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Found 14 results

  1. The benefit of using emojis is being able to condense complete sentences into easy-to-decipher symbols (assuming you’re not an out-of-touch old fogie like me). Can they work the same wonders for Kingdom Hearts’ complicated narrative? Disney puts that idea to the test by producing a short video titled "A Look at Kingdom Hearts III: As Told Through Emoji" that is exactly as it sounds. The 4-minute short shrinks the epic scope of the adventure down to the size of a phone screen. It cleverly translates key moments into bouncing heads, message bubbles, and commendable use of the calendar. As someone who’s played a fair amount of Kingdom Hearts III, the video does a solid job of getting general story points across and is entertaining to boot. Disney begins by summarizing the intro of the first game before delving into an abridged retelling of Kingdom Hearts III’s first half. This means some light spoilers lie ahead in terms of when Sora encounters the various Disney/Pixar worlds and why. If you haven’t played the game and want to be surprised on that front, you’ll probably want to avoid this video. Everyone else can check it out below. Kingdom Hearts III is available now on PS4 and Xbox One. What did you think of the video? Share your thoughts in the comments! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. The benefit of using emojis is being able to condense complete sentences into easy-to-decipher symbols (assuming you’re not an out-of-touch old fogie like me). Can they work the same wonders for Kingdom Hearts’ complicated narrative? Disney puts that idea to the test by producing a short video titled "A Look at Kingdom Hearts III: As Told Through Emoji" that is exactly as it sounds. The 4-minute short shrinks the epic scope of the adventure down to the size of a phone screen. It cleverly translates key moments into bouncing heads, message bubbles, and commendable use of the calendar. As someone who’s played a fair amount of Kingdom Hearts III, the video does a solid job of getting general story points across and is entertaining to boot. Disney begins by summarizing the intro of the first game before delving into an abridged retelling of Kingdom Hearts III’s first half. This means some light spoilers lie ahead in terms of when Sora encounters the various Disney/Pixar worlds and why. If you haven’t played the game and want to be surprised on that front, you’ll probably want to avoid this video. Everyone else can check it out below. Kingdom Hearts III is available now on PS4 and Xbox One. What did you think of the video? Share your thoughts in the comments! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. The PlayStation 2 title that blended the magics of Disney and Final Fantasy into one crazy package, Kingdom Hearts captured the imaginations of a generation of gamers with a smorgasbord of previously unthinkable crossovers the likes of which had never been seen in video games before. The action-RPG, though regarded by many as a classic now, was conceived of as a big gamble that Disney and Square were only willing to take because of the ailing finances of their respective companies. Now, more years than many would care to admit later, the third official installment of the series seems to be on the brink of release. So we have to ask.... Does the original Kingdom Hearts hold up as one of the best games of all-time? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kingdom Hearts 'Protect Your Kingdom' by Smooth4Lyfe (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03532) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  4. The PlayStation 2 title that blended the magics of Disney and Final Fantasy into one crazy package, Kingdom Hearts captured the imaginations of a generation of gamers with a smorgasbord of previously unthinkable crossovers the likes of which had never been seen in video games before. The action-RPG, though regarded by many as a classic now, was conceived of as a big gamble that Disney and Square were only willing to take because of the ailing finances of their respective companies. Now, more years than many would care to admit later, the third official installment of the series seems to be on the brink of release. So we have to ask.... Does the original Kingdom Hearts hold up as one of the best games of all-time? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kingdom Hearts 'Protect Your Kingdom' by Smooth4Lyfe (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03532) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  5. Square Enix continues the trickle of Kingdom Hearts III news with a new trailer that shows off a collection of mini-games based on the handheld LCD systems that were popular in the 80s. Players take on the role of Sora and Mickey as they complete various tasks related to original Mickey Mouse cartoons from back in the day. The trailer shows four different mini-games titled The Barnyard Battle, The Karnival Kid, Giantland, and Musical Farmer, respectively. The Classic Kingdom trailer comes courtesy of the Kingdom Hearts Union X fan event being held in Anaheim, California. Kingdom Hearts III will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The release date has not officially been revealed quite yet, though there are hints that it could be coming sooner rather than later. I'd put money on us learning that information sometime during E3 2018. View full article
  6. Square Enix continues the trickle of Kingdom Hearts III news with a new trailer that shows off a collection of mini-games based on the handheld LCD systems that were popular in the 80s. Players take on the role of Sora and Mickey as they complete various tasks related to original Mickey Mouse cartoons from back in the day. The trailer shows four different mini-games titled The Barnyard Battle, The Karnival Kid, Giantland, and Musical Farmer, respectively. The Classic Kingdom trailer comes courtesy of the Kingdom Hearts Union X fan event being held in Anaheim, California. Kingdom Hearts III will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The release date has not officially been revealed quite yet, though there are hints that it could be coming sooner rather than later. I'd put money on us learning that information sometime during E3 2018.
