hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX

2:00 PM on 09.16.2013 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Bringing back great memories

Some of my fondest memories were spent with the Kingdom Hearts series. Growing up equal parts Disney-kid and action-adventure fan, I was ecstatic when Kingdom Hearts was announced, and enthralled for weeks on end when it finally reached my disc tray.

Having taken a crack at the entire franchise all over again as recently as the end of last year, you'd expect that I'd be sick of hearing Haley Joel Osment by now, right? Well, HD 1.5 ReMIX managed to reel me in once again, and I'm not complaining.



Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX
(PS3)

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: September 10, 2013
MSRP: $39.99

Before the franchise was muddled with fractions in its titles and eons of "hearts darkness darkness hearts" dialog, there was the original Kingdom Hearts. Although it got a bit mystical and hard to follow at points, people fell in love with it, because it was a great action game that allowed them to adventure into the Cave of Wonders and befriend Cloud Strife over the course of an afternoon. It was an attempt to tug at all the right strings and feels of fans everywhere, and it worked.

Kingdom Hearts puts you in the shoes of Sora, a keyblade wielder that has the power to travel across the universe and right as many wrongs as he can along the way. But he won't be alone, as Disney favorites Goofy and Donald will be there for emotional and practical support as you travel across lands like Aladdin's Agrabah and The Little Mermaid's Atlantica. Once the game gets rolling it doesn't really stop, as nearly every world will have you guessing as to who or what could show up, with some of the most top-notch voicework in the entire industry to boot.

A few of the game's inherent issues are still there to rear their ugly head, however. It still takes a full hour to get started, after the intro, the beach, and Traverse Town are all said and done. There are still Gummi Ship sections that unnecessarily (although I'll fully admit that I do somewhat enjoy them) force you to wait before you explore new and exciting areas.

But despite the lack of retooling in a few areas it's not completely same old Kingdom Hearts you know and love, as there are a few welcome mechanical additions on top of the obvious great looking HD sheen. For one, the shoddy L2+R2 camera system is gone, replaced by a sensible and modern right analog stick control system. You can also finally skip cutscenes on your first playthrough (YES!), so fans who have beaten the game more times than they can count don't have to sit through scene after scene when they can recite the lines by memory.

Then, there's one major addition that's the biggest of all -- the fact that the HD set contains the Final Mix of Kingdom Hearts -- a version that was previously exclusive to Japan, and came with bonuses and additional content. For starters, a lot of the game's enemies are different compared to the original, and are otherwise remixed -- so it's not going to be exactly how you remember it if you haven't experienced Final Mix. There are also new weapons, items, abilities, and in-game story documents, as well as additional cutscenes, a few new bosses, and a revamped difficulty system that makes the Easy setting more accommodating and Hard more punishing.

If you think back to playing Kingdom Hearts and cannot get past the Gummy Ship sections or the lengthy Beach and Traverse Town intros, I don't believe playing it in HD will magically change your mind. But personally, I think HD 1.5 ReMIX is worth it for Final Mix alone -- that's how good the original game is.

Re:Chain of Memories is the second part of the compilation, and it plays a bit differently than the first entry. Okay, it's completely different, as it's one of those card combat games. Wait, where are you going?! Re:Chain is actually a solid remake of the GameBoy Advance game Chain of Memories (making this an HD remake of a PS2 3D remake), and adds a bit more action-oriented combat to the mix to help ease in those who normally cringe at the mere mention of "cards."

My opinion on Chain of Memories itself is a bit mixed, as overall it's not really what you'd call an essential part of the franchise, but the experience itself does augment the overall narrative, and it manages to stay particularly engaging because of the sheer depth of the card based systems. Unlike other games in the series which may re-tread into exact locations, Re:Chain actually feels pretty justified because it's a direct companion piece to the original. It won't sell copies of this compilation, but it'll surprise some people.

The third and final piece of the puzzle that is 1.5 ReMIX is the inclusion of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 as a non-playable feature film that's nearly three hours long. For the uninitiated, 358 is a DS game that takes place after the first title chronologically and tangential to Chain of Memories. Due to the limitations of the DS nearly all of its environments were completely recycled, and as a result, not many people played it.

Because of the general disinterest in this forgotten entry, I really like this move to make 358 into a movie (that's fully voiced now, no less), so series fans who may not want to drudge through the tedium can still experience a piece of Kingdom Hearts history. The playback system itself is fairly rudimentary, but it thankfully lets you choose between various chapters like a DVD menu, and continue where you left it should you walk away or doze off.

