- Jul 04 2014 12:57 AM
- by DChiuch
In an interview with Kotaku at last month's European launch event for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Tai Yasue the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series spoke about Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX & HD 2.5 ReMIX being good training for new staff members in preparation for Kingdom Hearts III. He also discusses respecting source material and sharing ideas with the Final Fantasy XV team for the new hardware. You can read the interview below.
"We have been working on 3 and 2.5 at the same time," he explains, "so a lot of people are crossing over and doing both. There are also a lot of new people working on both. In a way, we've learned what was good about our previous Kingdom Hearts [games] by making 2.5."
"For 3, we want to evolve it in a new direction, but at the same time we don't want to change what is fundamental about Kingdom Hearts. We're hiring new people continuously, so they are learning about Kingdom Hearts through making 2.5. It's a good learning experience."
Kingdom Hearts is a unique thing to be working on, says Yasue, due to the necessity of finding a balance between respecting the Disney properties and incorporating original, creative ideas - so the training has been necessary.
"There's a lot to get used to working with the Disney content," he says. "You have to have a lot of dedication and respect for their visual IPs for example, and when you play Kingdom Hearts 2 you see that: when you summon a character or use a spell there's a lot of love and care that goes into the presentation. When you see Stitch coming out of the screen, for example, it's very true to the original movie. That dedication is something you learn through the process or remaking 2."
It must surely be restrictive working within those constraints, but Yasue enjoys the challenge that they introduce. "As Square-Enix, if someone else was making a Final Fantasy or a Dragon Quest, we'd be very protective of that too," he ventures. "So we really understand the importance of not changing the brand and respecting the fans. We want to make it true to Disney - we don't want to change it fundamentally. We always strive to make original content, but with Kingdom Hearts you have to really respect the source material, and that's something people really like about the series."
"As someone who creates games I think the constraints make you really think. They are what make you strive to come up with new ideas - ideas that are acceptable to Disney, and also fun. That balancing act leads to a lot of surprises. It's very challenging, but we work on it daily. We continuously talk with Disney and see what they think is acceptable… but we constantly want to surprise our players, too, so we need flexibility. It is challenging and makes you think."
The Kingdom Hearts team also benefits from sharing expertise with the other Square-Enix development units, including the Final Fantasy XV team, Yasue says - even though Kingdom Hearts development is based in Osaka. "We trade ideas - especially for PS4, Xbox One, new gen stuff," says Yasue. "We're trying to move in leaps obviously, so there is a lot to learn and a lot to explain to other people. That exchange of ideas and technology is very important and we're doing that inside Square Enix, with other teams."
- Jan 23 2015 09:22 AM
- by Sora96
Yasue discusses Kingdom Hearts III's switch from Luminous to Unreal Engine 4, Nomura's involvement, & Disney properties being considered
In an interview with Eurogamer, Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, has discussed Kingdom Hearts III in the lead up to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's release in Europe. Here, Yasue explained the switch from Luminous Engine to Unreal Engine 4 and its effects on Kingdom Hearts III's development, Tetsuya Nomura's involvement in the development so far, and the prospect of various Disney properties being used in the game. These important portions of the interview can be read below, with a big thanks to Eurogamer.
On Unreal Engine 4:
Yasue: "The technology is moving forward a lot. That's something we've learned from the West, I think, in a big way. We're using Unreal Engine 4 right now, and that really has changed the way we make the game. There was nothing wrong with the Luminous engine at all. We decided that Unreal 4 was right for us. There was a huge network of people actually using it, we were communicating with the Japanese people at Epic a lot - it was like a complete product."
Yasue: "It was easy to shift to, but at the same time though, there was a lot of stuff specific to Kingdom Hearts that we couldn't really do on Unreal 4 at first. So we had a lot of co-operation from Epic - they did a lot - at the same time we were doing a lot of customisation of the engine as well, to suit our needs. A lot of painstaking detail - the shadows for example, the really vivid colours, that sort of thing - we couldn't really do at the beginning, so we had to remake/customise the engine and add a lot of parameters."
Eurogamer: Given that the game began life on Luminous, does that mean work on the initial teaser from E3 2013 had to be completely scrapped?
Yasue: "We use the same graphical assets, so we didn't throw any of that away, and I guess a lot of the experience we got from making that for E3, that experience really translated to our development now. It was in our initial production stage, so I think we were learning a lot of stuff while using the Luminous engine."
