Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is set to be released worldwide January 24th, 2017 and I’ve been busy working on my review. I haven’t completed a Kingdom Hearts game since 2005 when Kingdom Hearts 2 was released on the Sony PlayStation 2 and apparently have missed a lot! I’ve been trying to keep track of the very convoluted story since then and thought I’d help out you newbies.
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a successor to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix and includes a high-definition remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, as well as two new pieces of content to the Kingdom Hearts series. The first, Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover, is a cinematic movie based on Kingdom Hearts X that details events not shown in the original game. The other, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, is an original game that takes place after the events of Birth by Sleep from the perspective of Aqua (No, not that band). Back Cover and A Fragmentary Passage are the ninth and tenth installments in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Still confused I’m sure. That’s because Kingdom Hearts 2.8 should not be your first entry in the Kingdom Heart series. You’re going want to start with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and then move on to Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD. You can find these on the PS3 for relatively cheap or wait until March when both games are set to be released on the PS4. It’s a little confusing as to why 2.8 is coming out first and a refresher would have been nice but that’s what you have me (and the internet) for.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix includes both Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Re:Chain of Memories in high-definition and with trophy support. Additionally, the collection features Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days in a Theater Mode, spanning 2 hours and 50 minutes of HD remastered cinematics from the original game, as well as new scenes.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix includes Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix in high definition and with trophy support. Additionally, the collection features Kingdom Hearts Re:coded in a Theatre Mode, spanning over 3 hours of HD remastered cinematics from the original game as well as new content.
2.8 should be the last game in the series you play as Dream Drop Distance it’s meant to take place right before Kingdom Hearts 3. We do not know when Kingdom Hearts 3 will release but fall 2017 has been a rumored release date for a while now.
Now back to the character Aqua for a second. Who is she? Aqua is the main protagonist of Birth By Sleep. She is one of the Keyblade Wielders before Sora. Sora is the main character in all other Kingdom Hearts games. You’ll first meet Aqua in Dream Drop Distance as she plays a pretty pivotal role and is one of the first of three Keyblade holders but is mentioned throughout the other games starting with Kingdom Hearts 2.
You’re probably wondering why these games are numbered so oddly. There’s actually a bit of story behind it. Tetsuya Nomura (The director) considers Dream Drop Distance, “Kingdom Hearts 2.6″, since it takes place right after the Kingdom Hearts 2.5 collection. Then since 0.2 Birth By Sleep is in the collection that adds up to 2.8. Back Cover is considered “episode 0” so it adds no value to the number system. It’s still confusing but at least there’s a purpose for the madness.
Now say you like collecting all things Kingdom Hearts and want to play the games the way they were originally released then you’re going want to play them in this order:
1. Kingdom Hearts 1 Final Mix
2. Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
3. Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
4. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
5. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
6. Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
7. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD
8. Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage
9. Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover
Each of these games do tie in with each other and will most certainly be referenced in Kingdom Hearts 3. That isn’t to say you won’t have a blast playing through them. The sheer amount of Disney and Final Fantasy characters blended into one universe should be enough to keep you happy.
My review of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will be live Monday and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.