Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Posted:  Jun 13, 2024
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The game was provided by Square Enix for review. Thank you!

It's time to talk about the second collection of Kingdom Hearts games now available on Steam, and thankfully for my fingers, there are only three titles included in this one. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue continues the story that was left off from the previous entry with Dream Drop Distance, 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage, and χ Back Cover, with the first two being playable and Back Cover being a movie.

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You can check out our review of the previous collection, 1.5+2.5 ReMIX, to see a bit about the story leading up to this one and how it runs on the Steam Deck.

Be warned, this part of the review could contain some spoilers. If you are playing through the entire series from start to finish, skip this, but I will be trying to minimize any spoilers when possible.

The first of the two playable games is Dream Drop Distance, which follows Sora and Riku taking the mark of mastery exam to become Keyblade Masters in preparation for Xehanort and the incoming showdown that is unavoidable. They are sent to worlds that are trapped in a "sleeping" state since they were destroyed by the heartless, and they are tasked with restoring them. When they arrive, they are put into alternate versions of the worlds they go to, and will need to complete their tasks while meeting characters from across Disney and Square Enix IPs (like The World Ends with You).

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The story for Dream Drop Distance isn't super convoluted, but does use terms and knowledge that was established in the previous games. To fully understand it, I do recommend playing the previous titles, but I believe it can be understandable once you play them.

0.2 Fragmentary Passage is essentially a prequel to Kingdom Hearts 3, telling the story of what happens to Aqua after Birth by Sleep when she is in the Dark World. I won't talk more about this one since it does have major spoilers for Birth By Sleep and sets up for the next game in the series, but it's definitely interesting to experience. Once everything connects in Kingdom Hearts 3, you will be happy you played it.

χ Back Cover is the cinematic that essentially goes over the events of the mobile game Kingdom Hearts Union χ and sets the scene for the entire franchise. This makes the movie here a prequel to every game in the series and shows what the world was like before the big Keyblade war and the events leading up to it.

Then we have the gameplay. Both playable games follow a similar structure to the previous titles. You run around a world, mash the A button to attack, use magic, and utilize abilities. Dream Drop Distance does have some more unique elements to it, like the flowmotion system and creating and cultivating Dream Eaters to help you in battle, and uses the same ability elements from Birth By Sleep. You fight, level up, take care of your Dream Eaters, and save worlds.

0.2 Fragmentary Passage is the first game in the series to swap to a new engine and graphical style that we will see in Kingdom Hearts 3. The combat feels exceptionally more fluid, and new systems like the more powerful magic tiers. We do still have a lot of the same mechanics for Aqua that we did in Birth By Sleep, but it feels much more refined and fun to control. We can also move around while casting magic, which makes gameplay feel a lot more energetic. Yes, it is still button mashy, but it feels more enjoyable to play now that we can move around more and everything is so flashy.

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As for the visuals, Dream Drop Distance is very similar to the PS2-era titles from the previous collection, while 0.2 Fragmentary Passage and χ Back Cover both use a new engine with the new visual style. Dream Drop Distance still holds up and looks nice, and the updated textures are a fancy touch, but the visual overhaul with Unreal Engine 4 is amazing. The worlds look more defined and creates a much better atmosphere. It also allows for some great effects coming from magic or finisher moves. It's a splendor for the eyes. And paired with the awesome soundtracks, it's great to sometimes just sit back and take in the sights.

Luckily, both games are very playable on the Steam Deck, but 0.2 does need some changes:

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue - Steam Deck Performance

I will get the easiest ones out of the way first: Dream Drop Distance and χ Back Cover run flawlessly on the Steam Deck. Just like the previous collection, the battery drain will stick to 6W - 8W, with some minor spikes to 9W in Dream Drop Distance, but both will stick to 60 FPS without issue. Back Cover is a movie, so this wasn't a huge concern. There were some minor drops in Dream Drop Distance when the camera is close up, and you are making attacks that are very flashy, but it went right back to normal afterward.

As for 0.2 Fragmentary Passage, it does need some changes. If you want to keep it at default, you can set the framerate to 45 FPS and get a very smooth experience with high battery drain, while you will need to lower the resolution to get 60 FPS. Depending on the tradeoff, this is completely up to you. I found that not changing anything and keeping 45 FPS was my favorite due to lower battery drain, too, but if you want to get to 60, I recommend lowering the resolution to 1152x720. There will still be some drops here and there, but lowering any further makes things really blurry.


Just like the previous collection, we can change sound bars and gamepad controls, but the games do have their own settings too. In-game, you can change camera controls, subtitles, vibration, and some game specific stuff like Deck Scrolling and Diving Controls.

The games technically support 16:10 resolutions, but it looked like the screen was stretched, so I wouldn't recommend changing it. It does have cloud saves and controller support, but no HDR settings.


Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue continues the awesome precedent set with the first collection. It brings in two great playable games, and one interesting movie, that all works well to lead up to the culmination of this saga so far, Kingdom Hearts 3. Even with some of the issues from combat and the convoluted story, the games hold up wonderfully. The Steam Deck has no issues playing any of these and all the problems from the Epic version of the game from the last three years have vanished. This is a wonderful way to continue the saga, all leading up to the big conclusion.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue continues the story and creates an intriguing lead up to 3, all while being wonderful on the Steam Deck.


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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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