Gallery: Kingdom Hearts 3D NYC launch event
posted on 07.28.12 at 01:08 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Consumers line up for early purchase in Manhattan.

I attended the Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance launch event in New York City today. If you attended, you’d have been able to pick up the 3DS title three days before its July 31 launch. And while I didn’t pick up the game, myself, I did cover the event via Twitter. But why keep it on Twitter, where many of our readers won’t see it? Find my full “report” below.


8:52 a.m.: “The line for the Kingdom Hearts 3D launch event is huge! Thank God I’m not buying it today!”

8:55 a.m.: “And here’s another shot of the massive KH3D launch event line.”

8:57 a.m.: “Hanging out on the side of the building.”

8:58 a.m.: “Fans should start rushing in about 2 minutes from now.”

9:00 a.m.: “Once I’m in I’ll take some more photos. Kind of sad I don’t have a 3DS right now. But I’m way behind in the Kingdom Hearts storyline anyway.”

9:00 a.m.: “I wonder how early the front of the line got here. Had to have been hours.”

9:01 to 9:10 a.m.: At this point, I was invited inside, and was talking to Square Enix assistant PR manager Emily Shoji on the sidelines. Fans began making their way inside, and I was introduced to Robert Peeler, the company’s community manager.

9:11 a.m.: “People [are] lining up to buy KH3D.”

9:12 a.m.: “More people in line. There are hundreds more people outside waiting to get in.”

9:14 a.m.: “The Keyblade photo station. Not exactly sure what’s going on here.” (To clarify, these guys were doing odd poses and laughing the entire time – before they eventually got to the one you see in the photo.)

9:15 a.m.: “The guy taking all the shots.” (This is Square Enix’s associate manager of product marketing, Raio Mitsuno. I spoke with him shortly after. He’s a cool dude. Partially because he’s heard of us. The rest is all him.)

9:16 a.m.: “Someone purchasing KH3D.”

9:18 a.m.: “The Kingdom Hearts glory area. Notable lack of KH1 and 2, but I’d still steal it if no one was looking.” (The first two games, as well as the PSP game Birth by Sleep, are missing, obviously, because it’s a Nintendo store.)

9:18 a.m.: “Close up of the first shelf.”

9:19 a.m.: “Close up of the second shelf.”

9:19 a.m.: “Close up of the third shelf.”

9:20 a.m.: “Close up of the fourth shelf.”

9:21 a.m.: “The KH3D poster board, which I’d also like to take.” (If only there weren’t so many people watching me.)

9:22 a.m.: “Demo kiosks, which no one is playing because they’re all buying the game!”

9:23 a.m.: “More demo kiosks! At the end of which is miss [Emily Shoji].”

9:26 a.m.: “Going to give the game a shot!”

9:34 a.m.: “Playing and really enjoying the demo. I haven’t played KH in so long so it’s kind of nostalgic.”

9:34 a.m.: “But princesses need to stop getting kidnapped.” (Or, you know, don’t complain when you do, because you’re a princess. You knew the risks.)

9:46 a.m.: “As nostalgic as it is, it’s weird fighting colorful creatures over black heartless.”

9:56 a.m.: “Finished Sora’s bit. Think I’m almost finished Riku’s.” (This was a lie, I just happened to “Drop,” which is when the game switches between Sora and Riku, the moment I nearly defeated a boss. I didn’t realize at the time.)

10:05 to 10:20 a.m.: I spoke to Raio Mitsuno for a bit, before bumping into and meeting for the first time NeoGAF member ShinoguTakeruKoeru.

10:23 a.m.: “Exiting launch event. The line is still massive.”

10:25 a.m.: (This is a bonus tweet.) “Holy crap there’s a feast on 6th ave.”

  • Blackmage456

    just got back from it. I was near the front of the line, its kinda a shame the mark of mastery edition was sold out, they had maybe 30 copies, and naturally people cut the line and there were no repercussions despite security being told so. Oh well, its a pretty underwhelming collectors edition so i can do without it. Square really should’ve stepped it up for a 10th anniversary for such a beloved series.

  • xMCXx

    Dayum, that line! I would just preorder the game at Amazon xD
    Though, going to such events and getting it earlier is cool.
    Also, thanks, Sal, for this article for us non-twitter-guys.

