Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is the latest installment in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Set for release on PS4 this December, 2.8 aims to finish what the previous HD collections started, and that is preparing players for Kingdom Hearts III. The collection includes Dream Drop Distance HD, 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage, the prologue to Kingdom Hearts III and X Back Cover, a cinematic that covers the story of the Foretellers. I’m going to go over my thoughts on each portion.
Let’s start with Dream Drop Distance HD. DDD originally released on the 3DS in the summer of 2012, and is the last KH game that had not been re-released in HD. Unlike KH I, II and BBS, DDD never had a final mix version, but that’s kinda changing for 2.8. DDD HD is a final mix in all but name. The game now rubs at 60 fps, and is the first KH game to do so. In addition, various features of the HUD, camera and interface have been changed to compensate the switch from 3DS to PS4. There’s also new content in the form of all new Dream Eaters. DDD was a really good game, and its HD version is looking great from what we’ve been shown.
On to 0.2 BBS. 0.2 aims to fill in the holes in Aqua’s story. In BBS final mix, Aqua has an additional playable secret episode. The episode kinda ended on at am awkward place, and 0.2 is going to follow up on that. 0.2 was originally going to be a part of KH III, but was separated off into its own small game. The game, which is about the length of one Disney World from other KH games, is considered the prologue to KH III.
The story follows Aqua during her time in the realm of darkness. It is told from the perspective of King Mickey, who is reciting the time he met Aqua in the realm of darkness to Riku and Kairi. This will be our first major insight into how the realm of darkness works. Time flows differently there, and the darkness can manipulate people’s memories to work against them.
Gameplay wise, 0.2 is essentially a demo for KH III. It uses almost the exact same battle and traversal system, with a few additions from the original BBS, (I.e. command styles). Aqua can perform basic melee combos and finishers, cast magic using the MP bar from KH II, use flowmotion, perform shotlocks and access a new version of her Spellweaver command style. The game shows off how dynamic magic is going to be on KH III. For example, Thunder magic can stun enemies, and Blizzard magic can leave a trail that Aqua can grind on using flowmotion. As far as Aqua’s combos are concerned, they are much improved over BBS and DDD. They’re not as slow or floaty, and attacks look like they have weight behind them. They’re not quite up to KH II levels, but this is definitely a good sign of things to come in KH III.
Let’s finish things up with X Back Cover. Back Cover is a cinematic version of the story told in X and Unchained X, told from the perspective of the Foretellers. The Foretellers are a group of 6 Keyblade wielders from the time before the first Keyblade War. 5 of them were given a tome called the Book of Prophecies from their Master. Each Foreteller leads their own Union in the Keyblade War, and they all have their own methods and beliefs. Because Back Cover is completely story based, I don’t wanna really get into details in this post. But I will say that the voice work, visuals and cinematography shown in Back Cover are setting new standards for the franchise.
2.8 is shaping up to be an awesome prologue to Kingdom Hearts III. This game is aiming to set up all the story elements and gameplay systems that will make Kingdom Hearts III an amazing game.
What do you think of Kingdom Hearts 2.8? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay updated on all the latest posts. Thanks for reading, and have an awesome day!