Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 9 Plot Points Kingdom Hearts 3 Needs to Resolve https://www.gameskinny.com/hdo1q/9-plot-points-kingdom-hearts-3-needs-to-resolve https://www.gameskinny.com/hdo1q/9-plot-points-kingdom-hearts-3-needs-to-resolve Fri, 11 Jan 2019 17:19:15 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

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Balance Between Light and Dark

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Speaking of Xehanort’s motives, the concept of balancing light and dark needs some more detail.

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While having a world focused more on light doesn’t initially seem like a bad idea, you soon begin to see that a light-only world turns into something more like the Destiny Islands — a haven from reality that can’t last forever. It’s like an Ursula Le Guin setting, lovely on the surface, with something lurking underneath.

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In fact, ignoring the darkness led to Ansem’s original quest for knowledge and paved the way for Master Xehanort’s insatiable desire to know more. How correcting the balance between light and dark might affect the worlds is, of course, unclear — though it’s easy to guess that Master Xehanort’s methods probably aren’t the best ways to achieve this particular goal.

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Since almost everyone, good and not-so-great, has undergone some form of trial and has had to face the darkness in themselves and others, it’s not very likely the world can go back to the way it was before.

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All of the characters are more self-aware and work to incorporate balance in themselves and the world around them.

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---

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What are you hoping to see resolved in Kingdom Hearts 3? Let us know in the comments.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-master-xehanort-8ecab.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-master-xehanort-8ecab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193338","description":"

Master Xehanort's True Intentions

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It’s not a stretch to say that the villain’s ultimate goal — and even the villains themselves — change in every Kingdom Hearts game.

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There was the fairly simple fight between light and dark in the original, which changed to the more complicated machinations in Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 2, with the inclusion of Nobodies and their individual goals plus Xehanort’s goal of remaking the universe.

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Then Birth by Sleep shattered the relatively standard RPG trope of being god by including the X-Blade and Master Xehanort’s desire to remake the worlds, addressing an imbalance between light and dark. It featured, again, in Dream Drop Distance, but there’s yet to be any concrete discussion of why.

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Granted, explanation doesn’t always happen in RPGs, but for a series spanning over a decade now, it seems unlikely it’ll end without delving deeper into the particulars.

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Master Xehanort probably won’t be one of those misunderstood villains — he’s done too much bad for that — but the core idea of balancing light and dark has gradually become more prominent as the series has progressed, especially with Terra’s and Riku’s character arcs.

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Hopefully, there’ll be some more world building and plot exposition on the subject to help explain what Master Xehanort originally wanted.

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Time Travel

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Whenever time travel pops up in a story, it causes problems. How is it possible? Why is it necessary? How did it not completely skew everything else that happened?

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It’s not an altogether unexpected development in KH, since the plot gradually becomes more complicated as the games progress anyway, but it still raises some questions.

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Xehanort isn’t the only one who turned into a Heartless, so can others who have been Heartless at one point or another travel through time as well? If so, does that mean Nobodies can travel back to before they had their hearts removed and interact with their hosts?

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Perhaps it has some bearing on why we’re seeing dead Nobodies like Marluxia return in KH3. But even more importantly, it might relate to Terra’s redemption. He’s not exactly Heartless, but he’s fused with Xehanort’s heart, and he would still have a version of himself in the past.

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It would make sense.

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Typically, villains have some part of their grand schemes come back to bite them, but that hasn’t happened yet for Xehanort; he’s long overdue for some delicious irony.

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What about Namine?

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Namine is an interesting character. Based on KH lore, she shouldn’t really exist. Well, no Nobody should exist, but Namine isn’t even really a Nobody.

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That's because Kairi has no darkness in her heart; the Ansem Reports even comment that Namine is a curious Nobody, especially given how she was formed.

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Her existence adds a lot to the mystery to Nobodies and further suggests there’s more to them than just Heartless shells. More importantly, it makes Namine’s fusing with Kairi a bit confusing.

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Kairi never lost part of herself, and Namine — though not whole — wasn’t lacking anything noticeable. Instead, she gained a substantial bit of power over her surroundings and Sora.

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There’s always the possibility that Kairi harbors some sort of hidden darkness (despite being a Princess of Heart), suggested in Namine’s jealousy, and that’s how Namine was formed to begin with.

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It wouldn’t disqualify Kairi from being one of the Light bearers (just look at Riku) and it would play into the theme of balancing light and dark.

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But perhaps she’s simply a living metaphor for the personification of light, and that’s why she still interacts with her surroundings. Regardless, Namine must still have some work to do, else she wouldn’t feature on the box art as much.

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Roxas and Xion

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You would think Roxas’ and Xion’s arcs were finished. Xion disappeared into Roxas, and Roxas had to sacrifice his consciousness for Sora. But the KH3 box art says otherwise, and it’s not too difficult to see why.

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Many of the remaining plot threads revolve around sorting out the messes made of various characters’ hearts. This, of course, includes dealing with the Russian doll-type scenario of having more than one personality in a given body.

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Roxas is too important a character to leave “disappeared,” especially since he ties in with Ventus. However, if something happens with Roxas outside of Sora, then it follows that something will happen with Xion, the littlest doll in this set.

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From an emotional satisfaction perspective, it would be nice to see each of them develop their own, distinct personalities and live happy lives from there on.

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Yet it seems there might be some character resolution between Roxas and Sora necessary for either of them to move on. If Nobodies are the dark side of a person, and Roxas is Sora’s Nobody, then there’s some darkness in Sora that hasn’t yet been dealt with.

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Given Roxas’ chief desire at the beginning of KH2, it would probably be something to do with Sora as reluctant hero. If Sora satisfactorily deals with this, maybe Roxas can be put to rest like Axel, though what it means for Xion is anyone’s guess.

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Radiant Garden

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Radiant Garden is where it all began, and, as such, it features heavily in Kingdom Hearts' lore.

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Before the first game’s events, Maleficent and her horde of minions overtook the world, transforming it into the bleak and forbidding Hollow Bastion that players visit during one of Sora’s lowest points.

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It’s the exact opposite of Radiant Garden: home to terrors, darkness, and loneliness. But after the massive battle in KH2, efforts are underway to restore it to its former glory.

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That’s fine and dandy, but it isn’t until Birth by Sleep that you realize why Radiant Garden was so important to begin with. It was basically the home of everything good in the game — Kairi, Mickey, light in general, and the meeting ground for the forces of good.

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But as goodness is want to do, it gave birth to the darkness as well.

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Radiant Garden is essentially the KH universe’s barometer — thriving during the time of light, barren after darkness overtakes it, and striving for something better during Sora’s trials.

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What happens to Radiant Garden will largely reflect what happens in the story and characters, whether it’ll still be the symbolic center of the universe, or if it even should be, is another matter entirely.

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Dead Nobodies?

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Nobodies are confusing; we’ve already got that down. But what’s even more confusing is how — and whether — they die.

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Sora and Co. have dispatched quite a few Nobodies over the course of their adventures, most notably in Kingdom Hearts 2. Kingdom Hearts 3’s early trailers threw a bit of a wrench in their deaths, though, since notable Nobodies like Larxene and Vexen have apparently returned from the dead.

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Some of them have been “norted” (Oxford English Dictionary acceptance pending), which leads one to think Master Xehanort somehow revived their shells with his heart in them.

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Are these are the same Nobodies as before, or were their fledgling hearts just overrun with darkness?

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Thing is, some haven’t been and are now siding with Sora. Axel already proved it’s kinda hard for a Nobody to die, but it still leaves us wondering why.

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It could be some tie with their host that keeps them tethered to empty existence until they can be reunited once more.

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Image via The Arcade

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The Nature of Nobodies

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Nobodies are the most confusing and interesting aspect of Kingdom Hearts lore.

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Originally, they seemed fairly simple: empty, heartless shells of strong-willed people, some evil, some marginally less evil. But that changed slightly with Kingdom Hearts 2 introducing Roxas’s background and following Axel’s changes. This was before 358/2 Days chucked it completely by focusing on the very human side of Nobodies.

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With Axel disappearing into Lea again, Dream Drop Distance raised the biggest question: what makes a Nobody a Nobody  and how do they stop?

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Axel already developed human emotions and a will, but he was still a Nobody. If reuniting with the host was all it took, why didn’t all the Nobodies jealous of humanity and tricked into Xehanort’s plans fuse back with their hosts?

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It could be there’s some Persona going on here.

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Nobodies are like Shadows, dark fragments of their hosts, but it takes realizing what’s important to them — and on the host’s side, it takes understanding their own darkness — for transformation to happen. What you’re left with then is something new, like with Riku: not the old self, but not the dark self either.

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What Happens to Ventus, Terra, and Aqua?

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Aqua, Ventus, and Terra are three of KH’s most important characters, taking part in all of the background events that influenced the entire series. Their fates have yet to be resolved, though.

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Despite a dream version of Ventus making itself known here and there, the real Ventus remains asleep in Castle Oblivion. Terra is still trapped inside Xehanort, and Aqua remains lost in the Dark Meridian.

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Terra’s body is rather significant for plot purposes, so it’s likely something will happen to him, but whether that’s a good something — like getting his life back — or a bad something isn’t certain.

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The same goes for Ventus, but with a twist. If his heart is with Sora, how can Ventus be revived? And if Vanitas has something to do with it, will Ven be mostly darkness?

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Square Enix already said Aqua isn’t playable in KH3 and isn’t a major character; instead, the developer teased that she’s fallen under Master Xehanort’s influence. With the yellow eyes and all, it’s not a surprising turn of events.

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Aqua remained trapped in the Dark Meridian, while others like Mickey, Sora, and Riku could travel away from it, likely because they had conquered the darkness in their hearts.

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Having failed to save her friends can only have strengthened the darkness in Aqua, making her both an easy and a pitiable victim for Xehanort’s machinations. Whether she’s one of the 7 Guardians of Light, after all, remains to be seen.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-b9083.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-b9083.png","type":"slide","id":"193331","description":"

The Kingdom Hearts series spans multiple games, includes near-infinitely important characters, countless plot points. Unsurprisingly, it gets pretty confusing at times (thank you, Birth by Sleep).

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A series that needs entire games and decimal releases to set the plot up for the final game will naturally have some dangling plot elements that need some tidying up. Kingdom Hearts 3 is the last game in the Xehanort saga, so it's the ideal entry to set everything straight.

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We’ve put together a list of the nine plot threads we think are most important — things like what Nobodies really are, whether there’s logic in Master Xehanort’s plans and, of course, questions about fates of major characters, like Aqua and Namine.

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Many of these plot points will have to be resolved for the story to proceed, while others may forever remain a mystery. Naturally, we are about to venture into spoiler territory; proceed at your own risk. 

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8 Unforgettable Moments from the Kingdom Hearts Series https://www.gameskinny.com/ttp20/8-unforgettable-moments-from-the-kingdom-hearts-series https://www.gameskinny.com/ttp20/8-unforgettable-moments-from-the-kingdom-hearts-series Mon, 24 Dec 2018 14:00:02 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

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Moment 1: Battle of 1,000 Heartless

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Game: Kingdom Hearts II
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It’s impossible to talk about great moments in Kingdom Hearts without talking about the Battle of 1,000 Heartless. It’s a fantastically epic conflict perfectly suited to KH2’s increasingly darker tone, and it offers several memorable moments.

