Kingdom Hearts Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Kingdom Hearts RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Kingdom Hearts 3: Gummi Ship Exploration Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/914q0/kingdom-hearts-3-gummi-ship-exploration-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/914q0/kingdom-hearts-3-gummi-ship-exploration-guide Fri, 01 Feb 2019 22:21:06 -0500 Synzer

Gummi Ships have always been an important part of the Kingdom Hearts series, but Kingdom Hearts 3 takes it to another level. In this new entry, you have complete freedom to explore the space between worlds, and there are many battles to fight, treasures to find, and missions to complete during your Gummi Ship travels.

This guide will explain the basics of Gummi Ship exploration, and it will outline the rewards you can get from doing it.

Exploration Basics

When you're in the world map, you can choose a travel location. If you have been to the location before, you can warp there instantly, and, if it is a world, you can choose to land at any of the discovered save spots.

Alternatively, if you have not previously visited a location, you can place a waypoint and explore on your way to the destination. There are a total of three areas to explore: Starlight Way, Misty Stream, and The Eclipse. You'll start in Starlight Way and unlock the other areas as you progress through the story.

When you begin to explore, there are several things to look out for on your mini-map:

  • Heartless Battles
    A Heartless icon means that there is a Heartless ship battle nearby. These battles work similarly to classic Gummi Ship levels in past games, and they come in three categories: Countdown, Speed Skirmish, and Boss Battles. 

    Countdown requires you to defeat a certain number of enemies before time runs out, Speed Skirmish requires you to defeat as many enemies as possible within a time limit, and Boss Battles are straightforward and only require you to defeat a boss.

    Each battle has a level indicated by a number of stars. The higher the star count, the harder the fight.

    You can also get ranks for completing each battle. A is the highest rank you can achieve, and ranks are determined by your score. You can increase your score by defeating more enemies, by finishing the fight more quickly, and by not taking damage.

  • Constellations 

kh3 endymion constellation

Taking pictures of Constellations grants you a special gummi ship. Special Gummi Ships can be used even if it goes over your limit, so these are great to have.

You can find these by looking for the huge white dots while exploring. They will form a shape and if you take out your camera, you will see exactly what it looks like.

 

  • Blue and Pink Crystals
    A blue diamond icon means that you will find blue or pink crystals at its location. Blue crystals give you Gummi Ship parts while pink crystals give you pieces to the zone's special blueprints.

  • Boost Rings and Spheres
    The yellow "+" icons on the mini-map indicate a boost ring or sphere. If you travel through one, you will get a burst of speed.

  • Treasure Spheres
    These gold spheres have a lot of treasure inside, including Keyblade Forge materials. When you reach one, you must shoot the gears until they line up with the circuits in order to open the sphere. 

Exploration Tips

Here are some tips on what to do while exploring:

  • Shoot the Black-Glowing Blue Rocks
    These rocks are scattered all around the areas. Shooting these rocks grants mostly Gummi parts, but you can also get crafting materials.

    The biggest reason to shoot as many of them as possible is that they can contain Damascus and Electrum, which are needed for high level Keyblade upgrades.

  • Collect Special Blueprint Fragments from Pink Crystals
    Each zone has 15 fragments that you can collect and combine to get a special+ Gummi Ship blueprint. You can get these fragments by destroying the pink crystals, so search all around the zone to find the blue diamond icon on your mini-map.

  • Aim for A-Rank in Heartless Ship Battles
    When you achieve a high rank in space battles, you will get treasure for that zone. At A-rank, you will get all the available rewards for that particular fight.

    You can view all the treasures available in each zone by pausing the game, then selecting Information. From there, you can select Treasures to see what you already have and what you can still get.

    You can also select Gummi Records to see which battles you've done and the rank you achieved for each.

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That's all you need to know to get started with your own Gummi Ship space adventures. For more tips and information, please check out our other guides for Kingdom Hearts 3.

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Kingdom Hearts 3 Orichalcum+ Locations for Ultima Weapon https://www.gameskinny.com/4hoq5/kingdom-hearts-3-orichalcum-locations-for-ultima-weapon https://www.gameskinny.com/4hoq5/kingdom-hearts-3-orichalcum-locations-for-ultima-weapon Wed, 30 Jan 2019 15:28:13 -0500 Tobbpitt

There are a few steps to getting the Ultima Weapon Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts 3. However, the hardest part is finding seven additional Orichalcum+ to make it. 

Finding all seven pieces of Orichalcum+ requires a fair amount of world-bouncing and playing minigames, but the end result is more than worth it for longtime fans of the series or Final Fantasy diehards. Who turns down Ultima Weapon? Nobody, that's who.

The most difficult Orichalcum+ to get are the ones tied to Trinity Sled, the Flantastic Seven, and the Omega Machine Gummi Ship boss. The one at the Moogle Shop seems a little flaky, but using the method outlined below will net you the ore in no time.

1. Moogle Shop Postcards

There's a random chance you can obtain a piece of Orichalcum+ from the Postcards you get for making purchases at the Moogle Shop. You have to be a little lucky here, though.

You can make getting this one more bearable by entering the shop and purchasing a single potion. If you're not given a Postcard, you can leave the shop and come back to try again as many times as needed to get the Orichalcum+.

2. Obtain 10 Treasures in Trinity Sled

You have to obtain all 10 of the treasures found within the Trinity Sled minigame to be granted a piece of Orichalcum+. Check out the following video showing the locations of all 10 treasures. Speak to Elsa to receive your Orichalcum+ as a reward once you've found them all.

3. Find 80 Lucky Emblems

Lucky Emblems are found throughout the game and 80 is a lot. You'll be hunting these things down throughout a playthrough, and with luck, you will have 80 before you even start to worry about Ultima Weapon.

4. Find a Chest in The Caribbean

The chest containing this piece of Orichalcum+ is found on Exile Island in The Caribbean world. Head to the island and look for the chest among the rocks on the island.

5. Find a Chest in the Keyblade Graveyard

This one's easier to get than most.

Spawn yourself in The Badlands and turn around. You should see a portal you can step into to get to the chest containing Orichalcum+. Very easy compared to some of these others.

6. Beat all Flan minigames with A rank

Finding the Flantastic Seven isn't that bad, but getting high scores in their minigames can be a little tough.

Below, we've just listed these out with the worlds they're in, along with the most important part: the minimum score you need to get an A rank. Good luck!

  • Cherry Flan: Found in Olympus (Min. score 20000)
  • Orange Flan: Found in the Kingdom of Corona (Min. score 23300)
  • Banana Flan: Found in Monstropolis (Min. score 22000)
  • Strawberry Flan: Found in Toy Box (Min. score 17000)
  • Grape Flan: Arendelle (Min. score 20000)
  • Watermelon Flan: The Caribbean (Min. score 29000)
  • Honeydew Flan: San Fransokyo (Min score 15000)

7. Defeat the Omega Machine Gummi Ship Boss

This big bad can be found in the game's final galaxy, The Eclipse. Make sure you bring along a decked out Gummi Ship for this fight. Beat it, and you've got the last piece of Orichalcum+.

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It took forever for Kingdom Hearts 3 to come out, do you feel it was worth the wait? Let us know in the comments, and look for our upcoming review and guides for Kingdom Hearts 3, including our keyblade list as well as how to upgrade keyblades.  

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Kingdom Hearts 3 Complete Keyblade Info Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/omtiz/kingdom-hearts-3-complete-keyblade-info-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/omtiz/kingdom-hearts-3-complete-keyblade-info-guide Wed, 30 Jan 2019 12:32:58 -0500 Synzer

Kingdom Hearts 3 has multiple Keyblades to choose from, and they are all unique. Some Keyblades are better suited for magic, some for physical attacks. Most of them have game-altering form changes.

With so many options, it can be hard to keep track of all the Keyblades and what they do. This guide will make that easier. Here we have a sort of Keyblade list, going over each of the ones obtainable in Kingdom Hearts 3 along with their stats, special skills, and form changes.

Keep in mind that there will be slight spoilers that reveal where you get the later Keyblades.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Full Keyblade List

Kingdom Key

kh3 kingdom key

  • How to Obtain: Starting Keyblade
  • Form Change: Second Form
  • Special Skill: Treasure Magnet
  • Starting Stats: 4 Strength, 3 Magic

Second Form is just an enhanced version of Sora's normal fighting style. It adds wider area attacks and a Stun Impact finisher that stuns enemies.

Treasure Magnet automatically draws in and collects nearby loot, and you can stack the ability to increase the effect.

Phantom Green, Midnight Blue, and Dawn Till Dusk

kingdom hearts 3 phantom green keyblade

  • How to Obtain: DLC
  • Form Change: Second Form Variation
  • Special Skill: Elemental Boost (See Below)
  • Starting Stats: 4 Strength, 4 Magic

You get these Keyblades by pre-ordering a copy of the game. Microsoft Store pre-orders come with Phantom Green, Playstation Network pre-orders grant Midnight Blue, and Amazon pre-orders give players access to Dawn Till Dusk.

These Keyblades all have a version of Second Form, but the form change behaves the same way across all three of them.

Regarding Elemental Boosts, Phantom Green gives Thunder Boost, which increases Thunder damage by 20%, and unlocks the Thundaza situation command. Thundaza is the highest version of the Thunder spell.

Midnight Blue gives a comparable boost and command for Blizzard magic, while Dawn Till Dusk comes with these bonuses for Fire magic.

Hero's Origin

kh3 hero's origin keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Olympus
  • Form Change: Counter Shield
  • Special Skill: Defender
  • Starting Stats: 5 Strength, 2 Magic

Counter Shield changes the Keyblade into a shield that you can use to block attacks. Each block gives you one charge, and you can hold up to two charges. These charges unleash a powerful strike when you attack.

Its Finish Command starts a short ride with Pegasus where you throw lightning bolts at nearby enemies.

Defender potentially increases defense by two when your HP is at 25% or below.

Shooting Star

kingdom hearts 3 shooting star keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Twilight Town
  • Form Change: Double Arrowguns, Magic Launcher
  • Special Skill: Magic Treasure Magnet
  • Starting Stats: 3 Strength, 5 Magic

Double Arrowguns changes the Keyblade into two guns that allows you to shoot in all directions. If you continue to build the Form Gauge to max before time runs out, the Keyblade can transform into Magic Launcher.

Magic Launcher turns the Keyblade into a huge cannon that can shoot big projectiles at the enemy.

Magic Treasure Magnet automatically pulls in and collects loot from enemies defeated by magic.

Favorite Deputy

kingdom hearts 3 favorite deputy keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Toybox
  • Form Change: Hyper Hammer, Drill Punch
  • Special Skill: Lucky Strike
  • Starting Stats: 5 Strength, 3 Magic

Hyper Hammer changes the Keyblade into a huge hammer that moves slowly but hits hard. If you continue to build the Form Gauge to max before time runs out, the Keyblade can transform into Drill Punch.

Drill Punch turns the Keyblade into a giant drill that lunges at enemies and can go underground to attack.

Lucky Strike increases how often enemies drop items.

