Alas, the final instalment of the Kingdom Hearts series before we hit the jackpot with Kingdom Hearts III, this prologue consists of three separate items to see/play.
The first two are games and the third is a animated movie, Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover which dives into the lore of the entire series and gives you some backstory. New players and returning players would enjoy watching this as a recap or just to get an idea of what is happening in the worlds of light and dark.
Quite a long but deserving title, one of the two games featured in this collection is actually an original story called Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep, A Fragmentary Passage. This may also be a long title but don’t let that put you off from the huge fact that it it takes place after Dream Drop Distance and also bridges the story into Kingdom Hearts III. As I start the game it almost feels like a tech demo for Kingdom Hearts III and feels it running in the unreal engine, the whole game is centred around a character named Aqua, which returning players will understand from the 2010 PSP spin off Kingdom Hearts game. This shows what has happened to her whilst she travels through the Realm of Darkness. As you progress through her story you get a sense of her inner demons trying to fight back whilst her heart of light is trying to keep her sane, this unfolds by her seeing visions of her friends and trying to understand them.
“As I start the game it almost feels like a tech demo for Kingdom Hearts III”
Fighting the Heartless with Aqua is brilliant as you can chain simple moves and magic together to finish on powerful moves or magic to keep the darkness at bay. Large, small or boss fights are brilliant when you finish with her final move. It almost feels like she was a ballet dancer in a previous life. She can dodge with ease by means of cartwheels and can cast her defence move which double downs as a reflect spell. Double jump comes naturally and also helps when picking of particular points on huge bosses.
Once you have finished Aqua’s story there are some scenes which directly lead into Kingdom Hearts III, without spoiling it for the fans it does get you engaged and asking questions as to what happens next ready for Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance is a direct HD remaster of the 3ds version albeit with changes to using the dual screens, this was reworked into card based system and the touch screen based commands were switched to the controller with ease both were very quick to handle and get used to. This game takes place just after re:coded and it focuses on Sora and Riku’s Mark of Mastery Exam, this exam gets them ready to protect the parallel worlds for the return of Master Xehanort, the series main protagonist.
You visit wonderful worlds on your travels from Pinocchio, Tron Legacy to Fantasia and The Three Musketeers. These are wonderful and huge worlds considering this is a HD remake from a handheld console, but with it being just that you still have the Dream Eater as the protagonists but you also do get to recruit three ‘good’ Dream Eaters to fight alongside you. You get to feed, play and pet them just like you favourite animals. Doing all this is not for nought though as it will increase their levels and unlock new abilities for them.
“You visit wonderful worlds on your travels”
There is a Flow system which allows you to get around the worlds much quicker but can also allow you to combo in moves against the Dream Eaters. Having a pet fight with you allows you to link moves and deal some critical damage to.