- Developer: Square Enix
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Copy Purchased
- Release Date: 03/28/2017
To summarise Kingdom Hearts as a whole is a hard one, but I think I came up with the definitive way to summarise it. Kingdom Hearts is about a boy, who has six(or more) people inside of him. And he fights Leonard Nimoy and his merry band of misfits in black cloaks…….. Oh, yeah, and Disney is there too.
Now, I am more than aware of the fact that there are four games in this package, with two movies thrown in for the hell of it. So I feel that it is my sworn duty to review them all. So if you want an overall summary, skip to the end. So kick back, and enjoy the….. Light of Kingdom Hearts!
Kingdom Hearts FINAL MIX
Not going to lie, I have not played this one to completion until i got the PS4 version. I normally got to Wonderland before i got irritated by the controls, and level design. But this time I broke through the barrier and completed the game, beat Sephiroth, and obtained the Ultima Keyblade. So please, allow me to vent.
First thing I must mention before anything else is the damn companions. Donald and Goofy were the banes of my entire playthrough. Hearing Donald’s voice in cutscenes is bearable, but all the time in combat, AND it’s the same lines throughout the entire game? Well, I don’t know about you, but the next time I’m at Disneyland, we will be one duck short. As for Goofy? Well, were good, but I am charging him for all the potions he needlessly drank in combat. So yeah, the companion system sucks, and it’s up to you to carry the group from Traverse Town to the end. Will it get better in future games? Well, kind of? But not really.
To be honest, the combat starts off slow as hell. You have the three hit combo and some basic magic. But nothing much else. But once you start getting better skills, and Keyblades, the game becomes really fun….. Well not entirely…
So let’s address Atlantica. It’s shit, story over, case closed, go home. We all know why. It is an underwater level, and this was developed at a time where underwater levels were still dreaded. The controls are just irritating, and enemies have way too much health. And lets not get started in Ursala.
Bosses are a mix of easy, and semi difficult. Though not much of them are memorable. Two bosses that do come to mind are Sephiroth and Ice Titan. Both for their difficulty and fun. The Ice Titan requires you to be defensive and have quick reflexes. While Sephiroth requires you to be aggressive and know how to counter his more deadly moves. While most bosses require one thing, hit ‘em dead. That’s it, maybe heal sometimes, but other than that, you literally just keep hitting them
This will be short. You will either like it, or you won’t. If you don’t like Disney, or Square Enix, or the constant mentioning of “ Hearts” “Light” and “Darkness” then stay away. But if you like the journey of a kid and his companions to find and save his friends, while a larger plot evolves around them.Then this may be the biggest treat for you.
For all its glaring flaws, i still like this game. The characters are endearing, the disney levels are awesome, and the combat can get really engaging. And i’m surprised on how well it holds up compared to today’s games. Can they keep the awesomeness going?
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Fucking hell i wanted to kill myself during the first two hours I played this. This game is bad, and i mean really bad. The game might as well be a rehash of the first game, but with two important things. The first being the FUCKING card game based combat system. And the second being that this game’s story is ESSENTIAL to the entire franchise. And it is the only thing that keeps me from destroying every copy if it! So take my advice, either read the summary in Dream Drop Distance or watch the cutscenes on youtube. You will not regret it.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Movie time! Grab some popcorn, and prepare for…. Being bored as hell. Not much happens in this. Other than some serious character development between Axel, Roxas, and the mysterious Xion. There are some key bits of story in there, but nothing vital. This one is completely skippable.
Kingdom Hearts II FINAL MIX
Not going to lie, this game still holds up. Now, I’m not saying that because it is my favourite of the series. But the story, gameplay, and even the updated PS4 graphics still hold up. The good aspects vastly outnumber the bad. But let’s take a closer look at both.
Still horrible, still want to kill Donald, anything new? Well, yes, actually. Firstly there is the addition of limit commands which let you unleash a devastating attack against foes. So it is worth having Aladdin, Captain Jack, or Arron in your party. And besides Limit commands, Donald and goofy also have a unique function….
Drive forms! Possibly the best combat feature in the game. Drive forms let you absorb Donald, Goofy, or both, and go into a special form giving you a new power. Going into these forms require your drive gages to meet the required cost of transformation. Like Valor costs 3 Drive bars, while Final costs 5. And filling the gages is pretty easy. You either attack enemies or collect yellow orbs that are in barrels or boxes. But using Drive forms too much does have a costly side effect. Which is a nice little touch to the games overall theme.
Other than the new forms though, the combat does feel faster, and more fluid that the previous Kingdom Hearts game. There is enough variety to let anyone play however they like to play, though the best strategy is to still just melee things. Though I must say, bosses are a lot better in this one than the previous title.
This is where things start to get a convoluted, so make sure you have the previous games memorised. But in all seriousness, unless you have played both Kingdom Hearts AND Chain of memories, you will be lost at the start of the game. You may have questions, like who is this Roxas boy, why is Sora asleep, and why is the villain of the first game alive again?
Once you do wake Sora up though, things do become easier to understand. You must save various Disney worlds from the Heartless while looking for Riku, and Mickey. So almost a rehash of the first game. But after a certain point, Organisation XIII makes their move. At this point, you will retravel to the Disney worlds, but instead of Heartless, you will fight the new enemy Nobodies.