Ever After

kh3 ever after keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Kingdom of Corona
  • Form Change: Mirage Staff
  • Special Skill: Leaf Bracer
  • Starting Stats: 2 Strength, 6 Magic

Mirage Staff changes the Keyblade into a staff that shoots rays of light and creates mirage clones of yourself when you dodge.

Leaf Bracer allows you to continue casting recovery magic, even if you are hit by attacks in the process.

Happy Gear

kh3 happy gear keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Monstropolis
  • Form Change: Agile Claws, Twin Yo-Yos
  • Special Skill: Focus Converter
  • Starting Stats: 7 Strength, 3 Magic

Agile Claws changes the Keyblade into rotating claws that allow you to do damage while using evasive maneuvers. If you continue building the Form Gauge, it can transform into Twin Yo-Yos.

Twin Yo-Yos turns the Keyblade into yo-yos that can attack distant enemies and move you close to them.

Focus Converter converts all Focus Prizes into large Focus Prizes. This allows you to use Shotlock more often.

The max Shotlock for Happy Gear allows you to create a network of portals and attack from all directions.

Hunny Spout

kh3 hunny spout keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete 100-Acre Wood
  • Form Change: Hunny Blasters, Hunny Launcher
  • Special Skill: Harvester
  • Starting Stats: 6 Strength, 5 Magic

Hunny Blasters changes the Keyblade into guns similar to the Shooting Star Keyblade's form change. Building up the Form Gauge further unlocks Hunny Launcher, which also works like the Shooting Star's Magic Launcher.

Harvester allows you to pick up one extra cooking ingredient each time you gather.

Crystal Snow

kh3 crystal snow keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Arendelle story
  • Form Change: Blizzard Claws, Blizzard Blades
  • Special Skill: Freeze Protection
  • Starting Stats: 4 Strength, 7 Magic

Blizzard Claws works very similarly to the Agile Claws from the Happy Gear keyblade. If you continue building the Form Gauge, it can transform into Blizzard Blades.

Blizzard Blades gives you ice arm blades to attack with and ice blades to skate along the ground.

Freeze Protection prevents you from getting the Freeze status.

Wheel of Fate

kingdom hearts 3 wheel of fate keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete The Carribbean story
  • Form Change: Highwind, Storm Flag
  • Special Skill: Waterza
  • Starting Stats: 8 Strength, 5 Magic

Highwind transforms your keyblade into a spear that gives all your attacks an extended range. If you continue building the Form Gauge, it can transform into Storm Flag.

Storm Flag changes your spear into a flag that can create storms and prevents your weapon attacks from being deflected.

Waterza allows you to generate the Waterza situation command without meeting the requirements.

Nano Gear

kh3 nano gear keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete San Fransokyo story
  • Form Change: Nano Arms
  • Special Skill: Stun Protection
  • Starting Stats: 7 Strength, 5 Magic

Nano Arms transforms the keyblade into one that uses a combination of the other keyblades' form attacks.

Stun Protection prevents you from getting the Stun status.

Starlight

kh3 starlight keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Complete Keyblade Graveyard story
  • Form Change: Second Form S
  • Special Skill: MP Haste
  • Starting Stats: 4 Strength, 4 Magic

Second Form S is very similar to the Kingdom Key's Second Form, except it has a different ability for the 3rd finisher. Ancient Light is a huge area attack that deals massive damage, which is determined by your Magic stat.

MP Haste recharges your MP 10% faster when you run out. Stack the ability to increase the effect.

Grand Chef

kh3 grand chef keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Get Excellent on every normal recipe in Little Chef's Kitchen
  • Form Change: Frying Pan
  • Special Skill: Wizard's Ruse
  • Starting Stats: 5 Strength, 7 Magic

Frying Pan transforms the keyblade into a frying pan that can be used as a shield and use flame attacks.

Wizard's Ruse potentially recovers HP proportionate to the MP you use.

Classic Tone

kh3 classic tone keyblade

  • How to Obtain: Get a high score in all 23 Classic Kingdom mini-games.
  • Form Change: Boom Hammer, Clock Drill
  • Special Skill: MP Haste
  • Starting Stats: 6 Strength, 9 Magic

Boom Hammer and Clock Drill work exactly like the form changes of the Favorite Deputy (Toy Story) keyblade.

MP Haste recharges MP 10% faster when it runs out and can be stacked.

Ultima Weapon

kh3 ultima weapon

  • How to Obtain: Craft in the workshop
  • Form Change: Ultimate Form
  • Special Skills: Combo Boost, Air Combo Boost, and Situation Boost
  • Stats: 13 Strength, 13 Magic

Ultimate Form allows Sora to deal very high damage with wide area attacks. It is by far the strongest of all the keyblade forms.

Combo Boost and Air Combo Boost increase damage done by combos and air combos. Situation Boost fills the situation command gauges more quickly as you defeat enemies.

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That's all for the this Kingdom Hearts 3 Keyblade guide list. Now you can plan out which Keyblades you'll want to upgrade first in the Keyblade Forge. Remember to head over to our Kingdom Hearts 3 guides hub for more tips and strategies, including where to find Orichalcum+ for the Ultima Weapon, and how to upgrade keyblades

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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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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.

"},{"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-nobodies-kingdom-hearts-what-nobody-2b2c4.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-nobodies-kingdom-hearts-what-nobody-2b2c4.png","type":"slide","id":"193334","description":"

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.

"},{"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-what-happens-aqua-890bf.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-what-happens-aqua-890bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193332","description":"

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.

\n

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. 

"}]]]>
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!

"},{"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/8/3/5/835c1bfbbbb6487.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/8/3/5/835c1bfbbbb6487.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192900","description":"

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

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Game: Kingdom Hearts II
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Moment 7: Aqua's Finale

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Game: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Moment 8: Lea's Keyblade

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Game: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

"}]]]>
The Tea: 10 Characters That Should Never, Ever Be in Super Smash Bros. https://www.gameskinny.com/66y58/the-tea-10-characters-that-should-never-ever-be-in-super-smash-bros https://www.gameskinny.com/66y58/the-tea-10-characters-that-should-never-ever-be-in-super-smash-bros Thu, 09 Aug 2018 10:11:32 -0400 Jackson Ingram

I’m not here to add to the never-ending hot takes of who I think should be in Super Smash Bros. I'm neither interested nor qualified to choose more Nintendo warriors to beat the snot out of each other in the upcoming (glorified port) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

After the recent Nintendo Direct, there's already going to be more fighters than there are Harley Quinn cosplayers at Comic-Con. It's a swollen roster, people. And besides, there are only so many cases one can make for Waluigi before we have to give up.

Enough of that! Just get your Waluigi fix in Mario Tennis and on Fanfiction.net like the rest of us!

Anyway, I'm instead here to stir the pot. I’m going to start controversy!

I’m going to make a listicle because Buzzfeed has conditioned me into thinking that's an acceptable way to make an argument. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Characters who absolutely should not be in Super Smash Bros. under any circumstances.

Fight me.

1. Pauline (Donkey Kong, Super Mario Odyssey)

The Original 8-Bit Damsel has really made a name for herself as the mayor of New Donk City. She has an infrastructure to run, city council meetings to schedule, jazz bands to lead. As much as I’d love to kick DK’s monkey ass while rocking that (iconic) red pantsuit, my girl Pauline, is too busy fighting the unemployment rate to throw down in Final Destination.

2. The Titular Hollow Knight

Yes, it’d be so baller to throw down as the little bug dude, except Hollow Knight is just so hard. In my clumsy hands, I'd just send the Knight scuttling off the nearest edge again and again and again, all while better, worthier platformers used their Knights to do backflips over me. And then they'll turn me into a bug-kabob. My self-esteem doesn’t need that.

3. Epic Mickey Mickey

Despite how much Kingdom Hearts conditioned me to like this game, I now have the hindsight to see what a mechanical mess it was. I just wish I could’ve realized this before I bought the sequel, which I recently exchanged at GameStop for a whopping $1.99. Thanks, Disney.

4. Kingdom Hearts Mickey

“Say fellas, did someone mention the Door to Darkness?” No, GOD, get OUT OF HERE. And stop making my Kingdom Hearts obsession more embarrassing than it already is. Every time "the King" mouse-rolls into the scene to dual-wield more hamfisted wisdom, I fondly think back to the days when Mickey was a mute.

5. Professor Layton (Professor Layton Series)

Okay, he had a few sword fights, just two or three, among countless hours of puzzle-solving and mystery-cracking. That doesn't make him Indiana Jones, folks. Just because P. Layton could skewer me (and I’d probably thank him afterwards) doesn’t mean the good Professor should have to go toe-to-claw with Ridley. Let the poor man retire to some quiet cottage in the English countryside. That goes double for you and your watered-down spin-offs, Level-5.

6. The Enormous Eel From Super Mario 64

The eel isn’t on this list because I think it’s a bad idea. I’m just thinking about screen space here. Back when Smash forced you into hyper-competitive four-person friend groups, this could’ve worked, but now that Nintendo has merged those friend groups into a whopping octet, Eely just ain’t gonna fit onstage.

7. Tingle (Legend of Zelda Series)

Out of the laundry list of reasons why Hyrule Warriors shouldn’t exist, Tingle floats to the very top, like a spandex-clad, homophobic caricature of a hot-air balloon.

8. Tony (Earthbound)

On the other end of the spectrum, Tony would be the gay icon I’ve been waiting to join Smash. But just because he would totally die for Jeff, that doesn’t mean he should have to. For the greater good, he should stay side-lined while my friends and I fight over who gets to be Peach.

9. Any of the Arms Characters

Um, pardon me, no one invited you, Betty Spaghetti.

10. The entire cast of Homestuck

This is from the dystopian future AU in which Nintendo not only buys out MSpaint-adventures, but decides to completely lean into Smash overpopulation. Super Smash Bros X will include all 900 Homestuck characters, moving en masse. Instead of attacking, they just obfuscate the whole screen and suck other fighters into massive plot holes.

Fandom Freak-Out

Instead of giving you a thought-provoking, artistic piece of fan culture this week, I’ll leave you with this, the greatest Smash Bros mod ever made, and then drop the mic.

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What characters don't you want in Smash? Does using "smash" as a verb sound vaguely dirty? And finally: did anyone actually like Hyrule Warriors?

Until next time. Stay steamy.

The Tea (never timely, always hot) is a weekly column steeped in gaming culture and the fandom experience. Tune in Thursdays for another cup of steamy content.

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The Tea: This Kingdom Hearts Project Turns a Let's Play Into Art https://www.gameskinny.com/0wkts/the-tea-this-kingdom-hearts-project-turns-a-lets-play-into-art https://www.gameskinny.com/0wkts/the-tea-this-kingdom-hearts-project-turns-a-lets-play-into-art Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:09:30 -0400 Jackson Ingram

Remember when Kingdom Hearts was just “Disney meets Final Fantasy”? Who knew that would be as simple (and clean) as it’d get. Spanning nine titles and nearly as many platforms, KH has built a franchise the way I might build a cake: foregoing the advice of actual bakers to add layer after layer until I have a deliciously unstable cake-tower, loosely held together by candy-sweet frosting and regret.

Call it complexity or convolution, but we’re like seven “side games” from calling KH coherent. It’s a growing pain Square-Enix has been scrambling to alleviate with PS4 remasters of the entire series, all in the hopes that new fans can theoretically get up to speed before the long-long-long-awaited release of Kingdom Hearts III next year.

