New Kingdom Hearts games are coming to the DS, PSP and Mobile Phones, as announced today by Square Enix for the Tokyo Game Show. Although only confirmed for Japan at this point in time (one of them doesn’t even have a release in any territory yet), Square has assured it’s Western fans that they are coming, “releases in other territories will be determined at a later date.”
First up is a new Kingdom Hearts DS game called “Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days”. This is the first game in the series to be brought to the Nintendo DS (previously “Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories” was released for the Game Boy Advance). It will follow the adventures of both Roxas and Axel and contain both single player and multiplayer missions in the form of four-player simultaneous play using members of Organization XIII. The game is in full 3D too and is being directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Tomohiro Hasegawa. No date has been announced for any region yet (but you can probably expect it to hit sometime in 2008).
Next up is an all-new Kingdom Hearts PSP game, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, it is also the first time the series will be hitting Sony’s Playstation Portable. It will tell the story of three all-new characters who are all Keyblade apprentices searching for their missing Keyblade master. Co-directing this title will be Tetsuya Nomura and Tai Yasue.
And finally we come to the mobile Kingdom Hearts, a cell-phone game called Kingdom Hearts Coded. The storyline sees Jiminy Cricket return to Disney Castle after the events of the first game, where he starts writing in his journal which leads to him finding mysterious messages that he cannot trace. This marks the beginning of an all-new quest for Sora and company (familiar characters from the first two games). Carriers and cell phone models that will support the game have not been announced yet.
Each is based on a time-related theme: Birth by Sleep is “the distant past,” KH: 358/2 Days is “time of the other side,” and Code is “time has gone by.”
For the uninitiated, Kingdom Hearts was originally released in 2002 and was a groundbreaking collaboration between Disney and Square Enix, a monumental clash of East and West as Square was given the reigns to create all new Disney characters while expanding on previous characters and locations from the entirety of Disney, from the cartoons and animated films to the live-action movies and even Disney theme-park rides. And since it was created by Square, the game also featured cameos from Square’s most popular Final Fantasy characters.
Kingdom Hearts was a huge hit. A GBA game was then released that served as a link between the first game and it’s sequel, Kingdom Hearts II, which greatly improved upon the first game and was also a best seller. Games in the series have shifted over 11 million copies combined on the PS2 and GBA so far.