Kingdom Hearts is the collaboration of both Disney Interactive and Square Enix. A match made in heaven to be completely honest. Both companies that have told some amazing stories and created wonderful characters and brought them into our homes. So, what do you get when you put a studio behind one of the most beloved children’s tales that many adults these days cherish dearly and a video game developer of giant fame? The beautiful and always repayable series that is Kingdom Hearts.
My opening love letter to both parts that make up this game aside, Kingdom Hearts truly is a unique experience. It has its ups (which are many) and its downs that make picking up and inserting any game from this series into whatever device you’re playing on a true experience you won’t soon ever forget.
My first experience with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 on the PS3 had me at a loss. Yes I was so happy to finally have this series back in my hands on the PS3. But several months down the track the PlayStation 4 was releasing. I wondered why didn’t they just wait to release it on that console seeing as it was just a stone’s throw away from being a part of my console collection. Alas I went out and purchased the collection for my PS3 however later when Kingdom Hearts 2.5 came out I decided to wait. Because I had this feeling the collection would land on the PS4 somehow. Guess I won that one.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5/2.5 is a toughie to review because let’s be honest, the games themselves have been available for years. This is a now re-rerelease on next gen hardware but combines both collections at a nice affordable price I might add. Now from memory not a whole bunch has changed in regards to gameplay from the PS3’s 1.5 collection. But after playing the 1.5/2.5 collection on PS4 I can say without a doubt you can truly see the polish and shine here. Present here are four games and two cut scene “movies,” 1.5 and 2.5 do a great job at bringing the series to the PS4 to tell the complete story. I myself had only played Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 growing up so having the chance to play the other games before Kingdom Hearts 3 arrives really helps. Just have to pick up 2.8 on the PlayStation 4 to make the series before the third fully complete. The playable games handle and play better than I ever remember. I never once came across any dips in quality or frame rate. I did some research and it turns out the games run at 4K/60fps on the PS4 Pro which is fantastic to see, however I myself don’t own 4K anything at the moment.
The menus are as quick to load as ever on the PlayStation 4 which is a welcomed treat to see. I remember the loading being one of the downsides to the series in the past on the PlayStation 2 and even PlayStation 3. So thankfully that has greatly improved here.
Probably my only con for this collection and the original game itself that hasn’t been fixed is the annoying camera. Holy moly this used to drive me nuts and this problem is still present here. I noticed it especially when trying to traverse Oogie Boogie in Halloween town trying to destroy the dark orbs on his body. The camera would lock onto things out of the cameras view and gave me no indication of where exactly I was even locked on to. I know we won’t see a patch for this issue because it has been around since the game even released. Every rose has its thorns I guess.
Graphics & Sound
Kingdom Hearts looks great and while the cut scenes back when the game first released were amazing to behold, today’s standards have been upped exponentially. The cut scenes are still beautiful but show their age in 2017. Character models looked even better with that HD touch up but there were some scenes where you could see characters talking but their mouths weren’t moving. Took me out of the game a lot.
Kingdom Hearts soundtrack is still as beautiful as I remember. It really immerses you into the world of Kingdom Hearts and gets you interested in both the story and the characters. Music would play when they were in peril or evil lurked about plotting and scheming away. So bravo to the sound department because they did a really good job at making you really care about the characters and where the story was going. The music really held hands well with the story and its characters.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5/2.5 collection is a welcomed game to my video game collection and one that I can’t wait for my own daughter to experience one day. Everything here is amazing. I fell in love with the series and its characters all over again thanks to its beautiful design and sound. Now to pick up 2.8 and get myself ready for Kingdom Hearts 3.