Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (Video Game Review)

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is the newest release for developer and publisher Square Enix that reimagines the three classic games Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Each game features completely remastered or remade HD graphics, though Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days only contains the roughly 3 hours worth of cutscenes from the game and isn't playable in the new collection. There are still two complete classics available in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix though, and they offer the best way to play both releases at a bargain price. Longtime fans of the series will want to pick up the game for the new content in the never before released in North America Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and to unlock additional Trophies and other content added for the release of the new collection exclusively on PlayStation 3.

The storylines of the three games takes players on a journey from the early moments of Sora, Riku and Kairi living together peacefully in an island paradise to joining in an epic adventure to save not only their own world but those inhabited by classic Disney and Final Fantasy characters. The events of the three games lead right up to the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II and provide an exciting narrative that still manages to be a bit over the top and confusing even so many years after the original release of the series. Each game features several original worlds exclusive to the game series, but there are also many Disney film themed worlds where fans will meet and team up with some of the best characters from the historic film company to battle the ominous darkness that takes the form of the Heartless monsters in the game and inhabit the souls of each character as well. The storylines of the games featured in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix definitely withstand the test of time, and the new release will only make fans even more desperate to play Kingdom Hearts III.

Combat in both titles featured in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix remain unchanged for the most part. Action RPG elements make up the large part of both titles, with Kingdom Hearts Final Mix retaining Attack, Magic and Items commands for use while having full range of movement around the battlefield. Enemy encounters in the game are real-time with no loading screens, and there are plenty of weapons, summons and accessories to equip in the game, some of which are available only in the newly released version of the game. On the flip side, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories tweaks with the battle mechanics of the original title and forces players to find and collect many cards throughout the game in order to perform certain attacks or call out allies in battle. The card battle system is definitely unique and won't be every gamer's preference, but a new strategic element is added to the game that many fans of the series may not have got to experience the first time around and is definitely worth checking out.

For 40 bucks, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is a complete steal for gamers that never played or own these original titles. Both Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories look better than ever with the new HD graphics that really bring the games to life. The improved graphics look good in-game, but the main cutscenes throughout the game are what make this a truly spectacular game to watch. This makes the inclusion of the three hours of cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days completely enjoyable and well worth the time for any gamers for a quick recap of the events featured in that game, though including the full game would've been the most ideal circumstance. One underrated quality of the original games were the incredible soundtrack and great voice acting that helped make the game series so special, and the sound design returns here to help boost the overall presentation of the collection.

Though all of the good qualities remain or have been improved for all three games featured in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, the few problems with the original titles persist. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix still suffers from poor camera controls that definitely isn't game breaking but does have a tendency to pop in from time to time to cause players some headaches. Players control Sora throughout the game, while AI takes control of Donald, Goofy and world specific characters, and the additional characters still aren't as capable as they should be in combat, and it's not completely uncommon for the team to fail to heal Sora before falling in difficult battles. Other minor gripes in the game include a Gummi Ship system that is difficult to understand for beginners but is necessary to travel to the different worlds in the game, and it's a bit disappointing that most characters are restricted to their own worlds, and King Mickey isn't able to join the player party to battle the Heartless.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix features two complete releases with brand new features and high definition graphics from one of the best video game series of all-time. If you need any other reasons to pick up the new collection, know that the collection is available for two-thirds the price of other new releases and comes with some content that has never been released in North America before now. Fans will want to pick up the collection to relive these classic titles and experience some new content for the games, and newcomers need to play the game for its timeless entertainment value and presentation that is still better than most modern video games even though it has been over 10 years since the original Kingdom Hearts released for PlayStation 2. Pick up a copy of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix today to play one of the best HD collections ever created!

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $39.99 and can be purchased exclusively for PlayStation 3. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is rated E by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Full Versions of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • All Cinematics from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • HD Graphics
  • Trophy Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer & Publisher: Square Enix
    Available exclusively for PlayStation 3 (reviewed)
    Release Date: September 10, 2013

    Score: 8 out of 10

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