doubters of the Unreal Engine 4, it has translated extremely well to Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts’s visuals have obviously improved over the years (I mean, 2002’s game and console had the best programming and technology for its time, but come on…). Most modern games that are based off of old-time games have a hard time appearing like an upgrade. But Kingdom Hearts managed to appear like an upgrade, and get this, without taking away the feeling of Kingdom Hearts.

Doubters of the Unreal Engine 4, including Nomura himself (one of the lead developers of the series), didn’t think that Kingdom Hearts could work with the new software. They were afraid it wouldn’t keep its feeling. Surprise! It did.

And that command list, though! It’s so not in the way like previous command lists.

The developers wanted the game to feel like a Disney movie, and it really shows. It really carries the same Disney magic and imagination. Yet, this looks like a game even a macho person would want to play.

2) Characters Present-We obviously know that Sora is returning as the lead character, along with Donald and Goofy. But we also see a younger Master Eraqus and a young Master Xehanort before they were masters themselves. They obviously know something about the future and it has to do with the darkness taking over. If you have played Kingdom Hearts X Chi, you might understand what they are talking about. If you haven’t, you may be in for a surprise or rude awakening, however you may see it.

We see that Eraqus wants to change the future predicted by the Foretellers. If you don’t know who they are, you might want to play KHX….

3) Worlds Present-So far, it’s already pretty confirmed that Hercules’s world is going to be in the game. This time, we’re visiting Mount Olympus.

Tangled’s world has been confirmed to be one of the worlds that will also be in Kingdom Hearts 3.

We are also returning to Twilight Town…

I just want to point out that the landscape and free playing field has always been the gem of the Kingdom Hearts series. That gem was highlighted in this trailer.

4) Gameplay-Now here comes the juicy part. The gameplay definitely looks interesting. Flowmotion (from KH Dream Drop Distance) looks like it has made a comeback. Bravo! But there are also some interesting commands and surprises that have improved the gaming experience in small, yet tremendous ways.

For starters, we have many moves that activate Disney World theme park rides. While fighting Rock Titan from Hercules, Sora activates some roller coaster. In Twilight Town, he’s seen fighting in what resembles the Tea Cup ride. And they didn’t make it look boring and cheesy. Just like they did with Mickey Mouse for Kingdom Hearts II, they made it look pretty darn epic.

In the world that seems to resemble Tangled, a boat ride is activated from the water, so perhaps many of these moves are activated according to the environment. Then again, a chariot was activated in Twilight Town…so…maybe we can use them anywhere. It’s pretty epic, I have to say.

Sora has come out as a true blue master in this trailer. He’s not holding back. He’s gotten good with his fighting techniques and he’s not afraid to flaunt it.

And since they never could improve on their crappy camera angles, it appears they found a better use for it: dizzying us with epic fighting techniques!

One thing I can say about this trailer is that the series has actually shown evolution through this one game. Through this one game, Kingdom Hearts has shown tremendous improvement and has reflected the hard work of all designers and developers. Despite the length of time it took, I have no doubts that the game won’t disappoint.

Of course, this is the hype of the trailer. I can’t wait to see the real thing.

5) Kingdom Hearts X Chi-Yes, everyone. KHX Chi is coming to mobile phone devices. So, if you haven’t played this game yet, I advise you do. Sure, you may have heard Nomura say that it’s not important to play if you want to progress to the next game. But ya’ll should know by now that Nomura is on some bull crap. Remember how Chain of Memories was not supposed to be so “important”? Or Kingdom Hearts Coded? Or Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days? Remember how Birth By Sleep was only supposed to be a side story? All of you unfortunate people who didn’t get those games were lost when the next major console game was released and will be lost when KH III is released. I realized early on how important each Kingdom Hearts game is to the entire story. X Chi is no exception.

Though you’re only playing a made-up keyblade wielder, there is information throughout the game that tells us more about KH3 and the keyblade wars. So don’t you think for a second that you can just skip out on this game. You will be missing out on something.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you gathered from the Kingdom Hearts trailer and the confirmation of KH Chi!

Want to understand more about the Kingdom Hearts stories? Want to see how fans reacted to the news? Want to see a rank of favorites and worsts? Click below!

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 + Kingdom Hearts 3 HINTS REVEALED in the new E3 Trailer!

28 Jun


For all of you Kingdom Hearts lovers, three weeks ago, E3 released a trailer for Kingdom Heart‘s second “remix” called Kingdom Hearts 2.5, which has arrived in stores December 12, 2014.

But wait, it doesn’t STOP there.

At the end of the trailer is a small segment that hints towards KINGDOM HEARTS III, the highly anticipated “trilogy” to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

For those who don’t know what Kingdom Hearts is, it is the joint project between Square-Enix and Disney that turned out to be a major success. The game centers on a young teenage boy (who basically would be a grown man by now) named Sora who lost his island and his friends one day, due to a “strange” storm. During this storm, Sora gets a strange, long key. Sora is then swept away in this storm to a different world. While in this world, he teams up with Donald and Goofy who had been looking for the “Keyblade Master”. Sora discovers that he’s the Keyblade Master, and is chosen to restore the worlds back to normal. Sora sets off on a journey to find his friends and to save the world. Thus, the story continues…

The series takes Sora through several Disney worlds, where the player gets to interact with Disney characters and fight Disney villains. And no, they aren’t weak. The game is praised for being one of the few role-playing games that adapts well to next-gen graphics. The story is engaging, and other installments constantly add to the story, making the players anticipate what will happen next. “You Never Know What Happens Next” was the original slogan for Kingdom Hearts because unexpected things would happen that would take players off-guard. Kingdom Hearts was also praised for it’s “free-playing field”.

Kingdom Hearts was released in 2002. The sequel was released in 2005. Ever since, fans have been waiting for the third part. After 2005, to tie fans over, Square-Enix and Disney released “side stories” to help fill in gaps and add to the overall twisted story. But fans still wanted that part three.

Then, last summer, Square-Enix shocked the pants off of everyone when they released a teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. Ever since, there has been much anticipation.

Last year, Disney grew as a huge phenomenon thanks to the movie Frozen and Disney’s success with Marvel. There has been a surge of interest in Disney’s classical movies lately, and there are tons of speculations about what worlds to expect in the next installment.

There are rumors that it is scheduled to come out early 2015. I simply can’t wait that long!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! What new worlds do you want to be in the next KH game? I’m hoping for Chronicles of Narnia, but since Fox bought the rights, my hopes are dim.

I’m just hoping they focus on the Disney movies and not too much on Marvel. Marvel would just feel awkward. Marvel worlds wouldn’t be very interesting, either. Unless, they use Thor…He and Hercules at it? Okay, that sounds awesome.

There are still some Disney movies left undone that I think the two companies should focus on. I also hope I never see Aladdin again. It looks like Hercules will return…AGAIN. I honestly don’t want to see Hercules again.


My thoughts on Kingdom Hearts 2.5?

You can’t get any better than two major role-playing games and a theater mode all in one game. And it’s half of the price it would’ve cost for each game. Perfection.

Kingdom Hearts DREAM DROP DISTANCE @JumpFest 2012

23 Jan

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