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The first is seeing King Mickey in combat, where connections between the mouse warrior and Yoda, that other diminutive, semi-omniscient weapon master, cannot be avoided. It's a bit of fun in the middle of a serious battle for the world's fate.

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Then there’s the encounter with Sephiroth. The original KH threw this in as a big surprise, but it didn’t really have much story impact. Here, though, it’s the equivalent of Satan working against Sora and friends. Sephiroth is in his darker form, he’s got a purpose, and that purpose is, well, pretty much the same as in FFVII — destroy everything. More importantly, he fights against Cloud, making this one of the better Final Fantasy tie-ins throughout the many KH games.

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But the most memorable part of this battle is, without a doubt, Goofy. The game plays a terrible, dirty trick on the player and actually makes you think Goofy dies — the equivalent of Square Enix taking your favorite childhood pet and killing it in front of you.

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Obviously, he doesn’t really die, but it’s a heavy, emotional moment and adds a lot of impact to the remainder of the battle on whole, with almost tangible relief when Goofy eventually comes around.

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---

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Those are our top Kingdom Hearts picks, but let us know in the comments what your most memorable KH moments are!

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Moment 2: Goodbye, Summer

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Game: Kingdom Hearts II
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Speaking of Roxas’s fate, that’s another standout moment in several ways. Kingdom Hearts 2 starts out deceptively, especially if you didn’t play Re: Chain of Memories. No Sora, no Donald and Goofy, but you do get Roxas… and Seifer. Unfortunately, though, he’s balanced by some more welcome cameos from FF favorites like Setzer and Vivi.

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You also get another set of rather frustrating, KH Destiny Islands style tasks to complete before you can do anything at all.

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Annoying as these tasks are, they ease you into what seems like Roxas’ normal life. He’s an average kid who wants to enjoy his summer with friends, hanging out around town and just being kids. Naturally, that can’t last for long; it ain’t called Twilight Town for nothin’.

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Part of Roxas’ summer adventures takes him into the mysterious Old Mansion, where he learns his true identity. For the game to proceed, Roxas has to accept his nature and disappear as an individual being. It’s a sad moment in itself: this kid who just wanted to have fun with his friends suddenly realizes he’s literally Nobody and has no real purpose in life.

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But it also provides the necessary emotional foundation for understanding the other sub-villains’ motives once they appear later in the game. Like Roxas, they just want a reason to live.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/4/5/645c1bfb7210ca0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/4/5/645c1bfb7210ca0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192899","description":"

Moment 3: Xion Fades Away

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Game: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
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A lot of people would say the most memorable part of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is when it’s finally over. That’s not far off the mark, but not for the same reason.

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True, the game has some (big) flaws, but the final reveal where Roxas (and you) learn the truth about Xion packs quite the punch and makes the series' lore even more complicated.

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Up to that point, there’s plenty of speculation about Xion, and it’s pretty obvious she isn’t a regular Nobody, but then it all comes out: she’s yet another aspect of Sora, albeit an artificial one. Apart from some interesting Persona-like commentary on the various aspects of individual identity, it shatters the usual Nobody schtick from Kingdom Hearts II.

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Nobodies and their hosts aren’t mutually exclusive, since Xion regained some of Sora’s memories and combined them with elements of Roxas. More importantly, she wants to save Roxas, implying affection, and Roxas wants to save her; in other words, Nobodies and hollow replicas can feel emotion after all, something you eventually find out applies to more than just Roxas and Namine.

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The scene also serves as a tragic foil to Sora’s various moments of reuniting with Kairi. Where Sora always saves Kairi somehow and manages to find his way back to her, Roxas watches as his sort-of Kairi disappears in front of him. The sense of loss and isolation pack an emotional punch on their own, but it’s an interesting foreshadowing of Roxas’s own eventual fate as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-085ea.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-085ea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192898","description":"

Moment 4: Hollow Bastion

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Game: Kingdom Hearts
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Hollow Bastion is an important place in Kingdom Hearts lore, but it’s where the first game becomes more serious, and Sora gains a glimpse into something much bigger than his journey to find his friends. It’s also the first non-Disney world since Traverse Town, and that alone gives you an idea that something big’s about to happen.

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Of course, that's the fight with Riku, where all the tension and jealousy hinted at on Destiny Islands finally releases. Sora’s friends leave him for a time because of this fight, in a turn of events rather shocking the first time around. Suddenly, Sora is alone and friendless once more, all talk of loyalty and the ties that bind gone.

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Of course, the situation doesn’t last, and he gets his friends back, but then you see what happened to all the princesses. The sight has more impact for Disney fans, naturally, but it’s an important step forward in the games’ overarching plot, something you don’t really get the significance of until playing the other games.

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And then there’s Hollow Bastion’s crowning glory, the fight with Maleficent’s dragon form. Suddenly, the terrifying beast from your childhood cartoon days manifests in front of you, and it’s so.damn.tough to beat, yet so satisfying once it’s finished.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/5/625c1bfa4b70e01.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/5/625c1bfa4b70e01.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192894","description":"

Moment 5: Traverse Town

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Game: Kingdom Hearts
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You’ve made it through the enigmatic opening sequence, and you survived Destiny Islands and its occasionally frustrating platforming moments. But Traverse Town is where Kingdom Hearts really begins, for a number of reasons.

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It’s where Sora meets Donald and Goofy for the first time, and the player gets a better idea of how Keyblade combat works. But more importantly, it’s where the franchise’s key gimmick first shines through.

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Seeing Final Fantasy X’s side characters on Destiny Islands is nice, but little more than a cameo, really. Sora’s fight and subsequent conversation with “Leon,” plus seeing Cid working alongside Huey, Dewey, and Louis, forces the player to wrap their heads around how the KH world works: characters from everywhere end up together, fighting against the darkness that destroyed their homeworlds (even if that homeworld isn’t actually FF related.)

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It tells the player to leave behind their notions of Disney and Final Fantasy because despite merging both, this is something completely different. And centering their respective plights around Sora’s own journey means it works and works well.

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Traverse Town is a metaphor for the rest of the game and series — Sora’s first adventure, and the franchise as a whole, is seemingly simple on the surface, with a lot more going on underneath.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/9/5/395c1bfc73e0658.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/9/5/395c1bfc73e0658.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192902","description":"

Moment 6: Re: Beast's Castle

\n
Game: Kingdom Hearts II
\n

Backtracking in a non-Metroidvania game risks killing it completely in most cases for one reason or another. A lot of times, it’s just padding, and KH2 gives the impression that’s what the game’s second half will be like.

\n

Mulan-land wasn’t very fun to begin with, and going back there doesn’t change much, so when you first get to Beast’s Castle again, there isn’t a lot to hope for. Sure, it was a challenge the first time around, and the story necessitates it, but it still leaves you feeling a bit bored. Until the end. This is where Sora first fights Organization XIII (outside Castle Oblivion, that is), and it’s a fight to remember.

\n

In fact, it’s one of the game’s most noticeable difficulty spikes, and depending on your playstyle, the potential need for grinding beforehand is enough to make it memorable. Xaldin is a whole new kind of boss, fast, deadly, and resilient. The encounter makes you think on your feet, throwing in some Mega Man-style pattern recognition and avoidance as well.

\n

And it sets the tone for the game’s second half — darker, harder, and more demanding — while kicking off some major lore dumps as well, where you finally get a slight understanding of what’s really going on.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/b/s/bbs-73015.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/b/s/bbs-73015.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192901","description":"

Moment 7: Aqua's Finale

\n
Game: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
\n

If you had to point to one moment where Kingdom Hearts started getting a bit complicated, it’d be the entirety of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. It’s also where Kingdom Hearts starts to resemble Star Wars in a few ways — prequels, ancient catastrophic warfare, Jedi…er, Keyblade Masters, and so on— but unlike Star Wars, this prequel is actually necessary, and no spot is more important than Aqua’s finale.

\n

The build-up to her confrontation with Xehanort takes the focus on bonds and friendship to a completely different level. Sora might not get to spend much time with Kairi after finding her again, and Riku’s got his own problems to sort out, but they’re all still together; they work through their problems and come together when it matters.

\n

Not so for Aqua. Not only does she have to sacrifice herself at one point to rescue Ventus and hopefully find some way of saving Terra, but it’s completely hopeless. Ventus slips into a seemingly endless slumber, while Terra loses himself completely to Xehanort, becoming his vessel and, by extension, the source of conflict in the mainline games.

\n

Friendship didn’t save the day here. Even if it provided the means by which hope could be restored in the future, it still left one main character broken in the end, and that’s something you don’t see much in Kingdom Hearts.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/5/225c1bfcb4a42b4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/5/225c1bfcb4a42b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192903","description":"

Moment 8: Lea's Keyblade

\n
Game: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
\n

Poor Axel. Like Roxas, he just wants a purpose for living, even if that purpose happens to be eating bright blue ice cream on a rooftop with friends. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance finally gives him a purpose, but not what you'd expect.

\n

Despite working for some form of good throughout the series, everything ends up going badly for Axel. He’s torn between protecting one friend or another,  loses them both, potentially develops some feelings for Kairi—possibly because of her connection with Xion — but naturally can’t act on them, all before having to give up himself and his memories so Lea, the "real" Axel, can be revived.

\n

His extensive history in the series gives the player a lot more investment in Lea than would otherwise have been the case, so the lead-up to this moment is much more engaging than it would be for your average NPC. Lea ends up responsible for saving Sora yet again, for rescuing Queen Minnie, and basically for keeping the entire world from falling apart.

\n

That he finally gains a Keyblade for his trouble is a fitting reward for his actions and all Axel endured, but it also means he can fight to right the wrongs done to him and all of his friends, Nobody and normal, finally starting to tie up the many, many loose ends KH dropped all over the place.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-1903d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-1903d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192893","description":"

Sixteen years ago, if you said a mashup combining Final Fantasy and Disney centered around a large-footed child wielding a key as a weapon would be a smash hit and spawn multiple sequels and spin-offs, with the final game being one of 2019’s most anticipated games, people probably would have laughed at you. 

\n

On paper, it’s a crazy idea, almost fanfiction-y in nature, and yet it worked fantastically. While we’re all anxiously awaiting Kingdom Hearts 3’s debut next month, now's the perfect time to indulge in some nostalgia and consider the franchise’s finer moments.

\n

There are a lot of them, big and small, but we’ve managed to distill them down to the nine most memorable moments. As would be expected with a list like this, there will be some big spoilers for the games mentioned, so if you haven't played them yet, read at your own risk. 

