Kingdom Hearts

Review: Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece

Despite the Kingdom Hearts series already being on PC via the Epic Games Store, I’ve waited for a Steam release. The one main reason I’ve dragged my feet is that the Steam Deck does not have the series available natively.

Sure, I can always use Heroic Launcher to install Epic Games Store, but the reality is that the fewer hurdles I need to go through, the more likely I am to invest time into something.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight when it was finally revealed Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece was heading to Steam. The bundle effectively brings the entire series to Steam (without Melody of Memory, though). 

Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is an incredible bundle

The biggest draw for me was, off the bat, Steam Deck compatibility. I own each game on different platforms to access each title, but that experience has always been tied to television. Now, I can play Kingdom Hearts  HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts 3 + ReMind from my couch, bed, or outside.

I’ve previously reviewed the collection separately over the years, so while I may reference those links, I want to focus on the performance on Steam.

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With that in mind, the most extensive compilations are Kingdom Hearts  HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX – and are easily my favourite of the entire batch. The first compilation features several games, including Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Re: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and playable videos of 358/2 Days and Re: coded featuring remastered videos.

I will say that playing the first entry in the series over two decades later feels dated, but it is more coherent than later titles with shorter levels and slower combat. Once Roxas is introduced to bigger worlds, faster and deeper combat is brought forth, and the series begins to find its identity. Personally, the series found itself delivering its best entry to date with 2010’s Birth by Sleep, a prequel introducing Keyblade Masters, the Mark of Mastery, and, of course, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra as protagonists.

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It shouldn’t be surprising that every game in the collection runs nearly flawlessly at 60 frames per second. The Integrum Masterpiece bundle can run at 4K on my desktop or Steam Deck with little caveats. I did notice, though, that most, if not all, cutscenes are stuck at 30 frames per second, but with some times, I’m confident (if it hasn’t launched already) that modders will find a way to prez and unlock the frame rate to match the rest of the bundle.

Simple, Yet Clean Ports

For fans looking for Ultrawide support, I’m sorry it isn’t available in the bundle. Whether Square Enix plans to add it in future updates remains to be seen. I have always used television with my desktop as I prefer having a larger screen, but mods are available to get the most out of your monitor. With that in mind, just a few weeks after launch, Nexus Mods has a ton of files you may want to consider adding if you want something different than the vanilla experience.

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Referring back to my television for a moment, Kingdom Hearts received new textures for its release on Steam, and it wasn’t until I used my OLED display to play the collection that I noticed the textures were all over the place. It isn’t surprising that more and more developers are using AI to fix older games as it saves a lot of time that is better spent elsewhere. The downside of this is that you can see how machine learning requires a human hand to guide it through its tasks because the upscaled textures are either good or bad.

The opening to Kingdom Hearts 2, for example, looks a lot better, thanks to machine learning. The textures look more refined, and it’s hard to fault any developer for working with these tools. Generally, the console ports are decently translated to PC, but it isn’t until Birth by Sleep that you can see many differences. It may not look as good graphically as its predecessors, but it comes close. The same can be said for Dream Drop Distance, a title launched for the 3DS in 2012 and sees new life in 2024.

Any issues I’ve encountered and described are not game-breaking, but they are a nuisance. Square Enix has the tools and, I hope, manpower to correct these minor nuisances with time, so I would like to see these quirks addressed in a patch.

For those who like to tinker with the menu settings, Kingdom Hearts doesn’t offer much if you’re looking to fine-tune your experience. You can adjust the display’s resolution, frame rate, refresh rate, colour blind mode, and so on, but that’s all.

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The biggest surprise of the bundle is how well Kingdom Hearts 3 works out of the gate. It’s only five years old and works mainly, and it is the one title out of the bunch to have a bit more freedom in the game settings. I had issues getting HDR to work correctly on my Steam Deck model, but texture quality, shadows, and anti-aliasing work well. Those who want to mess around with the various settings will get a kick out of it here. As long as I can hit 60 frames for my handheld or desktop, I’m more than happy with moving forward.

Verdict

Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is a hail mary for Kingdom Hearts fans who held out for a Steam launch. It’s impressive, primarily on handheld and desktop, but some issues can be fixed with time and resources. Mostly, it is a cohesive package that bundles everything for those who want it on one platform. If you’re looking for piecemeal options, that’s also available, but it is best experienced as a complete saga.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: Steam

Kingdom Hearts
Review: Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece
Summary
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece is a hail mary for Kingdom Hearts fans who held out for a Steam launch.
Liked
Delivers a great experience for Kingdom Hearts fans on PC
Several titles are iconic and memorable
Steam Deck support out of the box
Didn't Like
Some games take forever to begin
Some technical issues, mostly textures needed to be addressed
Cutscenes are locked to 30 frames