But let’s be real: who has time to replay all those games? Better question: who actually wants to keep playing Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]? Yes, there are now official recap videos, but this story’s been brewin’ for 15 years. How can a cutscene compilation do it any justice?

Enter Marco, better known as Everglow, who’s made a bit of a name for himself among KH diehards for his playthroughs, Union χ[Cross] story translations, and, of course, the 30-min extended KH tracks that have quickly taken over my music playlists. À la Jiminy Cricket, Everglow’s been a steady KH chronicler since 2012, but this past April, he launched his most ambitious project to date: retelling the entirety of the Kingdom Hearts saga. In video. Chronologically.

At first glance, Everglow’s Kingdom Hearts Timeline (KHT) might sound deceptively simple, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just another playthrough. KHT lines the very scattered pieces up in the exact order they occur. So like, Aqua is chugging through the Realm of Darkness while Sora is making his first (of so, so many) trips through Agrabah. Untangling 15 years of interwoven plot threads would be a huge undertaking on its own, but KHT takes it several Sora-shoe-sized steps further by setting out to retell the KH saga as effectively (and affectingly) as possible.

Top and above: Most episodes pull from several titles to realign the story chronologically.

We’ve seen cutscene compilations before, of course, but even Nomura-certified ones, like the Days and Coded “movies”, fall flat because video games, by virtue of their medium, tell the bulk of their stories through first-hand experience. With this in mind, Everglow creates each episode with a balanced mix of cutscenes and gameplay, carefully curating a unique rhythm that gives viewers a full experience without getting bogged down with wave after wave of button-mashing.

It’s Everglow’s unique blend that sets KHT apart, and, in my opinion, the franchise should look to this style and pace of storytelling as we take our first uncharted steps into whatever the hell they have cooked up after the Xehanort Saga.

[Re]Birth by Sleep

The Timeline begins, of course, by taming the international cash cow that is Kingdom Hearts χ (including its browser title, the mobile game before and after its rebranding, and the almost nonsensical CGI movie) into a story that not only makes sense, but means something. As impressive a feat as that is, however, it’s when we hit Birth by Sleep that the Timeline really begins to shine.

To be quite honest, I’ve never been a huge BBS fan. It’s whole ~thing~ back in 2010 was having three player-characters, which is conceptually dope as hell. The less dope part was that the tri-pronged approach made you play through the same events through three different perspectives, in three separate playthroughs. And let me tell you, Disney Town’s happy-go-lucky minigames weren’t any more charming the third time around than they were the first.

The pacing goes to hell almost immediately, and the characterization goes with it. We spend about 15 hours with each of the main protagonists -- Terra, Aqua, and Ven -- and get told over and over what a special friendship they have, but we never see it for ourselves because the gameplay demands that they stay isolated until the game's climax (which KH2’s secret movie spoils almost in full).

That makes it really hard to care about them as a fractured friend group, instead of just seeing a handful of whiny young adults who could use some communication counseling. Stop telling me about your problems! Talk to each other! Geez!

Everglow braids these three separate threads into a much stronger, united story. Instead of running the level gauntlet one keybearer at a time, we stick around in each world for complete, cohesive, well-paced arcs (typically starting with Terra accidentally screwing something up, Ven wandering around like a dope, and Aqua trailing after them, picking up the pieces).

The dissonant highs and lows of their friendship begin to harmonize.

More Than a Let’s Play

The way I see it, there are two types of people: those who ask, “Why would anyone want to watch a video game?” and those who backlog their Watch Later playlist with Let’s Plays. Like it or not, video games have carved out a cultural moment in which Mario Tennis is as much a spectator sport as its real-life counterpart. It’s a thing.

And while I’m truly allergic to obnoxious YouTuber culture, I often power through the bad jokes and running commentary because there are some games that I want to experience even when my bank account won’t let me. It’s kind of like having to go over to an annoying friend’s house to play something, and they almost ruin it by never shutting up.

With the Timeline, it’s all the joys of Kingdom Hearts with none of the usual Let’s Play detractions. In fact, I’d almost rather watch Everglow’s videos than play the games myself. His gameplay is so masterful and so artistic that it quickly becomes an integral part of the storytelling.

Birth by Sleep has one of the most robust ability systems in the franchise, filling out each character’s deck with individualized skillsets with which Everglow makes every fight dynamic. Some of the larger beats of each boss battle I’m sure he planned out in advance, but because this is a video game, he also has to choreograph as he goes, tweaking and improvising so that the finishers goes off like clockwork, leaving the most lasting impact every step of the way.

Like a painter in front of three distinct color palettes, Everglow uses Terra, Aqua, and Ven's moves to engineer cinematic moments on the fly, all while incorporating stylized touches to evoke their distinct personalities. Watching him, it’s almost like seeing an actor embody a character onstage.

Ever-patient Aqua takes her time in battle, often letting her opponent strike first and, in the climax of the story, shows serious restraint in some of the fights against her own friends. Meanwhile, Terra rushes in, fitting for his impulsive nature. And the way Ventus breezes around the arena, the fights are as much a carefree game to him as they are to the player.

It’s these tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it details that elevate the gameplay to an art form I’ve never seen in Let’s Plays before.

Check out the 16:00 mark for an excellent example of how Everglow blends gameplay and storytelling.

Perhaps the best example of this project’s thoughtful innovation is its use of Trinity Limits. While the Trinity Limit has been a staple Kingdom Hearts attack, Birth by Sleep uses it specifically to evoke the bond between Terra, Ven, and Aqua. When Everglow deploys his Limits at key moments, he ups the emotional stakes by editing in character voiceover that best illustrates the complex dynamics between the three.

Let me tell ya, the "dynamic" in question is not always unconditional love, which makes it all the more interesting. I honestly thought I’d get bored of them toward the end, when there was at least one Trinity Limit per episode, but because of the nuance behind the chosen dialogue and the Limit’s use as a finisher to critical boss fights, Everglow makes each of them feel just as fresh and impactful as the first.

The cutscene edits and in-game characterization truly work wonders together, fittingly coming to a head at the climax of the game in “Episode 30: Destiny is Never Left to Chance,” whose montage (recapping the Wayfinder Trio’s friendship amidst its collapse) actually left me breathless.

Fandom Freak-Out

This week’s entire column is technically the the Fandom Freak-Out, but it’d be wrong of me to (rightfully) laud the Timeline as the greatest multimedia contribution to the Kingdom Hearts fandom without giving mad kudos to some of the brilliant contributors to the "A" side of this AV masterpiece.

Beginning around Radiant Garden in the Birth by Sleep leg of the Timeline, Everglow begins incorporating several of Project Destati’s acclaimed orchestrations at key moments. My favorite so far has to be the inclusion of Riku’s theme from their first full-length album Light at the part of Birth by Sleep in which he inherits the keyblade from Terra.

Project Destati made waves this past March with the long-awaited release of their second album, Darkness, and have already hinted (through their surprisingly robust social media presence) at a third in the works (because the best things in KH come in threes).

Project Destati describes themselves as “a celebration of the rich musical score of the Kingdom Hearts games.” Outside the context the cutscenes and boss battles, the music tells a story itself, constructing impressive and moving arcs that flow across their discography. In this sense, Project Destati pairs perfectly with Everglow’s project, both succeeding telling a tale (as old as time) in a completely new way.

I can only imagine what the Timeline will do with Darkness’s 10-minute "Xion" track once we hit Days. I’ll keep tissues on-hand for that one.

The Final Swallow

I can't say it enough: Everglow’s Kingdom Hearts Timeline is a gift. If you’re a newbie trying to machete your way through the lore before KH3 or an old fan looking to experience the story in a fresh light, this project is for you.

Right now, Everglow’s still working his way through KH1 (which plays out interspersed with Aqua’s journey in 0.2), and the parallels are bananas good. Don't believe me? Check out what he did with Neverland. If you start now (and watch pretty much non-stop for three days), you should catch up right before KH's climax, which promises to be a hell of a show.

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That's all for this week, folks. In the comments below, tell me about your Let's Play experiences. What are your favorites? Why do you watch them? Let's get talkin'.

The Tea (never timely, always hot) is a weekly column steeped in gaming culture and the fandom experience. Tune in Thursdays for another cup of content!

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Ranking the Kingdom Hearts Games From Worst to Best https://www.gameskinny.com/jh0wl/ranking-the-kingdom-hearts-games-from-worst-to-best https://www.gameskinny.com/jh0wl/ranking-the-kingdom-hearts-games-from-worst-to-best Fri, 25 Jan 2019 00:03:46 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

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1. Kingdom Hearts

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The game that started it all has to be the game to make it to the top of the list. Sure, the combat isn't as refined as its sequels, and the platforming wasn't that responsive, but it's remarkable that this 2002 title still holds up in 2019.

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The combat is simple, but it's still a blast to fight against the hoard of Heartless. Meanwhile, the worlds of Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, Aladdin, and the rest are beautifully recreated in 3D that still looks good.

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The writing manages to perfectly capture each of the various films' spirits, and the simple yet effective story of Sora's search for his friends still manages to hit home. It's the closest that the series gets to feeling like an interactive Disney film.

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It is easy to see why Kingdom Hearts captured the heats of millions, and it just goes to show that great game design and storytelling never gets old. Here's hoping there's more of the Kingdom Hearts universe after its third home console installment.

"},{"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-3d132.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-3d132.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193649","description":"

2. Kingdom Hearts II

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After 4 years of waiting, fans finally got a proper follow up to Kingdom Hearts in Kingdom Hearts II. Sora, Donald, and Goofy's adventure to find Riku and King Mickey expands upon the original, introducing new combat abilities, like drive forms and limit attacks, as well as improved level design and Gummi Ship sections.

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There are more Disney worlds to explore, including Mulan, The Lion King, Tron, and Pirates of the Caribbean, with none feeling out of place.

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Kingdom Hearts II has a few stumbles, like having one of the worst tutorials of all time and a lack of difficulty, but it's still a sequel that's almost as good as the original. 

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3. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

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First teased in the secret ending to Kingdom Hearts II, this prequel moved away from the story of Sora, Riku, and Kairi (somewhat), and instead focused on a new trio of angsty teens: Ventus, Terra and Aqua.

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Taking place 10 years before the events of the original, Birth by Sleep sees the three on their own adventures that sadly ends in tragedy, as they become manipulated by Master Xehanort's plan to obtain Kingdom Hearts. 

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Playing as three characters, each with a unique personality, helps mix things up, as it allows us to get to know each of the characters before their unfortunate fates.

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While the game has shown a bit of its age, with each world feeling much more confined than past entries and the characters playing extremely similarly to one another, being able to craft new abilities does help alleviate some of the issues that plagued past handheld titles.

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Furthermore, the handful of Disney worlds that were chosen to be in Birth by Sleep, including Lilo and Stitch, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, still manage to retain some of the charm of the films that inspired them. 

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Also, how can you say no to a game that features two of the biggest sci-fi actor's of all-time in Mark Hamill, as Master Eraqus, and Leonard Nimoy, as the villainous Master Xehanort? You just can't.

