Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece Steam Deck Review – 1.5 + 2.5 HD ReMIX, 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and III + Re Mind Tested – TouchArcade

It feels unreal that the Kingdom Hearts series finally released on Steam after many years of being only on the Epic Games Store. I originally didn’t care about this potential release while discussing it with friends over the years, but the Steam Deck changed things. Having a completely playable and competent version of the main Kingdom Hearts games on the go, is something I’m glad more people will get to experience with this week’s release of the Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece bundle including -HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX-, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind. While I need a bit more time for a full scored review for each game included in this bundle, I’ve been playing them all on my Steam Deck OLED over the last week, and it has been great revisiting this series.

Note that this review will focus on how the KINGDOM HEARTS PC ports (all three bundles) play on Steam Deck. I will not be covering every individual game included here as there is no new content, and they have all been ported multiple times since their debut on PS4 to Xbox One, PC, and even through cloud versions on Nintendo Switch if you count that. I have tested all the games here on my Steam Deck OLED, and a few on the LCD model as well, but will be updating the reviews below once I’ve had time to play more. All the games below were tested using Proton Experimental.

Before getting into the individual games and bundles here, you might be curious what makes the PC version worth considering. Currently, the KINGDOM HEARTS games on consoles are PS4 and Xbox One games running via backward compatibility on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There is no native current generation version. While this might not be a big deal for the likes of KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX which was already 4K 60, it would’ve helped in the newer releases. It is also worth noting that the KINGDOM HEARTS games on PC support frame rates above 60fps including in KINGDOM HEARTS III if your hardware can handle it at those high frame rates. All games here also support up to 4K and run out of the box on Steam Deck. I’ve not finished playing all of them considering I just got review codes before the weekend, but if you were hoping to experience or replay all the KINGDOM HEARTS games on Steam Deck, your wait has been worth it.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX Steam Deck Review

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX is easily the best value proposition of the KINGDOM HEARTS games releasing on Steam this week. It originally released on PS3 as two separate bundles of older titles, but was brought to PS4 as a combined release. On Steam, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX includes KINGDOM HEARTS FINAL MIX, KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories, KINGDOM HEARTS II FINAL MIX, KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days (HD cutscene compilation), KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep FINAL MIX, and KINGDOM HEARTS Re:coded (HD cutscene compilation). That is a lot of game for its asking price, but note that these are all older titles, so they have some quirks even though they look good when played on modern screens.

If you’re new to KINGDOM HEARTS, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX itself is an easy recommendation. Having played it on PS3, PS4, and Xbox platforms over the years, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX is perfect on Steam Deck, and playing it in portable on Valve’s handheld is my favorite version of this release. There are some things to keep in mind though when it comes to the performance across both Steam Deck LCD and OLED models.

Before playing it on Steam Deck, I redownloaded the release on Xbox to replay bits on my Xbox Series X just to get back into the groove. I forgot how clean most of the games in this package look on modern displays with this excellent remaster as well. Moving from Xbox Series X to my Steam Deck OLED was interesting because I found a few issues relating to frame rates above 60fps on not only the Steam Deck OLED screen, but also when played docked on my 144hz monitor.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX doesn’t have too many graphics or display options. From the config menu, you can adjust screen mode (fullscreen, borderless, and windowed), resolution (800×600 to 4K), frame rate (30, 60, 120, and uncapped), toggle v-sync (called refresh rate in-game), display brightness, and colorblind settings. There are no graphics options that I could find in games like KINGDOM HEARTS 2 HD. You can set the game to display Xbox, PlayStation, Generic, or auto-detect button prompts, and it also has keyboard input support.

As of now, it seems like there’s a bug relating to refresh rates higher than 60 and camera movement. I ended up having a better experience on my Steam Deck LCD than OLED out of the box. I fixed this by setting the OLED screen’s refresh rate to 60hz, enabling v-sync, and cap the game to 60fps in-game. I hope a 90hz fix is found or patched in. Leaving it at 90hz or 144hz on my main monitor even at a lower resolution to just see how the frame rate held up resulted in camera movement issues and even the game sometimes slowing down. I recommend sticking to the 60fps and 60hz refresh rate right now. If I discover a better solution, I’ll make sure to mention it here when I update my review with a score.

Revisiting KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX on a portable natively has been amazing. The package is incredible value even today and it shines on Steam Deck. If you’ve never played a KINGDOM HEARTS game before, get KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX on Steam Deck. I need a bit more time to test the games outside KINGDOM HEARTS 1 and 2 in this package though.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX Steam Deck Review Score: TBA

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Steam Deck Review

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was actually the first KINGDOM HEARTS release I bought on PS4 back in the day. While most were excited for KINGDOM HEARTS 0.2 Birth by Sleep to get a taste of KINGDOM HEARTS III, I wanted to play KINGDOM HEARTS Dream Drop Distance HD (a remaster of the 3DS entry). This release also includes KINGDOM HEARTS χ Back Cover, the movie. After its release on PS4, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue was brought to Xbox One and eventually the Epic Games Store for PC. A few years later, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is now on Steam, and it plays out of the box on Steam Deck.

On Steam Deck, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue doesn’t have as many graphics options as you’d expect. You can adjust resolution (800×600 to 4K0, frame rate (30, 60, 120, and uncapped), refresh rate (v-sync), brightness, and colorblind options. These options seem common with the KINGDOM HEARTS games including the button prompt and keyboard options.

