Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days came out on the Nintendo DS in the US on September 29, 2009. While the game had been pushed back several times, the final release does not disappoint. It follows a different format than the PS2 Kingdom Hearts, 1 and 2, and the GBA’s (and eventual remake for the PS2), Chain of Memories, but Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days still shines.
Story (4 out of 5)
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days there is no Sora, at least for you to play with. Instead we get to follow the story of Roxas and Organization XIII, the mysterious black hooded figures that served as Sora’s antagonists in Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 2. The game takes players through the year (just about) that Roxas was with the organization and gives us a bit more back ground information on the shady Nobodies.
Roxas was created when (spoiler) Sora turned into a heartless in Kingdom Hearts, now, as part of Organization XIII, he is one of the only members who can use the Keyblade. Under orders, he collects hearts from the heartless so the Nobodies, people created when heartless steal hearts, can gain their own hearts. It gets convoluted it you haven’t played any of the games. Just trust me that is is awesome.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days controls similar to the other Kingdom Hearts games, except on the DS. There is a fully 3D environment to run around in with the d-pad. The Y, X, A, B buttons control things like jumping, magic and the keyblade, while R controls the camera and L is shortcuts. All action takes place on the top screen while the bottom screen is reserved for maps.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is divided into days and each day has a mission with a particular objective that must be completed before Roxas can return to the base. There is a gauge at the bottom of the screen that allows you to see how much of your mission is completed. You can access the mission info any time you need to.
Missions consist of things like killing certain heartless, providing recon, or following shady characters around. Like the other Kingdom Hearts games, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is divided into stages by world. At first the only world you can do missions in is Twilight town, but that soon expands to the familiar Disney worlds. Roxas is not alone on missions as other Organization XIII members join him to provide support.
Gameplay Continued (5 out of 5)
The cool thing about Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is that leveling up is much different than the other Kingdom Hearts games. You have a number of panels that you fill with everything from weapons to magic to items to levels in order to use them on missions. There are unique ways to combine abilities and other things in panels and it give the game a nice sense of control.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days you can play in normal mode or Proud mode, which is the hard mode. Also, once you complete some missions in story mode you can replay them in mission mode to collect extra things or play multiplayer by linking up with a friend’s DS. This allows players to be more than just Roxas, as other Organization members become available, like Axel.
Graphics and Sound (5 out of 5)
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is on par with the first Kingdom Hearts in terms of graphics. It looks out of this world for a DS game. The 3D animations at the beginning look so good, I forgot I was playing the DS. However, once the game starts in earnest things get a little blocky and the quality drops a little. Nothing overwhelming, but the DS has its limits.
The music and sound in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is great too, just like other Kingdom Hearts games. All of the old familiar favorites are back and it is great to hear them. Sure, there’s not a lot of new music, but the old music is so good I can’t complain
Fun (5 out of 5)
Yes! Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a load of fun. If you love the Kingdom Hearts series, this game is a must. The story is great, the gameplay is interesting and exciting. I love the panels and the control it gives you over the abilities Roxas has in battles. Everything about this game has me gushing. It is one of the best RPGs for the DS since The World Ends with You.
Overall (5 out of 5)
I loved Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and highly recommend it. However, those who haven’t played any other Kingdom Hearts game will be very confused, as the game assumes you are familiar with all the places and characters. If you are ready for a new Kingdom Hearts, pick up Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. If you haven’t played any Kingdom Hearts game yet, start with the first one and work your way here. You won’t regret it.