For years Square Enix has been spitting out Kingdom Hearts games (omitting the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3) filled with decimals, slashes & confusing titles that continue to leave gamers around the world puzzled. With the PS4 release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 x 2.5, I’m here to explain what you need to know, is it worth picking up, and what I think of the game so far. If you gain anything from this article, I hope it is a little more insight to the confusion that is the Kingdom Hearts universe.
What is Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5
The brand new PS4 Release Kingdom Hearts: 1.5 x 2.5 is essentially the remaster of the remasters, a collection of all of the games from previous HD remakes but with even more enhanced graphics and most importantly 60fps support for both PS4 & PS4 Pro. A combination of Final Fantasy and Disney that created one of the most unexpected successful franchises in history, sparking a worldwide phenomenon about keyblades, the light, and darkness. With a unique combination of quick real-time combat with the depth of a Final Fantasy RPG, Kingdom Hearts is truly something unlike any other game.
On March 14th 2013, Square Enix unveiled the PS3 remaster of a small collection of Kingdom Hearts games in what was called Kingdom Hearts 1.5. This included the original game that begun the franchise along Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix with a collection of cutscenes taken from a previous title that help bridge the gap between Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 (Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days) & a redux of the Gameboy Advance title Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories.
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 which released on October 2nd 2014 helped complete the collection including Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, the PSP release Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and another collection of cutscenes dubbed Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded.
What made this collection so appealing was not only the touched up graphics since the PS2 era but the Final Mix versions of the base games. This included several moments that were included in the Japanese release that were omitted when coming to the west.
Where does Kingdom Hearts 2.8 come into play?
With another decimal comes more stories. 2.8 includes the 3DS title Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, a brand new section that focuses on Aqua from Birth by Sleep which is supposed to serve as a prequel to Kingdom Hearts III called .02 Fragmented Passage, and a new small movie that takes place before all the games titled Kingdom Hearts x Back Cover. These games are not included in the release of 1.5 x 2.5 but still serve as beneficial inclusions to the story of Kingdom Hearts.
With all the games out on the table, what is the chronological order these games play in?
Simply put, the chronological order of all games is as follows (games in bold are included in the recent re-release Kingdom Hearts 1.5×2.5):
- Kingdom Hearts x Backcover
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
- Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Fragmentary Passage
- Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
- Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded
- Kingdom Hearts: 3D Dream Drop Distance
If you’re a visual learner, this graphic may help you understand and state which games are in which remastered collections.
Is Kingdom Hearts 1.5 x 2.5 Worth Your Attention?
In short, yes. Bringing the whole Kingdom Hearts collection to PS4 not only makes things convenient as a one stop shop to get a KH fix, but with visuals touched even more than the PS3 predecessor, the 60fps alone makes this collection one of the most fluid and beautiful renditions of Kingdom Hearts I’ve ever seen. If you are new to the series or wish to relive the entire saga, this collection is a great way to gain appreciation for the franchise and take one step closer to understanding this wonderfully laid out story about friendship, light, and darkness. If you’ve already given your money thrice to Square Enix to purchase the PS2 & PS3 versions you may be a bit skeptical but if you’re a framerate junkie like myself, it’s a cannot miss.
Kingdom Hearts III is coming. We might not know when but if you need something to ease the wait, you can’t go wrong with Kingdom Hearts: 1.5 x 2.5.