"}]]]>
8 Monster Collecting Games You Can Play Instead of Pokémon Ultra Sun & Moon https://www.gameskinny.com/tt295/8-monster-collecting-games-you-can-play-instead-of-pokemon-ultra-sun-moon https://www.gameskinny.com/tt295/8-monster-collecting-games-you-can-play-instead-of-pokemon-ultra-sun-moon Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:07:28 -0400 Erroll Maas

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Stars Not Yet Aligned

\n

While these games may not have the popularity or staying power of a franchise like Pokémon, they are still decent alternate options for players looking to play other monster collecting games. There are plenty of other monster collecting RPGs you can play as well -- such as Dinosaur King, Monster Rancher, Moco Moco Friends, and Spectrobes, just to name a few. Those featured on this list are just some of the more recent and notable ones.

\n

Although a mainline Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch may still be a few years away, hopefully we'll have these games, their upcoming sequels, and maybe even others yet to be released to help satisfy our need for capturing hundreds of monsters until then.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/n/monsterhunterstoriesgroup-5c317.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/n/monsterhunterstoriesgroup-5c317.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161153","description":"

Monster Hunter Stories

\n
Nintendo 3DS
\n

The most recent game on this list to be released in Western territories, Monster Hunter Stories is a turned based RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular hunting action series.

\n

In Monster Hunter Stories, you take on the role of a Rider from a hidden village. Instead of hunting monsters, the riders of this particular village befriend monsters by stealing eggs from nests then hatching and taming them. 

\n

In battle, both the rider and your companion monster are able to attack the enemy -- and the rider character has access to different skills depending on the weapon and equipment used. Additionally, companion monsters can be ridden in the overworld.

\n

Companion monsters can also be customized by using a feature called the Gene Bond  -- a system somewhat similar to breeding in other monster collecting games -- in which you transfer Bond Genes from one monster into another monster’s slots in order to obtain different stats and abilities.

\n

Monster Hunter Stories  should be able to provide plenty of enjoyment for those not interested in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and additionally, in true Monster Hunter fashion, has plenty of post game content. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-d348f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-d348f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161151","description":"

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance

\n
Nintendo 3DS/ PS4
\n

While this game doesn't focus solely on monster collecting, it's still an important aspect of the game.

\n

In Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, instead of running around various Disney worlds with characters Donald and Goofy, you explore select worlds with new creatures called Dream Eaters. Friendly dream eaters are called spirits, while the enemy dream eaters you fight are called nightmares.

\n

Spirits are created by combining Dream Fragments together with an item or spell, either by trial and error or using recipes found throughout the game. The player characters can also link with Spirits to perform unique attacks.  You can even pet and play with your Dream Eaters which will help them gain new abilities, similar to Pokémon-Amie, although surprisingly this game did it first.

\n

Although not a monster collecting RPG at its heart, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance can still be played as an alternative to Pokémon if you focus more on the spirit creating aspect, and you get the additional benefit of getting to visit several amusing Disney-based worlds on the way.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/9/d/79dab8275c1d99eb4f260444fd12bd82-0bb64.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/9/d/79dab8275c1d99eb4f260444fd12bd82-0bb64.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161156","description":"

Fossil Fighters: Champions 

\n
Nintendo DS
\n

Fossil Fighters: Champions is a sequel to the original Fossil Fighters -- also for Nintendo DS -- and greatly improves upon the gameplay introduced by its predecessor. i

\n

To obtain monsters in this game -- called Vivosaurs --  you have to dig up their fossils and clean them off using the touch screen. This system of obtaining monsters is quite unique and can be rather exciting for awhile. Having to clean every single new fossil you find can become tedious and frustrating early on, but certain items obtained later can help speed up the process.

\n

The combat system isn't too deep, and each vivosaur has a predetermined moveset of only 4 or 5 attacks they learn from leveling up. But if you don't mind that, then Fossil Fighters: Champions can still be a fun experience.

\n

With strong charm and atmosphere, great and memorable characters, and awesome looking creatures, Fossil Fighters: Champions is a nice way for you to get your monster collecting fix -- especially if you happen to be a fan of Fossil Pokémon and wish there were more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/q/m/dqmj2-d275d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/q/m/dqmj2-d275d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161149","description":"

Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2

\n
Nintendo DS
\n

Perhaps the most challenging game on this list, the sequel to Dragon Quest Monsters Joker, and the fifth game in the Dragon Quest Monsters spin-off series, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 vastly improves the gameplay of its predecessor.

\n

The Dragon Quest Monsters series has always had a strong focus on breeding, even before Pokémon had the option. Breeding powerful monsters takes a lot of trial and error to get what you want, due to having very few rules. Because of the detailed breeding system, catching every new monster you encounter is obligatory if you want to create a monster with the best stats and skills. Monsters may also have hidden bonuses that won't be obvious to new players at first.

\n

Another factor that motivates catching many monsters is the difficulty of the game. Sometimes you won't be able to progress to the next part of the game until you have a monster strong enough or have reached a high enough rank. The game expects you to stay on top of everything, so if you aren't properly prepared for an especially challenging battle, you may have a difficult time getting past it.

\n

Featuring a more challenging difficulty than most other monster collecting RPGs and an extensive post-game, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 is great for any monster collecting RPG or Dragon Quest fan looking for a new challenge.

\n

Hopefully the Nintendo 3DS sequel, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3, will be announced for Western release soon. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/f/woff-55bcd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/f/woff-55bcd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161144","description":"

World of Final Fantasy

\n
PS4 & PS Vita
\n

This is Final Fantasy returning to it’s classic turn-based formula, while at the same time also trying to take a stab at the monster collecting genre. To prevent clutter during battle, a new mechanic called stacking was created for the player characters to fight alongside their monsters (known as mirages). There are also summons called Champions -- chibi forms of famous Final Fantasy characters which are summoned temporarily, including Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and even Sora from Kingdom Hearts.

\n

The story of the game isn’t quite as interesting as other Final Fantasy games, but a revelation near the end of the game about the main characters might surprise you. At times, the game can be pretty boring, and as much as using the fast forward function helps in battles, sometimes it doesn't feel quite fast enough. Part of the last dungeon can be pretty frustrating too, due to lack of a proper map.

\n

Despite its few pitfalls, World of Final Fantasy is not only a great alternative to Pokémon, but a great start for anyone looking to play a modern Final Fantasy game with more traditional gameplay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/7/7/377530-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-playstation-front-cover-dde61.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/7/7/377530-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-playstation-front-cover-dde61.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161143","description":"

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth

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PS4 & PS Vita
\n

 After a drought of localized Digimon games, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth was finally released in the West in February 2016. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth had almost everything an avid Digimon fan wanted in a new Digimon game -- similar battling to the beloved Nintendo DS titles, a decent amount of Digimon, and a world which felt like the near-perfect combination of the popular anime films Summer Wars and Digimon: The Movie

\n

There are a few glaring flaws, but how much they're noticed depends on the player's prior knowledge of the franchise.  Some digivolution lines are intact, while others are all over the place and connect Digimon species who would otherwise be unrelated to each other. In addition to this, Digimon you haven’t seen or obtained will show up as "who’s that Pokémon" style silhouettes, so you'll have to find out what they are yourself or look up a guide.

\n

It's not the worst since you can just dedigivolve them and level them up again if you you're unsatisfied -- an easy task when having experience boosting Digimon and items later on in the game, but a tedious activity in the earlier parts. The most irritating part of the messed up digivolution lines is that some Digimon which are not obtainable in the game (despite the rest of their line being obtainable) will still be seen on collectible medals. So it's a bit odd these missing Digimon were still put in the game that way. 

\n

Hopefully, the upcoming sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory, adds plenty more digital monsters, and fixes these and other minor flaws from the original. But otherwise, Cyber Sleuth is another great alternative to Pokémon.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/a/i/kaiwatch01-e0161.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/a/i/kaiwatch01-e0161.png","type":"slide","id":"161142","description":"

Yo-Kai Watch

\n
Nintendo 3DS
\n

The first game in this series, plus its corresponding anime series and movie, finally came to the U.S. in 2015 after originally being released in Japan 4 years prior. The second game(s) released in the U.S. in September 2016 -- taking a hint from Pokémon with two versions, Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls. The third, updated version, Psychic Specters, is coming this fall. 

\n

In the first game, the main character is given the titular Yo-Kai Watch, which causes them to be able to see Yo-Kai -- spirits that cause all kinds of odd everyday occurrences good, bad, or just plain weird. A significant difference between this game and other monster collectors is that the player does not technically capture Yo-Kai, but instead befriends them by feeding them their favorite foods -- and is given their medal so that they can be summoned from the Yo-Kai Watch at any time.

\n

Yo-Kai Watch has been losing steam recently after the third iteration didn't sell as well as the previous ones -- possibly due to Pokémon's comeback, the lack of creativity with some of the newer creatures, and the absence of true backwards compatibility between the games and the toys. The series also isn't nearly as popular in the West as it was in Japan, but it has found a pretty decent fan following in Europe -- with plenty of kids (and some adults) all over the world still enjoying it.

\n

Although the gameplay is a little outdated being mostly touchscreen-based, the Yo-Kai Watch series is still a fun, and more inherently Japanese,  alternative to Pocket Monsters.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/x/psx-2015-kuni-revenant-kingdom-announced-5gzq640-5c3b3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/x/psx-2015-kuni-revenant-kingdom-announced-5gzq640-5c3b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161138","description":"

Ni No Kuni

\n
PS3 & PS4 (via PS Now)
\n

Created by Level-5 and Bandai Namco, with art and animated cutscenes by Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies etc.), Ni No Kuni is a great game to help satisfy your monster collecting RPG itch.  

\n

In Ni No Kuni, you play as a boy named Oliver, who has just lost his mother and only parent, and is racked with guilt. His tears bring the fairy plush toy, Mr. Drippy, back to life and they venture into the world of Ni No Kuni to find Oliver's mother and defeat the Dark Djinn, Shadar, and the titular villain of the game, the White Witch.

\n

In addition to having different spells and abilities themselves, each of the three rotating members of your party is allowed to use one monster -- called familiars -- at a time, in which the human and their respective monster share a health bar. Similar to other games, you can capture more monsters to expand your collection. These monsters all have evolution trees as well, although sometimes changes are more subtle, such as adding accessories or just palette swapping.

\n

The sequel, Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, will be coming soon -- and although the gameplay will be a bit different, playing or replaying the first game would be a good refresher before the sequel's release.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/b/p/dbpousxxgaidpum-5d83e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/b/p/dbpousxxgaidpum-5d83e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161129","description":"

Many were disappointed by the announcement of the new Nintendo 3DS exclusive sequels to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon -- called Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon respectively -- despite not being given much information.

\n

After changing up the long standing tradition of an updated third version with the the release of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 in the fifth generation, and entirely skipping an updated version of of the sixth generation games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, players weren't sure what to expect for the future of the seventh generation.  Many were expecting either the long rumored Pokémon Stars for the Nintendo Switch, or at least some kind of Switch port of Sun and Moon with cross play compatibility, similar to the recently announced Monster Hunter XX (double cross).

\n

Many players, however, forget that there are plenty of other great monster collecting games out there. They might not be as popular as Pokémon, but they are still great games which can stand out on their own. Here are 8 monster collecting games to try if the announcement of these new Pokémon games made you bitter like the taste of a Switch cartridge.

