Genzō Wakayama, the Japanese voice actor of Ansem the Wise, DiZ, and Zeus in the Kingdom Hearts series passed away on May 18th, 2021 at the age of 88. The cause of death is listed as a heart failure.
Genzō Wakayama was born on September 27, 1932 in Ōdomari in the Karafuto Prefecture of Empire of Japan, currently known as Korsakov, Russia. When he was young, he moved to Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan and graduated from Sapporo South High School. In addition of being a voice actor, he was a disk jockey and hosted a program on TBS radio in Japan from 1973 to 1995 as well as the narrator for a television show Abarenbo Shogun from 1978 to 2003.
Other roles that Wakayama did include Detective Boom in the 1963 Astro Boy cartoon, Long John Silver in the 1978-79 anime version of Treasure Island, and Demaon in the 1984 movie Doraemon: Nobita's Great Adventure into the Underworld. He also was the official dub voice for Sean Connery, Gene Barry, and Lee Marvin. Other dubs that Wakayama did was Henry the Green Engine for the 13th season of Thomas and Friends, Zeus for Hercules, and John Silver for the 2003 version of Treasure Planet. Recently, he was also the voice of President Shinra in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Thank you for voicing Ansem the Wise, DiZ, and Zeus for the the Kingdom Hearts series Genzō Wakayama. May your heart guide you to your final resting place and rest in peace.
Twitter user @gsc_kahotan, a member of Good Smile Company's Planning Department, has revealed an image of the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III Aqua Nendoroid!
Aqua is the last of the revealed Kingdom Hearts characters to receive a Nendoroid figure.
The following Kingdom Hearts Nendoroid figures currently available for purchase from that reveal are as follows:
Kingdom Hearts III Kairi
Kingdom Hearts III Axel
Kingdom Hearts III Roxas
Kingdom Hearts II Riku
Kingdom Hearts II Sora
Kingdom Hearts III Sora and Riku
You can take a look at the revealed Aqua Nendoroid via our gallery below:
The official Japanese PR account for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] has announced that the final story update for the main scenario of the title will be going live on the Japanese version of the application on Monday, May 31st at 15:00/ (JST) 11:00 PM PDT/ 2:00 AM EDT.
There has been no word from the North American PR account on whether global fans will be receiving this update during the same time frame as Japanese players. We will be sure to update this piece if that does happen to be the case.
The final story update was decided to be split into 2 parts, and this latter half of the split will be making itself known early next week. Are you dejected or jovial at this long-running mobile entry finally reaching its conclusion?
Let us know in the comments below!
U-Treasure has revealed a new Kingdom Hearts-themed product available for pre-order from their digital store. The merchandise this time around is a Sea-Salt Ice Cream Watch.
This wristwatch is adorned with the iconic series crown present on Sora's necklace, miniature symbols of the heart, the Keyblade, and King Mickey's head. A design of Twilight Town is also present on the watch's backside.
You can view this watch via our gallery below:
This watch is currently available for pre-order from U-Treasure for ¥27,500 ($250.32) and has an expected shipping date of late October 2021 that is subject to change. Additionally, the pre-order period starts today, May 28th (JST), and ends June 29th. (JST)
Do you find this wristwatch's imagery of Kingdom Hearts pleasing to the eye? Let us know in the comments below!
Good Smile Company has revealed the Kingdom Hearts III Kairi Nendoroid, which is currently available for pre-order on their regional stores!
This Nendoroid features Kairi with her Destiny's Embrace Keyblade, Paopu Fruit, and Sea-Salt Ice-Cream accessories.
The Japanese store has the Nendoroid available for pre-order for ¥6,200 and a December 2021 release date, while the US store has the Nendoroid available for pre-order for $61.99 and a January 2022 release date.
You can view the Kairi Nendoroid via our gallery below.
Kingdom Hearts III Riku, Sora, Roxas and Axel have also been available for pre-order and will arrive later this year. Good Smile have also revealed a prototype for Aqua back in February and should be available for pre-order in the next upcoming weeks.
Do you intend on purchasing this Nendoroid for your Kingdom Hearts collection? Which other characters from the franchise do you want to see Nendoroids of? Let us know in the comments below!
Microsoft published a news article today detailing what games will be arriving to Xbox Game Pass in the coming days, alongside what select titles will be leaving the service.
