For years now, Xbox One owners have been asking Square Enix – and Microsoft – to bring the previous Kingdom Hearts games to the console. While they've been available on PlayStation for a while, the titles recently made their way to Microsoft's ecosystem. Luckily, both "Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix" and "Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue" look and run great on Xbox One X.
Save both universes
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
Bottom line: Both Kingdom Hearts collections are excellent remasters that look and run superbly on Xbox One X.
- Multiple games
- Disney stories stay true to originals
- Excellent fighting mechanics
- Look great on Xbox One X
- Convoluted story
- Camera can be finicky
- Feels a little dated
Kingdom Hearts collections what you get
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix includes six experiences that lay the groundwork for future games. You'll get to play Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Many of them also feature remastered cinematics.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is no different. It includes three experiences, one of which is a film. You get Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage, Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD in the package. While the names of the games can be a little confusing, they're arranged chronologically in the collections, so you won't have trouble figuring out which one to play next.
Kingdom Hearts collections background
Kingdom Hearts is a combination of Disney and Final Fantasy franchises. Throughout the various games, you'll meet familiar faces, but you'll immediately recognize characters like Mickey Mouse and Goofy. The Final Fantasy ones are a little more obscure. While there's an overarching plot that revolves around "Keyblades" and the never-ending fight between Darkness and Light, the immediate story follows what happens in each Disney universe. You step into the shoes of Sora, mainly, as you search for your friends and rescue loved ones. In the process, you'll have to restore order in different Disney stories that mirror the classics.
It would be impossible to summarize the countless games, but the story does get somewhat convoluted. I'd recommend reading up on what happens in each game if you're having a hard time following the story when you're playing them. The Kingdom Hearts Fandom page is a great source for this, so is Kingdom Hearts III because it has detailed cinematics that explain what's happened up until this point.
Kingdom Hearts collections performance and visuals
The best part about these games is that they run at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second (FPS) on Xbox One X. Usually, when it comes to third-person action games, console developers limit the frame rate to 30 FPS. It's clear what a lot of optimization went into porting these titles over to Microsoft's latest console. While Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue may not look as good as Kingdom Hearts III, they're a must-have collection if you love Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs). You don't have to worry about unstable performance or poor image quality.
Over the past several weeks, I've tested all the games in the two collections and the frame rates appear to be locked at 60 FPS. I didn't notice any performance issues, but I did install both files on an external solid-state drive. They look stunning at 4K resolution. While the character models are quite basic and the textures are flat – given their age it's understandable – the sharpness and smoothness, especially during combat, make up for it. Both of these titles are the definitive versions of past Kingdom Hearts games.
Kingdom Hearts collections price
The only downsides to Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is that they're quite expensive and the camera can be finicky at times if you're in a claustrophobic environment. You have to wrestle with the controls to look towards the enemies you're fighting. However, the camera problem seems most problematic during boss fights. Additionally, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix costs $50 and even though they're new releases for Xbox One, they've been on PlayStation for years.
You can buy the same package, that's even PlayStation 4 Pro Enhanced, for $19. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is $60 on the Microsoft Store, but you can buy it for $35 for PlayStation 4. It would've been nice to see the past Kingdom Hearts games come to Xbox Game Pass or be heavily discounted for the launch period. The price may be the biggest deterrent for newcomers to the franchise. Plus, if you buy Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, you can get both of the compilations for $30. The Xbox One ports are too way expensive given this information.
Kingdom Hearts collections final thoughts
Overall, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue are great experiences if you can get past the cost. In my opinion, the combat, visuals, and themes, hold up well, and it's a treat to play them at 60 FPS.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
It'll take you dozens of hours, if not more, to play through each game because they're expansive experiences. The combat is rewarding and requires some skill to master. I just wish that Square Enix would've lowered their price or adopted a different business model to make Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue more accessible. We haven't seen that many JRPGs on Xbox One this generation, so it may be an untested genre that the typical consumer may not consider.
The games were reviewed on an Xbox One X with codes provided by the publisher.
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