  • Jackle

    I was going to go, but then I saw the pics of the line on Square’s Twitter feed and I decided against it, haha. Thanks for sharing!

  • rockman29

    Nice job Sal, good job going and covering it, good work!

  • KingOptimusOrigins111

    I hope one day PS Vita gets a Kingdom Hearts game.

  • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

    Thanks for the coverage, Sal. Looks like you had fun. =)

    I’m just like you, way behind in the KH storyline. Why do all the games have to be on portables?

    • FaithlessMr

      This is why:

      a) It’s cheaper to develop for portables;

      b) Portables are much more popular in Japan;

      c) Nomura wanted to use the different system quirks, and wanted it to have an impact in how you actually play the game. The Matrix System in Re:Coded, or the Panel system in 358/2 days can only be done with a touch screen, for example.

      I understand it’s hard for someone to keep up with the storyline, but I can proudly say I understand the events and know almost all by heart since not only did I play all the games, I also read up on the story many times on the official wikias, and it’s one interesting story. And now that I’m playing KH DDD, I can only say things are getting even trickier with what’s happening, since I never saw that coming :x It’s truthfully a great work on Nomura’s part, how he manages to tie up these stories together.

      It takes some time and effort, but when one manages to realize how the story events flow and tie up to one another, it feels awesome.

      • Anime10121

        Couldnt agree more! This man has all the right answers. And to add to everything this gentlemen said, a console KH can’t happen until Vs. XIII is done :( (though dont get me wrong Vs. is my most anticipated announced game this gen, so I cant wait for it either).

        So sadly it’ll be at least (going by Square’s average development times this gen) another 3-4 years before it is out, and thats only IF Vs. releases early next year (EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL).

        • FaithlessMr

          I still think we’ll get KH III before Versus XIII :P I’m drawing a line here. If SE doesn’t show Versus at TGS this year, then I’ll simply stop caring altogether.

          • Anime10121

            If that happens (KH III before Vs. XIII) and it happens in the next couple years, I will literally start going to church EVERY SUNDAY! But if Square doesnt show Vs at TGS this year, I wont car… aw who am I kidding, I’ll STILL want it :P

            I just cant let go of the hype from that 6-min trailer last year!

            • FaithlessMr

              That trailer alone was enough to rekindle my love for the game. But to be honest, that love is slowly fading out, and unless SE properly markets this game, I’ll just stop caring and move on. Six years in the making with nothing but a six minute trailer with some early development phase gameplay? I mean, c’mon, they should have much more than that to show us.

      • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

        Thanks for the post. Both you and @Anime10121:disqus pretty much covered all the bases.

        My question above was kinda meant to be rhetorical, I pretty much know why the games are on portables, it just annoys me. =P

        I appreciate you explaining it though, we should just point everyone to your post when someone really wants to know.

        As for the storyline, the only reason its hard for me and others to keep up with it… well, it goes back to the portables again. I don’t have the hardware needed to play the games. If I did, I would be picking up the games and playing them, which would lead to me catching up on the Kingdom Hearts story.

        It goes back to point b in your above post, something I think we (You and I) have roughly discussed several times on Gematsu. How JP gamers really haven’t embraced this generation of games the same way the west has. I really think it directly ties into the complaint western gamers have about JP games these days. I always tell people, Japan is still making plenty of amazing games, they are just all on portables. And while its the honest truth, it is kinda annoying.

        Some just refuse to play the portables games here in the west, Me? I just can’t afford to go out and buy the hardware right now. You probably know from reading some of my comments, I would like to get a Vita and 3DS soonish. Not just for new games, but the huge library of games I’ve never played. Most of them being JRPGs.

        I’m quite sure you know all of this, I’m just explaining it anyways. Nice to have a good discussion. =)

        • Anime10121

          Yeah Japan is mainly on portables, which is the reason that I have them, even if I dont care much for the small screens. Heck I’d venture to say I’d go out and buy portable hardware before I’d get home consoles, specifically because JPN releases most of their games there.

          I agree though that it does suck that they didnt embrace home consoles that strongly this gen, because I’d much rather play games on my beautiful HD screen than these small screens, but I can understand why they are doing it. Sadly developing for home consoles has become a VERY expensive venture and Japan’s video game industry, much like their movie industry, lacks the HUGE budget that western studios have at their expense.

