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Aquaberry

Communications Manager
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Aquaberry last won the day on August 6 2020

Aquaberry had the most liked content!

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About Aquaberry

  • Staff Role
    Communications Manager
  • Birthday November 2

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    Female

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  • Wrote over 100 news articles. Lead the news writing team. Contributed over 900 images to our gallery. Represented KH13 at numerous events.

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  1. Netflix have announced an original series called First Love, inspired by Utada Hikaru's debut album "First Love" and her most recent album "Hatsukoi". This announcement is being met with enthusiasm by many Kingdom Hearts fans, who have naturally come to admire Utada Hikaru's other work outside the theme songs (and their many iterations) she has performed for the series. The new scripted series, now in production, is set to launch worldwide in 2022. Utada's "First Love" was released in 1999, setting her up for being one of the most renowned Japanese musicians of her time, and becoming the best-selling album in Japan to date. "Hatsukoi" (which in Japanese means "first love") was released in 2018, setting it almost a decade apart from "First Love". Netflix has drawn inspiration from these albums and has fittingly written the series to be about the first love of a young couple, from their first meeting in the 90's through to today. The series will be directed by Yuri Kanchiku, and will co-star Hikari Mitsushima and Takeru Satoh. Mitsushima will be playing Yae Noguchi, an aspiring flight attendant who was met with a tragic accident, and Satoh will play Harumichi Namiki, an ex-pilot. Utada has written several songs for dramas, anime, films – and of course, Kingdom Hearts – in her career. Her latest album "Hatsukoi" also features Chikai, one of the main theme songs she wrote for Kingdom Hearts III.
  2. Netflix have announced an original series called First Love, inspired by Utada Hikaru's debut album "First Love" and her most recent album "Hatsukoi". This announcement is being met with enthusiasm by many Kingdom Hearts fans, who have naturally come to admire Utada Hikaru's other work outside the theme songs (and their many iterations) she has performed for the series. The new scripted series, now in production, is set to launch worldwide in 2022. Utada's "First Love" was released in 1999, setting her up for being one of the most renowned Japanese musicians of her time, and becoming the best-selling album in Japan to date. "Hatsukoi" (which in Japanese means "first love") was released in 2018, setting it almost a decade apart from "First Love". Netflix has drawn inspiration from these albums and has fittingly written the series to be about the first love of a young couple, from their first meeting in the 90's through to today. The series will be directed by Yuri Kanchiku, and will co-star Hikari Mitsushima and Takeru Satoh. Mitsushima will be playing Yae Noguchi, an aspiring flight attendant who was met with a tragic accident, and Satoh will play Harumichi Namiki, an ex-pilot. Utada has written several songs for dramas, anime, films – and of course, Kingdom Hearts – in her career. Her latest album "Hatsukoi" also features Chikai, one of the main theme songs she wrote for Kingdom Hearts III. View full article
  3. The Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory playable demo is now available to play worlwide! Releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on November 11 in Japan and November 13 worldwide, MoM (as the fans affectionally call it) is the very first rhythm action game in the series, featuring over 140 tracks from its exceptional soundtrack. Our expectations of the demo were high, being fans of the rhythm game genre and the highly esteemed series composer Yoko Shimomura, and knowing the game has been developed in collaboration with the same studio behind the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series and Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. The idea for a "Theatrhythm Kingdom Hearts" was first proposed in 2012, and has finally come to fruition under a different name. The Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory playable demo wasted no time in meeting our expectations of a high quality musical experience with unforgettable tracks to tickle our nostalgia. It was an extremely enlightening and engaging experience that made us discard any doubts we had for purchasing the full game, which has set itself up to be more fun than it looks. The MoM demo contains 4 single-player songs and 2 co-op songs, with 3 difficulties (Beginner, Standard, and Proud) and 3 gameplay styles (Basic, One Button, and Performer), giving players plenty to sink their teeth into. It also contains zero spoilers of the series story-wise, so it's safe to play if you still haven't caught up with the more recent entries! This title is certainly different from normal rhythm games in its gameplay, but easily one of the most satisfying games of the genre that we've played. With our previous experiences with Theatrhythm and a handful of other games such as Guitar Hero, Muse Dash, Groove Coaster, Ride Zero, and Cytus, we were interested to see how our beloved Kingdom Hearts music would translate into a game like this. Kingdom Hearts has always been known for amazing music, especially those boss themes that get your heart racing and complement the difficulty of battle and tension rising. But it can be difficult to imagine these pieces getting justice in a rhythm game, especially world and field themes, which aren't the most fast paced and may deny your metal fingers a chance to go blazing when craving an exigent level. And so came the demo and, boy oh boy, this game is more fun than it appears. It melds Kingdom Hearts-style combat and rhythmic timing amazingly well, and only by playing it will you understand how masterfully this combination works. As demonstrated in the announcement trailer, you get to play as Sora, Donald and Goofy, or a combination of other main and Disney characters, as they run along a path through different worlds, with different lanes resembling sheet music. The tracks available in the demo are Welcome to Wonderland, Hand in Hand, The Rustling Forest (from The Enchanted Dominion world) and Wave of Darkness I; you are able to filter tracks