Wow, I got through this game a bit quicker than I probably would have wanted to, but I definitely enjoyed every moment of it! (except maybe Demyx) This will be a full review of the game, and it will cover some background of the game/series, gameplay, music/sound, performance/graphics, and the final thought/score. With that in mind, let’s get started!
Kingdom Hearts is a series where Final Fantasy, Disney, and original characters collide into one big JRPG game franchise. The first game in the series was Kingdom Hearts for the PlayStation 2, and was followed up by Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance. After the success of these games, Square Enix decided to work on a sequel to Kingdom Hearts, named Kingdom Hearts 2 (obviously)..Kingdom Hearts 2 was re-released in Japan under the name Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, which included new content in many areas of the game. Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix is the version of Kingdom Hearts 2 included in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix. Let’s see how it holds up today!
Gameplay-wise, it’s is the same basic formula as the first game, but the combat has been immensely improved and feels a ton more smooth, and combat abilities are much more useful now. They added the addition of Drive forms, which are very helpful in a very tough situation (added in Final Mix was a new Limit Form which has some of the abilities from Kingdom Hearts 1, which can be quite overpowered in the Kingdom Hearts 2 combat system). Some other additions are Reaction Commands, Limit attacks, and auto-recharging MP. Reaction Commands can be described in a way as quick-time events with flare, Limit attacks are somewhat powerful attacks, which take up all of your MP for one attack, and the MP auto-recharging, I assume, is to make up for the Limit attacks and extremely helpful magic attacks like Reflect. Everything gameplay-wise is much better than Kingdom Hearts 1, but the overall gameplay is much less platforming oriented than the first game. Yes, there is still a good amount of platforming in this game, but it’s much less awkward and not really a requirement for most of the game, and most of it is really for the new puzzle pieces included in Final Mix. Overall, the gameplay in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix is better than the gameplay from Kingdom Hearts 1 by far. I can overlook the low amount of platforming, but I do think there were some good places where it could have been added, but it wasn’t.
Music and Sound:
Like Kingdom Hearts 1, I freaking love the music in this game. Once again, Yoko Shimomura delivers an even more amazing soundtrack than the first game. The music in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix for Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix is FULLY remastered with a real orchestra (for the most part *looks at Space Paranoids*). Most of the remasters can be quite noticeable, and other, not so much. Most of the remasters are also of superb quality and can exceed the original by far. Overall it’s amazing.
Performance and Graphics:
The graphics, which have been improved in HD 2.5 ReMix, are really crisp and beautiful. There is once exception, however, to this: Port Royal. Port Royal’s “realistic-looking” textures really look quite bad in HD, and it surprises me as to why they wouldn’t improve it. I mainly noticed it in the first section of Port Royal, but still, it feels as if they just made the game HD and slapped some anti-aliasing on it, and didn’t bother to improve most textures. The performance is quite well most of the game, but there is one major flaw which overtakes any other problem I have with 2.5: LOADING TIMES. The loading times in HD 2.5 ReMix can add up to an hour to any speedrun of the game, and are a huge pain most of the time. You are forced to load for at least 10 seconds just to leave 100 Acre Wood (though I mainly blame it on Hollow Bastion), and some other worlds can have this problem too. Overall, I thought the premise of a remaster was to improve EVERYTHING about a game, not to improve some thing and let others slip away because of it.
Final Thoughts and Score:
It’s truly an amazing sequel to Kingdom Hearts 1, and it has finally brought us the Japan-exclusive KH2: Final Mix to places outside Japan. Load-times are horrendous, textures should have received a boost, but they didn’t. and I hear that there are some reaction command glitches on the final boss, where it just doesn’t appear sometimes. Overall, however, I think Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix is a great game, and it deserves much praise: 9.1/10. I hope you enjoyed my full review of Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix from Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix, and I will be completing my review of Birth By Sleep and Re:coded sometime in February. Thank you for reading. Seeya!