It’s that time of year again! No, not Halloween (though that is sneaking up on us faster that I realize). I’m talking about New York Comic Con time! Though not as prolific as San Diego Comic Con, NYCC is the East Coast’s biggest comic and media convention, boasting hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees.
Just like its West Coast counterpart, NYCC attracts countless collectors and, as such, has become a haven for exclusive merchandise. This is where Funko comes in. Over the summer we showed you all of Funko’s SDCC exclusives, the Pop!s, Dorbz, Rides and Vnyls that were only available at the con. Luckily, they’re bringing a pretty strong game to New York Comic Con as well.
Since they’re revealing all of their exclusives in waves so make sure to check back often as we update to see everything you can expect to find at NYCC.
Just Cause 3
Everyone’s favorite ridiculous action adventure stunt game is back and better than ever. The series whose staple is over the top stunts set in a giant open world with an iconic grappling hook has taken it to the next level. By having a triggered grappling hook, you can hook multiple things together, then pull the trigger to have them all pulled close, opening up tons of awesome enemy death possibilities. The wing suit also makes escaping situations and dive-bombing enemies look so gorgeous with the updated graphics and better lighting. If you liked Just Cause 2, you’re going to be excited about Just Cause 3
Nier *insert static words*
No, that’s really the title, as far as we could see it. Fans have been asking unhopefully for a new Nier game, and being expectedly disappointed. But now Square Enix has partnered with Platinum Games to continue the saga in an as yet unsubtitled name Nier game. It’s coming out for PS4 and there isn’t any word on Xbox One yet. There aren’t many more details other than the heads of Nier are back and that this is definitely a Nier game. Color us excited, though, as the E3 of unexpected dreams coming true continues.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara Croft just can’t catch a break. Not unlike Nathan Drake, she’s in all sorts of trouble lookin’ for dem tombs to raid. The trailer starts out with her ice climbing with a companion. Predictably, things go awry after some death-defying leaps and an avalanche begins to fall. The avalanche looks great and the sense of impending doom and trouble are very present. Rise of the Tomb Raider appears to be running on the same engine as its predecessor, meaning the lighting and graphics are especially good for dark moments with little lighting. Overall the game looks beautiful and seems even more anxiety-inducing than the previous game. Fans of the series, or just fans of action games in general, should keep an eye on this.
Final Fantasy VII
Yes, we already wrote about this announcement. Yes, this is a repeat. Yes, it’s that important. Final Fantasy VII may be one of the most over-hyped games in the series. The protagonists may be a little bland, the story kind of convoluted, and the fanbase an absolute nightmare, but the announcement of this remake is important for reasons beyond just one of the best Final Fantasy game being remade. It’s even more important than the implication that other Final Fantasies could get remade. It’s a symbol of Square Enix finally using its ears to listen to the fans in addition to their money. This started with Bravely Default when fans demanded a traditional, huge JRPG and Bravely Default was barely made. Barely any expectations, but then it started to sell and sell and Square may have realized “maybe the fans should be listened to?” And despite all the previous denials, all the times they’ve said “it would require a massive amount of resources and people,” or “we would love to, but remaking an old classic is daunting,” they’ve sucked it up and committed. That’s a powerful symbol. And now we’re here, in a year where Nier 2 and a Final Fantasy VII remake are actually being worked on. Maybe, just maybe, the Square we grew up with is starting to phoenix down.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X (pronounced like key)
As usual with Square Enix Kingdom Hearts games, before we get any more info on the next console version, a mobile game has to be released to lead in to the story. Kingdom Hearts III is no exception and its prequel is Kingdom Hearts Unchained X. The graphic style go a completely different direction than Chain of Memories, Coded, or Birth By sleep. Instead, the new game is done in a 2D almost half Paper Mario half Theatryhythm style. The gameplay is ambiguous, but seems similar to Final Fantasy All the Bravest. No word on how this fits in to the Kingdom Hearts lore or where it is on the chronology, but current plans are to release it worldwide.
