"The textures and interface have been cleaned up and upscaled to look good in the new resolution, and everything runs at a silky-smooth frame rate. "
As soon as the show floor opened, I headed straight for the Square Enix booth to give the English version of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMix a spin. Nestled comfortably close to a massive screen playing the newest Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 (!!) trailers, the shiny new version of the series' maiden adventure still managed to look great. The textures and interface have been cleaned up and upscaled to look good in the new resolution, and everything runs at a silky-smooth frame rate.
The demo featured a section from later in the game, aboard Captain Hook's infamously claustrophobic ship. While everything looked excellent, the camera appeared to be more problematic than I remembered from the original. Despite the controls having been swapped from the trigger buttons to the analog stick, it seems as though rotating the camera is still locked to a purely X-axis, horizontal affair. I found myself constantly getting stuck behind walls and other obstructions, which made me curious as to why this particular level would have been shown. However, the gameplay itself is intact and still plays well: special attacks have now been mapped to the triangle button, which makes launching into Strike Raids and Sonic Blades easier than ever.
While I didn't get to spend any time with the HD-ified version of re:Chain of Memories, it seems apt to expect a similar amount of visual polish on top of what is essentially the same core game. The new music, recorded with live instrumentation, sounds fantastic and along with the great visuals, it really sells the presentation. Series fans longing for a return to comparatively simpler times should be able to find exactly what they're looking for in Kingdom Hearts 1.5.