Series co-director, Tai Yasue, sat down for an interview to answer some questions for the upcoming titles Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III. In the interview, he not only commented on the development of Kingdom Hearts III, but also what players can expect from Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX in terms of trophies, control enhancements, and improvements for the Re:Coded movie.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix will remain the same with exception to its graphics. However, Birth By Sleep will receive several notable improvements. The remake will not include the online multiplayer elements from the Mirage Arena due to the staff's desire to focus more on the development of Kingdom Hearts III. The arena can still be played, though, and has been tweaked for playing solely single player mode. They have also added challenges to each battle that were not originally in Birth By Sleep. Because multiplayer is no longer available, some battles have been shortened.
The controls have been changed as well for Birth By Sleep Final Mix. Yasue mentioned the camera controls as an example, stating that they will now be controlled with the right joy stick. The co-director promised that the change will feel both smooth and natural.
For the Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded movie, cutscenes have been added for the battles that take place in the Nintendo DS version of the game. This decision was a direct response from the Japanese audience who wanted a more fulfilling experience from the Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days movie in the last Kingdom Hearts HD collection.
The amount of trophies in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX will be larger than it was in Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX. Some examples of the trophies include how many times Sora enters Anti Form and how many times King Micky joins you in battle in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix.
Tai Yasue was asked if Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX would contain any hints or trailers for Kingdom Hearts III. In typical Square Enix fashion, Yasue chuckled and said that he could not be specific.
Square Enix is still considering an HD remake of Kingdom Hearts 3D, but Tai Yasue gave two reasons why they have been hesitant. For one, the game is a recent title and is available on the Nintendo 3DS, a current-gen system. The second reason is that the Kingdom Hearts team does not want to draw focus away from the development of Kingdom Hearts III.
Tai Yasue talked some on the development on Kingdom Hearts III and showed both excitement and confidence in the game's team. He stated that it's production is going full throttle and that many things are being added to the game both old and new. He also commented that a lot of research is still being done for the game.
The Disney attractions from the Kingdom Hearts III trailer received good feedback, according to Yasue, and there will be many more. These rides that Sora will use for attacking are meant to feel as close to an actual Disneyland ride as possible, even from a gameplay perspective.
There will be a mix of new and old worlds to visit in Kingdom Hearts III, but Yasue was unable to confirm whether or not these worlds will be from Pixar, Star Wars, or Marvel. He did, however, mentioned that he greatly enjoyed the movie Frozen.
When asked about Kingdom Hearts III's lack of presence at this year's E3, Yasue stated that the work required to make a trailer for the game was great and that it would have gotten in the way of the game's development. He did not give an definite answer as to whether or not the game would appear at E3 next year.
At the interview's closing, Tai Yasue talked about how fans' reaction to the reveal of Kingdom Hearts III was a major morale boost for the team. He particularly enjoyed how the American fans were so animated and excited at the game's announcement. He explained that it was a different reaction compared to the Japanese audience who tend to be more reserved.
Kingdom Hearts III has not been given a release date, but Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX will be available in North America on December 2nd and in Europe on December 5th exclusively on the PS3.