Kingdom Hearts III
Now this is more like it! Every time we see this game, it seems it gets twice as exciting. They started off the KH3 portion of the show by talking about how it will feature the world of Tangled, something surprising as Kingdom Hearts isn’t really known for doing newer Disney IPs. Then the gameplay start and everything looks absolutely gorgeous. The colors in Kingdom Hearts III are more vibrant and exciting than any of the previous titles, making a really visually interesting landscape to enjoy. And there’s a lot of landscape to enjoy, with the scale of worlds seeming to go way way up. Olympus in particular seems far bigger than it ever has. The next upgraded aspect of the game seems to be in the combat, with something that looks akin to forms in KH2, but with a lot more variety. Guns, chain keyblades, and something like War Machine’s Repulsor Cannon all make this game look fresh. Add in the theme park inspired summons/specials of the electric parade, tea cups, and boat swing and Disney fans are sure to find something new to enjoy with this game. On the story side, two new unknown characters were introduced playing a version of chess with one another. They appear to be younger versions of Eraqus and Xehanort, but that’s nowhere near confirmed. The game continues to wow us with its previews, and we can’t get it fast enough. No word on a release date, but you can bet as soon as there is one, our calendars will be marked, days taken off, supplies bought, and tissues prepared for what looks to be the best Kingdom Hearts game to date.
World of Final Fantasy
The entry barrier to a series like Final Fantasy seems kind of high to someone who’s never played the games before. In order to try and alleviate this, World of Final Fantasy was created. There’s not many details on the game other than it seems to be a turn based combat game in which you control monsters who fight one another, not unlike Pokemon. The graphics seem to alternate between 3D Theatrhythm-style graphics and less cartoony models. Not many details on this yet, but this seems like Square Enix’s answer to not have many casual-friendly games, so at the very least, it should be an interesting experiment.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Star Ocean has been needing some love for sometime and fans of the series are finally getting sweet relief. Integrity and Faithlessness is definitely built for the current generation, featuring wide landscapes, HD textures, and what looks to be no load screens for fights. Couple that with the wide variety of landscapes featured in the trailer and Star Ocean fans have a reason to be squirming in their seats. The six person party system and open combat look like a lot of fun too. The game is coming out in Japan later this year with a worldwide release planned for 2016.
A completely new IP was announced that doesn’t even have a title yet. The development company handling this title was just created by Square Enix with the name Tokyo RPG Factory. Though no real details are known about the game, its storyline or even the goals of Tokyo RPG Factory, the trailer for their game, codenamed Project Setsuna, looks visually stunning already. We can’t wait to hear more about this title.
J takes the plunge reviews Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix. Will it please hardcore fans and newcomers alike, or is this an overmilked series?
Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
9) Halo (5?) on Xbox One
The most alluring trailer of Xbox One’s presentation had to be Halo’s. For a full minute we’re treated to a cloaked wanderer in the desert, going nowhere in particular. Then
suddenly, a giant figure emerges from the sands, taking the form of a giant mech. At a minute and a half in, eagle eyes can spot Cortana’s chip on a necklace in an armored hand. The cloak is pulled back and there is Master Chief in all his glory. The game’s title simply said Halo, though due to certain plot-y elements, it appears to be 5. Chief is back and he’s lookin’ good.
8) New Xbox 360 redesign
To fall in line with the Xbox One’s design, Microsoft unveiled a new iteration of the Xbox 360 that looks more like the One. This release will presumably trigger a
price reduction on older models and the new model will take the price points of current models. Oh and they also released on Monday, so you can pick one up right now. I like that they do that with redesigns. Good on you, Xbox
7) Playstation 4’s online multiplayer is through PS+ only
The days of free online gaming with Playstation have ended. No longer will Sony try to entice gamers through their free PSN multiplayer. The good news is that PS+ still comes with all the features it’s known for (cloud saves, game collection, free titles, early beta access), and that they’re not hiding streaming media services behind the PS+ pay wall. That’s right, you don’t have to pay an extra fee just to watch season 4 of Daria on Amazon Instant. Nice.
