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  1. Kingdom Hearts III Review – Written by DestinyDecade Copy purchased for review. It began in 2002 when Squaresoft and Disney would collaborate to bring Kingdom Hearts. Combining the role-playing adventure of Final Fantasy with the cute and memorable side of Disney, the first game would give way to a franchise that tells a tale about light against darkness. Fans waited years for a sequel after Kingdom Hearts II but what they got is Square churning out more games that would help shape the lore of the series. But come 2013, Square-Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III would be in development. After six years of anticipation, it has arrived. Being the final entry of the supposed Xehanort Saga, is it worth the wait? Is Kingdom Hearts III worth a chance? Let’s begin with the game’s story and yes, Kingdom Hearts’ plot is a bit convoluted at times. Sora, along with Donald and Goofy are back yet again as they travel on a new journey, heading to different worlds and taking the fight against Xehanort and his true Organization XIII. While that occurs, Riku along with Mickey head to the realm of darkness to find Aqua, a keyblade master. Both of these plots eventually coincide, leading to two factions battling one another to determine the fate of every world. It’s a battle between the forces of light against the forces of darkness. From my experience, I did enjoy the story. It has enough to get me invested but also enough to literally hit you where it hurts, emotionally. Every world has its own story to tell, characters to meet and things to do. But the plot itself connects since the bad guys are invading each world and it’s up to the good guys to save the day. However there is some criticism. People who haven’t played every game and going into this one will feel lost, not knowing certain things such as characters and plots. Thankfully the game has a Memory Archive where players can catch up in preparation for this one. If you have played any of the Kingdom Hearts games, then this will feel really familiar to you. Kingdom Hearts III is an action RPG game that borrows elements from many of the entries and incorporates them into this one. You have access to your Keyblade, as well as Magic but this game also has some new stuff. One instance is the Formchange. Depending on what Keyblade Sora has, he gains access to a different form that can add a bit of flair to his offense. Some keyblades have more than one form with devastating finish attacks. Not only that but Sora can also hold more than one Keyblade. In fact he can hold onto three. This gives Sora the chance to mix it up and he can save a formchange for later if needed. Shotlocks make a return, from Birth By Sleep where you lock onto multiple enemies and deliver a powerful attack. This time, depending on the keyblade, you get access to a different shotlock and plus, some blades will have more than one. It’s a sense of variety that feels rewarding for players. New to the series is Attractions, giant amusement park rides that can do a variety of attacks. They all offer something new but some instances will give Sora rides that will deal heavy damage to foes. Another new feature is the Link command. Link Commands allow Sora to summon a special ally to the battlefield. They range from Meow Wow to even Stitch and can turn the tide of the battle. Only drawback is that it costs all your MP but your health does recover so it also serves as a lifesaver if things go bad. You also have access to team-up attacks with your allies and this time, Donald and Goofy don’t have to leave. In fact you can have up to 2 guest allies in your group, raising the party up to 5. It’s awesome and some of the support cast even comes with their respective team up attacks too. In terms of content, Kingdom Hearts III offers plenty to do. You have the Gummi Ship but this time, Square-Enix decides to make it a free flight mode where you can travel around to wherever you want to go. Like in Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, you can customize your Gummi ship however you want. Each of the three systems have plenty of quests and challenges to do. There’s also Little Chef aka Remy from Ratatouille and his restaurant, the Bistro. As you travel on your journey, you will find ingredients. They’re for Remy’s mini game. Most of it is simple but it’s trial and error cause if you screw up, you lose the ingredients. But when you succeed, you acquire meals and combining different meals together can boost stats for you and your party. It’s a nice temporary benefit if you feel the game is a bit challenging. There are mini games in each world, there’s the Classic Kingdom where you play handheld mini games to get a high score, there’s a