All posts by Frederick Linsmeyer

A regular pop-drinking, hockey-watching, snow-shovelling Canadian, Frederick, aka Nephrus, loves his anime. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Frederick runs amok between his hometown and the states of Illinois and Texas, spending time with friends, at anime conventions and looking for some good burgers or sashimi.

Xbox Live to increase supported platforms

Microsoft is working to expand the platforms its Xbox Live service supports, from its Xbox consoles to games on Android and iOS devices, as well as the Nintendo Switch.

Based on the information available, Microsoft wants to take its online service to rival devices, allowing gamers to login and play compatible titles on competing systems as well as manage their profile and account information.

Xbox Live is currently available on the Xbox One console and Windows 10 PCs.

Microsoft is expected to make a formal announcement at the Game Developers Conference in mid-March 2019.

Sources: GameSpot, The Verge

First impressions of Kingdom Hearts III

Three days have passed since I received my deluxe edition copy of Kingdom Hearts III for the PlayStation 4 and from what I’ve played so far, I’ve enjoyed. Since the game was announced in 2013, it’s been a long time coming for the fans of the Disney/Square Enix adventure RPG series. So, does Kingdom Hearts III live up to its hype?

The Deluxe Edition comprises of the game disc itself in the standard retail packaging, with a black steelbox case imprinted with the symbols of Mickey Mouse, hearts, and keys. The inside of the box is clear plastic, like the standard package. There’s also a small hard-cover book with different artwork of characters, items, weapons and worlds. It’s not glamorous, but cool to flip through. Finally, there’s small enamel pin of Sora wearing a crown secured to the outer packaging. Overall, not bad for $111.99 CAD (the game itself retails at $79.99 CAD).

For those who’ve never played a Kingdom Hearts game, the story can be daunting (even for someone who’s played all or most of), considering this is the third “main” title in the series, intertwined with half-dozen spin-off titles as well as remixes and remasters of the first two main titles. Without any spoilers, the first hour or so of the game helps recap the events previous to bring the player up to speed on what’s happened, who’s who and so forth.

Kingdom Hearts III - Thebes Battle

Donald Duck and Sora fighting in the ruins.

As anyone who’s kept tabs on the development of Kingdom Hearts III knows that it this is a work of art. Over the years, clips from the game were shown at E3, D23 and whenever Square Enix felt like teasing fans, it generated a lot of buzz over how the Disney worlds are recreated in stunning detail, as well down to the outfits and weapons. With the power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, Square Enix was able to take advantage of the hardware and the Unreal Engine to make Kingdom Hearts III so visually appealing. In an interesting twist, they kept the designs the same when dealing with cut scenes from previous games in the series instead of recreating them in this new space. I will say this, Kingdom Hearts III is cut-scene heavy, so keep that in mind as you will go 10+ minutes at a time without any battles or exploration.

Kingdom Hearts III - Mad Tea Cups

Mad Tea Cups Attraction Flow in use.

The game-play is improved and Square Enix has crammed as much new functionality into the game as they can. Attraction Flow brings various rides and attractions from Disney Parks around the world to use to as well-timed and coordinated battle tactics — using Splash Ride, for instance, lets you move around and jump to create a trail, once Finish is selected, the ride follows the trail created to take out enemies in its path. It’s a neat way to take out large groups of Heartless in one fun swoop. With Mad Tea Cups, Sora, Donald and Goofy, jump into oversized cups and saucers which spin around and damage nearby Heartless or Nobodies. It’s not as nauseating as the actual ride, though. Shotlock is new allowing Sora to target multiple enemies or one enemy multiple times — it’s tricky to use as each use depletes the gauge; once expired it needs time to refill. In conjunction with Shotlock is Airstepping which allows Sora to jump to objects or bosses in the distance (also helpful in escaping said bosses). Airstepping still works if the gauge is empty, which is handy in tight situations.

Kingdom Hearts III - Sora's Face

Sora in his new outfit in Kingdom Hearts III.

Music is a huge part of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and yes, there are familiar themes and leitmotifs — especially “Destati”, “Hand in Hand”, and more. But on top of these classics, there’s also new music, even songs from previous worlds were remixed to give them more oomph for this game. Of course, the biggest hit is the Utada Hikaru and Skrillex composition, Face My Fears, as the opening song for the game. It fits so well into the game overall, given how everyone has to overcome their fears to find those that matter to them. The voice acting is decent, considering the return of Haley Joel Osment as Sora, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck and Bill Farmer as Goofy, though in some scenes the voices sound slightly awkward. And in Olympus and contrary to his character, Phil does not speak at all (not sure if Danny DeVito was available for the role).

My adventure so far with Sora, Donald and Goofy is off to a great start and I look forward to the enjoying more of the magic Kingdom Hearts III has to offer.

Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres- to tour world in 2019

Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres-

Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres-

With Kingdom Hearts III releasing on January 29th, 2019, a new concert series of the popular game franchise will tour the world as Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres-.

Beginning on April 27th, 2019, the tour includes stops in 17 cities, some with multiple performances. Only one Canadian city made the list — Toronto, Ontario.

Each show includes selected scores from 15+ years of Kingdom Hearts games and set to scenes from these games.

Pre-sale tickets for certain cities start on January 30th, 2019, with the public able to purchase tickets on February 12th, 2019 through La Fée Sauvage.