"}]]]>
5 Most Insightful Quotes in the Recent History of JRPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/hc9ww/5-most-insightful-quotes-in-the-recent-history-of-jrpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/hc9ww/5-most-insightful-quotes-in-the-recent-history-of-jrpgs Sat, 20 May 2017 11:00:01 -0400 Erroll Maas

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JRPG's may still have language issues when they come to the West, but translation has improved immensely since the earlier days of video games. But no matter how well a game has been localized, there will always be critics, -- and in the end the quality of the translation pales in comparison to the content and meaning of the quotes it's trying to convey. 

\n

It's always good to remember that between the confusing or questionable dialogue, some insightful lines get translated just enough so they can help inspire and motivate players. 

\n

The next time you're playing a JRPG that you feel could've had a better localization, keep an eye out for buried words of wisdom from main characters, bosses, or even random NPCs. You could learn something valuable.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-type-dadb5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-type-dadb5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"158563","description":"

King

\n
Final Fantasy Type 0 HD
\n
\n

"The past is gone for good, but the future's still ours for the taking. That's why we fight."

\n
\n

While Final Fantasy XV has a few insightful quotes, those from the less popular Final Fantasy Type 0 HD are a bit more inspiring.

\n

Why worry about the past if it's impossible to change? The future is never certain -- but even knowing this, it's always best to fight for what you believe in and fight for a better future.

\n

A simple quote from a mediocre game, but an inspiring one nonetheless.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-header-ee47e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-header-ee47e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"158479","description":"

Nobutsuna Kamiizumi

\n
Bravely Default
\n
\n

"There are no certainties in life. Righteousness and truth have a different meaning to each and every one of us. If you try to see the world as only black and white, you'll lose sight of its true nature."

\n
\n

This is one of the best quotes you'll find in recent JRPGs, and it's as relevant as ever.

\n

When we see only what we believe as righteousness and truth, we blind ourselves to hearing the beliefs of others and broadening our views. Not everything can be separated into right and wrong or good and evil -- especially in regards to something as complex and multi-faceted as humanity.

\n

A myriad of situations can be separated into grey areas of many different shades, and we have to put some thought into analyzing all the different aspects of a situation before judging it to be right or wrong.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/g/o/igor-persona-5a4c4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/g/o/igor-persona-5a4c4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"158478","description":"

Igor

\n
Persona 5
\n
\n

"Being at the peak may mean you are mere moments from your downfall."

\n
\n

Mysterious ally Igor has plenty of vague (yet insightful) quotes. That's kind of his whole deal. But this particular quote has relevance both to significant events in the game as well as in real life.

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When you're at your greatest moments in life, it's easy for everything to go to your head and lead you to a downward spiral. It's more beneficial to keep your wits about you even when life is going exceptionally well. That way, when you face a situation which could be your "downfall", the resulting aftermath won't be as intense or as difficult to deal with.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumbnail-be93938b-ebafe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumbnail-be93938b-ebafe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"158476","description":"

Oliver

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Ni No Kuni
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\n

"When things go wrong, you have to try and make them right. And you have to keep on trying, no matter how hard it gets. That's what life is all about."

\n
\n

While not applicable to every situation -- especially since it can end up making a situation worse -- this quote still rings true for many different circumstances.

\n

When we make big mistakes in our lives, it's usually best to do what we can to correct them. It might be a difficult task, but if we can keep pushing forward, we'll eventually be able to fix our past errors, and hopefully won't make the same slip-ups as before.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/d/med-gallery-56854-1312-29112-b8333.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/d/med-gallery-56854-1312-29112-b8333.jpg","type":"slide","id":"158473","description":"

Sora

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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
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"Hearts are made of the people we meet, and how we feel about them — they're what ties us together even when we're apart! They're what...make me strong."

\n
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It might be extremely cheesy (like a great deal of other Kingdom Hearts dialogue lines) but this quote still proves a point. Think about all of the important people you've met throughout your life -- the ones that stayed and helped you out when life got hard, the ones that still contact you every once in awhile just to check up on you, and even those who aren't in your life anymore. You're connected to all of them in different ways.

All of these people have had a significant impact on your life, whether in the past, present, or both. They have helped you grow into the person you are today. Our lives are all affected by the people we meet -- and in turn, we affect their lives as well.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/z/g/yzg7lhcljy7xterx0gwg-9f1b7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/z/g/yzg7lhcljy7xterx0gwg-9f1b7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"158571","description":"

Many JRPGs get a bad rap when it comes to dialogue, which is primarily due to translation and localization issues. From the late 80s and early 90s to now, some translations are still criticized -- despite being much better than they once were.

But despite poorly translated quotes like "This guy are sick." (Aerith, Final Fantasy VII) and "Please take care of me" (Protagonist, Persona 5) -- and the half finished translations of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -- there are actually some rather insightful words of wisdom that JRPG characters have provided players over the years.

These quotes tend to stick with us just as much as the sillier ones, especially if they resonate enough with us. They can help inspire and motivate us to do great things, or help us power through difficult times in our lives.

"}]]]>
Kingdom Hearts 3: The Characters Are Set on Stage https://www.gameskinny.com/tsei9/kingdom-hearts-3-the-characters-are-set-on-stage https://www.gameskinny.com/tsei9/kingdom-hearts-3-the-characters-are-set-on-stage Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 Unclepulky

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has been released in Japan, and is just days away from being released internationally. This game is actually made up of three separate games.

First, there's a HD remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. While not the best entry in the series, it does have some great moments, and it's vital to play in order to understand the story going forward.

Next, there's Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Rather than being a complete game, this is actually a series of HD cinematics based on the game Kingdom Hearts χ.

And lastly, there's the main reason most people are interested in this collection: Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage. This game primarily follows Master Aqua in the Realm of Darkness, the events of her adventure running parallel to the first Kingdom Hearts game. However, we also check in with Sora and the rest of the gang following the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

So, with Kingdom Hearts 3 set to be the next installment in the franchise, let's go over where all of our heroes are going to be at the beginning of the Xehanort Saga's final chapter.

Lea 

Lea is the Somebody of Axel, a former member of Organization XIII. Following Axel's death in Kingdom Hearts 2, Lea was resurrected. 

At the end of Kingdom Hears 3D: Dream Drop Distance, he saved Sora from becoming Xehanort's vessel, and, to the rest of the cast's surprise, turned out to be a keyblade wielder.

Many fans speculate that Lea will be one of the seven wielders of light in the final battle. Now, there's further credence to this theory as, according to Yensid, Lea has gone off to undergo training with the wizard Merlin. ("The Sword in the Stone" world confirmed?)

Ventus

Sadly for young Ven, his situation has not changed.

At the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ventus clashed with his evil replica Vanitas. Ventus was victorious, but at a cost.

He lost his heart, which would end up in Sora, leaving him in a coma. To hide him from Xehanort, Aqua locked him away in Castle Oblivion. Aqua promised that she'd be back to wake him up, but before she could, she was trapped in the Realm of Darkness.

Only if Aqua returns to the Realm of Light will Ventus be able to see another day.

Terra

Like Ventus, nothing has changed about Terra's situation. However, we now know more about it than we did previously.

At the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Master Xehanort possessed Terra, and consumed his heart in darkness. 

Many of us thought that Terra was gone for good. However, as we learned from his interaction with Aqua in the Realm of Darkness, he heart is strong enough to keep itself from being completely consumed by darkness.

So, while Terra is still possessed, there remains a chance of getting him back.

Roxas and Xion

I've lumped these two together for a few reasons.

First, and most obviously, they're best friends. Also, for the time being, it seems that their characters arcs were complete, and have no way of returning to the series. Lastly, they're both fan favorites.

When we last saw Roxas, he'd permanently become a part of Sora, accepting his fate with a smile.

Xion's story on the other hand had a much more tragic end. A failed replica of Roxas created from Sora's memories, Xion had to die in order for all of Sora's memories to be returned to him. However, it was worse than just that. When Roxas was forced to kill Xion, everyone, Roxas included, forgot she ever existed.

It's more than likely that Roxas will return in KH3, but I certainly hope that, at the very least, he finds a way to remember Xion. And if it were up to me, I'd find a way for them to see each other again.

After all, who else will Roxas have ice cream with?

Kairi

 In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2, Kairi was a damsel in distress. However, thanks to her meeting Aqua during the events of Birth By Sleep, she's a keyblade wielder.

We knew from the end of Dream Drop Distance that Kairi would be training in the way of the keyblade in order to bolster the ranks of the forces of light. This has led many to believe that she will be one of the seven wielders of light.

As of the end of Kingdom Hearts 0.2, we now know that she'll be joining Lea in training under the wizard Merlin. Given her history with Axel, ergo, her being kidnapped by him, it should be fun to see the two interact.

Who knows? Her resemblance to Xion may be enough to may be enough to make Lea remember her.

Master Aqua

Aqua's had a rough life.

In Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Aqua was living a peaceful life with her best friends Ventus and Terra. And then, immediately after achieving her dream of becoming a keyblade master... everything went to Hell.

Her and her friends were put through a series of hardships, and by the end of the game, Terra was possessed, Ventus was in a coma, and Aqua herself was trapped in the Realm of Darkness.

As we now know thanks to Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, Aqua hasn't aged a day due to having been living in the Realm of Darkness for 12 years. In addition, where as most people would have gone mad living alone for over a decade, Aqua has managed to keep her sanity, to the point where she actually played a major role in saving the day in the original Kingdom Hearts.

Aqua is still trapped. Once she's freed though, the darkness will have a new force to reckon with.

Master Riku and King Mickey

While KH 0.2 explained what Mickey was doing during the original Kingdom Hearts, it really isn't relative to what's going on now.

Riku on the other hand has firmly taken his place as a keyblade master, having passed the Mark of Mastery exam in Dream Drop Distance.

Since Sora has his own business to attend to, Mickey has chosen Riku to come with him to FINALLY free Aqua from the Realm of Darkness, and that is where the duo will be at the start of KH3.

The two have always had a strong friendship, and it'll be great to see more of it.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy

One of the biggest things people have been wondering about is how and why Sora is going to be a level one weakling at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 3.

Well, now we have an explanation.

As it turns out, when Xehanort tried to turn Sora into his vessel in Dream Drop Distance, he ended up stripping Sora of most of his power.

Not the best explanation to be honest, but it's better than nothing.

Regardless, Yensid still believes Sora to be their strongest weapon against the darkness. As such, he's sent Sora, along with Donald and Goofy, off to regain his strength.

And according to the very end of KH 0.2, KH3 will begin with the trio riding in the gummy ship off to Olympus Colosseum.

Also, in the English dub, Sora has hit puberty... hard.

...

It's weird.

Are you excited for Kingdom Hearts 3? What are you hoping to see from these characters? Let me know in the comments!

]]>
5 Amazing Handheld RPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/6wx98/5-amazing-handheld-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/6wx98/5-amazing-handheld-rpgs Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/5/3/s/53srr-bac69.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/5/3/s/53srr-bac69.png","type":"slide","id":"132473","description":"
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
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The Kingdom Hearts series has never been scared to experiment. This sometimes makes less than amazing results. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance felt less like an experiment than some of the other handheld games in the series, and it shows.

