Review by shnickshnick
"Why couldn't they make the other KH games like this?"
While scrolling through games I plan to get for Christmas, I decided to buy one of them now. I picked up 358/2 days, since I was waiting for it since May. I played it for less than 10 minutes, and then.....................I was hooked on my DS for the rest of the day. I just simply couldn't put it down, I even played it with the charger in so I could keep playing. Kingdom hearts 358/2 days is a very good installment to the KH series, if not, the best so far (probably even beating KH2!!!), and here's why...
Story, 9/10: The story takes place during the 358 days Roxas, KH2's new character, was in Organization XIII. In terms of the KH timeline, this takes place during the ending of KH1 (possibly), all of CoM/Re:CoM, and the events that happened between CoM/Re:CoM and KH2. The story was very well explained as Roxas learns more about the Organization and his past, while spending time with his friends Axel and Number XIV of the Organization. But some of the days were cut out of the game. What happened during those days? Was it just simply Roxas doing his job and eating ice cream? So, the story was very well done, but all the days should be explained, not just some of them.
Sound/Music, 8/10: The sound is what you would expect. Hitting a wall sounds like hitting a wall, and walking sounds like walking, nothing too special. The music is re-hashed music from the other 3 KH games, plus some new themes. The re-hashed themes are advanced for the DS, since most of them sound like they did on the PS2 (I like the addition of the Cavern of Remembrance theme from KH2: Final Mix Plus). Although, some of the re-hashed themes and most of the new themes are pixalated, like what you would expect on the DS. The voice acting is only in the PS2-like cutscenes, and when characters perform a limit. They were okay, but not really as good as the game's PS2 counterparts. So overall, the sound was good, not much to say.
Graphics, 8/10: The game itself is advanced for a DS game, seeing that some of it's cut-scenes look like a PS2 game, just with a bit of a lagging problem. The rest of the game looks average for a DS game (Seriously, a whole game with PS2 quality on the DS? Not gonna happen). Some of the enemies look a little more deformed than they did in the other games, but other than that, the DS quality doesn't really mess up the game. The Graphics are a little advanced for a DS game, and that's good enough.
Gameplay, 10/10: The Gameplay is very good. Once again, there's three difficulty modes to choose from (Beginner, Standard, and Proud, Standard is more preferred). The gameplay is set up by missions, in which Roxas must do a certain objective (whether it be kill some Heartless or find collectibles), then RTC (Return To the Castle), throughout his career in the Organization. Another thing is the Mission mode, which is a mode where you replay the missions from story mode, except with some major differences. One is that the missions are a bit harder (with enemies having higher stats and HP), and here's something that made just about everyone go crazy........there are 18 other characters besides Roxas that are playable in Mission mode. And if that wasn't enough, there's a multiplayer mode so that you can complete missions with help of your friends. In KH1, you were banished to just playing as Sora and a Heartless for a very brief moment. In CoM/Re:CoM, you could only play as Sora and Riku. And in KH2, only Sora, Roxas, Mickey, and Riku were playable. Now, we have ALL FOURTEEN Organization members, plus Sora, Riku, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey. What more can you ask for? Most people say that everyone fights the same, but that's not correct. There's one character that uses ranged attacks as a regular attack, and has to reload after a while. There's some that could perform deadly combos, some that could take more abuse, use better magic, and move faster. The gameplay does get hard at times, but that's what all of us want, to be challenged. So overall, all of this gameplay of character selection, multiplayer mode, and replayable missions make this game very good.
Controls, 7/10: The controls are a little awkward. It feels weird moving with the D-Pad, and you have very little control over the camera. You could move it by pressing Select, but you can't move, so if you do it with enemies on the screen, you just pressed the suicide button. The only method of moving the camera with the ability to move around is centering it behind you, which is okay, since enemies can't easily sneak attack when the camera is looking away from them. But everything else is just okay, B jumps, Y does special moves, A attacks, and so on.
Replay value, VERY HIGH: With 19 playable characters, replaying the missions in Mission mode gives you one fun task...............completing every mission with every character.
Buy or Rent?: You have to buy this, it's that good of a game. If you're new to the KH series, give it a rent, THEN buy it.
Overall, 10/10: This game is very fun to play. It shows what the DS could really do, and actually let's you do all the things you wanted to do in the other games. But there's only one problem, this game is only on DS. That's not a problem, but why can't there be a home console version on the PS3 or Wii? That would be awesome. So overall, if you're a fan of the series, I highly recommend this game to you. Let's hope Birth by Sleep gets it right, too.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/23/09
Game Release: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (US, 09/29/09)
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