Whilst it has been available via the Epic Games Store for some time, seeing the Kingdom Hearts series hit Steam feels like its true release on PC. Made up of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMix, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, And Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind, the Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece collection allows players to experience the saga from its humble beginnings in Kingdom Hearts all the way through to the over-the-top brilliance of Kingdom Hearts III.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Whilst Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is made up of three separate releases, each actually offers a bigger selection of titles. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMix contains the playable experiences of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, whilst Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded are offered as compilations of each title’s cinematics. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue contains the playable experiences of Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, and the original cinematic movie Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind is a bit more self-explanatory, with it including Kingdom Hearts III and its Re Mind DLC… the name gives it away, right?

There’s a LOT to see across each release, with well over one-hundred hours of gameplay to go through (and even more if you look to achieve everything across each game). It offers everything you’d need to get the full Kingdom Hearts experience, with each title hitting a high-standard of action-RPG gameplay that makes them worth your attention. Whilst some players might be tempted to skip some of the side titles and stick to the numbered releases, I’d implore them not to – not only would they be missing out on the full narrative (which they’ll need if they hope to understand the topsy-turvy storytelling of the series), but also on some genuinely brilliant gaming experiences.

The narrative of the Kingdom Hearts series is famed for being kind of insane to follow, but Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece’s collection of games and cinematics will ensure players are kept on top of every plot detail… well… provided they’re paying attention and keep track of all of the names and faces they encounter, that is. I will try to avoid big spoilers in this review, though it’s worth noting that I will be highlighting some events that form the timeline across the games.

“There’s a lot to take in and the layers to the narrative can be baffling at times, but behind the moments of confusion is some brilliant storytelling that embraces the magic of Disney and Square Enix in a wonderful manner.”

The first game keeps things relatively simple, with Sora emerging as a Keyblade Wielder and journeying alongside Donald Duck and Goofy to search for his friends Riku and Kairi after seeing his home of the Destiny Islands being consumed by a mysterious dark force known as the Heartless. This introduces the different worlds you can visit and ties together the whole Disney and Square Enix cross-over aspect of the Kingdom Hearts series, with plenty of familiar faces from both showing up on your journey.

From there, players will head into Chain of Memories, which sees Sora working his way through Castle Oblivion as his memories slowly disappear. This leads up into Kingdom Hearts II, which introduces the enigmatic Organization XIII and sees Sora facing off against both the Heartless and another enemy threat known as the Nobodies. This is where things can start to get a little confusing if you aren’t paying full attention, but players can watch the cinematics of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days to get a better understanding of the lore and empathise more with some of the newly introduced characters.

The next title is Birth by Sleep, though this is a prequel that shifts from Sora to three different playable characters: Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. Players will see events play out from the perspective of all three characters, with this culminating in the emergence of the big baddie of the Kingdom Hearts universe, Xehanort. The events of this are built upon in the cinematics of Kingdom Hearts: Recoded, which follows on directly from Kingdom Hearts II.

Check out some screenshots down below:

This leads into Dream Drop Distance, which sees Sora and Riku work to become Keyblade Masters by visiting worlds that are trapped in a ‘sleeping’ state. It’s here that players will learn more about Xehanort’s dark intentions, which will demand more than a couple of Keyblade Wielders to stop. This carries on in Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, which continues Aqua’s story from the secret ending found in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and builds into Kingdom Hearts III. And if you want more detail of the lore that set the foundation for everything? You can watch the hour-long Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, which takes place well before any of the games and details the Keyblade War that is spoken of across multiple titles.

Finally, you have Kingdom Hearts III, which is the finale for the battle against Xehanort (and is also fleshed out further with the inclusion of the Re Mind DLC). I’m not going to give away too much for this game because there’d be too many spoilers, but the tale certainly ends in a satisfying manner that lives up to the expectations set across each release in the series. Again, there’s a lot to take in and the layers to the narrative can be baffling at times, but behind the moments of confusion is some brilliant storytelling that embraces the magic of Disney and Square Enix in a wonderful manner.

When it comes to the gameplay, the Kingdom Hearts series takes an action-RPG approach with players engaging with enemies in frantically satisfying button-mashing showdowns. You’re able to unleash quick combos of attacks with your Keyblade, perform magic attacks using MP, hit special abilities, and even call upon summons to help out in combat (each of which is a Disney character that is perfectly implemented), all whilst being supported by Donald, Goofy, or the array of Disney characters you encounter as you travel between worlds. You’ll level up, unlock new abilities, and equip new Keyblades to increase your stats as you progress, whilst the array of enemies you face off against make for some spectacular encounters. Whilst the Heartless and Nobodies make up the bulk of your foes, you’ll also battle plenty of familiar faces – both from across Disney and Square Enix titles. It’s these boss encounters that stand out the most in the games, with your showdowns with classic Disney villains making for some of the best moments across all of the games (and I’ll take any opportunity I can to beat up Jafar, the swine).