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While the story of Kingdom Hearts is an acquired taste, the gameplay in this title is fun and engaging. The Drop function was an interesting way of changing between Sora and Riku, and exemplifies the idea that the two are tethered together. The fights are fast paced and don’t feel like they’re punishing players for no reason. Dream Drop Distance was a great addition to the series.

\n

If you’ve never played any of these titles, give them a try. They are amazing games that will keep you engaged where ever you are. Did I miss your favorite handheld RPGs? Go ahead and comment why you love them.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/finalfantasytacticsadvancegbascreenshot-09990.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/finalfantasytacticsadvancegbascreenshot-09990.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132472","description":"
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
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Borrowing from its predecessor, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is an excellent strategy RPG.  It utilizes the grid system from the previous game, while adding a new story and characters.

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The game’s color palette is bright and vibrant, and the gameplay is pretty simple -- making it easy to understand for anyone with any RPG experience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halfminuteherofull888816-8c208.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halfminuteherofull888816-8c208.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132471","description":"
Half-Minute Hero
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While the story is pretty standard—a hero sets out to save their land from evil—Half-Minute Hero on the PSP is anything but. This RPG sets players out to save their world… in half a minute. Yes, the game lasts more than 30 seconds, but the concept is still interesting.

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In order to receive more time, Players must venture into towns and offer money to the Goddess. However, the price gets higher and higher each time. This adds another challenge to the game. There’s a perfect mixture of tension and fun, making this a memorable RPG.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-29b24.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-29b24.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132470","description":"
The World Ends with You
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The World Ends with You on the Nintendo DS is a treat. It introduces interesting gameplay mechanics and great characters that draw you into the world of the UG. Players play as Neku, a young boy who died and must play the Game for a chance to get back to life. He fights the Noise using special pins on the bottom screen, along with various partners, who players can control using the buttons and top screen.

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With an enthralling story and complex characters, The World Ends with You is an amazing RPG.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/3/p/p3p-bc493.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/3/p/p3p-bc493.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132466","description":"
Persona 3 Portable
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The Persona series has always had great RPGs. Persona 3 Portable on the PSP is no exception. It not only captures the fun and magnificent story of the Persona 3 game, but also adds more with the female protagonist.

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While the game is essentially the same, it gives you more interaction with the SEES team than in the original game. This allows for players to get to know these characters all over again, and in a new light. Persona 3 Portable is a fun and accessible handheld title for the ages.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/sony-psp-nintendo-20050328052605272-59a48.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/sony-psp-nintendo-20050328052605272-59a48.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132465","description":"

Handheld games are amazing. They allow players to carry their favorite series along with them where ever they go -- the bus, the park, the bathroom. Anywhere.

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This is especially great for RPGs. RPGs can be time consuming, so it might be hard to drop everything and play your favorite game. But with a handheld RPG, you can beat a stage and put your system in rest mode until you have more time. It's accessible and convenient. 

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So now that we've established why handheld RPGs are great, let's talk about which ones you should be picking up and taking along with you.

"}]]]>
Top 5 Most Wondrous Kingdom Hearts Worlds https://www.gameskinny.com/a2mw9/top-5-most-wondrous-kingdom-hearts-worlds https://www.gameskinny.com/a2mw9/top-5-most-wondrous-kingdom-hearts-worlds Sun, 01 May 2016 05:34:17 -0400 Synzer

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/r/world-that-never-was-96d33.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/r/world-that-never-was-96d33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113972","description":"

1. The World That Never Was

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This is an original world and is home to Organization XIII, the main antagonists in Kingdom Hearts II. This world provides multiple fun boss battles, Quick Time Events, and an overall detailed setting.

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It also was the setting of the teaser cinematic that had Riku fighting Roxas before Kingdom Hearts II came out, which is one of the best scenes in the series, besides the Birth By Sleep teaser.

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This is ranked #1 because overall, it is the world that I had the most fun in and was the most interesting. I love the name of the world, it really fits the Nobodies, and has an eerie/interesting feel.

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In Kingdom Hearts II, this is where the final battle takes place and there is a cool fight with Roxas while you are there. You eventually battle with Xemnas, which is a long, intense fight where you can even play as Riku!

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That's it for my Top 5 Most Wondrous Kingdom Hearts Worlds. Let me know what you think of the list and some of your favorite worlds in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halloween-town-9c92c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halloween-town-9c92c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113971","description":"

2. Halloween Town

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This world based off The Nightmare Before Christmas has some of the best costumes in the series. Sora's costume in Halloween Town is probably my favorite out of all of them, and Donald and Goofy blend in as well.

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The overall art and setting are on point and live up to what you'd expect from this Tim Burton film. Call me crazy, but the darker nature of this world greatly fascinated me. I always was a sucker for vampires (see what I did there?) and other spooky creatures like that.

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In the first game you actually work with Jack Skellington to find a new event for Halloween. He has a heartless and wants to get it to dance with him, so you help by finding ingredients he needs. You eventually fight Oogie Boogie and Jack realizes he can't control the heartless.

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I've seen enough cosplays of Halloween Town Sora to know that other people feel the same way I do about The Nightmare Before Christmas. This twisted world is just fun to revisit time and time again.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/space-paranoids-1d89e.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/space-paranoids-1d89e.png","type":"slide","id":"113964","description":"

3. Space Paranoids/The Grid

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This world is based off Tron, which is the reason I love it so much. The color scheme, lights, and look of Tron always fascinated me, and I was in awe as I saw it come to life in Kingdom Hearts.

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Space Paranoids is based off the first Tron movie and has you battling against the MCP.

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The Grid, which is based of the Tron: Legacy film, is where I really fell in love with the world. It has all the modernness the film had, complete with the updated looks and characters.

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The Grid world has you learning the basics of the movie from two points of views, Sora and Riku. Sora's version has you working with Kevin Flynn, his son Sam, and Quorra to fight CLU and Rinzler. Your mission is to find Tron's (Rinzler's) memories to restore him to his old self.

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Riku's version has him working with Sam and his father to find the portal so they can leave the world. He finds out that Quorra is an ISO, which is basically a new life form created by Kevin Flynn.

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I highly enjoyed going through this world more than once and seeing two different stories that add up to a complete version. Of course, light cycles were pretty boss, too. Plus, it has one of the coolest looking keyblades in the series, Dual Disc.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/pride-land-4db2f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/pride-land-4db2f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113970","description":"

4. Pride Land

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Pride Land, or Pride Lands, is based off The Lion King. It was a nice change of pace to see it offer you a unique experience by playing as a lion cub version of Sora. (By the way, I would not be mad if we could get more lion versions of Kingdom Hearts characters -- just putting it out there, Square Enix.)

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The Lion King is near the top of my all-time favorite Disney movies, so I took full advantage exploring and interacting with everything I could in this world.

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You start off in the world when Simba is already grown and living with Timon and Pumba. You help him out and go through the events that lead to him fighting Scar and becoming king. 

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It was also really cool to do it because Simba was available as a summon in the first Kingdom Hearts game, and now you could explore his world.

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There was a great grinding spot to level up easily as well, so I spent a lot of time here.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/port-royal-87499.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/port-royal-87499.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113966","description":"

5. Port Royal

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This Pirates of the Caribbean world blew me away the first time I saw it in Kingdom Hearts II. Since the movies are live action, they took a realistic approach to the graphics and I think they absolutely nailed it.

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I know I'm not alone when I say that I greatly enjoy the movie series, and to see the characters look like their on-screen counterparts was more than mildly amusing.

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What's more is that they even have quotes directly from the first film! My favorite line is, "Best start believing in ghost stories Miss Turner, you're in one!" When I first heard that in the game, I nearly flipped with happiness. 

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You spend your time watching and being involved with the events from the first movie. Fighting alongside Jack Sparrow was too much fun, and I liked the game play element of magic and moonlight being effective against the ghost pirates.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-32a4a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-32a4a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113963","description":"

Besides Keyblades, Kingdom Hearts is best known for the worlds they have in the games. These are usually Disney worlds, but there are some original ones as well. 

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Each world has its own characters and plot, but they brilliantly weave Sora and company into them. This fusion seems odd at first, but it works so well.

\n

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed playing a game that mixes Final Fantasy and other Square Enix games with Disney characters and movies. When I first heard about Kingdom Hearts, I thought it would just be some silly kid's game because Disney. Then, I tried it out and it was actually really cool.

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I was always a fan of both, so to be able to play as an original character and explore each of my beloved Disney worlds was more than I could have ever asked for.

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The music, plot, and characters are all memorable and important to me. I don't think any game made me feel the emotions that Kingdom Hearts did. I can relate to the themes of friendship and fighting against the darkness, and it really is inspirational to me.

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And that's why I'm going over 5 of the best worlds presented in the Kingdom Hearts series, based on setting, gameplay, or costumes.

"}]]]>
Top 5 Games in my Backlog I'll probably never Play https://www.gameskinny.com/uvuai/top-5-games-in-my-backlog-ill-probably-never-play https://www.gameskinny.com/uvuai/top-5-games-in-my-backlog-ill-probably-never-play Sun, 18 Oct 2015 08:42:53 -0400 Logan Moore

If you consider yourself a "hardcore" gamer, there's a good chance that you have extensive backlog of games that you want to play, but most likely never will. Also known as the Pile of Shame.

I have one of these dreaded backlogs myself; it's full of fantastic games that I'll probably never finish. Here are the top 5 games in my backlog that I am dying to play, but probably never will. 

Okami

Okami

I have wanted to play Okami since it was a PS2 exclusive. For some reason when I was younger, I never purchased the game and forgot about it. Luckily, it ended up coming out again on the PS3, and this time I swore that I wouldn't miss out. I purchased the game from the PSN Store when it went up during a flash sale, and I've had it downloaded on my PS3 since then. I have never once booted the game up, and I often forget that I even own it. Sadly, I doubt that I'll ever get the chance to go back and play the game I've heard so much about.

Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden

When I bought my PSVita a few years back, Persona 4 Golden was a Day One purchase. I had heard so many good things about the game and was ecstatic to get my hands on it. I played the game for roughly 10-12 hours and greatly enjoyed my time with it. For some reason, though, I just stopped playing it and never went back. I absolutely loved everything about the game - from the characters, to the combat, and even the story. Despite this, I still haven't made an attempt to go back and pick the game up again in almost a year. I'm hoping that I can finish the game before Persona 5 releases, but right now, it's looking doubtful. 

Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

I didn't know much about Ni No Kuni until it had already been out for a while. For me, this was one of those games where word of mouth really sold me on the idea. After so many friends suggesting that I buy the game, I decided to go out and purchase it. Just like Okami though, it has done nothing but sit on my shelf since then.

