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Kingdom Hearts collection for fans only
March 14, 2017
By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is the third Kingdom Hearts collection released by Square Enix. The collection is comprised of three titles. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage and Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance originally saw release in 2012 on Nintendo's 3DS. The version found here is significantly fine-tuned and adjusted to fit more in line with contemporary gameplay expectations. While the upkeep is appreciated, it still very much feels like a title of its respective era and might only resonate with those who have a nostalgic connection to this entry. The platforming feels floaty and imprecise. The combat is also extremely one-note and repetitive. Thankfully, the trademark Kingdom Hearts charm is here in spades. Exploring the magical worlds within the vast and varied Disney mythos is delightful and heart warming. Furthermore, character performances are exceptional and genuinely made me feel like I was playing a classic Disney release, with less stellar writing of. Dream Drop Distance is more old Kingdom Hearts. Depending on whom you ask, this can either be enticing or passible.
Easily the centerpiece of this package is Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage. The brand new tittle is a brief journey taking place after the events of 2010’s Birth By Sleep. The journey follows Aqua, a permanent character in the aforementioned release. A Fragmentary Passage is guaranteed to excite Kingdom Hearts fans as it is the first real glimpse at what Kingdom Hearts 3 could potentially be as this new adventure uses tech from the upcoming third entry in the series. Finally seeing a Kingdom Hearts title run in true HD is quite the sight to behold. The artful aesthetic coupled with an advanced engine results in a look on par with that of current CG movies. Combat feels slick and more responsive than past entries, but still manages to retain some familiarity. This brief jaunt through the dark world is a joy to play and makes the wait for Kingdom Hearts all the more tantalizing.
Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover rounds out the collection. Don't expect to play this one however. Black Cover is a one-hour cinematic experience told through impressively well-animated HD cut scenes. I found the plot hard to follow and convoluted, though that might be due to my shallow level of KH knowledge. There is no doubt that the story will make sense to those well versed in the series' lore.
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is a collection almost exclusively for series enthusiasts. Casual fans might be baffled at points due to the high volume of deep cuts and references to events outside of the famous two core Kingdom Hearts entries. The asking price for what's offered inside the package is a little steep as well.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
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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.