  7. While most know Disney as a company that creates colorful animated films and holds sway over a vast merchandising empire, few know that they run a huge network of companies that support their main goals. One of those support companies, Disney Research, is tasked with creating new technologies to further the overarching media and entertainment goals of Disney proper. Turns out that they've just found a scalable way to transmit electricity within given rooms - without wires. The chief scientist at Disney Research, Alanson Sample, hailed the discovery as an "innovative method [that] will make it possible for electrical power to become as ubiquitous as WiFi. Sample went on to describe how this could be a game changer "for robots and other small mobile devices by eliminating the need to replace batteries and wires for charging." This breakthrough has been dubbed Quasistatic Cavity Resonance (QSCR). It relies on inducing an electrical current in metalized walls, floor, and ceiling of a room to generate near-field standing magnetic waves. These waves are able to fill a space and power numerous devices at the same time. The demonstration of this new method allowed researchers to power several phones, lights, and fans at the same time within a specially constructed room. "In this work," explained Sample, "we've demonstrated room-scale wireless power, but there's no reason we couldn't scale this down to the size of a toy chest or up to the size of a warehouse." Some of you reading this probably got a bit skeptical at the thought of an electric current running through the floors, walls, and ceiling of a given room. However, QSCR currents in the structure are channeled through capacitors tasked with isolating potentially harmful electrical fields. Sample points to the data from the demonstrations of this method to prove that they can transmit up to 1.9 kilowatts of electricity (enough to charge 320 smart phones at the same time) while remaining within a safe zone of conduction for the structure. The magnetic waves, on the other hand, don't interact strongly enough with everyday objects to effect them. The researchers stated that rooms like this would be safe for human occupation for any length of time. Disney Research published their findings in the online journal PLOS ONE earlier this month. The demonstration they used to show their method works involved a specially constructed 16-by-16-foot room with aluminum walls, ceiling and floor bolted to an aluminum frame. A copper pole placed in the center of the room and cut with a gap for discrete capacitors allows for the transmission of electricity without wires. Their demonstration of the technology is incredibly impressive for something so early in development. The team had to construct a special room for this first proof of concept, but Alanson Sample believes that refining the technology could reduce the needs of their crude setup. Fewer metalized wall, ceiling, and floor panels might be necessary or older spaces might be retrofitted with special conductive paint instead. Currently, charging ranged anywhere from 40%-95% efficiency, but that range could be brought up higher through testing and experimentation. So, yeah. We might be getting rooms set up to broadcast electricity in the same way they now broadcast WiFi. Imagine wireless controllers that never need to be plugged in. Imagine the lack of cord clutter for PCs and consoles. Imagine not having to worry about whether you have the right charging cable for your phone. We're close to a future like that; technology is so freaking cool!
