Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix

"One of the most wonderful crossovers in video game history, Kingdom Hearts set its mark in 2002 and is now back more than 10 years later to allow another generation of gamers experience this magical adventure. Prepare for an experience that defines role-play adventure."

Kingdom Hearts is a third-person role-play adventure where you play as Sora alongside AI controlled teammates that include Donald, Goofy and a host of special guests like Aladdin, Beast and Squall Lionheart. You level up, manage your equipment, find new keyblades (the series’ iconic weapon that is used as a blade but also to unlock hearts during the story) and uncover amazing summons like Simba and Dumbo while progressing through the games’ intriguing and mysterious story.

The enemies you encounter are shadow-like creatures called Heartless: they come in many shapes and sizes but the real treat here is battling famous Disney characters in boss battles. Jafar and Ursula amongst others help Kingdom Hearts deliver an unbelievable nostalgia trip that simply cannot be found in any other game.

For a game released in 2002, gameplay still feels fluid and holds up well to modern day gaming. Unfortunately the frustrating camera that plagued the original still remains, but it’s nothing that truly ruins the experience, merely frustrating occasionally. 

This HD remake takes a game that is certainly outdated visually and makes it absolutely stunning to look at. Kingdom Hearts always had a unique look and the vivid restoration of colours and character models makes this look like a truly slick experience.

Aside from the thoroughly enjoyable gameplay, Kingdom Hearts’ strongest point is the absolutely incredible story created by combining Square-Enix with Disney. The centre plot revolves around you travelling to different Disney worlds and recovering/unlocking the hearts of key characters. This removes their anger and rage, what the Heartless feed on, and using your keyblade you discover a whole host of entertaining personalities throughout your adventure. 

I must confess that growing up Kingdom Hearts was my favourite game on the PlayStation 2, so I might be a little bit biased in this review. However, the unbelievable popularity of the franchise and countless spin-offs and sequels proves that I’m not the only one who fell in love with Sora and the wonderful cast of characters around him.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is a special package that lets you relive the stunning original Kingdom Hearts 1 Final Mix (a complete version previously only released in Japan) alongside a HD remake of Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and non-playable story-content from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days – what a ridiculous bargain. If you’re looking for a magical role-play adventure and happen to be a fan of Disney and/or Final Fantasy, then this is a game you should have already played: get involved because Kingdom Hearts III is just round the corner!

Gameplay: 8
Presentation: 9
Replay Value: 8
Verdict: 8

Igor Kharin.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix at CeX

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