Much like the previous HD upgrade collection, Kingdom Hearts I.5 HD Remix, Kingdom Hearts II.5 HD Remix takes 3 previous Kingdom Hearts games and gives them an HD bump-up. Square Enix had a playable demo available at this year's Jump Festa 2014, and Kotaku East was there to experience some HD goodness.
There were two demos provided, each with different playable stages. For Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, there was the Halloween Town stage and the Beast's Castle. For Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, there were three stages for each of the different protagonists.
Control-wise the demo was the same as the original games, just prettier. The original games themselves were well already well-refined. Obviously, the graphics upgrade is quite noticeable when compared with the original versions. This doesn't come as too much of a surprise looking at Kingdom Hearts I.5 HD Remix.
Of the two, Birth By Sleep benefits the most, both in terms of controls and visual upgrades, by moving from the handheld PSP to a home console. I love the PSP, but the lack of a second analogue stick was always a bit of a drawback. Japanese blog Hachima Kikou posted some comparison pics and you can really see what magic an HD facelift can do for a PSP game.
Overall, it's hard to describe Kingdom Hearts II.5 HD Remix without covering the same ground that was already addressed with Kingdom Hearts I.5 HD Remix. Both games work hand-in-hand as a definitive Kingdom Hearts collection as well as a nice lead-up to the (eventual) release of Kingdom Hearts III. Now, the only chapter in the Kingdom Hearts saga that has yet to join the HD family is Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. Maybe it'll be included as HD video content in Kingdom Hearts III...
Kingdom Hearts II.5 HD Remix is currently scheduled for release in 2014. The game will include playable HD versions of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, as well as HD video content from Kingdom Hearts Re: coded.