Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep ~A Fragmentary Passage~ (2017)
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep A Fragmentary Passage Screenshot

Last, but not least, we have 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage, also included with the 2.8 collection. 0.2 is basically a tech demo/playable prologue for Kingdom Hearts III, centered on Aqua while she is trapped within the Realm of Darkness. What I like about 0.2 is how it shows the Kingdom Hearts team actively rectifying some of the mistakes from other recent entries: the level design is much more vertically oriented and encourages exploration, and the combat system feels like a good balance of the traditional Command Menu and the more esoteric commands from Birth by Sleep (Shotlocks are back!). Aqua is a lot of fun to control in this: she's extremely agile and can dish out a great deal of damage. There's actually a fair amount of content present here for a demo, with several areas to explore and bosses to fight, culminating in an ending that directly ties into the original Kingdom Hearts and sets up future events in III. It's a great little glimpse of what is to come, and shouldn't be missed.


Conclusion

Well, there you have it. The Kingdom Hearts series has seen a tremendous amount of evolution since its humble beginnings on the PlayStation 2, evolving into a sprawling saga that will see its (apparent) conclusion this January. To reuse the Reese's Peanut Butter cup analogy, the series' mix of iconic Disney characters and JRPG melodrama really shouldn't work on paper, but somehow, the series has managed to consistently deliver excellent action-RPG experiences. Hopefully, this little trip down memory lane helped some of you to get up to speed on the series, and you'll be ready to conclude Sora's journey with me when Kingdom Hearts III finally drops on January 29th, 2019.

RPGFan