Unfortunately, both Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue are stated to be leaving Xbox Game Pass on May 31st.
Kingdom Hearts III will be remaining on the service for the time being, however.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Remix contains the following titles:
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days HD Remastered Cinematics
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded HD Remastered Cinematics
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue contains the following titles:
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD
Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage
Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover
Prospective fans on the Xbox family of consoles will now have to fork over the money for both collections. Thankfully, Kingdom Hearts III is still available on Xbox Game Pass, and for those who are currently subscribed to the service they can choose to purchase the 2 collections for up to a 20% discount.
Have you relied on or knew individuals who relied on Xbox Game Pass for getting into the Kingdom Hearts series? Let us know in the comments below!
The shutdown for the global version of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] Dark Road has been postponed due to the split up of the finale The shutdown, originally set to take place on May 30th, will now take place on June 29th at 6:00 PM PDT.
This comes a month after KHUX JP announced the shutdown for the Japan version would be postponed from April 30th to June 17th. Part 1 of the finale was launched on April 30th for Japan and Global with Quest 978. The date for Part 2 has yet to be announced.
Kingdom Hearts Dark Road will be playable until version 4.4.0 is available for download. An offline version is still slated for September 2021 with version 5.0.0.
The North American PR Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] has tweeted that the first update of the two-part finale will be going live for the global version tonight at midnight PT. (3:00 AM EDT)
This is exceedingly odd, seeing that the Japanese PR Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] has stated that their update will be available on April 30th. There is always a chance that either or both accounts could have accidentally posted erroneous information. Still, we will be finding out if this statement from the global account is true later tonight.
UPDATE: (04/29/2021) The announcement tweet from the English PR account seems to have been posted a day early. The story update should be tomorrow (April 30th) at 15:00 JT for Japan and at midnight PT for Global!.
UPDATE (04/30/2021): Quest 978 "What Comes After" has been updated on both JP and Global! The quest only contains story cutscenes and doesn't have a mission attracted to it. The quest is also available on Proud Mode.
The finale for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] has almost arrived. The KHUX JP Twitter account have tweeted that part one of the two part finale will be available for Japan players on Friday April 30th at 15:00 JP time (2:00 AM EDT/11:00 PM PDT).
Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] was originally going to shut down for Japan on April 30th, but has been delayed until June 14th as well as having the finale split into two parts. There hasn't been any announcements with the Global version as of yet past the planned May 30th date.
What do you prediction for the two part finale of Union χ[Cross]? Let us know in the comments below?
Previously, the Version 2 of Riku and Sora's Bring Arts figures had release dates planned in Japan for April and May, with Sora being scheduled for May 15th of this year, and Riku scheduled to release in April 17th. Pre-orders were also avaliable.
However, it was confirmed recently that both Sora AND Riku had their release dates delayed. An e-mail from AmiAmi was sent out to one of our staff members confirming the delay.
Sora was delayed from May 15th to July 10th. Riku was delayed from April 17th to May 22nd.
We will keep you updated in the event that this also affects the North American release dates of the figures, as their pre-orders are also up.
The Square Enix European Store has recently removed all of the Kingdom Hearts merchandise previously available on their digital storefront. The only viewable Kingdom Hearts products are standard physical releases of the games and limited editions, such as the Kingdom Hearts III Deluxe Edition.
Plushies, keychains, pins, and much more have vanished from the site. The Square Enix North American store has been untouched, with all products remaining as they always have been. Other franchises such as NieR and Final Fantasy still have their merchandise present on the European store, so this merchandise removal seems exclusive to Kingdom Hearts.
It is currently unknown if this is solely a mishap on their front or if some restructuring is taking place to remove Kingdom Hearts merchandise from the European store. For now, we will keep our eyes and ears open and keep you all updated.
Chapter 17 for the Kingdom Hearts III manga is now available in English from Yen Press. Following the Heart's Guidance can be bought as a digital download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Walker, ComiXology, Google Play, iBooks, and Kobo. The issue's price varies from $1.99 for the United States to $2.99 in Canada.
Chapter 17 was released in Japanese on Gangan Online back on April 14th. Chapter 18 is planned to release on Gangan Online on June 10th.
You can also check out the articles for the previous chapters by clicking on the links below!
