What is Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix?
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is the sequel to Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, and is a PS3 collection of three more Kingdom Hearts remakes, all on one disc. It includes both the Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep games, originally on the PS2 and PSP respectively, alongside the remastered cutscenes and cinematics from the DS' Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (it's just the cutscenes that have made the, er, cut here - there's no game portion).
For those unfamiliar with the series, Kingdom Hearts mixes both the well-loved Disney and Final Fantasy characters into one epic role-playing game. Mostly following the story of a young boy called Sora, who, accompanied by Donald and Goofy, travels to various Disney worlds which have been invaded by darkness, it's up to you to take on quests, beat up some bad guys, and help generally put things right. Given the Kingdom Hearts games notoriously confusing and convoluted plot, we recommend starting with the previous collection (1.5) first, for the tale to make the most sense - although it is possible to pick it up from this one and still have fun.
How do you play Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix?
With many famous Disney worlds to visit, from Winnie The Pooh and Mulan, to Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron, most of your time will be spent battling the various enemies that have taken over the various worlds. Combat is fast-paced, flashy and real-time, requiring fairly quick reactions, particularly in the boss fights. Mostly revolving around mashing buttons, you use a mixture of physical Keyblade (a magical key-shaped sword) strikes and magic spells to subdue the bad guys. Depending on the Disney world you're visiting, you may find yourself taking out hoards of enemies alongside Mulan, rescuing Elizabeth from Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean or playing some mini-games with Pooh and the crew in the Hundred Acre Wood. Some worlds focus more on exploring and puzzle-solving while others focus on button-mashing combat, giving you plenty of variety.
How easy is Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix to pick up and play?
Generally speaking, combat is pretty straightforward, but if there's a chance you think your child may struggle, it's well worth starting out on Easy to begin with, as changing the difficulty level down at a later date will require you to restart the game - although it is worth noting that it's apparently harder to get the bonus secret ending on the easier difficulties. As a very story-driven role-playing game, Kingdom Hearts is very text heavy, and while some scenes are voiced, an awful lot aren't, so being able to read pretty well is a must. But, for older Disney fans who are looking for their first 'more serious' game, Kingdom Hearts is likely to be quite a hit, as they play mini-games with Winnie the Pooh, join Sebastian for an 'Under The Sea' sing-song and escape from a high-security space prison with Stitch.
Given the game's Disney influence, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is fairly tame in terms of questionable content - there's no swearing, excessive gore or sex references whatsoever. Combat involves hitting enemies with a mixture of physical attacks from oversized, key-shaped swords and magical spells, with occasional cries of pain and colourful bursts of light accompanying their attacks. Enemies simply disappear when defeated, leaving behind brightly coloured orbs in their place.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 3