KH 3D

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

I've always been a big fan of the Kingdom Hearts games and when KH 3D came out, I purchased it on Day One. That was 3 years ago. I have only put the game in my 3DS maybe once or twice the entire time that I've owned it. For some reason, I just never felt like I was in the right mood to play. Luckily, the game will be getting re-released in the Kingdom Hearts 2.8 collection on PS4, so maybe I will finish it after all.  

Bloodborne

Bloodborne

I have never been a person who has played the Dark Souls games. However, when Bloodborne came out, I decided that I would give the game a shot. I still have yet to do that. Currently, I think that it's still wrapped in the original cellophane that I purchased it in. I want to get into this series of games so badly, but I don't know if I have the time commitment to do so. Maybe one day I will finally get the chance. 

These are my five games, but what are yours? What games do you have sitting in your backlog that you may never play? Let me know in the comments!

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New Kingdom Hearts game and KH III details? https://www.gameskinny.com/5dlzy/new-kingdom-hearts-game-and-kh-iii-details https://www.gameskinny.com/5dlzy/new-kingdom-hearts-game-and-kh-iii-details Wed, 09 Sep 2015 19:35:30 -0400 Larry Iaccio

In a recently updated LinkedIn profile, a Square Enix employee may have just given away new details on not only Kingdom Hearts III, but also an entirely new Kingdom Hearts game in general.

KH13 first broke the news and reports that the employee's profile from Osaka, Japan shows him working at Square Enix for a time span of 10 months from August 2014 to June 2015 which definitely seems to line up with the games production time frame. 

The first thing he lists in his experience is working on a game called Kingdom Hearts 2.9 which seems to coming out for both PS3 and PS4. Many are already speculating that this could be a remaster of the 3DS exclusive series entry, Dream Drop Distance.

The game designer also lists detailed work on his involvement with Kingdom Hearts III which includes some very precise wording and mentions things such as the Gummi Ship, multiplayer, and even Pixar.

 

Of course all of this is speculation, and its worth noting that this employee's profile has only 2 connections so it may very well be a fake, but there are definitely some signs that this may be real as well. Although I couldn't personally check the legitamacy of this leak due to some intense privacy restrictions, other sources seem to have had better luck and corroborate the story.

The first sign that leads me to believe this is a real, authentic listing is that around the time of E3 2015, there was a leak of Square Enix's press schedule before their conference which included a game known as Kingdom Hearts 2.9. Now of course this game was never shown at the actual presentation, but I definitely think it's too similar of a coincidence to not be real.

On top of that, after examining the employee's profile a little further, everything seems to be rather genuine. If someone really did take the time to go out of their way to set this profile up, they did a rather intricate job and put more work into it than 50% of the LinkedIn profiles I see of actual people.

So what do you think? Is this just another ploy to rile up fans' emotions or could this be a legit reveal? Let us know in the comments below!

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The top 10 Kingdom Hearts Moments [Spoilers!] https://www.gameskinny.com/8jb9j/the-top-10-kingdom-hearts-moments-spoilers https://www.gameskinny.com/8jb9j/the-top-10-kingdom-hearts-moments-spoilers Mon, 24 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Larry Iaccio

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1. Sora's Sacrifice

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Kairi is asleep, and Sora doesn't know how to wake her up. He sees Riku's keyblade lying on the floor and uses it to unlock his own heart to save Kairi. This means basically stabbing himself in the heart and dying in order to free his friend's heart.

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Donald and Goofy pleading with Sora to rethink his actions coupled with his reassuring smile right before he does it is emotional to say the least. The waterworks really start flowing when Kairi wakes up to see the remnants of the man who just saved her disappear.

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The focus then suddenly shifts to a very prominent heartless figure for some reason, but who knows why.

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Many people may disagree or have different moments, but these are the ones that I can vividly remember that either surprised me the most or evoked the most emotion. If you disagree or have any other moments, let me know in the comments below!

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2. Battle of the 1000 Heartless

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Maybe it's a little unfair for me to split up Goofy's death and this battle since they basically feed into one another, but I feel that both were huge surprises for fans.

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This is an all out war and it is glorious. This game pushed the PS2 to its limits and actually taking on these 1000 heartless made you feel like an invincible god in the best way possible. Although this battle can be beaten fairly easily with the help of certain enemy types, taking out your anger on the things that almost killed your friend makes this one of the most memorable scenes from the series.

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3. Goofy's Death

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After all of the insane-looking monsters this guy has fought, we see him get taken out by a boulder to the head. That's right, in an effort to save King Mickey's life, Goofy pushes Mickey out of the way and ends up getting clobbered with a boulder that appears to kill him.

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Donald and Mickey are pissed, and it's the perfect reaction to their long-time friend getting killed. This was honestly one of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire series, and makes the ensuing battle that much more satisfying.

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4. Sora vs Roxas

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In keeping up with the theme from my 5 pick, number 4 features the inevitable clash between Sora and his Nobody, Roxas. 

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At the time the battle takes place, Sora has no idea who Roxas is or the significance this battle has, only that this guy in the hood is 'evil' and claims to have defeated Riku before.

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On the reverse side, the audience and Roxas understand just how important this battle is. And while Sora may be the hero, you can't help but empathize with how hopeless Roxas is feeling, since all he was trying to do was understand his existence.

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Besides the emotions that come along with this battle, the battle itself is a good challenge and yields some impressive cutscenes.

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5. Ventus vs Vanitas

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Vanitas captures and threatens the life of Aqua and Terra. The only way for Ventus to save his friends is to meet Vanitas in the only place that the the x-blade can be forged: the Keyblade Graveyard.

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Ven knows that the destruction of Vanitas and his x-blade means the destruction of himself since they were forged from the same heart, but he engages in order to save his friends anyway. Ven emerges victorious, but that of course means he will pass as well. Ventus's heart is able to find its way into Sora's, though, allowing him to wield a second keyblade.

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6. The True Organization XIII

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After the Organization is basically obliterated during the events of Kingdom Hearts II, it seemed all but destroyed. Xehanort seemed to have other plans, though.

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He reveals in Dream Drop Distance that the Organization was originally made up of Nobodies so that each one could house a piece of his heart. This has been the plan since the beginning of Kingdom Hearts so that he could obtain true power of the keyblade and control Kingdom Hearts. He plans on using Sora as his last vessel, but Mickey, Riku, Donald, Goofy, and Lea interrupt him perfectly setting up the events for KHIII.

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7. Sora loses the keyblade...and his friends

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In a shocking turn of events near the end of the original Kingdom Hearts game, Riku shows up to confront you and Beast in the world of Hollow Bastion. Claiming that there can only be one keyblade master, Riku then somehow takes possession of the keyblade, and Sora is left with nothing more than a wooden sword. He falls down in defeat. Just as we think things can't get any more crushing for our hero, his two faithful companions for the entire game leave him.

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Donald and Goofy leave a defeated Sora since he no longer has the keyblade and no longer serves his purpose for their mission. It was a cold and heartless act that really made me feel alone in the game.

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8. Starting Kingdom Hearts II as Roxas

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After the events of Chain of Memories, it almost seemed as if the game would mean nothing more to Kingdom Hearts story than a mere dream. When we started Kingdom Hearts II, we quickly found out that this is not the case.

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Starting the game off as Roxas was a bold decision for designers to make, as players were very attached to Sora by that point, but it was a decision that paid off. This made Roxas's story hit home that much more and the game made you grow just attached enough to the character before ripping him away from you to allow you to control Sora again.

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9. Closing the Door to Darkness

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After finally defeating Ansem and thinking this guy just needs to give up, he pulls one last trick out of his sleeve and tries to open the door to Kingdom Hearts. Darkness starts spewing out of it, and basically everything looks like it's gone to hell until Sora kindly reminds Ansem that Kingdom Hearts is "without a doubt" light.

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Ansem gets swallowed up by the light, but the door remains open. Sora, Donald and Goofy are desperate to close it before all of the Heartless escape. Having a hard time closing this door, a restored Riku lends a hand to try and close it from the inside, but quickly gets surrounded by very powerful Heartless. King Mickey appears on the inside where Riku is and reassures Sora and the gang that there will always be a door to the light. Eventually they push the door closed and Sora and Mickey lock the door for good.

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Shortly after, we see Sora briefly reunite with Kairi before having to depart to find Riku once again. The two people who you have been after the entire game were literally in arm's reach of you and you had no choice but to let them slip away.

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10. Kingdom HeartsISecret Ending: "Another Side, Another Story [deep dive]"

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Kingdom Hearts was a fairly long game, and unlocking this ending was no easy task. You needed to conquer the Hades Cup, find all 99 dalmatian puppies, seal every keyhole, and complete Jiminy Cricket's journal - but boy was it worth it.

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Not only was this beautiful to look at, but it set up so many pieces of the story that would later become so crucial to the entire Kingdom Hearts franchise that left us completely dumbfounded back then. And let's be honest, seeing this hooded figure dual wielding keyblades was nothing short of bada$$.

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The Kingdom Hearts series is filled with incredible moments. The storyline has gone from relatively simple to incredibly complex, with dozens of characters' fates interweaving and affecting one another in subtle yet important ways. With all of these characters and games in the franchise, narrowing down the top 10 best moments in the series was no easy task, but these are my picks.

"}]]]>
Ultimate weapons should be more than just a trophy https://www.gameskinny.com/m4vep/ultimate-weapons-should-be-more-than-just-a-trophy https://www.gameskinny.com/m4vep/ultimate-weapons-should-be-more-than-just-a-trophy Sun, 16 Aug 2015 08:30:01 -0400 cdiponzia

Aren't ultimate weapons a glorious thing? You work so hard to get these cool, epic weapons that can kill almost anything with just a few hits. They are usually loaded up with cool effects, too - some may shoot world-destroying lasers, or some may get stronger as you lose health. Other ultimate weapons are so powerful (like the scarab gun from Halo 2) that you end up killing yourself because the power is too much. (Or you accidently looked down and pulled the trigger.) I may have 'accidently' killed my allies a few times with that one.

Yet, lately I can't remember going for an ultimate weapon. It seems like the very idea has faded into the shadows of the gaming world. I mean, yeah a lot of games still have ultimate weapons, but they don't have the ultimate weapon. 

The thing I loved about ultimate weapons (in games that had them) is the fact that they helped you progress through the game. Not only that, they were one of the most difficult things to acquire. Getting an ultimate weapon used to be one of the most rewarding things to do in a game. Sure, you often weren't be able to get the weapon itself until you were 75% done with the game. But at least you still had 25% of the game left to play with it! 

Not to mention that ultimate weapons would usually bring their own unique element to the game. For example, in Zelda Majora's Mask, there is the Fierce Deity's Mask.

The mask transforms you into a god-like form of Link that allows you to shoot giant energy waves with a swing of the sword. How often do you see that in other Zelda games? You can only get this mask for the final boss fight, but at least you get to have a fun epic battle with it.

Nowadays, when a game has the omega cool weapon of all time, it is treated like a reward for beating the game.

When I say beating the game, I mean beating everything the game has to offer. My greatest example is Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

KHDDD drop is one of my favorite games of all time. Despite being on a hand held system, the game had an amazing combat system and a fun story. However, my one complaint about it was timing for the ultimate weapon. 

