Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix Review

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX

Kingdom Hearts will always be remembered as a shocking collaboration between two big franchises Squaresoft (now Square Enix) and Disney. Released in 2002 for the Playstation 2,  the game that took the hearts of millions of fans. Now over a decade later the game that started it all has finally made it’s way back to the Playstation 3 in high definition!

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix comes bundled with two playable games and a third game that has viewable cutscenes only. The visual HD enhancements are simply beautiful and that you can’t help but to stop and stare at all the wonderful backgrounds, characters and designs all the games have to offer. The transition from standard definition to high definition goes well with Kingdom Hearts art style.

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix


One of the biggest topics of this remaster was the inclusion of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. The game was originally released in Japan in December of 2002 to give it’s Japanese fans a taste of the optional hidden bosses that the North American and Europe editions had. They also included an extra optional boss, new keyblades, new abilities, a more challenging Proud Mode, new Heartless that drop rare items and new cutscenes.

Other than these additions, the gameplay is pretty much the same with the exception that many Kingdom Hearts fans wanted to control the camera with the right thumbstick instead of the original L2 and R2 buttons to which Square Enix had granted this request. Unfortunately, the game’s old camera still as wonky as it’s ever been, creating frustration and sometimes death as the camera will do it’s own thing while you are controlling Sora. Square Enix also used the triangle button as action command to open up treasure chests and also use command abilities such as Strike Raid or Sonic Rush.

Kingdom Hearts series composer, Yoko Shimomura has also remastered the games soundtrack featuring arranged music using a live orchestra giving the music a more realistic modern sound that any fan can enjoy all over again.

Even with all these welcome additions, minor gripes have been reported such as audio dropping for a while and then coming back and in some cases, the audio doesn’t come back requiring a reboot to fix the issue. Clipping and input command delays are also shown. None of which are deal breaking but just minor annoyances.

Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories


Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories serves as the sequel to Kingdom Hearts and it’s the title that receives very little change to the original game. The card battle system remains the same and a very few of the games tracks have been remastered. Completing Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days will unlock new cards to use for the game.

It may not seem like a major improvement but the biggest story with Re: Chain of Memories is that fans from the Europe, Australia, and PAL regions will finally be able to play the game as the game was released in Japan in 2007 and 2008 in North America for the Playstation 2.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days


Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days receives the most noticeable improvement as it was originally released on the Nintendo DS. The game is a side story of Roxas’ time in Organization XIII and the introduction of the mysterious XIV member Xion. While the game is not a playable, instead it was made into a three hour watchable series of cutscenes albeit separated with chapters and read only journal entries. It was stated that it would have taken more resources to make it into a game. However this doesn’t take anything away from what the developers did for the remake.

Even with it being made into three hours of cutscenes, 358/2 Days still keeps players who did not play the game informed at what caused the events during Chain of Memories to the opening segment of Kingdom Hearts II. Although players would learn more if they played the game, this movie does hold it’s own at bringing out the important details. A lot of the major scenes from the game were remade and all of the game’s original cast came back to record all the scenes from the game.

Conclusion

Overall, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix is definitely one of the better HD games out on the current market. With Square Enix working with the resources they had to bring their first HD remaster to it’s fans, it certainly ranks at the top. Of course even with it’s minor flaws, Square Enix had a lot to learn from this experience as they get ready to hopefully remaster the other Kingdom Hearts games. This is one trip down memory lane I really enjoyed and experiencing these memories again it’s safe to say that Kingdom Hearts is ready for the next generation.

Rating: 8/10

Disclaimer: This review was based off the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix for the Playstation 3 provided by Square Enix.

6 Responses to “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix Review”

  1. Platitude Says:

    A helpful review, thanks! Its too bad they didn’t remake 358/2 Days, though I understand why they didn’t. I never could get past it’s tedious gameplay.

  2. Fred Says:

    started a new game on launch day and got to the Olympus Coliseum world.. the game brings back lots of memories and the recomposed soundtrack is VERY appreciated! I didn’t think I’d even notice it, but it’s so much better

  3. guest Says:

    How bad are the audio dropping and clipping and input command delays? An update or patch should be able to fix them right?
    Other than that, I look forward to when I buy this.

  4. Darrin Tyler Says:

    I give it a 10/10.

  5. Merilly Says:

    Being a “real” fan doesn’t have anything to do with the rating itself, because even if you are a so called “real” fan you have to see the negative aspects of a game as well. It does not make you a better fan to give it the best rating and not criticize anything just because it’s an awesome game. I love Kingdom Hearts to death, but I still dislike the gameplay in (Re:) Chain of memories, just to provide an example. And Re: Coded wasn’t the most glorious game of the series either. That doesn’t make me a worse fan than you. Even awesome games have flaws.
    For example, Square Enix initially confirmed that the game would be published in French, German, Italian & Spanish but went back on that, providing reasons which were simply not understandable. (Something along the lines that they had to synchronize the new scenes in Final Mix, which weren’t synchronized anyway, even in the original version, and that there wasn’t enough space on the disc to provide 5 or more languages. This was an inofficial statement, I guess but I couldn’t find any other reason provide by SE). In my opinion, the German and French dub were well made and I like them better than the English one, though only one in the first game. I have nothing against the synchronization in the other games. For me, it does make a difference because I grew up with the German Version and therefore it is a bit sad that they did not include it.

    And in my opinion, it is an annoyance when you have to put up with input command delays, clipping and audio dropping. I simply expect from an HD remastered game that these issues do not come up, and I had the clipping and input command delay problem, even if it’s not entirely terrible. It does diminish the fun a little if Sora doesn’t jump when I need him to jump or move out of the way when it is required in order to evade an attack. Therefore, I can understand someone would rate the game 8/10 or 9/10. 10/10 would mean that the game is perfect in every aspect with only minor problems. I would rate it 8/10 as well because of the gameplay issues and because of the missing European dubs that were suddenly cancelled.

  6. He'møans Jäyy Rodrigo Says:

    Im with the 8/10 part. If this was a remastered game, i still think that all the games should have been made in HD. Not two games and a movie. Especially 358/2 days. I wanted to play that in HD ;~;

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