Kingdom Hearts Series Benefits From a Remix

Trevor Wyatt

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Graphic by Trevor Wyatt

Around three months ago, a game titled Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was released as the final installment in the Kingdom Hearts series leading up to the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III. Those who have been fans of the franchise since its inception were overjoyed about this news. Then it was announced that Square Enix would be re-releasing the previous HD remixes that had been on the PlayStation 3 (PS3), to be playable on the PlayStation 4 (PS4). Now, for the first time in Kingdom Hearts history, all nine games are now on PS4.

As a fan of the series, this is both exciting and horrible. It is amazing to be able to experience all the games on the same system, but this just means a further delay for Kingdom Hearts III. Before this, fans had to own all the different consoles in order to play all the games, making the new releases much more convenient, giving more availability to lovers of the franchise.

With HD remixes, there is supposed to be a new feature or an update to the games included. When originally released on PS3, it gave the American fanbase a chance to play the Final Mix versions of the first, second, and the prequel to the series. Final Mix versions are similar to an expansion pack, including features, such as new locations or weapons, that were originally only playable for the Japanese versions of the games. This time around, the only new feature was that all four of the playable games are running at 60 frames per second (FPS), making the game run smoother. Additionally, due to the newer system’s higher processing power, the game runs with shorter load times, giving players a more enjoyable experience.

These games have been on my favorites list since I first played one of them, so I jumped the second that I heard about the re-release. It has amazing graphics that I always believed were ahead of its time and a great complex and thrilling story. During my playthrough, I noticed minuscule issues such as frame drops and stalled loading times. Frame drops are normal for any game, and stalled loading times are annoying, but they’re not as long as they used to be.

The game was first released three weeks ago in Japan, and there were many complaints about issues with the games not being compatible with the 60 FPS, causing it to freeze. A patch was pushed in time for the U.S. release to fix this issue.

Aside from all of that, the ports are just as fun as their older counterparts, considering they’re the same games the community knows and loves. These games are very enjoyable, and I would recommend this series to anyone, as long as they are down for the confusing lore. For returning players, I’d recommend the collection so that they don’t have to own every other system just to enjoy the series. Square Enix, the company in charge of the franchise, has announced that this will officially be the last installment until Kingdom Hearts III.

Now, let us look to the future. There are many conventions this year, such as E3 in June, and Tokyo Game Show in December, where hopefully news will be released of the elusive Kingdom Hearts III. Kingdom Hearts has been around since 2002, and in that span of time the development of games have changed drastically. Fans need to trust that Square Enix needs time to make the best game possible.