E3 2013: Hands-on: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

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Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX logo

Fans of The Downpour Podcast know exactly how I feel about Kingdom Hearts. I am a longtime fan of the series who…dislikes the direction it has gone and who is vehemently against purchasing Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX because…I’ve already played through the first Kingdom Hearts in how many ways on how many platforms? Randy defended his potential purchase and insisted I give the game a fair chance this year at E3. So it goes, ladies and gentlemen. I found my way to the Square Enix booth, had a pocket of spare time and a little luck, so I spent about 20 minutes or so immersing myself in the worlds of the first Kingdom Hearts once again.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Final Mix 3

What did you all play? So, the game I picked up featured a slightly beefed-up Sora, Donald, and Goofy who all sat around Lv38 or so. I started off in Neverland, but I immediately found my way to a save point, left the world, and embarked immediately for the Olympus Coliseum to test out the game’s battle system and camera. People watched me mash through the Phil and Pegasus Cups handily. After dawdling in the Coliseum, I went back to Neverland and continued to play until I had my fill.

Here’s the lowdown: It’s the same game as before, but it’s been rebuilt from the ground up. Visuals are extremely sharp; everything moves at 60 fps. The camera controls as fluidly as Kingdom Hearts II did, not clunky like the first game. I didn’t see any of these elusive “new skills” brought over from the second game, but please do chalk that up to it having been ten years since I actually had my hands on Kingdom Hearts.

A surprise to me—the soundtrack is as remastered as the visuals. It sounds the same to an untrained ear, but this lover of music immediately appreciated the extra touch put into the game’s soundtrack.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX PAX East 2013
So, yeah. It’s Kingdom Hearts…again. Playing it really made me want to play the game after a ten-year hiatus, but I’ll be darned if I pay a single penny towards it. Maybe I’ll win Randy over and get it as a birthday present, or something. That’s honestly the message I’m sending to the world this time: it’s the same. It’s been polished, it has some extra spark, but…it’s the same. It’s the same Kingdom Hearts.

Granted, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX includes Re:Chain of Memories, some bonus Final Mix content from the original game never before seen in America, and 358/2 Days without all the cumbersome…gameplay. So it’s more than just the first game, which is all I played. But…

The value of my words, ladies and gentlemen, is entirely up to you.