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4. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

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Dream Drop Distance may have been another handheld game, but it does enough in setting up the events of Kingdom Hearts III to justify its existence.

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The worlds are decent at making you feel like you're in your favorite Disney films, and they contain much larger environments than some of the games in the series. Meanwhile, the combat is expanded with the new Flowmotion system, allowing you to pull off various attacks by using your surroundings.

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It's not perfect, as the Pokemon-like Dream Eaters feels needless, and the plot does start to become convoluted near the end, but it's worth checking out on either the 3DS or PS4.

"},{"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/h/r/khrecom-wallpaper3-std-785fa.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/h/r/khrecom-wallpaper3-std-785fa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193594","description":"

5. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

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While it was the first sequel to Kingdom Hearts, many saw Chain of Memories as just a watered downed repeat of the original put out on the Game Boy Advance. It didn't help that it featured a card-based battle system rather than the typical one that many were used too.

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While it is an impressive title for the GBA, featuring a card system that requires some strategy and solid looking 2D sprites, its port from handheld to console robbed it of some of its charm.

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That is, the 3D worlds of the GBA release feel much smaller and more confined when put side by side with Kingdom Hearts. This was acceptable on a handheld console like the GBA, but not so much with the PS2 version, as expectations are much higher for a home console.

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Furthermore, the reused and cramped worlds mean that combat can become a chore to play through, especially since there is nearly 30 hours of gameplay in Chain of Memories. Other games in the series at least try to mix things up with different gameplay types.

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Featuring nothing but combat, this game quickly becomes monotonous, and it makes it hard to see the plot through to its conclusion, despite the story holding up adequately.

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Also, that Vexen Boss fight can go straight to the darkest realm of the Darkness.

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6. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

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After Kingdom Hearts II, fans were aching for the next installment of the beloved series. What they got was... something.

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Taking place between Kingdom Hearts I and II, 358/2 Days is sort of the origin story of Roxas, focusing on his days with Organization XIII. Throughout, we see Roxas learning about his true nature and hanging out with his friend Axel and newcomer Xion. What follows is an adventure that... exists.

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The best way to describe 358/2 Days is that it is a game of its era. It is impressive to see a game like it on the DS, but it just doesn't really hold up that well.

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Its mission structure limits how much you can explore in each of the worlds, compared to previous games, and the writing for these worlds is lacking the spark that the films that they are based on had. Moreover, the main plot moves at a snail's pace.

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Top all of this off with a lackluster combat system, repetitive levels, and a story that's only for diehard fans, and you'll see why this and Re:Coded were relegated to animated films in the various HD collections.

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7. Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded

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Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded originally started its life as an episodic cellphone game in Japan, beginning in 2008 and ending in 2010, before being released on the Nintendo DS. This version came late in the DS's lifespan, and many would agree that it's easily the worst game in the series.

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Re-Coded is more of a filler game than anything else, with only small details that progress the over-arching story of Kingdom Hearts. It's such a pointless installment that many were relieved to hear that it was just remade into a movie when it was released in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix.

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The game reuses every world from the original Kingdom Hearts and attempts to shake things up by adding different bits of gameplay to each of the various worlds. However, it suffers from being a jack off all trades, master of none.

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No element feels interesting or fun, as the various mechanics are not fleshed out, and none of the joy or wonder from past games is present, with the re-used environments feeling like pale imitations of their PS2 counterparts.

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I can't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty sure that no fan will say this game is their favorite. 

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It has been over 12 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts II, and fans have been patiently waiting for Kingdom Hearts III ever since. Now, this new entry is finally coming out in less than a week, and I think it's easy to say that, with new worlds and tons of amazing gameplay footage already revealed, many are excited to get their hands on the game.

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With that said, there have been a plethora of games in the series released after Kingdom Hearts II, and it's about time to see where they rank from worst to best. To make it on this list, the only requirement is that it has to have been released on an actual game console, so don't expect to see the likes of Union X here.

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Place Your Bets Now: These Cosplays are Definitely Coming to 2018 Convention Floors https://www.gameskinny.com/ancfy/place-your-bets-now-these-cosplays-are-definitely-coming-to-2018-convention-floors https://www.gameskinny.com/ancfy/place-your-bets-now-these-cosplays-are-definitely-coming-to-2018-convention-floors Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:00:33 -0500 Stephanie Tang

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Did we miss anyone else you think will really blow up conventions? (And when I ask this, I consider Spider-Man, Deadpool, and Link convention staples at this point!) Who or what is it? And why? 

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And before we peace out for good, Geralt above is my wild card... and I suspect it will largely depend on whether or not the upcoming Netflix TV adaptation looks any good.

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And while you're here, make sure to check some of our other cosplay articles: 

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Mercy -- Overwatch

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While we're on the Blizzard bandwagon, we can't help but include a nod to the crazy construction efforts of every Mercy cosplayer (give or take the Dr. Ziegler casual fan iteration) who has ever stepped on the convention floor. 

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The latest event to hit Overwatch (Lunar Year of the Dog) has dumped a huge amount of new material on us. And while it's perhaps unlikely we'll see many of the Zhuque versions of Mercy at conventions (although, if you're considering it... oh, hell yes, please!) there are sure to be a ton of other iterations. 

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Case in point, Valkyrie (and alternatively, the recolored Sigrun skin), made especially poignant thanks to the recent re-balances (see: nerf) to the character's ultimate/resurrection ability. 

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Mercy mains will mourn overpowered Valkyrie 1.0 for months to come, and what better way to do it than to do it while wearing the namesake skin?

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(Hero image source: collider)
(Secondary image source: cos album

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Nova -- StarCraft II

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All right, so StarCraft II isn't exactly "upcoming" in any sense of the word (it only recently went free-to-play last year), but Nova's constant reappearance in other areas of the Blizzard world means something. It also helps that she sports a fairly consistent character design across all of her appearances, making her a pretty easy character to cosplay. 

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She's a prime character in Heroes of the Storm, and her character design recently made the jump to Blizzard's big-name shooter Overwatch, as well as a skin for French sniper Widowmaker that should do wonders bringing back this blond bombshell. 

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For any cosplayer with a love of LEDs, Nova is a great choice for a simple, streamlined design... and yet she'll always manage to catch your eye on the con floor. And if you don't have Widowmaker-level booty, Heroes of the Storm has a ton of new source material for alternate Nova skins that should keep the inspiration machine churning for months.

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(Hero image source: youtube)
(Secondary image source: DeviantArt)

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Kratos -- God of War

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If you're starting to feel like most of the characters on here are from a Video Gaming's Greatest Hits disc, you're not the only one. It's an interesting year where the biggest upcoming games are either ones that don't exactly lend themselves to interesting costume design (Last of Us 2Red Dead Redemption 2, Metro Exodos, A Way Out) or just don't have any real standout cosplayable characters (Monster Hunter World, Anthem). 

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However, God of War 4 brings Kratos back to the world of the living -- and gives him a son. It also flings him head-first into the world of Norse mythology, which is an interesting twist in a seven-game legacy based off of Greek mythology. 

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It helps that while Kratos' base design hasn't changed much, his outfit has been given a little more of an update to correspond with his new surroundings. And what's more, while the original unstoppable rage machine of the original games was what gave Kratos his initial appeal, this unchanging, static ball of hatred was beginning to wear. 

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A little redemption and a new kind of appeal (what's this, real humanity?) in Kratos sounds like it's in the cards for the God of War franchise, which is why you're much more likely to see a return to cons this year. 

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(Hero image source: wccftech)
(Secondary image source: locsalike @ deviantart)

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Sophitia -- Soulcalibur VI

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A sword-wielding staple of the bounce, bounce jiggle, jiggle fest that is the Soulcalibur series, seraphic Sophitia has always more or less managed to walk a fine line between gracefulness and gratuitous boobage -- at least in comparison to, say, Ivy.

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Gravity works in every lady's favor in this fighting game franchise, and Soul Calibur 6 aims to bring more story to the franchise, as well as additional mechanics that will help players through its more-than-button-mash learning curve, which should help bring it back to the forefront of the cosplaying community. 

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Although this iteration has her shirt slit down almost to her naval (no one is fooled by those laces), Sophitia still remains one of the easiest of the reoccurring SC characters to cosplay -- one that keeps all the goods in place, while still allowing for a little leeway when it comes to having the perfect body. 

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She's also cooler than Cassandra, but that might just be my bias showing.

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(Hero image source: polygon)
(Secondary image source: DeviantArt)

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Fury -- Darksiders III

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Aside from my sheer -- and unashamed -- attraction to any pretty face with bright red hair, Fury, from the upcoming hack and slash Darksiders 3easily makes an appearance on this list. Packing a serious punch in both character design and updated apocalyptic lore, there's little doubt other cosplayers will feel the same about D3's heroine.  

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Originally introduced in Darksiders as one of the Four Horsemen, Darksiders 3 will place the blade-mage center stage as a graceful, cartwheeling, blade whipping protagonist.

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Fury Cosplay Germia

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The main thing holding keeping early cosplayers from cosplaying as Fury is that her costume isn't an overly simple one craft -- and there just aren't enough resources yet to make it a late-stage endeavor for most cosplayers of any craftsmanship level. 

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However, this isn't to say that some haven't already gotten a head start: popular Euro cosplayer Germia, for example, has already taken steps to building up several parts of it already! (See above image) 

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(Hero image source: darksiders wiki)

"},{"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-iii-hercules-sora-goofy-donald-duck-001-d4652.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-iii-hercules-sora-goofy-donald-duck-001-d4652.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179335","description":"

Sora -- Kingdom Hearts III

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While a release date is still pending (they swear it's coming out sometime this year!), the hype for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been holding fairly steady over the years. Following a number of teasers, trailers, gameplay videos, and just the natural progression that comes from too many HD remakes, there's no stopping the KH3 hype train.

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And one of the most endearing characters from the franchise is Sora -- meaning he's definitely going to be appearing at a con near you this year.  

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He may have gained a few inches, but our spunky, spiky-haired hero in the over-sized shoes hasn't changed much in terms of character design -- even if his color palette has certainly gotten a shakeup. 

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With what looks like more than half a dozen costume changes in the upcoming game, Sora's baby face is sure to be a staple in any group cosplay, particularly since silver-haired pretty boy Riku is guaranteed a larger role in KH3 than he's had in previous iterations -- and is just as likely to make it to con floors.  

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(Hero image source: el mundo tech)
(Secondary image source: Pinterest)

"},{"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/s/t/u/stunning-wonder-woman-cosplayer-wonder-woman1-54f4a.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/s/t/u/stunning-wonder-woman-cosplayer-wonder-woman1-54f4a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179328","description":"

Con season is only just starting to heat up and a whole slew of games are set to release in the coming months that will fuel the cosplay fire. 

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You're certainly going to see a ton of costumes inspired by new releases, but you're also going to see cosplay inspired by the events and characters of yesteryear -- particularly during the lull where new trends just haven't had time to pop up. See above, for example: never mind her superstar appearance in 2017's Injustice 2, the meteoric hit that was Wonder Woman's origin movie has guaranteed her a girl-power slot on cosplay planning Pinterest boards for years to come.

