Return of the Kingdom

Tetsuya Nomura, director of Kingdom Hearts II, revealed at the game'slaunch party that a further Kingdom Hearts is in the pipeline. KHII has only just reached American shores, but the game has performed so well in Japan on PS2 that mentions of a follow-up aren't so much wishful thinking as obligation.

Even so, Nomura wouldn't say much except that he has "a new idea" for the series. The next game in the franchise likely won't be a directsequel, but -judging byNomura's vague comments -one that will take place in the same universe. While it's obviously possible that the new game will introduce more Disney settings, theseries has evolved to the point where its original characters could carry a game on their own - especially if it's a side story, like Nomura's comments suggest.It's also not too crazy tospeculate thatit will berendered in next-gen gloryon the PlayStation 3.

Above: Will we ever see a copycat crossover? Like, Looney Tunes meets Zelda?

For the uninitiated, the Kingdom Hearts games - two on PlayStation 2, and one on Game Boy Advance - are RPG fusions of the worlds and characters from both the Disney and Final Fantasy universes, and the resulting outings make for some beautiful adventures.

As for the next game, it's likely that we'll see something of it at the upcoming E3 games expo in May.

March 31, 2006