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  1. Viewing Profile: Topics: Katie Armstrong

Katie Armstrong

Member Since 02 Nov 2015
Offline Last Active Jul 07 2016 12:54 AM

Topics I've Started

Famitsu Interviews series Director Tetsuya Nomura about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Cha...

14 June 2016 - 11:03 PM

Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura recently sat down with Famitsu to give an interview on Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, focusing on specific details in each of the three portions of the collection. Though the interview covered many of the same topics as the earlier Dengeki interview, Famitsu's team managed to pose some interesting questions, and received equally interesting responses.
 
Here is a summary of each of Nomura's responses in the interview. A full translation will be added as soon as possible.
 
In regards to Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage-:
  • Nomura remarked on the ability for the product to be easily altered with Unreal Engine 4, especially in regards to lighting, as previously mentioned in Dengeki.
  • What is in the demo will be in the retail version of the game. He wanted to give the players something to explore in the demo, someplace where they would have to get up high to get a lay of the land before proceeding. Nomura says KH3 will have a similar feel, where free-running to a high place and scoping out the map will be necessary. 
  • Nomura states that time has stopped in this place only, and that moving to different locations will result in different 'effects'.
  • As in the Dengeki article, Nomura explains the battle system, and also says that the concept of Command Styles has been transferred to Keyblade Transformations in Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Nomura calls the Heartless Swarm a 'Devils Wave', mentions they've been present since the first KH3 trailer, and that they're still not at full power.
  • Aqua will only gain strength through leveling up--there are no new Keyblades for her to obtain. (Famitsu's interviewer hypothesizes that this is why the Command Styles remain in 0.2, when they won't really be present in KH3, where you can change Keyblades. Nomura doesn't remark on this point one way or another.)
  • When discussing the length of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage-, Nomura says that it will feature a lot of cutscenes.
  • The intended play order is Dream Drop Distance, then -A Fragmentary Passage-, then Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- is not exactly scrapped content from Kingdom Hearts III. It was something he felt the need to make, but Nomura didn't want to bog down the pace of storytelling in KH3 with backstory, so he separated it out and created a separate installment around it.
  • Kingdom Hearts III will have a short prelude before the game really starts to make sure everyone is caught up.
In regards to Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD:
  • Nomura mentions the Catanuki, explaining it was something the Osaka team really wanted to add to the game. He also discusses PS4 trophies, 60fps, and the difficulties in transitioning to a game without two screens to work with. He mentions the 'spirit' of developing for the unique properties of the 3DS continues, in now developing for the unique properties of the PS4.
In regards to Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover:
  • Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover is being made with the same tech as Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Famitsu asked directly if the Black Coat is the Foreteller's Master. Nomura says yes! He is a 'unique glue' between them, and he apparently has nicknames for each of the Foretellers.
  • Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ has recently hit 4 million downloads, and after the North American release, there was a very strong demand to release in the EU. He is happy for this chapter of Kingdom Hearts to be brought to fans all over the world.
  • Nomura also hints that the Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ story will soon branch from the Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] story. Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] is complete, but Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ can be considered 'Season 2'.
  • Nomura anticipates that Kingdom Hearts III may hit Japan slightly earlier than the rest of the world, but it will be nearly simultaneous. 
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is in the final stages of production, with English recording currently being mastered and timed. He also told fans to please be patient and anticipate this winter for new Kingdom Hearts III information, and focus on Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue for now.
  • Next year is the 15th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts, and also the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy; he told fans to anticipate a lot of features next year relating to those series.

 

Which of these answers has you most intrigued? Let us know in the comments!


This post has been promoted to an article

Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ guide: Synthesis and Guilt

27 April 2016 - 07:25 PM

A common question among new players is 'what are these circles underneath the attack on this medal?'

 

One_orb.png

Nevermind "What does this say?"

 

These orbs are filled in when you synthesize an identical medal on the Level Up screen, and they boost the value of your medal's Special Attack. The increase in power is equal to the increase gained by evolving the medal to the next rank, so the bonus varies slightly depending on the medal. The medal above had its multiplier boosted by 4% when I combined it with another identical copy. For example, on the left I combined a 4★ Auron with another 4★ Auron, and a new orb is filled in on the preview screen. However, on the right, a 6★ Auron combined with that 4★ Auron doesn't grant any additional orbs.

