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SYFY WIRE Kingdom Hearts III

Gaming: Kingdom Hearts III launch; GameStop stops sale; Resident Evil 2 starts strong

By Benjamin Bullard
Kingdom Hearts III via official website 2019

After weaving through 17 years’ worth of time jumps and labyrinthine plot twists, today’s the day: Kingdom Hearts III has arrived to put a Disney-perfect bow on a good-versus-evil storyline that began back when the PlayStation 2 was still just beginning to find its legs.

In the buildup to the game’s release, Square Enix has churned out mind-bendingly realistic trailers of its recreated Disney environments, from the San Fransokyo of Big Hero 6 to the island world of Pirates of the Caribbean. Now that the big day has finally arrived, the studio is taking a different approach, celebrating KHIII’s launch with a 2D paper-animation style trailer. Check it out, alongside the game’s new commercial clip, below:

Reviewers have already gotten their hands on KHIII, and they’re loving Tetsuya Nomura’s final resolution (but hopefully not the end) to Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s quest to stop Xehanort once and for all. The game’s two console versions both already are enjoying high scores at review aggregator Metacritic, with special praise heaped on the graphics, varying art styles, and thoroughly detailed fan service and series callouts for everyone who’s stuck with Kingdom Hearts since the first game debuted in 2002.

Kingdom Hearts III is available now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

As the gaming world moves farther away from physical media and closer to an all-online retail model, traditional brick-and-mortar game stores are having either to innovate new ways to get people through the door or seek an exit out of the business.

Only weeks after announcing that it was shopping for a potential buyer, GameStop — one of the industry’s largest retailers and a longtime staple of strip malls and shopping centers where gamers can get their hands on new and used game discs — has been forced to back down, citing a lack of sound financing for its prospective buyer.

The fallout from an abandoned sale may mean even rougher times ahead for GameStop; reports that the company’s shares were down steeply following news of the no-sale.

Instead of focusing on a diversified business model that crosses over from games into mobile platforms and computing, GameStop revealed last year it was shifting its business model toward “its core video game business as well as collectibles,” according to the report. For the foreseeable future, at least, that means GameStop will still be a place where you can ogle that Xenoblade Chronicles limited-edition steel book behind the glass before you buy.

If Leon and Claire had a bullet for every copy of the Resident Evil 2 remake that’s already made its way out into the wild, well — they’d never have those pesky bullet shortages at the worst possible moments in Raccoon City.

Via Variety, Capcom revealed it had shipped more than 3 million copies of the remake during its first release week, a figure that suggests the 2019 update to the 1998 classic may be well on track to surpass its predecessor, which sold a reported 4.96 million copies.

Capcom’s making it even easier to keep coming back for more zombie jump scares, announcing this week that the remake already has its first batch of story DLC on the way. Not one but three new downloadable stories are slated to arrive as part of the Ghost Survivors update on Feb. 15, following separate “‘what if’ stories of three unfortunate souls who never made it out of Raccoon City,“ according to Capcom.

The Resident Evil 2 remake debuted to rave critics’ reviews on Jan. 25, and it’s available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.