Kingdom Hearts HD II.8
Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a Playstation 4 Title developed and published by Square Enix which showcases three content namely: Kingdom Hearts HD: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage.
Kingdom Hearts HD: Dream Drop Distance is a High Definition Remaster of the 2012 Nintendo 3DS Role-Playing Game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
It also includes Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover which features additional cinematic through the Foretellers’ narrative that was not in the actual game.
Finally, it includes a new content, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage which is an all new game showcasing Aqua’s perspective following the events of its predecessor, the Playstation Portable title Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.
This title is scheduled for release on Playstation 4 system on the 12th of January, 2017 in Japan; and on the 24th of January 2017 for the rest of the world.
According to the Final Chapter Prologue co-director, Kingdom Hearts HD: Dream Drop Distance offers a more vibrant installment as depicted in its refreshing HD remaster, this is balanced by 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage which immerses players through Aqua’s mysterious journey. Although there is a stark contrast between the two games, Yasue emphasized the importance of revisiting Aqua’s roots due to their similarities in terms of becoming a Keyblade Wielder.
Main article: List of PS4 Changes
There are notable changes in the PS4 HD remaster of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Among them include the controller adjustments which converted the usual “2 screen requirement” of the 3DS into features executable using only the assigned buttons that the PS4 Controller and the single screen has to offer. In addition, the Dream Eaters roster has been increased.
Being the first of its kind, the HD port of the 3DS game now supports 60 FPS. Other changes to name a few include: Menu changes which now feature additional menus that support specific game mechanics, Game Mechanics Changes, and improved UI.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage follows the adventure of Aqua as she enters the realm of darkness. These events unravel after the secret trailer of Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix.
Aqua – A Keyblade Wielder that predated Sora and his peers. Aqua is among the 3 Keyblade wielders who fulfilled a key role during the historic events that unfolded long ago. She sacrificed herself to save a friend by banishing into the realm of darkness. Apart from this, She is set as the main protagonist for Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage.
In preparation for a trouble stirring, King Mickey and his Master, the great sorcerer Yen Sid enlist our heroes, Sora and Riku on an examination known as the Mark of Mastery which would allow them to become Keyblade Masters. Our heroes find themselves sent to the Sleeping Worlds where unforeseen enemies and allies await. If the conditions are fulfilled, only then will our heroes be rightfully called Keyblade Masters.
Main article: List of Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Characters
- Sora – A young boy no more than 15 years old, Sora was bestowed long ago with a Keyblade. As a Keyblade wielder, Sora had embarked on a journey to save the worlds. In order to become a master of the Keyblade, he takes on an examination known as the Mark of Mastery. Will our hero become a full-fledged Keyblade master?
- Riku – One of Sora’s close friends. As a fellow Keyblade wielder himself, he joins Sora in taking the Mark of Mastery examination. Contrary to his former rebellious attitude, he now sports a shorter hair, depicting signs of growth through his acceptance and trust to his comrades and himself.
- Mickey – He is the King of Disney Castle and a Keyblade Master. One of the few who has noticed the crisis in the worlds, he serves as the heroes’ guide as they embark on the examination.
- Donald – He remains vigilant to Sora and Riku as they partake of the examination.
- Goofy – Similar to Mickey and Donald, Goofy watches over the heroes as they learn about the Mark of Mastery exam.
- Lea – The human form of Axel who is a close companion of Isa. His memories as Axel has been preserved, making him overconfident. Now an adult, he decided to pursue the path of becoming a Keyblade wielder.
Exclusive to this installment, the game allows shifting of Characters with another member of the party. The system depends on the Drop Gauge, which decreases gradually through time. Certain items are consumable allowing the gauge to be replenished. However, be aware of certain conditions that may increase the rate that the gauge depletes. If the gauge has been fully depleted, the control shifts to the other awaiting party member.
In addition, Drop points are obtainable by defeating enemies or clearing certain objectives. These may be spent on bonuses which can either: alter the stats of the next character, or alter the speed by which the Drop Gauge depletes. Points left unused are converted to Munny.
Command Deck system
The game borrows a mechanic from its predecessor, “Birth by Sleep” which allows the party to fulfill actions using a customizable stack of cards. The deck is adjustable based on the desired performance of the characters such as: performing actions, using spells, and using items.
The Overworld interface is not left uncovered as the game allows certain actions to enable the player to quickly rush through areas using a combination of grapples and acrobatic movements. This can be chained to launch attacks against enemies nearby.
Reality Shift sytem
Another mechanic which allows the player to interact with specific objects or opponents with low HP. These involve using a cursor to trigger effects which affect the enemies present in the field of vision. These effects vary across different worlds.
Spirits (Dream Eaters)
Although Dream Eaters mainly consist of enemies, certain ones are allies, best identified as Spirits.
These can be summoned during battle and offer help to the player. In order to call upon a Spirit, Dream Pieces are required. This ingredient needs to be combined with either an item or a spell. To craft a Spirit, you may opt to experiment using different combinations of ingredients, or by following recipes. These are scattered across worlds which also provide ways to craft Spirits. Three is the maximum number of Spirits that can be included in your party, while two may be summoned during a battle.
With a full Link Gauge, the character is capable of delivering massive damage by linking with their Dream Eaters.
Apart from Main Story related mechanics, this is an additional mode which pits two players (either single or multiplayer) in a 3 on 3 battle using Spirits.
In contrast to other titles, this installment features a new method of travelling. It showcases a free-falling stage in which a certain task is given and by finishing it, the player is granted access to the new world.