Square-Enix and Disney’s long-running action-RPG franchise, Kingdom Hearts, started all the way back in 2002. The series has existed on many different home consoles and portable systems, across multiple generations. With the much anticipated third instalment releasing next year, the developers are helping fans catch up on Sora’s adventures. Square-Enix and Disney have announced a new collection for the PS4 called “Kingdom Hearts – The Story So Far”. It will contain all 9 previous games in the franchise on a single disc.
Beginning with the original Kingdom Hearts in 2002, the franchise follows Sora, a teenage boy chosen by the mystical Keyblade. Teaming up with the Disney characters Goofy and Donald Duck, Sora travels through worlds based on Disney movies. As the franchise released instalments on the GBA, DS, PSP and 3DS, the plots became more intricate, and its cast of original characters grew larger. In recent years, Square-Enix has released collections for the PS3 and PS4 to make it easier for players to play through the series without having to buy many different consoles. Now every game made before Kingdom Hearts III will be available on a single disc, making it perfect for lapsed fans and newcomers alike.
The games in the collection will be the updated and remastered versions that have been released on the PS4. These updates from the original versions include visual updates, gameplay tweaks and new content. The games included in The Story So Far are:
- Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Remix
- Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD Remastered cinematics)
- Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
- Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (HD Remastered cinematics)
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
- Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD
- Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep –A fragmentary passage–
- Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover (movie)
Notably, some of the instalments are not really interactive games, and are instead fully voiced and animated cutscenes, edited together in a movie format. This was done to 358/2 Days and Re:coded, the two DS games in the series. It also includes Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, which is a movie that fills in the events of the franchise prior to the prequel, Birth By Sleep. Still, even if you only include full games, this compilation includes 6 whole games, which for a discounted price is great value.
However, this compilation has only been announced for the PS4. This makes some sense, considering the games it is remastering have only been released on PlayStation consoles. However, Kingdom Hearts III will also be coming to a Microsoft console for the first time. It would have been especially good for Xbox players to be introduced to the franchise through this collection before checking out Kingdom Hearts III. Hopefully Kingdom Hearts III makes itself accessible enough for new fans that Xbox One players can catch up.
Kingdom Hearts – The Story So Far will be releasing for the PlayStation 4 on October 30.