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Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD remix

The Kingdom Hearts series has a very special place in my heart. The first Kingdom Hearts game was my first game on the Playstation 2 console. So I was very pleased to hear that the series were being updated to HD. I bought the HD remix of the first and the second Kingdom Hearts and I relived my past for days alongside my favorite characters in the Disney and Final Fantasy universe. The updated games are very good looking and a blast to play. This is the perfect opportunity for “fans” and “no- fans” to get into this mysterious and cartoony world.

Kingdom Hearts mixes a serious story with different cartoony worlds and characters like Cloud, Mickey, Donald Duck, Jack Sparrow, … It’s about the villains of the Disney Universe such as Maleficent who want to control the darkness of people’s heart to feed the dark in Kingdom Hearts. Sora along with Donald and Goofy won’t let that happen and tries to close the keyholes of different worlds before the heartless make the world crumbles and fade from existence.

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The updated graphics surely are noticeable like the strong colors and the sharpness of the textures. The HD version of Kingdom Hearts 2 doesn’t do anything “special” with the old combat system but don’t be fooled, it’s still a challenge to maintain control in difficult situations. Your powers and abilities level up as Sora grows with experience, and you notice it by flashy animations. You can dodge, throw your keyblade, use magic, … and defeat your enemies with allies you find along the way such as Simba, Tron, …

 

Enjoy a good old classic!

 

The HD version still has the same dull interface as the old game but they added new bosses that really test your skills in the game. For example: the members of Organization XIII. You have to use your abilities very carefully while watching out for those one shot kills that they throw at you. The voiceovers are very good and the loading times are shortened so it’s very pleasant to revisit this fun universe.

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Birth by sleep is the second part of the whole remix and it’s the updated version of the 2011 old PSP game. This is the prequel where you play as Terra, Ventus or Aqua who want to achieve the title “ Keyblade master”. Each character’s story is intertwined with the other characters and they have their own set of abilities. For example: Ventus is quicker than Terra but Terra hits harder but slower. The combat system is slightly different than the combat system of the main game. In the main game, you use magic points to use certain abilities but the combat system in Birth by Sleep is all about cooldowns without the use of magic points. It gives you another perspective of managing your skills during battle.

In Birth by Sleep, you have a main deck that can be adapted to your play style. You can implement different abilities (choose between magic and combat skills) to match your play style. You can also combine skills to receive better skills but be sure of your choice because once you combine skills, you lose them. Of course they can be bought or found throughout the world. You can also link yourself to another game character that allows you to use other skills to vanquish the Unversed. One minor thing was the targeting/ camera system. It didn’t function as it should but it didn’t stop me from playing. It’s an interesting story with some interesting characters, so it’s definitely worth a try.

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The last addition to the HD remix is the short film “Re:coded”. This short film glues all scenes from the 2011 game into one film. It’s a nice addition but it’s not the high- end movie we’ve all wanted to see.

Verdict:

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix is a decent game to relive the whole franchise with improvements such as graphics and sound. It’s also a must for people who want to try out Birth by Sleep as well as getting a taste of the Kingdom Hearts Universe. Now, don’t expect new and improved game mechanics, just enjoy a good old classic!

8/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.