KH3D Trailer and Demo Impression from Famitsu

Translation of this article from Famitsu on Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance featured at Jump Festa 2012.

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Trailer Impression

Previously it was revealed that the main character from The World Ends with You, Neku Sakuraba, would be making a guest appearance. In this new trailer fellow friends Shiki, Beat, Rhyme, and Joshua will be joining him. They appear in Traverse Town, where we see Beat teaming up with a Kuma Panda Dream Eater. Joshua says, “This world is split into two parts.” There is profound meaning behind these words, perhaps Joshua knows something?

Other scenes presented included Quasimodo and Frollo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, a Tron world with a shooting-like stage where Sora seemed to glide across the screen, and a large number of scenes relating to the series. A screen where you can communicate with your friendly Dream Eaters was shown, displaying different colored Wonder Nyan and others. Maybe you can customize the colors of your partner Dream Eaters?

Also, King Mickey, Donald, and Goofy debut their roles in the new world “Country of the Musketeers”. It seems the motif of the world is based on the famous lines of the Three Musketeers, “All for one, and one for all!” But the reality of this world is different, King Mickey (Sora calls him Mickey) doesn’t seem to know Sora. It seems there must be some reason for him to be in this place? Moreover, the demo takes place in this level. The different stages you can go to include an opera house, tower, etc.

Fans of Organization XIII will be happy to know that I can confirm Axel, Zexion, and Lexaeus appear again. Zexion wears a white lab coat and Lexaeus wears his guard uniform, they seem to appear in their human forms. Axel is always shown in his Organization coat, in another scene he appears by King Mickey’s side when he’s in a pinch and says his famous lines, “My name is Lea, got it memorized?” Lea was his name when he was human. Perhaps his past will be revealed? Incidentally, it’s Maleficent who puts King Mickey in a predicament. Like Xehanort spoke of, Maleficent speaks about gathering 7 pure lights in order to rule the world…

Also, a movie scene is incorporated into the trailer, showing Sora falling through the center space of a spiral staircase, when he lands he becomes Roxas. There he thrusts a Keyblade at Xion who appears. From there various scenes are shown in succession, showing the characters in dramatic circumstances, composing a visual of impressive scenes from the series. There is a scene where Sora and Riku fight against Xehanort, but is it just for show? Also in the last part of the trailer, a young man wearing the Organization coat with the facial features of Ansem and Xemnas appears, he poses the question, “Sora, aren’t you too harboring hearts other than your own?” From the side, the face of Vanitas is exposed!

More than before the mysteries developing in this trailer make it irresistibly interesting. It will be uploaded to the official site soon, so by all means check it out when you can!

Demo Report

The demo I tried was the episode in the world called “Country of the Musketeers”. This world has a Three Musketeers motif where Sora along with King Mickey disguised as a musketeer, Donald, and Goofy. Here they protect Minnie who rides in a horse drawn carriage and are disciplined by Pete, who is captain of the musketeers. Reversely in Riku’s scenario, Riku fights hard to stop the plot aimed at harming Sora and company.

The most interesting part is the Drop Gauge displayed on the bottom right of the screen when you play. When the Drop Gauge hits zero, the characters are switched. There is a time limit on the gauge and it seems that it cannot be replenished. So in that way you play as Sora to Riku, then from Riku to Sora, being forced to switch every few minutes. Also, if you press the start button the game pauses and you can press “DROP” button on the bottom screen. Doing that drains the drop gauge instantly and you can switch characters.

Furthermore, when you switch (from here on out I will refer to switching as “drop”), a screen pops up that shows the prizes, points, etc. that you accumulated during play. From there you can prepare the characters to your advantage for the next stage. For example, you can consume a potion that Sora collected and upgrade RIku’s magic power. Furthermore it seems that you’ll be able to utilize HP prizes here.

Well, in reality, being forced to switch characters like this is sort of tense and exciting. For example, you are in a boss fight with Sora, but then you drop to RIku and advance his storyline, but then you switch back to the boss fight with Sora, and you have to deal with an entirely different battle situation. Moreover, Riku and Sora are each off on their own separate adventures, but like the aforementioned links, you really get the feeling of “being together even when you are apart.” Because of the method gameplay being used to tell the story, more than any of the other titles before this you can really feel the connection between Riku and Sora.

