Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Adventure, Action
Designer: Square-Enix
Publisher: Square-Enix
Platforms: Playstation 3

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix – Review

Site Score
Good: amazing story and characters, lots of content, challenging and fun gameplay
Bad: some lack in facial expressions at times, compilation isn't amazing
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

The Kingdom Hearts series has been around for quite some time now, starting from the beginning of the PS2 era up until the Nintendo 3DS generation of consoles. Just like what we got a year ago, Square-Enix has now also released a second re-master version of the series under the name of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix. This one contains both the immensely popular Kingdom Hearts II and the prequel to Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep with their Final Mix content, together with all of the original cut scenes from the Nintendo DS game Kingdom Hearts: Re-coded.



In Kingdom Hearts II, the story takes place right after the ending of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days where our good friend Roxas is having the time of his life during summer vacation in the peaceful Twilight Town. He and his three best friends go in search of getting back a “word” and other stuff that have been stolen from them and the other townsfolk. Roxas eventually finds the things when he meets a strange creature that is called a “Nobody”. After this event, Roxas encounters even more strange things happening around him, and eventually finds out that he too is a “Nobody” (which are the remains of a person that has lost his heart). He discovers that he is part of the main protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series Sora, who has been sleeping for one year because he lost all his memories and they needed to be restored. Sora eventually awakens when Roxas returns to him and a new adventure has begun. Sora needs to travel once again to tons of different worlds, putting an end to the evil organization XIII and save the worlds from falling into the Nobodies and Heartless’ hands.

During the prequel of the first Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, you will follow the story of the three best friends Ventus, Terra and Aqua. After the Mark of Mastery exam where Terra and Aqua needed to prove themselves to be true Keyblade Wielders, only Aqua has succeeded. Terra gets the mission to go save the various worlds from the hands of the “Unversed”, while trying to contain and defeat the darkness inside of him. Ventus is sad because his friend seems to be confused and hewanted to tell Terra something before he leaves. Yet Terra left too early and as such Ventus decides to go after Terra all by himself, causing Aqua to worry. Aqua then gets the mission to get Ventus back home and watch over Terra to make sure he doesn’t fall in the hands of darkness. All three protagonists have their own personal story, in which they discover that grave danger will occur in the future, while dealing with their own personal issues.


Lastly, we have a compilation of all the cut scenes that where present in Kingdom Hearts: Re-coded. Mickey and Jiminy Cricket notice that in one of the journals that Jiminy has recorded during his adventures with Sora, Goofy and Donald, a strange sentence has been written. Jiminy doesn’t seem to remember that he wrote this line, and they attempt to analyze the journal. They discover that a couple of strange data is contained within the journal, and as such they make a data version of Sora to go and discover what is happening. Sora has to solve different problems occurring in the various worlds, while they discover a couple of memories that none of the characters seem to remember.

Story and character-wise, both the games Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep have amazing and enjoyable characters and stories. Players will definitely be able to re-enjoy the adventures that Sora and his predecessors Ventus, Terra and Aqua have experienced. Together with the addition of the Final Mix contents, you will get a lot more information about the story and the connections with the previous games, which are a very nice bonus. However, the re-telling of Re-coded is more of a pain to go through than actually something to enjoy. Only the last parts of Re-coded have any relevant information to add to the lore of Kingdom Hearts, while the majority of the story isn’t really enjoyable or interesting.



In the Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, both the games and the compilation of Re-coded have been updated with better graphical resolution, making them even more enjoyable. However, you still sometimes see a step backwards when looking at the faces of the characters when they are not the main point of focus in the story. Usually when a character is talking, you can see more emotion and more movement on their face, but sometimes they look a lot more static.


Probably one of the most important and enjoyable aspects of the series, is the amount of amazing tracks that they include. The games are full of amazingly emotional songs that are truly something to keep remembering even after a couple of years have passed. There are also tons of nostalgic Disney songs available when playing in the appropriate world.



In Kingdom Hearts II, the gameplay is somewhat the same as in the previous installment, but a lot more fast paced with more combo’s and special abilities to activate. You play as the character Sora (although at the beginning you’ll play as Roxas) in a real time hack and slash styled game. You have your basic attacks that you can consecutively use a couple of times, while also casting different types of magic and items. You still have the option to equip abilities that you learn when leveling up, which improve your efficiency in battle. However, in addition you also get the ability of “Drive Forms” that you get pretty early in the game. You unlock these Drive forms the more you progress through the story, going up to a total of 5 forms (Valor, Wisdom, Master, Final and the rare Anti) that where available in the original versions plus the additional Final Mix exclusive Limit Form. The more you use these forms, the more abilities they unlock and the more powerful they become. You also fight alongside with Donald and Goofy, who both attack and heal you during battle but aren’t controllable.

Aside from the battles, there are a ton of extra content for you to collect and explore. You can collect stickers, explore special areas where you can find new opponents or you can try and collect all items by finding treasure scattered around the different worlds.
When you want to travel to different worlds, you’ll need to get on your Gummy Ship and make your way through tons of enemies in a Star Fox like shooting game. These are more of a bother than actually something to enjoy though.


The gameplay elements in Birth by Sleep are a little different from the Kingdom Hearts II. Instead of learning different abilities and attacks by leveling up, you need to equip commands in different command slots. You switch between commands by either using one, or by pushing the up or down directional buttons. The more you use a command, the more they level up until you mastered them. You can combine a total of two mastered commands together with different kinds of materials to create more powerful ones. It also occurs that newly crafted commands include a passive ability, which you can remember when you master the command. Aside from this you also have different finishing moves for you to execute. When your Command Gauge is full, you can active a special finishing move. Depending on what kind of commands you use in battle, you will also activate special Command Styles. These greatly change your combos and attacks, sometimes adding certain elements to your basic attacks, or giving you unique abilities. You can max the gauge two times and the more you do, do stronger your Command Style becomes.

Aside from the unique commands, you also have the possibility to activate the Shotlock attack and use Dimensional Links (D-Link) that you unlock when progressing through the story. The Shotlock attack makes use of Focus, and allows you to lock on to an enemy and shoot multiple projectiles at them. The D-Link ability allows you to make use of certain commands by linking together with the various characters that you meet along your journey. You can level these up by using them often, improving the commands that they possess. This is very useful when you are fighting with a Command Deck that is completely different from the one that you get when using a D-Link.



The compilation of Kingdom Hearts: Re-coded isn’t really much of an enjoyable addition as it doesn’t add much important information to the lore of Kingdom Hearts. Also the sometimes lack of good facial expressions is something that is somewhat regrettable. However, the fact that you get the Final Mix versions of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is something that makes the purchase worth it. The story and characters are very interesting and are certainly very enjoyable, and together with the amazingly fun gameplay, makes this Re-master enjoyable.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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