Kingdom Hearts is a franchise that mould’s together two universes making a match made in heaven.
Characters and worlds found in classic Disney flicks and key characters from the Final Fantasy games join hands to create an interesting set of games. The Kingdom Hearts games made me nervous. Mixing these two universes were sure to fail. Seeing Goofy and Donald Duck interacting with the likes of Squall and Selphie from FF8 is not something i was looking forward too. I expected awkwardness, like farting in a lift, i mean who thought of this mixture? Well Square-Enix got it right and they got it even right-er in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, a PS3 Exclusive.
Remastered in full HD, we have Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix which sees Sora, Donald and Goofy once again visiting well known Disney locales clearing away the Heartless which has been resurrected by a dark group called Organisation XIII. Secondly we have Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep where Terra, Aqua and Ventus travel the worlds to find Xehanort and a new enemy called the Universed. Both stories are well written and beautifully told although the voice acting is sometimes borderline cheesy. I was hooked as i wanted to see all my favorite Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters fully voiced throughout the brilliant cut-scenes. The .5 is Kingdom Hearts Re-Coded which is just a series of cut-scenes making a sort of mini-movie.
Both games play relatively different. Although characters control the same, the main issue was the camera. In Birth By Sleep, i was constantly fighting more with the camera than the onscreen enemies. Tame it though and you have a brilliant pair of RPG goodness which mixes exploration with a smooth combat system. The exploration is limited however as the game worlds are pretty small and corridor-like however there are chests to find and collectables to hunt out outside of your main goal. Meeting new characters (or old i should say) unlocks them to assist you in combat which in-turn can unlock some cool looking team-up moves. Combat is button mash goodness with the odd quick time button press for reversal techniques or blocks. As Sora or Terra levels up, more abilities are unlocked which deepens the system and frees up more options when taking on enemies or bosses which makes the challenging nature of the game more manageable.
The HD remastering has done all of the content justice as all games on the disc look brilliantly polished. Worlds like Pride Rock, Beast’s Castle and Agrabah are faithfully recreated and look fantastic in sparkly HD and the characters look just as great. Baddies such as the Heartless and Organisation XIII really send chills whenever you see them and the walk of the Nobodies never fails to amuse, its like watching your dad dance at a wedding.
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix is a trilogy of fantastically recreated classics which continues to marry the Final Fantasy and Disney franchises beautifully. The RPG game play is smooth and well implemented with a surprisingly deep combat system. A worthy purchase for any PS3 owner.
Recreations of iconic Disney worlds
Easy to understand controls
Slightly closed off, corridor-like worlds