          I’m hoping by the time next gen roles around, things’ll be a little smoother on their end and they can at least get games out that look like this gen’s consoles. It’s basically why I’m hoping the WiiU is a success (and I dont even care much for Nintendo’s First party software anymore), as its release will give Japan a few more years to play with the HD scene that is relative in power to current gen consoles.

          And the fact that the Big N’s games dont seem to be taking advantage of anything other than a higher resolution (NSMB’s WiiU looks exactly the same as NSMB Wii, just with a bump up in resoulution) and controller functionality. That being said, I hope they dont force other companies that work on their system to try and use the system to its full potential either. It’ll be good for JPN devs to have a few more years with the general architecture in PS3/360 consoles (which is where the WiiU supposedly lies).

          Thats why I’m thinking the next console KH will be out on WiiU if they cant finish it before Sony undergoes its next system jump, I’d much rather have it on PS3, but I’m aware that by the time KH3 actually does see release, PS3 will probably be on its final leg, with the PS4 already being out for a couple years.

          And I feel likewise on the convo, you guys @gematsu-df83971673de5c8e71ca1e2645718dad:disqus and @zerorpg:disqus always lead some pretty insightful convos’ :P

        • FaithlessMr

          Ahah yes, it’s always nice to discuss things with you!Well, many things can explain why japan is so fond of mobile gaming and didn’t embrace the new technology as much as the west did. But I think it mostly has to do with who took the first steps towards the new generation. The west was ahead of the east when this gen started, the Xbox was released first, and Japan had to follow up soon. I guess this would partially explain why they simply weren’t ready to jump on the new generation bandwagon as readily as the west was.

          • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

            You could just blame Monster Hunter. (You know, if you want to give a very lazy answer.) =P

            • FaithlessMr

              Ahah, epic win! Yeah, Monster Hunter was definitely a great push that made portables even more popular in Japan. It’s astonishing how much of a sales driving power that franchise has. It basically saved the 3DS on it’s own, closely supported by Super Mario Land and the price drop in Japan!

  • zakou

    Good job Sal! You should have taken something with you xD the stealthy ninja way! Lol jk.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/mirandalawson2?feature=results_main Miranda Lawson

      He should have taken Kingdom Hearts 365/2 Days with him. I’m sure that if people saw him take it they wouldn’t try to stop him since it is a really bad game. (Kidding!)

      • zakou

        xD oh you mean the Kingdom hearts 365/2 days? no this game was given away for free (i know it’s so bad, they want to get rid of it) but what i wanted Sal to take is the 3DS :D

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/mirandalawson2?feature=results_main Miranda Lawson

          I forgot to ask Sal to get me a 3DS…just kidding! :P

  • PrinceHeir

    wow Sal your in NY??

    im in NY too in Parkchester Bronx.

    i probably wouldn’t come since im too lazy and i recently gotten an ear infection(thank god the painkillers are taking effect, it hurts like hell)

    plus i don’t have a 3DS :

    still im surprise the US has alot of KH fans though.

    must have been sweet!

    on unrelated note, i also went on Hideo Kojima 25th Anniversary signing last July 7. in one of the Uniqlo stores.

    amazing event, got to meet Yoji Shinkawa for the first time in person, and me and my brother almost won a prize from a raffle they had :P

  • bebestorm117

    Wow so many KH fans! Thanks for sharing I noticed you began a list of things youi would like to take! KH needs a HD collection.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/mirandalawson2?feature=results_main Miranda Lawson

      I though that Kingdom Hearts fans are asking for Kingdom Hearts 3? Perhaps of was mistaken…..

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mirandalawson2?feature=results_main Miranda Lawson

    Awesome! I wish that I could have been there (even though I am not a fan of Kingdom Hearts.) The launch event looks really cool, Dream Drop Distance is one of the reasons why I am thinking of getting a 3DS. I am thinking of giving the Kingdom Hearts series another try.

    • zakou

      The PSP KH game was really good, played it?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/mirandalawson2?feature=results_main Miranda Lawson

        Nope, I have only played 365/2 days. The girl and guy main characters look cool in the PSP game though (don’t know their names.)

  • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

    Thanks to all for the thanks!

    I need to get a 3DS, lol.