For some gamers, Kingdom Hearts may seem like a far-off memory or a scattered dream. The wildly popular RPG first debuted back in 2002, and there's now over a decade separating the franchise's sequel from its upcoming third installment. Fans, understandably, are more than ready to play Kingdom Hearts III after all those years. And, according to a interview with the game's co-director Tai Yasue, Square Enix is equally as ready for gamers to see how the series has evolved.
GamesBeat was lucky enough to speak with Yasue following Square Enix's E3 stage, and they were able to ask him how Kingdom Hearts has evolved since they published their last numbered title, Kingdom Hearts II. Referencing the franchise's numerous handheld spin-offs, Yasue explained, "With our handheld games, we did a lot of experimentation with new systems....The moves look a lot flashier, but at the same time not too difficult. We have the same sort of command menu as the numbered titles, II and III."
Right now, fans are awaiting the imminent release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8, a game that'll include the 3DS' Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep — A Fragmentary Passage. Several of Kingdom Hearts III's combat changes will be tested in this remix, so Yasue's team is very interested in seeing how fans respond to the updates.
GamesBeat also went on to ask which kind of battle system works best for Kingdom Hearts whether that is in using mana or perhaps different cooldowns. "Each has its own fun aspects, but I think the magical points system, using MP, is very accessible. That's worked well," Yasue answered. "But we don't want to do the same thing over and over again."
The co-director continued, telling fans, "In Kingdom Hearts III and 0.2 we wanted to enhance this system for the next generation. Using magical spells, we wanted the environments and enemies to react in a meaningful way. It doesn't just explode. It lingers on afterward. If you shoot a Blizzard, for example, it creates a place where you can skate on the ground. We wanted the magic to dynamically interact with the environments."
I don't know about you, but I am pretty excited to see how Kingdom Heart's new magic interactions will affect the game's environment. When you consider how often Donald Duck casts 'Curaga' or 'Thundara,' there's surely got to be some sort of hilarious hijink that sees the lovable duck unintentionally roasted. Sora would get a kick out of that.
As of right now, there's no confirmed release date for Kingdom Hearts III, but sources speculate the title will see a release in Spring 2017 once Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 has been pushed.