lot to do. I kid you not. Beating the game alone will take you around 20 hours but if you want to 100% the game, it’s double the length. Not to mention there are three difficulty settings: Beginner, Standard and Proud. If you want a real challenge, the Proud difficulty is your best option. There is no Critical mode sadly but I hope that Square-Enix will consider adding it in a future update. Kingdom Hearts III is amazing. It’s truly awesome to look at. Running at a rock solid 60 fps, the game runs great but is flawless too. Not only that but load times are minimal especially when it transitions from cutscene to gameplay. I love it. It’s seamless. As for the voice acting, it’s still top notch with many familiar voices along with new ones, especially from the more recent Disney films. It’s pretty good. The music is enjoyable. Yoko Shimomura is truly a goddess when it comes to music. I’m not kidding. She delivers on some amazing tunes, not to mention remixes of familiar tunes. Every world you travel always offer something enjoyable, even when you are at the end of the game as well. It’s just awesome. But for all the good things that this game has, there are some flaws. One example’s the Attractions. They can be really overpowered and they come too frequent. Even when you turn off Attraction Extender, they still have a tendency to come in and can turn most fights into a joke. I wish Square-Enix could either tone them down or have them show up less. The game is also a bit easy, even at Proud difficulty. By the time you reach the end, Sora will probably have a lot of abilities that can help turn the tide of any battle, even the final boss. There is an ability that disables experience and it can make the game challenging but it isn’t enough. Sure this game is also meant to attract new audiences but it should offer something for players that want a tough challenge. The lack of Critical Mode doesn’t help matters. Last but not least, unless you’ve played every other game in the series, the plot will make your head scratch and wonder who some of the characters are. The Memory Archive does help for those that want to be up to speed but for anyone that has no idea, they may be in for a really confusing ride. So in conclusion, Kingdom Hearts III is a game that fans waited years for. Is it worth your time? Absolutely. Does it have flaws? Definitely. For all it’s negatives, this game has a lot going for it. It looks amazing, it’s easy to get into and play and it has enough that’ll keep you going for a long while. A 13-year wait reaches its end and surprisingly, it’s also on Xbox One so that’s a first. This game serves as an end to the Xehanort Saga and the end of a journey that spans 17 years. Let’s hope that Square-Enix doesn’t take too long for the next entry… hopefully. Seriously get Kingdom Hearts III. It’s worth your time. I give Kingdom Hearts III an 8.5 out of 10. It’s worth your money and your time.
  2. At last, I attended yet another year of PAX Australia since I first came last year by chance, and it's even better than before! Well except the waiting line. I did not remember the waiting line being this crowded. Last year I just went in the building. This year? Waited 45 minutes outside, and then 10 minutes inside. Looks like this event got even more popular than last time! PAX is as expected, filled to the brim with the games you expect: Kingdom Hearts 3, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Devil May Cry 5, Days Gone, Spyro Reignited, RAGE 2, Sekiro, Hitman 2, but oddly enough no Just Cause 4 even though there's an event all about this game in the schedule, but maybe it's because it's in a different building. My original plan was to play those games, but unfortunately for me, it is not worth it one bit. Just look at this line. These guys are at front already, and they waited 2 freaking hours just to get there because there's the whole "haunted house" thing inside for the people that went inside. So I was like "fuck this shit" and don't even bother with it. The same applies to the other games, except Sekiro. That game is inside the PS4 booth and apparently not many people play it because they think it's too hard. Lucky for me, I played Dark Souls & Tenchu, so this game is right up my alley. The gameplay is as I expected, a mix of Tenchu and Dark Souls. So you got the stealth, stealth kills and movements of Tenchu mixed with the slow methodical attacks of Dark Souls, which makes for an awesome combination. Though there's no Soul gathering or stamina mechanic here. You kill an enemy, they die and only drop items instead of soul points for upgrades. So imagine Tenchu 3 but with Dark Souls combat and open world navigation. I breezed through most of the Sekiro demo, until the demo boss appeared. Me and 6 other