  8. While most know Disney as a company that creates colorful animated films and holds sway over a vast merchandising empire, few know that they run a huge network of companies that support their main goals. One of those support companies, Disney Research, is tasked with creating new technologies to further the overarching media and entertainment goals of Disney proper. Turns out that they've just found a scalable way to transmit electricity within given rooms - without wires. The chief scientist at Disney Research, Alanson Sample, hailed the discovery as an "innovative method [that] will make it possible for electrical power to become as ubiquitous as WiFi. Sample went on to describe how this could be a game changer "for robots and other small mobile devices by eliminating the need to replace batteries and wires for charging." This breakthrough has been dubbed Quasistatic Cavity Resonance (QSCR). It relies on inducing an electrical current in metalized walls, floor, and ceiling of a room to generate near-field standing magnetic waves. These waves are able to fill a space and power numerous devices at the same time. The demonstration of this new method allowed researchers to power several phones, lights, and fans at the same time within a specially constructed room. "In this work," explained Sample, "we've demonstrated room-scale wireless power, but there's no reason we couldn't scale this down to the size of a toy chest or up to the size of a warehouse." Some of you reading this probably got a bit skeptical at the thought of an electric current running through the floors, walls, and ceiling of a given room. However, QSCR currents in the structure are channeled through capacitors tasked with isolating potentially harmful electrical fields. Sample points to the data from the demonstrations of this method to prove that they can transmit up to 1.9 kilowatts of electricity (enough to charge 320 smart phones at the same time) while remaining within a safe zone of conduction for the structure. The magnetic waves, on the other hand, don't interact strongly enough with everyday objects to effect them. The researchers stated that rooms like this would be safe for human occupation for any length of time. Disney Research published their findings in the online journal PLOS ONE earlier this month. The demonstration they used to show their method works involved a specially constructed 16-by-16-foot room with aluminum walls, ceiling and floor bolted to an aluminum frame. A copper pole placed in the center of the room and cut with a gap for discrete capacitors allows for the transmission of electricity without wires. Their demonstration of the technology is incredibly impressive for something so early in development. The team had to construct a special room for this first proof of concept, but Alanson Sample believes that refining the technology could reduce the needs of their crude setup. Fewer metalized wall, ceiling, and floor panels might be necessary or older spaces might be retrofitted with special conductive paint instead. Currently, charging ranged anywhere from 40%-95% efficiency, but that range could be brought up higher through testing and experimentation. So, yeah. We might be getting rooms set up to broadcast electricity in the same way they now broadcast WiFi. Imagine wireless controllers that never need to be plugged in. Imagine the lack of cord clutter for PCs and consoles. Imagine not having to worry about whether you have the right charging cable for your phone. We're close to a future like that; technology is so freaking cool! View full article
  9. Night School Studios, formed from ex-Telltale Games and Disney developers, announced Oxenfree, a game about a group of teenagers who encounter a mysterious force while on a camping trip. In addition to the developer talent, Oxenfree has a number of other talented people attached. You will probably recognize the voices of Erin Yvette (Snow in The Wolf Among Us, Sasha in Tales from the Borderlands), Gavin Hammon (Kenny in The Walking Dead, Beast in The Wolf Among Us), and Britanni Johnson (Angel in Borderlands). On top of the star-studded cast, Scntfc been signed on for the music. You might recognize that name from his involvement with Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. View full article
  10. Night School Studios, formed from ex-Telltale Games and Disney developers, announced Oxenfree, a game about a group of teenagers who encounter a mysterious force while on a camping trip. In addition to the developer talent, Oxenfree has a number of other talented people attached. You will probably recognize the voices of Erin Yvette (Snow in The Wolf Among Us, Sasha in Tales from the Borderlands), Gavin Hammon (Kenny in The Walking Dead, Beast in The Wolf Among Us), and Britanni Johnson (Angel in Borderlands). On top of the star-studded cast, Scntfc been signed on for the music. You might recognize that name from his involvement with Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.
  11. Beginning January 1, 2015, Disney's Marvel will become the new steward for Star Wars in its comic form. Dark Horse Comics will lose their right to distribute their 24 year digital backlog meaning that those digital issues will disappear, possibly forever. The good news? Dark Horse is sending off their era of Star Wars by offering 50% off the entire collection. For $300, consumers can own the past 24 years of Dark Horse Star Wars, valued at a little over $2,700. This includes everything about Knights of the Old Republic, the Clone Wars, Dawn of the Jedi, Dark Empire, and more. Sure, the stories contained in Dark Horse Comic's combined 28,353 pages might not be canon anymore, but the stories are still great (Dark Empire is a must read) and the artwork remains gorgeous.
