Tag Archives: Kingdom Hearts

SBox Soapbox: D23 2017 News Round-Up

Over the weekend, Disney fans everywhere were treated to an onslaught of news, trailers, and info as the company held the fifth ever D23 expo. A biennial convention dedicated exclusively for all things Disney, the convention has become a coveted tradition for Disnerds, Pixar-tards, Marvel maniacs, and Star Wars geeks to get the down-low on upcoming Disney movies. And those who attend the convention in Anahiem get to experience much more with exclusive products, panels, events, and even… exclusive footage… Huh, so that’s what jealousy feels like.

Normally I don’t pay much attention to D23, but upon learning about it 2 years ago I decided to actually keep my ear to the ground this time. I’m very glad I did, too, because I left the convention period with so much joy and anticipation that I simply have to share it with you guys! So here are some of the big news updates that stuck out to me and what I thought of them. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: D23 2017 News Round-Up

SBox Soapbox: The Best of E3 2017!

Yesterday was the final day of E3 2017, where after 2 (or in this case 4) days of sitting through developer conferences, witnessing trailer after trailer as you go, you can now recap on the events of the previous days. Many use this day to get their hands on any additional footage, trailers, or information that either either slipped you by or are dropped at the last minute. I decided to do the same so that I could see the best E3 had to offer this year and, as promised, cover some of the standalone news from the show.

That’s why I decided to end E3 week with at least one post that highlighted some of the biggest standout games of the entire convention. I’ve already dedicated 3 posts to covering the Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo conferences, so now is the time to dedicate to absolutely any and everything.

The games I placed in this “Best of” list are simply ones that stood out to me the most and are in no particular order. I obviously won’t be covering every game at the show, and I’ll fully admit that I still haven’t seen every last game that made an appearance at E3. So, there may be quite a few noteworthy games that miss the list. I am still looking into some of the games that appeared at E3, though, and if I find enough games that are worth mentioning, I’ll try and make a Part 2 to this post. If you want my take on a certain game I didn’t mention, write it down in the comments, and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

Star Wars Battlefront II

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This was the first big announcement for me at E3. Yes, I have heard of there being a new Battlefront game before, but I was only tentatively excited for it due to what happened with the first game. What was supposed to be the best Star Wars game ever turned into a harsh lesson in how a company should not to handle DLC. However, after watching this year’s EA Play, I now believe Battlefront II is that perfect Star Wars game I wanted 2 years ago. Just the inclusion of a single player campaign is proof enough that this may be the case.

One of my favorite things about this game is how it takes full advantage of the source material. The game benefits from that attention to detail in more ways than one, and the most important of which is gameplay variety. You can shoot on the ground with a bevy of blasters if you want, or you can take the battle into the air and shoot down enemy X-wings. You can be a Stormtrooper, a rebel, a droid, or if you’re really good/lucky you can be a main character. Best of all, the game features characters from all 3 generations of Star Wars and can be on the battlefield at any time. I’m talking Boba Fett vs Captain Phasma. Darth Maul vs Darth Vader. Yoda vs Kylo Ren. It’s like a Star Wars Christmas!

… No not that one! Never that one!

Spider-Man

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This was the last and best thing Sony showed off at this year’s E3 by far. Last year I was so enamored and surprised by this announcement that I couldn’t wait to lay eyes on some gameplay footage. Having seen it, I’m glad to see everything I wanted it to be is coming true. It may not be an entirely unique game (taking a ton of inspiration from the Batman Arkham games), but that’s okay. This is a case where taking from Arkham is a good thing, especially since the Arkham series isn’t around anymore. Plus, they seemed to have customized it enough to fit Spidey’s abilities. Oh, and Miles Morales being there helps matters dramatically.

Super Mario Odyssey

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When I covered Nintendo’s Spotlight event, I mentioned how this could end up being the best 3D Mario game ever. Well, since then I’ve seen a ton of gameplay footage for the game. I don’t know how, but I become more and more in love with this game every time I see it. I love this game. I love the environments, the openness, the nonlinearity, the graphics, and especially the new abilities. Using Mario’s hat to do things like fling at enemies and bounce off it was a great idea. An even better one was using it to possess objects, enemies, and pedestrians. That was extraordinarily clever, especially when you throw T-Rexes into the mix.

