A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix is a collection of action-heavy role-playing games. Most of them feature cartoon violence against a wide range of enemy characters. For example, your protagonist might wield a sword-like Keyblade weapon or use magic blasts to inflict damage on baddies. While combat is a key pillar of these games, parents should know there's no blood or gore, and the enemies don't die (they disappear). Some of the game has female characters with revealing clothes; there's no nudity. One game has a character that seems to drink wine from a bottle. Also, in this a collection of previously released games that are a hybrid of Final Fantasy and Disney characters, players will be exposed to a lot of familiar characters, like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and will see levels from movies like Tron, Fantasia, and more.
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What's it about?
KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 + 2.5 REMIX is a remastered collection of six previously released Kingdom Hearts games on one disc, available for the first time on PlayStation 4. Now with high-definition graphics, the bundled games include Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD remastered cinematics only), Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (HD remastered cinematics only). These games are third-person action-heavy role-playing games, where the protagonist and a party of friends venture out to achieve a goal, engage in combat with enemies, navigate some challenging environments, interact with characters, and solve some puzzles along the way. Originally released on PlayStation 2, this collection of Kingdom Hearts games brings together more than 100 Disney characters all in one place, including Tarzan, Peter Pan, Pluto, and more.
Is it any good?
This meaty collection features improved graphics and extra game content that should appeal to series fans and newcomers alike. The original games are must-play adventures for fans of fantasy role-playing game fans; Kingdom Hearts (2002) and Kingdom Hearts II (2005) are the clear standouts, along with offshoots like Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories (2008) and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix (2010). While they're only with updated cinematics, Square Enix also threw in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (2009) and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (2001), both originally on Nintendo DS. In total, the gameplay among all these titles has been estimated at 300 hours. For $49, that's a pretty sweet deal.
Kingdom Hearts II is arguably the best of the bunch. The story picks up where its predecessor left off: Sora, voiced by Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, A.I. Artificial Intelligence), is a 15-year-old on a mission to find his best friend, Riku, who has mysteriously disappeared. Sora wields a magical weapon known as the Keyblade, which can also unlock new worlds. At the same time, Donald and Goofy vow to locate their missing king, Mickey Mouse. Together, the adventurers travel through perilous lands and face nasty enemies such as the yellow-eyed Heartless creatures, the nimble Nobodies, and a black-coated faction simply referred to as Organization XIII. Familiar locations on your quest include those seen in famous Disney films, ranging from The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast to Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean. At one point in the game, you’ll even visit the black-and-white world of Steamboat Willie, based on Disney’s 1928 animated short starring Mickey Mouse. Across the board, these games are fun and refreshingly accessible RPGs that fuse Japanese storytelling and gameplay with an unprecedented repertoire of recognizable Disney icons.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about alternatives to solving problems that don't include fighting. Why do you think so many games involve violence? Should there be alternate methods available in every action game?
Talk about this game's unique mixture of Final Fantasy and Disney characters. Does the use of existing and familiar characters diminish or increase the game's appeal? If you were creating a video game, would you make up your own character or use one you already liked?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: April 20, 2017
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Pirates, Robots, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Use of Alcohol
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.