G-4rce Game Reviews: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX

Mcgillacuddy It's been a hot minute, but now that I'm back, I had to finish this review.
Kingdom Hearts II
Released March 28, 2006
Meteoritic Reception
Critics: 87/100
Users: 8.9/10

Thoughts and Review:
"I really can't wait to play Kingdom Hearts, God I hope you could skip the first 5 hours. I never wanna play as Roxas again. You're in like a fake dreamland, you're this garbage character that nobody cares about. Waste of time."
-Mitch Dyer from IGN

How in the actual f*ck do you take 5 hours to finish a 1 HOUR prologue? And Roxas is a GARBAGE CHARACTER? I swear, the people at IGN are the biggest noobs and dumbasses in the gaming industry.

So now, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX is now completed (not 100%) and I have to say that I was definitely entertained throughout. As I said in my KH 1.5 review, KHII remains to be one of my most favorite video games of all time. The entire game is simply an amazing experience with a rather strong storyline and addicting gameplay. It's what makes most people who have played it KH fans. Of course, there are many people who have strong opinions against the game, either because of the seemingly simple combat, the cringey voice acting, or just the fact that it's a Final Fantasy and Disney crossover, definitely one of the most unlikely crossovers in gaming history. One thing I can say is that I know for a fact that most haters haven't even PLAYED the god damn game. They just watched some videos of cutscenes on YouTube and saw the bad Final Fantasy character references and voice acting and say it sucks. I honestly don't know how you can say that this game is bad any other way, because if you actually play through the whole game, you'll think differently. I may be wrong, but like I said, I simply can't see it any other way. This game is just too good.

So that aside, let's talk about my re-experience with KHII. You start the game off by playing as Roxas, who is inside a virtual version of Twilight Town. Down the line, Roxas finds out what he really is and escapes the virtual world by waking up Sora who has fallen in an eternal sleep. The prologue with Roxas takes about and hour to finish if you add the cutscenes. From there, you continue the rest of the game as Sora. I think it would've been cool if Roxas was added as a constant playable character in the game for the ReMIX, but there are only little new features in this. This game has pretty much the same idea as the first KH with a few added features. One, this game is a ton easier than the first. Unlike the first KH where you had to walk into combat with a game plan, you can simply spam X throughout this game and win. Boss battles will play differently, though. Another feature that was added was Drive Forms, which are basically super forms. Also, with Drive Forms, there are specific ways to level up certain abilities that you can soon apply to Sora in his normal state. Another thing to take note of in this game is the combat mechanics are a bit altered. Sora is much more light in this game than he was in the previous. In the first KH, Sora would normally pull off no more than 6-hit combos. In KHII, Sora has upgraded this to 20-hit combos, and combos can even be endless when he is in Berserker mode (basically a mode Sora goes into when his MP gauge is fully used and recharging. In this mode, Sora does not use finishing moves and his combos can last forever). With new crazy abilities and combo capabilities, you can spam X constantly and look like a complete badass.

Although, this game is not without its share of challenge. Some enemies can definitely defeat you if your level is not high enough. You also may have to resort to magic attacks (most notably Lightning) to take them out. Boss battles are much different. You need to go into these fights with a game plan, especially when you're facing off Organization XIII. The Organization members have certain patterns that they fight in and you have to memorize their attacks in order to win. It will seem very tough the first time in but you'll soon get the hang of it. Also, when you level up more, these fights will be a breeze (except at the secret end of the game where you face off the Organization members again but they're much stronger. Also, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and Lingering Will are no pushovers). Simply put, bosses have a range of difficulty. Some bosses are ridiculously easy and require little to no skill to defeat (Hades and Hercules), and some bosses are seemingly impossible to even defend yourself against (Lingering Will and Sephiroth). If you want to finish the entire game, secret final boss and all, you need to have some good knowledge of the game. Boss battles in this game, though, are widely fun and epic, especially the final boss. The Gummi Ship levels in the game are also heavily improved over the previous game. In the first game, these levels felt really slow and tedious, but in KHII, the levels are much faster-paced, easier to control, and much more cinematic.