6) Megaman is back! Kind of!Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
Well it’s not the game we were all hoping for, but if Pit making an appearance in Brawl could revitilize his series, there’s no reason the Smash Brothers colossus couldn’t do the same for the Blue Bomber. At the very end of the new Smash Bros. Trailer in the Nintendo Direct, Megaman make his presence known with rock remixes of classic Megaman jams, toting some heavy artillery, and all the squeals fans could muster. I wish they would have chose the Megaman Legends version, in which he looks more like a person instead of a tiny dollman, but at this point I’ll take what I can get.
5) Microsoft stuck with their DRM guns and Sony took full advantage of it. Directly.
|Image from IGN/Reddit|
The gents at Xbox did a commendable job of not mentioning their strangely restrictive DRM issues we’ve all heard about by now. From having to authenticate your game once every 24 hours to effectively eliminate game borrowing through the use of user registration, the Xbox One offers an unexpectedly tight control on games and it’s leaving gamers asking whether they really own the games they buy. So of course you’d rather not make gamers more angry by mentioning the sore subject again at E3 right?
Well Sony sure did, and they didn’t do so lightly. Direct comments like “And it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated within 24 hours” to a room of screaming fans shows Sony more than willing to poke the Microsoft bear. Subtlety may not be Sony’s strong suit, and fans love it.
4) Final Fantasy Versus XIII = Final Fantasy XVPlease enter the url to a YouTube video.
Amid rumors of the rebrand, Final Fantasy fans finally had their hopes substantiated by Tetsuya Nomura himself. A new trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII was revealed, showcasing incredible graphic and playstyle not before seen in a Final Fantasy game. The most surprising aspect is the gameplay. As Noctus is zipping around in the game with his invisible swords, you can see commands in the corner that seem to point to inputs from the player, ala Kingdom Hearts. Perhaps they’re finally departing from turn-based combat in favor of faster gameplay. The final surprise was revealing it was rebranded to Final Fantasy XV, making it a numeric title, and thus symbolically more important in some way. I just want the game. Come on Squenix, throw me a bone here.
3) Kingdom Hearts III FINALLY GEEZEPlease enter the url to a YouTube video.
IT’S HERE. IT’S FINALLY HERE. KINGDOM HEARTS III. THE GAME TO TIE TOGETHER ALL THE NONSENSE GAMES THAT HAVE BEEN COMING OUT FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS. OH AND THE GRAPHICS LOOK LIKE KH1 COLORS, BUT FAR BETTER DETAILS AND I WANT TO CRY IT LOOKS GREAT SORA’S FIGHTING HEARTLESS WHERE’S MY TISSUES.
2) FFXV and KHIII are not console exclusive
Okay, this isn’t really number 2, it should be somewhere around 7, but that would have spoiled 3 and 4. In a rather substantial blow to the exclusive titles for Sony, both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are going to be multiplatform. For the first time in history, Xbox owners will get to experience the Disney/Square combo powerhouse that fans have been enjoying for years. And for only the second time, Squenix’s flagship series Final Fantasy will also enjoy a release on the Microsoft console. Though Final Fantasy’s multiplatformship wasn’t very surprising, Kingdom Hearts is eliciting almost as bad a reaction as FFXIII from die-hard fans.
1) Star Wars Battlefront
Fans have been begging and crying and sweating and gnashing teeth and kicking walls and screaming at the top of their lungs. And finally, after Disney shut down Lucas Arts studios, Star Wars Battlefront is back in the limelight. Its trailer was only slightly better than the Duke Nukem trilogy trailer from E3 2008.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
Come on EA. You can’t dangle a new entry in one of the best Star Wars Series of all time in my face, but only show me one T-47 airspeeder, an AT-AT, and some snow. Look at this.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
That being said, this news makes me warm inside, even though it shouldn’t since it’s using DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine.
