Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX PC Review

The Kingdom Hearts series started as a weird and unique PlayStation exclusive, was born from a weird and unique crossover of media franchises, and is relaunching on an all-new platform with the latest PC port. Overall, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX’s journey to the PC proceeds in a number of modest ways, with some enhancements to the Windows port. Minus a few issues and first-hand complaints, Kingdom Hearts made the transition to PC successfully.

Among the few Windows-specific bells and whistles expected from most console-to-PC ports, the original lineup of Kingdom Hearts games on PC rivals console remakes. There are only very minor performance issues to speak of, none of which are game breaking. The only major hurdle for consumers to consider is price versus value, as the classic Kingdom Hearts series still has an MSRP of $49.99 on the Epic Games Store. Aside from a few uncommon hiccups, Kingdom Hearts’ PC debut is largely excellent. The only barrier to entry will be price, but otherwise, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX is a solid port on PC.

kingdom  hearts  2 combat  mulan  team  attack The games included will be familiar to fans who have played the remastered collection before, but for new players PCKingdom HeartsHD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX is a collection of the first and second mainline Kingdom Hearts games, as well as two narrative spin-off games in the Re: Chain of Memories and Birth By Sleep Final Mix. The last two “games” are actually remastered movies and cutscenes from the original versions of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded.

Of course, the first Kingdom Hearts is iconic in its own right, because it kicked off such a unique franchise in terms of gameplay, quirks, and awkward combat. The first game in the series continues to show its age, especially in 2021. However, as if Square Enix produced a complete 180 in the two years between the original and the sequel, Kingdom Hearts 2 definitely won’t be seriously affected by this issue in 2021. Even Re: Chain of Memories and Birth in Sleep, which further changed the formula/ability system with cards and command-based spells, were still very satisfying as action RPGs, although each had their own imbalances.

Players will witness the humble beginnings of an action RPG in Kingdom Hearts 1, the near-perfect mechanics and gameplay in Kingdom Hearts 2, and the experimentation of formulas in Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories and Birth By Sleep. Those curious about filling in the narrative gaps between the mainline games can check out the origin of a certain Nobody in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and the frankly insane narrative that happened in Re: Coded. Obviously, these remasters haven’t changed much on the road to Windows, but that’s mostly fine. All major issues prior to the PS4/Xbox One remake have been resolved.

kingdom  hearts  birth  by  sleep  aqua  terra  ventus Overall, performance at default settings is mostly flawless, especially on a mid-range PC where the visuals and performance are as crisp and smooth as possible. Minor inconveniences only start to appear on above-average and very special high-end gear. None of the Kingdom Hearts games in the series have ultrawide support, resulting in black bars and letterboxing on larger monitors. G-Sync-enabled monitors in particular suffer from severe screen flickering issues (and FreeSync monitors have a similar issue, according to fan reports). However, there are some more important issues that can also be fixed with simple fixes.

Especially the V-Sync in the Kingdom Hearts PC port may cause some irregular crashes and instabilities depending on the moment in the game and/or hardware specs. It’s hard to narrow down the source of these issues, but turning off Refresh Rate (V-Sync) in the game settings can avoid the problem entirely. All Kingdom Hearts games also have an uncapped framerate option, which is great on paper but is also the source of the biggest performance issues on PC. Due to an issue with the game logic that determines frame rate scaling, certain cutscenes and moments in the game may force a lower frame rate to maintain stability. Luckily, there is a fan mod that can fix this.

kingdom  hearts  1.5 2.5 hd  remix  pc  controller  gamepad  settings Minor issues aside, gamepad and keyboard support is solid for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. All games support icon display in three different button layouts, utilizing the common XInput icons for Xbox, PlayStation, and other gamepads. Players can also fully customize and remap the gamepad’s bindings to their liking. Finally, the series’ setup also allows players to swap “confirmation” moves between circle/B and cross/A, switching back and forth between Japanese and Western standards. Keyboard support includes multiple layouts, fully remappable bindings, and mouse sensitivity settings, but frankly, it’s not recommended for any Kingdom Hearts games.

Currently, the only things crashing Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on PC are minimal graphics and performance issues that arise. Those issues aside, players will have a surprisingly adaptable port, much like the remake used to play on PlayStation and Xbox. Wide controller support, unlocked frame rates (when it doesn’t slow down the game), visuals at the highest texture resolutions, and overall, the Kingdom Hearts PC port is pretty awesome for the most part.

Fortunately, most of the issues with the series are likely to be fixed with patches/updates, so it’s not the end of the world. Overall, playing the original Kingdom Hearts games on PC is truly the ultimate experience with these games. The only major consideration for consumers is the full price of $49.99, which may turn off anyone but die-hard fans, especially with the aforementioned issues. Those issues aside, the series really shines on Windows and does well, but it’s up to consumers to decide whether they should buy at current full price, or wait for patches and/or promotions.

Kingdom HeartsHD 1.5 + 2.5ReMIX is now available on PC. Game Rant obtained the code for this review.

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