Happy New Year! 2011’s Most Commented News!

10. Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance Trailer

Jumping January! Just a day over a week after Re:Coded was released in North America, the first Dream Drop Distance trailer falls into our hands before its official public showing. Unfortunately, the video has since been removed, but from memory, I recall seeing Sora in a lot of pole-to-pole leaping action, rooftop ricocheting, and revisits to Traverse Town. The trailer was bursting to the seams in colour, and we all held our breath, wondering what in the world we just witnessed. At the end of the day, we agreed that the gameplay looked positively insane.

Winning comment: “Kingdom Hearts meets Inception.” (Anixe)

9. KH BBS: Final Mix-Secret Episode Images

Kingdom Hearts news for January was coming at us fast and furious. Japan’s Jump magazine was all over the new screenshots. The magazine described Aqua as the heroine for the secret episode in BBS’ Final Mix and her ventures into the Realm of Darkness. There are also images of our other BBS heros: Terra and Ven, both of whom looked like they had seen better days. This is where it’s finally becoming apparent on the role Castle Oblivion plays and of Terra’s descent into oblivion as his identity is taken over by Master Xehanort.

8. KH BBS Final Mix Secret Ending & Mystery Game Revealed! (KH: Birth By Sleep – Volume 2)

KH: Birth By Sleep Final Mix's Secret Ending has unveiled a New Installment!

It has happened again! We had a fabulous run with Birth by Sleep and it was lauded with the highest praise in the PSP world. Naturally, for such a contingent game, a Final Mix was baked and ready to go in Japan. As we all know and berate, Final Mixes never see the light of day in terms of an official release outside of Japan, but as we also know and welcome, the magic of Youtube works beyond such geographical boundaries. In no time at all, the secret ending was revealed to our hungry eyes. From past experiences, we know that secret endings are not endings at all, but a peek into the foray of the next game. In a few tantalizing moments, we find out that BBS Volume 2 could be in the works. There were no more official statements released about Volume 2, but it didn’t take a genius to figure out that Aqua will play a leading role in this game.

Winning comment: “…just like the end of 358/2 Days helped us get RIGHT to the beginning of KH2, and the way Dream Drop Distance will lead us into KH3.” (Brady O’Neill)

7. No Kingdom Hearts Games at E3 2011

Kingdom Hearts isn't at E3 2011 #squareenixfail

Moping May…The year was not all secret movies, game releases, sugar and rainbow. Our lead writer, Churro, was at E3 to confirm the fact that there was no KH at E3, after combing through the Square Enix section and interviewing Square Enix staff. We never got an explanation why this came to be, but it was presumably because they didn’t have enough material for KH3D to show it at E3. It was a save-the-best-for-last strategy. We didn’t have many winning comments in this article—most of us just ripped Nomura apart and called him names. KHSoraKeyblade, on the other hand, had this poignant calming thought to share…

Winning comment: “…you know they still haven’t even properly announced BbS Vol. 2 as a game so yeah…” (KHSoraKeyblade).

6. Nomura Interview From Famitsu: Talks KH3D & KHIII

Jolly July! Hey hey Nomura! It’s been awhile since we heard you quoted! Good old Famitsu was able to wring out a few comments from this famous but sometimes maddening director. So what did we find out about him at this point in the year and how many of these things have turned out truer than true?

  • Kingdom Hearts 3D is a mysterious title. Gee, tell us something we wouldn’t have guessed.
  • There will be answers about Kingdom Hearts III. True. We know that Sora and Riku will probably become Keyblade Masters in time for KHIII.
  • Explores the hidden data inside Sora. This is still not well-explained yet. Sora and Riku sure don’t look as seasoned as they did n KHII, which you could perhaps count as a hint towards this cryptic comment.
  • Sora has not changed. He clearly looks younger though. Stop being cryptic, Nomura.
  • Traverse Town to feature two mysterious characters in which Nomura didn’t reveal. Welcome, Neku Sakuraba and co.
  • For gameplay aspects, you can work your way up to rooftops. We could do this in KHI too (after learning Glide and High Jump), but it looks like Sora and Riku will be endowed with this ability from the start of the game. Beautiful.

What’s interesting about the thread of comments hereafter is that our commentators were more enraptured by the speculations on KHIII rather than KH3D.