On Nomura's involvement since stepping down from being the director of Final Fantasy XV:
Yasue: "Nothing has really changed. The development team is in Osaka, and Nomura-san didn't really do a lot of the detailed stuff, as he's really the sort of creative visionary. We communicate as much as we did previously, so our working relationship hasn't changed at all. We are speeding up things for development, obviously, on Kingdom Hearts 3 as we move along, but I don't think it has anything to do with Final Fantasy."
Eurogamer: Has Disney made anything off-limits to the team at Square yet?
Yasue: "At our current stage, they have not said no. There's a lot to choose from, a lot of wonderful new IPs. No specifics but there are a lot of new IPs that we are considering and there's a lot on our table, and Disney hasn't said no - we don't have any trouble with that."
On the purpose of the HD collections:
Yasue: "It's been 12 years since the original Kingdom Hearts came out in 2002; it's been a long while. We want new users to be able to understand the story before going into Kingdom Hearts 3, so I guess that was the plan - making Kingdom Hearts 3 but making it more accessible by making 1.5 and 2.5."
- Dec 04 2014 11:29 AM
- by DChiuch
Video Game Orchestra (VGO) will be at the Berklee Performance Center on October 2, 2014, and are scheduled to perform music from the Kingdom Hearts series, along with music from other popular video game franchises. If you are in the area of Boston, MA, be sure to buy tickets on their website!
As you may remember, VGO is the orchestra responsible for the re-orchestrated soundtrack of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX.
- Jul 23 2014 02:40 PM
- by Jim
- Jun 15 2014 07:45 PM
- by Sora96
Update 1.02 now available for Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, includes KH2FM damage/gauge 60fps & other defects fix
Square Enix has officially rolled a new update for the Japanese version ofKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. This update, which is 1.02, fixes the damage and gauge problems caused by 60fps in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and has fixed other various defects within the collection.
The update is 235.3 MB big.
You can check out screenshots of the update (in Japanese and English) thanks to @aibo_ac7 and @churroz.
UPDATE: Square Enix has announced that they will be offering a Day One patch for North American and European players for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. It is stated that the patch is to resemble that of which was released in Japan.
- Mar 23 2017 08:55 PM
- by Jake
Square Enix has released two new trailers for the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, leading up to the game's upcoming release in North America and Europe on December 2 and December 5, 2014, respectively. Together, these trailers are called "Worlds Connect", and they showcase the combination of Square Enix and Disney together in the Kingdom Hearts series. You can view the new trailers below.
Memorable Disney Characters and FINAL FANTASY Cameos
The following press release was released along with these trailers:
With over 100 memorable Disney characters and a dozen cameos from the popular FINAL FANTASY series featured in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, SQUARE ENIX® today released two new “Worlds Connect” trailers in anticipation of the game’s release next Tuesday, December 2nd.
The new trailers showcase the eloquent connection of two of entertainment’s most treasured franchises from Disney and SQUARE ENIX. The first trailer, “Disney Worlds Connect” highlights what fans have always loved about the franchise – following Sora and the colorful Disney cast as they encounter countless dangers and villains in worlds both familiar and brand-new. The worlds in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX include – Never Land (Peter Pan), Olympus Coliseum (Hercules), 100 Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Pride Lands (The Lion King), Space Paranoids (Tron), Timeless River (Steamboat Willie), Deep Space (Lilo & Stitch), Port Royal (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) and more.
In “Memorable Disney Characters and FINAL FANTASY Cameos Worlds Connect,” fans will be able to get a glimpse of the cameos from the FINAL FANTASY franchise, including Setzer (FINAL FANTASY VI), Aerith, Cloud and Tifa (FINAL FANTASY VII), Squall (FINAL FANTASY VIII), Auron (FINAL FANTASY X) and more.
- Nov 26 2014 11:54 AM
- by DChiuch
With Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's Japanese release tomorrow, two new commercials for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's Japanese version have been released. Titled "Story" and "Friend" these two commercials showcase the three titles included in the HD collection. Both commercials are in 1080p and can be viewed below.
- Oct 01 2014 04:11 AM
- by Sora96
Square Enix Japan have posted two new trailers for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, titled "Disney Worlds Vol.1" and "Disney Worlds Vol.2", showing off the Disney worlds available in the HD remaster of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. These new trailers can be seen below.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, the upcoming HD collection containing remasters of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, as well as Kingdom Hearts Re:coded HD Cinematic Story Videos, releases on October 2, 2014 in Japan, December 2 in North America, December 4 in Australia, and December 5 in Europe.
