Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Kingdom hearts 358/2 Days

Gamespot score:8.0(Great)

my score:7.8

(+)Pros:-Good story that explains some plot holes in kingdom hearts 2,-combat runs fluidly even on the DS,-lenghty main story,-more characters to play as add in variety

(-)Cons:-Repititive quests,-too much world revisits and backtracking,-does'nt interesting until later on

Gameplay time:30-40 hours

With the release of so many games already, the kingdom hearts franchise is growing at an astounding rate. Kingdom hearts, chain of memories, kingdom hearts 2 and RE:chains of memories after that, there is no shortage of KH love. Now with even birth by sleep and RE:coded, theres more to go around, but before that, the game at hand today, 358/2, is quite an important game to the franchise. For one, its the first kingdom hearts game to ever land on the DS, does it work, or does it fail? While it received great scrores throughout the net, heres my opinion on the game.

358/2 talks about the story of the all so famous roxas, a new member of organization 13. Roxas is dubbed as the 13th member of the organization, and is sora's nobody. For the organization's dream to be achieved, which is to attain the ultimate power of kingdom hearts and become full again, they will require the help of the keyblade, which is just what roxas, nobody of the rightful keyblade master, holds. Being nothing but a tool for collecting hearts to complete thier goal, roxas is devoid of life and emotion, but axel is picked to babysit him, and the 2 soon form a bond of friendship. Soon after, roxas starts acting more life like, and befriends a new 14th member, xion, also a wielder of the keyblade. Together with the other organization members, roxas is to collect hearts and seek out the true power, kingdom hearts, to become complete along with his other organization mates. But the charade doesn't last long, as a greater force beholds to stop the process.

Battle is just like back in the PS2 era, with a few tweaks.

 Kingdom hearts 358/2 days is the debut title for the franchise on the DS, and the future of the franchise for this console rests on this game. A few factors make the game suceed, mostly the battles. The battle system plays out much like the game's PS2 counterparts, you move around a field, with or without party members with you. On the field, you can jump around the areas collecting treasures and interact with objects, whilst being interupted when enemies appear. Just like in the PS2 games, you run and jump around, hacking and slashing your enemies with the trusty keyblade.

Combat is simple, but is pushed further when the help of skills and magic. With magic, you do more damage by fiiring projectiles of the given element. Skills are mostly passive, but they let you do amazing stuff, such as extending combos or rushing in to attack enemies. This game however, is abit different in terms of character growth. You gain moves and stat boosts by equiping cards to your deck. Certain cards boosts different things, or give you usage for moves. For example, level cards make you stronger, a potion card gives you the use of a potion, while a fire card allows you to cast fire.  You only have limited deck space, but the amount of cards you can hold grows, and thats how you keep getting more powerful.

Larxene is powerful as she is sexy.

358/2 is also different than its other counter parts in 1 part, characters. In previous games, you could only control sora (or roxas in the beginning of KH 2), while donald, goofy or any of your party members stay played by the AI. While the AI arent horribly bad, it sucks to always let the AI use the characters. In 358/2, things are better, as you can play as the organization characters, most of which are horribly cool, much better than donald and/or goofy anyway. I mean, why wouldnt you want to play as xaldin, wielder of seven spears, or even demnyx, who uses a guitar! While of these characters are fine on thier own when played by the AI, using them for your own fun is a great asset of the game. In the course of the game, you take missions, where you  follow a set of objectives in a set world you visit. Most of the time, it is required to do these quests before proceeding unto a story mission. In these quests you will visit many of the game's worlds, agrabah, twilight town, halloween town and many more.

These new places provide fresh air from previous worlds, but should be no suprise to more experienced players of the series. In each world there are thier own breed of heartless, though they are well needed to be slain, they are most of the time no challenge. Exploiting the same combos you have been doing throughout the game easily dispatches 75% of the heartless breed in the game, though the remaining 25% do add some strategy to beat them, the game's core battles remain mostly quite simple. Bosses, however, are different. KH bosses are known for their difficulty at times, and good thing the difficulty is kept in this game's bosses, as they still stand though to beat and require some strategizing to actually beat them.

Big bosses stand in your way, good thing they provide the challenge this game needs.

358/2 is not without flaws, in fact, they spoil it from being a great game. The quests are highly repititive, you just go to the certain worlds to either kill heartless, get certain items or complete some other minor objective. By the time you do every required quest on a certain world, you would already have become incredibly sick of seeing the world, since the game requires you to revisit a world many many times, even after you have cleared the story event on that world. Also, the start of the game is a long drag, the tutorials, missions and conversations bore like hell. To add on, roxas only does that lousy 3 hit combo we have seen so much in the previous games already.

358/2 is a good game on its own, but as a kingdom hearts game, its SLIGHTY low on content, just slighty. Not that its low on content, just that most of it feels reused and recycled, but placed on the DS. The main game is lenghty, and will last you for at least 30 hours, but if you ask me,I would very much prefer BBS, which is a much better game. Still, make no mistake, this is a good game, and if you are a fan of the series, this is a game worth getting.

Happy gaming.