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Kingdom Hearts reMIX casts a spell on fans

Feb 5, 2015

By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIXNostalgia, it is the warm feeling of comfort transporting one back to a carefree time of innocence. Whether it is revisiting a location that held great significance for you as a child, or hearing a song that brings you back to bygone years, or in this case, replaying one of the PS2's seminal classics in magnificent HD. Nostalgia can be a very powerful force but it can also be a blinding one.

Kingdom Hearts 2 re-mastered or Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 reMIX, is the latest in the long line of previously released titles to receive the HD makeover. The package contains two full-length titles, as well as a compilation of cut scenes.

First up, we have the main reason to why most would be interested in the collection, a snazzy re-res of the fan favourite: Kingdom Hearts 2. KH2 made quiet the impact back in its day but how does it hold up nearly ten years later? In the appearances department, the tittle looks great. Textures and animations are dramatically smoother and run at even thirty frames per second. The touch up work here is top of the line.

Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIXUnfortunately, Kingdom Hearts 2 shows its age in about every other aspect. The gameplay, which consists of hacking, slashing and a healthy load of quick time events, feels noticeably dated. More often than not, I had to remind myself that the game I was playing was nearly a decade old before complaining too much during my sessions. Combat simply feels bland and clunky. I never truly felt as if I was engaged with the game mechanics. Dissatisfying gameplay aside, KH2 truly suffers with its abhorrent pacing. Maybe it's the twitch action of modern games that have moulded me into an impatient gamer but I felt myself growing tired of having player control ripped out of my hands and having to endure another long gap of mellow dramatic cut scenes.

Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIXThough there is something about Kingdom Hearts 2 that puts a smile on my face. Its undeniable charm is something that the series always had in spades, mostly due to the inclusion of the lovable Disney characters. Seeing them interact with one another to overcome various challenges is heart-warming and makes me look forward to the greatly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep is also added to the collection. This prequel to the first Kingdom Hearts has aged more gracefully due to its unique battle system that was ahead of its time. This is a more refined approach to combat that results in a deeper, more rewarding experience. The refined gameplay makes Birth by Sleep a more enjoyable game than Kingdom Hearts 2. Furthermore, Birth by Sleep offers three playable characters each with their own unique campaign. While the story isn't as focused as in the main line Kingdom Hearts games, it's still a sizable amount of content to sink your teeth into.

Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIXLastly, a compilation of cut scenes has also been added into the collection. The cut scenes are taken from the 2011 DS game Kingdom Hearts: Recoded. These cinematics will be appreciated by Kingdom Hearts faithful. It's odd as to why the full game wasn't included. Instead, only its narrative beats exists, but it's a welcome addition non-the less. Not to mention they look noticeably better in Hi-Def.

What's found in the Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD remix collection is very much a product of its time. It may not hold up especially well, but if you were a Kingdom Hearts fan back in the day, you'd probably want to pick up this collection to relive some of the PS2's most famous titles. Just be warned that magic wears off after time.

Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX
Format: PS3
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB Rating: E+10
Official Site: http://www.kingdomhearts.com

Rating: 7 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.