Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4
Tested on: PS4

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Six games in one collecton, HD remastered
Bad: Might get a bit confused for people who don't know the franchise
User Score
8.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Kingdom Hearts fans are getting ready for the latest game in the franchise: Kingdom Hearts III. Square Enix is releasing the preceding installments in several collections. Previously, we had the chance to get into the story with Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue and the second collection is Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix, where a whopping six games are combined on one disk. Are you ready to dive into this extensive franchise?

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

Story

In Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix, you will get Kingdom Hearts Final Mix & II Final Mix, Re:Chain of Memories, Birth by Sleep Final Mix and two HD Remastered cinematics  namely 358/2 Days and Re:coded. Quite a lot to take in and play, but rather important if you want to have the complete picture for the upcoming game.  As there are six games, it is rather hard to give details regarding the story as everything is interconnected. That’s why we’re providing a small overview of the flow of the storyline, leaving out the spoilers.

Everything started with Kingdom Hearts, in the HD I.5 renamed to Final Mix. Our young protagonist Sora learns he is a keyblade master and needs to tackle the Heartless while finding his lost friends. Of course, he gets help from the humorous duo Donald and Goofy, who will pop up in almost every of the other titles. Next in line is Re:Chain of Memories, where Sora enters Castle Oblivion and needs escape from the clutches of this fortress. His trusty palls aren’t really with him during fights, as battling is done by using cards. During this time, the events from 358/2 Days also take place, where you to get to see everything in Roxas’ perspective and you can discover why he is so important. This game has been transformed to a remastered cinematic, providing you all of the footage from that particular game.

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

In Kingdom Hearts II, the tables are turned and you play with Roxas at the beginning rather than with Sora. This game takes place after the first instalment of this franchise and Chain of Memories, and Roxas has a rather important aspect at the beginning of the game.  After a while, you’re able to switch to our happy chap and his two companions. After completing this story, the next part is the Re:coded, which is also a remastered cinematic. In this title, the crew discovered that there are two mysterious messages added to Jiminy Cricket’s journal. They investigate who wrote this and what the meaning is behind these memos.

Last but not least, there is also Birth by Sleep. This title takes place about ten years before the initial game and takes you into the narrative of Terra, Aqua and Ventus. Master Xehanort is a key character in this world, while the monsters are Unversed rather than the all-known Heartless.

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

Graphics

As this title is a collection of two HD remastered editions, it is only natural that the several games are better-looking than when they were originally created. Even more, 358/2 Days and Re:coded were released on the Nintendo DS handheld and got a rather nice upgrade. The ‘movies’ have some nice cutscenes while the fillers in-between are also a good change of pace.

Don’t expect something beautiful like the games from Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue. Here, Square Enix wanted to show how the upcoming title would look like but they didn’t remaster these six titles in the same quality. Nevertheless, you can expect the same style of graphics like they always used to be. Colorful environments, cartoonish-like drawn characters and more than enough Disney-references to return to your childhood once more.  This collection won’t put your PS4 to the limit but it does provide some vivid moments.

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

Sound

One of the most popular voices in the history of Disney is probably Donald Duck and you’ll hear him more than enough in this collection. Of course, if you’ve played these games before, you’ll surely know the distinct voice of Sora and Goofy as well. It’s great to see that you can recognise who is talking with your eyes closed, indicating that the voice acting is on point.

Music and sound effect wise, there is more than enough to get you immersed into the diverse worlds. Each one of them has their own distinct set of tracks, resembling from what you could hear in the Disney movies. Next to that, there are also some more intense tracks added when you’re engaging a boss or when some minions emerged and attacked you. Hearing your keyblade hit your foe while some crisping sounds from a fire spell reach your ears will satisfy you more than you can imagine.

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

Gameplay

Kingdom Hearts is mostly known as being action RPGs with hack ‘n slash elements. In this collection, you have four playable games and two movies.  In this fanchise, you need to strike your way through several types of enemies while searching your friends. There are several worlds you need to travel to, where you need to help the inhabitants and seal the keyholes. Each game has the same basic elements, so we’re just going to pinpoint the significant differences.

First of all, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix has a different menu than in the original game. Normally, it was Attack, Magic, Items and a slot that was filled in depending on the actions of the player. Now, the fourth sloth is permanently filled in by ‘Summons’ and the old actions are replaced by the ‘Reactions Command’. With this command, you need to press the triangle button in time as a reaction to certain actions from your enemies. For instance, you can initiate a counterattack during a boss fight. This technique was originally introduced in Kingdom Hearts II but has been added to this title as well.  In this second instalment, there weren’t that much changes, although the Final Mix has received some extra images in the menu screens and the Gummi Ship section.

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is more of a cardgame where you need to tackle your opponents by using cards. Depending on the number, you can block or interrupt the attack of your enemy. Of course, the same can happen to you, meaning that an important spell can be interrupted too. In this title, your trustworthy pals Donald and Goofy won’t be at your side all the time. You can pick them up as special cards on the battlefield, adding them to your deck. When all your cards are used or you want to get some specific ones back, you can perform a charge to obtain them yet again. The first time, you will only need to charge once but this number will increase afterwards. Sometimes, you will need to wait three times before you have your cards. Also, you can combine up to three moves, adding the numbers and get a devastating attack ready. The only downside to this is that these cards won’t be available for the rest of the fight so it is a good idea to think your options through before selecting them.

In Birth by Sleep, there are actually several aspects that are different from the rest. Performing attacks will fill a gauge and when this is completely filled, you go into Surge mode. Depending on the command style that is active at that moment, you get several upgraded attacks. This command style is triggered by using certain actions. For example, when Aqua casts several magic spells, she gains the Spellweaver style, which has its effects on her attacks. Another difference is the use of Focus rather than MP. The protagonists can go into Shotlock and target several enemies, which will launch several homing spells. Depending on how many enemies you’ve selected, your Focus will deplete more. There are a few other altered elements, but one of the most important ones is that you can choose with whom you want to play the game. To get a complete picture and understand some of the decisions, it is a good idea to tackle all three scenarios.

Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

Conclusion

Kingdom Hearts has already an extensive lore and it really shows with this second collection. The available six games will give you all the details you need before diving into Kingdom Hearts III. The graphics aren’t top-notch but colorful nevertheless and you’ll get sucked in by no time. The music and sound effects surely help with this feeling. If you need some catching up to do, it is a good idea to buy this set and get into it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.