Kingdom Hearts III DLC Trailer Set for September 9

Kingdom Hearts III is set to have a new trailer for the downloadable content “Re:Mind.” Square Enix will release the trailer on September 9 at 11AM EST / 8AM PST. “Re:Mind” is due out this winter, and if you missed the official trailer for it back in June you can watch it here.

There’s not too much known about the upcoming DLC, other than that we’ll finally be able to play as Roxas again. The official Twitter for Kingdom Hearts shared that a new trailer will release next week. What it could contain… we’re not really sure. What we ARE hoping for is some clarity, or maybe just a voiceover so it looks like Square put in any kind of effort. At the very least, we really want a release date.

It’s extremely likely that a release date will be given only because it’s supposed to launch sometime this year and we’re running out of days. The DLC was revealed earlier this year, the trailer in June, and that’s all we know about “Re:Mind” so far. Fans have a theory that Square Enix will show off the Kingdom Hearts III DLC at Tokyo Game Show 2019.

Kingdom Hearts III is available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The upcoming DLC is set to release at some point this winter. For PlayStation users, you can pick up a copy of Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far at any local store that carries video games if you wanna keep up with all the action. Xbox users, we’re so sorry.

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Words: Shae Arabella | Featured Photo: Square Enix

Top 10 Kingdom Hearts Characters Ranked

Over the years that the Kingdom Hearts franchise has been around, there have been some notable fan favorites. Whether you prefer Sora to Roxas or Repliku to Riku, you know who holds closest to your heart. Here’s our run down of the top 10 best characters in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. (This list excludes Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters that make appearances within the series.)

10. Naminé

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Photo: Square Enix

Naminé is a crucial character when it comes to understanding pretty much all of Kingdom Hearts 2. She’s the Nobody of Kairi, but born from Sora’s body. Make sense? Yeah, we don’t quite grasp it either. She’s kept in Castle Oblivion to manipulate Sora’s memories, making him believe that she was Kairi. She also manipulates the Replica Riku into thinking that Sora’s promise to Kairi was actually his promise to her. However, she redeems herself and goes out of her way to protect Sora. (Which, of course, is enough for him to forgive all of her wrongdoing.) We’re interested to see where she falls in line with the rest of the crew, and what her friendship with Riku will spark into.

9. Repliku (Riku Replica)

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Photo: Square Enix

Originally created to test Riku, his replica later went on to be used as a pawn to manipulate Sora. He embraces the darkness within his heart, while Riku fears it. He’s one of the better antagonists in the series, alongside Vanitas (who is a replica of Sora, but formed from the darkness within Ventus‘ heart.) Another case of bad guy turned good, nearing the end of his life in the third installment, Repliku mellows down to be more like Riku. The two even share a few cutscenes in the game, one particularly where they sit by the ocean on Destiny Islands. He, unlike Vanitas, seems to possess real emotions; one of the better examples of this is when he sacrifices coming back after his defeat in order to bring Naminé back to the real Riku. (Or when he says to Riku, “I’d rather face my end with you than in darkness.”)

8. Aqua

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Aqua has one of the best storylines out of all the characters in the series, let alone the female characters. She’s one of the most developed of the bunch, which gives her that sense of realness. Her story is more interesting, but overall extremely sad. — What would Kingdom Hearts be if they didn’t torture us, right? Aqua falls into the Realm of Darkness after sacrificing quite literally everything to save Terra and Ventus. As time goes on, she’s tortured by the Realm of Darkness as it manipulates her memories and uses them against her. Thankfully, all is right in the world as she’s reunited with her friends by the end of the third numerical installment.

7. Terra

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Terra has always given us that sense of an older brother. He goes above and beyond to protect his friends, the people that matter the most to him. Though it’s a recurring theme in the game, there’s something about Terra’s willingness to sacrifice everything to protect Aqua and Ventus that makes us all warm and fuzzy inside. He’s another character that’s struggled between light and darkness, but overcame many obstacles that stood in his way. We were just happy to see him return home in Kingdom Hearts 3.

