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The Next Level In Gaming

Of all the companies to unveil new info for this year’s E3, Square-Enix surprised more than any. Not because they announced anything new per se – but rather, they finally acknowledged two games that have been kept quiet for years. I certainly didn’t expect to see either – but both? I am of course talking about Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Kingdom Hearts III. Here’s what we now know about these two massive titles.

Final Fantasy XV

Rumours were already flying months ago, but it’s now official – Final Fantasy Versus XIII has now been re-branded as the next numbered title in the Final Fantasy series – Final Fantasy XV. And along with it comes a long-awaited slew of footage and information on this upcoming title. Here’s the details:

  • Final Fantasy XV will be released on PlayStation4, and also Xbox One
  • Similarly to Kingdom Hearts, the game plays as an action-RPG with real-time combat, using a Final Fantasy style combat menu.
  • Tetsuya Nomura acknowledged that having a party is an important aspect to Final Fantasy’s combat, and Noctis’ teammates will cooperate with him in battle, allowing for cinematic co-op actions among other things.
  • Noctis has the power to teleport certain distances, which plays into the dynamic combat that can take place on the floor or even on the sides of buildings.
  • While cool on the outside, Noctis’ character is actually fairly cocky, and “uncool” according to Nomura.

Check out the first E3 announcement trailer below.

 And now, the more recent gameplay trailer, which shows more combat, and even what looks to be a familiar Leviathan.

 Next, we have….

Kingdom Hearts III

Of course, KH3 was never truly “official” until now – but we all knew it was coming, sometime. Given that the previous seven titles left us with a saga missing a conclusion, the series is only just about to come to current-gen home consoles for the first time with Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMix later this year. Nomura hopes that the HD collection will help bridge the gap between the existing saga and KH3, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing a HD 2.5 ReMix somewhere between the two.

Details on KH3 thus far:

  • The game will include many mainstream Disney worlds, but some surprises, too.
  • Gameplay will be similar to previous core titles (KH1&2), but there will of course be new elements, as with more recent handheld entries such as Dream Drop Distance.
  • The different worlds use different styles of “shaders” to try to make the textures and artwork within each world match the visual style of the movies they are based on.
  • This game will be the end of Organisation XIII’s story – though Nobodies as a concept may return.
  • Final Fantasy characters are being considered - Nomura noted that they had been neglected in more recent entries, but he feels it’s time to bring them back.
  • King Mickey is being considered as a playable character, but Sora will remain the game’s lead protagonist.
  • Summons will be returning, though they will be different somehow. Nomura mentioned how previous games had Disney mascots as summons. Perhaps we’ll be seeing summons based on Kingdom Hearts’ own universe, or Final Fantasy? (I can dream).
  • Multiplayer features are under consideration – no word on features yet.

In terms of gameplay footage, we have a short teaser showing Sora at Destiny Islands and in Traverse Town. Not as in-depth as the FFXV footage, but Sora’s looking great! Check it out below.

 A great show from Square-Enix! Can’t wait to play both of these.

- Leon

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Leon On June - 12 - 2013

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