dudes took turns to beat this guy. At first I got hit a lot by his spear attacks, but then I figured out that the way to beat this guy is to fill the guard meter above which allows you to land a killing blow that reduces one of his 3 health bars. You can actually block at the same time as his attack which causes his guard meter to go up, except the one with the red kanji. It took many of our tries, but finally I ended his ass and pop off big time while everyone else cheered as well. It was a great time, just as expected from the guys who made Dark Souls. Aside from the games, I went to the indie dev sections for my job to network a lot of the game devs there, and I saw a lot of great creative games, especially this one which makes me laugh so hard, and even better when John Robertson the comedian & the narrator himself is actually there and make fun of everyone who plays this game, including me. I love it so much that I bought it on the spot. I will definitely play this game, right after I play the crap out of Red Dead Redemption 2. And I went to one of the PC Accessories stand tournaments which offers prizes, one of which is a "win 3 Street Fighter V rounds and you'll get a keyboard" competition. Which I won! Then I went to 3 fighting game tournaments, primarily because I went to 2 of this tournament for PAX 2017 but I lost, so I'm back to get the medal prizes for payback biyatch. 2 on Friday for Soul Calibur 6 and Dragonball FighterZ, and yet another Dragonball FighterZ tournament on Saturday. I won them all. But I promised my brother in law's niece that I will give the third medal to her, so I guess I only have 2 medals. Then again, 2 of the same medal is more than enough so might as well give the extra third one! BTW my match for the third medal is live streamed on Twitch, so here's the link for those that are interested. My match starts at minute 15. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/327981089 Then after that, I went home and play Red Dead Redemption 2, which wow..... the tiny details & excellent sidequests in this game is fucking unbelievable. So that's PAX AUS 2018 for me. Won tournaments, found out that the lines for the major games except Sekiro was so not worth it, and I had a freaking great time. Except waiting in the building entrance line. Hopefully 2019 will not be this bad, but I guess I'll have to deal with the same lines again when the time comes. XD
  3. Matt Lees on the map and interface of Breath of the Wild and the tone and feel they create, Jim Sterling on Steams lack of professional standards, creator of Her Story's next project, EVO 2017, Ni No Kuni 2 delayed, Battlegrounds to get first person mode, Patrick Klepek and others on what game criticism entails and how to improve, stories of scamming or being scammed in online games, Cyberpunk 2077 character classes, costs of running a game store, current Bioware director leaves while former returns, how Half-Life 3 would have ended, Kingdom Hearts 3 director on why the game is taking so long, themes of ignorance and love in Nier Automata and The Witcher 3, Extra Credits on trauma survival in Injustice 2, Noclip interviews CD Projekt Red CEO, and more. Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC, game updates, company and developer news, country news, mods) Itch.io updates refund policy following fraudulent game sale scam 80 minutes of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen gameplay (Chris plays with the developer!) 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Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Backer Update 37 - From the Feed of the Director Part II Swords of Ditto is a Zelda-like crafted for couch co-op PUBG to get FOV slider, dedicated first-person servers in July update 'Soon, you will be able to design your character to a tee,' says PUBG executive producer InXile Entertainment nets $4.5M to push further into VR Watch some pirate base infiltration from Underrail’s upcoming expansion Sniper Elite 4: Deathstorm DLC concludes next week with 'Obliteration' Four-player co-op is coming to Titanfall 2, free Overwatch's Doomfist is releasing on July 27 - here's what he can do Battlefield 1's forthcoming Lupkow Pass map showcased in new video Final Fight’s Abigail coming to Street Fighter 5 Tekken 7 welcomes Fatal Fury star as incoming DLC character Friday The 13th Dev Comments On Upcoming Single-Player Mode PlayerUnknown: Violent Words Have Consequences, Even While Role-Playing For Honor Rep Calls Reports of Low Player Count “Fake News” How Blizzard Increased Its Number of Female Interns by 166% in One Year BioWare boss Aaryn Flynn quits, just months after Mass Effect Andromeda launch Sounds like Telltale's not making more Wolf Among Us or Borderlands any time soon Wargaming partners