Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jul 302018

One of my biggest hopes for Kingdom Hearts 3 is that it will be longer than the previous Kingdom Hearts games.

I love Kingdom Hearts, but by RPG standards, they aren’t really that long. With Kingdom Hearts 3 wrapping up the Dark Seeker Saga and dealing with so many characters, I kept wishing it would be more on par with major JRPG lengths.

Well, it sounds like I might get my wish.

A preview article from Geek.com says:

Kingdom Hearts 3 is around 40-50 hours if you stay on the critical path. Including the mini-games, players can expect 80+ hours of content.”

40-50 hours for the main story, and over 80 hours if you include side content? That sounds great!

Now, it’s unclear how official this estimate is. While the writer mentions a Square Enix PR representative answering questions, he doesn’t directly say the representative gave him that number. Some fans believe he came up with the estimate himself based on how long the demo was.

Update: He clarified that he was told this as an estimate, but Square Enix hasn’t finalized the game’s length yet.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that companies do overestimate game lengths at times… World of Final Fantasy’s director said the story would take 100 hours to complete, and while World of Final Fantasy is a delightful game and I want a sequel, it took me a bit over 50 hours with some side content.

But it’s still encouraging to hear a playtime estimate for Kingdom Hearts 3 that is notably higher than previous entries in the series. I hope it will be a long, epic conclusion to the saga.

Meanwhile, a Riku Nendoroid has also been revealed!

How long do you think (or want) Kingdom Hearts 3 to be?

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Jul 272018

Of all the little figurines I’ve seen online, one brand always stood out to me as being the cutest: Nendoroids.

Nendoroids are always absolutely adorable, like the N Nendoroid I praised in my Pokémon Black and White review, and whenever Kingdom Hearts figurines have been announced, I’ve always hoped for Kingdom Hearts Nendoroids.

Well, Good Smile Company has announced Nendoroid Sora!

Like all Nendoroids, it is ridiculously cute. It will be released in December and can be pre-ordered now from Good Smile and places like Crunchyroll.

Now, Sora wouldn’t be my first choice – personally, I want a Nendoroid Xemnas. But the most important thing is that Kingdom Hearts Nendoroids are finally happening, and maybe Sora will just be the start.

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Jul 252018

Octopath Traveler might not have turned out to be quite what I hoped for, but there are quite a few RPGs out there aiming for that old school turn-based JRPG feeling.

I’d like to talk about a recent one I particularly enjoyed, Earthlock from Snowcastle Games.

Two years ago, I reviewed a game called Earthlock: Festival of Magic for MonsterVine. I appreciated its combat system and the inspiration it took from classic JRPGs, but its story fell short of the mark.

Eventually, the developers announced a “should have been” edition. This new version was simply called Earthlock, and owners of the old game got the new one for free. (Although I believe Wii U owners got the Switch version, since the new Earthlock never came to the Wii U.)

I once again reviewed it for MonsterVine, and I was blown away by the changes.

It still has the classic JRPG style and unusual combat system, but it added repeatable side quests, things to do on the world map, cute creatures to collect and populate the home base with, buried treasure to find, and optional conversations between the characters (something I always enjoy).

It also smoothed out the storytelling, filled in the gaps in the plot, and generally made it into a story I was much more interested in this time around.

Earthlock is on all major platforms now, and if you’re interested in nostalgic turn-based RPGs, I recommend giving it a look. In particular, if you decided to avoid the original Earthlock: Festival of Magic because of its reception, you should know that the improvements made to Earthlock are staggering.

The developers are working on an Earthlock 2, and I’m looking forward to it – not only because I enjoyed Earthlock and can’t wait to see what they do with its sequel, but also because I appreciate how they responded when their game didn’t turn out to be quite what it should have been at first.

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