6. Vanitas

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Photo: Square Enix

Vanitas lands a spot on this list, alongside Repliku, as one of our evil favorites. Also known as The Masked Boy, he is one of the main antagonists in Kingdom Hearts 3 and Birth by Sleep. An apprentice of evil Master Xehanort, he was created from the darkness within Ventus‘ heart. He’s definitely one of the harder characters to understand, or even begin to feel anything for. But that’s also what landed him a place on our top 10; he’s ruthless, arrogant, and flat out evil. He’s a tragic villain, but everyone loves a good – or bad? – villain.

5. Ventus

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Photo: Square Enix

Once you get past the whole ‘this is Ventus who is friends with Lea who is actually Axel who is friends with Roxas that looks just like Ventus who has an evil twin named Vanitas who looks like Sora — did we mention that Ventus lived inside of Sora’s heart until Sora realized he had the power of waking’ storyline, you get to see Ventus for who he really is. He is one of the most compelling characters throughout the series, and most of the time you can’t help but want to give him a hug.

4. Sora

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Photo: Square Enix

We know what you’re thinking — how can the main character of the series be so far down on the list? Well, as much as we love Sora, we’ve gotta show some love to his friends who have slightly more interesting story arcs. Sora is the character that we’re always silently rooting for, he is always almost there. But still not quite. Sora is the underdog, the character that we can see ourselves in, that’s why we want so desperately for him to win and get his happy ending. Which is why Kingdom Hearts 3 was so heartbreaking to watch, when everything crumbled before him; for the first time in the franchise we got to see Sora become unsure of himself and look to Riku for guidance. Sora is the main protagonist and we’ll always have room in our hearts for him.

3. Axel/Lea

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Photo: Square Enix

It’s easy to forget that Axel was once the bad guy of the Kingdom Hearts series. Similar to most of the Organization members, he wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. Axel was known for his witty remarks, flare for dramatics — or should we say flame? — and his catchphrase: got it memorized? But as the series went on and Axel sacrificed himself to save Sora and his friends later on in the franchise, Square Enix decided they simply liked Axel far too much to boot him off like the rest of the forgotten members. So, they brought him back; and this time much more redeeming. Long gone are his days fighting beside Organization XIII, now he wields keyblades when he’s not off training with Kairi. He’s easily one of the best characters of the franchise, and definitely a fan favorite.

(Also, are we allowed to sob over how protective Axel is over Roxas? Or how when he sacrificed himself against the nobodies to help Sora, he told Sora that all he really wanted was to see Roxas again? And that Roxas was “the only one [he] liked,” or that “he made [him] feel like [he] had a heart.” No? Okay. — We could go on forever about Axel, we’re Axel stans.)

2. Riku

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Photo: Square Enix

Riku is one of the characters in the Kingdom Hearts series that has gone through the most character development. We are able to see him grow with each game in the series, from an unsure teenager to a prideful, courageous man. Riku has sacrificed himself countless times in order to save his friends, but the one time that sticks out most to us is when he gave himself over to darkness in order to save Sora and defeat Roxas. Riku has proven time and time again that he will protect what matters to him, which is why Terra granted him with the ability to wield a keyblade — so he could have the strength to protect what matters.

1. Roxas

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It doesn’t get any more powerful than a keyblade wielder who can wield two keyblades. With Oathkeeper and Oblivion at his sides, Roxas is borderline unstoppable. His will to never give up and his selflessness he shows when returning to Sora, Roxas‘ character arc will tug at your heartstrings. The boy who had nothing, but so desperately wanted to become someone; Roxas is our fan favorite. 358/2 Days leading into Kingdom Hearts 2 was enough to win us over, and all we can say is that we are beyond glad Square Enix decided to bring him back for Kingdom Hearts 3. Being able to see Roxas alongside his Twilight Town friends and Axel, Saïx, and Xion was heartwarming and probably the purest moment in the KH series.

Honorable Mentions

Saïx/Isa, Master Xehanort, Larxene, Demyx, Ephemer, Hayner, and Goofy. Even though we said this lineup wouldn’t include any Disney characters, just cause he makes us laugh. (And since we’re breaking all of the rules, why not throw in a Final Fantasy character as well? Cloud is definitely an honorable mention.)

Those were our picks for the top 10 characters within the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Let us know what YOU think!

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Words: Shae Arabella | Featured Photo: Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Colorful Gay Agenda

No, this isn’t about Soriku. If you’re a big fan of Kingdom Hearts, you’ve probably already seen this feature. Within the realm of the Toy Box world, based on Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story, you can find Andy‘s bedroom. Specifically, you can find colorful wooden letter blocks.

