Recently Bill, a first time Kingdom Hearts player, shared his review of one part of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 with his review of Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, but that is only 1/3 of the complication that comprises the latest Kingdom Hearts release. Now it is time to evaluate another part of the release, Kingdom Heartsχ Back Cover.

Unlike Bill, I have played many iterations of Kingdom Hearts. However, the complicated story that has spread over fifteen years and many forms of video games can sometimes be difficult to keep tabs on. That is why I appreciated this “Back Cover” component.

So let me explain, this element is not a game, it is essentially a 60-minute movie. The story takes place in the earliest parts of the Kingdom Hearts timeline, in an era covered by the Kingdom Hearts mobile game which Lauren reviewed just under a year ago. It takes place before the Keyblade War that set up the main storyline, but features connective tissue to the other parts of Kingdom Hearts 2.8.

Just a bit of a disclaimer here… this video does not feature any Disney characters which are obviously a core part of Kingdom Hearts. It also does not tie-up in a bow. You will have to look to future Kingdom Hearts content for the exciting conclusion. But with all that being said, the story brings the series some serious drama which can be hard to convey in a typical gameplay environment. Essentially, it raises the emotional stakes of the Kingdom Hearts series, while also featuring some light hearted moments which unexpectedly comes from the Master of Masters character. The strong voice acting and surprisingly strong acting that the team was able to capture using the Unreal video game engine provided a more engrossing experience than I expected.

Let’s face it, we don’t buy video games to watch a movie. But the sixty minutes spent enjoying this chapter helped bolster my enjoyment of the franchise while giving me a little respite from button mashing. I only wish I could find out what happens next.

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is available now.