Review: Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (DS)

Last month, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was shown at Tokyo Game Show 2011.  The release of this game will mark the first Kingdom Hearts game to grace the 3DS, but what about the first on the DS?  Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was a landmark for several RPGs on the portable system, but is it any good?  Let’s find out.  Continue reading for the review! - Wayne

Story

Beware, in order to fully enjoy the game, I recommend that you play the other previous PlayStation 2 titles, due to complications in the storyline, prequels, sequels etc.  The story in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is set after the first game and covers the storyline of when Sora became a Heartless at the end of the first game. You play as Roxas, Soras Nobody.  As you play through his days at Organisation XIII, the game unravels certain secrets and revelations that will defiantly satisfy the greatest of KH fans.  At some points the story can prove to be quite puzzling, with the player probably wondering why “a certain section” is even in the game.  Nevertheless, its storyline entertains, and sets up the story for other prequels and sequels to come.

Gameplay

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days basically tasks the player with accepting missions, going into worlds and completing certain tasks set out to the player.  These tasks could range from eliminating a certain number of enemies, to collecting a number items in these different worlds.  Some missions require Roxas to take on huge bosses, which can sometimes prove to be a daunting task, with the boss usually being almost ten times the size of Roxas, but in the end the game offers enough upgrades and weapons to make the player feel powerful enough to take on these large enemies.  At certain times combat can feel a bit uneven, due to the enemy interrupting your furious combos, or the character not responding to your actions.  A new feature that has been added are the Limit Breaks.  Every time Roxas’ health reaches a certain level, the player is able to activate their Limit Breaks which essentially makes Roxas invincible for a certain amount of time while furiously attacking your opponent. This proves to be a great addition as it certainly helps the player in the most difficult of fights.

Before each mission, the player is allowed to change their equipment before they head into battle, but the player is limited to a certain number of equipment slots. These equipment slots limit the player to a certain number of items they can take with them (think of it like Tetris). Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days relies solely upon the players decision on what they take with them into the fight, but beware, chose wisely, or you could find yourself facing defeat. The Magic system in the game, basically lets the player combine various spells to conjure up more powerful ones, which is a great addition, letting the player experiment with different types of spells. Another thing to note is the soundtrack. although it mostly is compiled of old, rehashed tunes, they still treat the player to fast, up-beat tunes whiles pounding your enemy to smithereens.

Multiplayer

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a lot of fun to play, whether it’s by yourself or with a friend. As if the game didn’t pack enough in it, Kingdom hearts allows the player to carry out certain missions that they have completed with a friend. The game initially presents both players with 4 characters to choose from, and as the player progresses in single player, they will unlock more characters for multiplayer. Although at some times, when the combat really gets going, the games frame-rate can drop momentarily.  Even though it can be annoying, it doesn’t happen that often for it to be game breaking.

Conclusion

With the initial play time clocking in for about 17-20 hours, (without multiplayer or challenges) the game can keep the player playing for a long time. With Different costumes and Keyblades to collect, every play-through is different each time, making each one unique and special to the player.  If you own a DS and are looking for some Action RPG goodness, you’ll definitely enjoy Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Rating

9.0

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