As a young lad I used to hang out at my grandmother’s very large, very creepy house and play video games with my older, cooler cousins. Mortal Kombat, Suikoden, and Doom. Back then I would sit around starry-eyed and listen as they talked about the “next-gen” of video-games. I would ask stupid questions like, “Can I throw my sword into the ceiling, climb up on it, wait for an enemy to come around the corner and then drop on them?”. They would chuckle and say something along the lines of, “No, not yet.”
Fast forward seventeen years and Final Fantasy XV has given me my dream. Finally (pun totally intended). Not only did they give me my dream, but they added some extra special sauce on top. I can throw my sword hundreds of yards and then teleport to my sword, dangling from it in insanely cinematic situations.
With the main game and story being developed by Tetsuya Nomura (one of the main character designers of Final Fantasy VII fame and also the director of Kingdom Hearts), the combat system being developed by the Kingdom Hearts 2 team, and the cut scenes being handled by the Advent Children team we are in for one hell of a game. Don’t take my word for it though. Watch these two videos and have your mind melted. The first video has a good chunk of cut scene during the first half, but then it kicks into actual gameplay.
I’m not sure exactly what the story is yet, but it looks to me like a combination of Gangs of New York and Romeo and Juliet (specifically the struggle between the Capulet’s and Montague’s). Works for me.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
And this video is solely gameplay footage. I think It’s interesting how your other party members interact with you in a completely organic way.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
Fulfilling a fantasy that I never knew I had is the Xbox One exclusive Titanfall. This new dream of mine is to eject from a mech on the verge of fiery explosion, rocket into the sky, land on the roof of the opposing mech, and unload a full clip into its skull, sentencing it to the same death it attempted against me.
The Call of Duty influence is obvious as the game is being made by Respawn Studios, the company founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella (the co-founders of Infinity Ward who took most of their team with them when they were fired for “insubordination”). Luckily, they have chosen to not simply retread the same foot-steps the Call of Duty franchise has been burning out and instead took a fresh approach.
This game is it is a combination of giant robot fighting, Call of Duty, and Mirror’s Edge parkour. Oh, and rocket packs like in Vanquish. Yep. I’m buying it.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
And then came Bayonetta 2. If you haven’t played and beaten Bayonetta 1 I implore you, nay… I beg thee to do so. There’s an anime by the name of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan where with every episode the show grows more and more over the top until the end where they are literally throwing solar systems at each as ninja stars. Bayonetta embraces this sort of audacity and revels in the set pieces that will have you simeoutaneously saying, “WTF HAHA!” and, “YESSSS!!!”.
The trailer for Bayonetta 2 shows off the heroines cute new hair style and then starts off at 100% over-the-top. This game. Is going to be. In-sane.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
My first brush with Xehanort was way back in 2012 when Kingdom Hearts was one stand alone, utterly fantastic story that blended the worlds of Final Fantasy with Disney. He was a tall, silver haired fox known as Ansem, who was really Xemnas, who was the Heartless version of Terra possessed by Master Xehanort (hereafter referred to as Terranort), who is not to be confused with Young Xehanort. Confused yet? Welcome to the Kingdom Hearts fandom! It took me quite a while to unscramble my brain and organize all the time travel so I will touch briefly on all four incarnations and then sum up on why this person is the perfect embodiment of all evil and deserves to burn on a pyre. If you haven’t succumbed to the lure of a gorgeously done, award winning game series yet, I implore you: Dig out that Playstation2 and dive in.
“Darkness rules your heart. It gives me control. Muscle and sinew that once obeyed you now rebels against you. How you can remain here at all confounds the mind.”
I’m a bit of a completionist and as such, I feel it is my duty to start from the beginning (with Kingdom Hearts I, not Young Xehanort).