based on which game they appear in, challenge level, and even by marking your favorite ones. As the game beings and the track plays, the party of characters come across different enemies they have to attack according to the rhythm of the song, and crystals that they have to use to execute a special skill or magic. It takes a while to get used to the controls; the game was made in a way that gives the feeling of playing one of the RPG titles (Circle to jump, Cross to attack, Triangle for special attacks, hold Circle for gliding, and so on). The sound effects also blend efficiently with the track without being an annoyance and instead encouraging the player if they have timed their reactions just right. (And in case they do annoy you, you are able to adjust SFX and Voice Volume in the game's settings.) Fans of rhythm games can rejoice in knowing that the game will provide a fun, challenging experience – at least, according to the demo. The game seemed fairly difficult even on Beginner and Standard difficulties, especially when it requires you to execute combo moves. The enemies are not static; they have a range of movements that may confuse you into reacting too slow or too fast, or taking too much of your attention that you don't notice the next enemies sneaking up on you! MoM is a rhythm game at its core, but it wonderfully incorporates the RPG elements we are already familiar with, such as a variety of incoming enemies (Heartless, Unversed, people...), who have their own range of dynamic movements, that you have to react with by attacking, casting spells, gliding, changing direction, jumping, evading, and employing a combination of these, all the while keeping to the rhythm and timing of the song. We grew to like the system overall, as you do when scoring well on a song; the satisfaction of seeing the Full Chain icon show up and that Excellent Bar filling up is incredibly rewarding and can add hours to your day, making you wonder where the time went... Which is exactly what happened to us this past week! The co-op mode brings another layer of fun and challenge to the game. The tracks on the demo for co-op are the very playful All for One and the elegant battle theme Sinister Shadows. It's a fun way to spend time playing with your friends, whether they are Kingdom Hearts fans or not, and can also present a level of challenge as you will have to coordinate your actions with someone else's. We recommend for all players, of any skill level, to take some time training with the easier songs to get used to the flow of the songs (double taps, triple taps, multi-taps and directional changes, with a single or multiple fingers, based on timing). We also recommend to definitely try the demo out first – while we found the demo extremely enjoyable, it did fall short for some of our staff for whom the rhythm game genre was not their cup of tea. For those players, the One Button mode might be a good place to start. If you really fancy yourself a challenge, however, we dare you to try the Performer mode, which requires you to react with pressing some more, extra buttons than in Standard mode. We've tried it, and... let's just say MoM seems to cater to a range of difficulties, inviting novices as well as experts who can dish out some absurd coordinated ninja moves! Graphically, this title is modest and not impressive for modern hardware; it is almost a time capsule back to the PlayStation 2 days. This can be a turn-off for prospective players, but we find the lack of focus on graphical fidelity to be a strength. This makes the performance of the title nearly faultless, and the game's mechanics aren't held back by lavish visuals. These visuals are also quite nostalgic for longtime Kingdom Hearts fans and add to the thematic intention of the title. We became aware of some issues, which have also been reported by many fans. There is an odd input buffer; when mashing X, you'll notice that there is a noticeable delay between each input and output action. In a rhythm game, this can spell disappointment as it will force players to miss more notes than intended, at no fault of the player's timing. In a song like Wave of Darkness I or others with lots of notes, you may end up missing out on 3–5 notes because the input hasn't finished buffering yet. Additionally, in the heat of the moment, you won't think of pressing L1/R1 to hit notes alongside X. One missed or badly timed note can really throw you off getting the subsequent notes, which can be quite frustrating if you're aiming for a Full Chain or playing on Proud. You are able to configure the music timing in Music Stage Settings to account for lag, but it doesn't seem to solve the issue entirely. Secondly, the overall timing for some notes is a bit odd. Thankfully, enemies have a circle that closes in to let you execute the perfect timing, but the way the enemies' positions transition (such as during the last section of Wave of Darkness I) prevents you from seeing exactly in what order the notes are coming in. You might read ahead and see 2 Shadow Heartless in a row, only for a random flying double tap to come in instead. Of course, this element of challenge pushes you to learn the track and get better scores the second, third, fourth time around. Finally, the jumps. They don't have a circle to indicate timing, but rather the arrows move upwards to indicate a jump. This means different songs might have different timings on when to jump given how fast they go, and oftentimes you can find yourself reacting to a jump signal visually as you would in an RPG, and not to the rhythm of the song. Again, it's a matter of learning the moves and their timings with practice, especially as you aim for Full Chains or All Excellent. Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory has a lot going for it, and we have no doubt it is rich of content justifying its price. With the full version offering over 140 tracks, we can easily see ourselves and many others dedicating hours to this game, learning and mastering its mechanics while reminiscing the memories in the melodies. 140 songs, multiple attempts to Full Chain, All Excellent, or both, at least 3 different modes, online VS and multiplayer, 20+ playable characters, scoring and leveling up, completing missions in the World Tour... All this on top of the story and collectibles that we've seen so far in the trailers? We are impatient to get our hands on the full experience. This review was written by OrpheusJoshua, GoldenDrummer73, PowerJusho_KH13, and Aquaberry. OrpheusJoshua played the demo on PlayStation 4, while the others experienced it on the Nintendo Switch. Watch the Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory—Experience the Music! – Gameplay Compilation Watch @Power Jusho's gameplay of the demo's tracks in Standard difficulty: Tutorial: Dive into the Heart -Destati- (1:05 – 4:15) Welcome to Wonderland Hand in Hand The Rustling Forest Wave of Darkness I