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So in light of that, let's take a look at some of the costumes we think are going to dominate cosplay this con season. From Fury and Mercy to Sora and Kratos, here's what you can expect. 

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(image source: kilory @ deviantart)

"}]]]>
14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

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Costume Quest 1 & 2

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It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.

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They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.

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Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.

"},{"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/i/s/disgaea-ba2e6.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/i/s/disgaea-ba2e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171496","description":"

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)

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Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.

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Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.

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---

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From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!

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Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!

"},{"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/l/u/m/lumo-925a2.jpeg","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/l/u/m/lumo-925a2.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171501","description":"

Lumo

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Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.

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The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.

"},{"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-cf2b1.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-cf2b1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171499","description":"

Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2

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Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.

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More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.

"},{"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/1/0/5/1059e772cddb551.jpeg","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/1/0/5/1059e772cddb551.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171498","description":"

Final Fantasy V

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It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.

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FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.

"},{"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/f/i/r/fire-emblem-echoes-918d9.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/f/i/r/fire-emblem-echoes-918d9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171495","description":"

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

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The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.

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From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.

"},{"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-knight-ca8f6.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-knight-ca8f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171494","description":"

Hollow Knight

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Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.

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The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!

"},{"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/r/a/dragon-quest-69215.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/r/a/dragon-quest-69215.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171493","description":"

Dragon Quest VI

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"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.

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Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.

"},{"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/l/u/i/luigis-mansion-686f4.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/l/u/i/luigis-mansion-686f4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171492","description":"

Luigi's Mansion

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The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.

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Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.

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You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.

"},{"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/a/x/i/axiom-verge-768d5.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/a/x/i/axiom-verge-768d5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171491","description":"

Axiom Verge

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If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.

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However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.

"},{"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/e/t/metroid-prime-dda40.jpeg","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/e/t/metroid-prime-dda40.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171490","description":"

Metroid Prime

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The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.

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Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with 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/p/u/p/puppeteer-992ad.jpeg","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/u/p/puppeteer-992ad.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171488","description":"

Puppeteer

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Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.

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You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.

"},{"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/a/j/majoras-mask-abf72.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/a/j/majoras-mask-abf72.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171485","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

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Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.

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As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.

"},{"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/a/n/i/animal-crossing-08c33.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/a/n/i/animal-crossing-08c33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171484","description":"

Animal Crossing

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Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.

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Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.

"},{"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-f3efd.jpeg","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-f3efd.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171502","description":"

The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 

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Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

"}]]]>
5 Best Composers Currently Making Music for Japanese RPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/38ken/5-best-composers-currently-making-music-for-japanese-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/38ken/5-best-composers-currently-making-music-for-japanese-rpgs Mon, 17 Apr 2017 11:00:01 -0400 Jerline Justo

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fb2bc2d7a6af6c2f9d4532b6b7ed44f2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fb2bc2d7a6af6c2f9d4532b6b7ed44f2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10718","description":"
Yasunori Mitsuda
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Alongside Nobuo Nematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda is well-known in the JRPG community with games like Valkyria Revolution, Xenogears, and Soul Sacrifice under his belt. This composer first worked as a sound engineer for Square Enix in 1992, but once he threatened to quit, Hironobu Sakaguchi, vice president of Square Enix, allowed him to become a composer for Chrono Trigger. Since then, he's continued to make music for JRPGs 'till this day.

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His sound contains various influences, like jazz and Celtic, but when he composes songs, he approaches it with a minimalist mindset. His songs contained only a few chords, creating a simple and soothing tone. Despite its simplicity, the game still remains magical and adds an atmospheric feeling while becoming something more tranquil and melodious.

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***

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There you have it! From the melancholy sounds of Miyoshi to the simplistic tones of Mitsuda, these five composers continue to make amazing -- and unforgettable -- music for Japanese RPGs. Though these composers created some of the most everlasting scores in JRPG history, their work continues even further into future, leaving us to see what they will compose next.

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Who are your favorite JRPG composers? Tell us in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/bb93f4805fccca26fd6f6c9cbc3798c6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/bb93f4805fccca26fd6f6c9cbc3798c6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10717","description":"
Yoko Shimomura
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Fans may know Shimomura from Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV, and the Mario & Luigi series. But before becoming a well-known JRPG composer, she worked for Capcom in 1988, contributing to Samurai Sword and F1 Dream. Once she moved to Square Enix in 1993, she contributed to games like Live A Live and Legend of Mana.

\n

Although she is currently a freelance composer, she continues to work for Square Enix for upcoming projects, especially Kingdom Hearts 3.

\n

This composer mostly focuses on the electronic and symphonic genres, as well as the genres of industrial, rock, and pop. Her sound varies from booming rhythms to soothing melodies by mixing both classical and electronic. Her songs bring out the best moments in the game, making these songs unforgettable to fans.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b731ce8f018ace108ad08f3d59496f3f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b731ce8f018ace108ad08f3d59496f3f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10716","description":"
Motoi Sakuraba
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Sakuraba started composing in 1989 when he joined Wolf Team (also known as Namco Tales Studio). Artists like Pink Floyd, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Outer Limits influenced Sakuraba’s sound, leading him to become a composer for JRPGs like Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile series.

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His music consists of progressive and symphonic rock, new age, and jazz. Sakuraba creates fast and complex beats that sonically impact players, both literally and figuratively. But although his booming sound may be tense, it does not over-power the game. Instead, it creates a suspenseful and engaging environment for players, especially during battle.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0de329e6eeddcbc97e9a6494ca0c208a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0de329e6eeddcbc97e9a6494ca0c208a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10715","description":"
Shoji Meguro
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Meguro started composing in 1995 when he joined Atlus, contributing to games like Revelations: Persona and Devil Hackers. B, but his career took off when he became a lead composer for Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Since then, he has continued to work as a composer for Atlus, creating music for Persona 5 and Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey.

\n

This composer focuses on rock music but also fuses it with classical, electronic, and jazz to create a new, upbeat and edgy sound. This fusion between technology and classical music genres imbues a uniqueness in his work, helping players enjoy the game and the music.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fd2daf6dab7cb47936e3541b3e2953e4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fd2daf6dab7cb47936e3541b3e2953e4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10714","description":"
Tomoki Miyoshi
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At the age of 16, Miyoshi debuted in 2011 when he composed the music for SOULCALIBUR V, making him one of the youngest composers in the gaming industry. He worked with composers such as Austin Wintory to create beautiful -- and long-lasting, JRPG soundscapes. Soon, he will be collaborating with Nobuo Uematsu for Project Phoenix, a game developed by Creative Intelligence Arts.

\n

He is also well-known for the RPG I am Setsuna, which was released in 2016. The soundtrack relies solely on the piano, which presents a melancholy yet sweet tone. Each song is played with an elegance that compliments the snowing setting within the game.

"},{"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/c/o/m/composers-copy-4b187.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/c/o/m/composers-copy-4b187.jpg","type":"slide","id":"156058","description":"

In Japan, role-playing games were not well-known during the 1970s, but as games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were established, Japan created its own subcategory--JRPG (also known as Japanese role-playing game).

\n

JRPGs contain multiple elements, such as a menu selected battle system and a linear exploration, that make players feel connected and immerse with the game. But really, it is the music that makes fans appeal to JRPGs.

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Amazing composers, like the famous Nobuo Nematsu, created various types of scores that fans truly remember throughout generations, leaving a legacy in the gaming music. Included in the group are these five amazing composers who are continuing to compose beautiful music for JRPGs.

"}]]]>
Got Wanderlust? These 5 Exploration Games Will Scratch Your Traveling Itch https://www.gameskinny.com/yh16q/got-wanderlust-these-5-exploration-games-will-scratch-your-traveling-itch https://www.gameskinny.com/yh16q/got-wanderlust-these-5-exploration-games-will-scratch-your-traveling-itch Sun, 02 Apr 2017 13:00:38 -0400 Erroll Maas

[{"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/5/8/f/58fd43082945042587f7880ed847338a-810cf.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/5/8/f/58fd43082945042587f7880ed847338a-810cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154508","description":"

There are plenty of other games to help you feel the joy of traveling from inside your own living room, but the few seen on this list are all relatively recent releases and easily accessible.

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Are there any other games that should be on this list that we missed? Let us know in the comments below! 

"},{"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/k/h/2/kh2fm-55cd7.png","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/k/h/2/kh2fm-55cd7.png","type":"slide","id":"154507","description":"

Satisfy Your Disneyland Craving with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX

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Want to travel to a variety of new worlds and meet plenty of Disney characters along the way? Sure, you could go to one of the Disney parks in real life, but why use up all that money when you can explore the worlds of your favorite Disney movies without leaving your own home? You might as well just stay in and play the recently released Kingdom Hearts collection on PlayStation 4.

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Instead of waiting hours in line for each ride, you can travel to different worlds as soon as you've unlocked them. And although the time this takes varies, it's still a much shorter alternative. You can tree surf with Tarzan, sing with Ariel, celebrate Halloween and Christmas with Jack Skellington, and even ride light cycles with Tron -- not even the best Disney parks have attractions where you can do that.

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Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 ReMIX offers a Disney experience that no amusement park can even come close to, not matter how magical they look.

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Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 ReMIX is only available on PlayStation 4. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX are available separately on PlayStation 3.

"},{"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/a/x/maxresdefault-327b5.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/a/x/maxresdefault-327b5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154506","description":"

Go on an Aquatic Adventure in Abzu

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Looking for a relaxing tropical vacation? Wish you could go scuba diving but have things preventing you from observing aquatic life? Try Abzu, a game made by Giant Squid Studios, which was founded by the art director of Journey.

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Abzu is a delight to your senses, having gorgeous visuals mixed with a beautifully composed soundtrack, as well as simple yet unique gameplay. Abzu is absurdly short, but it provides enough content to warrant more than one playthrough. You can even meditate on special shark statues found throughout this part of the ocean, which also allow you to observe aquatic life from afar and learn the names of various creatures. Sometimes it's also nice to go back to this game just to listen to the relaxing soundtrack.

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 Abzu is available on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One.

"},{"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/r/e/m/remarkable-yakuza-game-screenshot-picture-e3ea4.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/r/e/m/remarkable-yakuza-game-screenshot-picture-e3ea4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154505","description":"

Travel Back in Time to 1980's Japan in Yakuza 0

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Have you always wanted to go to Japan, but can't afford to or don't speak a word of Japanese? Try playing the most recent Yakuza game, Yakuza 0. Why travel to modern Japan when you can travel to Japan two decades ago without the hassle of making travel plans? Yakuza 0 takes place in 1980's Tokyo, as well as Osaka, a prosperous time when the country's economy was booming and the unemployment rate was low.

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The most noteworthy part of Yakuza 0 is all of the various side activities you can do, which range from realistic to outrageous. You can go to the arcade and play other Sega games, sing your heart out at karaoke, go out dancing, win a chicken from bowling and have it manage your real estate team (no, really), and hang out with a fictional version of Michael Jackson.

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If you've been looking to go to Japan only to realize how expensive it is to travel there, then look to Yakuza 0 to let you explore the land of the rising sun.