Overall, this game is a crazy fun play because there's a lot to do and a lot of replay value. If you like RPG games but also some hack'n'slash, this is the perfect game for you.

Now let's talk about the narrative and storyline of the game. The beginning prologue of the game is honestly the best part of the entire game as far is its narrative. Gameplay-wise, it drags, but story-wise, it's pretty compelling. Again, though, this game isn't without its cringey English voice acting, but I honestly think it was done a lot better here than in the previous game. Besides that, the narrative of the entire game will make little sense to those who are new to the series. It's widely complicated and you can't really make much sense out of it unless you play the other KH games, especially Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep. But that's honestly what makes it good. It leaves you with a lot of questions and the whole story begins to come together in each game. I feel that this game also has a really huge buildup to the last stages. Once you near the end of the game, you really feel like it's the end and the "epic" value begins to rise. The final boss of the game, Xehanort, is one of the coolest final bosses cinematically of any game in my opinion. The boss has that "Final Fantasy" value to it, where you're reaching the end of the world and heading into the epic finale. If you don't have the game, you can check out a playthrough of the final boss on YT just to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Some of the worlds from the previous game return here, but are heavily altered. Olympus Coliseum from Hercules makes a return but also includes the Underworld for you to journey through. Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas also comes back but also includes the Christmas realm. Agrabah comes back but it's much larger and also includes a section where you ride the magic carpet. Hollow Bastion is Radiant Garden in KH2 and you never actually go into the castle but it's a very large world that also includes the Cave of Remembrance which leads to the true ending of the game. The world also includes an area where you can enter Space Paranoids, which is the Tron world. 100 Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh also make's a return, but unfortunately is only made up of simple mini-games. Last and most definitely least, Atlantica from The Little Mermaid makes a return, and it's much worse than the the previous game. Instead of swimming around and fighting enemies, the storyline of this world is told as a MUSICAL. Yes, you heard me. A MUSICAL. So basically, the entire world is a series of god damn rhythm mini-games. The songs Part of Your World and Under the Sea make an appearance, but the new songs that were made for the game suck BALLS! The lyrics are cringey as hell, especially the song for battle against Ursula. Literally the only enjoyment I got out of this world was when Sora sang. Other than that, this world is TRASH and even managed to be worse than the previous game. It seriously would've been better off as another slow and tedious combat run or not even included in the game AT ALL.

The new worlds in the game are Beast's Castle, The Land of Dragons (Mulan), Twilight Town, Space Paranoids (Tron), The Pride Lands (The Lion King), Port Royal (Pirates of the Caribbean), Disney Castle, Timeless River, and The World That Never Was. All of these worlds are quite impressive and fun to play in. The World That Never Was, which is the final world of the main story, is easily the best world because it's the largest and takes the longest to run through. It's also a good place to level up quickly. The most surprising world in the game is definitely Port Royal because the developers were actually able to incorporate a live-action film into a heavily cartoony game very nicely. The Pride Lands was also really cool because Sora turns into a lion cub there and his moves are altered. A bonus world that was a really cool addition to the game was Timeless River, where you play in the old school 1930s days of Disney. Everything is in black and white, the characters are altered to look like they were drawn by Max Fleischer, and you even get to meet Pegleg Pete and old school Mickey. Too bad they didn't throw Oswald the rabbit in there.

Another huge improvement I saw in this game over the previous one is the soundtrack. There are a lot of background songs in this game that are really good, like Darkness of the Unknown, Sacred Moon, and A Fight To the Death, which all play during the final journey through The World That Never Was. Another really good and interesting song that I though kinda veered away from the style of the music in the game was in the Cave of Remembrance.

Overall Score 9/10 Excellent:
I'm giving it a 9/10 because of some of the flaws like Atlantica and the voice acting, but as far as my enjoyment of this game, it would be a straight 10/10. This game is fantastic in every fashion, from its combat to its story. If you hate Kingdom Hearts without having actually playing the game, you're missing out big time. It's simply a widely fun play from beginning to end and I must say was way ahead of its time when it was first released.

"He waited for KH3" is what I want to be engraved on my gravestone.