Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 HD ReMix review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It?s crazy to think that Kingdom Hearts was first released 15 years ago, later this year. As many of my readers know, KH is one of my top favorite franchises and finally, having all the core KH games in the series on PS4, is simply fantastic. With that said, not every fan will feel the same way. One of the main reasons is because there isn?t any new content added since the PS3 iterations. The only addition is more in the performance and visual department.

Both compilations now offer PS4 Pro support, displaying up to 4K resolution. The one improvement is the increase of up to 60fps. The vanilla PS4 will display 1080p and 30fps. For fans looking to revisit the series on their current gen console or a potential newcomer to the series, this is the ultimate compilation. I enjoyed the recently released KH II.8 HD ReMix, which I reviewed here. Being able to revisit two of my favorites in the series, KH 2 Final Mix and Birth by Sleep Final Mix along on my PS4, reminds me why I fell in love with the series.

For the most part, the games in the collection, which is 80 percent of the core franchise, all stand the test of time. Except for the two Nintendo DS ports (KH 2\358/2 Days and Re: Coded, both of which were included as remastered cinematics), the collection gives you KH Final Mix, KH: Re Chain of Memories, KH II: Final Mix and KH: Birth by Sleep Final Mix. There is hundreds of hours of content here and well worth the price of admission. You would think this set would cost $60 like II.8, but it?s $10 cheaper.

Since both collections were previously released on PS3 and are essentially the same games, check out our original reviews for them (KH: I.5 HD ReMix here) and (KH: II.5 HD ReMix here). We all know that the long delayed KH III is what everyone is itching for. The problem is, who knows when/if it will be released. The game has been pushed back almost three years.

Since we must wait most likely until my son?s 5th birthday (he?s 10 months old btw), until we get the inevitable sequel, I.5 and II.5 alone will satisfy your KH fix. Now, as for the other two playable games in the collection, KH: Re Chain of Memories is one of the best handheld to console ports ever made. The original was at the time exclusive to the Game Boy Advance and the graphics were toned down to match the hardware.

We were given a 2.5D perspective with a 16 bit look and feel. This was the first sequel to the original yet, even the gameplay was overhauled on the GBA. This was the one-time introduction to card based combat which I could do without. This was a game that I forced myself to play through because I wanted the story progression. It was eventually remade on the PS2 using full 3D character models and fell more in line with the original game. The card based combat was still included, but the game was more enjoyable in this format.

The move to PS4 only makes this better for the handheld ports. Of course, I?m also talking about KH: Birth by Sleep Final Mix. This is one of my favorites in the series, yet I played it the least because I hated playing it on the PSP. When it was released on the PS3 I played through KH II and gave the collection a break. By the time, I picked it up again, the PS4 released was announced. So, I played the waiting game like most KH fans do in general.

It was well worth the wait because it looks and plays great on the PS4 Pro. It feels like a console game and gets more excited to replaying the rest completely though. Right now, for the review sake I have been juggling between each of the games but most of my time has been with BBS and can?t wait to finish each character?s story.

Overall, 2017 has been an amazing year to be a gamer with releases like Resident Evil 7, KH II.8, Nioh, Nier, Breath of the Wild and this collection. It?s no surprise to see all the KH release again this year with it being the 15-year anniversary. This gives me hope of more KH III news and potential release date. I?m pumped, are you?

Grade: A