Tetsuya Nomura reveals new Kingdom Hearts III details

Square Enix legend Tetsuya Nomura (Director of the Kingdom Hearts franchise and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, among others) has leaked a few more tentative details about Kingdom Hearts III in Famitsu magazine.

Nomura is said to have confirmed that Kingdom Hearts III will be the last instalment featuring the series’ iconic villain Xehanort. This doesn’t mean that the franchise is set to end though, as Nomura later added that a structure has already been created for future sequels with Sora.

It’s important to remember that Kingdom Hearts III is a long way from realisation. The team is currently developing Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for the Nintendo 3DS, which is reported to be at about 40-50% completion. Although Kingdom Hearts III has been rumoured for many years, there has been no confirmation that title has made it to production or planning.

Fans can find answers to some of their questions regarding Kingdom Hearts III in the aforementioned KH3D, according to Nomura. He also mentioned that Square Enix were looking into the technology that could render older titles in high definition. Is this a hint that we could soon see HD remakes/ collections for Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts or Dragon Quest?

It’s an attractive prospect, but one that I hope they don’t undertake. The team has already spent far too much time in side projects and now need to refocus their efforts on Kingdom Hearts III. Although fans are enjoying some of the recent portable outings, I can’t help but feel that they are growing more and more restless for a sequel on home consoles.

BAFTA Game Developer Q&A: Randy Pitchford

Duke Nukem is a video game icon. Yet I know absolutely nothing about Duke Nukem. I vaguely remember playing the games as a young boy, peering tentatively over my brother’s shoulder and wondering why the character was constantly using the toilet. It was a guilty pastime, the kind of game which I knew I shouldn’t be playing – but it was just too daring, imaginative and fun to put down.

Randy Pitchford is the CEO of Gearbox Software, a development company that plans to ship Duke Nukem Forever in June. It’s a sequel that’s been almost 15 years in the making. The BAFTA Q&A was a perfect chance for fans and journalists to ask Randy why it had taken so long for the game to come to fruition – and what we could expect from the finished product.

Firstly I need to thank GameSpot UK for giving me a free ticket to the event. I won it on Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled for similar competitions. The evening was hosted by Johnny Chiodini, who was well composed and asked a dozen or so questions before opening it up to the floor.

It was a lively crowd that night, full of hopeful game developers and wannabe bloggers such as myself. This picture was taken before the place was completely filled, but you can still get a good idea of the size and capacity. The seats were lovely too, so great job BAFTA.

Randy was really interesting to listen to. He was surprisingly tight lipped about the content of the game, but he was well spoken and included some great historical anecdotes. I’m not sure that anyone in the room will forget the revelation that a ‘gay robot’ had once been included in a Duke Nukem origin story.

The attendee who asked the best question was awarded this lovely painting of Duke. Not quite sure what I would’ve done with it had I been the winner, but it was a lovely gesture all the same. The inclusion of a free PlayStation 3 and GOTY copy of Borderlands was not to be sniffed at either.

Basically I had a great night. There was plenty of free beer and I really enjoyed speaking to fellow video game journalists. I’m also far more interested in Duke Nukem Forever than I was prior to the Q&A, so in that sense it was probably a great piece of marketing too. Always bet on Duke kids.

London 3DS StreetPass Event (27th March, 2011)

Britain needs more handheld social gaming events. There are dozens of portable titles that I play obsessively – but I often leave the multiplayer options untouched because I don’t know anyone else with a copy of the game.

The launch of the Nintendo 3DS is looking to change all of this. Nintendo Scene have organised a fantastic gathering at St Pancras Station (London) on March 27th; just show up under the New Olympic Rings at midday and get gaming. You can either be super discrete and walk through the area with StreetPass activated on the sly, or be bold and start discussing your new favourite handheld with other gamers.

Plenty of Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition seems to be on cards, so I recommend getting some practise in whilst you’re travelling across London on the tube. If you haven’t bought a 3DS or can’t make the event, you can keep up with the Nintendo Scene coverage in a number of ways:

Hopefully this will be the first of many successful 3DS StreetPass gatherings. I wish Nintendo Scene the best of luck with the event tomorrow!