 

Orb_examples.png

 

Left: This synthesis will give you a new orb. Right: No new orbs

 

Any medal 3★ and above can be synthesized with a copy of itself to gain these orbs, and higher ranked medals have more slots (a 3★ medal has 1 slot, and a 6★ medal has 5 slots). Additionally, these synthesis orbs transfer both when evolving to the next rank and when combining with other identical medals. If I level up that 4★ Auron in the example to 6★ and then combine it with my existing 6★ Auron, I would get 2 additional synthesis orbs--one for the medal itself, and one for the orb it already carries--and would thus max out his attack. Take advantage of this property when planning your medal evolution! (e.g. instead of evolving 6 medals to 6★ and then combining them all, synthesize them together as you level them, and instead combine a 6★ medal with 3 orbs with a 6★ medal with 1 orb--you can end up saving lots of Munny and rare evolution medals this way.)

 

The increase in damage granted by synthesizing can be quite large. For example, this medal went from a x3.10 multiplier to a x3.91 multiplier--a huge increase!

 

Multipliers.png

KH3D Riku stats

 

But wait, what's that purple symbol on the right side?

 

That's Guilt. When you pass Mission 200 in the North American version (or Mission 350 in the Japanese version), you receive the Power Bangle, allowing you to Guilt your 6★ medals. Guilt adds an additional multiplier to your medal's damage output, just like the multipliers on your Keyblade.

 

Guilt is activated in the same way as synthesis orbs, and can be thought of like a 6th orb slot--if you combine another 6★ copy of a medal with a fully synthesized version (or if you planned ahead and combine a 6★ with 3 orbs with a 6★ with 2 orbs, for instance), then you will unlock Guilt, and a random percentage will be granted to your medal based on the symbol it carries. Common medals and event medals tend to have Level 1 Guilt, while rare Limited Edition medals have Level 3 or Level 4 Guilt.

 

Guilt_levels.png

The possible Guilt percentages. In the NA version, there are currently only Level 1 and Level 2 medals available.

 

A Guilted medal can be re-Guilted by adding another identical 6★ medal, which will re-spin the wheel and give you a new result. If the new amount is higher than the existing Guilt, then your Guilt will increase (if it's lower, then nothing changes). In the future, a rare medal will be released which can be used to add an orb or Guilt to any medal. In the JP Version, this medal is called 'Mickey and Brooms', while in the NA Version, it will be called 'Fantasia Mickey Ver. B'.

 

I hope this guide helps new players reach their full potential! If there are any questions, comments, or additions, leave a comment below!


Interview with Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ Producer Hironori Okayama at PAX East include...

26 April 2016 - 04:36 PM

Gamer Escape was present at PAX East 2016 this week, and caught up with Hironori Okayama, the producer of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. In the interview, he stated that the North American version of the game will receive 50 new missions per month, and made an announcement that the promotional Zootopia medals recently released in Japan are planned for release in the North American version of the game on May 2nd. Okayama also discussed the choices made when Kingdom Hearts χ was being remade for mobile devices, how the team decides which medals to make, and the release of future content for both versions of the game.

The full interview can be read below:

Gamer Escape: Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ started out as a web browser game when it was released in Japan in 2013. Were there any big changes to the game when it made the move over to mobile devices?

Okayama: The game is actually completely different from the browser version. We decided to bring it to the mobile devices because there are a lot more users on smartphone devices now. I wanted as many people as possible to be able to play the game. The way that you want people to play the game would be different going from a computer screen to a smartphone touch screen and so we had to create the rules from the ground up for the mobile version.

Gamer Escape: More and more games are releasing globally these days, was there any reason why the game launched first in Japan before arriving in North America?

Okayama: People might think “aw Japan first again?” But our prototype was actually in English first. We brought it to the States to do a user test in America and that’s how we tested and built up the game. Now, the reason it released in Japan first well, we’re a Japanese team and so it was a lot faster to create that version first. But the prototype was in English so we always had the mentality of releasing in America.

Gamer Escape: As new content is released, is that global? or will it be similarly staged?

Okayama: One characteristic of a Kingdom Hearts game is that it has a really deep story. When you think about having the correct nuance in English, and we have an on-going discussion with Disney all the time – but if we have to do English and Japanese at the same time it would decrease the speed that the content would come out with and I don’t want that to happen as much as possible. I’d like to release it as simultaneously as possible, but there could be delays when it comes to story content.

Gamer Escape: Why did you decide on a game that’s free to download with micro-transactions instead of a game that you would pay once for?

Okayama: One big role that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ has is to have players who have never touched Kingdom Hearts before to get into the series and now Kingdom Hearts. When I looked at the users on the mobile platform, the most popular monetization system was the Free to Play. So it was pretty much one choice for me.

Gamer Escape: What kind of end-game content is there in the game?

