Kingdom Hearts 358/2
Posted 3 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
Written by Mike Washburn
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is the story of Roxas, the “heartless” version of the series’ main protagonist, Sora. Organization XIII, a group of powerful “Nobodies” or beings without hearts, has recruited Roxas as its newest member, and the story of this game revolves predominately around developing the story of Roxas and the Organization.
358/2 Days is not a continuation, but more of a development of the story from Kingdom Hearts II. If you are a newcomer to the series, there will be some gaps that can only be filled by playing through the previous games. Kingdom Hearts is one of those IP’s with a GREAT story, and to neglect the previous games and jump into 358/2 is doing it a disservice. The progression of the story of 358/2 is predominately mission based. This slight change from the past is welcome. I enjoyed the structure and story that playing various missions provided, even though extended playing sessions brought a feeling of repetition along with it.
Battle sequences are action packed. A great amount of pleasure comes in dispatching a large amounts of foes at once. As with Sora, Roxas is also capable of wielding the keyblade, this makes combat play quite similar to the previous versions of the game. The shortcut system allows you to control your player with ease, being able to switch between magic and items quite easily. Another new feature in 358/2 Days is the limit break feature, which is a special power that can only be activated at low health, and is truly a lifesaver! Each character has its own limit break move.
The new “panel system” for 358/2 Days is a complete customization of how your character is built and what they are geared to do best. As you level up and gain new powers and abilities you are able to manipulate them on your panel board on an as need basis. You can tailor your character on the fly for specific boss fights or in multiplayer mode you could create a super group with friends where each players character meets a specific need in the group. Considering Square Enix’s penchant for elaborate character development systems, especially in the last few Final Fantasy games, a system like this was bound to find its way to Kingdom Hearts. The concept and execution of the panel system is very well done. The panel system is really the only portion of the game where the stylus is used. I would have liked to have seen the stylus used a little more in other elements of the game. Using the stylus in combat situations for example, would have taken advantage of the differences that the DS has to offer the game.
It has been noted frequently (and most popularly in the web comic Penny Arcade), and I’ll note it again here, the tutorial is quite long. The drawing out of basic instructions such as running, jumping and moving the camera are really unnecessary. The first time I sat down to play it, I actually had to take a break while in the midst of the tutorial as I was getting quite frustrated.
Graphics and Audio
By DS graphical standards, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is well above average. The character detail is exceptional and spell effects and animations are very well done. The major concern for me in this game was the camera control. Not having the advantage of the analog stick from PS2 versions of the game, you find yourself struggling to see all around you at times. While it is certainly a frustration at first, this is something you get used to as you play and I found it to be simply a minor inconvenience throughout the rest of the game.
While some of the music has been pulled from previous Kingdom Hearts games, that doesn’t make it any less great. It would have been nice to have a little more original content in the game. When you couple the general sound effects and music together, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 is impressive.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is the first in the series to feature a multiplayer component for cooperative play. In multiplayer you have the ability to link up with 4 other friends and you all can play as various members of the Organization. Having a feature that allows you to play the game with your friends significantly increases the value of the game overall. For a small group of friends who are all fans of the series I could see this being a great way to spend an evening!
Unlike other Kingdom Hearts, this version lends itself well to being able to pick it up and put it down making it a game you can play for quite a long time and still enjoy when you do play it. There is though, enough meat in this game to satisfy the person who wants to play this game very seriously and tear though the content. There is well over 50 hours of gameplay in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days if you play this game to its fullest. A great value!
The development of the story of Organization XIII and Roxas is a fantastic, and even necessary, addition to the Kingdom Hearts IP. The games just would not have felt complete without some deeper insight into the Organization and its members, and the relationships there. The DS holds its own carrying the torch for the story and any fan of Kingdom Hearts will find this game a pleasure to play.
+ Quite a few new gameplay features added such as missions, shortcuts and the panel system
+ Hold true to the overall KH style – fans of the series will be pleased.
- Stylus is underutilized
- Mission system can sometimes get repetitive during long playing sessions
- Some recycled content from previous KH games.
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Release Date : 2009/09/29
System : Nintendo DS
Publisher : Square Enix
Developer : h.a.n.d.
Category : Role Playing Game
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10