Game: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix
Publisher/Developer: Square Enix
Genre: Action RPG
Describe This Game in Three Words: Finally on PS3
Plot: The original meshing between Final Fantasy and Disney on the PS2 finally gets an HD remake for the PS3, as well as Re:Chain of Memories and a three-hour cinematic version of 365/2 Days. These titles, following heroes trying to save the Disney worlds from a heartless darkness, remain some of the best titles ever released, so I assume they don't need too much description.
Up, Up: I was just thinking the other day I ought to break out Kingdom Hearts on my PS2, and the HD remake landed in my inbox. The HD remake was a daunting task, as the original assets to the first game were lost. So this new version has been built from the ground up, and it's definitely for the better.
First off, the camera has finally been fixed so that it's not controlled by shoulder buttons, which was always one of the things that made me throw down the original in frustration as I searched in vain during battles. The graphics come out clear as a bell, though it's not really all that better than, say, the original or something like Dragon Quest VIII. Cartoon RPGs are cartoon RPGs, and even something like Ni no Kuni can only go so far graphically.
The music though, is out of this world. Yoko Shimomura's score comes out lush and rich, with more depth than the original. This is the first time I realized what a truly exceptional soundtrack the game has, and it brings the experience to life more than ever before.
Down, Down: Frankly, if you already have the first game on PS2, there's not really any reason to upgrade unless you just want a slightly better experience. I still have my PS2 hooked up and ready to go, but it was nice to get the redux of Chain of Memories in the same package. The graphics are great, and the sound better, but if you're on a budget it's not strictly necessary.
As for the 365/2 Days movie... it's neat and all, but I think it's honestly the sort of thing you could have sold on iTunes or released on Netflix rather than using it as a selling point for the collection. It's not the full game remake that people would have liked. That's maybe the weak point of the whole thing, It's not the uber-comprehensive style omnibus sort of thing Nintendo recently did with Kirby, nor is it an impressive upgrade like Square Enix's DS Final Fantasies.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Left, Right, Left, Right: I cannot stress enough how much better this game plays with the right thumb controlling the camera. Everything is so much easier now, and the journey way more fun.
B, A: The game is noticeably brighter, in my opinion, and that's for the best. Right from the get-go I saw things I never noticed before, things that had always been in shadow. It makes the game feel oddly even more Disney.
Start?: This is a great place to start a young gamer off on the series, or for someone that no longer has their PS2 and copy. It's nice to have two great games together in one packet, though as we are here at the end of the PS3's run it makes me wonder how long it will be before we see a more comprehensive collection in HD for PS4 that also includes Kingdom Hearts II. Still, for those with a KH-shaped hole in their collection it's a great buy.