Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix 1st Production Department
Genre: Role Playing
Release Date: NA: September 30, 2013, JP: March 14, 2013, EU: Fall 2013, Aus: Spring 2013
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is a high definition remake of the popular video game series “Kingdom Hearts” collected into a remastered collection. This collected HD edition is being developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3. The game was officially announced in September 2012 and saw a release date of March 14 2013 in Japan, the game was also released in North America on September 10th 2013, with Australia receiving the game on September 12th 2013 and Europe on September 13th 2013. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix includes both, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (A game that never saw release outside of Japan) and Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, in full high definition with added trophy support.
In September 2012 Square Enix officially announced that Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix would be coming to the PlayStation 3and that it would include Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories in full HD with added trophy support.
Also included in this HD collection is Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days in a new feature called the “theatre mode”, this will last 2 hours and 50 minutes and features all the cinematic sequences from the game remastered in high definition, there will also be new scenes included. This cinematic sequence also features trophy support.
They also revealed that the characters in game models from Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance would be being used in the HD 1.5 remix for characters like Sora and Riku. Cutscenes included in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix which lacked voice acting or instead used English voice acting will be using the original Japanese voice acting.
Following speculation from the games dedicated fanbase Square Enix finally publicly announced the games Q3-Q4 release dates on February 25th 2013. At one point, speaking with Famitsu it was announced that more than 60 musical tracks (covering all three games but mostly centered on the newer Kingdom Hearts Final Mix) have been recorded again, but this time with live instrumentals instead of using the PlayStations 2’s in built tone generator for the music and backing tracks. This received a warm reaction from the fan community that had often cited this as one of the games best, but most poorly developed aspects.
Much of this new work on the games is because, according to Nomura “[The game data] was lost, so we had to research, and we had to dig out from the actual game what was available and recreate everything for HD. We had to recreate all the graphics and it was actually not that easy.”
Tetsuya Nomura (a prominent figure in all of the important Kingdom Hearts decisions) had always told members of the media that he had plans to re-release Kingdom Heats in a high definition remake, but at the time (some time in August 2013) he had yet to confirm that such plans where any more than just a personal dream. The idea behind a HD remix of the game had been in the pipe for some time and had apparently been scheduled for development since before the release of the FFX remake.
The story of the Kingdom Hearts series initially begins on the Destiny Islands, where 3 young friends live. Their names are Sora, Riku and Kairi. These three friends have always wanted to leave the islands so they can explore the land and discover new worlds, but late one night, the islands are besieged by a race of shadow creatures known as “The heartless”. Sora quickly sets out to find his friends and soon encounters
Riku who then vanishes into a dark portal. Sora then obtains the weapon known as the Keyblade, a weapon that can effectively combat The Heartless, but the islands are soon destroyed and Sora is left drifting through space. King Mickey has departed from his world, but left a set of instructions behind for Goofy and Donald to follow, in an attempt to help them find the “key” that can save the worlds from the oncoming darkness. A group of villains being led by Maleficent ( a prominent female villain from Disney) are seeking the seven princesses of heart in an attempt to unlock the final keyhole, leading to Kingdom Hearts. A secret depository of knowledge and power.
Being heavily influenced by the series that spawned it (Final Fantasy) the game plays very similarly to entries into that series. There is however, more of a hack and slash approach to Kingdom Hearts. However unlike Final Fantasy, combat in Kingdom Hearts takes place in real time, with various on screen menus that can help the player select powers and abilities. Battle parties (player teams) consist of teams of three: Sora Goofy and Donald Duck. The player takes control of Sora in a 3rd person camera perspective, all other team members are computer controlled. Although, like in Final Fantasy, the player can influence their combat style and behavior through a series of menus.
Each world visited brings a new 3rd character to your party, this character can only be used in the confines of that world and each has their own special and unique powers. In certain parts of the game, when the player reaches a new world the players party will undergo cosmetic changes and gain abilities that are exclusive to that world. For example the player can fly when they are in Neverland, homage to Peter Pan costumes to better blend in within Halloween Town. Like most other games in the RPG genre, Kingdom Hearts features an experience point system that allows players to allocate points to specific skills and determine their characters growth and play style. Although there are a number of side quests available for the player to undertake, Kingdom Hearts is a linear game with predetermined progression. The player may tackle different areas in whichever order they choose, but this won’t change the final outcome.
- Sora: a young 14 year old boy, Sora has been chosen to be the wielder of the Keyblade. A large key shaped weapon used to combat the darkness. Sora makes repeat appearances through the series and is often the key character in the development of the game.
- Donald Duck: A Disney character with an iconic history plays the roles of the courts wizard in Kingdom Hearts.
- Goofy Goof: Another Disney character of legendary status, Goofy fulfils the role of Captain of The Royal Guard.
- King Mickey: Perhaps the most well-known cartoon character of all time, Mickey Mouse leads with the role of King Mickey Mouse.
- Ansem: An evil being searching for power and sources of knowledge, he uses the heartless to help accomplish his goals.