Chapter 0 Prologue Japanese English
Chapter 1 The New Departure Japanese English
Chapter 2 Olympus Coliseum Part 1 Japanese English
Chapter 3 Olympus Coliseum Part 2 Japanese English
Chapter 4 Olympus Coliseum Part 3 Japanese English
Chapter 5 Olympus Coliseum Part 4 Japanese English
Chapter 6 Olympus Coliseum Part 5 Japanese English
Chapter 7 Olympus Coliseum Part 6 Japanese English
Chapter 8 Olympus Coliseum Part 7 Japanese English
Chapter 9 The Dark World Japanese English
Chapter 10 Unbreakable Connection Japanese English
Chapter 11 The Self inside the Mirror Japanese English
Chapter 12 Reunion Japanese English
Chapter 13 Warmth Japanese English
Chapter 14 Destiny Island Japanese English
Chapter 15 Remaining Light Japanese English
Chapter 16 Follow the Connection Japanese English
Chapter 17 Following the Heart's Guidance Japanese
In addition, Volume 2 of the manga is set to release on June 11th in Japan. The English version has yet to be announced.
U-Treasure has revealed necklaces based on the Rainfell, Wayward Wind, and Earthshaker Keyblades! These are the Keyblades of Aqua, Ventus, and Terra respectively.
All 3 of these necklaces have a total of 4 variants each. The silver variants of each necklace are ¥15,400 ($154), while the rest are all ¥104,500. ($1,045) Additionally, each necklace is available for pre-order from now up until May 14, 2021.
You can view our galleries for each available Keyblade necklace image below:
The store page for each of the available necklace types will be listed below as well:
Rainfell K18 White Gold
Rainfell K18 Yellow Gold
Rainfell K18 Pink Gold
Wayward Wind Silver
Wayward Wind K18 White Gold
Wayward Wind K18 Yellow Gold
Wayward Wind K18 Pink Gold
Earthshaker K18 White Gold
Earthshaker K18 Yellow Gold
Earthshaker K18 Pink Gold
Do you see yourself purchasing any of these charming necklaces based on the iconic Keyblades from the Wayfinder trio? Let us know in the comments below!
Yep. You didn't misread this title. Just recently, the Japanese twitter of KHUX just posted a tweet revealing that not only is the game shut down date postponed past its end of April initial date, but also that the finale of KHUX will be divided into two parts.
Here's the original Tweet:
And here's the translated notice, courtesy of Roboloid:
Despite all this, it seems no new events are in the works, as raid battles and PvP also got extended, as they'll end on May 28th, and May 29th, respectively.
It is unknown yet when will those new story chapters come. All that was said is that they'll be "disclosed at a later date".
NOTE: Thank you very much to Square Enix for providing KH13 with these PC codes. That has not affected our opinions and advisories in this piece, however.
The Kingdom Hearts series making its way to PC is a massive step up for accessibility for prospective fans. The first and definitely most worthwhile purchase any interested party should make is Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX.
This compilation includes Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, (HD Cinematics) Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Re: coded. (HD Cinematics)
Each of these ports is qualitative and performs quite well. There are full screen, windowed, and borderless full-screen modes alongside a slew of other display features. 30, 60, 120, and Unlocked frame rate options are available with a refresh rate option accompanying those.
Brightness adjustments and colorblind filters are available as well. The menu for the colorblind filters is a bit odd since it features a screenshot from the Japanese version of the title, but that's just a minor nitpick.
Sound sliders for the master volume, background music, sound effects, and voices are available too, which is a first for the series.
Regarding controller inputs, PlayStation, Xbox, Keyboard, and Switch Pro Controllers all seamlessly work without issue. Buttons can also be re-calibrated, providing further individual player agency in how one chooses to play.
As you can see, there is a significant amount of added quality of life features to these PC versions of the titles, which makes them both excellent entry points for new players and compelling reasons for revisiting for veteran fans.
There are some issues to be wary of regarding the titles, though. There are seemingly random crashes in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix. I personally experienced crashes in all of the aforementioned titles minus Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories. Still, I have both seen and talked to individuals who have dealt with crashes in Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories as well.
These crashes seemed to be random, as the ones I experienced occurred just as I was standing still or walking around. Thankfully the severity and frequency of them are nowhere near the level of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix's infamous save crashing during its initial play state on PlayStation 4. However, they are still worth being wary of.
