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Kingdom Hearts III to feature "Monsters, Inc." & "Toy Story" characters

Kingdom Hearts III to feature "Monsters, Inc." & "Toy Story" characters

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Kingdom Hearts is the longest-running video game series featuring the Disney mascots. The latest title, Kingdom Hearts III is about to debut and audiences cannot wait for it.


Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

Developed by the Japanese studio Square Enix, the series was originally a Nintendo GameCube exclusive when it appeared in 2002. It had fantastic reviews and tremendous word of mouth. It sold millions of copies, to date over 20 million in the series, and created fans the world over. Different versions of the game, remixes, semi-sequels and remakes appeared across multiple consoles over the past 15 years. 

The success of the series could be attributed to many things but for Disney fans it was the attention to detail that made them take notice. Mickey Mouse, Donald and Goofy became action heroes that audiences never could have expected. Wave after wave of the classic animated Disney heroes and villains returned in new adventures, often featuring the original voice actors from a television show or movie.


Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

Square Enix began incorporating elements from live-action Disney films and the theme parks into the sequels as well. They delivered the types of immersive experiences that Disney fans and game players were longing for. General audiences could enjoy the game without having any experience with action titles or other role-playing games. The series maintained an ease of use for new players and a degree of difficulty for more advanced players.

It was more than nostalgia that made the series work. Kingdom Hearts was a solid game in its own right. It earned a spot alongside the longest running franchises. The latest title in the series, Kingdom Hearts III, spent almost nine years in development. Some of the themes and new ideas were teased as early as 2006. A little footage had been unveiled at the Los Angeles E3 Expo in 2017 and even more footage was released at the D23 Expo in Anaheim a few months later.


Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

The big announcement was the introduction of an entirely new stage, based on the Toy Story universe. The main characters Sora (an original Square Enix character), Goofy and Donald visit in Andy's Room and are helped out by Woody, Buzz Lightyear and all of the Pixar favorites. New game play elements are introduced, including being able to pilot a giant toy robot. The visuals in the game are so impressive they actually surpass the graphics from the original 1995 "Toy Story" film.

This February, Square Enix surprised audiences at the D23 Expo Japan by unveiling another new stage. The stars visit the monster world, made famous in the 2001 movie "Monsters, Inc." They are helped by Mike, Sully and Boo in this new adventure.


Copyright Disney / Square Enix. All rights reserved

Square Enix has not committed to an exact release date, they do promise it will be calendar 2018. As more details are unveiled, and possible hands-on time, expect JHM to have complete coverage. 

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