After meeting Woody, Buzz, Rex, and friends, the rag-tag trio of Sora, Donald, and Goofy can explore the world. Fans – who frankly have too much time on their hands – have realized that they can move the letter blocks.

You know when people say “a picture speaks a thousand words,” well this is one of those times.

Photo: Reddit r/gaming

Since finding this out, players have recreated the picture themselves. Courtesy of Square Enix throwing in the new selfie feature on Soras gummi phone, we’ve been blessed with all of this content. (But we still wanna know who taught Sora how to selfie. Also, if he taught Riku?)

While this may seem like an easy task to some, others have expressed their difficulties. Despite ‘gay’ being a three-letter word, it can be a time consuming task. This is mainly due to Donald and Goofy knocking down the blocks as you work as Sora to display them. There are an array of tweets from different players expressing how dedicated you have to be to accomplish this, some even taking upwards of an hour to spell the word out.

We don’t think this one counts, since it’s against the door. But we’ll let it slide just this once because gay rights!

Kingdom Hearts 3 is currently available on PS4 and Xbox One.

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Words: Shae Arabella | Featured Photo: Reddit r/gaming

Kingdom Hearts 3 Becomes the Top-Selling Game in the Franchise

Kingdom Hearts 3 officially became the top-selling game in the franchise’s history.

According to the latest NPD report, which tracks video game sales in the US, it’s the second best-selling game of the first half of 2019. The game is now the best-selling in the franchise history in lifetime sales (17 years). The NPD Group’s Mat Picatella sits down and looks over the month of June’s numbers in greater detail on his youtube channel. The third numerical installment of the game previously held the title of fastest-selling in the Kingdom Hearts series. 

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Photo: Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts 3 launched with 5 million units sold within the first week of it being released. Between Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3 spans a gap of 13 years. During this time, Square Enix developed and released other games within the series. Such as 358/2 Days, Birth By Sleep, and Dream Drop Distance – which are all available to play on PS4 under the title “Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far.” Following Kingdom Hearts 3, Square also put out the Kingdom Hearts VR Experience. The VR Experience is available for free on the PlayStation Store. 

The VR Experience is finally getting an update after a long, long wait. Following the release in February, fans were anticipating the update – now in works to be released to PlayStation users on July 24/25 2019. The Kingdom Hearts VR Experience isn’t considered a full game, more so a mini game that allows users to witness key points of the Kingdom Hearts series. Users interact with the heartless, allowing them to whack the creatures with Sora’s Keyblade. 

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Photo: VRFocus

What We Can Look Forward To

A new update for VR includes the Olympus Coliseum world that is based around Hercules. Previously, users could pick from experiences within the Gummi Ship and Destiny Islands, where Sora, Riku, and Kairi grew up before they were thrown into the battle for Kingdom Hearts. The game is in 360 VR, all set from Sora’s point of view, and serves as a way for players to get familiar with the history of the game – or for die-hard fans to relive it from the beginning in a different and exciting way.

The experience shows flashbacks from previous games within the series. Along with glimpses of characters like Aqua, Axel, Roxas, and Xion, with glistening stars in the sky as the Destiny Islands trio look on at the sunset. It’s a very cute addition to the series for fans, even if it’s not technically “playable.” Anything to hold fans over until the release of Kingdom Hearts 4, right? 

We can look forward to new additions to the VR Experience as time goes on, along with the Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC announced last month. The DLC will include new story content, boss battles, and the option to play as characters such as Roxas and Aqua. The latest update for the game was added back in April, which included the heavily anticipated Critical Mode.

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Words: Shae Arabella | Featured Photo: Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts III: Was It Worth the Hype?

It’s been months since the January 25 release of Kingdom Hearts III, the most recent video game in the Kingdom Hearts series. The third instalment serves as an ending to the “Dark Seeker” saga, but also builds up to what could be waiting for fans in the near future. Published under Square Enix, Kingdom Hearts is an action role-playing game that allows the player to follow Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy through various Disney and Pixar themed worlds in order to save Kingdom Hearts and the seven guardians of light. (All while trying to mess up evil Xehanort’s plan to start the second Keyblade War.) Sounds fun, right? Wrong.

