If you’re a Kingdom Hearts fan, you’ll probably already know that the Kingdom Hearts III premiere event recently took place. Several YouTubers, including SkywardWing and Maximilian Dood, as well as journalists from popular gaming websites such as EuroGamer, GameSpot, and IGN, were invited to go and play an early demo version of the game featuring Olympus (the Hercules world) and The Toy Box (the Toy Story world).

Additionally, a few things – regarding in-game and behind-the-scenes features – were revealed, and it is these things that we are covering today. As such, please note that this article does contain spoilers, so if you want to play this game on a blind run, stop reading now. Before getting into the details of the game itself, there is one question I’d like to answer that several fans, including myself, have been dying to know the answer to. Are the original voices coming back for the Pixar characters, most specifically Woody, Buzz, Mike and Sulley?

Image: Kingdom Hearts III / Square Enix & Disney Interactive

Sadly not. Woody is being voiced not by Tom Hanks, but by his brother Jim Hanks this time around. Jim Hanks has actually voiced Woody many times before, including in most of, if not all of his video game appearances, as well as the Woody pull-string dolls. Buzz will be voiced by Mike MacRae, who has also voiced him in previous video games. Mike’s Disney Infinity voice actor, Carlos Alazraqui, has reprised the role as everyone’s favourite green, one-eyed monster, whereas Sulley’s voice actor, Christopher Swindle, will be voicing the character for the first time. John Ratzenberger will be reprising his role as Hamm, carrying on the tradition of every Pixar film/game having him do a voice somewhere along the line, and Wallace Shawn reprises his role as Rex.

The demo version at the premiere showcased some new mechanics from the game, including a few we have seen before in trailers and previous titles in the Kingdom Hearts series, such as Flowmotion (returning from Dream Drop Distance) and the Attraction Flows. The most intriguing thing to be seen in the demo is the new mechanics ability to swap Keyblade mid-combat, allowing for different combos to be performed during battle, as well as allowing the player to adapt to the situation, as each Keyblade’s transformation will work differently.

Image: Kingdom Hearts III / Square Enix & Disney Interactive

Each Keyblade looks to be either physical, like the Toy Story and Monsters Inc. ones, magical, like the Tangled one, or as we have seen with the Hercules themed one in past trailers, defensive, with the Keyblade, in this case, transforming into a shield. We also know that each Keyblade transformation (and from the looks of some of the gameplay, each Keyblade type) will have its own shotlock, shotlocks being a returning feature from Birth By Sleep, as well as the fact that Sora’s Drive Forms are back, but this time, they seem to be determined by which Keyblade you are currently using.

Perhaps the thing that has gotten most people excited is the reveal of a new summon character. Wreck-It Ralph has made his way into the game, helping Sora as a summon. Ralph will build with explosive blocks and cannons, and then do what he does best – he wrecks everything. However, the most important news to come is from Tetsuya Nomura, the game’s director himself, who has said that the full release date will be revealed in early June. This is likely either going to be at E3 during June 11th and 12th, or at the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra performance in Los Angeles on June 9th. We can’t wait to finally know when the game is going to release – how about you? Let us know down in the comments.

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