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Square Enix North America talks Kingdom Hearts 3D

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GamerLive.TV have held an interview with Ryan Masuno, the Product Manager at Square Enix North America, concerning the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. Although he does not reveal anything new, it is still nice to see them promoting the game! Thanks to TheDCD and KHInsider for the tip, you can see the video interview and read a transcript of it, below.

Masuno: My name is Ryan Masuno. I'm the Product Manager for Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance].


GamerLiveTV: A lot of people have been looking forward to this because it's the debut of the series for Nintendo 3DS. How psyched are you to bring it to another platform?

Masuno: It's really exciting. It takes advantage of all the 3DS' capabilities. The 3D integration is amazing, and more importantly, this title is the follow-up to Kingdom Hearts II that fans have been waiting for. You know, the continuation of the story; this is it right here.

GamerLiveTV: Can you give us a little detail of the story; where it's going this time?

Masuno: So at the beginning of the game, Yen Sid is basically telling the gang ― King Mickey, Sora, Donald, Goofy, Riku ― that there's an impending threat coming their way, and that Sora and Riku need to be stronger in order to have a chance against them. Basically, Sora and Riku have a natural ability to use the Keyblade, but they were never properly trained to become Keyblade Masters. So what Yen Sid basically tells them is that he's going to send them to the sleeping worlds to unlock seven keyholes, and if they come back from that, then they'll be granted new powers, new abilities, and be considered true Keyblade Masters.

GamerLiveTV: Is the combat about the same as the first two games or is there anything new or exclusive to the 3DS version?

Masuno: The basic combat system is going to feel familiar to anyone who's played Kingdom Hearts I and II, and some of the other ones like Birth by Sleep, but the new features in this make it even different. There's a feature called "Flow Motion" ― characters are able to interact with anything in their environment. If there's a wall, they can kick off of it and perform a really fast stunt-like movement. That can all be chained to attacks, they can be chained to other movements; they can spin off of a wall and hit a pole and spin off of it, and then jump to a rail and ride on it, so once you get the hang of it, you'll basically be able to free roam around the entire stages. That's great for movement and for battle. There's also a feature called "Reality Shift" ― when players are in battle, they can actually enter the bottom screen where they'll be prompted to input some touch-based contextual inputs, and that's different for each world. If you perform them correctly, you'll be able to perform a really powerful attacks on each of the enemies.

GamerLiveTV: Are there going to be some familiar Disney worlds that people have seen in the previous games or are there going to be new ones? How does that work?

Masuno: Every Disney world that you encounter in this game are going to be new to the series.

GamerLiveTV: Can you give us an example of what kind of world you'd expect in the game?

Masuno: We have The Grid from Tron Legacy, the recent movie. We have Fantasia and Hunchback of Notre Dame to name a few.

GamerLiveTV: And the game is coming out actually this summer! It's just about finished!

Masuno: It's almost there: July 31st, 2012.

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