Editorial: Kingdom Hearts Remakes Forever

Just yesterday, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix was released for the PlayStation 4, effectively putting the entirety of the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise on the PlayStation 4 when paired with the recently released Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. Ridiculous names aside, this then leads players to ask yet again, “when is Kingdom Hearts 3 coming out?” to which many reply “never.” Keep in mind that before Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, the last major entry in the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise was Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (not counting the web-browser based prologue game and its mobile remake). So, to reflect on the series, this editorial will cover the franchise’s history of padding throughout the years.

If another card game is released before the third entry Square Enix has to burn.
Just what everyone asked for: a card game.

First up on the wall of shame is Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, a 3D remake of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, a game that can only be described as the most popular “Kingdom Hearts” title ever made. Not only is the game remade in 3D for the PlayStation 2, it also features limited voice acting, new cutscenes, and new battles, meaning that the game is even longer than ever before. Of course, the game still features a card-based battle system that ranges in description from mildly annoying to “please let this game be over.” Just one year after this title, Kingdom Hearts Coded was released, but it was an episodic mobile title only released in Japan, so the next title available in the United States after this remake was Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days two years afterwards. This then created a four year gap between new titles in the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise from 2005 to 2009, and even then, it was Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, so no one really won in that regard.

Everything about this is terrible.

Next up is Kingdom Hearts χ and its mobile remake, Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, the former being a web-browser based prologue that takes place 100 years before the rest of the series. In this game, the player takes the role of a Keyblade wielder who joins one of five factions that are in the midst of a battle pertaining to the χ-blade, a mysterious weapon that Tetsuya Nomura dreamt of once and decided it should be a key part of the franchise from then on. What is the χ-blade? What is Kingdom Hearts? A giant moon, or a large set of doors? This game answers none of these questions and instead just adds more questions to pile on top of the large stack of unanswered queries made by fans. Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ is a fantastic example of how every game in a franchise should be made, by adding more confusing elements and characters to the plot without answering any pre-existing questions, all of this served with the delicious frosting on the cake known as micro-transactions. Also, just look at that art style, imagine looking at that for hours on end just to find more plot in this convoluted nightmare.

Humans and mice, roaming together, the cruelty of life.
Someone ships these two.

Last but certainly not least is Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, one of worst-named video games of all time. 2.8 includes an HD remake of the 3DS title Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, a one-hour series of cutscenes with the cumulative title of Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover that expands on the confusing story of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, and finally Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, a short snippet of gameplay featuring Aqua. So, in total, this collection includes an hours worth of prologue cutscenes, a remake, and about two hours of new playable content. Then, just about two months afterwards a remaster of two remakes was released for the PlayStation 4 as well! Although making the previous “Kingdom Hearts” games playable on a newer console, the amount of remakes and remasters that Square Enix is pumping out in regards to the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise is nothing short of ridiculous. Just wait until Kingdom Hearts 3 features the main characters from Final Fantasy XV and they all go on a quest to stop Master Xehanort using the power of Cup Noodles.

Wowza, that might a new record for most italicized words in a single editorial. So, what do you think of the messy “Kingdom Hearts” franchise and th amount of remakes and remasters that have been released so far? Do you own any of these titles or plan on owning them now that the entire franchise is practically available on a single console? Love ’em, hate ’em, whatever your opinion may be make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!


  1. @Lusipurr: Kingdom Hearts is whatever Nomura wants it to be. A moon, a pair of doors, a festive hat. Who knows?

  2. If Kingdom Hearts was a festive hat, I might have given it a chance. In your opinion, Adeki, is the first Kingdom Hearts game worth it?

  3. @Dancing Matt: I personally think that Kingdom Hearts 2 is a much better game when compared to the original (if you know how to skip the grueling introduction involving chores in order to teach the player the game’s mechanics), but the first game still holds up. The main gripe I remember having with the first game is the platforming, although I don’t remember it being extremely prevalent. I’m hesitantly excited to see how the original plays on the PS4 when I inevitably get the collection.

  4. Glad you’ve caught everyone up to speed on what a Kingdom Hearts is.

  5. @SiliconNooB: The real Kingdom Hearts were the friends we made along the way. :)

  6. Kingdom Hearts Fantasy VII is going to be the best of the series. I can’t wait!

  7. @Adeki: I love Secret Of Mana, so I can overlook reasonably dodgy controls amongst other issues for the sake of what’s good in an action-RPG. From what I’ve heard though, it sounds like the storytelling became progressively obtuse with each installment, especially the handheld iterations. Do you think that the storytelling is better in 2 than 1, and would it be necessary to play 1 to understand 2? I’m considering finding a cheap, used copy of 1.5 Remix on PS3 (I do not have a PS4).

  8. @Matt – The storytelling is best in KH1, as it is mostly just simple retellings of Disney plots coupled with a plot where villains are stealing the princesses of heart, and constant themes about the power of friendship overcoming darkness.

    In each subsequent entry SE added more and more needless complexity, which has pretty much resulted in a mess. It’s incredible, because on one hand the complexity of the KH storyline is almost impenetrably dense and convoluted at this point, while on the other hand much of it isn’t terribly well fleshed out.

    I personally view KH1 as the best game in the series. It has the simplest and most relatable storytelling, and also the levels are more interesting than in other installments. KH1 did have some jank to the camera controls though.

  9. @Dancing Matt: I do not think that it is necessary to play 1 to understand 2 and most of the obtuse plot elements come from all the games that are not part of the main series (so anything not named 1 or 2). As for the story of 2 itself, I think that is definitely more convoluted but I prefer it to the original because I think it does make some improvements gameplay wise which is the main reason why I play each Kingdom Hearts game.

    @SiliconNooB: The camera’s finickiness in KH1 definitely came up when I started playing it again this week, and while I agree that Kingdom Hearts 1 has a much better story than the second game (the Nobodies on top of the true identity of Ansem is just the starting point) I personally see KH2 as being the best in the series with Dream Drop Distance (the PS4 version) being tied with Kingdom Hearts 1 for second. I think that 3D did a really good job with the battle system revisions in spite of having it be a deck based attack-system rather than the standard and that Flowmotion was a really good idea to keep battles fresh. But, it also probably has the worst plot out of any of the games (Remember Organization XII? Turns out they were the FAKE Organization XII!).

Comments are closed.