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.


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.