Square Enix reveals three different mini-crystal stands that fans in Japan will receive for pre-ordering Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.
Those who pre-order Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in Japan are getting very different bonus items than those in the US. Here in the States, the bonus is an official Disney collector's pin that features Mickey and Sora attached to the game's logo. In Japan, pre-ordering will snag one of three Kingdom Hearts exclusive mini-crystal stands.
The stands are mini acrylic, feature illustrations drawn by Tetsuya Nomura himself — famed Japanese video game artist, designer, and director for Square Enix — and come in three types: Air, Bond, and Coming. Each illustration appears to reference particular moments from the collection.
Air represents events in Dream Drop Distance, as indicated by a sleeping Sora and a Dream Eater. Bond looks to show 0.2: Birth by Sleep—A Fragmentary Passage, where Aqua resolves to keep fighting through the darkness because, as she's expressing in the illustration, "There's always a way!" The third is Coming, and it has Sora, Goofy, and Donald walking away from Yen Sid's Mysterious Tower.
While the Japan pre-order bonus is arguably better than the one here, the US collector's pin isn't terrible. In fact, it's all relative. Pin trading is a big hobby for certain Disney aficionados and an exclusive Kingdom Hearts pin is an item coveted by collectors. On the other hand, pins like this have been pre-order bonuses for Kingdom Hearts games before. It would be nice to switch it up.
No one should feel disheartened by what pre-order bonus they receive, however, as it should pale in comparison to the game itself. In the case of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8, that should hold true. It contains a remastered version of previous Nintendo 3DS exclusive Dream Drop Distance, a new story featuring the Foretellers told through HD cinematics, and an all-new game that takes place after the events of Birth By Sleep. Given that this new game's story leads into the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3, it should contain some exciting content.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 will release at the beginning of next year, a few months before Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix, which will be a re-release of previous HD collections into one disc for the PS4, and something many had speculated would happen. The game and release date were disclosed as a part of a large information dump from Square Enix through Twitter last week. Also revealed were two screenshots of Kingdom Hearts 3 that show off all new Drive Forms. This is likely part of the enhanced combat mentioned by the game's co-director a while back.
Yes, Japan has some deliriously neat pre-order bonuses for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, but it's best to remember that the reward for investing early should have no bearing on the quality of the game. Besides, there are limited quantities, so there are plenty of those in Japan who won't get them either.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will release in Japan on January 12, 2017 for PS4, followed shortly after by releases in North America and Europe on January 24, 2017.