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E3 2013 Recap: KINGDOM HEARTS III & HD 1.5 ReMIX!



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Sign

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E3 has come and gone, and with it all doubt in the existence of the illustrious third numbered installment in the KINGDOM HEARTS series has faded away. It's impossible to say that any of us believed KINGDOM HEARTS III would arrive, especially on such short notice. Still, we held onto that small glimmer of hope, and we were certainly not disappointed. There was a lot to take in in not a lot of time, so we invite you to join us as we recap the highlights of the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo!

-TRAILERS-

We had heard from Director Tetsuya Nomura in the latest Square Enix mdRadio episode that he would be attending E3 2013 because "certain information would be announced". As you may know, it is such a rare occasion for him to make a public appearance, so naturally the community stood up on high alert. And we were proven to be rightly paranoid, as a trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 burst out during the Sony Conference, revealing the long-awaited title to finally be in development and eleasing for the Playstation 4!

The Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX- trailer didn't quite have the same element of surprise, having been leaked prematurely a week befor the expo. The official release brought about all the nostalgic memories long forgotten and a newfound desire to experience these adventures all over again.

-FUTURE OF FINAL FANTASY EVENT-

With such a dramatic reveal, it'd be difficult to top with another surprise announcement. As usual, Square Enix didn't disappoint. Despite what the name suggested, once we saw the faces of Sora, Donald and Goofy standing proudly alongside the Final Fantasy protagonists, we knew we could surely expect more information at the Future of Final Fantasy event. Here, the game was revealed as the first in the series to go multi-platform with the announcement of a Xbox One release!

System - Playstation 4 / Xbox One
Currently in Development

"Believing light and darkness must remain in balance, Master Xehanort seeks to spark war against the tyranny of light to restore equilibrium. In an effort to undermine Xehanort's plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the Key to Return Hearts, while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders. KINGDOM HEARTS III features a mature Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on an adventure with Mickey, Donald and Goofy through new and legendary Disney worlds. KINGDOM HEARTS III will make full use of next generation console technologies to showcase a stunning universe packed full of worlds based on Disney properties."

~♥~

KEY POINTS:

  • Sora will be more mature
  • Donald, Goofy and Mickey will be featured
  • Brand new Disney worlds
  • Osaka Team (Birth by Sleep, Re:Chain of Memories, Re:coded, Dream Drop Distance, HD 1.5 ReMIX) will be developing KINGDOM HEARTS III
  • No plans to release other KINGDOM HEARTS games on an Xbox platform

  

-INTERVIEWS-

Over the course of the expo, Directly Tetsuya Nomura conducted a total of 6 interviews of or relating to Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV, 4 of which pertain to the Kingdom Hearts series. It's a huge task to search for and filter through each one for specific details, so we've compiled all the important facts about KH3 and HD 1.5 ReMIX below for you to read as you please!

[Square Enix Presents] | [Square Enix Channel] | [Famitsu] | [Dengeki]

Kingdom Hearts series:

  • When asked once again about his favorite character in the series, Nomura replied this time with the various incarnations of Xehanort, specifically Ansem Seeker of Darkness.
  • Nomura despairs over the fate of the Jungle Book world, which they've attempted to include in many titles and had to cut every time.


Kingdom Hearts III:

