I had a pre-order of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 remix on file at Amazon immediately after I heard about it. Not only does it come with a HD remaster of the original (and the best) Kingdom Hearts game, but it also comes with Kingdom Hearts : Chain of Memories, and the movies from Kingdom Hearts : 358 / 2 included on the disk. Plus it was being sold for cheaper than a normal full PS3 disk release so it’s essentially a no-brainer.
Kingdom Hearts is a bit violent than most games I expose my kids to (the main character bludgeons enemies to death with a giant, blunt key) but I figured that since most of the enemies looked more like shadows than cuddly animals it would be safe to let the kids watch. With the exception of my two year old boy telling me he could fly like Sora and jumping off his bed (which he probably would have done anyway) they appear to have survived the experience unscathed.
My kids were still begging to play more ‘Pikmin’ so I had to force them to sit through the first few hours of the game. After we made it past the initial world and started visiting locales based on Disney they decided Kingdom Hearts was fun after all. It’s been a good excuse to re-visit all of the movies that Kingdom Hearts worlds are based on. We even wanted to watch ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ which I thought would be too scary but they seemed to enjoy.
The game itself is in HD but the upgrade wasn’t as drastic as other HD upgrades I’ve seen. Everything looked sharper but besides the higher resolution it was essentially same as before. Gameplay felt identical to what Kingdom Hearts felt like including crappy camera control and the in-battle menu system. I consider the biggest benefit of the HD remake is that I can now run the game natively on my PS3 (which sadly can not run my old PS2 copy of the game). Plus all that other crap on the disk.
Kingdom Hearts as a game doesn’t really manage to do anything particularly well. The game play sucks, camera control is terrible and the plot is completely unintelligible. I’d have given up on any other game with these failings however Kingdom Hearts is able to make up for its failings with liberal use of cut-scenes and cameos. Every time the boys recognized a new character they’d be bouncing all over the room cheering (especially for Peter Pan). I must admit that when Sephiroth drops into the Coliseum I feel like bouncing around the room myself. The characters in the game manage to make up for any failings the game has and as a whole Kingdom Hearts is a very enjoyable experience.
Since finishing the game my oldest boy has been asking when we can play Kingdom Hearts 2, which is the highest praise he can offer any game. I don’t intend on telling him about the other games on the disk. KH : Chain of Memories is fun exactly once, and KH : 358 / 2 day is never fun.
I intend to put a little more time into the game to finish off the final few super-bosses but I’m not going to play it around the boys any more. The level grinding and synthesis ingredient farming was way too boring for them. They’ll have to wait for Kindom Hearts II HD 2.5 remix.
- HD remake of Kingdom Hearts.
- KH : Chain of Memories and 358 / 2 Days are also on the disk.
- Same crappy camera and controls as the original.
Genre: Action / RPG