  4. The Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory playable demo is now available to play worlwide! Releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on November 11 in Japan and November 13 worldwide, MoM (as the fans affectionally call it) is the very first rhythm action game in the series, featuring over 140 tracks from its exceptional soundtrack. Our expectations of the demo were high, being fans of the rhythm game genre and the highly esteemed series composer Yoko Shimomura, and knowing the game has been developed in collaboration with the same studio behind the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series and Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. The idea for a "Theatrhythm Kingdom Hearts" was first proposed in 2012, and has finally come to fruition under a different name. The Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory playable demo wasted no time in meeting our expectations of a high quality musical experience with unforgettable tracks to tickle our nostalgia. It was an extremely enlightening and engaging experience that made us discard any doubts we had for purchasing the full game, which has set itself up to be more fun than it looks. The MoM demo contains 4 single-player songs and 2 co-op songs, with 3 difficulties (Beginner, Standard, and Proud) and 3 gameplay styles (Basic, One Button, and Performer), giving players plenty to sink their teeth into. It also contains zero spoilers of the series story-wise, so it's safe to play if you still haven't caught up with the more recent entries! This title is certainly different from normal rhythm games in its gameplay, but easily one of the most satisfying games of the genre that we've played. With our previous experiences with Theatrhythm and a handful of other games such as Guitar Hero, Muse Dash, Groove Coaster, Ride Zero, and Cytus, we were interested to see how our beloved Kingdom Hearts music would translate into a game like this. Kingdom Hearts has always been known for amazing music, especially those boss themes that get your heart racing and complement the difficulty of battle and tension rising. But it can be difficult to imagine these pieces getting justice in a rhythm game, especially world and field themes, which aren't the most fast paced and may deny your metal fingers a chance to go blazing when craving an exigent level. And so came the demo and, boy oh boy, this game is more fun than it appears. It melds Kingdom Hearts-style combat and rhythmic timing amazingly well, and only by playing it will you understand how masterfully this combination works. As demonstrated in the announcement trailer, you get to play as Sora, Donald and Goofy, or a combination of other main and Disney characters, as they run along a path through different worlds, with different lanes resembling sheet music. The tracks available in the demo are Welcome to Wonderland, Hand in Hand, The Rustling Forest (from The Enchanted Dominion world) and Wave of Darkness I; you are able to filter tracks based on which game they appear in, challenge level, and even by marking your favorite ones. As the game beings and the track plays, the party of characters come across different enemies they have to attack according to the rhythm of the song, and crystals that they have to use to execute a special skill or magic. It takes a while to get used to the controls; the game was made in a way that gives the feeling of playing one of the RPG titles (Circle to jump, Cross to attack, Triangle for special attacks, hold Circle for gliding, and so on). The sound effects also blend efficiently with the track without being an annoyance and instead encouraging the player if they have timed their reactions just right. (And in case they do annoy you, you are able to adjust SFX and Voice Volume in the game's settings.) Fans of rhythm games can rejoice in knowing that the game will provide a fun, challenging experience – at least, according to the demo. The game seemed fairly difficult even on Beginner and Standard difficulties, especially when it requires you to execute combo moves. The enemies are not static; they have a range of movements that may confuse you into reacting too slow or too fast, or taking too much of your attention that you don't notice the next enemies sneaking up on you! MoM is a rhythm game at its core, but it wonderfully incorporates the RPG elements we are already familiar with, such as a variety of incoming enemies (Heartless, Unversed, people...), who have their own range of dynamic movements, that you have to react with by attacking, casting spells, gliding, changing direction, jumping, evading, and employing a combination of these, all the while keeping to the rhythm and timing of the song. We grew to like the system overall, as you do when scoring well on a song; the satisfaction of seeing the Full Chain icon show up and that Excellent Bar filling up is incredibly rewarding and can add hours to your day, making you wonder where the time went... Which is exactly what happened to us this past week! The co-op mode brings another layer of fun and challenge to the game. The tracks on the demo for co-op are the very playful All for One and the elegant battle theme Sinister Shadows. It's a fun way to spend time playing with your friends, whether they are Kingdom Hearts fans or not, and can also present a level of challenge as you will have to coordinate your actions with someone else's. We recommend for all players, of any skill level, to take some time training with the easier songs to get used to the flow of the songs (double taps, triple taps, multi-taps and directional changes, with a single or multiple fingers, based on timing). We also recommend to definitely try the demo out first – while we found the demo extremely enjoyable, it did fall short for some of our staff for whom the rhythm game genre was not their cup of tea. For those players, the One Button mode might be a good place to start. If you really fancy yourself a challenge, however, we dare you to try the Performer mode, which requires you to react with pressing some more, extra buttons than in Standard mode. We've