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Yakuza 0 is only available on PlayStation 4

"},{"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-beat1-b3dfb.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-beat1-b3dfb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154504","description":"

Drive to Different Corners of the World in Final Fantasy XV

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Maybe you'd like to go to several different places, instead of just one. What if I told you that you could go to places like Venice, Cuba, and the American Southwest -- all while riding giant birds and fighting demons? Sounds crazy right? Well, you can do all of these things and more with Final Fantasy XV.

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A semi-open world action JRPG and the latest game in the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy XV lets take road trips, make pit stops at gas stations and diners, visit and take photographs of popular tourist spots, ride Chocobos, go camping, and eat Cup Noodles.

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Final Fantasy XV provides plenty of areas to explore, and with expansions starting to be released, the game will have even more areas for you to explore. Of course, these aren't real world locations, but they do mimic many regions around the world, so you can pretend while you're in a pretend world. How meta! 

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Final Fantasy XV is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

"},{"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/h/e/a/header-1b191.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/h/e/a/header-1b191.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154503","description":"

Explore a Near Accurate Version of the San Francisco Bay Area in Watch Dogs 2

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Our first pick takes place in a fictional, yet heavily-based-on-reality version of the Bay Area in northern California, a popular tourist spot known for its diversity and scenic nature sites.

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In Watch Dogs 2, you play as hacker Marcus Holloway, a member of a hacking group whose aim is to completely take down the city's near futuristic surveillance system. Marcus can drive vehicles around the city, parkour off of buildings and other structures, and use a variety of different methods to complete missions.

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If you want to explore the San Francisco Bay Area without paying for flight tickets, then Watch Dogs 2 is the game for you, which is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

"},{"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/5/8/f/58fd43082945042587f7880ed847338a-4a6f5.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/5/8/f/58fd43082945042587f7880ed847338a-4a6f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154502","description":"

Not everyone enjoys traveling. And even for those that do, the money and time needed to travel is not always available. So when those things are scarce, it can really make you wish you could somehow travel to new places without ever having to walk out your front door.

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So, to scratch that travelling itch, here are five games that will take you to new places and make you feel like you've traveled around the world -- and even to brand new ones -- without ever stepping foot outside of your front door!

"}]]]>
Here's Everything That's Included in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix https://www.gameskinny.com/cx4vc/heres-everything-thats-included-in-kingdom-hearts-hd-15-25-remix https://www.gameskinny.com/cx4vc/heres-everything-thats-included-in-kingdom-hearts-hd-15-25-remix Wed, 29 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Jerline Justo

Imagine a game that combines both Disney and Final Fantasy -- yup, that is Kingdom Hearts for you!

With Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, following with Kingdom Hearts 2.8, fans will be understand the whole plot before the release of Kingdom Hearts 3. This collection does contain previous games, but it also comes with special bonus that is not included in the original released.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix

When Square Enix released Kingdom Hearts on the PS2, the game introduced Sora, a keyblade wielder, and his companions, Donald and Goofy. On their Gummi ship, they travel to various world and meet different Disney and Final Fantasy characters while fighting the heartless. The gameplay involves the player controlling Sora and a command system to attack or use magic against the Heartless. In the Final Mix, it features new cutscenes that explore Riku’s story, new weapons for Sora, Donald, and Goofy, and new bosses, including Organization XIII leader, Xemmas, and Sephiroth.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

Chain of Memories falls right after the events of Kingdom Hearts where Sora, Donald, and Goofy explore Castle Oblivion and Organization XIII while alongside Mickey’s help, Riku attempts to escape the lower floors of the castle. Fans first played Chain of Memories on the Game Boy Advance in 2004, and the game was later remade on the PS2 in 2007. The gameplay remains the same deck card combat that correlate different actions during battle mode; the difference is the transition from 2D to 3D graphics.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD Remastered Cinematics)

358/2 Days happens after Kingdom Hearts and during Chain of Memories where fans see how Roxas’s story under Organization XIII and his friendship with Axel and Xion develops. Square Enix released Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days on the Nintendo DS in 2009, and the game features a similar gameplay, but the player’s magic is limited. The HD Remastered Cinematics is the movie version where it shows the original cutscenes as well as unseen scenes not featured from the game.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix

Following right after Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Sora wakes up a year later with Donald and Goofy, and the trio faces a new enemy, the Nobodies and Organization XIII. The game was launched in 2005 on the PS2, and the gameplay introduces Reaction Commands during battle. In Final Mix, the game includes more elements to challenge fans, like new bosses, specifically all the Organization XIII members and Birth By Sleep's Terra, a new drive form that features previous moves from the first game, a new difficulty level called critical mode, and other side quests.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep happens before Sora’s journey 10 years ago, exploring a different trio of friends, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. The game was first released in 2010 on the PSP, and fans can experience playing each character to see how the events falls into Kingdom Hearts storyline. The gameplay presents a different type of command system such that players can create a deck of special abilities and magic based on their fighting preferences. In the Final Mix, it includes new missions in the Mirage Arena, new command style for each character, and a secret episode where Aqua explores the realm of darkness.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (HD Remastered Cinematics)

Re:coded falls right after Kingdom Hearts II where Sora's friends, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy, explores the mysteries of two hidden messages inside Jiminy’s journal. Square Enix first made this game for mobile phones but later remade it for the Nintendo DS in 2011. The game includes a multiplayer system for other players to play with each other. Like 358/2 Days, this remaster is a movie version of the game itself with new cutscenes not from the original DS versions.

Kingdom Hearts

On top of the new side quests and cutscenes within this collection, it also includes better graphics and gameplay improvements, which fans noted from the PS3 complications. Square Enix also mentions that the game will be running 60 frames per second than the usual 30 frames per second, giving fans the best gameplay experience, as seen in the video below.

For 15 years, Square Enix continues the Kingdom Hearts series, and since 2002, the series adapted into different platforms, from PS2, PSP, and Nintendo 3DS. With this release, fans, or new players, can either revisit or jump into the entire series on one console. 

Time to get on that Gummi ship and go against the darkness!

Kingdom Hearts, goofy, daffy duck

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Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX Trailer "Fight the Darkness" Released Today https://www.gameskinny.com/c11hy/kingdom-hearts-hd-15-25-remix-trailer-fight-the-darkness-released-today https://www.gameskinny.com/c11hy/kingdom-hearts-hd-15-25-remix-trailer-fight-the-darkness-released-today Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:05:22 -0400 Jerline Justo

Square Enix introduces a new trailer, “Fight the Darkness,” for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX.

This trailer opens with Sora, running through the darkness, and Ansem, narrating in the background. It then explores the endless battle between light and darkness, revealing cut scenes from the previous Kingdom Hearts games. In this collection, it features:

  • Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD Remastered Cinematics)
  • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (HD Remastered Cinematics)

On October 26, 2016, Square Enix released an announcement trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, remastering the Kingdom Hearts games to the PS4. As fans anticipate for the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 gives them an opportunity to revisit the beginning of Sora’s journey and re-explore other characters’ narratives, like Roxas and Birth By Sleep trio.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 releases on March 28 in North America and March 31 in Europe.

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These Are the Cosplay Ideas for 2017! https://www.gameskinny.com/bwb3x/these-are-the-cosplay-ideas-for-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/bwb3x/these-are-the-cosplay-ideas-for-2017 Wed, 01 Feb 2017 06:45:01 -0500 Stephanie Tang

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That's it!

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(Well kind of... you know Link will definitely be making an appearance at conventions around the globe, with the signature green tunic that we've all come to associate with him or with this latest blue iteration of him in upcoming Breath of the Wild that's set to release in March.)

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Have we missed anyone too criminally big to forget? Think these are entirely off the mark? Feel free to let us know!

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(image source: Now Loading)

"},{"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/n/i/o/nioh-544a0.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/n/i/o/nioh-544a0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149417","description":"

William - Nioh

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A new challenger appears??

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This definitely isn't a jump on the nostalgia train, but the playable demos out for upcoming PS4 game Nioh have gotten video game audiences pretty psyched for the full release (which is only days away!).

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Set in an alternate fantasy Japan's bloody Sengoku period and the chaos of warring states you play as William, a master-less samurai, who faces off against evil demons and humans alike. If this game proves as good as it promises to be, you can bet we're going to see this guy in upcoming photo shoots very, very soon. 

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(image source: Nerdable)

"},{"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/l/c/p/lcplfnu-baa60.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/l/c/p/lcplfnu-baa60.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149411","description":"

Spider-Man

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This is probably made easier because Spider-Man is pretty much a given when it comes to the big comic conventions, and certainly doesn't mind popping up at video game-centric ones either... and why should he? After nearly 40 years of Spider-Man video games, he definitely deserves the place!

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Besides, what better way for webslingers to unite than in a conga line snaking around the building?

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(image source: Pinterest)

"},{"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/8/6/c/86cc71c1d1cbff7ddf9d858fdba0ca68eedc2163-4d393.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/8/6/c/86cc71c1d1cbff7ddf9d858fdba0ca68eedc2163-4d393.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149410","description":"

Spider-Man 

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So Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man may have been the snarky Spider-Man of my cartoon-bingeing teenage years, but his days in the tight suit appear to be behind him. With Spider-Man: Homecoming coming out in theaters soon and Tom Holland already having taken a spin in the role with an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Spidey is poised to give Deadpool a run for his money in 2017.

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(image source: CinemaBlend)

"},{"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/n/i/v/nivcgsumfks3yewq7xe7-ddf20.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/n/i/v/nivcgsumfks3yewq7xe7-ddf20.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149390","description":"

Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV

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Some may speculate that it's the abs that make or break a Gladiolus cosplay - and let's face it, Italian cosplayer Leon Chiro sure fits the bill. Definitely daunting, but not impossible for most, especially when you throw a little costume makeup into the mix.

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Besides, it's that sword that really makes an impression, isn't it? If you can manage that, it doesn't matter the build - you've got a pretty good thing going.

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(image source: Kotaku)

"},{"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/f/x/ffxv-e1404283085217-80cc8.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/f/x/ffxv-e1404283085217-80cc8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149391","description":"

Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV

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All right, so there might be some wishful thinking involved including this one into the list... but not much! FFXV is big and everyone's playing it (okay, maybe I'm not, but that's more because I'm lazy and waiting for a PC release).

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It's taken a long time in coming, and has changed a hell of a lot along the way. Admit it, we're just happy it's here - never mind that it looks fantastic, and Square Enix have seriously ponied up to make sure that it all finally came to completion. 

\n

(image source: Attack of the Fanboy)

"},{"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/1/s/w/1swd0w2-6be83.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/1/s/w/1swd0w2-6be83.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149408","description":"

Nebula - Guardians of the Galaxy

\n

While Nebula may not exactly a main character, Karen Gillan turned heads when she famously shaved her head to play the part, and she plays a damn good counterpoint to Zoe Saldana's feisty Gamora. 

\n

Here's hoping more talented cosplayers follow in Karin Olava's (pictured above) footsteps doing this girl justice in the upcoming year!

\n

(image source: Comic Book Movie)

"},{"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/g/u/a/guardians-galaxy-wallpaper-roster-nebula-3840f.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/g/u/a/guardians-galaxy-wallpaper-roster-nebula-3840f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149406","description":"

Nebula - Guardians of the Galaxy

\n

Okay, so maybe the blue paint and skull cap won't be for everyone, but this ass-kicking alien chick is definitely in the cards for upcoming 2017.

