|Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue|
|Developer(s)||Square Enix Business Division 3|
|Director(s)|| Tetsuya Nomura |
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4 (KH0.2 / KHχBC)|
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (キングダム ハーツ HD 2.8 ファイナル チャプター プロローグ, Kingudamu Hātsu HD 2.8 Fainaru Chaputā Purorōgu, stylized Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue) is a compilation of games from the Kingdom Hearts series, developed and published by Square Enix. A successor to the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix game compilation, the new title was announced in September 2015 and released in January 2017 on PlayStation 4 and February 2020 on Xbox One.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue includes a high-definition remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance . This title covers how protagonists Sora and Riku prepared for the return of the antagonist Master Xehanort. The collection also includes two new pieces of content set in the Kingdom Hearts series. The first, Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover,is a "cinematic" film based on the game Kingdom Hearts χ . It includes events not shown in that game regarding the earliest parts of the series' story. The other title, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, is an original game that takes place after the events of Dream Drop Distance . This title revealed what happened to the protagonist Aqua during her time lost in the Realm of Darkness. To avoid having too much backstory in Kingdom Hearts III, series director Tetsuya Nomura chose to place this story he long desired to tell in this collection. Back Cover and A Fragmentary Passage were the tenth and eleventh installments in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Critics had varied opinions on the value of the game compilation. Most praised the quality of the graphics, utilizing technology then being developed for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III . Some also praised the role of the collection in filling story gaps in the very complicated storyline of the Kingdom Hearts series. Some, however, criticized the release of the compilation as merely another teaser for the long-anticipated game Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance takes place after the events of the game Kingdom Hearts Re:coded .Dream Drop Distance focuses on the protagonists' Sora and Rikus "Mark of Mastery" exam. In order to pass, the pair must free dream versions of worlds they have known and hone their powers in preparation for the return of the powerful and evil Master Xehanort.
This collection features a high definition remaster of Dream Drop Distance, which Nomura stated was a full remake of the game since the original utilized the two screens of the Nintendo 3DS.Developers also reworked minigames from the 3DS version that utilized that console’s dual touch screens into a card-based system. At the same time, the developers made enemies “less offensive than they originally were”, a complaint from players in the original. Additionally, they switched the 3DS's touchscreen-based controls to a more traditional game-controller scheme.
Due to the workload of adapting the game, developers made no extras or new content for this release.The few additions made included PlayStation 4 trophies, the ability to play the game at 60 frames a second, and a much-requested addition by the Osaka development team to include the minor enemy, the Catanuki.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage is a new game told from the perspective of the protagonist Aqua.The story begins after Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance when King Mickey reveals that he has secrets to confess relating to Aqua and her time in the Realm of Darkness. The story then picks up right after the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix. Fragments of worlds previously found in Birth by Sleep make up the game's narrative.
Nomura felt he needed to create this story, but did not want to slow down Kingdom Hearts III with many backstories.Consequently, he separated it from that game and included it in this collection. Developers designed the game to take several hours to play, or approximately one game world in a regular Kingdom Hearts title. A Fragmentary Passage ties into the story of Kingdom Hearts III In terms of gameplay, the “Doubleflight” ability returns, which allows Aqua to leap higher and do a mid-air double jump, while also gaining a burst of speed mid-jump.
Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover is a one-hour long cinematic film set during the events of the video game Kingdom Hearts χ.The film tells the game’s story from the Foretellers’ perspectives, explaining their actions during the game’s events.
In January 2011, with the release of the game Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix , a secret ending was discovered in the game, titled Birth by Sleep: Volume 2. This game content, which appeared to bridge the story gap between Birth by Sleep and the original Kingdom Hearts , was believed to be a potential future game in the series.In October 2014, when asked about the content seen in the secret ending, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura stated, “It shows the existence of Aqua’s story in the Realm of Darkness. It means that she didn’t just wander about in the Darkness for ten years, but that she passed through many experiences. However, it is a 'Fragmentary Passage,' as the name suggests – that story was severed and wasn’t told. I hope I can tell it when given the opportunity”. The credits of the game compilation Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix include clips of the game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and a secret ending related to Dream Drop Distance, hinting at a possible new Kingdom Hearts game compilation.
In September 2015, Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, for release in 2016 on the PlayStation 4.Nomura stated that Square Enix developed the collection alongside the game Kingdom Hearts III . They made the collection so players could experience some of the new gameplay elements being developed for Kingdom Hearts III "sooner than later". Nomura explained the game compilations title, stating that Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance is considered number 2.6 in the series since it follows the events in HD 2.5 Remix. The Kingdom Hearts χ games are considered 0 in Nomuras counting system because the series protagonist Sora does not appear. Birth by Sleep is 0.1, thus resulting in a 0.2 value for A Fragmentary Passage. When added together, the numbers total 2.8.
In December 2015, a trailer for the game debuted at the gaming festival Jump Festa, and critics praised the game collection for its aesthetic quality.Square Enix developers utilized the Unreal Engine 4 used to make Kingdom Hearts III in all three titles. This allowed for quick changes during game development, especially lighting effects. A trailer released in September 2016 at the Tokyo Game Show featured a new remix of Kingdom Hearts theme song Simple and Clean, produced specifically for 2.8, and the games’ opening cinematics. In July 2017, Nomura spoke on bringing the collection to the Xbox One console, saying he did not believe there was much demand for it outside of North America. However, he also said it could be a possibility after Square Enix completed development of Kingdom Hearts III. At the X019 gamer event in November 2019, Shinji Hashimoto and Ichiro Hazama announced that the 2.8 collection, along with 1.5 and 2.5, would be released on the Xbox One in 2020.
