Kingdom Hearts II

Key events

Nomura suggests Kingdom Hearts 3 will launch on home console

Nomura suggests Kingdom Hearts 3 will launch on home console

Asks for patience on Final Fantasy Versus 13 news.

Square Enix designer Tetsuya Nomura has suggested Kingdom Hearts 3 will launch on home console.

The next game in the Disney/Final Fantasy crossover series, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, launches for the Nintendo 3DS. Indeed the series has remained steadfast on handhelds since the 2005 release of Kingdom Hearts 2 on PlayStation 2.

But in an interview with Game Informer (via The Silent Chief), Nomura said it was about time Kingdom Hearts had a go on home console again.

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Kingdom Hearts breaks 10m

Franchise flexes large sales.

Joining the ranks of super-successful game franchises today is Kingdom Hearts, which boasts more than 10 million units sold across the world.

More Kingdom Hearts in 2007

Nomura confirms 'multiple projects'

Tetsuya Nomura has told Famitsu magazine that gamers should expect announcements on multiple Kingdom Hearts-related products in 2007.

Disney wants Kingdom Hearts III

But Nomura says the team's busy.

Kingdom Hearts producer Tetsuya Nomura claims that Disney's already clamouring for Square Enix to do a third in the cross-over RPG series.

Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts II

Worth the Walt.

If there was ever a franchise that demonstrated the ability of a quality product to overcome initial hostility, it's Kingdom Hearts. When it was initially announced that Disney and Final Fantasy characters would be prancing through action RPG worlds together, it seemed like a combination utterly unlikely to please anyone. While the cross over between fans of the two pantheons of characters is significant in Japan, in the West it is far less evident - and more importantly, the target audience of previous Disney games was much younger than the target audience for Final Fantasy, which created immediate concerns over just who the audience for Kingdom Hearts would be.

Besides, this was the almighty Disney licence - arguably the most closely guarded stable of characters, settings, trademarks and brands in the world. It was hard to see how Square Enix would be able to create the more mature, teen-and-above focused stories that would justify the use of the Final Fantasy characters, while still keeping Disney's undoubtedly eagle eyed licensing executives happy. It's not that Disney doesn't do dark; it's just that Disney, as a rule, doesn't let other people do dark with its characters. What its own film-makers may be trusted with, third party game developers most certainly are not, a fact which has lobotomised the majority of previous games based on Disney franchises.

As such, the primary achievement of the original Kingdom Hearts title wasn't that it created a style of action RPG gameplay which, although flawed, was accessible enough to appeal to a wide audience. Nor was it the creation of a variety of environments which were designed for the game, yet familiar enough to be instantly identified with their source material; nor the assembly of an all-star cast for voice acting duties, including the excellent casting decisions made when voicing Final Fantasy characters who had previously been mute in all their game outings.

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Kingdom Hearts 2 borderless

Squenix talks up PAL version.

Having announced that Kingdom Hearts II will be released in Europe on September 29th, Square Enix has also confirmed that the highly anticipated RPG has been given a decent PAL treatment.

Kingdom Hearts II out soon

No more Goofy-ing around.

Unless the endless waiting made you give in to the lure of an imported version of Square Enix’s latest masterpiece, get ready to give Kingdom Hearts II a Royal European welcome at the end of this month.

Kingdom Hearts II dated

Certainly is. Oh wait.

Kingdom Hearts II is due for release in the autumn, Square-Enix has announced, although that's as specific as they're getting. Still, Kingdom Hearts II, eh? You like Kingdom Hearts! I've seen you. With your Kingdom Hearts.

Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts II

Square Enix takes the Mickey.

Collaborations are all about give and take. On paper, this one shouldn't work - Disney's output must be among the most universally enjoyed and recognised in all of cinema while Square-Enix caters for stat-happy but significantly smaller console audiences with its (mostly) glorious catalogue. But in the end, this is exactly why it does work. With legions of mutually exclusive fans for each of the two parties, Kingdom Hearts II is able to enjoy a much greater target audience than almost any other videogame. Characters courtesy of industry legends of both RPG and animation creation; the technical expertise of one of gaming's most prolific talents; recreations of some of the most memorable settings and moments ever committed to film. To be frank, there was never any real danger of this going wrong and sure enough, Kingdom Hearts II delivers where it counts.

Aside from how downright beautiful the game is (and this is one of the most impressive PlayStation 2 titles you will ever see - the stunning intro cinematic sets the scene superbly and the quality is maintained throughout), the first thing you'll notice is how much the pace and structure of the game has changed. While the original was happy to open with a bizarre scavenger hunt, KHII turns the tables on experienced players by dropping them into the oversized shoes of Roxas. His story pans out as you work out what you're doing for the first couple of hours before Sora takes over and rightful order is restored but as the narrative progresses, you'll learn more and more about this mysterious character Roxas that opened your adventure.

And it isn't too long before the Keyblades start to fly, either. With greater control over the camera and a much more fluid and showy battle system, Kingdom Hearts II symbolises everything an action RPG should be. Combat is admittedly pretty simple, using only one button until abilities are learned for counters, guarding and rolling, but your mind will never have time to dwell on this - you'll have too much on your plate trying to get your head around just how many enemies Square Enix expects you to deal with at once. And it's times like these when the game is really at its best, throwing legions of flying foes, rooms full of towering enemies and even at one point forcing you to take on a thousand opponents at one time. It's crazy, relentless and oh-so-flashy and we wouldn't want it any other way. Sora can also activate Drive abilities to merge with either Donald or Goofy to become more powerful, gain new skills and even dual wield Keyblades for a limited time. Which, we can officially tell you, is pretty damn awesome.

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More Kingdom Hearts coming

Nomura himself says so.

Square Enix legend Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed that he's currently developing an idea for a new instalment in the Kingdom Hearts series.

FFXII, Kingdom Hearts II dated

News from the Square Enix Party.

Square Enix's latest publicity vehicle, the Square Enix Party, has come and gone in Japan and with it brought more details of several new titles - including release dates for Final Fantasy XII and Kingdom Hearts II.