Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece Collection

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Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece Collection
Kingdom Hearts on Switch.jpg
"Fragments of a broken port like a far-off memory. A far-off memory that looks like a broken port. I want to play a better version of these games — these otherwise great games."
Genre(s): Role-Playing
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release: February 10, 2022
Developer(s): Square Enix
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Country: Japan
Series: Kingdom Hearts


Kingdom Hearts is a video game that was originally released for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. For the game's 20th anniversary, all of the Kingdom Hearts games were released as cloud versions for the Nintendo Switch.

The releases include cloud based versions of Kingdom Hearts HD. 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts 3 with the ReMind DLC storyline included. The announcement itself was quite controversial among fans, owing to the game being exclusive to the Nintendo Switch Online service's cloud streaming system, which would cause all sorts of problems due to it being reliant on the user's internet connection.

Why It's Not Simple and Clean

  1. The idea of the games being available only through a cloud streaming service is questionable in the first place, as such services leave the user's ability to play at the mercy of their internet connection (as proven by previous iterations of cloud gaming). A slowdown in the connection can result in significant lag, which, for an action game as reliant on fast-paced action and precise timing and dodging as Kingdom Hearts, is a serious issue.
    • Being unable to play without a strong connection calls the very idea of this port into question, as one of the Switch's biggest selling points is its ability to play anywhere. As it's unlikely that the player will have a strong connection when away from their home, this leaves them unable to play outside, directly contradicting the premise of these ports.
    • Additionally, not only is the Nintendo Switch perfectly capable of running most Kingdom Hearts games up to Kingdom Hearts III, but Square Enix and its subsidiaries already released not one, not two, but four games on previous Nintendo platforms (Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded, and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance), all of which run and play much more smoothly than these ports in spite of their age.
      • Furthermore, a Kingdom Hearts game (Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory) had already been released physically on the Switch just a year before these ports.
      • While it can be understandable for 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage and Kingdom Hearts III being cloud-based only which otherwise cause significant downgrades to match with the native hardware, the rest of the previous games that were released on previous consoles that are more than a decade old, so it doesn't make sense.
    • All other versions of the games, including the PC ports that were released on Epic Games Store and the PS4 and Xbox One releases can run offline, leaving Switch users with the short end of the stick.
    • Even those that have very strong internet connection to play the game normally on the Switch, there are much higher odds that they already have not only other consoles like the PS4, but also a very strong PC to play the much better ports instead.
  2. The games are filled to the brim with bugs and glitches, which can range from harmless, to game-breaking.
    • One such bug, involving the game checking flags in the wrong order, can allow the player to spam the Trinity Limit ability almost infinitely. It was proven that when this glitch is performed correctly, it is possible to defeat Terra's Lingering Will (one of the hardest bosses in gaming otherwise) in a few seconds.
      • This happens because the Limit system relies on a Limit Gauge, which determines how much time the player has to execute the commands for the Limit attack before wearing off. The Trinity Limit move has three separate button inputs, which override the command bar inputs. One of these buttons automatically ends the Limit, instantly dropping the Limit Gauge to zero, while using the basic attack only causes part of the Gauge to wear off. Because the flag for the button press takes priority on the flag for the Limit wearing off, this means that the player can keep using the attack until the enemy is on the brink of death, at which point the Limit can be ended manually to trigger its finishing blow, ending the battle.
    • The graphics for these ports are of a much lower quality than their PS4, Xbox One and PC counterparts. While this is normal considering the Switch's weaker hardware, it is also worth noting that the games were originally released on the PS2 (1 through Re:Chain of Memories and II Final Mix), PSP (Birth by Sleep) and 3DS (Dream Drop Distance), which is well within the Switch's capabilities to emulate.
  3. The game was released at the worst possible time, as the 20th anniversary of the series was right around the corner, smearing the series' (and Square Enix's) reputation just in time for that.
  4. The Integrum Masterpiece collection, which contains all the ports, is vastly overpriced for the quality of the product, totaling at $90 and requires the Nintendo account (membership is not required).
    • Granted, you can purchase the games individualy with 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix being $40 and the other two games, 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III being $50 each. This makes the $90 price point a $140 value. But still, the games are cloud-based.
  5. The game came out in 2022, and other games by Square Enix are coming to the Nintendo Switch such as The DioField Chronicle, Nier: Automata - The End of YoRHa Edition, Triangle Strategy, Chocobo GP, Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song Remastered, Dragon Quest Treasures, Harvestella, Live A Live, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Reunion, etc. There was no reason to buy this game in one of Square Enix's strongest years for the platform, and the $90 price point doesn't help either.

Reception

The cloud versions of the game have received very negative reviews from critics and fans of Kingdom Hearts. It has a user rating of on Metacritic[1] and a 57 metascore but has a mixed rating of 5/10 on Nintendo Life and a mixed rating of 5/10 on Pocket Tactics. Fans have protested against Square Enix and Disney releasing the games as cloud versions on the Switch.[2]

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