Worthy comments: “Wonder what Nomura has in store for the next Saga.” (Jerold); “Xehanort isn’t the only big bad guy around.” (Ashely Welsh)

5. KH3D Playable Demo at TGS + “HD Test”

Amplifying August. Maybe as a small sacrifice to not appear at E3 2011, Nomura and team was determined to make milestones in KH3D’s development. This milestone was Tokyo Game Show 2011. Not only was a demo promised, Nomura was cited to be strongly considering re-releasing previous KH titles in high definition! Our thread exploded with comments about they would like to see as HD remakes. Nothing has been specified, but we all agree that this will be a monumental way of marking KH’s 10th anniversary.

Worthy comments: “The main thing that I would want to come out of the HD Remakes of KH1 and 2 is for there to be a “Theater Mode” like the rest of the KH series in the rest of the games.” (FireBlazer); “I would really like the HD remakes to have a boss mode, where you can re-do boss battles. Some of my favorite parts of KH2 were the boss battles.” (Blizzard)

4. Neku Sakuraba in Kingdom Hearts 3D & More TGS

Stunned September. For fans of both World Ends With You and Kingdom Hearts—the meeting of the 2 main characters is like a wild dream come true. KH3D was indeed playable as a demo at Tokyo Game Show, and accompanying this news piece, we also obtained new images: one of them being Neku showing his branded timer countdown to Sora, strongly hinting the role of the Reaper’s Game in KH3D; the other images showed us a clearer look to the new Sora and Riku. Or old Sora and Riku. Our 2 keyblade wielders have cut their hair and changed their clothes and we’re not sure why yet.

Worthy comments: “None of you say a word. I’m getting this game. Well I would, but I don’t have a 3DS…Well I’m getting a 3DS now. “ (Jack Mowat); “What happened to Riku’s hair? Riku’s long beautiful hair.” (Mochiusagi)

3. Pinocchio World in Kingdom Hearts 3D

Novel November. Pinocchio and Gepetto are back! Probably as a means to repair our disappointment at what happened to the last Pinocchio world we played in, Pinocchio is making a comeback in a brand new world called Prankster’s Paradise. Jiminy is making an appearance too as Pinocchio’s trusted advisor and friend. There are a lot of questions about how Pinocchio and co would be canon in KH3D, especially given Jiminy’s role in previous games, and also given that Pinocchio already turned into a boy as the credits rolled in KHI. We’ll leave that for Nomura to decide. So what else is worth cheering for? Well, our friends will not just be wandering the depths of an odd space whale; this time, they’ll be in a circus INSIDE the whale. Take that, KHI Monstro.

Worthy comments: “Personally, I want more Square Enix characters to appear (especially Lightning & Crew, or Vaan & Penelo).” (Irfansyahm); “I thought they said all new Disney worlds and it is not inside Monstro.” (Kelvin Eget)

2. Three Musketeers World in KH3D

DDD December. Nomura is keeping his promise on delivering new worlds! Here is the next big world reveal: The Three Musketeers! It doesn’t matter that the straight-to-DVD movie received embarrassingly low reviews, because one of the best things about KH is that KH adapts the movie to its own context. They keep what they can use and throw out the rest. Ever since KHII, we haven’t had a chance to partner up in real-time with Donald and Goofy, so it’s so nice to fight alongside these trust-worthy sidekicks once more.

Worthy comment: “Wow…Now we are talking, Square. This is what we want. New worlds. I know Mickey, Donald and Goofy were seen already, but this could prove as interesting as Timeless River.” (Peter)

1. KH3D Jump Festa 2012 Coverage

Duuuuudddde…December rocks! The new trailer revealed during Jump Festa was one of the best 8 minutes of my life. It’s hard to describe that feeling as your mind races to try to digest everything that flashed by during the trailer. A few weeks back, we were shown some dialogue between Sora and Neku, but Nomura mercilessly added the whole rest of the main cast from World Ends With You; with Shiki meeting Riku, to boot. Character reappearances include Maleficient and Pete, with Maleficient saying something about Master Xehanort that’s particularly tantalizing. Continuing to roll on with new worlds, we find the world of Tron making a welcome comeback. I received a shock to see Axel, Ienzo, and Eleaus…are they a part of a flashback or what? Nobody knows. Then, as the icing on top of the trailer cake, Terranort appeared in front of Sora and Riku (on separate occasions, it seems), and Vanitas shows a positively scary expression. The whole translation is right here, alongside translated impressions of the game:

Worthy comment: “Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy + Kingdom Hearts? Yes. Please.” (Brady)

From Your KH Ultimania Team

There you have it folks! The earth-shattering news of 2011, all based on your commenting enthusiasm! Cheers to 2011 and better cheers for the upcoming 2012! Keep KH Ultimania with you (bookmark us, follow us) and we’ll do our darndest to deliver you more exciting KH news. Thank you for your support!

Have a happy new year from the KH Ultimania staff!