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Penny Arcade, "Melange"note (Gabe later provided further commentary regarding the game, as follows: "Iíve put a good 13 hours into Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance now and so I feel comfortable telling you that itís awesome. With that said, If youíre going to play it you need to put up with the wonky camera, the ridiculous story, the complicated nested menus, and systems piled on top of systems. Trust me though, buried under all that crap is a lot of gold. The combat system is fast and fun, the Pokemon style monster collection is great, the Flick Rush card battle game could be sold all by itself, and visually the entire game is just gorgeous. Kingdom Hearts is a strange series. I find that people either love it or hate it. On some level I realize that Iím being manipulated. Itís fanservice and if you donít love Disney you probably just look at the KH series and shake your head. I canít really explain why getting to jump into all these Disney worlds is such a thrill for me. Think about it this way though: What if it wasnít Disney, what if it was Nintendo? What if Soraís Keyblade let him fight alongside Link and Samus in their worlds? What if he battled Bowser and collected actual Pokemon? What if Donkey Kongklajhsd Sorry, I just blacked out there for a second. I need to go lay down. -Gabe out-")
The mere fact it's gonna be a brand new Square-Enix titlein glasses-less 3D should qualify.
Release date March 2012: which is an amazingly quick development cycle for a mainline KH game; both KH2 and BBS took 3 years from announcement to release. The game has gotten an official US and UK release confirmation, and if Square Enix France (and their leaky website) are to be believed, it's very likely we'll see this game in English by late July or early August. That's a localisation turnaround of 5 months, which is very quick for a Kingdom Hearts title.
An update about that announcement, seen in the same link, has Corti not only confirming his role, but also that he already recorded his lines as Neku. That, coupled with the similar announcements from Richard Epcar and James Patrick Steward above as well as this one from Vincent Corazza, altogether seem to imply that voice acting for the English-speaking versions of the game has already been completed. Never (almost) we've seen Square Enix rushing like that for localization - and given how games such as the first Dissidia took one year before getting fully localised, that's saying a lot!
The CG sequence that will presumably serve as the game's opening recaps the entire series to date very nicely indeed, even giving Xion a look in, and giving the barest of hints towards the eventual final battle with Xehanort.
... after that trailer summed up most of the rejoicing on this page, now comes word thatFantasia is one of the new worlds, with the first character being Mickey in his Sorcerer's Apprentice Costume. And not as a D-Link summon, no, as Mickey Mouse himself.
And it's still a pretty challenging fight, with those creepy ghosts floating around and draining your life.
Braig/Xigbar's and Xehanort's respective voiceactors both stated that they've started voice acting, thus essentially confirming that English voice acting has already begun. For those not thrilled about this, bear in mind that it means the quick-localisation-within-2012 we've been promised has begun as well!
The English site has opened, with a Japanese trailer. It lasts for about four minutes, so how is it gonna top the latest one— what, did you say it has new footage? And that there are the best bits of all the previous trailers in it? Awesome! Wait, what does that footnote below the video player say... HOLY SMOKES THERE'S GOING TO BE AN ENGLISH VERSION OF THIS VERY SOON.
The above trailer, as part of its aforementioned new footage, shows there are such iconic scenes as, say, Frollo holding Esmeralda's arm. Sora arrives shortly after, strongly implying there's going to be a lot of Catharsis Factor. YES.
Actually, the trailer they used was just the short version from Jump Festa, which was released more than a month ago. Not that it detracts from any of the rejoicing though.
And now we have already the Boxart for the game, thus meaning that - Awesome Art aside - the quick development cycle is really nearing its end as we've been promised! Score another one for Squeenix.
There's another new trailer out, and it's even longer (almost ten minutes) than the Jump Festa one!
During the Feburary rejoice fest, some in game footage is shown, and to play as Riku, all you have to do is go to the main menu! Yep, you don't have to beat the game and start a new file, or choose whose story you want to follow, you get both Heroes in one playthru!!
