Hello everyone! I’m Todd Black and welcome to a special thing we’re doing here at The Outerhaven called “The Summer of Kingdom Hearts” review series. If you remember, back in June the entire mainline Kingdom Hearts series (Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX) was released on Steam for the first time, and I knew I had to have it. Once I got my hands on the “Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece” collection, I’ve been playing it whenever I can ever since. However, since there are so many games in the collection, we decided that I would do the reviews separately, starting with the Kingdom Hearts Final Remix Review!

Game Name: Kingdom Hearts Final Remix (Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX)
Platform(s): PC (rated)
Developer(s): Square Enix
Publisher(s): Square Enix

Release Date: June 13, 2024
Price: $49.99

Spoilers updated 2022Spoilers updated 2022

Yes, I put the “spoiler” tag on it; not everyone has played this series before! Before I start my Kingdom Hearts Final Remix Review, I want to say that I played this title a long time ago and I still remember a lot about it. The original Kingdom Hearts game was one of my first PS2 titles! I loved playing it (when I wasn’t stuck in a certain Riku fight…) and I couldn’t wait to get to the next games in the series. So when I played it now, many years later, I was curious to see how it would fare on Steam. And yes, they kept it up… for the most part.

Kingdom Hearts Final Remix Review, Summer of Kingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts Final Remix Review, Summer of Kingdom Hearts

I want to say right away how great it was to hear “Simple and Clean” again. This song fits the game perfectly and the two versions emphasize the different ways it can be sung and grooved.

The next thing to note is that even after all these years, the main story of Kingdom Hearts still holds up! I loved the dual stories of Sora and Riku and how they took very different paths to save their friends. I loved how they used the Disney villains and worlds to tie into the overarching story, while also taking their own “creative liberties” with how certain events and battles played out, and you can feel the creativity pouring out of almost every element.

It was a thrill to try to remember where I was going next, whose boss fight was coming up, and to gather all the keyblades and magic I could to take on the tougher fights or win the various cups in the Coliseum. When you add that to the voice acting, which was largely on point, you have a great experience. It’s not hard to see why it appealed to so many people back in the PS2 days, and started a franchise that continues to this day.

As for the combat, it also holds up for the most part. I played it on a keyboard versus a controller (yes, I’m a heathen, I know…), and aside from a few glitches, I was able to get through the game without too much trouble. And because this was the “Final Remix”, there were some quality of life improvements that helped make it better.

What stood out to me about this playthrough compared to my PS2 days was that I really took stock of what Sora, Donald, and Goofy could do skill-wise and tried to use the best possible combinations to survive the tougher fights. Picking the wrong build will hurt you, especially if you’re playing solo. I also want to specifically praise the Heartless enemies, as they’ve gone out of their way to make them feel special in each world. Even when there are copycats, they stand out in their own way.

Oh, and the music? Man, it’s so good. The themes stick in your head, even if they’re simple instrumental versions of stuff like “This Is Halloween.” The original themes work too, and whether they’re overworld themes or battle tracks, it’s easy to get lost in them.

Kingdom Hearts Final Remix ReviewKingdom Hearts Final Remix Review

Unfortunately, even though it is the “Summer of Kingdom Hearts” that doesn’t mean my Kingdom Hearts Final Remix Review doesn’t include a section where the game points out its flaws. Unfortunately, the game has aged badly in some areas. The obvious one is the graphics. While it may be an improved version of the PS2 version in some ways, there are some areas where it doesn’t seem to have improved at all. Certain cutscenes go from perfect lip movements with the dialogue to the “flappy lips” scenes and they honestly look bad. Additionally, certain textures and graphics don’t look as sharp as they should for a “final remix”.

In battles, especially on a keyboard, it can be really easy to hit the wrong button, and there’s no way to adjust the difficulty once you start playing. So you better “git gud” or you’re going to die a lot… and I did die a lot, especially in the early levels! Seriously, there’s a learning curve from the moment you get to places like Wonderland, and that Trickmaster boss is bad! And then when you do some of the Coliseum battles, the difficulty can go all over the place, with the Hades Cup having tons of epic showdowns in the early rounds… and then the easiest “final boss” ever that I literally beat in a few minutes.

The worst part of the combat was probably the camera, which constantly failed me, and I’m praying it gets better… even though I feel like it didn’t. Also, while I loved going to all the Disney worlds, there were a few that I could have expanded on to really land, and some of the levels didn’t do a great job of explaining where you were supposed to go, which led to some very frustrating moments on my end.

Still, as I wrap up my Kingdom Hearts Final Remix review, I just want to say that this is still a fun game to play, and you’ll have a blast diving into the various Disney and Square Enix-fused worlds to see what happens next, how far you can push Sora and his friends, and if you can unlock some of the cool stuff in the game. It’s never been perfect, even on the PS2, but if you’re playing it for the first time on Steam, or you’re looking to give it another go after a long time away, then this version is perfect for you.

What’s next in the “Summer of Kingdom Hearts?” RE: Chain of Memories!

Disclosure Statement Review: (Insert game here) was provided to us by (Insert publisher/vendor here) for review purposes. For more information about how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guidelines/Scoring Policy.

Disclosure of affiliate links: One or more of the links above contain affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you click on them and purchase the item, at no extra cost to you.

Kingdom Hearts Final Remix Review

Resume

Kingdom Hearts Final Remix on Steam is a great game for those looking to try Kingdom Hearts for the first time or revisit it after a decades-long absence. Sure, not everything is perfect and you may find yourself frustrated by some of the less-than-modern features, but it’s still worth going into with an open mind and heart.


  • Kingdom Hearts Final Remix Review