The complicated narrative of the Kingdom Hearts franchise isn't lost on co-director Tai Yasue, who recently told Polygon that one of the most important parts of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is to refresh players on the story.
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is a follow-up to last year's bundle, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix. Like the previous compilation, 2.5 packages games from several platforms into one title; it will include Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Final Mix, as well as cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded.
Speaking with Polygon, Yasue said that it works as a way to both recruit new players and help prepare those returning for the series' next big game, Kingdom Hearts 3.
"I think it's really accessible for the younger generation, [but] story-wise, it's a bit complex," Yasue said. "By having 1.5 and 2.5, I think it will be easier to play Kingdom Hearts 3 and understand that story. We wanted the players to experience that in HD and relearn it and re-experience it."
The original game was released nearly 12 years ago, while key narrative title Birth By Sleep — essentially the franchise's origin story — saw a release on handheld devices. For players to get a deeper understanding of Kingdom Hearts 3, they'll need to know the many connections between each entry.
"As a developer myself, you start to forget what happened," Yasue said. "There are so many [games]. In a way, it's a learning experience for us too."
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix launches for PlayStation 3 Dec. 2 in North America and Dec. 5 in Europe. Kingdom Hearts 3 is slated for launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.