Quick history lesson: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was first revealed in the US at E3 2010 as part of the general explosion of 3DS reveals. That was followed by relative silence from publisher Square Enix outside of Japan, while the game continued to get new trailers and demos to preview leading up to its March Japanese release. After being silent for too long, Square has finally made the localization official, with a US/UK launch planned for some time next year.
The above trailer's lack of English dialogue implies little localization has happened so far, which is troubling but hopefully the final version will meet the high standard for voice-acting the series has met so far. Alongside the new trailer and a couple new screens, Square Enix also launched a modest English-language website to go along with the announcement. Also in the press release the publisher listed among the game’s highlights “Story Progression,” perhaps as an admission that not much of note happened in the last couple of KH games. In case the plot of KH3D confused you so far (and how could it not?), Square also had the first official localized description of the story. Hopefully this will clear some things up:
“King Mickey and Yen Sid prepare for an impending threat by putting Sora and Riku through the Mark of Mastery exam. Sora and Riku are sent into the Sleeping Worlds, where they will face enemies and allies that have never been seen before. If they can successfully complete the task they are given, they will be deemed true Keyblade Masters.”
With 2012 being an incredibly open date, we’re betting based on Square’s standard release schedule and speed in localizing titles, our bet is fall 2012. What makes us even more excited for the game is Square ever so slightly hinting that 2012 will be a big year for the franchise since it marks the series’ tenth anniversary. Could an announcement for a proper Kingdom Hearts III possibly be forthcoming? Hope springs eternal.