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.
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.
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.
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!