That one aspect is actually an ATFR Zig-Zagged with Tainted by the Preview: first, it was announced they'd both be playable (ATFR); then, it was announced they both shared the same save file (ATFR); then Nomura said the switch between them happens randomly (TBTP); and then, it was finally announced that the switch-between-heroes-at-will is an unlockable feature (ATFR).
Also, the series averting its infamous case of Continuity Lockout for once, thanks to the "Memoirs" feature, is already as awesome as it sounds by itself; however, if you add to that the speculation about the Ursula boss battle seen in the trailer allegedly being a boss battle "from the past" accessible through that feature, thus implying it allows players to live past classic moments from the series in 3D, well... that definitely makes up for the relatively small number of playable worlds.
In the end, it turned out the Ursula boss battle is the first thing you do in the game, but it doesn't detract anything from the fact that the Memoirs feature allows players to enjoy the game without needing any knowledge of the series' previous timeline. Complete information about the Memoirs feature has yet to be revealed, though.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand now we have word that, as expected, some retailers sold the game two-days-earlier than the official release date. Newsposts on KH fansite KH 13 are divided on a daily basis: expect a lot of updates below.
This troper, who hadn't watched anything about the new game yet, accidentally clicked on a link to a KH fansite the other day, and..."Hey, a trailer. Might as well watch it. La la la this is pretty cool...OMG LEA! Lea is in it! Lea is okay! Lea is badass and a good guy! (Presumably) All the Nobodies got their hearts back after all!" I've been freaking out about it non-stop for days now!
Was watching the first livestream. And Riku starts his way into Traverse Town. And then Joshua appears and starts talking. AND THE BACKGROUND MUSIC IS "CALLING".
Some of the new keyblades. These include the Skull Noise from Traverse Town. Yes, a tribal-tattoo-like keyblade, with a Player-Pin-like skull for its "teeth, inspired by the Noise seen in The World Ends with You, and a modified (read: "enhanced", so to speak) rapier from the Three Musketeers' world.
The World That Never Was has been revealed to be the ruined one following the climax of KH2; when Sora confronts Xemnas and Xigbar there, he repats his "my friends are my power" line... causing Xemnas and Xigbar to freak out as a vision of Sora, Riku, Kairi, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Terra, Ventus, Aqua, Roxas and Xion appears before them. Doubles as a Moment Of Awesome; before the video inevitably gets pulled from Youtube you can see it here.
And even better? Kairi is using her keyblade as well. Only Namine and Axel are missing from the group above, but the former makes sense since she never had a weapon.
So there's a Bonus Boss. Hmmm, nice! We feared this only to pop up in a future Final Mix, so it's already good news by itself— wait, did you say it's a Disney bonus boss this time? Well, who did they get— HOLY CRAP, IS THAT JULIUS?!? IN TRAVERSE TOWN?!? REALLY?!? Oh, come on, Square! Just take my damn money already!
Well Atlantica isn't returning in the game, which is a good thing. With that knowledge, you start the game, expecting some overlong tutorial prologue like in the previous games and - HOLY SHIT! THE GAME STARTS WITH A DISNEY BOSS BATTLE! AND IT'S URSULA USING THE EXAM TO EXACT HER REVENGE!
The secret ending features Kairi getting taken to Yen Sid's Tower, because she's to become the seventh and final Keyblade wielder to oppose Xehanort alongside Sora, Riku, Mickey, Terra, Aqua, and Ven. In fact, the whole thing hints that, in the confirmed "mystery game" that will be the last before KH3 or in KH3 itself, Kairi will be a playablecharacter.
While nothing's confirmed yet, it seems that Joshua's voice actor reprised the role, if his voice is anything to go by.
The changes in the dialogue may be odd at times, but often make it less cheesy. Case in point: "I... I can't! This is what lights the darkness! The chance to make everyone happy!". "The key to everyone's smiles" would have been much more narmy.