Initially scheduled for release in December 2016, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was released in Japan on January 12, 2017, and worldwide on January 24, 2017.Preorders for the game included an official Disney Collector's Pin for the game. Square Enix later bundled Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue with the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix collections as part of a new compilation, Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, released in North America on October 30, 2018, for the PlayStation 4. The Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass versions released on February 18, 2020.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue received "generally favorable" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.It sold 137,797 copies within its first week of release in Japan.
Reviewers universally praised the graphical re-creation of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance on the PlayStation 4 from its origins on the Nintendo 3DS. US Gamer referred to the games‘ conversion from one optimized for a two-screen portable game system to a console one as "lovely".Game Informer was also impressed by the visual improvements made from the game's rerelease. However, GameSpot criticized the lack of any other changes to the title, such as populating the games’ "overly roomy, empty worlds". US Gamer also praised the title A Fragmentary Passage for being a sort of tech demo of Kingdom Hearts III.
Critics had mixed feelings about the value of the collection and its stories. Jonathan Dornbush of IGN said that the collection is "a great glimpse at what’s to come, but the return to the past is an at-times unsatisfying appetizer". 's Anthony John Agnello concurred, said that "Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue is essential for the faithful, flummoxing for newcomers, and a promising start to the series’ life on PS4". Chris Carter from Destructoid called the title "a solid game that definitely has an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short and there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun".GamesRadar
Some reviewers such as Push Square did find things to praise about the collection such as getting the chance to explore resolutions to the many cliffhangers left by the previous Kingdom Hearts games.RPGamer stated that if anyone wished to understand what happened plot-wise between Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III, the game collection was essential. The Independent praised the gameplay of An Fragmentary Passage as "gorgeous" and called Aqua’s journey through the Hall of Magic Mirrors "devilishly fun". GameSpot also praised the compilations’ inclusion of new stories, and Game Informer called the titles "good preparation for what’s ahead".
Other reviewers, however, found the stories confusing and felt the game was merely a teaser for Kingdom Hearts III. Ars Technica called the three titles unconnected in any way to each other.They also cited their confusion with the story of Dream Drop Distance, calling it "hard-to-follow gibberish with flashbacks, flashbacks within flashbacks". US Gamer called the compilation "one big teaser" for Kingdom Hearts III. Game Informer also believed that the title was yet another game meant to kill time before the release of the at the time unreleased Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts is a 2002 action role-playing video game developed 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. An expanded re-release of the game featuring new and additional content, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, was released exclusively in Japan in December 2002. The Final Mix version of the game was later remastered in high definition and released globally as a part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix collection for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Kingdom Hearts II is a 2005 action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 video game console. The game is a sequel to Kingdom Hearts, and like the original game, combines characters and settings from Disney films with those of Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. An expanded re-release of the game featuring new and additional content, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, was released exclusively in Japan in March 2007. The Final Mix version of the game was later remastered in high definition and released globally as a part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix collection for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix. It is a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney and is under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura, a longtime Square Enix employee.
Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix as part of the Final Fantasy series. It was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016, Microsoft Windows in 2018, and Stadia as a launch title in 2019. The game features an open world environment and action-based battle system, incorporating quick-switching weapons, elemental magic, and other features such as vehicle travel and camping. The base campaign was later expanded with downloadable content (DLC), adding further gameplay options such as additional playable characters and multiplayer.
Kingdom Hearts III is a 2019 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, and serves as a conclusion of the "Dark Seeker Saga" story arc that began 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 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.
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.
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.
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. A direct sequel, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, was released in January 2017 as a part of a bundle of games called Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.
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.
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 titled 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, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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 he was the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 3 for 6 years. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix 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.
Kingdom Hearts χ, stylized as Kingdom Hearts χ[chi], is a Japanese role-playing browser game developed by Square Enix, BitGroove and Success, and published by Square Enix for web browsers as the eighth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series. Gameplay involves players navigating a customized avatar through Disney-inspired worlds fighting enemies, along with taking down bosses in multiplayer matches in competition with other teams. A version of the game for mobile devices called Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, was released as the ninth installment of the series in Japan in September 2015, and worldwide in 2016. In April 2017, Unchained χ was rebranded as Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]. It was rebranded once again in June 2020 to Kingdom Hearts Union χ Dark Road with the release of the expansion Kingdom Hearts Dark Road, the thirteenth installment in the series.
Tetsuya Nomura is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix. He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has led the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Noctis Lucis Caelum, "Noct" for short, is a fictional character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. He is a playable character and main protagonist of Final Fantasy XV, originally a spin-off titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The crown prince and protector of Lucis, Noctis and his allies must defend their country when the empire of Niflheim attacks Lucis in an attempt to take control of its magical Crystal. Alongside Final Fantasy XV, Noctis has appeared in the game's expanded media, including Final Fantasy crossover titles, and other game titles including Puzzle & Dragons and the fighting game Tekken 7.
Visual Works is a Japan-based CGI animation studio dedicated towards creating video game cut scenes and full-length feature films for Square Enix. Visual Works was founded as the CGI department for Square and was responsible for creating the pre-rendered CG openings for the company, starting with Final Fantasy VII in 1997.