Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix Review – Written by Jose Vega
Purchased product for the purpose of reviewing.
What do you get when you take the charm of Disney with the role-playing fortitude that is Square-Enix? You get a series like this. Since 2002, the Kingdom Hearts series has attracted fans far and wide with its story, characters, and gameplay. It evolved into a franchise that spanned numerous prequels, sequels, and spin-offs. In 2013, Square-Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III would finally be in development and the wait for it began. During that time, they would release compilation games onto Sony’s PS3 in the form of HD 1.5 Remix in 2013 and HD 2.5 Remix a year later to get people busy. Three years later, we would get them both in the form of a super compilation on PS4 called Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix. Containing final mix versions of 3 KH games, two movies and an updated GBA to PS2 game, is this THE definitive Kingdom Hearts compilation to recommend to new fans?
This game is pretty much that, a compilation of several Kingdom Hearts games that were pretty much given the HD treatment. You get a total of six games: Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, RE: Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Birth By Sleep Final Mix & RE: Coded. Six in one disc, that’s a lot. All six are similar to how they are on the PlayStation 3. The only difference is that Square decides to upscale the games at 1080p at 60 fps. That’s impressive. The fact that they’re able to pull this off is astounding. Not to mention with the PS4 hardware, the load times are a lot shorter making them seamless. Still, an impressive feat has given that they were able to pull this off well with Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.
All of the games play well and if you’ve played any on the PlayStation 3, you will do fine here on the PlayStation 4. There are however several differences between the two. One difference is that since it’s on the PS4, there’s a lack of a Start & Select button. It’s substituted for the touchpad and option button on the controller. Pretty good. In addition, all of the changes and improvements from the PS3 version are in the PS4 version. It makes them all streamlined but depending on what game you choose to play can differ. There’s also trophy support like in the PS3 version. Unlike the PS3 version, however, they fixed it so that you only have to beat it once at the hardest setting to get most of the trophies. A major reprieve since truthfully, nobody wants to go through all that hassle.
Length-wise, each of these games will take you hours to beat, longer if you plan on trying to complete them at 100%. Since most of these games are Final Mix versions, more content is included such as new bosses, keyblades, challenges, etc. Not only that but KH2FM also included additional voice acting for the added scenes. That’s a lot. As for 358/2 Days and Re: Coded, they are pretty much full movies clocking at 3 hours each. They simply summarize the events that go on in those respective games. Square did take the liberty of updating Days by adding more scenes and in a way it does help. Though it makes you wish they were playable to see how much it has improved graphically.
The presentation on all six games is well done. Being that they upscaled all six games to 1080p at 60 fps helps a lot. They all look great and play great too. Voice acting is still solid with a robust cast that nails their lines well. Even the likes of Mark Hamill, the late Sir Christopher Lee and the late Leonard Nimoy help add a lot of weight to the series. Music is similar to the PS3 versions with KH1 and 2 Final Mix having their soundtracks completely redone to add more oomph to the games themselves. They are all good but I wish there was an option to allow players to have the original PS2 soundtrack and to switch between them. It would have made this a definitive package and a recommendation.
As for any negatives, there isn’t much. Almost all of the playable games are the Final Mix versions meaning that they are more challenging than the originals. Not to mention that games like Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix & BBS Final Mix had problems where the game would have a tendency to crash. It hurts even worse if players forgot to save, causing them to lose a lot of progress. They have since been fixed with updates but it was a big issue at the time. Also, some games had some censored changes when they come overseas. It was done to prevent controversy but it shouldn’t hinder anyone one bit.
So in conclusion, this compilation offers so much content on one disc that it isn’t funny. Upscaled graphics and frame rate, familiar controls and the fact that this takes 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix and put them together in one package. The best part about it is that it wasn’t a full price game. In fact, you can get it now at around $30 so it’s a steal. With Kingdom Hearts 3 coming in a matter of months, if you want to get into the series and don’t know where to begin, this compilation is it. Be ready because a series like this isn’t an easy journey for sure.
I give Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix an 8.5 out of 10.