- Aug 14 2014 05:19 AM
- by DChiuch
Translated diagrams from the Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania explaining character relationships & Xehanort's history now available
Diagrams from pages of the Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania, which was released in Japan on October 2, 2014, have been translated. The diagrams show the correlations between the characters in the Kingdom Hearts series, as well as the full record of Xehanort's history. The images can be seen below, thanks to heijikudou for all of the scans, translations and putting it all together!
- Oct 11 2014 01:57 PM
- by Demyx.
The Xemnas crash with Limit Form in the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX has been fixed
In the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX for the PS3, there was a bug that would cause the game to crash when you went into Limit Form during the first Xemnas fight and activated the first Reaction Command. View footage of this old glitch below:
Thanks to KingdomHops on YouTube, who got the game early, we now know that this has been fixed for the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX for the PS4. He streamed the game and tested it out. View him testing it out in the archived stream below:
(The testing begins at around 52:26.)
Also, if you didn't catch it, Square Enix has announced that they will be offering a Day One patch for North American and European players for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. It is stated that the patch is to resemble that of which was released in Japan.
Thanks to @Bizkit047 on Twitter for the tip!
- Mar 24 2017 01:10 AM
- by Elfdemon_
Square Enix are holding sweepstakes with Kingdom Hearts merchandise as prizes. The sweepstakes can be entered by the purchase of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and the pre-order of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX.
The prizes with the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix pre-order are:
- 1 Mini Chirithy Static Arts
- 1 Mini Shadow Static Arts
- 1 Oblivion Keychain
- 1 Mini Chirithy Static Arts
- 1 Mini Meow Wow Static Arts
- 1 Oathkeeper Keychain
The sweepstakes will end on March 27, 2017 and is only available in the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec and Rhode Island). Entrants must be 18 years or older.
While the official rules state that no purchase is necessary, it goes on saying to enter an entrant must purchase or pre-oder the listed games. Entrants can also send a handwritten letter to Square Enix with the following details: name, age, phone number, mailing address, and email.
Full details are available in the attached document below:
- Mar 23 2017 10:03 PM
- by MythrilMagician
Kaori Takasue, Product Manager at Square Enix Japan Studios, has shared a special "Happy Holidays" message from the Kingdom Hearts team on Sony's PlayStation blog. The message promotes Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and highlights the team's good feelings about bringing everyone together for the game's launch trailer. This message can be read below.
Happy Holidays, PlayStation.Blog readers! The Kingdom Hearts team would like to wish you a very merry holiday to you and your loved ones. The launch of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX on December 2nd has brought together countless people and the #feels have spread in good spirits.
The magical saga continues in three remastered journeys… and each individual’s journey with the Kingdom Hearts franchise has been quite unique. For those who have seen the Kingdom Hearts launch trailer, you saw fans across the globe expressing their love and passion to the creators of Kingdom Hearts. To shoot the trailer in North America, 293 people came out to voice their experience with the game. In EU it was a very special few dozen of fans from England, France, Germany and Spain, and in Japan I counted at least 50 smiling faces of the development team.
Working with the North America team, I’ve never had the chance to actually meet all the artists, programmers, character creators, storywriters, producers, and art-directors that have been working on Kingdom Hearts since its birth 14 years ago. Let alone, I’ve never really had full conversations with a group of savvy Kingdom Hearts fans at once! Thanks to our very sweet counterpart in Japan, we were successfully able to coordinate a surprise reaction video shoot with Japan. The US and EU team eagerly anticipated to see the faces behind the creativity and work that goes into our games.
Oh boy… it was extremely hard to cut the developer reaction from hours into literally one minute. Developer reactions stating that they felt “love from around the world” were no surprise and some of the comments they had about the “cool style” of our fans were super sweet. What we didn’t get to add into the trailer was that the Japan staff initially thought that all of the fans were actors! Everyone’s “labor of love” really made a piece that just cannot be scripted.
Thank you Kingdom Hearts fans for embracing your voice and experiences through life. We found through getting to know you that we all have overcome so many obstacles in life. The way you cheer each other on and support fellow Kingdom Hearts fans is such a special gift. In closing, as this very special game brought all of us together please remember… no matter where we go, we will always be connected.
