Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix

Game review by Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Fun, engaging adventure despite fantasy violence.

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Fantastic collection, poor review.

Kingdom Hearts is one of the most beautiful, emotional, complex and fun video game franchises I've ever played. Playing Kingdom Hearts 2 in high definition (the Final Mix version especially) is like a dream come true to me. Not only do the graphics look fantastic but the addition of the extra cutscenes and boss fights that were a Japan-only exclusive already makes this collection a must-have for fans. The same goes with Birth By Sleep. I never got around to playing the original on PSP, but it's essentially a prequel to the franchise and playing it now in HD and with extra camera controls, I'm absolutely enjoying it even if it's not as easy to play as KH2. The inclusion of the HD remastered cutscenes of Re:coded is also a nice addition for those who aren't interested in playing the actual game, even if some of it is a bit tedious to watch. My only concern is that some of the reenacted Disney stories (especially the Lion King) fall flat to the point where you're better off watching the actual movies (although it is cool to play as a keyblade wielding lion Sora). Keep in mind though, that this collection was released after Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix and I highly recommend playing those first if you really want to be filled in on the story. Now on to the important stuff. First of all, the quality of Common Sense Media's review for this game is far from it's professional standards and seems to be written by somebody who hasn't played a previous game in the series. Also, a few punctuation and spacing errors aside, the reviewer hasn't even posted a review for the 1.5 collection which is odd. As far as content goes, I also feel like the reviewer missed the overall message of this series. While he got the obvious friendship aspect right, the overall meaning of this series, while metaphorical, is that you should never let darkness consume you and the light of one's inner child (especially if you think about all the Disney characters Sora teams up with, who usually are targeted towards children) can outshine darkness, no matter the situation. It should also be noted that Sora matures throughout the series by sacrificing himself to save others, trapping himself in the "Realm of Darkness" in the process, fights the darkness, and eventually reunites with his friends to put an end to it for good. It's a very thought-provoking series and definitely started my love for Japanese anime. Moving on to role models. While Sora does fight a lot of Heartless, Shadows, and other villains, it's for the greater good and almost always in self-defense. There are also strong female characters throughout the series, especially Aqua in Birth By Sleep. Oh and easy to play? Oh please! While these games are for the most part, easy to control, the fights and boss fights can prove to be an extremely challenging experience (especially if you play on anything other than Beginner mode). The violence in this game is fast-paced, colorful, over-the-top, bloodless and unrealistic, but it's frequent and kids who aren't ready for sword-like weapons in games might as well wait (the emotional value of the game is better off for older kids anyway). There is also a Pirates of The Caribbean world in KH2 with more realistic looking characters, and a scene where a small amount of blood is drawn onto a medallion. But it's less intense than it is in the actual movie (only the medallion is shown, not the actual drawing of the blood from the victim's hand. That is implied.). On another note, in Birth by Sleep, Aqua wears a tight-fitting outfit that outlines a small amount of cleavage. It's not nearly as objectifying as other female characters' outfits in 13+ rated anime TV shows and games, but Aqua's breasts do jiggle slightly during a few cutscenes (although close attention would have to be paid in order to notice). Otherwise, the rest of the female characters wear appropriate and non-revealing outfits. As far as consumerism goes, while Disney and Final Fantasy characters play a prominent role in the story, it never feels like in-your-face advertising. And plus, who doesn't love Disney? Lastly, as a reenactment of a similar scene in the movie it's based on, Captain Barbossa in Pirates of The Caribbean, is shown drinking a bottle of what appears to be either rum or wine (more likely rum considering the pirate setting) and it's shown pouring down his exposed skeleton body with no organs to go through. Otherwise, have fun with this collection (as well as pay attention for metaphors and symbolism)! But play the 1.5 collection FIRST!

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