  12. Beginning January 1, 2015, Disney's Marvel will become the new steward for Star Wars in its comic form. Dark Horse Comics will lose their right to distribute their 24 year digital backlog meaning that those digital issues will disappear, possibly forever. The good news? Dark Horse is sending off their era of Star Wars by offering 50% off the entire collection. For $300, consumers can own the past 24 years of Dark Horse Star Wars, valued at a little over $2,700. This includes everything about Knights of the Old Republic, the Clone Wars, Dawn of the Jedi, Dark Empire, and more. Sure, the stories contained in Dark Horse Comic's combined 28,353 pages might not be canon anymore, but the stories are still great (Dark Empire is a must read) and the artwork remains gorgeous. View full article
  13. Massive cuts were felt around the industry recently, as multiple, high-profile developers had employees cut from projects or saw their entire studio closed. Kotaku broke the first story, declaring that 40 members of Activision’s High Moon Studios had been laid off following the completion of their programming duties for the upcoming Deadpool video game. Activision released a statement to them reading: "Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its revenues – this is an ongoing process. With the completion of development on Deadpool, we are taking a reduction in staff at High Moon Studios to better align our development talent against our slate. Approximately, 40 full-time employees will be impacted globally. We are offering those employees who are impacted outplacement counseling services." Meanwhile, major developer and publisher Square Enix has announced that it will be undergoing “corporate restructuring” in response to lower than expected sales of Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs. Game Informer obtained a document indicating the unrealistic expectations the dev/publisher had for those three titles and the sales numbers to date. This corporate shifting has resulted in numerous layoffs in the Los Angeles Square Enix offices, and is expected to affect both the European and Japanese offices as well. While the exact amount of layoffs are unknown in Square Enix’s case, Joystiq has had several inside sources placing the number anywhere between 40 to 50 so far. Finally, in what might be the most shocking news of the day, Disney announced that the acclaimed LucasArts would be closing its doors as a developer. In an official statement made to Game Informer, Disney stated: "After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles." What does this mean for projects like the highly anticipated Star Wars 1313 that was seen at E3 last year? Given how much polish the game demonstrated at the press event, it is unlikely that the project is 100% dead, though Kotaku did publish a story that indicated the game had been put on hold indefinitely. It could still be outsourced to external development studios as per the new “licensing model” that Disney’s statement seems to indicate. This also means we will still be seeing Star Wars and Indiana Jones branded games, they will just not be made by LucasArts anymore. While the move to close LucasArts came as a surprise to many, there were plenty of warning signs in retrospect. Many of the big Star Wars titles in recent years had either been cancelled a la Battlefront III, been disasters like Kinect Star Wars, or been average as in the case of The Force Unleashed II. Our condolences go out to everyone displaced by these cuts and closures. We hope you guys find new employment soon.
  14. Massive cuts were felt around the industry recently, as multiple, high-profile developers had employees cut from projects or saw their entire studio closed. Kotaku broke the first story, declaring that 40 members of Activision’s High Moon Studios had been laid off following the completion of their programming duties for the upcoming Deadpool video game. Activision released a statement to them reading: "Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its revenues – this is an ongoing process. With the completion of development on Deadpool, we are taking a reduction in staff at High Moon Studios to better align our development talent against our slate. Approximately, 40 full-time employees will be impacted globally. We are offering those employees who are impacted outplacement counseling services." Meanwhile, major developer and publisher Square Enix has announced that it will be undergoing “corporate restructuring” in response to lower than expected sales of Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs. Game Informer obtained a document indicating the unrealistic expectations the dev/publisher had for those three titles and the sales numbers to date. This corporate shifting has resulted in numerous layoffs in the Los Angeles Square Enix offices, and is expected to affect both the European and Japanese offices as well. While the exact amount of layoffs are unknown in Square Enix’s case, Joystiq has had several inside sources placing the number anywhere between 40 to 50 so far. Finally, in what might be the most shocking news of the day, Disney announced that the acclaimed LucasArts would be closing its doors as a developer. In an official statement made to Game Informer, Disney stated: "After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles." What does this mean for projects like the highly anticipated Star Wars 1313 that was seen at E3 last year? Given how much polish the game demonstrated at the press event, it is unlikely that the project is 100% dead, though Kotaku did publish a story that indicated the game had been put on hold indefinitely. It could still be outsourced to external development studios as per the new “licensing model” that Disney’s statement seems to indicate. This also means we will still be seeing Star Wars and Indiana Jones branded games, they will just not be made by LucasArts anymore. While the move to close LucasArts came as a surprise to many, there were plenty of warning signs in retrospect. Many of the big Star Wars titles in recent years had either been cancelled a la Battlefront III, been disasters like Kinect Star Wars, or been average as in the case of The Force Unleashed II. Our condolences go out to everyone displaced by these cuts and closures. We hope you guys find new employment soon. View full article
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