- Jun 23 2015 04:42 AM
- by DChiuch
The official Japanese website for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX has experienced a new update. Whilst the homepage remains the same as it was previously, screenshots of each game in the collection can now be viewed.
What do you think of these new changes? Are you excited for the collection? Let us know in the comments below!
- Mar 23 2017 10:05 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
The Twitter account for the Japanese Square Enix store has stated that the Japanese box art for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX has been updated. You can view the box art below:
- Feb 21 2017 12:48 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
The Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania released today in Japan and included in is a message from director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. The message included concerns Kingdom Hearts III and the Kingdom Hearts series in general. You can read it below thanks to SQEX.info.
Message from Tetsuya Nomura
If I had to pick, I am a person more on the dark side like Xehanort and co., I harness the burning anger in my heart into what I create. Kingdom Hearts III’s current development explodes very much in this sense. Each time, it’s a battle with Sora and co. who are the exact opposite of myself, it’s been over 10 years and yet we haven’t reached a conclusion.
This battle will surely last longer.
In Kingdom Hearts III as well, I am scheming many challenges that Sora and his friends must overcome, because I myself cannot lose either. And in preparation for the great battle that lies ahead, we have this one book that looks back on their entire journey.
When I think about it, I had an explosive mindset when I made the first Kingdom Hearts as well.
Thus when I look back at all the material, I feel that fever again. Fans who will continue the journey so far alongside Sora and his friends will also recall their own feverish enthusiasm. With that passion, we will not lose to darkness, and Sora’s journey will continue onwards.
The journey still continues, but I would be overjoyed if you stuck with us until the very end.
- Oct 01 2014 09:29 PM
- by Sora96
Square Enix North America has unveiled their Play Arts Kai table at San Diego Comic Con 2014, revealing new figures of Sora and Roxas. These images can be seen below, or on the @@KINGDOMHEARTS Twitter page:
- Jul 23 2014 08:50 PM
- by Sora96
Director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura has revealed in the latest issue of Famitsu Weekly that he will be attending New York Comic Con 2014. Nomura attended San Diego Comic-Con 2014 earlier this year to sign autographs, and it's likely that he's doing the same at New York Comic Con. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, which releases on December 2, 2014 in North America, will also likely have a playable demo and trailer. New York Comic Con takes place on October 9-12, 2014 at the Javits Center, New York City. More details about the event can be found at it's official website. Thanks go to @sqexgal for the tip.
Update: Square Enix have confirmed Tetsuya Nomura will be holding autograph sessions at the Square Enix Merchandise Booth. The sessions will be held on Friday, October 10th, 2014 and Saturday, October 11th, 2014. Like at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, those who purchase qualifying Play Arts -Kai- figures at the Square Enix Booth (#1813) can receive tickets to attend the autograph session on the ticket. Tetsuya Nomura will be at the booth signing exclusive art cards.
- Oct 08 2014 08:38 AM
- by Sora96
Square Enix have released a new video of the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura sketching Sora in his Kingdom Hearts II outfit in order to celebrate the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX in Japan. You can watch the video below.
- Oct 03 2014 04:04 AM
- by Sora96
Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura sent out a message to all Kingdom Hearts fans, wishing everybody a happy holiday season! Despite being ashamed of his bed hair and wearing a hat to cover it, Nomura talked about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, the 15th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts, the upcoming Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix (which Nomura almost mistakenly called 1.8), and a possible new development in Kingdom Hearts Unchained x.
What do you guys think about this video? Let us know in the comments!
- Dec 27 2016 01:00 AM
- by Leamax
- Nov 29 2013 06:17 PM
- by DChiuch
In the original version of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and it's reissue Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, despite original plans for the game, cutscenes with Terra's armor did not feature a cape. This was due to technical difficulties that the Osaka team encountered while developing for the PlayStation Portable.
At E3 2014, co-director of the series Tai Yasue originally announced that although they acknowledge that many fans would like to see the capes return, they would not be implementing them due to time constraints-- however, with the game now released in Japan, we now know that this is not exactly the case!
A cape has been added to Terra's lingering armor in this cutscene at the end of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, with the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. This will be consistent with the Lingering Will boss fight in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, where the character had a cape. Unfortunately, capes are still missing during gameplay.
You can view a comparison image that shows off the new model with cape included, below.
Update: Thanks to our partner Everglow we now have a recording of the cutscene in 1080p. You can view it below.
- Oct 06 2014 05:27 AM
- by Sora96