Disclaimer: While I will try to avoid spoilers there are likely still minor spoilers in this review. The playthroughs used for this review were done on Proud difficulty.
Ah yes, what to say about Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories HD. Honestly, that’s a tough one. This game feels the least changed in the compilation, though that isn’t to say there aren’t changes.
For those unaware, especially those who might be in Europe and never received Re: Chain of Memories before this point, the game was a remake of the original GameBoy Advance version (which was released in Japan, Europe, and North America). The HD version is simply an enhancement to that remake.This, of course, brings me to my previous point – from what I’ve found and remember, I’ve found the fewest changes in this version.
Compared to Kingdom Hearts 1, this game looks very, very solid graphicly. There is some pixelation here and there, but Re: Chain of Memories was made differently than the first game. The game uses more pre-rendered models than actual cutscenes. Some characters you can see this on more than others (any decent close shot of Cloud for instance), but to me the game actually looked a lot better than the first game in places.
Battles still play out like they did originally – build your decks (at least for Sora), bring them into battle, win. You have a large variety of sleights you can unlock and use, many of which are fairly decent at getting the job done.
Progressing through the game is still the same – you get a set of world cards through story events and you can choose the order you do them in. The only downside here is that you aren’t told the actual difficulty of said level – though I’m fairly certain this is actually determined by the floor and not by the card. After doing Wonderland second (as Sora), Trickmaster wanted to say otherwise. Then again, it IS Trickmaster.
The one main complaint I have is one I shared with Kingdom Hearts Final Mix – Trophies. This time though, it is double the annoyance. As there are two stories to go through (Sora’s and Reverse/Rebirth), both with three difficulties, both with non-retroactive difficulty trophies. Needless to say for trophy hunters out there, you will end up playing through this game at least six times if you wish to get the Platinum trophy.
In the end though, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories is an extremely solid HD remaster of the PS2 version. Trophies and the pixelizing that happens in places aside, everyone (especially the Europeans who haven’t before had a chance to experience the main Re: Chain of Memories changes over the base Chain of Memories) should give this game a shot. The battle system is extremely addictive (once you get used to it and being able to do some quick math on some fights), the cutscenes are gorgeous, and it does an amazing job at explaining the pre-events of Kingdom Hearts II.
-As stated above, some bad pixelizing in places and (for those who wish to do them) the trophies are a minor draw from an extremely solid port.-
(Now go read the review if you skipped ahead!)
You can purchase Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX off Amazon for $39.99.
You can read my review for Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD here.
I would like to thank Square Enix for providing me with a copy of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX for use with this review.