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Review: Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

by on February 6, 2017
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The long-awaited HD conclusion of the Kingdom Heart Saga was finally dropped and it did not disappoint. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has a Ludacris name but somehow the developers make it happen. The Final Chapter Prologue is a compilation of 3 magical Kingdom Hearts experiences.

With its original release in 2012, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD is a full remaster of the original Nintendo 3D title but this time on console and is the first part of this experience. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is the best way to discover Dream Drop Distance and a wonderful aperitif before Kingdom Hearts 3. This is quickly followed by Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover, a new HD movie that tells the mysterious story of the Foretellers connecting the earliest part of the series history. This is simply a small cinematics that is supposed to get you lost in this wonderful journey.

Lastly, Kingdom Heats 0.2 birth by sleep – a fragmentary passage, another Ludacris names, is a completely new playable episode that links the story of Kingdom Hears III which takes place after the storyline of Kingdom Hearts Birth by sleep played from the perspective of Aqua. Confusing right? But if you are here reading this then I am assuming you already have a vast knowledge of the game and the long history. In this installment and as usual the developers left us hungry for more. Just when you reach the peak of the game, …. It ends! Nothing unusual from the series. I guess the fans are just going to keep on waiting till Kingdom Hearts III. After all they are used to it by now!

Throughout the game, you can expect the same rich story and character depth you have grown to appreciate through the 15 years’ series, with some added flare. Sora and Riku the series protagonists have some new tricks to show off, as do the graphic developers. The game looks and feels fresh, which is a difficult goal to achieve when wrapping up such a long running and heavily fan based blockbuster game.

Let’s start with the battle systems and gameplay. Without blowing too much for prospective players, defeating your foes in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has become even more interesting than the previous installments. The environment has become a big part of your arsenal when faced with the dream eating aggressors. Add a full customization of your party and your abilities with infinite options to upgrade and level up makes it interesting throughout the entirety of the game. I never felt that I could walk through the story and mash X to win which was a problem in the old installments.

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One of my personal favorite elements of Kingdom Hearts is the music composition. Yoko Shimomura has composed some beautiful pieces and with orchestral arrangements from Kaoru Wada they are truly epic. I would find myself letting the game sit there and getting lost in the music. This is a biased view though, because I love when developers take time to focus on this aspect of gaming as I believe that the sound track plays a huge roll in the overall experience.

I’m not a big fan of the Unreal Engine. Before I get hate, just know that a lot of my friends have already slapped me repeatedly for this opinion so your keyboard judgement is well received and understood already. There’s just something about the HD flow of the panning that feels a little too direct and flaky. The design of the game is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, I just am constantly distracted away from those designs with obvious camera adjustments and predictable cinematography that it leaves me sitting there going “ugh.”

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was reviewed using a PlayStation 4 digital code of the game provided by Square Enix. The game in this compiled release were originally released on PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo 3DS. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.

What we liked

• The new Aqua story
• The backstory movie is extremely well done
• The updated game play brings a fresh feels and excitement to the series
• Decent HD remake
• The music composition is phenomenal

What is not fun

• The mechanic still feels dumb and flaky
• The new story is super short
• Camera control

Editor Rating
 
Concept
7.0

 
Graphics
8.2

 
Sound
9.5

 
Playability
8.4

 
Entertainment
8.3

 
Replay Value
7.0

Final Score
8.1


Our final verdict
 

If you are a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series, I highly recommend picking up Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. It delivers everything you would expect and more. If you haven’t played any of the previous Kingdom Hearts installments, I would recommend either reading up on the story thus far or experiencing the "Birth by Sleep" expansion of the series to give yourself a little background before jumping into the final chapter of Dream Drop Distance. It may seem a little confusing to someone new to the series, however Square Enix and Disney are both such marvelous storytellers that you could probably just jump in and love the game anyway.

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