Kingdom Hearts 1.5 - Recap!

In preparation for the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remastered, here is a quick review/recap for Kingdom Hearts 1.5.

Re-Make vs Re-Master

Now I’ve had some disappointing experiences with HD remakes of old games. Unbeknownst to me there is a difference between a re-make & remastered. A while ago I purchased Devil May Cry HD remake with memories flowing through of how good the game was and looking forward to combining devilish powers with swords & guns. A last it was too good to be true, with massively out of sync voice acting and nothing new added to the game, I was left wanting. I have learnt the difference between remake & remaster…the hard & disappointing way.

Kingdom Hearts H 1.5 is everything a remake isn’t, it’s basically the same game with a few new mods thrown in and additional movies filling in a few gaps! But first for those who have never had the wondrous experience of the Square Enix & Disney collaboration let me start at the beginning!

As I mentioned before Kingdom Hearts is a collaboration between Square Enix & Walt Disney, first released in Europe in 2002, the game combined Disney film characters, Final Fantasy characters and a few new ones chucked in the mix. Now this formula sounds suspect to say the least but, my God, it works beautifully. The characters are seamless and mix really well.

 A Boy & The Key

The story is loosely as follows; you are chosen as the Keyblade master by the Keyblade, your world gets eaten by darkness & you arrive in a new world where you are found by a group of Final Fantasy characters who give you a brief on what the Hell is happening, shortly to be found by Donald & Goofy, then your journey starts for your friends (Rikku ,& Kairi) & the king (Mickey - obviously!!).

Rumble Time

Kingdom Hearts is an RPG but not as we typically knew (back in 2002) I.e. turn based, the games battle system was quite open and depending on the difficulty settings, required an amount of skill. The battle system was real life like, no waiting your turn, you could fly in and bash them with your trusty Keyblade or you could strategically separate an enemy and take them down one at a time. You also have use of basic magic typical of any Final Fantasy world; Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, Cure, Aero & Gravity.

http://www.kingdomhearts.com/assets/screenshots/Terra_KHBbS02_FIX.jpg

Sora, Donald & Goofy Battling in Agrabah!

You have a party of three but have minimal control over your two compatriots (Donald Duck & Goofy) with them flailing around as they wish and occasionally healing you, very much like Ni No Kuni (What a game!!). Overall a more challenging fight.

 A Bright & Wonderous World

The original Kingdom Hearts was ahead of its time with its visuals, beautiful, detailed worlds which mad you want to watch some of the Disney films again - a lot of the worlds are based on Disney films. The whole lot was vibrant, interactive & colorful.

What has been Remastered?

Unlike the poor excuses that are HD Remakes - Looking at you DMC, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 is remastered, this means that as well as being redone in HD there are slight improvements & additions. Such as:

- There is a similar reaction command taken from KH2, this pops up to open chests, talk to people, etc. This still enables you to swing your Keyblade whilst stood next to various things - No excuses for repetitive deaths now!

- Additional cut scenes that show Rikku’s side of the story! Nothing game-changing but interesting for fans of the series.

- New abilities. These make battles all the more interesting but no easier.

- Gaming Trophies. Like any other PS3 game you get cool little pop ups when you reach a certain point or achieve a big win.

http://www.kingdomhearts.com/assets/screenshots/KHBbS_battle_02_EN.jpg

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 start screen!

 As well as these additions, we have been treated to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of memories - the full Gameboy game, playable on PS3 and also, the cut scenes from Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 days. CoM is a game based in between KH1 & KH2, whilst 358/2 days details Sora’s time as a Nobody - A person with a strong will who had their heart stolen, the next game after CoM.

 In A Kupo Nut Shell

All in all, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 is a continuation of Square Enix’s fantastic work on the RPG genre & Disney have a fantastic asset on their hands - Which will only expand with each Disney film release.

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is to be released in the near future, with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 setting the standards on the re-master scale, but there is no saying they can’t set the bar as high or even higher with Kingdom Hearta 2.5!

Fingers crossed for this one Square-Enix & Disney…