As I sat in the kitchen this morning and watched my six-month-old nephew blow snot bubbles, I tried to think of a good candidate for this week’s Badass of the Week. I attempted to reflect on games I’ve played recently, movies I’ve watched, and even people in pop culture that were somewhat interesting. As I looked over at my nephew, I noticed his oatmeal-covered bib was embroidered with a pattern of Mickey Mouse ears. Now, most people wouldn’t see Mickey on a baby’s teething bib and think “Oh damn, Mickey’s such a badass”, but with the Wii title Epic Mickeycoming out in late November, and his numerous appearances in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Mickey has more than earned his spot as a Badass of the Week.
Square Enix’s latest installment in the Final Fantasy/Disney crossover series Kingdom Hearts is set for a stateside release in about 10 days. Unfortunately for Kingdom Hearts fans who recently upgraded to a PSP Go, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep will not be seeing a PSN release, at least not anytime soon.
Unlike most new PSP releases, which release a digital download version of the game alongside the UMD release, Birth By Sleep is set for UMD release only, meaning PSP Go owners are out of luck unless they also have an older model PSP. While there aren’t any details as to why Square Enix will not be releasing Birth By Sleep on PSP, there is some speculation regarding lack of sales as a probable cause.
While it is a shame that PSP Go owners seem to be getting the short end of the stick in this situation, the possibility of Birth By Sleep being released on PSN at a later date could still happen, though only time will tell.
The original Kingdom Hearts was one of those titles that raised a lot of eyebrows when it was first announced. The idea of Square Enix developing a Disney/Final Fantasy crossover seemed a bit absurd, but in practice, it worked. The first game was more of an experiment, toying around with the concept while subsequent installments took the story to an epic scale, weaving together a complex tale full of depth that one might not expect to see at first glance.
Down at both the Sony and Square Enix booths at this year’s E3, I got the opportunity to demo the newest title in the franchise, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for Sony’s PlayStation Portable. A prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts, Birth by Sleep tells the story of three Keyblade wielders named Aqua, Terra, and Ventus,with each character having their own individual story that interconnects with that of the other two characters.
Some thoughts on the gameplay after the break. Read On
About the next title, Kingdom Hearts 3 depends on Final Fantasy XIII Versus, but development of the next title is already underway. There are two titles other than Kingdom Hearts 3 in conception, and I think I’ll release one within this year.
But, as if that wasn’t enough, new details have started to float around about what’s next for the Disney/Square Enix franchise, including venturing deeper into new territory. With Disney’s purchase of Marvel late last year, Nomura and the Kingdom Hearts team have been discussing the possibility of including worlds based on Marvel franchises in the upcoming game.
We’re definitely considering the idea, though it’s obvious that not all Marvel franchises would fit in with the Kingdom Hearts world. But this is a great opportunity to try something new, something Kingdom Hearts has always been about.
Personally, I’m not too thrilled about the idea, but we’ll just have to take a wait and see. So far, the Kingdom Heart series has not been a disappointment, barring the easy difficulty of KH2, so who knows how it’ll turn it out.
Okay, so there are many who wouldn’t consider this game “retro” just yet, but I mean, the game is almost eight freaking years old already. Where does the time go?
Anyway, I mentioned in my last review that my tendency to overcompensate for the embarrassingly small game library I had in my younger days resulted in my owning a library of games that have gone largely uncompleted, despite the fact that the games have been sitting on my desk for years. Unfortunately, despite how good a game is, something else eventually catches my attention and I move on, revisiting the game at a later date until something else comes along again. It’s a vicious cycle and, unfortunately for me, it has deprived me of the pleasure of complete some pretty awesome games. One of which was Square and Disney‘s Kingdom Hearts.
Despite my excitement for the game when it was announced, I didn’t actually purchase it until nearly four years after the game’s release, relying on borrow the game from friends to get my fix. And, even after buying the game in 2006, it would be almost another four years before I would complete the game. And that is not an exaggeration, having barely completed the game, for the first time mind you, just a few days ago.
For those of you that may have missed the game, Kingdom Hearts is an Action RPG that crosses Final Fantasy with Disney. It may sound like an odd mix, but it works surprisingly well, though Final Fantasy fans might find themselves getting annoyed at the fact that their beloved characters like Cloud Strife, Squall Leonhart (who goes by the alias Leon), and Aerith Gainsborough take a back seat to all the Disney stuff, but the game works well, despite that, especially to fans of Square Enix’s penchant for storytelling. Read On
The gaming world can be a daunting one to jump into, especially when one considers just how long many gamers have been gaming. Speaking to a friend of mine, a geek in her own right and a major bibliophile, she expressed her interest in gaming in an odd way. While she is not a gamer herself, she would spend hours watching her brothers play games, interested in what was going on in the game itself and in the story. Immediately, I figured that if she was spending so much time watching people play, there was a major reason why she herself didn’t jump into gaming: she sucked at video games.