tried it, and... let's just say MoM seems to cater to a range of difficulties, inviting novices as well as experts who can dish out some absurd coordinated ninja moves! Graphically, this title is modest and not impressive for modern hardware; it is almost a time capsule back to the PlayStation 2 days. This can be a turn-off for prospective players, but we find the lack of focus on graphical fidelity to be a strength. This makes the performance of the title nearly faultless, and the game's mechanics aren't held back by lavish visuals. These visuals are also quite nostalgic for longtime Kingdom Hearts fans and add to the thematic intention of the title. We became aware of some issues, which have also been reported by many fans. There is an odd input buffer; when mashing X, you'll notice that there is a noticeable delay between each input and output action. In a rhythm game, this can spell disappointment as it will force players to miss more notes than intended, at no fault of the player's timing. In a song like Wave of Darkness I or others with lots of notes, you may end up missing out on 3–5 notes because the input hasn't finished buffering yet. Additionally, in the heat of the moment, you won't think of pressing L1/R1 to hit notes alongside X. One missed or badly timed note can really throw you off getting the subsequent notes, which can be quite frustrating if you're aiming for a Full Chain or playing on Proud. You are able to configure the music timing in Music Stage Settings to account for lag, but it doesn't seem to solve the issue entirely. Secondly, the overall timing for some notes is a bit odd. Thankfully, enemies have a circle that closes in to let you execute the perfect timing, but the way the enemies' positions transition (such as during the last section of Wave of Darkness I) prevents you from seeing exactly in what order the notes are coming in. You might read ahead and see 2 Shadow Heartless in a row, only for a random flying double tap to come in instead. Of course, this element of challenge pushes you to learn the track and get better scores the second, third, fourth time around. Finally, the jumps. They don't have a circle to indicate timing, but rather the arrows move upwards to indicate a jump. This means different songs might have different timings on when to jump given how fast they go, and oftentimes you can find yourself reacting to a jump signal visually as you would in an RPG, and not to the rhythm of the song. Again, it's a matter of learning the moves and their timings with practice, especially as you aim for Full Chains or All Excellent. Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory has a lot going for it, and we have no doubt it is rich of content justifying its price. With the full version offering over 140 tracks, we can easily see ourselves and many others dedicating hours to this game, learning and mastering its mechanics while reminiscing the memories in the melodies. 140 songs, multiple attempts to Full Chain, All Excellent, or both, at least 3 different modes, online VS and multiplayer, 20+ playable characters, scoring and leveling up, completing missions in the World Tour... All this on top of the story and collectibles that we've seen so far in the trailers? We are impatient to get our hands on the full experience. This review was written by Orpheus Joshua, GoldenDrummer73, PowerJusho_KH13, and Aquaberry. Orpheus Joshua played the demo on PlayStation 4, while the others experienced it on the Nintendo Switch. Watch the Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory—Experience the Music! – Gameplay Compilation Watch @Power Jusho's gameplay of the demo's tracks in Standard difficulty: Tutorial: Dive into the Heart -Destati- (1:05 – 4:15) Welcome to Wonderland Hand in Hand The Rustling Forest Wave of Darkness I View full article
  5. The entertainment website otocoto have published a column by strategist Shuji Utsumi, who wrote about his involvement in the Kingdom Hearts project and how it came to be approved by Disney. Utsumi joined Disney in 2000 and became the Asia-Pacific representative at Disney Interactive. At the time, he was surprised to learn that Kingdom Hearts was more of an experimental project that hadn't received an official approval by Disney – something Squaresoft was not aware of as they eagerly worked on it. Disney Japan did not have a license to work with a completely new world, and the act of incorporating multiple Disney titles into a single work was unprecedented at Disney. There existed no Mickey Mouse style guide for 3D modeling, and there was no one on the Japanese side who could judge this project, which seems to be the reason why even the head office did not have the authorization to work on it. Some of Disney's veteran staff in Japan advised Utsumi to stop the project early, saying "no way that's gonna work". At the time, he never dreamed that he would present it to Eisner and obtain approval for its commercialization. In the early 2000's, Eisner decided to come to Japan after a long time. Disney Japan representatives were to present a performance report to Eisner, and the Division Managing Director was to give the business report. Utsumi was also a member of the presentation. On the day of the presentation, more than 100 people from both Japanese and American management attended, but everyone's attention was set on Eisner. Eisner sat in the front seat and asked each presenter one question after another. Utsumi says that meetings at Disney without Eisner were completely different. He described Eisner as an "Ancient Chinese Emperor". Utsumi's presentation on that day also included Kingdom Hearts, which he was concerned about. However, it was worth doing well, and the session went smoothly in the end, with Eisner's encouragement and official approval to continue the project. After the presentation, many Disney executives and staff smiled and even asked for Utsumi for a handshake. Thanks to KH13 News Writer @Ryuji_Shiryu for his help translating the column! For more details on the history of Kingdom Hearts, watch KH13's "The Road to Kingdom Hearts III", a 48-minute documentary-style film directed by @HaakonHawk in collaboration with SarahKey, KZXcellent, and other content creators from the fan community. Starting with the first game's inception, the film moves over to how the franchise director Tetsuya Nomura got involved, the famous elevator story, character licensing, voice actors, the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III at E3 2013, and much much more.
