Well, that name is a bit of a mouthful now, isn’t it?
I’ve always been fascinated with the Kingdom Hearts premise and as an outsider I always wanted to get into it to experience the craziness. I got my chance to do just that with Kingdom Hearts 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue… this is the last time I write this name. Now, this installation is more like a package which includes three separate things: a remaster of a 3DS game, one entirely new short game that apparently fills in some gaps in the grand story and an animated movie.
Naturally, I started with the first thing, the remaster of the 3DS game and well, I found things to be very complicated. Being a 3DS game remaster the game looks sharp enough on the big screen, but I wish they’d went the extra mile and put in some effort into making the game feel bigger and better for the console players. Everything is very plain and very simple and there’s no cool hair physics.
It was a rocky start to say the least as I was bombarded with tutorial screens, one after another and they just didn’t seem to stop. And since I found the text to be quite small and a font which was a pain to read I skipped most of the stuff. Then I just didn’t know what to do so I just pressed everything and hoped for the best. Through brute forcing I kinda learned my way around the mechanics although I still don’t know how to properly execute most of the stuff. The Flowmotion mechanic still baffles me as I do not know how to bounce off walls, slam the enemies and reach most of the hidden places.
Another thing that I didn’t understand was the whole story. Even though it had a lot of flashbacks which I guess did some exposition for why and what was happening, but I was so lost. Again this is not the game’s fault, it’s totally mine as an outsider, but be wary if you want to get this package for yourself. Anyway, I kept playing, I met the Disney characters and fought some well-known villains which were kinda hard to beat. But somehow, an apparent “feature” of the game got on my nerves. I am talking about the Drop which switched between Sora and Riku once the stamina bar was depleted, didn’t matter what I was doing. I mean, why? Why is that a mechanic in the game?
There was also another mechanic or a whole system of monsters or pets, I guess, but I found it so convoluted and weird to do with the Dualshock 4 that I actually stopped playing the entire game after just a couple of hours. Luckily, in the package they have included a totally new game and although short I really liked it.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage, again who names these games, tells the story of Aqua and what happened to her after Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Again I don’t know what actually happened during Birth by Sleep, but who’s even counting now? I loved what I played during the 3 hours. The combat was fluid, easy to perform combos and a feast for the eyes. While beating the living sh*t out of the “heartless” with my Keyblade, Aqua could unleash a slew of powerful magical attacks. Fire, Ice and Thunder based magic lit up the screen and demolished the enemies. Yeah, it is kinda glorious to execute all these attacks and things get even better when you do combo magical attacks with the most known Disney character of all, without spoiling anything.
As you might have guessed by now, the presentation is excellent. It looks amazing, sounds as amazing, it has fantastic hair physics and that’s about everything you need in my books. Yeah while Aqua movement and traversing outside of the combat felt weird as she runs like a motorcycle, everything else was quite excellent. A short, but extremely enjoyable experience and a taste of what’s to come, Kingdom Hearts 3 anyone?
The last thing in the package is an animated cutscene or movie, but again since I am John Snow (get the reference?) I stopped watching 20 or so minutes in. I just didn’t care enough, but you might totally enjoy it so don’t take my word for it.
So is this package worth it? Well, I don’t know it’s current price, but I definitely cannot recommend it getting at full price if you are a casual player as the only proper enjoyment you will get out of it is Kingdom Hearts 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage and as its title suggests, it’s only a fragmentary passage. However if you are a hardcore fan of the serie and the 3DS game is the only game you haven’t played, this is totally for you. Thanks for reading!