\n

Sure there's the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie that's fast approaching theaters (with a baby Groot that's destined to melt your heart), but reports are popping up that Eidos Montreal (the developer behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution) is working on a Guardians of the Galaxy video game though it's as yet early in production.

\n

It'll be one of several comic book partnership video games between Marvel and Square Enix (the first of which is set to feature the Avengers).

\n

(image source: Screen Rant)

"},{"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/a/q/u/aqua-khbbs-eyes-d3aqq1i-de1c3.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/a/q/u/aqua-khbbs-eyes-d3aqq1i-de1c3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149378","description":"

Aqua - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

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Poor Aqua may have been left in limbo for a lot longer than we'd have liked, but that hasn't stopped cosplayers from stepping into her shoes, and her badass costume to boot. 

\n

Since KH3 is peeking over the horizon and promises to be the biggest installment in the franchise ever with our first look at a grown-up Sora, it's not surprising that cosplayers are psyching themselves up for something truly epic and worth realizing in real life!

\n

(image source: DeviantArt)

"},{"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/4/s/c/4scrmax1-c91a3.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/4/s/c/4scrmax1-c91a3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149374","description":"

Aqua - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

\n

Speaking of Square Enix, this collaboration with Disney is still going strong as fans cling to the coming of Kingdom Hearts III. 

\n

With the recent release of KH 2.8, die hard fans have new playable content to stem the tide for a little while, whereas new fans now have an easier opportunity to play through a number of the games (which have hopped across nearly every Sony console and handheld to date) without swapping platforms. 

\n

(image source: EB Games)

"},{"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/2/b/0/2b0a77523414816c2fdbd4548f128c73f0a2f628-da0ab.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/2/b/0/2b0a77523414816c2fdbd4548f128c73f0a2f628-da0ab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149380","description":"

Cloud Strife - Final Fantasy VII Remake

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Cloud's outfit is quite probably the only one that has undergone such a drastic change from his original (okay, and Tifa's too) and as a huge fan myself, it's nice to see cosplayers already stepping back into the hack-and-slashed SOLDIER uniform that made so much more canonical sense than the new.

\n

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise, and fans can simultaneously celebrate the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII specifically. You can bet this year is seriously coming up Squeenix.

\n

(image source: Will Wong)

"},{"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-remake-74675.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-remake-74675.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149379","description":"

Cloud Strife - Final Fantasy VII Remake

\n

This is a game that video game audience has asked for time and again. Square Enix has toyed with our emotions with each and every console that they've pushed out onto the market, and at last we're finally coming into our own.

\n

The principle characters of Final Fantasy have always been a mainstay at conventions, although in latter years most Cloud cosplayers continue to gravitate toward all the bells and whistles in his Advent Children outfit. Now we're bound for a return to form. 

\n

(image source: VG24/7)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc58716a988d1f9c0bb706c96f3c555b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc58716a988d1f9c0bb706c96f3c555b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10303","description":"

Sombra - Overwatch

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The game has garnered more than its fair share of internet outrage over the past few months - from Symmetra's "white girl" vampire skin during Halloween, to Mei's botched waistline in her most recent CNY skins. Further cosplay efforts like above Pion Kim's fantastic Sombra came under fire for "brownface", i.e. her use of bronzer to darker her skin tone so that she could more closely match the character's.

\n

D.Va and Mei are both just as likely to pop up at your local convention, particularly the former as her bodysuit and props are fairly inexpensive and easy to come by, but with a few more well-needed updates to the Sombra character kit due to hit the PTR, this purple-haired hacker is sure to pop up more and more. 

\n

(Sombra - Boop! Hacking Complete! (Overwatch Cosplay) 오버워치 - 솜브라)

"},{"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/w/a/l/wallpaper-sombra-overwatch-missyeny-danj09k-2a182.png","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/w/a/l/wallpaper-sombra-overwatch-missyeny-danj09k-2a182.png","type":"slide","id":"149376","description":"

Sombra - Overwatch

\n

New year, new you... so far Overwatch hasn't lost any of its hype over the past 2.5 competitive seasons, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon. With new events popping out every few months (the latest of which includes a new game mode, and Chinese New Year themed skins, sprays, and emotes), it looks like there's plenty of food for inspirational fodder in this Blizzard behemoth for a long time to come.

\n

(image source: DeviantArt)

"},{"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/5/6/c/56c68ec5854ed-48507.gif","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/5/6/c/56c68ec5854ed-48507.gif","type":"slide","id":"149331","description":"

It's 2017! Out with the old and in with the new!

\n

--Or is it?

\n

With the closing of an arguably disastrous 2016, cosplayers are gearing up for a new year of convention circuits and getting psyched up by an impressively long list of geek culture-centric movies and video games.

\n

And yet it starting to look like there's going to be a heck of a lot of nostalgia running around dealer's rooms across the globe.

\n

Let's take a look at what some of those might be!

\n

(image source: funnycutegifs feat. D-Piddy)

"}]]]>
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Guide: How to Find All 12 Zodiac Relics and Unlock Secret Boss Rush https://www.gameskinny.com/xe2ic/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-all-12-zodiac-relics-and-unlock-secret-boss-rush https://www.gameskinny.com/xe2ic/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-all-12-zodiac-relics-and-unlock-secret-boss-rush Mon, 30 Jan 2017 13:54:54 -0500 Synzer

There are 2 objectives in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 that involve the 12 Zodiac Symbols. You can start collecting these from certain chests after you have beaten the game once and started a New Game+.

These relics are scattered throughout each area, so you won't be able to get all of them until near the end of the Depths of Darkness area. Luckily, you can teleport to different save location by that time.

I'm going to go over each of the 12 locations, so you know exactly where to look.

Castle Town - 4 Zodiac Relics

kingdom hearts 2.8 Aquarius relic

  • Aquarius - From the save point, head into the town square and go left.
    • Follow the path, then jump on a building to see a lamp and debris you can jump on.
    • Drop down below to see a chest in front of a window.
  • Aries - Go to the town square from the save point then take your first right to between 2 buildings.
    • You will see the chest with the relic to the left behind the building.
  • Virgo - Go forward from the save point and past the town square.
    • Take a slight left and jump up the platforms to go through the broken archway.
    • The chest will be to your left as you pass through.
  • Sagittarius - This one is found on the highest point in Castle Town.
    • You can go there by following the platforms up from where the Virgo relic chest is located.

The World Within - 5 Zodiac Relics

  • Pisces - This one is in the mirror to the endless staircase.
    • As soon as you enter the mirror, turn around to find the chest with the relic.
  • Gemini - This is in the hall with many columns.
    • You have to find specific columns that you can attack, then examine it to turn upside down.
    • After you have done this twice, go forward until you see an upside down chest, then turn right to see the chest with the relic.

kingdom hearts 2.8 zodiac relics

  • Cancer - Go to the where the mirror to the endless staircase is located, but don't go in.
    • There is a chest in the area behind the mirror.
  • Leo - This one is in the mine area mirror.
    • Go until you reach the second mirror you need to interact with. The chest is to the right of that mirror.
  • Libra - This one is in the mine area mirror.
    • Go until you reach the platforms that form a star symbol when lined up.
    • Jump on the platforms to the next area with a bunch of heartless.
    • You will find the relic in the chest to the right in that area.

Forest of Thorns - 2 Zodiac Relics

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 zodiac relics

  • Taurus - Follow the path from the first save point until you see the first small log you can grind on.
    • Go down to the left instead of on the log to find the chest with the Taurus relic.
  • Scorpio - This in the same spot as the first flower for objective 34.
    • Follow the path past the first save point until you reach a fork in the road.
    • If you go straight instead of turning right, you see a clearing.
    • The Scorpio Relic is in the chest in the clearing.

Depths of Darkness - 1 Zodiac Relic

  • Capricorn - This one is near the end of the level with the huge white light.
    • You will find the relic in a chest to the right when you reach this point. It is on a pillar.

Secret Boss Rush

Once you gather all of the relics, a mirror will appear in the middle of the main room in The World Within. This completes objective 43, but objective 42 requires you to go in and defeat all the enemies.

These are very hard fights so I suggest trying this at a high level.

That's it for my guide on finding all 12 Zodiac relics in Kingdom Hearts 2.8. Check out my full guide of objectives for help with anything else.

]]>
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Guide: How to Find Each Area's Lingering Memory https://www.gameskinny.com/8a9i8/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-each-areas-lingering-memory https://www.gameskinny.com/8a9i8/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-each-areas-lingering-memory Sun, 29 Jan 2017 17:19:26 -0500 Synzer

There are four objectives in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 that involve finding Lingering Memories. There is one memory in each of the four worlds you visit throughout the game. So although it's more practical to get each memory during your initial playthrough, you can always revisit any of worlds at any time if you miss a memory.

But, to keep you from doing that, here are the locations of each memory in Kingdom Hearts 2.8.

Castle Town

This memory is on the roof of a building near the center of town. You can find it straight ahead of the save point. If you haven't gotten it already, it looks like a green glass slipper.

The World Within

This one is on the second column to the left of the save point in the main room. You will need to jump on platforms behind it and to the left to be able to reach it.

Forest of Thorns

This one is right behind the third Darkside you must fight after the long log ride. Continue past the save point until you reach the stone steps and the second Darkside. 

Go up the stone steps until you reach the top. Instead of continuing, take the path to the right that leads down to reach the third Darkside and lingering memory. 

Depths of Darkness

kingdom hearts 2.8 lingering memories

As soon as you get here you engage in a boss battle, with King Mickey as your ally. When the fight is over, you'll see a save point a short distance ahead. Continue past the save point for a little bit and you will start a fight with three earth cores. 

As soon as you make it here, go right and turn around to see a path that leads down. Follow the path until you reach the bottom, then turn around to see the lingering memory in the shape of a heart on the wall.

---

Those are all the lingering memories you need to find for the objectives in Kingdom Hearts 2.8. If you need help with any others, check out my full guide for Every Objective in 0.2!

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Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Guide: How to Find the 3 Flowers for Objective 34 https://www.gameskinny.com/8y6h3/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-the-3-flowers-for-objective-34 https://www.gameskinny.com/8y6h3/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-the-3-flowers-for-objective-34 Sun, 29 Jan 2017 10:55:48 -0500 Synzer

One of the objectives in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is to find three flowers that represent Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather in the Forest of Thorns. These are easy to miss if you don't know where to look, so we're going to show you all three locations so you can easily complete objective 34.

You can get these flowers even if you missed them and went on to the next world during your first playthrough. JTo access the Forest of Thorns area, just go to a save point and teleport to one of the save points in the Forest of Thorns. I've already picked up the flowers, so you won't see them in the screenshots below -- but these are the locations in which you'll find the flowers.

Finding the First Flower

kingdom hearts 2.8 objective 34

This flower can be found after the first optional swirling log ride. Go down the path through some red thorny vines until you reach a fork.

Continue straight instead of going right to reach a clearing where you fight heartless and get a chest. The flower is to the left as you enter.