  6. The entertainment website otocoto have published a column by strategist Shuji Utsumi, who wrote about his involvement in the Kingdom Hearts project and how it came to be approved by Disney. Utsumi joined Disney in 2000 and became the Asia-Pacific representative at Disney Interactive. At the time, he was surprised to learn that Kingdom Hearts was more of an experimental project that hadn't received an official approval by Disney – something Squaresoft was not aware of as they eagerly worked on it. Disney Japan did not have a license to work with a completely new world, and the act of incorporating multiple Disney titles into a single work was unprecedented at Disney. There existed no Mickey Mouse style guide for 3D modeling, and there was no one on the Japanese side who could judge this project, which seems to be the reason why even the head office did not have the authorization to work on it. Some of Disney's veteran staff in Japan advised Utsumi to stop the project early, saying "no way that's gonna work". At the time, he never dreamed that he would present it to Eisner and obtain approval for its commercialization. In the early 2000's, Eisner decided to come to Japan after a long time. Disney Japan representatives were to present a performance report to Eisner, and the Division Managing Director was to give the business report. Utsumi was also a member of the presentation. On the day of the presentation, more than 100 people from both Japanese and American management attended, but everyone's attention was set on Eisner. Eisner sat in the front seat and asked each presenter one question after another. Utsumi says that meetings at Disney without Eisner were completely different. He described Eisner as an "Ancient Chinese Emperor". Utsumi's presentation on that day also included Kingdom Hearts, which he was concerned about. However, it was worth doing well, and the session went smoothly in the end, with Eisner's encouragement and official approval to continue the project. After the presentation, many Disney executives and staff smiled and even asked for Utsumi for a handshake. Thanks to KH13 News Writer @Ryuji_Shiryu for his help translating the column! For more details on the history of Kingdom Hearts, watch KH13's "The Road to Kingdom Hearts III", a 48-minute documentary-style film directed by @HaakonHawk in collaboration with SarahKey, KZXcellent, and other content creators from the fan community. Starting with the first game's inception, the film moves over to how the franchise director Tetsuya Nomura got involved, the famous elevator story, character licensing, voice actors, the announcement of Kingdom Hearts III at E3 2013, and much much more. View full article
  7. Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has now been live for a week! Upon completion of the first episode, here are our staff's impressions of this new chapter in the series! Gameplay We found the responses to the gameplay of KHUχ to be simplistic and bland. While it is certainly more new-player-friendly than KHUχ, and has the option to speed you through to the story scenes, the lack of depth in gameplay can make it a dull affair to those looking for a challenge. Either way, the lack of AP was appreciated! The KHDR home screen is simply a static screen of the current world, very unlike KHUχ, where you can move your character around and see what quests and events are available. In KHDR, you don't travel around worlds anymore. There are currently 20 brief quests, interspersed by several "Kill X amount of enemies in Y place" missions. You simply start a battle and continue until you either die or just want to stop. You can also put the game on auto battle mode and relax; some members of our staff liked the option to press "World Battle" and progress with the story without having to commit to hours of grinding, which can be monotonous while battling wave after wave of enemies with no exploration. However, the game on auto play can be a bit slower than the speed at which you can play it manually play; there's always a brief pause before the AI selects cards, whereas you can do this right away on manual. If you were not a fan of the card mechanics in Chain of Memories/RE: Chain of Memories and Flick Rush in Dream Drop Distance, you will most probably not like it in KHDR! Battle is a matter of using cards randomly drawn from your (customizable) deck with enemies attacking in real time, but there's relatively little strategy to it beyond making sure the first one is a good one, trying to use 3 of the same color (green/red/blue), and praying that your RNG is decent on which ones show up out of your deck. The chance to get the Key Art cards (some of the strongest cards in the mobile games) is unfortunately very low, sitting at a measly 0.19%. You can change the last party member with any of the four new characters (Hermod, Urd, Bragi and Vor) but it's doesn't seem like they add much to the gameplay. KHDR has the player grind excessive amounts of BP to level up, especially after Level 10. The difference in strength between the Rank 1 and Rank 2 enemies seems disproportionate; you can be stronger than a Rank 1 enemy, but find it incredibly difficult getting through more than two or three enemies at Rank 2. The difficulty spikes on the quests are also enormous, leading the player to grind even more to simply get a chance to complete the quests that are currently avaliable. There are no Keyblades to swap between, no equipment. Instead, there are two main routes to gaining power. The first is pulling for cards depicting various features of the series (enemies, art, Keyblades, and characters) in return for draw tickets, or jewels (shared with KHUχ, so pulling here reduces your jewels there and vice versa), which, if you get duplicates of, automatically merge to power up up to +10. The other is by acquiring BP, which so far serves only one purpose in KHDR: spending it to level up and increase Xehanort's base stats, although there is an empty shop tab labeled for it. As a side note, you can also gain tiny, incremental