Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMix Limited Edition (Playstation 3) - Enhanced graphics and an elegant artbook

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix - Limited Edition is a great addition to the Kingdom Hearts collection that has seen another of its long dry spells. The long wait between numbered games is made tolerable with the scattered releases of side-games, although opinions on them vary from person to person. While Kingdom Hearts 1.5 isn't a new game it is a well-loved re-release.

The limited edition of the game comes together with an artbook complete with original character designs as well as the many different covers the games themselves have gone through. The artbook itself is built into the game case as well, meaning that it is impossible to misplace it even as the years go on. There is no danger of losing what it is that makes this version of the game so special. The case is a hard-cover book with the game held in the back. As well as the artbook the game comes with a special animated theme for your Playstation 3. While the theme isn't anything impressive as far as the graphics are concerned the menu of your system will take on the appearance and the sounds of the menu from the game proper. It's a rather charming addition to the game, in my opinion.

While some people may be disappointed with the fact that this is little more than an updated release of the first two games in the series alongside one of the less-loved side games there's plenty to love about this release even for those who have played the game before. First and foremost is the fact that the version of Kingdom Hearts included in this collection is the much desired "Final Mix" previously only available in Japan. While the multitude of extended story features were the subject of discussion during the original release of the updated game, several game play updates are also included in the 1.5 ReMix collection.

For those people who haven't played the original Kingdom Hearts game in a while, the controls likely won't seem all that new to you as it was remodeled after the second game. Reaction commands take the place of the original menu scrolling system that made things so awkward in the original game, and the camera controls have been shifted to the right analog stick as opposed to the shoulder buttons. It's much easier to swing the camera around with these new controls, but the camera is still pulled in rather close to the action and brings with it its own difficulties.

As well as updating the game controls several new enemies were added to each location, adding a new dimension of difficulty to the stages. While it's rather simple to kill most of the enemies with even a basic strategy all of the new heartless require specific patterns or move sets to kill. Some enemies require specific skills be used against them (such as several of them requiring the 'stop' skills in order to deal any damage). Learning the secrets behind each enemy and finding ways around them is a rather welcome addition to a game many have already played. On top of this, many of the secret heartless are rather difficult to kill. The Powerwild-based enemies in Traverse Town are particularly annoying, as they multiply endlessly as soon as they spot your character. Finding them in town when you aren't prepared is perhaps one of the most irritating occurrences.

The gummi ship system has also been reworked slightly in this edition of the game, adding missions that give the player a reason to actually play them more than once. However these don't have much bearing on the outcome of the game itself so people who still find these mini-games irritating are not forced to play them.

In regards to the Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories game included in this collection there isn't much that was changed from the original, accepting the addition of several new cards. If you watch the scenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days before playing this game you'll find a large collection of powerful cards previously not available.

In regards to the third game, there really isn't one. For those people who were dissatisfied with the Roxas-themed game 358/2 Days this collection allows the player to view the story without having to deal with the many irritations the game provided. Even better is the fact that each of the secret reports is unlocked after having watched the game, allowing the player to get the whole story without having to overcome the multitude of challenges the game originally required them to overcome.

Overall the game is well worth the money spent, especially considering the price of most Playstation 3 games. For less than most new games players can relive the early days of Kingdom Hearts in a way they haven't before. It is also a good chance for new players to get into the game, as the many issues that plagued the first game have been ironed out and the first two games are included, although it would likely be best if they played the second numbered Kingdom Hearts game before watching the scenes from 358/2 Days.


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