Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Review: A gorgeous love letter to Kingdom Hearts fans
- Posted September 10th, 2013 at 09:01 EDT by Kyle Prahl
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Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX is the best HD collection yet produced, a passion-fueled love letter to patient fans, and a visually arresting introduction to characters, worlds, and gameplay that deserve every beautiful pixel.
- Gorgeous in 1080p
- Attention to detail in remaster
- Final Mix content
- 358/2 Days: Why is it here?
- Chain of Memories remaster is less impressive
That holds true for the cutscenes of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, which comprise the third piece of HD 1.5 ReMIX's somewhat convoluted puzzle. As 358/2 Days debuted on the Nintendo DS and never received a Re:-type remake, the original gameplay was abandoned in favor of telling its story through HD cinematics and text summaries strung together to make a roughly 3-hour "movie." But is it a story worth telling? The motive behind including Days' cutscenes and not another, more crucial chapter in the Kingdom Hearts saga is disconcerting. Sure, the three games in this collection tell a chronologically cohesive story, but if ordering the series by events was the aim, why is Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which takes place 10 years before the original game's events, not included? And if chronological storytelling wasn't the aim, then... well, I can't imagine why 358/2 Days was included in place of Kingdom Hearts II, because the latter is absolutely essential in making any sense and drawing any emotional impact out of Days' borderline unnecessary prequel story. To Kingdom Hearts rookies, Days' cutscenes are going to stick out like a nonsensical, unrelated sore thumb in an otherwise logical package.
Days' story, woven together without gameplay for engagement or emotional oomph, is also pretty boring. It's not hard to see what's going on here--a second HD collection with Kingdom Hearts II has already been confirmed--but it's disappointing to see a package with so much care and attention to detail tainted by a strange inclusion that, even for series diehards, could have waited until next time.
Still, the value proposition of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX is undeniable. Square Enix has crafted a remarkable package with loving adoration for its source material and, with Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, enough new content and changes to give loyalists like me a fresh experience. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX is the best HD collection yet produced, a passion-fueled love letter to patient fans, and a visually arresting introduction to characters, worlds, and gameplay that deserve every beautiful pixel.