I mean, look at this thing!

The ultimate weapon in KHDDD is one of the coolest-looking keybades ever. I was so excited to try out this epic keyblade as soon as I got it. However, when I finally equipped the keyblade that I shed tears and blood for, I looked around for something to try it on. 

There was nothing.

I had absolutely nothing left to do in the game. All the secret levels were beaten with the max score ranking. Every secret was collected or completed. All the ultimate skills were obtained. The strongest allies I could get in the game were in my party and maxed out. Most importantly, all the bosses were dead. 

To get the ultimate keyblade, you have to beat the secret boss. But to unlock the secret boss, you have to beat everything else. So by the time you get this awesome keyblade with stats that turn you godly, you have nothing to slaughter but a bunch of cannon fodder that you have already been murdering for the entire game.

I was left wondering: what was the point of this thing? Was it supposed to make me feel special? Is its sole purpose to sparkle and mock me about the fact that there is nothing left worth using it on? What's the point of an ultimate weapon if I don't even get to use it for something serious in the game?

What's the point of going for an ultimate weapon when it really is just the ultimate trophy? 

The worst part is, I couldn't even bring the keyblade to new game+. That's how it has been for a lot of games I've played lately. You get the ultimate weapon at the very end, but you can't bring it to new game+. 

So you're left with an epic weapon, wondering why the heck you went through so much agony to get it if it serves literally no purpose. Was it for the achievement that I will forget about in 5 minutes? For that superior feeling that will fade in 30 seconds when I realize I have nothing left to do?

You ask the weapon: where the heck were you when I was dying 5,000+ times against a single boss? Then the weapon looks at you and says, "Laughing in the end game watching you die 5,000+ times."

Super helpful, keyblade. Thanks. 

I get that ultimate weapons can be seen as an ultimate achievement, but leave that rewarding feeling to the little achievements that come with every game these days. The ultimate weapon should be a tool that the player earns, which will help them with the game. It should not be treated as a reward for beating it.

I remember some of my favorite games always had these long interesting ultimate weapon quests. Now, the ultimate weapons I see feel like they were just tossed into the game. Just so the player can feel special holding it.

Don't you miss the days of old when ultimate weapons served a purpose?

When you went on a grand quest to unlock an amazing power? I do. I miss the kind of games that made the ultimate weapon worth getting.

Despite this new trend of making ultimate weapons pretty much useless, I hold out hope every time I play a game. I ask myself: where is my Excalibur that will allow me to shoot giant laser beams? Will I be able to use said laser beams for any actual purpose?

More often than not, the answer is no. And that's just disappointing 

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7 Annoying Kingdom Hearts worlds https://www.gameskinny.com/3cmm7/7-annoying-kingdom-hearts-worlds https://www.gameskinny.com/3cmm7/7-annoying-kingdom-hearts-worlds Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Samantha Wright

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There you have it!

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What Kingdom Hearts worlds did you dislike? Can you make an argument for one of the worlds I included? Let me know in the comments below.

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Image source

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Atlantica/The Little Mermaid

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This one may have been a no-brainer. I hated this world with a burning passion. 

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Kingdom Hearts
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In the first game, the swimming controls were rather terrible. It was difficult to move properly and when you're supposed to be fighting Heartless, Ursula, or a combination of the two, lack of good control is not something you need. Fighting giant Ursula highlighted the lack of proper control even more. Now that boss fight was a pain.

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Kingdom Hearts 2
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Don't even get me started on Atlantica in the second game. I could go on for days about how much I hated it in Kingdom Hearts 2, so let me keep it short. I wanted a Kingdom Hearts game, not a musical simulator.

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The only plus to this world may be the fact that it was optional in the final mix of the first game. Well, that and the fact that Sora makes a good merman.

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Gif source

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Twilight Town

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Kingdom Hearts 2
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Twilight Town was a bad combination of Traverse Town and Destiny Islands. There were introduction quests like there were in Destiny Islands, but they were even more lackluster. Frankly, I don't care about The Seven Wonders of Twilight Town. I don't want to have to make all this money doing stupid jobs just to have it stolen. I don't care about the Struggle Tournament either. Not to mention, the characters were a lot less interesting to me. Hayden, Pence, and Olette were annoying and did nothing for the storyline. At least Cid, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith in Traverse Town were useful for the overall plot. They helped you fight and gave you new information and abilities.

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This world felt unnecessarily large as well. There were so many different areas and most of those were only necessary for one small moment in the very beginning. There was no reason to return to Sunset Terrace, the seven wonders area, after finding the wonders. The sewers were only good for the Organization XIII mushroom. There were two separate parts of the marketplace. There was the entire Old Mansion. Then there was the train station, the sandlot, and the Mysterious Tower which was only accessible through the train station. So much of the world could have been cut out.

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Kingdom Hearts 385/2 Days
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The sole purpose of this world was to watch Xion, Roxas, and Axel eat sea salt ice cream atop the clock tower. There was a brief glimpse of Roxas turning down an offer to join Organization XIII, but soon Axel sweeps in and convinces Roxas to become friends with him. This world was nothing more than friends bonding. As endearing as that is, could they not have picked a change of scenery every once in a while? You can bond in more than just one world, after all.

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Image source

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Monstro/Pinocchio

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Level design
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I have a terrible sense of direction. Thus, the maze that was Monstro did not appeal to me, especially as a child. I found myself wandering around for hours just killing Heartless because I had no idea where I was going. That being said, once you figured out where you were going, this world was ridiculously short. You went through a couple of chambers, met up with Riku, and got through the two phases of the boss battle. That was it. There was nothing more to it.

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Random spawning
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In Kingdom Hearts, Monstro was also very annoying just because of the fact that sometimes it would gobble you up and sometimes it wouldn't. If you needed to go back to collect missed trinities or missed treasure chests, sometimes you would just be out of luck. That little feature definitely made this world more of a nuisance than it needed to be.

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You get nothing! Good day, sir!
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After beating the Parasite Cage and saving Pinocchio you receive the grand prize of nothing. That's right. At the end of Monstro, you didn't get a single reward. No new Keyblade. No new abilities. You traversed that maze and saved Pinocchio for nothing. Talk about a just reward. I really did lose.

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At least in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep you could kill Monstro. You had a chance at some revenge for his annoyance.

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Image source

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Space Paranoids/The Grid/Tron

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Outfits
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The costumes are stupid. They look ridiculous, like the designers just strapped a whole bunch of blue lines on a grey suit and called it quits. Not to mention, that head gear does not go well with Sora's hair. It makes him look like a crazy scientist. Just give him a purple vial with smoke oozing out of it and he would be planning to over take the world.

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Kingdom Hearts 2
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The games were horrible. They dragged on forever. I was fighting Heartless on motorcycles for much longer than I would have liked. Not to mention, the controls for the section were a little weird. If they had given you some time to practice, it would have been fine, but they just dropped you in there without a word. Chances were you were dying on your first try and it would take you a while before you figured out exactly what worked in the games and what didn't so you could make it to the end. Considering the rest of the level was a breeze, this brief moment of difficulty just got all the more annoying.

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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
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The Grid was based upon Tron: Legacy. I'll admit I'm biased to this one because I hated that movie and all the characters from it, but The Grid focused primarily on the games. As mentioned, the games were annoying in Kingdom Hearts 2. I didn't want them to make a reappearance. 

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Image source

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100 Acre Wood/Winnie the Pooh

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Mini-games everywhere
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I don't hate mini-games, but too many of them and they can get annoying really quickly. 100 Acre Wood was a world full of nothing but mini-games. When you take into account how many other mini-games were in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2, this just felt like overkill. As much as I love Tigger, I didn't want to bounce around with him. I didn't want to swing Pooh. I didn't want to help find Piglet. Please. Just no.

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Torn Pages
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You couldn't get this world out of the way either. In order to complete the world, you had to find all of the Torn Pages first. Those were scattered across every other world you had to go to, including the final ones. If you were interested in completing this world, you had to wait until the very end. Basically, this meant you had to do a huge collection quest and then spend about 45 minutes doing mini-games. It was a whole lot of boring thrust into one world.

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Image source

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Beast's Castle/Beauty and the Beast

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Kingdom Hearts 2
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Xaldin. Xaldin was by far my least favorite boss in Kingdom Hearts 2. Not only did he have a weird reaction command that I still haven't figured out, his ultimate move that he spammed at the end of the fight was basically unavoidable. He was going to kill you and he was going to kill you a lot. It didn't even really matter how many times King Mickey stepped in to help out. Xaldin was going to laugh in your face and there was nothing you could do.

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Kingdom Hearts 385/2 Days
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This world just felt pointless and dragged out. You had to help Xion regain her Keyblade abilities and thus fight with a wooden stick, which is never fun if you recall the beginning of Hollow Bastion in the first game. Then you had to fight a giant Heartless which turned out to be an incredibly hard fight, for me at least. Yet the level still continued. You then had to track down Xaldin to figure out why he had yet to return to Organization XIII. That would be all well and good if we didn't already know the reason why Xaldin was there. Kingdom Hearts 2 was released over three years prior to Kingdom Hearts 385/2 Days. At that point, all the fans should know why he's there.

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Image source

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Olympus Coliseum/Hercules

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Olympus Coliseum had some cool concepts that fell short. And then crashed and burned.

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Kingdom Hearts
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The level is small. There's three areas you can enter and that's it. In the movie, there's Mount Olympus, the human world, and the Underworld. We get a very small glimpse of only one of those areas. It felt very underwhelming.

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The training in this level was annoying too. It wasn't too hard once you figured out what to do, but it was poorly timed. Olympus Coliseum comes after Destiny Islands, Traverse Town, and Wonderland. You could do this world even later than that if you wanted to. At least four worlds into the game, and just now you're giving us training? The player figured out how to fight properly ages ago. It was needed to kill the numerous bosses already fought after all.

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Kingdom  Hearts 2
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They made the level longer! We get to explore the Underworld! How underwhelming. The level was not designed well. All the areas looked exactly the same, just grey walls with some smoke here and there. It wasn't that great.

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The story for the level wasn't great either. The first visit was nothing but a collection quest, trying to retrieve the Olympus Stone. You do that and fight the Hydra, a disappointingly easy boss. In the second visit, you do another collection quest (big surprise), getting Auron's voodoo doll. Then you fight Hades. The level ends. 

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Kingdom Hearts 385/2 Days
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Roxas trains with Phil. He has memories of Sora. He then fights some Heartless and a Guard Armor. It's dragged out and it gets really annoying having to continuously go back. 

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Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
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As much as I appreciate Square Enix taking the beginning of the Hercules movie into account, it was poorly done. Ven just fights some Unversed. Terra has a moment of fighting the inner darkness with Hades obviously edging him along. Aqua continues her quest of trying to find Terra and Ventus and then fights Hades (like we hadn't fought him a million times before). The level design is very short, and, as before, a little useless.