with Splash Damage to work on 'brand-new projects' Ubisoft thanks player engagement for growth during an otherwise quiet Q1 Dev confirms the Crash Bandicoot remaster is harder than the original Logitech are buying Astro for $85 million in cash Women-only videogames event Gaming Ladies is still happening, albeit without King Steam's Latest Hit Is A Wrestling Game That Already Has Nearly 2,000 Custom Characters ‘Super Mario 64 Maker’ mod lets you create and edit levels in the N64 classic Esports News The Weekend In Esports: Evo 2017 and DreamHack Valencia The International Sets a New Record for Esports Prize Money Blizzard unveils the first seven Overwatch League teams Overwatch's Doomfist Starts Strong In First Pro Match, But Can't Close The Deal Is Netease’s Ownership of an Overwatch League Franchise a Conflict of Interest? Report: MLB Considers Trademark Dispute With Overwatch League Over Logo Similarities AnimEvo Is A Great Showcase For The Games That Don't Make It Into Evo What the World of Fighting Games Looks Like the Eve of Its Biggest Event Player Offers Opponent Cash To Stop Infinite Combo Armada Wins Second Evo Melee Championship, Makes It Look Easy Street Fighter V Pro's New Best Friend Is An Aluminum Can The Best Moments From Evo's Dragon Ball FighterZ Tournament What High-Level Players Think Of Dragon Ball FighterZ So Far Evo's Catherine Tournament Is Off To A Dramatic Start Dramatic Finish Cements Pro's Legacy As Final Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Evo Champion Evo Tekken 7 Tournament Ends In Seven Game Slugfest Tokido Battles Back Through Losers Bracket To Win Evo Street Fighter V Championship Bayonetta Pro Upsets Smash's Best To Win Evo Championship Two Of BlazBlue's Best Go The Distance In Evo Championship Match Surprise Character Pick Wins Evo 2017’s King Of Fighters XIV Tournament BlazBlue Players Get Second Chance After Console Issues Plague Evo Pools Yellow Card Ruling On Melee Coaching Stirs Controversy ESPN Makes Street Fighter Player Change Character's Thong Due to 'Broadcast Standards' Ex-NBA Player Jared Jeffries Named as Echo Fox President High stakes Hearthstone: How it feels to fly around the world and lose Pro CS:GO players vow not to misuse a jumping bug, despite being allowed Soccer Team Signs FIFA Player, Cuts Him Two Days Later Over "Online Behaviour" Content I found interesting this week (interviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) What it costs to run an independent video game store Game Criticism Had Problems Long Before Dunkey Made a Video About It Hamboblack has a good thread on the topic if you click his message, as both someone with work published on gaming websites and a Youtuber whose videos I frequently share here (Writing On Games). 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The complete saga so far 'Elite' Creator on Sci-Fi, Politics and His Studio's Next Big Thing ‘Rez’ Designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi Wants to Make Magic Terry Crews on Doomfist, Battlefield 1 with Snoop Dogg, and building high-end PCs Terry Crews likes PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds more than you If You Hear Someone Getting Harassed In An Online Game, Don't Stay Silent Six Ways Games Can Teach Resistance The Problem With Overwatch's 'Dive' Meta "Games are the largest provider of critical thinking education in the world" Mind Games: Dissecting Get Even's Narrative-Mechanics Synergy What we learned improvising a live game soundtrack Creating the 30 different control schemes of Edith Finch Do We Need a Soulslike Genre? | Game Maker's Toolkit Breath of the Wild: The Best Game Ever Matt Lees talks about the map and interface design of Breath of the Wild, the tone and feel it creates, how it invites you to adventure, and how it allows you to appreciate the beauty of the game at your own pace without rushing you or making you feel like you need to complete everything. Injustice 2: Trauma Survival - Harley Quinn's Greatest Fear - Extra Credits CD Projekt's Past, Present & Future (Marcin Iwiński) - Noclip Sessions Game Design Legend Warren Spector - IGN Unfiltered 21 Steam Needs To Axe Shithead Developers (The Jimquisition) The Story Behind Devolver Digital's 2017 Press Conference Level Design Lessons from Dishonored 2 Level Design Workshop: Singleplayer vs. Multiplayer Level Design: A Paradigm Shift 6 Techniques for Leveraging AI in Procedural Content Generation Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies We asked for your best stories about scamming and, wow, you're bad people Calling someone a 'Hanzo Main' is a sin in Brazil's new Church of Hanzo Chinese Mall Sets Up Gaming Booths For Tired Shoppers "The Target Area Is Only Two Metres Wide..." 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