But at what cost does 358/2 grace the rather limited space in this trilogy? Put simply, if this is a compilation of the beginnings of the franchise's story, the lack of inclusion of Birth By Sleep is criminal. As the very first game in the timeline, many would argue that it's best in the entire franchise, and the most worthy of a remake given the fact that nearly every single location is brand new.

As a series fan I consider it so essential that even if Birth was just a movie remaster it would be extremely welcomed -- but alas, it's not here, and you won't get the entire story of the early timeline without busting out your PSP. All we can hope for is a HD Remix 2.5 inclusion to wrap things up for newcomers before the long awaited Kingdom Hearts III.

Barring a few antiquated (but manageable) mechanics that are still in place in the first Kingdom Hearts, HD ReMIX captures the essence of the franchise quite wonderfully. For those who are wondering, it's still fun to roam around and wreck shop as Sora, Goofy and Donald, and for many people, this is the first time you'll ever experience it in its Final Mix incarnation.



THE VERDICT

8.5

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If someone used the blog reply feature to just divide a somewhat long blog into easier-to-digest chapters that could be consumed at the leisure of readers, would that be kosher?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
[youtube]https://youtu.be/7bzKWOeSVn4[/youtube]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Barry Kelly It looks like it will get pretty difficult later on. It even has instafail stealth sections according to @Chris Carter #neededanexcuse to #tryouttheatfeature
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I hope MGS V manages to have some sort of challenge to it. I just replayed MGS 4 for the first time since release and wow that game just practically plays itself. And that's outside of the long sections it is playing itself!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Splatfest Decipticons, Let us crush the Autobot menace [img]http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/attachments/transformers-fan-art/27462687d1408744118-3d-tarn-model-tarn-propaganda-copy-01.jpg[/img]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, all you Australian/UK/German Pokemon trainers out there! The Shiny Rayquaza event is ending, has just started, or will be starting in a few days (respectively), so be sure to get in on it while the getting is good!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
4 days unt... no, wait... 3 days until Sahelanthropus.
Jish K avatarJish K
Greetings. For I am new. And still struggling to get that dang blog header to change.
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
MGSV is looking very good so far! Played to 2% completion last night. Pure stealth seems REALLY hard so far. PS3 version runs fine, loading times are OK, no slow downs, draw distance and pop-in are a bit rough. No glitches. Be prepared! Get it on PS4.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Jealous of all my brethren at PAX Prime. Sad I will miss out on the drinking, orgies and catching the PAX flew. This time next year though, I'll be there! I promise!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Forgot to mention that I celebrated completing Persona 4: Golden by binging on a bunch of totally in-canon doujins. Including, but not limited to, Yu on genderswap't Yosuke. [img]http://i.imgur.com/Ex0MgjW.jpg[/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
If you love Splatoon and Transformers you may want to check theyetee.com today. http://theyetee.com/ Let's just say the shirts are... Splatfest themed. [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/j2AnOnQvRZqustSU45JP[/img]
Zack Furniss avatarZack Furniss
BREAKING: Dtoid is at the IGN Lara Croft Go party. You can hold live snakes because why the fuck not, but one snake is missing...
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
someone help i think i'm writing what is going to be my longest blog yet
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[url="http://nintendoeverything.com/yacht-club-on-the-shovel-knight-amiibos-origins-nintendo-on-third-party-figures/#more-216265"]Interview with Yacht Club Games that miiiight basically confirm Shovel Knight isn't getting a Nintendo boss/level?[/url]
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Spent most of my day going back and playing Assassin's Creed: Unity. I really quite enjoyed it. It's a good game.
Bardley avatarBardley
Reserved my copy of The Phantom Pain today and my car died on the way back home. Thanks Konami. On the plus side, I got to ride in a tow truck to the auto shop. Felt like an elementary school field trip or something for a few minutes.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Humble Bundle End of Summer Sale! Get a free Stealth Inc. 2 maybe? I dunno. Just signal boosting for no particular reason. Maybe 'cause I got a free game? Least I could do. https://www.humblebundle.com/store
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I gotta to admit: it feels nice to be able to play a Pokemon game without thinking to myself "oh shit, I got to fill up my Pokedex". It's nice. Oh yeah, and for the record, I'm playing through Soul Silver.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I enter the Gamestop. I set a Toad plushie atop a Yoshi plushie. I set Mario to go down on Kirby. I leave the Gamestop.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix


  Sep 11

Reminisce with Sora in this Kingdom Hearts HD trailer

Get reacquainted with Mickey, Sora, and Donald...in HD


  Jun 28

Kingdom Hearts HD's graphics rebuilt from the ground up

Original data went missing a long, long time ago


  Mar 23

PAX: Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX is more than a pretty face

New controls and content in store for fans in the West


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -