Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix

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Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix
KH HD 2.5 ReMIX NA Boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Square Enix 1st Production Department [1]
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Director(s) Tetsuya Nomura
Tai Yasue [2]
Producer(s) Rie Nishi
Designer(s) Tetsuya Nomura
Writer(s) Kazushige Nojima
Daisuke Watanabe
Masaru Oka
Composer(s) Yoko Shimomura
Series Kingdom Hearts
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
ReleasePlayStation 3
  • JP: October 2, 2014 [3]
  • NA: December 2, 2014 [4]
  • AU: December 4, 2014 [5]
  • EU: December 5, 2014 [4]
PlayStation 4
Genre(s) Action-role playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix [lower-alpha 1] is an HD remastered collection of three games in Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series: Kingdom Hearts II , Birth by Sleep , and Re:coded . A successor to the series' HD 1.5 Remix collection, it was released as a PlayStation 3 exclusive in Japan on October 2014 and internationally two months later.

Sony has released a number of previously released PlayStation video games, remastered in high-definition (HD) for their newer consoles, a form of porting. A number of related programs exist, the most prominent two being "Classics HD" and "PSP Remasters". The former consists of multiple PlayStation 2 games compiled on one Blu-ray Disc. The latter are individual PlayStation Portable games republished on Blu-ray. These games are not direct ports, but remastered versions in high-definition, to take advantage of the newer consoles' capabilities. The remastering of the games include updated graphics, new textures, and Trophy support, and some of the remastered games released on PlayStation 3 have included 3D and PlayStation Move support. Some HD remasters have also been released individually or in bundles as downloads on the PlayStation Store; others are released exclusively as downloads.

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

<i>Kingdom Hearts</i> video game series

Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix. It is a collaboration between Disney Interactive and Square Enix, and is under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura, a longtime Square Enix character designer.

Contents

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix includes Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix [7] and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix in high definition and with trophy support. Additionally, the collection features a cinematic remake of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded that features remastered cutscenes from the original game as well as new content. A third collection, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue , was released in 2017. 2.5 Remix was re-released along with 1.5 Remix on the PlayStation 4 in March 2017.

<i>Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue</i> 2017 video game compilation

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a collection of the Kingdom Hearts series, developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4. A successor to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, it was announced in September 2015 and released in January 2017.

PlayStation 4 eighth-generation and fourth home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February, 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, and on February 22, 2014, in Japan. It competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.

Development

In the credits of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix , clips of the games featured in the collection were shown, hinting at the collection. Additionally, when IGN interviewed Shinji Hashimoto about Kingdom Hearts III , he stated that the studio would consider another HD collection if the reaction to the first one was positive enough. The collection was announced on October 14, 2013, exclusively for the PlayStation 3. [8] As with HD 1.5 Remix, the collection was developed mainly by the Square Enix 1st Production Department in Osaka, along with some help from Square Enix's Tokyo team. [1] In July 2017, Nomura spoke on bringing the collection to the Xbox One, saying he did not believe there was much demand for it outside of North America, but felt it could be a possibility after Square Enix completed development on Kingdom Hearts III . [9]

<i>Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix</i> HD remastered collection of the Kingdom Hearts series

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is an HD remastered collection of the Kingdom Hearts series, developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3. It was revealed in September 2012 and released in Japan in March 2013, and North America, Australia and Europe in September 2013.

<i>IGN</i> American entertainment website

IGN is an American video game and entertainment media website operated by IGN Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Ziff Davis, itself wholly owned by j2 Global. The company is located in San Francisco's SOMA district and is headed by its former editor-in-chief, Peer Schneider. The IGN website was the brainchild of media entrepreneur Chris Anderson and launched on September 29, 1996. It focuses on games, films, television, comics, technology, and other media. Originally a network of desktop websites, IGN is now also distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on the Xbox and PlayStation, FireTV, Roku, and via YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and Snapchat.

<i>Kingdom Hearts III</i> 2019 video game

Kingdom Hearts III is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twelfth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, and serves as a conclusion of the "Dark Seeker saga" beginning with the original game. Set after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, returning protagonist Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey and Riku in their search for the seven guardians of light as they attempt to thwart Xehanort's plan to bring about a second Keyblade War. Their journey has them cross paths with characters and visit worlds based on different Disney and Pixar intellectual properties.

Games

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix

Kingdom Hearts II picks up one year after the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Sora, the protagonist of the first two games, returns to search for his lost friends. Like the previous games, Kingdom Hearts II features a large cast of characters from Disney films and Final Fantasy games. Organization XIII, a group introduced in Chain of Memories, also reappears to impede Sora's progress.

Sora (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) main protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts video game series

Sora is a fictional character and the protagonist of Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series. Introduced in the first Kingdom Hearts game in 2002, Sora is portrayed as a cheerful teenager who lives in the Destiny Islands and has been best friends with Riku and Kairi since childhood. When they plan to go on a journey to see other worlds, they are separated by creatures known as the Heartless, with Sora obtaining a weapon called the Keyblade. Donald Duck and Goofy then recruit him in their journey across various worlds to aid King Mickey while Sora searches for his friends. Along the way, the trio protects the worlds they visit from various villains. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora searches for Riku and fights against Organization XIII, who attempt to seize Kingdom Hearts for their own. Sora has also made supporting appearances in other games from the series, and reprised his role in manga and light novel adaptations of the games.

Organization XIII

Organization XIII is a fictional group of characters featured in Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios' Kingdom Hearts video game series. The group comprises thirteen beings without hearts called "Nobodies", formed when a person's body fades from existence upon losing their heart and transforming into a "Heartless".

The backgrounds and textures of the game had to be adjusted in order to change from the game's original 4:3 ratio to the HD 16:9. Additional imagery was added to the menu screens and Gummi Ship area to compensate for areas that were lacking from the ratio shift. According to co-director Tai Yasue, approximately 80% of the original audio was remixed, as well as additional orchestral elements added to the songs. Yasue said, "Yoko Shimomura's music is an undeniable trait of the Kingdom Hearts series, I feel like without the atmosphere she creates, it isn't Kingdom Hearts, so the mix of the final audio was carefully controlled but also provides a new depth to the familiar sound." [1] Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was released outside Japan for the first time as part of the collection. [8]

Yoko Shimomura Japanese video game composer

Yoko Shimomura is a Japanese composer and pianist, primarily known for her work in video games. Shimomura has worked in the video game industry ever since graduating from the Osaka College of Music in 1988. From then until 1993, she worked for Capcom, where she composed wholly or in part the scores for 16 games, including Final Fight and Street Fighter II: The World Warrior.

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix

Birth by Sleep is a prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts, taking place ten years before the titles events. The game centers on the journeys of Terra, Aqua and Ventus, characters briefly featured in Kingdom Hearts II, and their quest to both locate the missing Master Xehanort and protect the worlds from creatures known as the Unversed.

Terra (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) character of Kingdom Hearts series

Terra is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts, prominently featured in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as one of the game's three playable protagonists. He appears in-game as a pupil of Master Eraqus who trains alongside his friends Aqua and Ventus to become a master of the Keyblade weapon. Terra's storyline highlights his struggle to tame his inner darkness, a negative attribute that serves as a source of both power and corruption for him. Prior to Birth by Sleep, he had a cameo appearance in a secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II and its re-release Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix; the later game included an optional boss fight against the Lingering Will, a hollow armor containing Terra's mind.

Aqua (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) Kingdom Hearts character

Aqua is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. First making cameo appearances in Kingdom Hearts II and its updated version Final Mix, Aqua is one of the three playable protagonists who is introduced in the 2010 prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. She is one of the Keyblade apprentices training under Master Eraqus alongside her friends Terra and Ventus. As the only one among her friends to obtain the rank of Keyblade Master, Aqua is assigned to monitor Terra and Ventus as she combats dark creatures known as the Unversed. She has also appeared in other Kingdom Hearts titles, including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue as the main character of the playable episode Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, and as a boss and temporary playable character in Kingdom Hearts III.

Ventus (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) Kingdom Hearts character

Ventus, commonly referred to as Ven (ヴェン), is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. Having first made cameos in Kingdom Hearts II and other related titles, Ventus was introduced in the 2010 prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as one of the game's three playable protagonists. In its story, Ventus is introduced as the youngest apprentice of Master Eraqus who trains him alongside his best friends, Terra and Aqua, to become experienced warriors with the Keyblade. When Terra goes on a mission to find Master Xehanort, Ventus follows him, having also become concerned about his fate. As Ventus journeys through various worlds and battles dark creatures called the Unversed, he learns about his own origins as well as his relation to Xehanort's apprentice, Vanitas.

Moving from the PlayStation Portable to the PlayStation 3 allowed the development team to add more details to the character designs, additional atmospheric sounds, as well as slightly tweak the gameplay system, now allowing camera control with the right analog stick. In addition, the Mirage Arena (a multiplayer component from the original game) has been reworked to only be a single-player experience. Yasue said enemy strengths and AI in the arena were adjusted to account for this. [1] The inclusion of the Final Mix version in the collection marked the first time for this version to be released outside Japan. [8]

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded was also included in the collection, featuring the Nintendo DS game adapted into a cinematic retelling, similar to how Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was included in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix. [8] The title is set after Kingdom Hearts II and follows the discovery of Jiminy Cricket's journal, which chronicles Sora's fight against the Heartless and Organization XIII, which is found to have two secret messages written by persons unknown. Once the journal is digitized for further analysis, the contents become corrupted. This leads king Mickey and his friends to make a digital Sora to enter and repair the journal so that the meaning of the hidden messages can be deciphered.

For the Re:coded cinematics, additional events occur that were not seen in the original. Tetsuya Nomura added that new voice acting is being recorded, and hinting at the inclusion of a new battle scene and a scene that ties Re:coded and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance together. [10] Yasue revealed that approximately 2 hours of the total 3 hour cinematic is newly created content and subsequently recorded with voice acting, as well as featuring additional scenes that flesh out the backstories of other Kingdom Hearts titles. [1]

Release

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix was released in Japan on October 2, 2014, [3] in North America on December 2, [4] in Australia on December 4, [5] and in Europe on December 5. [4] Preorders for the game in North America and Australia included an official Disney Collector's Pin for the game. [5] [11] Square Enix also released the collection in two bundles in Japan, with both featuring Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix and a code to get an Anniversary Set for Kingdom Hearts χ [chi]. The first, titled Kingdom Hearts Starter Pack: HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, features the previously mentioned material and limited edition casing, while the second, Kingdom Hearts Collector’s Pack: HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix features limited edition casing, a promo soundtrack, and a booklet with art from the series in addition to the previous material. [3] A collectors edition for North America and Europe was also released, featuring both HD collections, a steelbook case, art book, Disney Kingdom Hearts pin, and a Heartless plush doll. [12] [13]

In October 2016, Square Enix announced a single-disc compilation release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix for the PlayStation 4. It was released on March 9, 2017, in Japan, March 28, 2017, in North America, and March 31, 2017, in Europe. [6] An additional bundle, Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, includes the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix PlayStation 4 collection and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and was released in North America on October 30, 2018 for the PlayStation 4. [14]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic 81/100 [15]
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM 8.0/10 [16]
Game Informer 9/10 [17]
GameTrailers 8.7/10 [18]
IGN 8.4/10 [19]
Hardcore Gamer 4/5 [20]

The collection sold 84,935 units during its first week of release in Japan, [21] and since sales figures were last reported for the game on November 9, 2014, 129,660 units have been sold in Japan. [22]

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix received "generally favorable" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. [15] Game Informer praised the collection, praising the upgrades to Kingdom Hearts II, the transition of Birth By Sleep from the PlayStation Portable to the PlayStation 3, and criticizing the Re:coded movie as just being "there for completionists and easy to ignore for everyone else." [17] Electronic Gaming Monthly called the collection a great deal for fans of the series, praising the combat system and series charming characters, but noting the questionable overall narrative quality. [16] GameTrailers noted the improved selection of games over the 1.5 Remix, extolling the inclusion of two of the Kingdom Hearts series best games in the collection, as well as previously Japan-only content such as special boss battles. They also praised the new music arrangements and the cinematic retelling of Re:coded, though this was not a universally shared opinion. [18] IGN propounded the same points, noting the improved music, graphics, and "high-level challenges", but criticized the aging controls from Kingdom Hearts II and the camera system in Birth by Sleep. [19] Hardcore Gamer had more mixed views of the collection, noting that the games were not cutting edge graphically, particularly Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Final Mix, but was still a major improvement. [20]

HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

In the credits of HD 2.5 Remix, clips of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance were shown as well as the inclusion of a secret ending related to the game, hinting at a possible additional collection. [23] In September 2015, Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue . The collection features an HD remaster of Dream Drop Distance as well as Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover , a cinematic retelling of Kingdom Hearts χ , and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, a new game taking place after the events of the original Birth by Sleep, told from the perspective of Aqua. [24] It was released on January 12, 2017 in Japan, and January 24, 2017 for other countries. [25]

Notes

  1. Kingudamu Htsu HD 2.5 Rimikkusu(Japanese:HD 2.5, stylized as Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX)

Related Research Articles

<i>Kingdom Hearts</i> (video game) 2002 video game

Kingdom Hearts is a 2002 action role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It is the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series, and is the result of a collaboration between Square and The Walt Disney Company. The game combines characters and settings from Disney animated features with those from Square's Final Fantasy series. It follows the adventures of Sora, a cheerful teenager who fights against the forces of darkness alongside Donald Duck, Goofy and other Disney characters.

<i>Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is an action role-playing video game developed by Jupiter and published by Square Enix in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance. The game serves as an intermediary between the two larger-scale PlayStation 2 games in the Kingdom Hearts series. It was one of the first GBA games to incorporate full motion video (FMV). The game was remade into a PlayStation 2 game titled Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, which was released in Japan as a second disc packaged with Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix in March 2007. The remake was released in North America on December 2, 2008.

Characters of <i>Kingdom Hearts</i> Wikimedia list article

Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix. It is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios. Kingdom Hearts is a crossover of various Disney settings based in a universe made specifically for the series. The series features a mixture of familiar Disney, Final Fantasy, The World Ends with You and Pixar characters, as well as several new characters designed by Tetsuya Nomura. In addition, it has an all-star voice cast which includes many of the Disney characters' official voice actors.

Roxas (<i>Kingdom Hearts</i>) fictional character

Roxas is a fictional character from Square Enix's video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. First revealed during the final scenes of the 2004 title Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Roxas is a "Nobody", who was created from the series' main character Sora who briefly loses his heart during the first game of the series. Kingdom Hearts II reveals that Roxas is a member of Organization XIII, a group of Nobodies who need him as he can wield the Keyblade, a weapon that allows him to capture hearts. As a member of the organization, Roxas bears the title "Key of Destiny". He is also the protagonist of the video game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which revolves around his origins. In the Japanese games, Roxas is voiced by Kōki Uchiyama, while Jesse McCartney takes the role in the English versions.

Music of <i>Kingdom Hearts</i> compilation album

The music of the Kingdom Hearts video game series was composed by Yoko Shimomura with orchestral music arranged by Kaoru Wada. The original soundtracks of the games have been released on three albums and a fourth compilation album. The soundtracks to the Kingdom Hearts games feature several musical pieces from both Disney films and Final Fantasy games, including such pieces as "Mickey Mouse Club March" by Jimmie Dodd, "This Is Halloween" by Danny Elfman, and "One-Winged Angel" by Nobuo Uematsu. They also feature several vocal songs, the most notable being the two main theme songs, "Hikari" and "Passion". The two themes were written and performed by Japanese American pop star Hikaru Utada; in addition to Japanese, English versions of both songs were produced, titled "Simple and Clean" and "Sanctuary", respectively.

<i>Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable, serving as the sixth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series. The game was released on UMD in Japan on January 9, 2010, in North America on September 7, 2010 and in the PAL regions on September 10, 2010. An international version of the game titled Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix was released in Japan in January 2011 featuring the changes made in the non-Japanese versions.

<i>Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is an action role-playing video game developed by h.a.n.d. and Square Enix for the Nintendo DS. It is the fifth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, and takes place near the end of the first game, continuing parallel to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The game was released worldwide in 2009. The story is told from the perspective of Roxas, following his daily life within Organization XIII and his relationship with fellow Organization member Axel; it also introduces a fourteenth member, Xion, who becomes friends with the former two.

<i>Kingdom Hearts Coded</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts Coded, stylized as Kingdom Hearts coded, is an episodic action role-playing puzzle video game developed and published by Square Enix, in collaboration with Disney Interactive Studios, for mobile phones. Coded was a Japan-only release announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show. Its Nintendo DS remake entitled Kingdom Hearts Re:coded was released in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia. A cinematic remake of the game was included in the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix video game compilation for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Shinji Hashimoto Japanese video game producer

Shinji Hashimoto is a Japanese game producer at Square Enix. He currently serves as the Final Fantasy series Brand Manager, as an Executive Officer at Square Enix and the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 3. He is also the co-creator of the Kingdom Hearts series. He served as corporate executive of the company's 1st Production Department during its entire existence.

<i>Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance</i> video game

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo 3DS, revealed at E3 2010. The game is the seventh installment in the Kingdom Hearts series and was released in Japan on March 29, 2012. It was released outside Japan on July 20, 2012 in Europe, July 26, 2012 in Australasia and July 31, 2012 in North America.

References

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  7. "Final Mix" is a term often used for versions of Kingdom Hearts with remade graphics, gameplay tweaks, expanded and clarified story elements, and bonuses features
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