If you’re not familiar with the Kingdom Hearts series, you’re probably not looking at the website you originally intended to visit. On some level you should know about the SquareEnix series that combines their Final Fantasy games with characters from the Disney universe. You may not have a clue what the heck is going on other than that, but that’s okay, no one really does. Luckily, SquareEnix are doing their best to make the complex story as easy to follow as possible. Following their release of the Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue collection, they’ve released Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 HD ReMix.
1.5 + 2.5 ≠ 4
This set is a repackaging of the first 6 games in the series which were originally released across 5 different systems. Four have been remastered and presented in that spiffy 60FPS people keep talking about. The other two have been compiled into movies showcasing their story and most memorable battles. So, what new elements does this fittingly clunkily titled addition bring to the table? Well, none actually.
Although each game in the series has had plenty of changes from the original releases over many iterations, there’s not much point in running over them here. After all, the sun is burning out and we live but brief lives. Instead, I’m focused on comparing this collection to the individual releases of I.5 HD ReMix and II.5 HD ReMix on PS3. Using this as our starting point, very little has changed at all. In fact, in terms of content and gameplay, nothing has changed at all.
Secret Ansem’s Report 14
So, why bother reviewing a collection of 10 – 20 year old games? It’s mostly because they’re getting few reviews anywhere. Not that they need them at first glance. They’ve had no new additions to the old collections, so they’d be as well to republish the reviews they’ve already done. I’d likely not have bothered at all, were it not for the troubling bug reports from the Japanese and US releases. As stated earlier, the key difference between this collection and its PS3 predecessors is the switch to 60FPS. For both initial releases, this seemed to leave the game incredibly buggy. Broken animations were causing havoc with the gameplay. Attacks became ineffective, bosses became near unbeatable and aged controls became even more frustrating.
As someone who’d been looking forward to getting the full collection for the first time, I was pretty worried, even canceling my pre-order at the last minute. I searched and searched for details of a patch, but found none. Eventually, I heard mention of a large patch after the US release, but no concrete information on what was fixed.
Final Paragraph Prologue
At any rate, I caved, picking up the game on Day One and hoping for the best. After inserting the game, I was treated to a long wait for a pretty hefty patch. Almost a full quarter of the game’s own size in fact. Thankfully, it was all worth it. Having spent over 100 hours of the last two weeks getting into the nitty gritty of the games, I can safely say there’s nary a bug in sight. That’s really all I have to say.
For the games themselves, they’re a mixed bag when compared to the fresher releases. The controls for the first few titles feel every bit of their 20 years old. The voice acting is half amazing and half phoned in. Without the rosy tint of nostalgia glasses, there are plenty of issues that could be pointed out. However, these aren’t meant to be remasters to fix the errors of old games. Kingdom Hearts II.5 + II.5 Final ReMix serves solely to bring the entire convoluted series into one place, along with 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (I will never not refer to it by that gloriously awkward title).
…I’m fully convinced KH3 is gonna be titled ‘Kingdom Hearts III.π’
If you’ve played both of the ReMix collections already released on PS3, there’s very little point in picking this up. Pop the PS3 disc back in the console and you’ll get the same experience. The visuals are just as nice and the 60FPS really doesn’t make much of a difference. If, however, you never got a chance to fully enjoy the Kingdom Hearts experience, this is the perfect package. At €50 for 4 pretty deep games, plus 2 compiled storylines, you won’t find a better deal anywhere on PSN.
An excellent collection for both newcomers and players who skipped the original ReMixes.