Sometimes, all an old game needs is a new coat of paint to feel as though it was just made. Other times… not so much. After getting some hands-on time with the ludicrously named Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix, we found that while we were pulled in by the world and the impressive visuals, the controls still pushed us away.
Our journey brought us to Halloween Town, and we immediately started running around the world, taking in the HD sights and humming along as “This is Halloween” played softly in the background. The environments looked great in HD, and the characters looked even better--we were stunned at how crisp the bandages on Donald’s mummy costume were, and when we ran into Jack Skellington we marveled at how… HD the Pumpkin King looked. When we fumbled with the controls and summoned Simba, we thought he looked good, too.
But when we say fumbled, we mean fumbled. The controls have been modified to fall more in line with Kingdom Hearts II’s, with the right analog stick controlling the camera and the menu being revamped to be more useful, but the gameplay was still hard to get a hang of. We figure it’ll be easy enough to re-learn nuance of Kingdom Hearts when the game releases this September, but our brief hands-on reminded us of how dated the gameplay was. Hopefully by the time Square-Enix gets around to making a sequel, it’ll go back to the drawing board.
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