“There’s a continued evolution found across each entry that ensures combat always feels fresh and exciting, and whilst the latter entries offer the more intuitive and striking combat mechanics, it’s impressive just how well the earlier titles hold up.”

Players will also see improvements and additions made across each release, whether that’s with the special Drive Forms in Kingdom Hearts II, the card-based battling of Chain of Memories, the multiple playable characters of Birth by Sleep, the Dream Eaters you call to help you in combat in Dream Drop Distance, or the Keyblade transformations in Kingdom Hearts III, just to name a few. There’s a continued evolution found across each entry that ensures combat always feels fresh and exciting, and whilst the latter entries offer the more intuitive and striking combat mechanics, it’s impressive just how well the earlier titles hold up. These might have been PlayStation 2 titles to begin with, but they’ve aged really, really well over the years.

In-between combat, you’ll move between a variety of different worlds that are built around Disney franchises, with each beautifully designed to not only capture the essence of the franchise that they represent but to also feel fun to explore. Going through the likes of Aladdin’s Agrabah, The Nightmare Before Christmas’s Halloween Town, Peter Pan’s Neverland, Steamboat Willie’s Timeless River, Toy Story’s Toy Box, or Arendelle from Frozen always feels special, and that’s simply scratching the surface of the worlds you encounter across each game. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll be blown away by the attention to detail given to each world, and hey, even those original to the series such as Traverse Town or Twilight Town will feel special to you by the time you’ve finished playing. And the soundtrack that goes along with these? It’s brilliant, with the mix of familiar tracks and catchy original pieces fitting the charming tone of the adventure perfectly. I’ll ALWAYS have a big smile on my face when I hear Dearly Beloved, but man, nothing gets me more buzzed for action than Simple and Clean.

I’d be remiss not to mention the Gummi Ship, which see players constructing their own little ship and using it to fly between worlds in action sequences that wouldn’t feel out of place in the likes of Star Fox. They’re a ton of fun to play through, but also offer plenty of depth in how you build your Gummi Ship and improve its stats. Or you can just make one that looks like the Millenium Falcon or the Pokémon Porygon, it’s up to you. The Gummi Ship sections aren’t included in every title, but they do evolve between releases, with Kingdom Hearts III offering open Gummi Ship exploration that feels like the pinnacle of its design. It’s a really cool change of pace from the action-RPG gameplay that gives players a little something different to do.

Check out some screenshots down below:

One of the most appealing things about the Steam release of Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is the Steam Deck compatibility, with the series’ previous PC release on the Epic Games Store bringing with it issues when trying to play on Valve’s handheld device. Thankfully, those are completely alleviated here, with each game completely playable on the Steam Deck and to a high standard.

Most of the games can be played at a consistent 60fps frame rate, making for a silky-smooth experience that makes combat feel sublime and the visuals gorgeous in motion. However, it is worth noting that Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- and Kingdom Hearts III are a bit more demanding, meaning you’ll have to make sacrifices when playing them. Whilst you can fiddle around with the settings to get them at around 40fps (and this does mean lowering the visual quality quite a bit), I found it easier to just limit both titles to a 30fps frame rate. This doesn’t only offer the most consistent performance for both titles, but it also allows players to maintain the high-standard of visuals that is offered by the later releases. And sure, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bit jarring moving from the 60fps found in the earlier titles to a 30fps frame rate (especially after playing them in quick succession), but it’s the best way to experience those titles on the Steam Deck.

I’ve actually spent most of my time with the games playing via the Steam Deck, and honestly? It’s been a massive treat. I’ve got a lot of love for Kingdom Hearts so getting to play through every entry handheld just feels a bit unbelievable, especially to such a high standard. And sure, it would have been nice to play the likes of Kingdom Hearts III at a 60fps frame rate on the device, but it still looks so good and plays so well that you probably won’t even care. It helps ensure that Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is a must-play for Steam Deck owners, whether you’re completely new to the series or a returning veteran.

Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece Review

Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is a perfect collection of some of the best action-RPGs ever made. Each of the titles still hold up perfectly today, whilst the evolution in game mechanics seen between each entry ensure that they continue to feel exciting and fresh even IF you play each game in quick succession. Add to that the wonderful world design and visuals, the enthralling Gummi Ship sequences, the beautiful soundtrack, and the way that it constantly manages to capture the magic of both Disney and Square Enix, and you’ll quickly find that Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is a VERY special experience. It’s also a treat to play on the Steam Deck, with it easily standing out as a must-own title for every Steam Deck owner.

I’ll admit, I’ve got a long-standing love for Kingdom Hearts that made my experience feel particularly special, but there’s simply no doubting the quality of what’s on offer here. Finally, with this release on Steam, PC and Steam Deck owners get the Kingdom Hearts experience that they have been craving.

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Website: https://www.kingdomhearts.com/