Okayama: As far as the main story line goes, there’s not really any end-content to it because it will be constantly updated. There are two things on the development side we consider end content. One is the Coliseum – which we used to call the infinite coliseum internally – but you figure out how high of a level you can challenge and it resets every month, but you challenge yourself to see how far you can get each month. The other is the raid boss that appears in the tutorial. The raid bosses you’d like to try and kill with party members because it gets stronger and stronger as you defeat it. This resets every month as well, and it can go up to level 99. So trying to defeat those raid bosses and gaining more experience points or “looks” as well call them, to raise your party ranking, that’s what we want people to enjoy as end content.

Gamer Escape: Was there a process for determining the characters that appeared on the medals?

Okayama: When we decide medals, the battle system comes first when we think about it. We think about what kind of skills are necessary to move through the story and quests and we decide which character might fit the kind of action or skills they want so it’s a bit of a reversed way of looking at it. For Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, we made it in a way so that any character that has appeared in the Kingdom Hearts series can still fit into this world. We hear alot from the medal team that they don’t know which character to use next because of how many there are to choose from.

Gamer Escape: Is there a lot of interaction with Disney for that at all?

Okayama: It’s a long running series and so we’ve always been in talks with Disney. It’s nothing new when it comes to this title.

Gamer Escape: Will we see any more worlds added in future updates?

Okayama: In regards to the stages in the quests, we do plan to release at minimum, 50 stages per month. There will also be seasonal events as well. As far as the worlds go, it is a Kingdom Hearts game so we do plan to maybe add more but we have nothing concrete now. It is very difficult to create a new world.

Gamer Escape: I saw online last week that new medals would be making their way into the Japanese version of the game for Zootopia. Is that something that North American players can expect to see?

Okayama: May 2nd.

Gamer Escape: That was a lot more specific of an answer than I thought we would get!

Okayama: We haven’t told anyone else yet. We do plan to release it on May 2nd, of course it is subject to change.

Gamer Escape: How many stages are there right now?

Okayama: It’s around 250 right now.

Gamer Escape: We have a lot to go then. How many quests are in the Japanese version right now?

Okayama: It’s 500 right now in Japan.

Gamer Escape: Is there anything you're excited for or something you’d like to share with our readers?

Okayama: There are actually hidden Mickeys in the stages that you can look for.

Gamer Escape: Like the shape?

Okayama: Yes, it might be very difficult to find them but they are in there. They’re not in every stage though.


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Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ updates to version 1.2.0

31 March 2016 - 12:14 AM

Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ updated to Version 1.2.0 on 30 March 2016, focusing heavily on UI updates and changes based on fan responses to the questionnaire published in late February. Major updates include changing the layout of the Quest screen, the introduction of "Skip Tickets" which allow a player to bypass a difficult mission, and finally patching the bug that allowed the buff medal “Kairi KH Version”'s ability to last beyond the allotted time.

Current players will be given 10 Skip Tickets, which will allow a player to automatically clear the mission and will clear all 3 Mission Challenges as well.

Players must install the update from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. For iOS, you'll simply need to log in with your Japanese Apple ID within the Apple App Store and download the update from there. For Android users, please follow this guide.

You can read translations of the update notes below thanks to News Team member Katie Armstrong.

Quest Improvements:
-Enemies have been made easier to select, by preventing them from overlapping
-The Target Enemy's HP gauge is highlighted, making it easier to see in battle
-Enemies with more HP than can be displayed will show how many additional HP bars they have
-Enemies who are weak to your current medal's attribute will now be indicated
-The name of skills will now be shown inside the Deck Info during quests
-Other minor adjustments

UI Improvements:
-The Keyblade you last used will now be the first one to appear when selecting a new quest
-When leveling up a Keyblade, the amount of material needed and amount of material currently in your possession have been clarified
-On the medal synthesis result screen, the increases to each parameter will now be distinctly indicated
-Medals which will not improve a medal will be prevented from being used in synthesis (to prevent inadvertent loss of medals) (e.g. if a medal has already had 10 Cid medals synthesized onto it, all Cids in your inventory will become greyed out)
-In the quest selection screen, if you exit out of selecting a Partner medal, you will be returned to Keyblade selection (rather than quest selection)
-The attack power and synthesis orbs/Guilt of partner medals are now visible at a glance
-Raid Bosses will appear in the Main Quest selection screen, and Scrooge skill increases will be displayed in the Raid Boss reward screens
-Medals can now display their ability strength in the reordering menu
-The Medal Display filters now include Upright/Reverse filters
-Filters for 'Equippable' and 'Big EXP' have also been added
-Other minor adjustments

