Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep


VideoKingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep trailer

Direct from gamescom to your eyeballs.

VideoKingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

More Disney/Square-Enix cross-breeding.

VideoKingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

Disney's finest take arms.

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: Birth By Sleep

Almost ten years into Square Enix and Disney's marriage, and the tensions have only grown with time. Not that the union, first consummated in 2002's Kingdom Hearts, was necessarily ill-advised. Both companies are committed to crafting modern fairytales filled with vibrant, marketable characters for younger audiences; they should make for easy bedfellows.

But the differences between Disney's straightforward Western storytelling, in which the roles of protagonist and antagonist are always defined in primary colours, and Square Enix's Eastern approach that focuses on inner demons painted in shades of grey have never quite been reconciled. The result is a series of action-RPGs that can feel fractured, little more than a parade of iconic characters inside a woolly RPG narrative. Square Enix is yet to fully unlock the potential of Disney's treasure-trove heritage, no matter how many key-blades they throw at it.

Birth By Sleep, a prequel to the first game in the series, makes a number of concerted attempts to absorb the distinct Disney classics into a more unified story. Artist Tetsuya Nomura is still in the director's chair, ensuring that the experience naturally veers toward style over substance, but a welcome overhaul of the game's systems indicates the team's desire to deepen the franchise as well as widen it. On this latter point, the game is a triumph. Combat is smart and elegant, pressing supreme flexibility into the player's hand right from the off.

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