When it comes to performance, 60fps in KINGDOM HEARTS Dream Drop Distance HD is easy. Running it above 60fps caused some camera issues in the time I put into it. I ended up capping it to 60fps. Back Cover plays fine and doesn’t require any Proton changes like some speculated pre-release. KINGDOM HEARTS HD 0.2 Birth by Sleep cannot run at a locked 60fps on Steam Deck at 720 or 800p. It drops to the high 40s even early on. It can go way higher than 60 as well, but I would recommend playing this at 45fps at 90hz using the Steam Deck’s quick access menu if you have an OLED. If you want a locked 60fps, it seems like you will need to play at a lower resolution. I turned it down to 800×600 just to see, and 90fps seemed doable.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is not the best of the three KINGDOM HEARTS games releasing on Steam this week in terms of pure value, but it is still great for fans and worth playing if you’re going through the games one by one. It plays great out of the box on Steam Deck thankfully. I would recommend getting this one through the combined bundle with all KINGDOM HEARTS releases right now instead of standalone though.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Steam Deck Review Score: TBA

KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind DLC Steam Deck Review

KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind DLC (henceforth KINGDOM HEARTS III) is the newest release of this set that originally debuted in 2019 on PS4 and Xbox One. I played it on both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X at launch, and hadn’t really revisited it aside from the Re Mind DLC’s launch. Fast forward to today, I’ve been playing it on Steam Deck, and it runs out of the box without any trouble, but getting a locked 60fps requires some effort.

KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind DLC includes the base game, a Steam exclusive keyblade, and the Re Mind DLC. Note that the concert video available on the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the DLC bundle is seemingly not included here. KINGDOM HEARTS III itself with the DLC is priced a lot lower than the same bundle on consoles. If you already played it on consoles, the reason to get it on PC specifically is to have much better performance, though that doesn’t really apply to Steam Deck out of the box.

On Steam Deck and PC, KINGDOM HEARTS III lets you adjust screen mode (fullscreen, windowed, borderless), resolution (800×600 to 4K), resolution scale (50 to 200), frame rate cap (30, 60, 120, and uncapped), toggle v-sync, display brightness, HDR (I could not get this to work at all on Steam Deck OLED even docked), HRD brightness, and colorblind options. The KINGDOM HEARTS III PC graphics options let you adjust presets (low, medium, high, max, or custom), texture quality (medium, high, max), shadow quality (low, medium, high, max), level of detail distance, character level of detail (low, medium, high, max), foliage level of detail (same options), anti-aliasing (off, FXAA, TXAA, or both), toggle motion blur, ambient occlusion (off, low, medium, high), capsule shadows (off, medium, high), screen space reflections (off, low, medium, high, max), volumetric clouds (medium, high), volumetric fog (low, medium, high), bloom (low, medium, high, max), toggle lens flare, and depth of field (off, medium, high, max).

Back when KINGDOM HEARTS III launched on PS4 and Xbox One, it also had PS4 Pro and Xbox One X support. I remember playing it all the way on PS4 Pro running at 1080p to get the best frame rate. I’ve since replayed it on Xbox Series X via backward compatibility, but the game did not hit close to a locked 60fps even at 900p on base PS4. This had me wondering how things would be on Steam Deck OLED. Playing at the low preset and native resolution (100 scale) results in 60fps nearly locked in the opening hours with some drops, but I ended up setting it to 75% render scale for a more consistent experience. Medium with a 60fps target sees drops to the high 50s often, and you can stick to playing at 45fps at 90hz on Steam Deck OLED here. The high preset runs in the low 50s often if not dropping to the 40s in parts so I would not recommend it unless you want to play at 40hz with some drops or even cap to 30fps. Based on what I’ve played, I’d stick to the medium preset with some tweaks or play at low if you want the closest to a locked 60fps experience. I will be playing more through the coming days to see how it handles later areas though and will be updating this review.

I decided to see if 90fps was possible at all next. Turning it to low, running at 720p (800p renders at 16:9), and using a 50% render scale still sees drops to the 80s often if not lower even early on, and seeing some drops to even the high 50s. Don’t bother attempting to get 90fps here. Running at the max preset and native resolution results in drops to the mid 30s often. I’d only use this if you want to play with a 30fps cap.

KINGDOM HEARTS III lets you use Japanese or English voiceover options from the language options under game settings. It also has multiple subtitle options including full EFIGS and more. When it comes to controls, KINGDOM HEARTS III has keyboard support, but I didn’t test it. On the controller side, it lets you select from three button prompt options including PlayStation, Xbox, and a generic controller. You can set this to automatically detect button prompts as well.

While I wish a locked 60fps was possible with better visuals, KINGDOM HEARTS III runs a lot better on Steam Deck than I expected given how it was on base PS4. I hope the load times can be improved though because they seem long even when running off the Steam Deck OLED’s internal SSD.

KINGDOM HEARTS III is a lot more demanding compared to the other releases here, and it understandably struggles to hit a locked 60fps out of the box on Steam Deck. With a bit of tweaking, that is possible though, and having native KINGDOM HEARTS III on a handheld with rock solid performance (so far), is excellent. I need to see how later areas end up, but right now KINGDOM HEARTS III is a solid PC release that has no issues running on Steam Deck including cut-scenes.

KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind DLC Steam Deck Review Score: TBA

If you, like me, held off on getting the Kingdom Hearts games on the Epic Games Store on PC, your wait has been absolutely worth it. Every KINGDOM HEARTS game in these bundles runs without issue on Steam Deck out of the box. There is some tweaking needed for specific games if you want to play at higher frame rates though so keep that in mind. I hope this does well enough to get KINGDOM HEARTS: Melody of Memory on Steam in the near future.

Note: This review in progress will be updated over the coming days with final test results and impressions for all three releases and scores will be added for the games.

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