  • Nomura hasn't realized it's been so long since KINGDOM HEARTS II, and feels pressure to release KINGDOM HEARTS III as soon as possible. 
  • Even though it's taken far too long, the announcement for KH3 seems to have been made too early.
  • "A numbered title" as he describes, is one where Sora is the main character and is aided by Donald and Goofy.
  • They chose to tell stories outside of the numbered titles as there hasn't been anything that perfectly fit KH3.
  • The gameplay will be evolved through KINGDOM HEARTS II, with many elements from the handheld games, Dream Drop Distance in particular. If you want to know what to expect in KH3, you should play KH3D!
  • The HD remasters and KINGDOM HEARTS III go hand in hand. The announcement will bring many old players back to the series, and they can use the remasters to catch up on everything they've missed. 
  • KINGDOM HEARTS III is being developed on PC and then specially adjusted for each console, to make porting as simple and convenient as possible.
  • They are currently thinking of ways to make Kingdom Hearts 3 more accessible and easy to understand to returning and new players.
  • He tells us to look forward to the world reveals for KINGDOM HEARTS III, saying they will definitely surprise us.
  • A new outfit for Sora is currently in the works.
  • Next-generation hardware offers up many possibilties to incorporate multiplayer, but at this moment nothing has been set in stone.
  • They are investigating various online elements to incorporate.
  • Summoning will undergo a significant change in comparison to previous titles.
  • We can expect to see the new Organization XIII returning with Master Xehanort at the helm, and that Nobodies will still be present in the future. 
  • More Final Fantasy characters will be included in KH3.
  • Playable characters other than Sora are being considered, but he is the definite main this time around.
  • The true Kingdom Hearts, heart of all worlds, may actually appear this time!
  • Special shaders, affectionately named the "Kingdom Shader", will be applied in each and every world to allow for a seamless experience. In previous titles, visiting characters stood quite out of place, and the Kingdom Shader will allow them to match the art style of each world beautifully.
  • The gameplay in the trailer is a pre-rendered FMV, but Nomura feels that the real-time gameplay doesn't differ all too much from what they've shown.
  • The traditional 3-man-party will be used in KH3, though this time NPCs will sometimes fight alongside you.
  • They'd like to enable seamless gameplay with enemies and allies, and offer options such as riding on vehicle-type enemies.
  • Luminous Studios is being used as the primary engine.
  • The usage of DirectX 11 allows KINGDOM HEARTS III to be developed without a specific console in mind.
  • Expect more information at the Tokyo Game Show and the D23 Expo in Tokyo Disneyland.


Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX-:

  • Because it had been so long, almost all of the original data of KINGDOM HEARTS for the PS2 was lost, leading to many assets being remade completely from scratch.
  • They couldn't just release the Final Mixes on their own at this point in time, and decided to bundle them up with several other titles in a collection.
  • Nomura didn't intend on the Days movie being so long. As they progressed through development, it grew to such a monstrous length that he feels they should have just made a proper film from the very beginning.

 

-HANDS ON IMPRESSIONS-

Arielle (Master Spockanort) and Cecily (Sign) were able to play the Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX- demo at both the Square Enix and Sony booths, and have discovered quite a few interesting pieces of information!

 

Chaser

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They'd like to enable seamless gameplay with enemies and allies, and offer options such as riding on vehicle-type enemies.

Yo, Gabba Gabba! Seamless gameplay between enemies and allies!

Thank you for everything you gave us from E3, Ethy and Sign. It must have been the bestest time ;A;
 

Luap

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Good recap, caught a few things I didn't see before.

Gonna say though, the parts with the white background are unreadable without highlighting and all the links are broken.
 

alexis.anagram

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Huh, I never caught that bit about the Nobodies being present. I wonder what that entails~.

Anyway, it might be on my end but the trailer for KHIII doesn't seem to want to play, while the 1.5 REMIX trailer works fine. Weirdness.

Thanks so much for putting this together! It is lovely.
 

Sign

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Good recap, caught a few things I didn't see before.

Gonna say though, the parts with the white background are unreadable without highlighting and all the links are broken.

Huh, I never caught that bit about the Nobodies being present. I wonder what that entails~.

Anyway, it might be on my end but the trailer for KHIII doesn't seem to want to play, while the 1.5 REMIX trailer works fine. Weirdness.

Thanks so much for putting this together! It is lovely.

Glad you like it! Sorry about the issues though, should be fixed now?
 

Gram

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Great recap, also seen a few things I didn't see before like them 'investigating various online elements'. Though the parts about the gameplay catches my attention most. =D

Great job on the recap!
 

Nazo

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If the localization has already been completed... then WHY are they waiting until September 10th? I WANT MY FINAL MIX NOW! Meh, there's got to be some reason.

Also, when you say "There's no English lip-syncing" are you saying that it's the Japanese lip movements with English dubbing? Meaning it looks really bad? I remember Re:CoM's lip-syncing being very poor on PS2.
 

