I made the mistake of starting Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX HD an hour before I had to leave to teach my class. Upon putting the disk in, I was instantly transported to an all too familiar place and I was hooked.
The opening movie is a full cinematic scene which does a re-envisioning of the previous game, while expanding on what is to come in the near future. Beautifully shot and directed I felt like I was watching a full length movie in high definition–it had me captivated from the first bright flash of color.
The Kingdom Hearts franchise is famous for its soundtrack, and this is no different. I found myself downloading the soundtrack off of iTunes and teaching choreography to it in my class (in case you haven’t read my bio, I’m a professional dancer by day). The tracks fit the visuals so well it’s almost as if the game was built around the soundtrack.
The greatest additions to Remix HD version are the new critical mode, the inclusion of Birth By Sleep (previously only released for the PSP), a story only Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, and a new secret ending. The secret ending becomes easier to get when you play the more difficult modes, having a great chance of getting it in critical mode.
Square Enix really put it all on the table by bringing us the most beautiful graphics that the PS3 is capable of. Every environment is brought to life by their seamless use of shadow and texture. The FMV’s are simply stunning and the combination of amazing visuals upgraded to the hd platform with fantastic music outshines even the PS4 and Xbox one. The secret ending makes full use of this by giving us a teaser of Kingdom Hearts 3 as a reward for completing the most difficult of modes and villains.
A mention must be made of the loading times. One of the biggest downfalls for games is an ever draggy loading time that seems longer than actual gameplay. I was surprised that rather than increased loading times they were actually shortened. While I’m not actually sure how they did it, I’m glad they did.
Games like this make me hopeful that Square Enix will continue to re-release classic games in HD with a bunch of new hidden tricks up their sleeve, FFVII anyone. Well I can dream can’t I. But until then Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix HD sets the bar, and it sets it damn high.