Anthem

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I didn’t expect to like this game that much, but that was before I truly gave EA a chance to dazzle me with gameplay footage. On the surface it appears to be Horizon with cool-looking, non-cybernetic monsters and giant mech suits. Nothing too original, I’ll admit. But the way Bioware is implementing the suits’ gameplay is masterful. It’s strong, it’s fast, it’s sturdy, and it can fly. The suits can fly, guys! What more can you ask for?

Assassin’s Creed Origins

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Speaking of games I didn’t think I’d like as much as I did, the new Assassin’s Creed looks pretty damn, fun! It’s good to see the time Ubisoft took off to let the series breathe paid off. Choosing ancient Egypt as your setting was a great way to switch up the combat of the game, and the addition of the hawk was also a great idea for aiding exploration and seeking targets.

Skull & Bones

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This was one announcement I saw late in the convention, but I’m glad I sought it out. Remember when I mentioned in my Microsoft post when I mentioned there aren’t enough games about pirates these days? Well, I think Ubisoft heard me, because soon will be Skull & Bones. Unlike Sea of Thieves’ emphasis on exploration as well as battling, this one looks to be all about the ship battles. You and your fleet of pirates sail the vast online sea, sailing, seeking, and blasting your way to victory against any rival ships that come your way.

Avast, all ye who cross my path. For while I have the aim of a blind guy with no hands, I steer a fine ship!

Sea of Thieves

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Speaking of which, Sea of Thieves looks better this year than ever. I have very high hopes for this game after this year’s E3 than I did the past two ones combined. This gameplay demo showed off the game’s promise, but also its depth, something I admittedly became a bit worried about over time. Showing off how the game functions not only from an online battle perspective but also as an adventure game really made my anticipation for this game much higher.

Days Gone

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Easily my second favorite thing at the show, this is looking to be a great zombie game a la The Last of Us. Again, not the most original looking take on the genre, but what draws me towards it personally is how it takes a creative approach getting around difficult situations. Instead of walking to your next destination, you can take your motorcycle. The devices you have access to make sneaking around enemies much more strategic, though when you can afford to your hands can get plenty done. This game also has zombie bears in it! I’ve always wanted to fight a zombie bear, and now I can.

A Way Out

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Strange how a lot of games I’m looking forward to involve multiplayer or co-op, seeing as I’m a very single-player… player. One of EA’s more creative ventures sees you and a friend/online stranger playing as two inmates who are attempting a prison break. The game is strictly split-screen, too, which means you have to work together in order to pull off your plan and protect each other when you get out. If you skipped EA’s conference and don’t know about this one, I highly suggest looking this one up. Besides, the more people get their hands on this game, the more potential people I have to help me play this game.

Kingdom Hearts III

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Yes, the trailer dropped during E3, so it counts. Strangely, this is the first E3 since its announcement in 2013 (holy crap) to not have this game at a conference. Nonetheless, the new footage and story details look great. I’m still trying to catch up on the series, so I can’t say what looks new about it, but I can say that I’m loving the combat of this game. All those crazy moves look powerful and fun as hell. Seeing Hades again is awesome (even in Japanese), and I like how this story will apparently deal with Sora potentially utilizing the darkness.

There will be another trailer at D23 next week, so I’ll keep my eye on that. (If it doesn’t have a release date, I’ll be furious)!

Sonic Mania

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Both Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania were on the showfloor at E3. And yes, Sonic Forces looks like a ton of fun, and I’m looking forward to it, but have you seen the Sonic Mania footage that came out? I’m quite frankly stunned at how good and fun this game looks, especially for a fan project. The creativity that clearly went into this actual Sonic 4 needs to be seen. Why didn’t I think about those hand cannons to propel Sonic forward? The piano pieces, too, are a great addition as is the level design. This really is turning out to be the 2D Sonic game fans were waiting for.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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As someone who hasn’t played a Wolfenstein game before, I didn’t really get the hype for a while. In fact, I only decided to give the trailer a go this morning and to realize… I’m an idiot! This game looks mad good, has a great story and lead character from what I’ve seen. As you’ve probably gathered from me so far, I love games that let me play with creative/insane weapons or have me face off against insane enemies. I’m pretty sure fighting Nazi robots while riding a giant, mechanical, flamethrowing wildebeest falls perfectly within that range.

