Kingdom Hearts II is Getting HD-ified for PS3
Gangling Goof Troop! Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 has barely had time to get cold on the shelf before this announcement dropped on our laps. Square Enix has confirmed the second major act in the Disney/Final Fantasy mash-up (why is that still ridiculous to say aloud after all these years?) is receiving a high-definition polish and being re-released as Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix exclusively for the PlayStation 3.
The disc includes Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix – a reformulated edition of the sequel previously unavailable on Western shores – and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Final Mix, which was a PSP exclusive prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts but focuses on characters featured in Kingdom Hearts II. So, basically, Kingdom Hearts because Kingdom Hearts when Kingdom Hearts.
Additionally, the HD set also features every cinematic from the Nintendo DS title Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, newly treated in that there HD you kids go so bonkers over. KH HD 2.5 Remix is launching globally in 2014. Two back to back re-releases could signify that Square Enix is hinting at its fans that it needs funding for Kingdom Hearts III, meaning that not purchasing it is the same as destroying dreams.
Square Enix Unveils Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix at TGS
Ten years ago, Square decided to bet on an oddball licensing mash-up of their benchmark Final Fantasy series with…the House of the Mouse, no less. While closeted Disney fanboys grew deadly serious, the rest of us scoffed at the prospect of Kingdom Hearts.
Until we got our hands on the game, that is. A simplistic yet deeply playable approach to marrying action-adventure and RPG elements within a diverse, masterfully designed world (or worlds, rather) laid the groundwork for a new classic. Today, if you find someone quick to dismiss the original KH as “childish,” they’re also probably someone who didn’t play it very long or even at all. Listen, you live in a reality where wielding a keyblade is badass. The sky is blue, politics are boring, and keyblades kick ass. Moving on.
What was once a barely believable rumor is now HD-ified fact: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix has been announced by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3, slated for a 2013 release in Japan. Why 1.5, you ask? Well, it’s not a KH1/KHII double-pack as speculated in the linked rumor, but 1.5 does include the PS2’s Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days from the Game Boy Advance and DS respectively. All are reduxed in high-definition for the PS3, all now feature Trophy support.
A stateside release is more than probably in the cards, but of course nothing past the Japanese release has been confirmed.
Will We Really See Kingdom Hearts HD Remix Revealed Next Week?
Online gaming rag Dual Pixels has caught wind that Square Enix intends on showing off more than the 3DS’ Dream Drop Distance at E3. Count this as a code teal rumor (I don’t know about you but ‘teal’ has always meant 'severe’ in my book), but the site claims the publisher is compiling a remastered collection featuring Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, 358/2 Days, Chain of Memories, and Birth by Sleep.
This colossal gathering of the times Disney collided with Final Fantasy will either be called Kingdom Hearts HD Remix or – the much classier – Kingdom Hearts: Remembrance. Dual Pixel’s source indicates that the title will release for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and, interestingly enough, the Nintendo Wii U. The HD treated collection is said to have extra side quests that clean up messy plot threads between the games. Specifically, the Wii U version of the set is reported to have exclusive story elements that connect it directly to Kingdom Hearts 3D – connections apparently missing from the Sony versions.
I don’t know, folks. Swallow the salt shaker on this one. From the sheer amount of titles included and additional assets mentioned…it all seems too good to be true. And yet, the fact that Kingdom Hearts III hasn’t even begun production makes it all the more likely that Square Enix would be keen on keeping the property fresh in gamers minds while also appeasing longtime fans with the prospect of something “new” to call their own.
[Note: image from Dream Drop Distance.]