System Modifications and Additions:
-The attack power of Partner Medals has been improved, depending on the strength of your Keyblade
-You can now invite players into your party when viewing their avatar
-Improved the UI when a party member requires assistance with a Raid Boss; a banner now appears at the top of all screens when a Raid Boss is active.
-Only members of your party will now be allowed to assist in defeating your Raid Bosses.
-When using a 'Skip Ticket', all Quest Challenges will be cleared
-Skip Tickets will be awarded in addition to purchasing Jewels.
-The Friend Point Draw has been removed
-Event Quests and Daily Dungeons have been separated into distinct categories
-The Quest screen now has separate areas for the Main Quest, Daily Dungeons, Event Quests, and the Coliseum
-Because of this, the Event and Coliseum buttons have been removed from the Main Quest screen
-Access to Daily Dungeons and Event Quests must be unlocked through playing the Main Quest. (Clear Main Quest Mission 6 to access the Daily Quests, and Main Quest Mission 14 to access Event Quests.)
-Daily Dungeons and Premium Dungeons will all be displayed, but in a 'locked' state when they are inaccessible (e.g. when it is the wrong day of the week).
-An additional button linking to the Weekly Bonus Jewel pack has been placed on the Shop and Daily Dungeon screens.
-If you have not purchased the Weekly Bonus Jewel pack, a pop-up advertisement will appear on the Home screen.
-“X-turn finish!” will only appear in the case of a 1-turn finish (completion in 2 turns will just show 'Win' and the Lux earned)
-Changes to the opening tutorial
-Other minor adjustments, including to the featured Event


Bug Fixes:
-Bug with multiple skills leveling up not being displayed has been fixed
-Clearing the latest main quest will now correctly display 'CLEAR!'
-The 'unspecified' category in the Avatar Board has been fixed
-Materials acquired in Beast's Castle will now be properly displayed
-Enemies killed via Poison will now disappear correctly
-After Continuing, medals which had been set in the first slot will now have their abilities effect applied correctly
-Problems with the app force closing in the medal organization screen has been addressed
-A bug when scrolling to the left in the Avatar Board selection menu has been addressed, which caused the display to read '0/0'
-A bug which resulted in the total Attack power of a Keyblade not matching the sum of the medals equipped has been addressed
-The bug which resulted in '1 Lux' displaying in the rewards screen after earning a large amount of Lux has been fixed
-A bug which appeared when parts of a Raid Boss were destroyed in an Area of Effect attack regarding the HP gauge display has been fixed
-The EXP a medal will gain when synthesized will now display properly
-When using filters to sort the Main Quests, sometimes the cursor would not move if the next quest was already cleared. This bug has been fixed
-The ability for “Cloud Illustrated Version” now displays correctly
-A bug regarding the Paralysis status effect and using Abilities causing later medals to be skipped automatically has been fixed
-A bug involving empty Keyblade slots and tap attacks against Raid Bosses has been addressed
-The 'Reset' ability for “Alice” will now correctly function when used against Raid Boss limbs
-The bug involving “Kairi KH Version”'s buff not ending at the proper time due to combinations with other medals has been fixed
-A bug involving empty HP bars on Raid Boss limbs has been addressed
-The bug wherein using an Ability against a densely packed array of enemies resulted in the next medal's attack being automatically executed has been fixed
-A bug involving the background music of the Quest selection incorrect when logging in to fight a Raid Boss after the timer had expired has been addressed
-A bug relating to canceling a Union change has been addressed
-Other minor bug fixes


Other Updates:
-Level cap has been raised to 300

What do you think of these new updates for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ? Let us know in the comments below!

Click here to view the article

Square Enix to release school calendar for members in April, includes Kingdom Hearts HD...

29 February 2016 - 11:49 PM

Square Enix is releasing a new members-only calendar to coincide with the start of the Japanese school year. The calendar features images from new and upcoming games, including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. Square Enix members will be able to purchase the calendar for 200 points starting in April.

2016 Member's Special School Calendar
From April, a member's special school calendar will be available.
Thanks to it's separable type, you can select and display a different image to suit your mood.

<Collected Titles>
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XV
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
SaGA: Scarlet Grace
Square Enix Member Avatar
Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest Heroes II: The Twin Kings and the Prophecy of the End
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3
Nier: Automata
Lord of Vermilion Re:3
World of Final Fantasy

*Limit one per person
*Depending on when you order, your product may be shipped after April

Thanks to Katie Armstrong for the translation, and thanks to aibo for the heads up.

Click here to view the article