Finding the Second Flower

kingdom hearts 2.8 objective 34

This flower can be found after defeating the second Darkside following the second save point. After completing the long log ride where you must dodge the Darksides' attacks, you'll come across the second save point.

Follow the path straight until you reach stone steps to the right and a Darkside in the middle. The flower is to the left of that Darkside in a dead end.

Finding the Third Flower

kingdom hearts 2.8 objective 34

Finding this flower is a little tricky to explain, so look at the minimap in the screenshot to get a better idea if you get lost.

When you reach the part right before going through the gauntlet of Darksides, turn back around and take the left path instead of the path to the right (where you came from). 

You will continue down the path until you see the flower to the right. You will have to destroy vines to get to it.

---

That's all three flowers needed to complete objective 34 and get the Minnie Ears (Blue Bow) for the Wardrobe. For help with anything else, check out our guide on all the objectives in Kingdom Hearts 2.8!

]]>
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Guide: How to Find All the Secrets in The World Within https://www.gameskinny.com/decg1/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-all-the-secrets-in-the-world-within https://www.gameskinny.com/decg1/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-how-to-find-all-the-secrets-in-the-world-within Sat, 28 Jan 2017 08:41:42 -0500 Synzer

The second world you go to in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Fragmentary Passage is the mirror world. Here, there are 3 objectives that involve solving mysteries and secrets. The game does not tell you how to solve these mysteries and secrets since you are supposed to figure it out yourself.

But don't worry: We've figured it out for you, so just check below if you're having trouble finding any of them.

How to Solve all 3 Mysteries in The World Within

  • Objective 27 - -Solve the mystery of the World Within and win the battle.
    • This is the mirror to the left of the save point that takes you to an empty room.
    • Hit all of the candlesticks to turn the room dark and spawn the enemies.
    • Defeat all the enemies to complete the objective.
  • Objective 28 -- Uncover the mystery of the World Within and obtain a special item.
    • This is the second mirror to the right of the save point that takes you to a room with many chests.
    • Only one of the chests has the item. When you open one of the chests, the rest disappear.
    • Look through the mirror before going in to find the real chest.
    • The real chest will be closed when you look in the mirror, while the rest will be open.

kingdom hearts 2.8 how to find the secrets in the world within

  • Objective 30 -- Discover the secret in the mirror tied to the mysterious rocks.
    • This is in the mirror that takes you to the mining area where you need to find all 7 gems for objective 29.
    • The third mirror puzzle has 3 platforms, where 2 of them have markings.
    • Examine the mirror when the 2 platforms form a star symbol to complete this objective.
    • This also leads you to Gems 5 and 6 for objective 29.

Those are all the secrets you need to uncover for the objectives in The World Within. Be sure to check our full guide on the Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Wardrobe Objectives for help with any that are giving you trouble.

]]>
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Guide: Every Wardrobe Objective in 0.2 https://www.gameskinny.com/idzts/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-every-wardrobe-objective-in-02 https://www.gameskinny.com/idzts/kingdom-hearts-28-guide-every-wardrobe-objective-in-02 Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:05:59 -0500 Synzer

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 gives us a glimpse of Kingdom Hearts 3 from the Birth by Sleep Fragmentary Passage. You won't be collecting new keyblades and equipment, but you can change how Aqua looks with the Wardrobe.

You unlock several wardrobe pieces, 51 to be exact, by completing Objectives during the game. Most of them are locked when you start, but get unlocked as you progress through the game.

You can only complete an objective if it is unlocked, even if you know how to complete it. Many unlock after your first playthrough, and it is a good idea to wait until then to complete most of them.

I'm going to list every objective in the game, where you can complete it, and what you get from it. There will also be links on some of the harder objectives to detailed guides on completing them.

Objective and Wardrobe List

Dark World means you can complete it anywhere. Any other location means you have to be in that zone to unlock it.

  • Objective 1 (Dark World) - Defeat 30 shadows
    • Reward - Figaro (Head)
  • Objective 2 (Dark World) - Defeat 45 Flutterings
    • Reward - Coil (Pink) Pattern
  • Objective 3 (Dark World) - Defeat 40 Flame Cores
    • Reward - Cyber Antennae (Head) 
  • Objective 4 (Dark World) - Defeat 30 Neoshadows
    • Reward - Antennae (Head)
  • Objective 5 (Dark World) - Defeat 20 Water Cores
    • Reward - Mecha (Blue) Pattern.
  • Objective 6 (Dark World) - Defeat 20 Earth Cores
    • Reward - Classy (Yellow) Pattern.
  • Objective 7 (Dark World) - Reach Level 60
    • Reward - Royal Pauldron (Arm)
  • Objective 8 (Dark World) - Reach Level 70 
    • Reward - Divine Back (Back)
  • Objective 9 (Dark World) - Reach Level 80
    • Reward - Venus Tiara (Head)
  • Objective 10 (Dark World) - Defeat 5 Heartless using Counter Blast
    • Reward - Flawless Wings (Back)

 kingdom hearts 2.8 objective 10

  • Objective 11 (Dark World) - Use Fire magic to defeat 30 heartless
    • Reward - Cyber Blades (Back)
  • Objective 12 (Dark World) - Use Ice magic to defeat 30 heartless
    • Reward - Blades (Back)
  • Objective 13 (Dark World) - Use Lightning magic to defeat 30 heartless
    • Reward - Mystic Pauldron (Arm)
  • Objective 14 (Dark World) - Use Ice Magic to create a rail then ride the rail a long distance.
    • If you move forward while casting Blizzaga, you will create a rail.
    • You can complete this easily by going to the area behind the save point in Castle Town.
    • Go down the steps and cast Blizzaga towards the long bridge, then hop on and ride until the end.
    • Reward - Flawless Arm Guards (Arm)
  • Objective 15 (Dark World) - Freeze and Shatter at least 5 heartless
    • Reward - Grace (Purple) Pattern
  • Objective 16 (Dark World) - Use magic an enemy is weak against to deal extra damage
    • Reward - Voltaic Arm Plate (Arm)
  • Objective 17 (Dark World) - Defeat 5 heartless while in midair.
    • Reward - Radiant Ornament (Back)
  • Objective 18 (Dark World) - Earn an Excellent Rating 6 times in a row using Shotlock. Check out my guide on completing this easily.
    • Reward - Diamond (White) Pattern
  • Objective 19 (Dark World) - Use a Style Change to defeat 50 heartless
    • Reward - Diamond (Green) Pattern
  • Objective 20 (Dark World) - Activate Spellweaver's Finish command
    • You activate Spellweaver by doing normal attacks until a Style Change appears. 
    • Continue to attack until the Finish command comes up.
    • Reward - Classy (Blue) Pattern

 Kingdom Hearts 2.8 objective 20

  • Objective 21 (Dark World) - Equip an item in all wardrobe slots, then activate Spellweaver's Finish command
    • Reward - Ribbons Pattern
  • Objective 22 (Dark World) - Equip an item in a Wardrobe slot
    • Reward - Mecha (Pink)
  • Objective 23 (Castle Town) - Hit 20 streetlamps
    • Reward - Grace (Blue) Pattern
  • Objective 24 (Castle Town) - Climb to the highest point. (Check out my guide on how to get there.)
    • Reward - Wings (Back)
  • Objective 25 (Castle Town) - Watch for a meteor shower. The above objective is the same place you need to go to complete this one.
    • Reward - Arm Guards (Arm)
  • Objective 26 (The World Within) - Defeat all the heartless in the room
    • Reward - Mecha (Yellow) Pattern
  • Objective 27 (The World Within) - Solve the mystery of The World Within and win the battle. My guide on all mirror world secrets will help you complete this and objectives 28 and 30.
    • Reward - Stitching Pattern
  • Objective 28 (The World Within) - Uncover the mystery of The World Within and obtain the special item.
    • Reward - Arm Plate (Arm) 
  • Objective 29 (The World Within) - Find 7 jewels in the mines where the Seven Dwarfs work. Check out my guide for the locations of all of these.
    • Reward - Marie (Head)
  • Objective 30 (The World Within) - Discover the secret in the mirror tied to the mysterious rocks
    • Reward - Lace (Crystal) Pattern
  • Objective 31 (The World Within) - Perform a spin during the fight with Phantom Aqua.
    • Reward - Royal Tiara (Head)
  • Objective 32 (Forest of Thorns) - Defeat the 3 Darkside that stand in Aqua's way.
    • Reward - Diamond (Blue) Pattern
  • Objective 33 (Forest of Thorns) - Destroy 50 ivy branches.
    • Reward - Coil (White)
  • Objective 34 (Forest of Thorns) - Find the 3 flowers that represent Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Check my flower guide to find all of them.
    • Reward - Minnie Ears (Blue Bow)

 Kingdom Hearts 2.8 objective 34

  • Objective 35 (Depths of Darkness) - Link with King Mickey 5 times
    • Reward - Minnie Ears (Red Bow)
  • Objective 36 (Castle Town) - Defeat the Demon Tower with Spellweaver's Finish command
    • Reward - Cheshire Cat (Head)
  • Objective 37 (Castle Town) - Open all 9 treasure chests in Castle Town
    • Reward - Coil (Yellow) Pattern
  • Objective 38 (Castle Town) - Find Lingering Memories
    • Reward - Pulse Blades (Back)
  • Objective 39 (The World Within) - Open all 13 treasure chests in The World Within.
    • Reward - Minnie Ears (White Bow)
  • Objective 40 (The World Within) - Find Lingering Memories
    • Reward - Warrior's Arm Plate (Arm) 
  • Objective 41 (The World Within) - Defeat the 3rd phantom Aqua without taking damage
    • Reward - Lustrous Wings (Back)
  • Objective 42 (The World Within) - Enter the mirror that appears in the middle of the 12 Zodiac symbols and win all battles.
    • Reward - Tiara (Head)
  • Objective 43 (The World Within) - Find and restore the light of the 12 zodiac symbols
    • Reward - Pauldron (Arm) 
  • Objective 44 ( Forest of Thorns) - Open all 12 treasure chests in the Forest of Thorns
    • Reward - Classy (White) Pattern
  • Objective 45 (Forest of Thorns) - Find lingering memories
    • Reward - Pulse Antennae (Head) 
  • Objective 46 (Forest of Thorns) - Use Rail slide to dodge all the Darksides' attacks without taking any damage
    • Reward - Lustrous Arm Guards (Arm)
  • Objective 47 (Forest of Thorns) - Defeat the Darkside support the Dark Orb without taking any damage.
    • Reward - Lace (Floral) Pattern
  • Objective 48 (Depths of Darkness) - Open all 6 treasure chests in the Depths of Darkness.
    • Reward - Grace (Pink) Pattern
  • Objective 49 (Depths of Darkness) - Find the lingering memories.
    • Reward - Iron Ornament (Back)
  • Objective 50 (Depths of Darkness) - Link with King Mickey to defeat the Demon Tower.
    • Reward - Polka Dots Pattern
  • Objective 51 (Destiny Islands) - Defeat the Demon Tide on Critical Mode.
    • Rewards - Criss Cross Pattern

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 objective 51

That's all of the objectives and the Wardrobe rewards in Kingdom Hearts 2.8. Be sure to check back for more links or detailed info on some of the harder objectives. If you have a question about a specific objective, let me know!

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