Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Review

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Developed By Square Enix

Published By Square Enix

Story:

Dream Drop Distance

Kingdom Hearts DDD starts off basically right after Kingdom Hearts 2 in which Yen Sid, assembles both Sora and Riku together so that they may take part in an Exam called the Mark of Mastery, which will make them both Keyblade masters, he does so because he feels that Master Xehanort will soon be returning and that Sora and Riku need to be fully prepared. They are tasked with restoring the balance to worlds that were put into a sleeping state and thus cut off from others, along the way Sora and Riku keep encountering a young man who seems to be related to Xehanort, Xemnas and Ansem in some way.

I would try and say more about who the youth is but that would be entering spoiler territory and I’d rather not, basically Kingdom Hearts DDD does have a pretty decent story that is not quite as hard to follow as Kingdom Hearts 2 for example, DDD basically sets up Kingdom Hearts 3 so it’s recommended you try and follow the story as well as possible

Something I will say about DDD is that it really made me finally appreciate how good of a character Riku is and what motivates him, so much so that I actually now don’t really like Sora that much and would much prefer Riku to be the main character from now on, I feel that this game is almost his game in general, he has the better segments and story sequences in my opinion and is overall the better character…….Sora on the other hand I personally didn’t like at all in this game, he’s just way too happy go lucky and care free which I understand is his personality but it never seemed quite as much in KH2.

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Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep 

0.2 Birth By Sleep takes place after the events of Birth By Sleep as you play as Aqua trying to navigate the shadow realm and get back to the realm of light. 0.2 doesn’t really have all that interesting of a story apart from a few segments which were interesting but these mainly take place at the end……be warned here as I might spoil something…..so 0.2 doesn’t actually tie into Kingdom Hearts 3 which I actually thought it would instead it directly leads into the Ending of Kingdom Hearts 1 and delves into what exactly happens with Micky and Riku, it’s pretty cool and I thought it was a nice surprise I would’ve still liked a KH3 tease of some sort but the gameplay makes up for that.

Overall I think 0.2 Birth By Sleep was not really intended to be a story driven experience but instead a sort of teaser to what the gameplay of KH3 will feel like, I will say though that 0.2 does make me really feel for Aqua and definitely deepens her as a character so that was very much appreciated.

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Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover

Now we get to the worst part of the collection in my opinion and I will admit that it’s probably because I have never played the game it was originally for, all I really know about this game is that it is set quite a while before the events of even Birth By Sleep but honestly that’s all I can tell you, I personally couldn’t follow the story being told and couldn’t finish before turning it off and moving on….I know it seems like a cop out to do that but as I said before I couldn’t follow the story and honestly, I had no interest in doing so.

I will also say this is all I’m saying about X Back Cover as it was all cutscenes and story so there is nothing more to say about it.

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Gameplay:

Dream Drop Distance

In my opinion this is where Dream Drop Distance excels in the most, Dream Drop Distance decides to adopt the Flowmotion system which is basically a very fast paced combat system in which you dash into things like walls and poles etc…and you get a burst of speed which you can use to traverse through areas and even perform different moves, it does make combat quite easy but very enjoyable…..Dream Drop Distance also brings back command attacks from Birth By Sleep, I personally always liked this system and am glad it has returned, I will say though it isn’t quite as good as Birth By Sleep as I feel it isn’t quite as in depth. DDD also has other attacks in which you interact with the environment to create different outcomes, like using barrels as a projectile or making turrets help you in battle.

Now onto my personal least favourite part of the game…..The Spirits, these in my opinion are incredibly stupid and a silly part of the game that I feel was unnecessary, these creatures never seem to help in battle and are only there because you need abilities to increase Sora and Rikus effectiveness in battle…..improving the spirits is a very annoying process, you have to kind of stroke and pet your spirits and play mini games similar to something like Nintendogs or something, this was very silly for me and I wish I never had to do it but as I said I needed to in order to make my character usable in battle.

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0.2 Birth By Sleep

0.2 acts as a sort of teaser to KH3, the overall gameplay is similar to KH2 with a little bit of Birth By Sleep, mainly due to the finish commands from BBS being implemented, there wasn’t really anything of note to talk about here, spells and MP have been brought back which I am really grateful for and there were also ways to change how Aqua looked by completing side objectives in the game, I really hope the attire changed comes over to KH3 but overall there isn’t all that much to say about 0.2 but that doesn’t make it bad, quite the opposite, it’s a familiarity that I hope is what the finished product of KH3 will be.

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Sound:

I’ll just judge the whole on this regard as I am not sure if there were any new tracks needing there own section.

Kingdom Hearts has always had a fantastic soundtrack in every game, composed once again by Yoko Shimomura, who over the years has become my favourite composer in gaming due to Nobuo Uematsu not being around as much, DDD seems to have the same themes as the other games except some have a slightly different Rendition for example, Dearly Beloved and the final Boss theme which is a remix of an older theme in the series.

0.2 doesn’t have too many new tracks that are noteworthy, I will say that it does have a remix of Simple and Clean which while not as good as the older version, it’s still pretty nice.

Voice acting wise, it was just sort of okay, nothing special, nothing noteworthy so I think I will just move on.

Graphics:

Dream Drop Distance

DDD has definitely benefited from the HD upscale, the game for a 3DS game looks very good, I personally never once thought anything looked bad, so I think this was an overwhelming success, not to mention that the game feels a lot better and faster so that’s nice, enemy design was also pretty cool, despite me not liking the spirits, they do look interesting.

0.2 Birth By Sleep

Birth By Sleep I have to admit was very mixed, firstly colours and spells looked beautiful and environments looked fantastic at times as well…..however I did definitely feel the game at times looked jagged, especially with Aquas model, overall though it’s a gorgeous game technically and only some jagged edges brings it down.

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Lasting Appeal:

Dream Drop Distance

DDD has quite a few things for you to do, first and foremost is the spirits, collecting all these things could definitely take quite a while, personally my time at the end of the game was a little over 30 hours and that’s with doing all the Flick rush tournaments and exploring through all the levels thoroughly, I’d say if you did everything on this game, it would take you around 50-60 hours, plus there’s a bunch of trophies to obtain if you want to get the Platinum.

0.2 Birth By Sleep

Apart from the objectives and trophies, 0.2 has very little in terms of replay value the game I believe took me about 3 hours so it’s not too bad of a length for being a teaser.

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Final Thoughts:

Overall KH2.8 is a decent enough prelude for KH3, and has definitely gotten me excited for the upcoming title, Kingdom Hearts DDD is a pretty decent Kingdom Hearts game but it is definitely flawed, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep is definitely a nice teaser for what is to come in the future, however Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover was just a 3rd place, I couldn’t possibly care any less about this inclusion in the package and it is definitely the worst part of the collection, if you’re like me and you never managed to finish DDD on 3DS then definitely pick this up, so you are ready for KH3 in the future.

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My Score: 7.5/10

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The Good:

  • KH DDD is a well done remaster.
  • 0.2 is a great teaser for KH3
  • Stellar soundtrack
  • Visuals overall are great.

The Bad:

  • Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover
  • KH 0.2 is pretty short.

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is available now for PS4. Thanks go out to Square Enix for supplying the game and assets used in this review.  Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on  FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

Review by Jonnie Dixon

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