The final Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue trailer was released earlier today, giving fans of the series a reason to celebrate amidst a dry spell of news regarding the third entry in the popular series. The trailer features a tantalizing look at the Kingdom Hearts 3 engine in action and the mechanical depth of 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage.
The most exciting aspect of the collection is 0.2 Birth by Sleep, which features Birth by Sleep protagonist Aqua during her time trapped in the realm of darkness. The trailer focuses on the gameplay of this smaller adventure, and gives fans a more complete picture of what to expect when they finally get their hands on the game. The biggest takeaways are visual accessories for Aqua, which smart money says will impact stats and abilities, and the presence of King Mickey as a party member in the game. Previous trailers have teased the Disney mascot’s involvement, but it is now confirmed that Mickey will be making his in-game party debut in the game.
The trailer is quite a feast for the eyes as well, as the game runs on the version of Unreal Engine 4 that will also run Kingdom Hearts 3. Series staples such as massive heartless, team-up attacks, devastating enemy spells and intricate combos look fantastic, which bodes well for the development for the upcoming sequel. It is also interesting to look back at previous trailers and compare, as everything from the character models to the lighting have been drastically improved from the initial E3 trailer, shown below.
While 0.2 is the most interesting piece of the collection and the emphasis in the trailer, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD also makes an appearance, showing off the improved visuals of that title as well as providing story context toward its importance in the series’ convoluted saga. The key gameplay hooks of the game are the drop gauge, which forces players to switch between Sora and Riku, and Flowmotion, which allows for movement to be combined with combat ability. This feature looks to be a big part of 0.2 as well, and it can be assumed, Kingdom Hearts 3.
Story hints abound in the new trailer, giving dedicated fans plenty to sink their teeth into. Kingdom Hearts X: Back Cover, a HD movie featuring the story of the mobile game, gives a glimpse into the events surrounding the mysterious Keyblade War. 0.2 snippets feature looks at Riku and Kairi, Aqua and Mickey at the Destiny Islands during the events of the original game, and a glimpse of the mysterious shirtless Mickey (from his Kingdom Hearts appearance, I’m not weird) finding his Keyblade in the realm of darkness. The final shot shows Sora returning from his personal journey, bringing the story full circle directly into Kingdom Hearts 3.
The upcoming collection will be released on January 12, 2017 in Japan and on the 24th in the rest of the world for the PlayStation 4. It features Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD, 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage and Kingdom Hearts X: Back Cover. In addition to this collection, Square Enix recently announced Kingdom Hearts HD: 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix, a collection of the previous two PlayStation 3 remasters, for release on PS4 on March 28, 2017, exactly 15 years after the original hit the PlayStation 2.
Brett Williams is an Associate Writer for MONG who is glad Final Fantasy XV is finally out of the way of Kingdom Hearts 3. You can follow his nonexistent ramblings on twitter.