Operation Backlog Completion 2018
Jul 312017

Last week, I read Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, which took over my thoughts so completely I realized the next book I read would suffer in comparison. So, I decided to read something where I already knew the story: the novelization of Chain of Memories.

Like the first Kingdom Hearts novelization, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is largely just a retelling of the game’s events.

(I believe it follows the original, not Re: Chain of Memories, because of certain scenes that are different between the two.)

It’s a nice way to re-live the story, and without the frustrating card battles, I was able to focus on the story itself. Chain of Memories doesn’t get enough credit for its story. It introduces Organization XIII, sets into motion important events for later games, and puts Sora in a pretty dire situation.

Click for Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance spoilers

The novelization also includes Reverse/Rebirth, Riku’s story. I was curious about how it would work as a novel, since the game lacks content for Riku’s story. There are new Organization XIII scenes, but the worlds are largely empty.

Well, the novelization handles it by showing events not only from Riku’s point of view, but also from the Replica’s point of view! That’s the most interesting part of the novel, with its only flaw being that it reuses some of the scenes from Sora’s story, which is repetitive even though it’s coming from a new viewpoint.

Yes, Repliku fans, this one’s for you.

In short, the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories novel is a light, enjoyable retelling of the game’s events, perfect if you want to experience it without the battle system or want new insight into the Riku Replica.

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Jul 172017

After the exciting new Kingdom Hearts III trailer revealed on the weekend, several sites interviewed Tetsuya Nomura about the game.

That means we have even more Kingdom Hearts III details to discuss!

First, in an interview with IGN, he indicated that Sora won’t be the only playable character. There will be at least one other.

He wouldn’t reveal who it is, which is interesting. Would he keep it a secret if it’s an obvious choice like Riku? (Personally, I’m still hoping for a playble Young Eraqus & Young Xehanort flashback.)

As the trailers have shown, larger parties are also possible now. You can have at least 5 characters in a party, possibly more, so you’ll no longer need to pick between characters.

In a second interview with IGN, Nomura said they won’t rule out Kingdom Hearts III on the Nintendo Switch or Kingdom Hearts 1.5 & 2.5 on the Xbox One, but they’re going to focus on what they’ve already announced before thinking about that.

Since Kingdom Hearts III is coming to the Xbox One, bringing the collection there as well just makes sense. We’ll see what happens.

Next, while talking to Game Informer, he confirmed that the Gummi Ship will return for Kingdom Hearts III.

He also confirmed that Pixar asked for the Toy Story world to have an original story rather than follow one of the movie plots. In terms of setting, it takes place sometime after Toy Story 2.

The world sounds like it will be pretty big, and this is a goal for the game:

“Rather than having multiple different little worlds, we wanted to make sure we’re providing rich gameplay in an individual world, so we put in a lot of effort and allocated a lot of resources to create these worlds, and it would be sad for players not to enjoy the world and breeze right through it. Therefore, we made sure that each of the worlds is designed so players can take their time and enjoy the gameplay that’s available.”

It’s unclear if that means there will be fewer worlds than usual. I hope not, because I have my heart set on a lengthy Kingdom Hearts III.

Nomura also told Game Informer that each Keyblade will have its own transformations, and that you’ll be able to interact with the environments more to progress and explore.

Finally, he spoke to GameSpot about the development process and how it hurts to see fans say he’s taking too long. The decision made by Square Enix to switch to Unreal Engine 4, along with personnel issues, lengthened the development time. However, he says there haven’t been problems with Kingdom Hearts III’s development teams.

He doesn’t think they’ll keep any Disney worlds a secret (so if you want to be surprised, you might want to avoid Kingdom Hearts news), and Kingdom Hearts III DLC is possible, although nothing is set yet.

That’s a lot of Kingdom Hearts information to take in, but it’s pretty interesting. Are you excited for Kingdom Hearts III?

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Jul 152017

The last Kingdom Hearts III trailer ended with a promise that a brand new trailer would come today during D23, and it was as exciting as we could have imagined!

Toy Story is finally coming to Kingdom Hearts! Not only is a Toy Story world something I’ve thought would be cool ever since I became a Kingdom Hearts fan, it also looks fantastic.

Plus, since Sora is battling alongside Donald, Goofy, Woody, and Buzz, it looks you’ll be able to have at least four companions in Kingdom Hearts III!

And it seems to have a new story instead of following one of the movie plots… Since we already know the Big Hero 6 events take place after the movie, does this mean Kingdom Hearts III’s worlds will have original stories tied into the main plot again, instead of rehashing the movie plots? I hope so!

Now, anyone who talked to me also knew the one thing I really wanted from this trailer was more Xehanort, which is pretty much what I always want from Kingdom Hearts. And it had Xehanort!

Young Xehanort, to be specific.

He talks about darkness, a very Xehanort-y topic, and I’m excited to find out what he’s looking for in the Toy Story world.

Finally, the trailer ended with a release year at last… 2018! Yes, in case you were afraid we’d have to wait until 2020, Kingdom Hearts III is coming out in 2018!

As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about what we saw today. Let me know your thoughts on the new trailer in the comments below.

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