It’s no surprise that when a new Mario game is released people are going to pay attention. Nintendo wants everyone to know, that even with only five days worth of data, New Super Mario Bros. 2 was the best selling single SKU for a game, on any platform, for the month of August. According to sales data, the “sequel” to the original DS game sold 240,000 units in North America. Not only that, the second best selling game for the month was also a 3DS release; Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance sold 180,000 units. Not bad for the handheld that many people, at one time, was thought doomed to failure.
To go along with that, Nintendo was also happy to announce that sales for the 3DS rose by more than 36% over the month of July and software sales increased by 68% over the same period. Much of that can be attributed to the launch of the new 3DS XL, but having one of the best selling game franchises of all time certainly helped.
It’s not clear from the press release whether this is retail and digital sales for the game or if this is just the retail numbers. I’ve sent word to Nintendo for clarification and once I hear back I’ll let you know.
Kingdom Hearts is one of those franchises that I missed right after it launched because I didn’t own a PlayStation 2 at the time. Soon after I got my PS2 Kingdom Hearts was one of the first games I bought for the system, along with God of War. From there I immediately went into playing Kingdom Hearts II. I love the collaboration between the Square Enix characters and the Disney characters. It’s one of those combinations that when you hear about it you think it can’t possibly work, but it does and it’s a partnership that’s brought a number of good games. The newest game in the franchise is Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for the Nintendo 3DS. The demo became available today and I instantly downloaded it and started playing.
There seems to be an inordinate amount of special edition 3DS systems out there available for purchase. Nintendo has released a special Legend of Zelda edition, as well as limited edition Mario themed systems, Konami is releasing a special snakeskinned version of the system and now Square Enix is getting in on the fun. There will be, as you can see pictured above, a Kingdom Hearts themed system that has a bit of a checkerboard pattern with some small images as well as a pretty pink embossed crown.
It’s one of the more subtle special edition systems out there and I really like this one. I wouldn’t mind having one of these now that I can’t find the Zelda ones.
Up until this point the Kingdom Hearts franchise has starred exclusively Final Fantasy and Disney related characters. The roster hasn’t expanded out into any of the other RPG properties owned by Square Enix. That is, until now. Siliconera recently got some hands on time with the game and noticed that there’s a new face in town. You’ll need to know a little bit about the KH characters for the description to make sense.
During one mission, Sora is wandering around Traverse Town and is calling out for Riku. The person he runs into isn’t Riku, but rather Neku, from The World Ends With You. This is the first character from another Square Enix RPG to show up in a Kingdom Hearts game and it hopefully won’t be the last. I haven’t had a chance to play TWEWY you, but I really want to. It’s just not an easy game to find. The hook in that game is the unique combat system that requires you to pay attention to the top screen and the bottom screen of the DS at the same time. During this demo of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Neku mentions needing a partner and Sora agrees. So it looks like you’ll get a chance to at least taste what that unique game had to offer.
I’m already a big fan of Kingdom Hearts, but I’m really interested in seeing how this game changes things up and if there are any other new cameos to get excited for.
And those wacky folks at Square Enix have gotten creative with it too. The first entry into the Kingdom Hearts franchise for the 3DS will be called Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
I have no idea what that actually means, but according to a Square Enix representative the 3D affect will emphasize action and speed along with a greater sense of height and distance . You’ll be switching time between two of the franchises main characters, Riku and Sora.
You can bet I’ll be bringing you more information on this title as I really like the Kingdom Hearts franchise.