In battle, the new partners, the friendly Dream Eaters are confirmed. Sora has the Wonder Nyan, as well as Neko Cat, and Zou Elephant. Meanwhile Riku borrows the powers of the Dream Eaters that resemble a pegasus, frog, and goat. During battle icons of the three Dream Eaters are shown on the bottom screen, and on top two of them appear in battle. If you slide their icons around on the bottom you can switch out which partner Dream Eaters you want at any time. Also, Sora can do a cooperative action with Neko Cat where you press buttons in time like a rhythm game. Doing so makes them do a technique where they appear to dance together. Seeing Sora really get into the dance is worth seeing! Sometimes the message, “The Dream Eaters have noticed something!” will appear, and your partner Dream Eaters will stare at a specific spot. When they do that, they are indicating where you can find a hidden enemy. Along with helping in and out of battle, their accompaniment feels very much like having a friend around.

Also, enemies among other objects will display certain icons that when you press X + A buttons, you can invoke the Reality Shift ability. Playing on the bottom screen, you can use this system to make a special attack happen on the top screen. The Reality Shift feature also changes depending on the world. In the “Country of the Musketeers” world, the Reality Shift for Sora and Riku along with the three musketeers appear like a comic illustration. On a screen organized like a comic strip, you slide or touch according to the commands, and on the top screen the special technique occurs. Producing the comic strip, the animation looks like the original work, so the fans will be happy to see that.

When you press the Y button you invoke the Free Flow Action ability, during which you can slide, climb up walls or swing from poles, among various other techniques. It’s a bit difficult to become accustomed to the freedom of it. However, from the Free Flow Action ability, a wide variety of flashy special techniques are available. It’s especially fun to do when you have a large number of enemies on the screen and to just let it take over. Furthermore, using the Free Flow Action against a large enemy like the Zou Elephant you have an advantage, since you can do a spinning attack called “Blow Off” that lets you defeat it without using your hands. It’s a great feeling to let out these sorts of huge, flashy actions! In the demo when you played as Riku, you could spin off the equipment in the bottom stage of the opera house using the Free Flow Action. There is also a device that closes off the path, when you need to move in a hurry, dashing alone may not be fast enough so jumping and then going into the Free Flow Action might be better. Just for reference for those trying the demo tomorrow.

By the way, if you press the L + R buttons twice quickly, the camera switches to show behind the character, and you can check the area by moving the camera direction. This camera doesn’t move around on its own, and as soon as you press the button it returns to the regular view. Prior to this the processing seemed a little poor, but  since the battle scenes are so intense in this title, it’s better not to waste space on fine tuning the camera actions. By pressing L + R and moving the control stick around you can get a good look with the camera. There is also a zoom feature which really stands out, for instance when you are doing the co-op technique with Neko Cat, the commands stand out in front of the player, or when you do the Action commands on the top screen with Sora and Riku which feel very intense. I’d like to use it to the extent that my eyes no longer become tired from looking at it.

With a simple game play and flashy techniques, the battles this time are nerve-wracking and, and refreshing. The action parts seem unlike that of a hand held gaming device and feel very dynamic. Along with a storyline that connects to Kingdom Hearts III, a trailer that features characters like Axel and Xion, I’m intrigued at what will happen to these characters “that should not appear”. I want to hurry and play it!

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KH3D – Country of the Musketeers and TWEWY

Thanks to the info posted on FF-Reunion, we got a look at the newest world to be revealed in Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance. Along with that, the exciting announcement that Neku won’t be the only character from The World Ends With You guest starring in this title. I’ve translated information from the scans below.

More characters from The World Ends With You return!

Along with Neku, his friends Josh, Beat, Shiki, and Rhyme will be making appearances in Traverse Town. Just like the many characters who have wound up there before, they too want to return to their home world.

Beat: “This time I want to protect Rhyme!”

On a similar note, Square Enix composer Takeharu Ishimoto who worked on The World Ends With You as well as Birth by Sleep has been tweeting that he’s been in the studio recently, arranging music for Kingdom Hearts 3D. He says the TWEWY songs have been coming along nicely!

A new world is introduced, “Country of the Musketeers”!

In this world Mickey Donald, and Goofy are musketeers and Sora will join their troupe in an effort against the Beagle Boys who seem be causing some sort of trouble at the Opera House. In this scenario, Minnie is not queen, but a princess and Mickey’s destined lover. Pete is Captain of the Musketeers, even though he is Mickey’s rival. Three new Dream Eaters are also introduced; the Frog Chef, Ear Bunny, and Null Bird.

Mickey and company: “One for all!”

Pete: “And now with this, you are all members of the Musketeers!”

A new system for leveling up Dream Eaters!

The bottom of the right scan also reveals a sort of mini game method of leveling up your teammate Dream Eaters. The name of the ability isn’t written, but you can see there is a game involving Mickey shaped balloons.

Jump Festa 2012 starts this week where KH3D will be featured with a trailer and demo, so please keep an eye out for new information as it comes!