There are also some new issues the community is finding as we speak too, so once again, keep the potential of encountering problematic occurrences in mind. If you choose to purchase this title, be sure to save often to supplement any loss of progress you may find yourself facing.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix seems to be the most contentious of the ports as there are reports of some players crashing more frequently here than in the other titles. Speaking from individual experience, I dealt with a total of 4 crashes during my time playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, 2 crashes in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, and 1 crash in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix.
There is not much to say regarding the HD Cinematics of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re: coded. Still, it is worth mentioning that the entirety of the Chapters across both titles and Roxas' Diary in the former title are fully available for viewing from the start.
The free update scene for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is also present, for those wondering.
Curiously though, the Characters section of Kingdom Hearts Re: coded is unlocked and naturally updated from viewing the cinematics, which is a bizarre choice when accompanied by everything else being initially unlocked.
Lastly, it seems that it is not possible to alter the voice acting of any of these games to Japanese despite that being an advertised feature. While one can alter the game's language entirely from the Epic Game Store settings menu, that also changes the language of the text itself, and it also seemingly doesn't alter the dubbed language for some players. This is by far one of the oddest exclusions, erroneous or not since this feature is listed on the store page of the title.
Of the 4 Kingdom Hearts PC releases, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX is certainly one of the most worthwhile purchases a customer can make. While some technical issues need sorting out, the ports are all relatively reliable and consistent in performance. The added PC optimizations and several other features make these arguably the definitive way to experience these titles, doubly so once their issues get ironed out.
There is not much to say regarding Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. This collection contains the least bang for your buck as it only includes Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep ~A fragmentary passage~ and Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] Back Cover.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD and the other titles in this collection have the same PC optimization options that Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX had, and its performance is smooth and up to snuff. If you want more details on what is included, read our section on the prior collection above, but expect the same general level of quality and performance that the former titles have.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep ~A fragmentary passage~ is a graphical step up from the past titles and requires a beefier set up to run comfortably. Oddly enough, though, its optimization options for display are identical to the prior titles. This is a bit strange given the higher tier of graphical fidelity this title offers, so one would expect more options, perhaps akin to what Kingdom Hearts III's PC port provides. Regardless, however, this title runs beautifully. This is a far cry from the stuttery performance back on PlayStation 4, and it does this title more than enough justice. I have a relatively modest PC, and this title ran smoothly with little to no slowdown whatsoever.
I did not experience crashes or any noticeable bugs during my experiences in either of these 2 titles, and I have not seen any reports of this occurring with other players. Still, best to be cautious and save whenever possible.
Lastly, as for Kingdom Hearts χ[chi] Back Cover, there is literally nothing unique or noteworthy to comment on. While it likely does look better compared to its console counterparts, the experience is still the same.
Additionally, just like Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX, there is no option to change to Japanese audio for any of these titles. This is an advertised feature listed on the store page, so its exclusion is incredibly bizarre.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is arguably the package with the least incentive to purchase, even with the PC enhancements. Aside from the noticeable performance upgrades for Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep ~A fragmentary passage~, there is little reason to buy this collection, especially given its unnecessarily high price tag. One should wait for a considerable sale before potentially picking up this product.
Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC has finally arrived on PC alongside the rest of the Kingdom Hearts series through the Epic Games Store.
The port offers many of the same features present in the PC ports of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory with an added graphics settings menu. The PC specific settings menu allows for adjustments to be made to the game's languages, display settings, graphics, sounds, and gamepad and keyboard customizations.
The game supports both Japanese and English voices/audio and allows for the player to also choose between eight different languages for the text, including but not limited to Japanese and English.
As with the other HD collections now available for PC, Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC also offers options to adjust the frame rates between 30, 60, 120, and Unlocked, preset graphic settings ranging from Low to Max or Custom, colorblind filters, and a range of sound settings for adjusting volume, background music, sound effects, and voices.
Additionally, the game supports PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch Pro, and Keyboard controls. I started my playthrough using keyboard and mouse controls but found it awkward to lock on to enemies. As someone who has played most of the series on the PlayStation 4, I found myself gravitating back to using my PlayStation 4 controller quickly. Needless to say, however, the game provides for a wide assortment of customizations to accommodate a variety of player preferences and play styles.