Metroid: Samus Returns

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Finally, I wanted to give a little shine to one of Nintendo’s potentially overlooked announcements (seeing that this was unveiled during the Treehouse event and not the actual Spotlight). Huge props to Nintendo for finally giving Metroid the time of day with not one but two games. Now, the reason I’m keeping Metroid Prime 4 off the list is basically due to it being an early announcement with no gameplay. Meanwhile, Samus Returns has tons of footage to lust over and is a 2D sidescroller. As a fan of Super Metroid, this specifically interests me, and I can’t wait to try it out for myself in just 3 months.

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back

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Oh, and did I mention this was at E3 this year? Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll just leave this here and… God help us all!


There are a ton of other interesting games that I couldn’t quite cover for time reasons, but these are just a few of the ones I’m especially amped for. Let me know in the comments what your favorite games of E3 were, and what you thought of E3 this year.

For those who joined me in discussing E3 this year, I want to thank you for coming along for the ride with me. If you missed my coverage and are interested in hearing my full thoughts on some of thses games, check the links above for my full conference posts. I plan on making at least one more post about E3, so keep an eye out for that!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Quickie: Marvel’s Kingdom Hearts Chances May Have Risen

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Yesterday I was completely blind sighted by the teaser for The Avengers Project. It’s been less than 48 hours since I saw the less than one minute trailer, and yet my mind is still racing in regards of what this game will be. It’s funny what the mind can do with so little information isn’t it, but Square-Enix’s name alone is enough to make me hyped. After all, any opportunity to literally be an Avenger is one I’ll gladly take.

Currently there’s not a lot of information for me to cover or interpret. Perhaps at a future date I’ll make an Analysis of the trailer or something like that, but right now all I can do is make somewhat wild guesses as to what it’ll be. Though you know what Square-Enix game I can talk a bit about? Kingdom Hears III. Continue reading SBox Quickie: Marvel’s Kingdom Hearts Chances May Have Risen

My Most Anticipated Games of 2015

Every year, the job of the game industry is to try and top the previous year in game releases. So far 2015 seems to be holding up that standard. Since E3 2014, we’ve been promised an excellent new year with game releases we’ve been clamoring for for a while, or ambitious new IPs to spice things up.

So as we say goodbye to 2014, a year with as much controversy and hype as possible, I wish to share with you some of the games I’m looking forward to most. This isn’t in any particular order. Continue reading My Most Anticipated Games of 2015

SBox Soapbox: Should there be Kingdom Hearts in Disney World?

One of the most beloved video game series around is the Kingdom Hearts series. Rightfully so, too. The games are indeed very good regardless of your experience of RPG games or Square Enix games. It is one of the best examples of a crossover done right as it captures the mechanics of a Square Enix game with the tone of Disney. Who knew that such an odd combo like that could create something so special?

I in recent months had the pleasure of visiting Walt Disney World for the first time in 13 years- best of all as an annual pass holder. I love the place even in my teenage years. The atmosphere is unbelievable, the attractions are unforgettable, the sights are so wonderful. It’s quite the place really. Currently it is a day until August, and my family and I have visited the park on 4 separate occasions, with another visit coming in a couple of weeks. However, every time I visit the same question seems to cross my mind eventually: Where’s Kingdom Hearts?

Kingdom Hearts as an entity is almost entirely absent from the park. I’ve only been to Disney World in Florida, but I also heard that California’s Disneyland and most of Disney’s other locations also don’t feature Kingdom Hearts. There isn’t a lick of the game anywhere. No merchandise, no attractions, no rides, no characters, no monuments, not even physical copies of the games. This is one of the few aspects of Disney that are not represented.