Decrith

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Thanks for the recap, it was really hard to keep up with everything. I'm a little bit disappointed about no lip-sync for Re:com and days, but its a small flaw for something so amazing.
 

Luap

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Glad you like it! Sorry about the issues though, should be fixed now?

Links work! :D Text is still unreadable in the white areas still. (I'm using Forrest Gump, which has white text. In the white blocks, I think text would need to be forced to black.)
 

Sign

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Everything seems to work just fine for me now. Thanks again! :)
/rewatching KH3 trailer over
and over
andoveragain

Yay, I'm glad! :D

*rewatches with you*

If the localization has already been completed... then WHY are they waiting until September 10th? I WANT MY FINAL MIX NOW! Meh, there's got to be some reason.

Also, when you say "There's no English lip-syncing" are you saying that it's the Japanese lip movements with English dubbing? Meaning it looks really bad? I remember Re:CoM's lip-syncing being very poor on PS2.

Yeah, Japanese lip movements with English dubbing. We only checked a few scenes for Re:CoM but it doesn't look like anything has changed from PS2.

It's better in Days, but unfortunately nothing can beat direct lip syncing :(

Links work! :D Text is still unreadable in the white areas still. (I'm using Forrest Gump, which has white text. In the white blocks, I think text would need to be forced to black.)

Ah, that would make sense! I'll bring it up with the tech team, please let me know if there are any other problems!
 

Nazo

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Yeah, Japanese lip movements with English dubbing. We only checked a few scenes for Re:CoM but it doesn't look like anything has changed from PS2.

It's better in Days, but unfortunately nothing can beat direct lip syncing :(

Well, at least Days is better. It wasn't awful in Re:CoM, but it was annoyingly noticeable how off it was. Oh well. Still gonna play the crap out of that game.
 

TepidShark

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As expected, the attack button has been remapped to X instead of O

Any chance though this was just for the E3 build and will be switched in the final release?
 

TepidShark

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The X = attack O = Jump is the NA/EU standard...

Opps I read to quote wrong. I thought the quote in the article meant they were keeping the Japanese standard (O for attack/X for Jump) for the NA/EU release. It was only after I re-read the quote that it I realized that the NA/EU standard of X attack & O Jump was being put into this collection's release in NA/EU as per usual. (For the record, the NA/EU standard is how I personally like Kingdom Hearts games to be.)
 

Sorarocks93

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Opps I read to quote wrong. I thought the quote in the article meant they were keeping the Japanese standard (O for attack/X for Jump) for the NA/EU release. It was only after I re-read the quote that it I realized that the NA/EU standard of X attack & O Jump was being put into this collection's release in NA/EU as per usual. (For the record, the NA/EU standard is how I personally like Kingdom Hearts games to be.)

After re-playing KH and KHII so many times, I can't imagine attacking with O and jumping with X.

I never knew it was the Japanese standard. I thought they made it like that for the ReMIX's only.
 

WastedPenguin

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I am glad that there are no plans to release any other Kingdom Hearts on a Xbox console...Kingdom Hearts had a exclusive debut on a Playstation and it should stay like that.
But as a Playstation fanboy, even that Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to be released on a Xbox one im happy that it has finally been announced.
7 Years of waiting are now over.
 

Sephiroth0812

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After re-playing KH and KHII so many times, I can't imagine attacking with O and jumping with X.

I never knew it was the Japanese standard. I thought they made it like that for the ReMIX's only.

Final Fantasy VII back on the PS1 actually had that control scheme even here in the EU. You attacked/confirmed things with O while canceling stuff with X. ;)
 

Sorarocks93

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Final Fantasy VII back on the PS1 actually had that control scheme even here in the EU. You attacked/confirmed things with O while canceling stuff with X. ;)

Can't remember. Must be one of the reasons I didn't like the game. I played until the party left Midgar and that's it.

But anyway. It's refreshing, I was kinda annoyed when I was watching videos of I.5 and read that you attacked with O instead of X.

I wonder how will they make it for KHIII. Will the make it different for both Japan and EU/NA or will they make it the same for both?
 

Decrith

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They'll obviously change it, just change 1 or 2 lines of code and its done.
 
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