increases to various stats, mostly HP, either by collecting duplicate cards, or by killing 1, 10, 100, and 1,000 of the same enemy. BP is gained in small increments by defeating Heartless, or in fairly large amounts in the current event, which grants large amounts of it in return for special event keys, which you can of course buy with premium currency, or earn with weekly and monthly missions. You can also gain a minuscule amount of BP while the game is off. But it feels like it's something you might need to save for whatever is available in the future that requires it. Should you use all your BP to level up Xehanort now, or save it for whatever item that the game might have in store in the future? We don't know! But by far, the cheapest (and least soul-crushing) way of gaining BP is by entering an endless battle mode too weak to kill you, and then turning on auto mode. The gameplay is, at its core, very simplistic. While KHUχ has, over the years, veered into being overly complex and convoluted with its numerous ways of powering up the medals you attain, KHDR avoids that by requiring little to no thought whatsoever. If you're playing on auto mode, we suggest you turn it off if you see that you're out of cards, and tap to refill your cards faster. Just try to get through the quests fast to get to the story events. Characters and Story Based on our experience of the chapter available for KHDR, and our experience of playing it in the past week, it seems to have much more of a story-focused feel than KHUχ. But this is compromised by the incredible amount of grinding you have to do to progress to five brief cutscenes, which can demotivate the player into stopping (or turning on auto mode). The characters are interesting and the story is enjoyable. The relationship between Xehanort and Eraqus is one we were excited to see. They have an easy chemistry one expects from a pair of actual, real-world friends. Furthermore, the story has the distinction of moving faster and being more tight and focused than KHUχ, in our experience. The four new Keyblade wielders, however, are effectively entirely interchangeable as party members with no difference to the story, saying the exact same things where they appear, with no difference whatsoever on who you choose despite having different personalities. They unfortunately seem to serve as set pieces and props more than actual, well-written, influential characters, especially considering... KHDR is certainly bound to be even more compelling than its counterpart KHUχ. It seems to be a more personal tale with a shocking twist at the end of Episode 1 (see in spoiler box). The story, though short, has a strong beginning, enticing hardcore fans to follow along, craving future lore and insights into how and why Xehanort became the Seeker of Darkness. Overall Impressions KHDR is a simple, fun game to play on your phone, but not a title with much to write home about. It starts very slow, with only time to tell if it will get livelier or stay an idle experience. While the mechanics may be new-user friendly, we don't actively recommend it for those who have not played KHUχ as it relies, for now anyway, too much on your KHUχ progress to even get to a decent point in it. In fact, as a KHUχ player, it's possible to use it as an easy way to make more jewels for KHDR due to its almost entirely idle nature and fairly generous weekly/monthly rewards. While KHDR's story is compelling, engaging, and appreciatingly fast-paced, and the friendship between the younger versions of Master Xehanort and Master Eraqus are a joy to experience, the gameplay grind is likely to be too monotonous and uneventful and to be skipped over on auto mode. KHDR apparently had a relatively small team that worked on it, and some of the limitations are somewhat understandable given the lack of focus it received. The KHUχ team was still working on KHUχ when developing KHDR, and with only two animators. With time, updates, expertise and a bit more focus on it, perhaps that can be changed. It's too early to tell. Overall Rating 5.8 out of 10 ⭐️ Many thanks to @Allwil13, @Otti#8624, @Ryuji_Shiryu, @Aqua_Wren, @OrpheusJoshua, PowerJusho_KH13 and others for sharing their first impressions of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road! Let us know what you thought about it, and what you expect in the coming developments! View full article
  8. Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has now been live for a week! Upon completion of the first episode, here are our staff's impressions of this new chapter in the series! Gameplay We found the responses to the gameplay of KHUχ to be simplistic and bland. While it is certainly more new-player-friendly than KHUχ, and has the option to speed you through to the story scenes, the lack of depth in gameplay can make it a dull affair to those looking for a challenge. Either way, the lack of AP was appreciated! The KHDR home screen is simply a static screen of the current world, very unlike KHUχ, where you can move your character around and see what quests and events are available. In KHDR, you don't travel around worlds anymore. There are currently 20 brief quests, interspersed by several "Kill X amount of enemies in Y place" missions. You simply start a battle and continue until you either die or just want to stop. You can also put the game on auto battle mode and relax; some members of our staff liked the option to press "World Battle" and progress with the story without having to commit to hours of grinding, which can be monotonous while battling wave after wave of enemies with no exploration. However, the game on auto play can be a bit slower than the speed at which you can play it manually play; there's always a brief pause before the AI selects cards, whereas you can do this right away on manual. If you were not a fan of the card mechanics in Chain of Memories/RE: Chain of Memories and Flick Rush in Dream Drop Distance, you will most probably not like it in KHDR! Battle is a matter of using cards randomly drawn from your (customizable) deck with enemies attacking in real time, but there's relatively little strategy to it beyond making sure the first one is a good one, trying to use 3 of the same color (green/red/blue), and praying that your RNG is decent on which ones show up out of your deck. The chance to get the Key Art cards (some of the strongest cards in the mobile games) is unfortunately very low, sitting at a measly 0.19%. You can change the last party member with any of the four new characters (Hermod, Urd, Bragi and Vor) but it's doesn't seem like they add much to the gameplay. KHDR has the player grind excessive amounts of BP to level up, especially after Level 10. The difference in strength between the Rank 1 and Rank 2 enemies seems disproportionate; you can be stronger than a Rank 1 enemy, but find it incredibly difficult getting through more than two or three enemies at Rank 2. The difficulty spikes on the quests are also enormous, leading the player to grind even more to simply get a chance to complete the quests that are currently avaliable. There are no Keyblades to swap between, no equipment. Instead, there are two main routes to gaining power. The first is pulling for cards depicting various features of the series (enemies, art, Keyblades, and characters) in return for draw tickets, or jewels (shared with KHUχ, so pulling here reduces your jewels there and vice versa), which, if you get duplicates of, automatically merge to power up up to +10. The other is by acquiring BP, which so far serves only one purpose in KHDR: spending it to level up and increase Xehanort's base stats, although there is an empty shop tab labeled for it. As a side note, you can also gain tiny, incremental increases to various stats, mostly HP, either by collecting duplicate cards, or by killing 1, 10, 100, and 1,000 of the same enemy. BP is gained in small increments by defeating Heartless, or in fairly large amounts in the current event, which grants large amounts of it in return for special event keys, which you can of course buy with premium currency, or earn with weekly and monthly missions. You can also gain a minuscule amount of BP while the game is off. But it feels like it's something you might need to save for whatever is available in the future that requires it. Should you use all your BP to level up Xehanort now, or save it for whatever item that the game might have in store in the future? We don't know! But by far, the cheapest (and least soul-crushing) way of gaining BP is by entering an endless battle mode too weak to kill you, and then turning on auto mode. The gameplay is, at its core, very simplistic. While KHUχ has, over the years, veered into being overly complex and convoluted with its numerous ways of powering up the medals you attain, KHDR avoids that by requiring little to no thought whatsoever. If you're playing on auto mode, we suggest you turn it off if you see that you're out of cards, and tap to refill your cards faster. Just try to get through the quests fast to get to the story events. Characters and Story Based on our experience of the chapter available for KHDR, and our experience of playing it in the past week, it seems to have much more of a story-focused feel than KHUχ. But this is compromised by the incredible amount of grinding you have to do to progress to five brief cutscenes, which can demotivate the player into stopping (or turning on auto mode). The characters are interesting and the story is enjoyable. The relationship between Xehanort and Eraqus is one we were excited to see. They have an easy chemistry one expects from a pair of actual, real-world friends. Furthermore, the story has the distinction of moving faster and being more tight and focused than KHUχ, in our experience. The four new Keyblade wielders, however, are effectively entirely interchangeable as party members with no difference to the story, saying the exact same things where they appear, with no difference whatsoever on who you choose despite having different personalities. They unfortunately seem to serve as set pieces and props more than actual, well-written, influential characters, especially considering... KHDR is certainly bound to be even more compelling than its counterpart KHUχ. It seems to be a more personal tale with a shocking twist at the end of Episode 1 (see in spoiler box). The story, though short, has a strong beginning, enticing hardcore fans to follow along, craving future lore and insights into how and why Xehanort became the Seeker of Darkness. Overall Impressions KHDR is a simple, fun game to play on your phone, but not a title with much to write home about. It starts very slow, with only time to tell if it will get livelier or stay an idle experience. While the mechanics may be new-user friendly, we don't actively recommend it for those who have not played KHUχ as it relies, for now anyway, too much on your KHUχ progress to even get to a decent point in it. In fact, as a KHUχ player, it's possible to use it as an easy way to make more jewels for KHDR due to its almost entirely idle nature and fairly generous weekly/monthly rewards. While KHDR's story is compelling, engaging, and appreciatingly fast-paced, and the friendship between the younger versions of Master Xehanort and Master Eraqus are a joy to experience, the gameplay grind is likely to be too monotonous and uneventful and to be skipped over on auto mode. KHDR apparently had a relatively small team that worked on it, and some of the limitations are somewhat understandable given the lack of focus it received. The KHUχ team was still working on KHUχ when developing KHDR, and with only two animators. With time, updates, expertise and a bit more focus on it, perhaps that can be changed. It's too early to tell. Overall Rating 5.8 out of 10 ⭐️ Many thanks to @Allwil13, @Otti#8624, @Ryuji_Shiryu, @Aqua_Wren, @OrpheusJoshua, PowerJusho_KH13 and others for sharing their first impressions of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road! Let us know what you thought about it, and what you expect in the coming developments!
