The wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been a long one, and fans of the epic Disney and Square Enix series aren’t quite at the finish line yet. The upcoming entry doesn’t have a release date, but most expect to see the game in late 2016 or sometime in 2017. To help with the long wait, Square Enix released two compilation titles for the PlayStation 3.
The first game was Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, which included Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Re: Chain of Memories, as well as the cut scenes from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The second compilation game was Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, which featured Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix and cut scenes from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Now Square Enix is aiming at the PlayStation 4 to take fans one step closer to Kingdom Hearts 3.
Releasing sometime in 2016, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will feature Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and two brand new entries in the Kingdom Hearts mythos. Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover offers a new look at the tale of the Foretellers via HD cinematics, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep - A Fragment Passage is a completely new title meant to bridge the gap between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kingdom HeartsDream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 3.
The most exciting aspect of KH2.8 is the new 0.2 addition. It takes on the perspective of Aqua and uses the graphical technology going into Kingdom Hearts 3. This is as close as fans are going to get to Kingdom Hearts 3 without actually playing it. While 0.2 covers the events that took place after the original Birth by Sleep, as told from the perspective of Aqua, it’s set immediately after Dream Drop Distance and leads directly into Kingdom Hearts 3. This new addition to the series is said to be approximately the length of one world in a full Kingdom Hearts game.
In addition to what is essentially a preview of Kingdom Hearts 3, the HD port of Dream Drop Distance is virtually a remake of the title. The original was on the Nintendo 3DS and utilized two screens. This new HD port is on the PlayStation 4, which doesn’t have the luxury of a dual-screen format. The change from two screens to one and the revamped graphics basically makes this as close to a full remake as fans are going to get.
Much like the HD cut scenes of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and 358/2 Days from 1.5 and 2.5, Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover will offer a similar experience. The big difference here is that like 0.2, the engine will essentially be the same one developed for Kingdom Hearts 3. This should give fans an early glimpse at what the cut scenes in Kingdom Hearts 3 will look like.
If you’re curious as to how Square Enix comes up with the names for some of these games, there’s a logical explanation. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance is considered 2.6 due to the fact that it’s a direct follow up to the events that take place in Kingdom Hearts 2.5. The X games are considered to be 0 because Sora is completely absent, then you have Birth by Sleep which is 0.1, which makes A Fragmentary Passage 0.2. Add all of that together and you get 2.8, leaving very little room for anything else before Kingdom Hearts 3.
While some fans obviously wanted Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 on PlayStation 4, or even 2.8 on PS3, you have to look at 2.8 as a prequel of sorts to Kingdom Hearts 3. It uses Unreal Engine 4 and is being developed alongside Kingdom Hearts 3. For all practical purposes, 2.8 is basically a demo for Kingdom Hearts 3. Because it uses the same technology as KH3, it couldn’t be done on the PlayStation 3, and offering additional HD remakes of 1.5 and 2.5 would take up a considerable amount of time and likely delay work on KH3. We can all probably agree it’s best that Kingdom Hearts 3 gets done as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget to check out everything you need to know about Kingdom Hearts 3, as well as new details on the combat system and story of the upcoming game. We’ll have more on Kingdom Hearts 2.8 as new information becomes available.