With the news this week that ‘Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix’ will be out next year for the Playstation 3 I got the overwhelming urge to celebrate its greatness. I’ve only just this week managed to complete the first one (albeit it the Final Mix version on 1.5) after owning it for ten years, however, Kingdom Hearts is definitely my favourite gaming series existing.
I first heard of the game aged 9, embarrassingly, because my mum picked it up in GAME and asked if it was something I was interested in. I was choosing what to spend my birthday money on and ended up leaving the shop with a copy for the PS2 and the strategy guide in hand. Turns out my mum’s choice in games is incredible.
For people who don’t know, Kingdom Hearts combines loved Disney characters, familiar faces from the Final Fantasy games and a whole host of new characters in a story which focuses on good versus evil, travelling through Disney locations such as Wonderland from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Halloween Town from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, Agrabah from ‘Aladdin’ and Neverland from ‘Peter Pan’ to name but a few.
The game was my transition from kids’ games into the ‘serious gaming world’ (if that’s a thing), and became a bit of an obsession. I kind of used it as a bonding experience with my family – my Mum always felt proud that she’d chosen this game which quickly became my favourite, my Dad used to play it himself with me telling what he needed to do and my sister would sit alongside me, reading the strategy guide and giving me hints as I went. I also managed to develop a crush on one of the characters, Riku (although maybe I just wanted his silver hair) which is questionable seeing as he’s a cartoon… I’m not the only one, right?
There are currently eight titles in the series spreading over multiple consoles with two in production for the next few years and I’m not ashamed to admit I have bought consoles specifically for the purpose of playing the next game in the series – I think I only own one or two other PSP games?
Thankfully now they’re sticking to the PS3 for a while, and with Kingdom Hearts 3 scheduled for release for both the PS4 and Xbox One, my choice of console hasn’t been completely decided for me yet. Coming next year is ‘Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix’, a compilation of three previous titles, remastered in high definition and packaged into the one game for the PS3. This follows the success of ‘1.5 HD Remix’ which came out last month, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the original game. Then announced was the title that’s been awaited for the past eight years, ‘Kingdom Hearts 3’. Sony released video previews for these two games this week which look immense!
With the mix of my favourite Disney characters and the loveable new characters in the game, being able to run around the coliseum from Hercules and swim in Ariel’s grotto and the fact that it’s actually challenging, Kingdom Hearts will forever remain my favourite game series – and I can’t wait for it to keep expanding!
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix released 2014.