  9. Multiple individual journalists have been claiming to have inside information about a Kingdom Hearts animated series being in the works for Disney+, Disney's subscription video on-demand streaming service. While a Kingdom Hearts TV show has been rumored to be in production multiple times in the past, with one even being canceled in the series's early years, this is the first time multiple reporters from a handful of popular Disney news sites are claiming this to be true at the same time. Jeremy Conrad, founder and editor-in-chief at MCU Cosmic, DCEU Mythic, and Star War Unity, with previous work history with IGN and in supporting roles in video games production, hinted at this earlier today with a cryptic tweet. Daniel Richtman, known as a Disney news insider, had also made a strange Kingdom Hearts tweet earlier, which he retweeted for emphasis. Emre Kaya, a film and TV reporter at The Cinema Spot and former writer for Geeks WorldWide (GWW), followed with a short Twitter thread, claiming that they have inside information about the matter. Skyler Shuler, editor-in-chief at The DisInsider, then reported that Jeremy's post was "true". Shuler also tweeted that the alleged new Kingdom Hearts series would not be live action. We will be keeping an eye on this rumour and provide relevant updates as it develops. What do you guys think – is there any truth to this rumor? Do you think we will be seeing a Kingdom Hearts (CG) animated series at last? Let us know in the comments!
  10. Multiple individual journalists have been claiming to have inside information about a Kingdom Hearts animated series being in the works for Disney+, Disney's subscription video on-demand streaming service. While a Kingdom Hearts TV show has been rumored to be in production multiple times in the past, with one even being canceled in the series's early years, this is the first time multiple reporters from a handful of popular Disney news sites are claiming this to be true at the same time. Jeremy Conrad, founder and editor-in-chief at MCU Cosmic, DCEU Mythic, and Star War Unity, with previous work history with IGN and in supporting roles in video games production, hinted at this earlier today with a cryptic tweet. Daniel Richtman, known as a Disney news insider, had also made a strange Kingdom Hearts tweet earlier, which he retweeted for emphasis. Emre Kaya, a film and TV reporter at The Cinema Spot and former writer for Geeks WorldWide (GWW), followed with a short Twitter thread, claiming that they have inside information about the matter. Skyler Shuler, editor-in-chief at The DisInsider, then reported that Jeremy's post was "true". Shuler also tweeted that the alleged new Kingdom Hearts series would not be live action. We will be keeping an eye on this rumour and provide relevant updates as it develops. What do you guys think – is there any truth to this rumor? Do you think we will be seeing a Kingdom Hearts (CG) animated series at last? Let us know in the comments! View full article
  11. The Kingdom Hearts Series Character Files has finally been released in Japan! Featuring over 200 characters from Kingdom Hearts to Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind over 224 pages, and a short story by Tomoco Kanemaki (the writer of the Kingdom Hearts light novels), it is a collection of information of great interest to hardcore fans of the series! Keep an eye on KH13 for translations of the most interesting excerpts and scans from the book! Find below the translations of Xion's story from the book. Translations have been provided by aitaikimochi! You can also find translations of two pages of Xigbar's story here! You can purchase the book ¥3,080 (approx. $28.03) from the Square Enix e-Store directly or from AitaiKuji, who deliver official and exclusive Japanese pop culture products worldwide! We have covered translations for: Xion's Story Saix's Story Namine's Story Riku Story Riku-Replica's Story Roxas' Story' Larxene's Story Marluxia's Story Daybreak Town's Story Sora's Story Kairi's Story The translations for Xion's Story are below. You can view Xion's character page below View full article
  12. The Kingdom Hearts Series Character Files has finally been released in Japan! Featuring over 200 characters from Kingdom Hearts to Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind over 224 pages, and a short story by Tomoco Kanemaki (the writer of the Kingdom Hearts light novels), it is a collection of information of great interest to hardcore fans of the series! Keep an eye on KH13 for translations of the most interesting excerpts and scans from the book! Find below the translations of Xion's story from the book. Translations have been provided by aitaikimochi! You can also find translations of two pages of Xigbar's story here! You can purchase the book ¥3,080 (approx. $28.03) from the Square Enix e-Store directly or from AitaiKuji, who deliver official and exclusive Japanese pop culture products worldwide! We have covered translations for: Xion's Story Saix's Story Namine's Story Riku Story Riku-Replica's Story Roxas' Story' Larxene's Story Marluxia's Story Daybreak Town's Story Sora's Story Kairi's Story The translations for Xion's Story are below. You can view Xion's character page below
  13. Two new Kingdom Hearts pins from the Disney Parks Collection are now available to buy at Disneyland Parks for $12.95 each! You can see them in the pictures below. Fans tifachu13 and disneypinlover28 report finding these pins at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Churro has reported that these can be bought at the Main Street Pin Shop inside the park.
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