Review by Elementalninjam
"A truly great game, but you must have some backround knowledge."
Kingdom Hearts has been an incredibly successful franchise. It has produced several outstanding games, the latest of which is Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. The game is truly engrossing, with every aspect being, at the very least, nearly perfect.
Let's face it, the DS has never been the cream of the crop when it comes to graphics. That being said, Days pushes the DS to it's limits, brilliantly illustrating every world visited. From the stark walls of The Castle That Never Was to the colorful cheerfulness of Wonderland, the places you visit look wonderful. The sprites are clean, and the cut-scene movies are smooth and beautiful. All in all, the game looks superb.
The sound in this game is absolutely stunning. Right from the title screen, I knew I was in for a musical treat. The array of songs the developers have put in this game is perfectly executed, and every song only adds to the already impressive atmosphere. The grunts, laughs and battle cries that are heard through-out battles and conversations all fit perfectly, which is more than can be said for some games. Finally, the voice acting is actually done well in this game, with the voices for each character fitting excellently. All of this combines to make an enjoyable and fitting acoustic performance.
Overall, the game plays very well. It uses a panel system of customization that, while a bit limiting in the beginning of the game, allows for a great variety of set-ups in the end. The controls, for the most part, function well and transition smoothly. The camera can be a bit tricky at times, and the lock-on system is lack-luster at best, but both problems are minor and easy to overlook.
The true glory of the Kingdom Hearts series has always been, in my opinion, the story. It takes well known Disney characters and uses them to convey a dark and complex story line. That being said, Days is meant to explain a part of that story, and not to stand on as it's own game. Instead, basic background knowledge of the Kingdom Hearts series is needed to truly enjoy this game.
Days follows Roxas, the Nobody of Sora, throughout his time in Organization XIII, the villains of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. The game explains several previously unexplained plot points, such as why Roxas can duel-wield Keyblades, and it also reveals the relationships Roxas had with the other Members.
After completing the game, there is still some stuff left to do. Completion of all normal missions will unlock one secret character for Mission Mode, and 100% completion of all normal missions will unlock the final secret character for Mission Mode. After that, you can set about completing Challenge Missions and Missions mode to unlock some cool items, but after that, there is nothing.
Overall, the game is great. If you're a fan of the series, this game is a definite buy. If not, it's still a good game get, but it will be slightly confusing. However, once you start playing, I would say that you will enjoy it greatly.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/23/09
Game Release: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (US, 09/29/09)
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