This is it…the weekend before E3. All of us over here a Pixelated Geek are excited to be able to cover what is quite arguably one of the biggest gaming expo’s of the year. There’s so much we still don’t know about what’s coming this year or what to expect, but here’s some more about what we know and can expect.
Sony Unveiling New, Slim PS3?
On the Sony front, talks about a hardware redesign have started surfacing, and speculation is point towards a new PS3. Similar to Sony’s route with the PS2 and PSP, rumor has it that the company is planning to release the PS3 Slim, a significantly smaller version of the black monolith. Of course, the redesign wouldn’t bring that much new stuff to the table, except maybe table space, but the inclusion of Bluetooth 3.0 might be coming with the new system.
However, since no console was specified, the hardware redesign could be for a multitude of things, like the PS2, which is still going strong, or the PSP, though the new PSP Go! has been all but confirmed. Then again, there’s still the rumor of that PS3 Motion controller, which I wouldn’t doubt is coming.
However, there’s news that while a Slim PS3 is in fact on the way, we won’t be seeing it at E3.
Why, you ask? There’s still many standard PS3 systems still available and Sony wants to let those sell before unveiling the updated model. Maybe Sony should go forward with a price drop if they want to unload the rest of those systems. But who knows whether or not that will happen anytime soon.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s highly anticipated MMOFPS (that’s Massively Multiplayer Online First-Person Shooter for those of you that aren’t up on the latest acronyms) MAG, formerly Massive Action Game, will be playable at this year’s E3, with Journalists being part of eight-man teams to be led by the game’s developers, taking part in 256-player games. Sounds exciting.
Microsoft Reveal Plan for Zune Integration with the Xbox 360
Microsoft will be showing off the Zune HD at E3 and, likewise, will be showcase just exactly how it will be integrated with the Xbox 360. Not just satisfied with Zune connectivity, the Zune brand will become part of the Xbox 360′s Video Marketplace, similar to Netflix Instant Streaming, and will offer a library of TV Shows and Movies to 360 owners.
Does Miyamoto’s Absence from Nintendo’s Press Conference Mean More Gamer Oriented Presentation?
Startling news from Nintendo has revealed that the father of many great franchises, such as Mario and Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto will not be speaking at Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference. With previous E3 Press Conferences being geared towards the more family friendly games, his absence from this year’s conference may signal a break from the current family-friendly strategy and a return to some of Nintendo’s core franchises. Who knows, we may see a new Super Mario or Zelda game announced this year. One can only hope, right?
However, even without Miyamoto at the Press Conference, speculation of a Wii Fit Plus being unveiled at E3 are still going strong. Apparently, Nintendo has already trademarked the name and E3 would be the perfect time to make a dramatic. But even with the popular title in the works, the chance of some of Nintendo’s core titles making a showing at E3 is still anticipated.
EA has also released their E3 and it’s a doozy. Along with some of the more anticipated titles, such as The Sims 3 and Mass Effect 2. We’re definitely gonna have a lot on our hands when we get to the EA booth next week.
With just a little over two dozen titles, EA promises to have much to show. Here’s a list of what they’ve got in store:
More cryptic images from Kojima regarding new Metal Gear. Plus new project: MASK
Kojima Productions has been driving gamers insane with their needless countdowns, mysterious symbols and images. And now, clicking on the Kojima Productions logo on the countdown site reveals a new site. Labeled “MASK,” my suspicions that the team at KP are working on more than just the next MGS game may have been right all along. The site shows a mask (obviously), slowly revealing a creepy woman underneath as a creepy tune plays in the background.
And back on the MGS front, as the countdown gets lower, more symbols have begun to appear, with a picture of what appears to be the Cyborg Ninja, Raiden. However, a closer look reveals the character has brown eyes, whereas Raiden has blue eyes. Maybe this some new character altogether.
That's not Raiden
With MASK seeming as though it is a completely separate project, will we see it at E3. And while we’re on the topic, could we possibly see any other non-MGS projects? Maybe Zone of the Enders 3?
Bad news on the Capcom front. Dead Rising 2 will apparently not be shown at E3 due to Swine Flu concerns. I didn’t know Zombies had to worry about the flu, but travel precautions and government restrictions have made it necessary for the Japanese developers that back out of the trip. However, it seems that Dead Rising 2 is the only game that Capcom won’t be showcasing. Given the early stage of the game’s development, the team isn’t comfortable with someone else handling what they have. Bummer.
More bad news, this time for Kingdom Hearts fans. Again, due to Swine Flu concerns, Square-Enix has cancelled plans for its Kingdom Hearts team to attend E3. It’s unfortunate, especially for those expecting a KH3 announcement this year, though whether an unveiling of Kingdom Hearts-related games will still surface, given that staff from both European and American divisions of Square-Enix, as well as some Japanese representatives will still be making the trip.
Atari has seemingly backed out of E3 this year. With less than a month before kick-off, the company had apparently decided to cancel their plans for E3, supposedly focusing more on other marketing plans for their upcoming titles, including Ghostbusters. I have to say, I feel like this is more Atari’s loss than E3′s. However, only time will tell if this was a smart move.