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Tournaments
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The tournaments were pretty cool. It was a nice test of ability and fit well with the feel of the world. It even gave us a chance to fight cool bosses like Sephiroth that didn't really fit anywhere else in the universe. However, the tournaments got annoying and felt very useless. Most didn't net you any experience points. I'm fighting all of these Heartless, Nobodies, or bosses and I'm not getting EXP. It was a bit of bummer really. I know I got some weapons here and there for completing the tournaments solo or with a time limit, but that didn't make it any less disappointing considering how many enemies you had to fight. 

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You also had to wait around for them to spawn. I'm not a patient person. I want them available to me from the beginning.

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No Mythology
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Hercules centered around Greek mythology. Kingdom Hearts takes none of that into account. You fight the Rock Titan. You fight the Ice Titan. You fight Hades. Can you not see or talk to Zeus? Can you not explore Mt. Olympus? What about Hermes? At least add them into the tournaments as bosses so we have more to fight than just Heartless, Nobodies, and the same bosses over and over again.

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Image source

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I've seen a lot of lists when it comes to Kingdom Hearts and almost all of them revolve around the worlds. They're someone's favorite worlds or the most anticipated worlds or the worlds that someone most wants to see in Kingdom Hearts 3. I've decided to put a negative spin on it. These are some of my least favorite worlds out of the entire Kingdom Hearts series. I don't want to see these coming back.

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Warning: On the off chance you are reading this list prior to playing the Kingdom Hearts games, there are some very minor spoilers that you may want to avoid.

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Image source.

"}]]]>
6 infamous ship wars that almost broke their video game fandoms https://www.gameskinny.com/fa2pe/6-infamous-ship-wars-that-almost-broke-their-video-game-fandoms https://www.gameskinny.com/fa2pe/6-infamous-ship-wars-that-almost-broke-their-video-game-fandoms Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:25:46 -0400 Jackson Ingram

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. . . Kingdom Hearts (again): "SoKai" vs. "SoRiku"

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The Kingdom Hearts franchise is launched with a love triangle between childhood friends Sora, Riku, and Kairi (dubbed the "Destiny Trio"). Somewhere along the way, however, Sora moved out of a tangent role and into the epicenter of the great relationship debate. Ironically, this beloved series built around friendship and Disney characters has triggered one of the nastiest ship wars in video game history.

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Team Kairi
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There's a strong case to be made for SoKai. For one thing, they're probably as "official couple status" as any original pairing will ever be in Kingdom Hearts. Kairi is constantly referred to as Sora's "special someone" or his "light" and he thinks about her constantly while they're apart. Sora carries her lucky charm to the end of the worlds and back twice. Kairi's heart is able to restore Sora's form after he sacrifices himself to save her. Then there's the whole thing in Kingdom Hearts II where they're both super willing to take on Saix mentally or, in Kairi's case, physically for the possibility of their reunion. Oh, and Sora draws himself giving Kairi a paopu fruit, basically the most romantic gesture in the KH universe. And Kairi reciprocates.

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Team Riku
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Riku may have started out feigning a crush on Kairi, but he quickly drops that and proceeds to be as gay as humanly possible for the rest of the series. All of his actions - following the path of darkness, trying to redeem himself, taking on Ansem's form - were all for Sora. By the time Riku's swooping around to wake up his best friend between Days and Kingdom Hearts II, the fandom forgot about their rivalry entirely. This is obviously a boy in love. When everyone's finally reuniting before the final showdown in the World That Never Was, Sora actually falls to his knees, crying, begging Riku not to go. 

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Shortly afterward, they have the most romantic fight with Xemnas ever and happily resign themselves to dying together on the Dark Margin. Just to really hammer it in, Dream Drop Distance has them going on another adventure together in which their hearts are intimately connected and Riku dives into a nightmare to awaken Sora's sleeping soul. They're like a regular Orpheus and Eurydice, except with a happy ending.

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It's such a shame when ship wars get in the way of enjoying a great franchise, especially when there's such an easy, perfect solution. Do you ship? What are some clashing pairs you've run into? Tell us in the comments below!

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Kingdom Hearts: "AkuRoku" vs. "RokuShi"

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Roxas, Axel, and Xion, the fan-dubbed "Sea-Salt Trio," are the major players in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, during which they complete missions for the antagonistic (and highly shippable) Organization XIII. Despite being told they don't have hearts, these three all demonstrate deep emotions throughout the game and manage to establish a norm-defying friendship with one another. Naturally, the fandom decided that all these feelings needed to be channeled romantically. Only one question remains: with which pairings?

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Team Axel
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Kingdom Hearts II includes a pretty significant subplot in which Axel attempts to retrieve the critical "Key of Destiny" Roxas after the thirteenth member goes AWOL. It soon becomes clear that Axel isn't doing this just because the boss told him too. In fact, he himself ditches Xemnas soon afterward to find a way to bring Roxas back from his summer-ending merger with Sora. Rumors were soon flying about that these two weren't just "buddies," as the English translation states, but actually "partners," as in the original Japanese. They certainly have enough meaningful exchanges to make it a valid interpretation. And if all of that doesn't sway you to Team AkuRoku (a portmanteau based on their Japanese names), remember Axel's dying words to Sora. "[Roxas] made me feel . . . like I had a heart."

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Team Xion
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Poor, sweet Xion. When she was first introduced in Days, AkuRoku shippers were already out for blood, assuming that the mysterious fourteenth member had been shoved into Organization XIII for the sole purpose of ruining their One True Pairing. Whether you love her or hate her (and there doesn't seem to be an in-between), there's no denying the strong feelings between Xion and her counterpart, Roxas. And if you didn't break down when Roxas cradled her dying body, then maybe you don't have a heart, okay? I just . . . I just need a minute.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: "Sonamy" vs. "Sonadow"

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For a franchise about super-fast hedgehogs freeing cute woodland creatures from diabolical robot casings devised by a mad scientist named after eggs, you wouldn't think relationships would factor in too much. You would be so, so wrong.

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Team Amy Rose
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In mirroring the Mario/Peach relationship sweeping the gaming industry, Sega initially introduced Amy Rose as a damsel in distress. This quickly evolved into a one-sided obsessive crush. Seriously, Sonic should have filed a restraining order. But he didn't. And Amy mellowed, eventually. And while they're still not Facebook official, "Sonamy" seems to be getting closer and closer to canon.

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Team Shadow the Hedgehog
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Two destined rivals bound in eternal conflict . . . sounds . . . steamy? Okay, so I don't personally buy into hedgehog sexual tension, but a large chunk of this fandom does, so more power to them. If you look at it from the perspective of Shadow, you can kind of see it. Like, Shadow is already more-or-less obsessed with Sonic. Sometimes the lines between hatred and love can be a little blurry. The hedgehog heart wants what the hedgehog heart wants.

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The Legend of Zelda: "Zelink" vs. "Midlink"

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For almost 30 years, Princess Zelda and Link (known colloquially as "Zelink") have been the couple of the Legend of Zelda series. Sure, they've had their share of alter-egos that ironically were considered threatening to the ship (Link/Sheik shippers can be pretty intense), but overall they seemed pretty stable. Well, stable until their first legitimate challenger came on the scene in 2006 with Twilight Princess: Midna.

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Granted, a significant portion of the fandom doesn't bother with shipping at all since Link isn't very, y'know . . . vocal about his feelings, but the small groups of die-hard Zelink and Midlink shippers have made this clash the talk of Hyrule.

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Team Zelda
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Um, hello? She's kind of the main character of the series. Zelda appears in almost every game, and it is her legend. For each incarnation of Link, there seems to be an incarnation of Zelda, so they have the whole "soulmates in every lifetime" thing going for them. Plus, they've been through a lot together. Hyrule is perpetually in danger and date nights spent battling Ganondorf are frequent and mandatory. 

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Team Midna
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Link and Midna spend a lot of time together in Twilight Princess. Like a lot of time. Their relationship is fun and dynamic, and also laced with some romantic undertones. It all culminates when Midna regains her true form and she jokingly asks him if she has become so beautiful that he cannot speak. I mean, he doesn't say anything, obviously, but he seems pretty choked up by her appearance. And then, as Midna is leaving, there's that highly interpretative unfinished sentence before the Mirror of Twilight is shattered forever . . . "Link... I... See you later."

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Tales of Symphonia: "Sheloyd" vs. "Colloyd"

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Tales of Symphonia, part of a well-known Japanese RPG series, follows Lloyd Irving as he accompanies Colette on her journey to replenish their world, Sylvarant, with life-giving mana. On the way, they meet Sheena, an assassin from a parallel world, Tethe'alla, which vies for the same supply of resources. The two worlds aren't the only forces at odds with one another, however. The Lloyd/Sheena vs Lloyd/Colette ship war easily dwarfs that conflict.

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Team Sheena
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While admittedly not quite the "official couple" of Tales, Lloyd and Sheena have crazy amounts of chemistry and a quite a bit of heart. Lloyd admits that he feels like he can be himself around her, despite how flustered Sheena seems to get, and their mutual feelings become clear in the optional "skits." But that's just it. Most of these skits are optional. The player has to choose them to really get to the meat of their relationship.

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Team Colette
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Another pair with childhood friend points, Lloyd/Colette are very in tune with one another's thoughts and feelings and are bolstered by non-optional affectionate scenes near the beginning of the game. There's even a scene in Dawn of the New World, in which Lloyd tells Colette he loves her. That is, however, one of the optional skits. So even though Tales lays the groundwork for this pairing, the player has to follow through if they want it to be legit. 

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Final Fantasy VII: "CloTi" vs. "Clerith"

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This debate has been raging on for almost two whole decades, and the opposing sides don't seem to be any closer to reaching a resolution. Screw Sephiroth. If you go on Tumblr, the real villain of FF7 is apparently either Tifa or Aerith, each being frequently demonized by the rival perspective. Who should Cloud be with?

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Team Tifa
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Tifa and Cloud go way back. Originally childhood friends, Tifa convinces Cloud to join AVALANCHE to fulfill an age-old promise to protect her, though it's really she who wants to keep a closer eye on him. Tifa is there for him after he's manipulated by Sephiroth. She's there for him again when he's consumed with guilt. And finally, she's there after the defeat of Sephiroth's remnants, giving Cloud a family to come back to.

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Team Aerith
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Two words: Tragic. Romance. Remember that spoiler warning earlier? Pull it back up, because this is kind of a big deal. Ready for this? Aerith dies. It's like one of the most famous video game deaths ever, I'm kind of surprised you didn't know this yet. It's pretty clear that Cloud and Aerith shared a deep connection, especially given her spiritual reappearances throughout the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Things get significantly more complicated, however, when you throw Aerith/Zack shippers into the mix. So let's not.

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For those of you who don't know, "shipping," occurring within fandoms, describes the act of desiring two (or more) characters together in a romantic and/or sexual fashion, rooting for the progress of their relationship. Don't make the mistake of not taking this seriously. Some shippers don't mess around. When two popular pairings conflict, the results can be catastrophic. Think Alien vs. Predator. Godzilla vs. Mothra. Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda.

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These Ship Wars have ravaged several video game franchises. Here's a closer look at 6 of the most infamous examples.

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Beware of potential spoilers.

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