Ansem is all about the Darkness. He wants to live in it, be it, and create an entire kingdom bathed in it. In the Xehanort timeline, he comes to existence due to experiments by Terranort after memory erasure. Terranort successfully rips his Heart from his body and soul before offering it up to Darkness and becoming Ansem. Before Ansem was able to gain a physical form, he floated through time and met up with Young Xehanort, who used dark magic to give him a body. After his return to his original timeline, Ansem sucks up and fuses with our hero’s childhood best friend, Riku, then proceeds to steal the hearts from all the princesses he can find in order to forge a Keyblade that will open the doorway to Kingdom Hearts itself (an actual object that is the heart of all worlds and a source of great power and wisdom). He is the hooded figure you encounter at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts and is the one who decides to open all the doors ever, allowing worlds to collide and mesh, and allows Darkness to enter each, filling it with Heartless minions. It’s a slightly sicker, more selfish version of world domination he’s interested in and when he is destroyed by the Light, we think he’s gone forever! Well, until Kingdom Hearts II.
In the second game, we get to meet Xemnas, the leader of the ominous Organization XIII, and find out he is the Nobody of Terranort, the heartless shell left over once the heart becomes a Heartless (Ansem). He also decides to absorb poor Riku in his quest for attaining a Keyblade of his own, but again, our hero and his friends are able to thwart these plans, even though Xemnas has gone one step further and blended magic with technology. He gets much closer to acquiring Kingdom Hearts, getting so far as taking its power and creating a new world. He sacrifices every member of his Organization XIII, becoming the last to fall at the duel Keyblade power that Sora can now wield.
Birth by Sleep was released in conjunction with 358/2 and while 358/2 further explored Organization XIII, Birth by Sleep went back in time to deal with Master Xehanort and his effect on events that would eventually transpire during the original games. Master Xehanort was a Keyblade Master, a teacher and all around respected guy, whose belief in the balance of Light and Darkness was so strong that his urge to conquer Kingdom Hearts and create a new, balanced universe overcame him. Frustrated at his age, he knew his time would run out before his plans were fulfilled and devised a plan to use his Keyblade to transfer his heart to a younger body. Through subtle manipulations, Master Xehanort is able to turn the character Terra from the path of Light and begins to sow seeds of discontent across the worlds, beginning with the evil fairy, Maleficent. Terra eventually faces off with the elderly Master and defeats him, but is unable to stop Master Xehanort from implanting his heart into Terra, whose hair turns white and is revealed to be the spitting image of Ansem/Xemnas.
Currently, we are waiting for Young Xehanort, who starred in the latest game in the franchise, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, to finish collecting empty “vessels” for pieces of his future heart to inhabit. He has grown up on Destiny Islands and after a visit from Ansem/Xemnas, is gifted the ability to time travel so he can allow his future endeavors to come to fruition. After failing to make Sora the thirteenth, ultimate vessel, Young Xehanort vows he will return and that his new Organization XIII will meet the “Seven Lights”, Keyblade-wielding defenders of light (possibly the seven Princesses of Heart), in a Keyblade War.
“Look as hard as you are able. You’ll not find even the smallest glimmer of light! From those dark depths are all hearts born! Even yours.”
Xehanort, apart from being a wily little time meddler, has powerful elemental magic, complete control over the Darkness, limited control over the Heartless, and he can siphon the Darkness out of another’s heart and grant it form. If you have Darkness in your heart, I recommend staying away from Xehanort, lest you become a minion. Creepy old man taking over your body? No thanks!
If you have liked what you have read and would like to learn more, you can check out the following story arcs/episodes/collected issues:
* For Ansem/Xemnas brought to life by the dulcet tones of Billy Zane, Kingdom Hearts I & II are where you can see him in his prime as he attempts to possess you.
* For Master Xehanort, seek out Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, voiced by the glorious Leonard Nimoy, at his most vile.
* The very pretty Young Xehanort makes several appearances in the Kingdom Hearts manga, so while those are a darn informative read, turn your gaming attentions to Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.
“This… is hardly… the end… Your darkness—I gave it… all to you… My dark shadow… lingers… Someday… Someday… I will return!”