I have been waiting for Kingdom Hearts III for almost eight years. As old as that makes me feel, it also makes me wonder what the hell Square Enix have been doing with their time, apart from making a bunch of spin-offs in an attempt to satiate our needs. Well, it’s not working guys.
So, the news of a Kingdom Hearts HD remake wasn’t really much of a surprise to me. It has a terrible name to start with (Kingdom Hearts 1.5 reMIX or something like that), and I’m sorry, but we’ve seen this movie before. A bunch of times. Bear in mind that this is a remake of a remake. Here’s the chain of events for you if you’re unfamiliar with the pattern.
Kingdom Hearts — Kingdom Hearts CoM — Kingdom Hearts Final Mix — Kingdom Hearts II — Kingdom Hearts Final Mix+
This is all well and good, with the Final Mix editions containing extra content and goodies for fans of the series to get more out of the experience. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX is basically a HD remake of the original Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. A remake of a remake… it blows my mind. If they dare to remake Kingdom Hearts II before releasing the third one, I might just have to join the many who are swearing off Square Enix.
(Don’t get me wrong, I’ll buy it… but that’s not the point.)
I also recently discovered that my favourite game of all time, Final Fantasy X, is getting itself a shiny HD makeover. It’ll be coming to PS3 and PS Vita bundled with its sequel (SquareSoft’s answer to Marmite), Final Fantasy X-2.
Having seen some of the example screenshots of the HD version, I’m concerned with how much they have altered Tidus’ appearance. Take a look at this comparison:
What the hell? That’s not Tidus! He looks a lot more feminine in the HD version, and nobody thought that was possible aside from giving him boobs and a touch of lippy. I just hope that they haven’t taken away the charm and cheekiness of the Tidus we know and love from 12 years ago. And they better hadn’t have changed his voice actor. The laughing scene just won’t be the same without his terribly wooden performance.
I realise the remake that everybody wants is of course Final Fantasy VII. Frankly, I don’t think it’ll be long before it appears. Although Nomura was quoted saying that “New titles take precedence”, it seems that with each new title the Final Fantasy series is treading closer to its grave. While it’s a very positive attitude to take, the idea of striving to create a better title than FFVII before resorting to a remake, I’m just not sure how long this point of view will last.
One particular remake I’ve not been fortunate enough to play yet is Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita. I have heard incredible things about this game, so much so that I’m considering forking out for a Vita just for this one title. It massively expands on the original title, with two new social links to complete, a bunch of extra dialogue and cutscenes plus additional personas.
Frankly, Atlus can do very little wrong in my eyes. This is how you do remakes guys, take note. Don’t just rehash the same old content in a shiny new package!
I’m tired of developers milking money out of fans by dangling these pretty versions of our favourite games in front of us, but not really bringing anything new to the table. For instance, I downloaded Okami HD from PSN when it was released. As much as I enjoyed it, I could have saved myself £20 and just played through it again on the PlayStation 2. There was nothing added, apart from Trophy Support, and let’s face it that’s hardly worth the money. It was nice to look at, of course, and I enjoyed the nostalgia of the playthrough, but I was a bit annoyed that there was nothing new to reward returning fans.
So, come on guys. Let’s stop being lazy, and start focusing on producing high quality, original content. Remakes are great, but in moderation. And preferably with at least a bonus cut-scene, or something.