Shouldn’t they make some reference or attraction of Kingdom Hearts in their parks? Why isn’t it there in there in the first place? If they were to represent the series how would they go about it?

First we’ll tackle the “should” part. I don’t see why not. If you were to ask me about 10 years ago I’d say what’s Kingdom Hearts it would be cool, but they’d need to establish themselves further in popularity to warrant much more representation than it already had. Nowadays the game is pretty well-known and established both within the gaming world and Disney lore in general. Sure your everyday person won’t know what the keyblade is, but enough people would.

Furthermore, Kingdom Hearts tends to sell its best in North America despite being a Japanese creation. But even Disney World Tokyo gave more attention to the series than Florida. This statue was once in Tokyo DisneySea.

Imagine this baby in one of the American parks. Even in this situation, though, this to my knowledge isn’t there anymore.

But we have to ask ourselves: what’s been stopping them? Could it be Square Enix? That’s the most widely accepted theory, but people seem to forget that this franchise is owned equally between Square Enix and Disney. Sure they’ll have to arrange a little deal with Square in terms of merchandising, but it wouldn’t hurt them that much since Disney souvenirs are already more expensive in the parks than anywhere else. Even if Square Enix had the final say (which they kind of don’t), why stop them? What better way to market your upcoming game than in a place where Disney reigns supreme? They can even sell Kingdom Hearts III in Downtown Disney or something.

Some might say that Disney doesn’t really acknowledge video games as much as their movies, shows and cartoons. This is actually not true. I’ve been to almost every park in Disney World. It’s not too common, but you can find Disney Infinity and buy it in their souvenir shops. Plus there’s DisneyQuest, which is a five-floor arcade. So yes they do represent video games in the park, just not this one.

Some may also argue that relevancy plays a part in Kingdom Hearts inclusion. I will concede that Kingdom Hearts isn’t as known as many of the other Disney properties. However, relevancy plays no part in making a Disney park attraction. Case and point, Splash Mountain. One of the most famous rides in Disney World is based on characters from a movie so controversial that it never received a physical release. If Song of the South gets a ride so should Kingdom Hearts.

Besides, people who visit and work at the parks actually do know what the game is. I own a Kingdom Hearts t-shirt and have worn it twice at Disney World; once in Magic Kingdom and once in Animal Kingdom. I was acknowledged 3 times for that shirt. Two of them were from the cast members (Disney’s word for employees), and one of them was from a tourist. Not to mention when wearing the shirt in general places like school or malls, people still complement the shirt. Either Kingdom Hearts is very popular or I’m just that good-looking.

With that said, there is one last thing that could very well be the reason we don’t see attractions for the game. It all comes down to what you can do with the intellectual properties you have. Exactly what could they do with Kingdom Hearts?

The problem with Kingdom Hearts is that it relies on other Disney properties in order to even exist. With all of the things you are able to do in Kingdom Hearts you could just as easily do with other franchises. When making a Kingdom Hearts ride, you’ll have to strip it down of most (not all) Disney, Final Fantasy or World End’s With You elements. Is it possible? To an extent, yes.

I may be a newcomer to the games, but even I see where ideas can resonate. Probably your safest bet is with the Gummi Ship. I’m thinking DINOSAUR ride mixed with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin with a touch of Space Mountain. You know, a slow moving ride with cooperative shooting for points with moving cart effects. Heck, I think it would be cool if it went fast at some points and slow at points of shooting. Of course, there are plenty of ways to go about this includng just making a straight-up roller coaster or even DisneyQuest simulator game.

Of course, I think this is the one I would want to see. And it is from a Kingdom Hearts III trailer of all places. That train is perfect! Look at it go!

Tell me with a straight face you wouldn’t want to ride that so that I can deem you a liar. It practically makes itself. Just the concept of a roller coaster with disappearing and reappearing tracks in an irregular pattern while fighting a massive beast is enough to get people interested. I’d ride that all-day long.

What about you guys? Let me know in the comments if you agree with anything I said. Do you think it’s likely to see Kingdom Hearts have some form of representation in Disney parks? What would you want to see of they end up doing so?

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!