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13 September 2013

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Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix Review

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix Review
After getting Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix the other day, I decided to do a short review for it. For those who are unaware, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix is the first time we get the Final Mix in the US. The Final Mix version is an updated version of the original game which includes extra features and changed content. One major change is the difficulty seems to have been revamped so it does give some more of a challenge. What's special about this remake is that it not only includes RE: Chain of Memories, but the graphics have also been updated to HD. Sadly, as many others have said, the original game had one of the best graphics in video games in its time so the HD update isn't too much of a upgrade, but is still pretty good regardless. Anyways before we get into the game in further detail I think we should take a look at the packaging for the game.


Since this is the special edition version it includes a special book with several concept illustrations for the game. It is inside an outer case which is the same as the regular version but in slipcase form. This includes concept designs for the characters as well as artworks for some of the worlds in the game as well. What is also cool about this is that it contains the game's creator, Tetsuya Nomura's autograph in it as well. The game itself is actually inside the book at the end which is an interesting concept, but it would better if the game was separate from it.

Attached Image: DSC00353.JPG

Attached Image: DSC00354.JPG


Warning from this point on it may contain spoilers so read at your own leisure.

Now going back to the game the first difference from the original game can already be mentioned by the title screen alone. From the first screen you can either choose to play Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, RE: Chain of Memories, or watch the cinematic of 358/2 days. It would have been cool if they decided to add in the actual game for 358/2 days, however, the reasons they didn't include it is understandable.


Going back on topic we will first start by looking at Final Mix. Most of the game is pretty close to the original game, but as I mentioned earlier they are few differences. First of all, the controls have definitely been altered. In the original game you needed to go through different menu screens to activate certain commands such as talking to someone or opening chests. Now just like in Kingdom Hearts II all you need to do is press triangle to activate those commands. What is also good is that the actual movement in the game seems much more fluent and not so sluggish like the first game.


The Heartless in the game have also been changed for Final Mix. Most of the Heartless have been given a more colorful and wacky paint scheme as well as being a little more difficult to defeat. One example is that even in higher levels the basic Shadows still take about 3-4 hits to defeat which is odd. The bosses have also been given an upgrade. It seems that they take longer to defeat and they don't take as much damage as before. On top of upgrading the heartless they also added several new types of them and some of the ones I encountered were quite a hassle to deal with.

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Another major change is how the journal itself works. I am not sure if they changed it in the original version of Final Mix, but now it no longer shows that its been updated in the main menu screen, which is a bit annoying. The treasure list has also been removed so I am not really sure what is considered 100% game completion for the secret cut-scene this time around.


So far I haven't tried out RE: Chain of Memories but I suspect it will be mostly likely be the same as the original PS2 release. I may do an update to this review once I get to it though I think you will pretty much get the idea.


The last feature on the main screen is 365/2 days which is just the scenes remastered in one full movie. I think this was a nice touch since its nice to see the full main story to connect to Kingdom Hearts 2 in one full game disc. Hopefully this will lead to bringing over Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix as well, but for now its nice to finally play the first Final Mix.

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Overall, the game itself is definitely worth the replay even if you have the original games since its nice to see them remastered. Also being the Final Mix version in itself is really awesome and its great way to wait for Kingdom Hearts III.


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