The story of Kingdom Hearts 2 is very rough to get through. There are a LOT of cutscenes, a shitton of new characters, and an endless void of sappy/cringy scenes. But is it all bad? No, it can be really enjoyable. But there are times where it is too much, and you just want to play the game. The best example is during the Heartless siege of Hollow Bastion. Where at one point there is just cutscene after cutscene. And the FINAL MIX goes so far as to add a pretty lengthy cutscene to the already long experience.
This game was already great, but with the PS4 remaster, the game looks much better, loads a lot faster, and controls beautifully. The main complaints I would have to give it are ones that are either staple of the series, or too hard to fix for a simple remastering. If you played it in the past, and wish to replay it, or are entirely new to the series, I would strongly recommend starting with this game.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final MIX
This game, my god. I have to say, when I originally heard of this game on the PSP, I completely ignored it. And it seems I was right to do so. Apparently, it was uncomfortable to control and had quite a few other issues. But once it was added to the original 2.5 ReMix, I heard nothing but good things. And playing it now, I have to say, it is a great title in the series.
Oddly enough, this game doesn’t have the companion system KH 1 and 2 have. Instead, you are alone for most of the game. With the exception of a few key boss battles. And even during those, you really don’t have to cover their asses because they keep dying or doing something incredibly stupid.
INSTEAD, There are annoying as hell escort missions. Some are okay, but others, others are just awful. Let’s just say, that a certain princess, not going to say names, wants to get to a ball. So much, that she will run right into enemies, and go ways that were not cleared of enemies. And if she loses too much health, you have to restart at the checkpoint. So yeah, escort missions still suck. And this just in, the sky’s still blue, and space is still black as Disney’s soul.
This is where things get fun. Now, rather than having chosen, however, much skills you like, and having spells and potions hot keyed to specific controller commands, there is a new method. What is said method you may ask? Well, it is a Deck system, but unlike Chain of Memories, this system is actually fun.
You still keep your basic X to attack combos, but now the Triangle button is used specifically for Deck commands. And what goes into the Deck commands you may ask? Special attacks, Spells, and potions! When you use a command, it will go to the very next move in your Deck, or proper order is necessary. So let’s say that you like to be offensive, you find the right moves, put them in the order you like, for example, Sonic Rush > Blitz > Thunder Raid > Curaga
Using a move will cause it to recharge. But through the Deck Melding system, you can create special moves, and add things like Attack Haste, or Magic Haste to your moves.
There are three different characters you will control during this game. Aqua is a powerful mage, delivering devastating magic attacks. Terra, who attacks are very powerful. And Ventus, who is very fast. All have unique moves and are very fun to play.
One of the two major issues i have with this game are the final bosses. Most of them are not difficult if you know the very specific way to defeat them. Essentially, you must block/deflect all of their attacks during the fight. That’s it, nothing else. Try to go on the offensive, you will lose health faster than you blink. And this wouldn’t be a problem if blocking was the norm for the rest of the game. But for the most part, you really don’t need it at all. So when you do get to those final boss fights, be ready to feel nothing but pure rage.
Alright, before I address the really good, I have to get this off my chest. In this game, you play as Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. All have their own unique stories, but all must go to the same worlds, and fight the same baddies. My issue? Well, it is a minor one, but torments me even now. When you go to Cinderella’s world, you will be greeted by a cutscene, then a quick battle. Okay, doesn’t seem too bad, right? Well, you would be correct. What torments me is what happens when you are out of combat, and not in a cutscene. You see, they have a lyric-less version of the famous song “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo”. It is on a very short loop and is constantly playing. And add the fact that you have to go to that world THREE times, and you will shortly be tormented too. Though I must say the other worlds soundtracks didn’t stick as well as Cinderella’s. So the question is, is that a good thing, or bad?
Other than seeing the same worlds three times, each character has a very good and engaging story, that does have a satisfying payoff. And each character plays a different role in the Disney worlds. Terra is the beginning, Ventus is the middle, and Aqua is the end. And unlike KH2 The story this time is much easier to understand and enjoy. Plus Leonard Nimoy is in it… so bonus.
This is the second best in the series for me. Though as a game it is the most solid, has a very good story, and is overall better. I guess I like the craziness of Sora, Donald, and Goofy more than the new crew. Though the new crew is still awesome, and i really look forward to them interacting more with the characters we have come to know and love.
Kingdom Hearts ReCoded
This one possibly is the one that pisses me off the most. More than the shitty boss fights. More than the childrens card games in CoM. All this one is just a Movie. But unlike 358/2 days, it manages to do nothing new. Thats right, it is a retelling of KH, the very first one. Is that a bad thing? In any other circumstance, no. BUT this manages to retell the first game’s story, in a much more irritating way. There is some character development, but it pales in comparison to the other games. So in the end, skip this one. It will save you from all of this movies Hurt…..
This collection has four games in it, and two movies. Three games of which are Incredible to play, and will last you a long time. One game that will either be a hit or miss, but more likely make you want to bash your own brains in. One movie, although dull, does have great character growth. And one worthless pile of trash that was added to fill a gap.
Considering that this game is 49.99 USD, I would have to say that this game is more that worth your money. There is enough in this package to keep you satisfied. And there is enough graphical upgrades from the original, and PS3 versions, that making this purchase is more than justified. If you are a new player wanting to see a gem from the PS2 era, or a long time fan anticipating the release of KH3. This is a wonderful addition to your collection.