After a long lull of silence, Square Enix has blitzkrieged the video game community with new information concerning one of their most highly anticipated titles, Kingdom Hearts II. First came the release of dozens of new screenshots and pieces of art, which was followed quickly by a duo of official website openings: the Disney-flavored site, and Square Enix's version, which came packed with the Kingdom Hearts II trailer that was featured at Jump Fiesta 2005. Following the recent trend, Kingdom Hearts II director Tetsuya Nomura sat down with Japanese publication Dori Maga to discuss Kingdom Hearts II, as well as the upcoming Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles.
Mainly, the interview focused on Kingdom Hearts II. In response to a question regarding the recent lack of information on the game, Nomura stated "Yes, a release is indeed approaching. The announcement of Kingdom Hearts II was actually too early." He went on to say "It's not that delayed development has caused a delay in the release. Recently, a debut period has come into sight, and so we've started to release information."
When asked about the state of the game's development, Nomura revealed that it is nearly finished. The game's scenario is complete, and the voice recording is nearly complete, with only some fine tuning left to be done. The game still has a few additions coming to it however, as Nomura revealed that they're "currently finishing up the main story -- the scenario featuring Sora and the black coated characters." Furthermore, when asked about the volume of Kingdom Hearts II, Nomura revealed that the story would be quite a bit lengthier than that of its predecessor by an estimated 2.5 times.
Regarding the animation of the game, Nomura explained that "when in Brave Form with red clothing and when in standard form with black clothing, the motion is completely different. This is, of course, true when fighting, but also when running. The motion for walking is about all that's shared. Of course, there are other forms besides black and red."
When the interview shifted to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, Nomura stated "We plan to increase the player characters by two. The story is heating up as the climax approaches, so please stick with us for a bit more." when asked about Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII.
Even though the game's projected release date recently shifted to some time in 2006, the development of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is still chugging along, with Nomura saying that he has worked on the art for the game. Moreover, Nomura dropped a few hints about the game's gameplay system: "We're planning an interesting, previously unseen gameplay system. We announced [Crisis Core] as an action RPG, but I think it will end up as something that exceeds everyone's expectations. I personally want to get my hands on it quickly."
While Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII's projected release has been pushed back, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII's development seems to be progressing faster than expected. "We should be able to release it earlier than most expect," assures Nomura. "It's a title that's been surrounded by a number of secrets until now, but at E3 you'll be able to get a taste of it and I think you'll be even more excited. For this game, I'm mainly doing character designs. The game is strongly influenced by Yoshinori Kitase."
Nomura had less to say about Square Enix's upcoming motion picture incarnation of Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: "We've kept you waiting, but we should be able to announce a number of things soon. Please look forward to it."
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