Two notable perks players will receive for purchasing the Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC through the Epic Games Store are a three-month subscription to Disney+(for select countries only) and the exclusive Elemental Encoder Keyblade.
Perhaps the more curious of the two is the Elemental Encoder Keyblade, which is similar in appearance to King Mickey's Star Cluster Keyblade, with a metallic silver and black palette swap. The Keyblade allows for a form change that is a variation of Sora's Second Form, "Second Form E." Additionally, it comes with two abilities, Lucky Strike and Magic Roulette. Because this Keyblade is available from the get-go, I found it coming in handy personally for early on in the game. Specifically, after filling up the command gauges, Magic Roulette grants the player the ability to cast a random Grand Magic spell which is a more powerful tier of magic you normally wouldn't receive until progressing later into the game.
Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC is very well optimized for PC. As with Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep ~A Fragmentary Passage~, the better your setup, the better you'll be able to enjoy the game at its full potential. I was pleasantly surprised to see how seamlessly movement was both in cutscenes and gameplay. Magic spells and Attraction Flows glow with color, environments look more vibrant, shadows, reflections and textures appear more prominent. Upon its initial release on console, the game was already visually stunning. Small enhancements such as the lighting and level of overall detail on the PC port go a long way to making this stunning game look even more spectacular.
For the most part, the game runs very smoothly, and much to my delight I was having a difficult time finding topics to complain about. I did however encounter a noticeable drop in the frame rate during the final battle against all three Titans, but it was nothing super disruptive. Perhaps this is just due to the scale of that particular boss battle. Fortunately, I did not experience any of the random crashes reported in the other titles' PC ports. However, it is worth noting that there are reports from the community regarding a bug pertaining to receiving the Proof of Times Past, which then prevents players from obtaining the Oblivion Keyblade. I have not reached this point in my playthrough, so I have yet to confirm it myself. Hopefully such issues will be addressed in future updates.
Whether you're someone trying Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC for the first time or a fan of the series wanting to experience the title on PC, Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC is sure to provide players with a smooth, crisp, and clean experience.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory includes a noticeable amount of options not present in its initial release. There is an option for Japanese audio, just like Kingdom Hearts III. Options for resolution, frame rate, and anti-aliasing are also present alongside some more unexpected features such as movie opacity alteration and staff transparency for the tracks.
There are notable problems with this port, however. Firstly, the online mode functionality is still as barebones as it was on consoles and still does not allow private matches between players online. For those who were desiring this mode to be fixed for this release, I sympathize greatly.
Additionally, perhaps the most grievous of any of the issues present in all of the PC ports thus far is that both the Dualsense and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers do not work with this port. I am personally unsure if Xbox controllers work, but having 2 modern controllers not currently compatible is already a massive detriment. The only control methodology that worked in my experience, aside from the keyboard, was the Dualshock 4. This is a vital problem that will hopefully be patched as soon as possible.
The port functions well aside from those critical faults, thankfully. For those who have not experienced Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory yet, though, or desired a platform where you could use whatever controller you desired, you are certainly better off waiting for a patch and a sale, as the title's base price is quite steep.
At the end of the day, the two purchases Wakeless and I recommend any fan making are of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC. While this collection has crashing concerns, and the latter has some glitches of its own, their issues are relatively minor in the grand scope of enjoyability. As long as one frequently saves, their experiences should not be hindered too greatly.
Additionally, the port of Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind DLC is fantastic, and is by leaps and bounds the definitive medium to play through this title for any whose PC can optimally run it. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX has the most bang for your buck, as it contains a considerable amount of content for a worthwhile price.
However, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is difficult to justify a purchase of due to its unnecessarily high price tag, and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory has its slew of controller related issues and untouched online implementation. We only advise purchasing these two titles if they are on sale, if Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory's controller related faults get patched if it actively affects your playstyle, or if one has not yet experienced their contents at all.
Orpheus Joshua's Specs:
Processor: Intel Core i5-9400F CPU @2.90GHz
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1660
Installed Ram: 8.00 GB
Processor: 3.8GHz 12-core AMD Ryzen 3900x
Graphics Card: 24GB NVIDIA Titan RTX
Installed Ram: 64GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3600MHz