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Photo: Square Enix

Sora, Donald, and Goofy encounter little black monsters otherwise known as “heartless”.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy encounter little black monsters otherwise known as heartless. It’s their job to defeat them, all while trying to save themselves, their friends, and Kingdom Hearts as they know it from impending darkness. The series has twelve games, all released out of order – which is fun trying to explain to people just getting involved in the series. With the original game, Kingdom Hearts, having been released in 2002, and the sequel in 2005, many were left to wonder what exactly was taking so long.

Square Enix had presented the first official trailer for the video game at E3 in 2013, where they announced that the game would launch in 2014 and it was made available for preorder. Almost fifteen years after Kingdom Hearts II, the game was released to the world. Fans were skeptical from the start of production up until the game launched, and by then many weren’t sure what to expect. 

The game features worlds, old and new alike, that Sora travels to alongside Donald and Goofy. The gang visits Hercules in Olympus, where Sora starts his mission to regain his strength. From Olympus, he travels to worlds such as Monstropolis, Kingdom of Corona, Toy Box, Arendelle, San Fransokyo, and old favorites like 100 Acre Wood, Twilight Town, and The Caribbean. Fans also got to get a look at new destinations, such as the Keyblade Graveyard and Scala Ad Caelum. Though, there was one world that had more than a few inconsistencies.

Conspiracy Theories

Arendelle definitely raised a few eyebrows with the amount of cutscenes, songs, the overall vibe of the world, and unlikely chain of events/new found powers of organization members that weren’t ever clarified or touched upon in the series. Conspiracy theorists did what they do best and concocted a theory that fans seemed to run with: Elsa was meant to be the final boss/villain of Arendelle’s world. It’s not far fetched given the ice castle that is deemed unplayable when you reach it after watching Elsa’s rendition of “Let It Go”, having earlier been thrown into an ice labyrinth by Larxene.

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Photo: Square Enix

Another inconsistency that left gamers slapping themselves on the forehead was the fact that the game featured no Final Fantasy characters. Hello, Square Enix? Did they get lost in development? Fan favorites like Cloud, Leon, and Yuffie had become a crucial part of the Kingdom Hearts universe – where did they go?

Gamers also weren’t happy with the boss fights, where in games prior to the third, there would typically be a battle against Disney villains. Square decided to swap those villains out for some… really big heartless monsters, which were entirely too easy to beat given the new mechanics (“attraction flow”) where Sora regains MP during battle and can use Disney Park rides as a method of combat – Sora went from being able to wield two keyblades in his Final form, to spinning around in a teacup to defeat bosses. Come on.

Where Fans Agree:

One thing fans could agree on, however, was that they were blown out of the water with how stunning the graphics were, and how lifelike the characters had been rendered. The game felt heavily reliant on cutscenes to explain what in the world was going on; so I think it’s safe to say that it reigns winner of the most confusing game of the franchise. Ratings from fans seemed to vary, each having their own problems with the game, even with the new addition of Critical Mode.

There were some additions to the game that fans liked more than others. With Sora‘s new Gummiphone he’s able to take selfies with the characters he interacts with, and he can store up to 200 photos on his phone. There’s also an added mission where Sora photographs all of the Lucky Emblems throughout each world. The Gummiphone also holds a mini-game feature with Classic Mickey (the 1920-esque version of the mouse).

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Photo: Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts III Re:Mind

It’s hard to tell if Square Enix will be able to win back fans with their new announcement of DLC. Kingdom Hearts III Re:Mind is set to have new boss fights, extra episodes, and will more or less serve as a final mix version of the game. The DLC previews shown at E3 2019 gave viewers a sneak peek at the gameplay – in which Roxas is a playable character for at least one battle, along with Aqua and Riku. Sora also gets a new keyblade transformation, Oathkeeper (a keyblade that Roxas also wields). The DLC will be available to users in what is thought to be late November/ December 2019. Though, an official launch date has not been announced, and pricing has not been determined. The Oathkeeper keyblade and a new form for Sora will be available to users for free.

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Photo: Square Enix

Only time will tell, but it’s looking good for Square in terms of keeping their fans happy. Let’s just ignore the tear-jerking ending and focus on the secret movie “Yozora”, which gives us hope for what Kingdom Hearts IV might have in store for Sora, Riku, and characters within the Final Fantasy universe.

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Words: Shae Arabella | Photo: Square Enix