KH3D – Sora Gameplay


Footage from Famitsu, cropping and editing thanks to DChuich from KH13.com. Here’s the translation of Sora and Neku’s conversation.

Sora: Eh, my clothes changed?
This must be Yen Sid’s magic…
Ah, more importantly, where’s Riku!?
Rikuuuu!
Heeeey! Rikuuuu!
Neku: You’re loud, you awful Noise.

Neku: You’re Sora?
Sora: I am… But how do you know about me?
Neku: You’re not a Player in the Game then?
Sora: A Player?
Neku: Like usual, this is a game!
Neku: Players have this timer engraved on them.

Here is a translation of the account according to Aibo from FF-Reunion, it includes scenes not shown in the video.

Sora: Huh, where is this place? Traverse Town?
Sora: Eh, my clothes changed?
This must be Yen Sid’s magic…
Ah, more importantly, where’s Riku!?
Rikuuuu!
Heeeey! Rikuuuu!
Neku: You’re loud, you awful Noise.
You’re Sora?
Are you a Player in the Game too?
Sora: How do you know me? The Game? What are you talking about?
Neku: This is the Game, the Players all have this engraved on them. I can’t afford to lose this Game!
Sora: I don’t really get ‘the Game’, but maybe I can lend a hand?
Neku: Huh, you sure have a lot of faith in someone you just met
Neku: Well, to begin with, you can’t be a player in the Game without a partner, so I was looking for one.
Sora: Alright then, I’ll help a friend out.
Neku: Friend? You can’t say we’re friends so easily!
Sora: Whatever, let’s do it out of convenience then!
Neku: Have it your way.

KH3D – Demo Impression

This article comes from Famitsu, it’s more detailed than the others have been but I’m not done yet; I’ll finish it later. It’s finished now!

Loaded with new elements and the appearance of a new character!? Kingdom Hearts 3D Play Report from TGS 2011

At Tokyo Game Show 2011, Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance is being exhibited in Square Enix’s Booth. We present a play report of both Sora and Riku’s scenarios.

Sora crosses paths with that guy!?
Tokyo Game Show 2011 is taking place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, September 15 to 18, 2011. At Square Enic’s booth the world premiere of the Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance (from here on out, KH3D) demo is being exhibited. Here we’ll report our experience trying out the demo.

We’ll start off with a summary of the game. KH3D is an action RPG and the first of the Kingdom Hearts series to appear on the Nintendo 3DS platform. This time there are two main characters, the series star Sora and his best friend Riku.

In the demo you can choose between Sora and Riku’s scenarios. Not only are the two main characters to choose, but the worlds, enemies, and interacting characters are different so you get considerably unique experiences with each.

The first person we tried out was Sora. The scenario takes place in the familiar Traverse Town; however there are two new areas to explore, District 4 and District 5. Sora appears here and encounters none other than Neku, the main character of It’s A Wonderful World (The World Ends With You)! It’s the first time in the Kingdom Hearts a Square Enix character other than the Final Fantasy characters has appeared. It seems Neku is wandering around the area in search of a partner, though it’s a different place, I wonder if we will see more partners like Shiki and the others from Wonderful World (TWEWY) appear here too…?

When Neku separates from Sora, he advances and runs into the new enemy, Dream Eaters! Surrounded by the colorful enemies, I move to attack them by barraging the buttons. The attack operations are very crisp as it’s been with the KH series before, but the new system is a refreshing change. Using the “Free Flow Action” ability, you can swing around and round the poles and jump kick off the walls. You can see that the motions are clearly advanced, but it’s so easy to operate. When you press the Y button you can “Slide” (like a mini dash), if you’re in front of a pole you automatically begin swinging around it. Or if you are in front of a wall, you can pounce right off it. Furthermore, if you press A during “Free Flow Action” you can switch to a “Free Flow Attack”. These high speed actions are very exhilarating, it’s like all the action you expect of the KH series but amplified! But if you get too excited and continue to press the Y button, eventually he’s going too fast and you lose control of Sora. Luckily, even if you lose control you are still taking down the enemies. Once you are used to the hectic style of Sora flurrying about, you’ll no doubt gain more control and enjoy it more.

Earlier I wrote that the Dream Eaters were the enemy this time around, but in truth that isn’t correct. There are two types of Dream Eaters, there are those that appear as your enemies and those that appear as Sora and Riku’s companions. The companion Dream Eaters fight alongside you as AI, but if you fill the “Link Gauge” and touch the bottom screen (or press L+R+ A buttons at the same time), you can ride the Dream Eater and together with Sora do a cooperative attack. Additionally, if you activate both companions at the same time you can do the “Dual Link” ability, an even stronger technique. In Sora’s “Dual Link” technique, the Dream Eaters combine into one large one which he rides quite comically.

