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 2.5 Remix is an action-adventure game that merges characters from popular Disney and Square Enix games. The title has lots of fantasy violence; players use a giant key-shaped sword or magic attacks to slay enemies who cry out in pain when struck. There's one cut scene that shows a blood stain on some coins, but otherwise enemies vanish upon being defeated. There's one scene where a character drinks from a bottle of wine. The inclusion of very recognizable characters from popular Square Enix and Disney games and movies could interest players in purchasing those properties as well.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 REMIX is a remastered and high-definition compilation of previously released fantasy role-playing games Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, both of which were only available in Japan. This PlayStation 3 exclusive also includes remastered HD cinematics from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. In the game, you play as a "Keyblade Master" (Terra, Ventus, or Aqua) and traverse strange and fantastical lands to defeat an evil that's plaguing the kingdom. With the help of familiar Disney characters -- including Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck -- you'll fight, solve puzzles, collect items, and explore the lands.
Is it any good?
Whether you've dabbled with the original games or are brand-new to the beloved Kingdom Hearts franchise, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix offers a ton of engaging, challenging gameplay. You'll traipse throughout bizarre, colorful, and often surreal worlds with your party of characters (including a retro black-and-white level). Players will fight in thoughtful real-time battles and will enjoy cameos from the Final Fantasy titles and classic Disney flicks. You'll also level up your party members to become more powerful and versatile for future missions. Although it's a game that has a lot of Disney characters and locations, much of the gameplay focuses on combat, which isn't usually seen in Disney games. Players wield a giant sword-like key to hit enemies that disappear after being destroyed or in some cases use magic attacks, cartoon-like bombs, or arrows shot from a first-person perspective.
Although it's a great collection -- especially for the sub-$40 price tag -- the stories (and dialogue sequences) can sometimes be hard to follow. The pacing can be off, too, with noticeable lulls between some of the more memorable moments in the game. Overall, however, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is a blast for kids age 10 and older and will certainly whet the appetite while everyone waits for the next installment in the series.
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 that you already liked?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: January 3, 2015
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- 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.