COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX PS3 Review

Updated: 09/10/2013 1:09 PM By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of Square-Enix
Photo courtesy of Square-Enix

You may have read my review of Square Enix’s “Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance” for the Nintendo 3DS and know that I am a huge fan of the Kingdom Hearts series.

When I received my review copy of “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX” I was pretty excited, because until now, this collection was only available in Japan. 

In this awesome collection you get “Kingdom Hearts Final Mix,” “Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories,” and all of the cinematic scenes from “Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.”

The games have all been re-mastered in HD and look amazing.  The games all looked great before, but now their graphics will blow you away.  It’s like playing the games for the first time.

The character models and facial features along with all of the backgrounds have been updated and look great.

The controls for “Kingdom Hearts Final Mix” and “Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories” have been improved and the movements are now smoother.

I want to briefly talk about each game that is included in “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX.”

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix

“Kingdom Hearts Final Mix” is an enhanced version of the original “Kingdom Hearts” that was released on the PS2 back in 2002.

It is a role-playing game where you control a character named Sora and he must try and defeat a bunch of shadow creatures called the Heartless. The Heartless destroy the island that Sora lives on and he and his friends are sucked into a portal.

 Sora eventually obtains a mysterious weapon called “The Keyblade” and he uses that to fight the Heartless. 

Now Sora and his friends must try and stop the Heartless from taking over the world.

“Kingdom Hearts” features a lot of the Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Aladdin, plus many more.

For most of the game, Donald Duck and Goofy will join your party and they will help you destroy the Heartless.

The Heartless have also started taking over some very popular Disney universes such as Atlantica from “The Little Mermaid,” Halloween Town from “Nightmare Before Christmas,” and Neverland  from Peter Pan,” to just name a few. 

As you play you can gain items and experience.  More experience causes your character to level up, making him stronger and more powerful.  Your character will also learn new moves and skills.

Some of the new features that have been added to “Kingdom Hearts Final Mix” are new weapons, abilities, and items.  There are new Heartless enemies and new “Gummi” spaceship missions.

I really enjoyed “Kingdom Hearts Final Mix” a lot. I really liked the in-depth story along with all of the great characters.  I really enjoyed going through all of the Disney themed levels and having characters like Donald Duck and Goofy help you in your mission.

The controls were really easy to learn, and just about anybody can pick up the game and play.

The game is very challenging, and you can choose the difficulty at the beginning of the game, so that’s nice.

Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories

“Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories” was originally released on the Nintendo Gameboy Advance in 2004 and was re-released on the PS2 in 2008.

The game takes place right after “Kingdom Hearts” and is a very exciting and action packed game.  Sora, Donald and Goofy go to a castle called “Oblivion” and Sora learns that all of his memories have been taken and placed on playing cards.  Now Sora must try and get all of his memories back while fighting a new group of enemies called “The Organization.”

I thought the story was pretty good and very entertaining. 

The combat system was very unique, because you fought by using cards.  You find and gain cards by defeating enemies, and you use those cards to attack. It’s almost like the card game, War, because the cards have numbers and if your card is higher than the enemy’s card, then you attack them. If you run out of cards, you can get all of your cards back to start fighting again.

The controls and game were also very easy to learn.

The Disney characters that were in “Kingdom Hearts” are back and look as amazing as ever.  You have to replay a lot of the levels, that were in “Kingdom Hearts” in order for you to get your memories back and that was a lot of fun.

I really liked “Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories” also. I really liked the story and thought the new combat system was unique and easy to learn.  The graphics were amazing, and it was fun seeing all of the Disney characters again.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

“Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days” came out in 2009 for the Nintendo DS.

In “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX” you can watch all of the amazing cut scenes of “Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days,” so it’s like watching a long movie.  It takes several hours to watch everything and one really nice feature is that the chapters save after you watch them. 

Another thing I would like to mention about “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX is that it has an all-star voice cast that includes Haley Joel Osmond (Sora), Hayden Panettiere (Kari), David Gallagher (Riku), Mandy Moore (Aerith), and Jesse McCartney (Roxas).

I really enjoyed Square Enix’s “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX” a lot. It has been years since I’ve played the original “Kingdom Hearts,” and it was fun to go back and play it again.  The graphics for all of the games are amazing and look spectacular.  The controls are easy to learn and even though role-playing games can be complicated to learn, that’s not the case with “Kingdom Hearts.”  There are menus that come up and explain everything to you so just about anybody should be able to pick the game up and play.  If you were a fan of Final Fantasy, Disney, or role-playing games then I would highly recommend that you get “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5. ReMIX.”  It’s rated “E” for everyone.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with writing about entertainment news.