Additionally, when I hit several of the same enemies in battle, the lock on mark changed into something special. At that time pressing X and A buttons at the same time I was able to invoke the “Reality Shift” technique. Invoking it, Sora’s figure disappears and the enemies are displayed on the bottom screen, shrouded in balls of light. You can drag them close and launch them, making the enemies wrapped in the balls of light spring forward and create a big explosion. This seems to be an attack that involves numerous enemies.

Hurrying along, a fairly large bipedal Dream Eater appears. It seems to be some sort of boss. In a spacious area you attack while running about and the boss steadily chases after you. Though there have been many battles before with a space confined to the boss fight, this boss fight area was quite spacious. Furthermore, you are fighting on top of a glass rooftop, so the glass will break and you can fall into the building’s interior! I was able to make the best use of the surprising tricks and crush the boss, ending Sora’s scenario.

Continuing along, next was Riku’s scenario. It takes place in “Le Cité des Cloches”, the world inspired by the Bells of Notre Dame. It’s the first time this world appeared in the series. In comparison with Sora, we can see Riku’s stylish actions however they are not all that different in operation. But the cooperation with the Dream Eater companions was very different. With Sora we saw a direct cooperative attack by riding the Dream Eaters around, in contrast they serve as power ups to Riku. By choosing a Dream Eater, you can invoke attacks shrouded in fire, illuminating the power that dwells inside of Riku. The “Reality Shift” ability is also different with Riku, in his case the lower screen displays the enemies and pillars whose object icons can be tied up. While the enemies are connected by the chain, Riku can run on top the chain and attack all the enemies caught up in the line.

The boss in Riku’s scenario is a winged Dream Eater. Riku can’t fly, or so I had thought, but above the field whirlwinds blow and lift you up, Riku can ride the wind fight while floating. The floating operated a bit differently than the Glide ability, I finally took out the boss and finished Riku’s scenario.

This report became extremely long, but I had a good look at the numerous new elements introduced in this demo. Though we looked at the new editions to the battle system and the aspects of the Dream Eater companions, it seems there are still more elements to discover. KH fans will definitely want to get a glimpse at all the new elements through playing the KH3D demo!

KH3D – Reality Shift

There are a lot of impressions coming out, but here is another article translation for anyone who was interested, this time from GameWatch.

Enjoy the evolved battle system of “Free Flow Action”!

As the first title of the Kingdom Hearts series for the 3DS, there are high expectations and for the first time in the world, a playable version is on display for the public. Since the crowds are expected to be very congested on the general admission days, if you’d like to try it out you are best off arriving early. When you try out the demo, you’ll have a choice of playing either Sora’s or Riku’s scenario.

Sora’s scenario, takes place in the series familiar “Traverse Town”. Sora seems to be separated from Riku when an orange haired boy appears. The boy is participating in some sort of game and is looking for a partner. There is a timer counting down engraved on the palm of his hand indicating the game is in effect.  Riku’s stage is “Le Cité des Cloches” where Quasimodo from the Bells of Notre Dame appears.

One of the biggest characteristics of the series is how easy it is to play and create a bright, flashy display of action in battle; and that’s apparent within 10 minutes of playing this title. What was particularly fun was utilizing the “Free Flow Action” option which allows the player to do abilities like gliding, kicking off walls, and swirling around poles in an instant, creating high speed action. Since it offers the most refreshing action elements of the series with the capability to move limitlessly through the sky while unleashing a flurry of attacks, you could say that the action aspects have evolved remarkably.

The method of utilizing the lock on markers has changed. By pressing the A and X button at the same time, you can invoke a “Reality Shift” which makes use of the touch panel screen and changes the operation mode of Sora and Riku. Since the battle can be interrupted while invoking a “Reality Shift”, you can mess with the touch panel screen without becoming impatient. The other uses of the touch panel include directing your 2 companion creatures called the Dream Eaters. Since all you have to do to put them in action is touch their icons, it seems that they will become powerful weapons in battle.

Furthermore, from the trailer shown in the open mega theater, we can confirm that there is an AR function that allows you to playfully interact with the Dream Eaters. Not only is the action enjoyable, but it seems there are various systems to look forward to in this title.

And in case you missed it, Gamespot has uploaded HD video footage of Riku’s demo scenario, check them out below! Hunchback of Note Dame is my favorite Disney movie, the scenario looks fantastic, along with The World Ends With You, I really couldn’t be more excited for this game!