Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix Final Mix Content, Lack of Birth by Sleep Multiplayer, & More Discusssed by Square Enix

Releasing this December is Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, an HD compilation that includes Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and remastered cinematics from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded.

With Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix coming out last year, Game Informer asked Co-Director Tai Yasue what feedback they’ve taken from that release and implemented into this one:

Actually with 1.5, there weren’t a lot of complaints. There usually is, right? But one thing there was from more of our Japanese players was for the [theater mode]; they wanted more battle scenes. They wanted to see the battle scenes. So, we put a lot of battle scenes in Re:coded and we made them have cutscenes. They’re not real-time battles, but they’re actually made like an action movie, sort of. You get a whole new understanding of the story that way.

After mentioning how the scenes in Re:coded help give you more backstory about the Kingdom Hearts universe, Yasue explained what North American and European gamers can expect in terms of new content in the 2.5 Remix:

I think the big thing is Re:coded and the Final Mix, because it was really well received in Japan. We really wanted our American and European fanbase to play that. There are a lot of boss scenes added, there are [Mushroom Heartless XIII] missions in Kingdom Hearts II, and a lot of forms added in Kingdom Hearts II that should be really enjoyable. Also, for Birth By Sleep, there’s a secret episode at the very end where Aqua has an adventure in the realm of Dark and [it has] a boss and a lot of stages, so that should be enjoyable.

A lot of the things I love about Kingdom Hearts were in the Final Mix version. Right now I’m attempting to fight Roxas… He’s very strong and I’m fighting him in the critical mode, which is very difficult, [but] I get a lot of satisfaction. For the hardcore gamers, I think that would be very enjoyable; you need a lot of strategy. Also, Lingering Will. Lingering Will is an armored guy who is a manifestation of Terra in Birth By Sleep. His weapons actually transform into different shapes. A lot of our Japanese players say that is one of the most intense battles in Kingdom Hearts.

As we know, the multiplayer for Birth by Sleep won’t be included in the Remix. As Yasue explains, with the company developing Kingdom Hearts 2.5 and Kingdom Hearts 3 at the same time, they had to take their schedule into consideration. So, when resources needed to be switched to Kingdom Hearts 3, Birth by Sleep multiplayer was one of the things that wasn’t put in.

It isn’t all bad news though, as the Mirage Arena world is still present and you can play through it using single-player mode. With this, the battles and enemies have been adjusted for single player, the AI has been tweaked, the end AI is tougher, there’s shorter but more advanced battles, and “we added a game-specific rule where there’s a challenge mode for each battle that wasn’t in the original multiplayer mode and you get bonus medals for that.”

Yasue also talked about a variety of other topics regarding Kingdom Hearts:

  • A re-release of the 3DS game Dream Drop Distance on other platforms will be considered, but since it’s only a couple years old and they don’t want to stop progress on Kingdom Hearts 3, Yasue doesn’t know if, or when, it might happen.
  • Moving from the PSP to PS3, Birth by Sleep’s controls have been changed so you can use the right stick to move the camera.
  • When asked whether Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix might have a teaser for Kingdom Hearts 3, Yasua replied, “I can’t really say at this moment. For Kingdom Hearts 2.5, I think everything has to do with Kingdom Hearts III. It will connect. The whole experience, the theater and the story, will all connect to Kingdom Hearts III. I’m not being specific on purpose [laughs].”
  • There will be “several” trophies to collect (possibly “a lot more” than 1.5), including one for how many times you become Dark Sora and one for how many times Mickey stays with you.

Do you like how Square Enix is handling the removal of multiplayer from Birth by Sleep?