  • April 26th-27th, 2019 at the International Forum A in Tokyo, Japan
  • May 18th, 2019 at the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore
  • June 1st, 2019 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • June 8th, 2019 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, USA
  • June 22nd, 2019 at the Walt Disney Theater in Orlando, Florida, USA
  • June 28th-29th, 2019 at the United Palace in New York City, New York, USA
  • July 13th, 2019 at the Sony Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • August 24th, 2019 at the Kölner Philharmonie in Köln, Germany
  • September 14th, 2019 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • September 28th, 2019 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France
  • October 5th, 2019 at the Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan, Italy
  • October 19th, 2019 at the Sydney Town Hall Centennial Hall in Sydney, Australia
  • October 26th, 2019 at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie in Dallas, Texas, USA
  • November 2nd, 2019 at the Espaçodas Americas in São Paulo, Brazil
  • November 17th, 2019 at the Eventim Apollo in London, UK
  • November 23rd, 2019 at the Auditorium Blackberry in Mexico City, Mexico
  • November 30th, 2019 at the Grand Cube in Osaka, Japan

Source: Facebook

Dragon Ball Super: Broly surpasses $17 million USD

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Promotional artwork for Dragon Ball Super: Broly.

In the North American weekend premiere of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the anime film exceeded $17 million USD in revenue, and has become the fifth top anime film in the United States according to a Facebook post by FUNimation.

The legendary Super Saiyan Broly is here and ready to exact his revenge on those who banished him after childbirth. Goku and his friends band together to take on all-powerful Broly, but will they be able to stop him and save the Earth from his terror?

Canadian fans, don’t worry, Cineplex is still showing Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Be sure to visit the Cineplex web site for locations and showtimes.

Source: Facebook

British Columbia conventions for 2019

You can be a hero or a villain at one of the many conventions in BC!

Kick off 2019 with anime, pop culture, comics, gaming, movies and horror by attending a convention this year in British Columbia. While there’s plenty of events in and around Metro Vancouver, the rest of the province still has a few places for fans to band together for fun on the island and in the interior.

For more information, lists of guests and to register, visit the links below to use each event’s web site.

  • AniRevo Winter – February 2nd – 3rd, 2019 at Lipont Place in Richmond, BC
    AniRevo Winter is a two-day event to bridge the year-long wait until their summer convention, filled with guests, artists, vendors and more.
  • Tsukino-Con – February 22nd – 24th, 2019 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    Tsukino-Con celebrates everything anime and manga related for fans on Vancouver Island in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Fan Expo Vancouver – March 1st – 3rd, 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    The west coast’s largest comics, pop culture and anime expo returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre with guests, panels, exhibitors and more!
  • Kelowna Fan Experience – March 22nd – 24th, 2019 at the Kelowna Community Theatre in Kelowna, BC
    There’s something for everyone at the Kelowna Fan Experience who are into all things pop culture, anime, manga, comics, sci-fi, movies, gaming and horror.
  • Vancouver Island Comic Con – June 10th, 2019 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, BC.
    Vancouver Island Comic Con is a smaller event in an inviting atmosphere for comic fans of all ages to share their love of this artistic medium.
  • Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo – June 22nd, 2019 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, BC.
    Relive the glory days of video games at the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo. Try out consoles from generations past, enjoy live entertainment and maybe pick up that extra game cart for old times’ sake.
  • Geektopia – July 6th, 2019 at the Harbour Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    Unleash your inner geek at Vancouver’s newest comic convention! Partial proceeds from this event benefits the Amanda Todd Legacy towards awareness and prevention of bullying.
  • AniRevo Summer – August 9th – 11th, 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo his quickly expanded to become Metro Vancouver’s largest Japanese pop culture festival with guests from North America and Asia, vendors, panels and more.
  • Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo – October 11th – 13th, 2019 at Robson Square in Vancouver, BC
    Don your favourite outfit and join the “world’s largest cosplay stage” as you parade through Vancouver’s downtown core! There’s more than just a parade with guests, panels, and musical performances.

Additional events will be added to this list as dates and locations become available.

Crunchyroll to host That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime party in Toronto

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Promotional artwork for That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.

Anime-streaming service Crunchyroll is throwing a party celebrating the series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 the The Hive eSports venue in Toronto, Ontario.

The six-hour event includes screenings of episodes from the second season, live music from Kawaii Bass, Slime-themed gift bags and loot, drinks, and fans can pose for photos in front of a pop-up wall.

Crunchyroll began streaming the second season of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime on Monday, January 7th, 2019. Falling victim to a random stabbing, office worker Mikami Satoru finds himself reborn as a slime in another world. Assuming the name Rimuru, he sets off on adventure with new creatures to better himself and this strange new realm.

Doors open at 9:00 pm EST on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 and ends at 3:00 am EST on Sunday, January 27th, 2019.

There’s a $10 (cash only) cover fee to enter.

Fourth season of Haikyu!! anime announced

Haikyu!! season 4 promotional artwork

Promotional artwork for season four of Haikyu!!.

The anime based on Haruichi Furudate’s popular volleyball manga, Haikyu!!, is getting a fourth season. Announced during the Jump Festa event, it included new artwork with the main characters Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama.

This also coincides with the Haikyu!! anime’s fifth anniversary.

A specific date of when the new season starts was not provided.

Sources: Twitter, Haikyu!!

My Hero Academia’s Deku added to Jump Force

The roster for Jump Force increases with the arrival of U.A. High School’s prodigy student: Izuku “Deku” Midoriya.

Detroit Smash the competition with Deku in this ultimate shonen brawler with Naruto Uzumaki, Goku, Monkey D. Luffy and more manga masters!

Jump Force launches on February 15th, 2019 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Source: Twitter

My Hero Academia season 4 to air October 2019

Shortly after the conclusion of the third season of My Hero Academia, a fourth season was announced, but lacked a date. While an official day was not specified, the fourth season of My Hero Academia is scheduled to air October 2019 in Japan.

This season airs much later than the previous season (which began in April 2018) and is likely due to a broadcast conflict.

Accompanying the date was a new visual featuring Izuku “Deku” Midoriya and Mirio Togata.

Source: Twitter

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