Kingdom Hearts Returns With Familiar Faces In Tow - Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - Nintendo DS - www.GameInformer.com
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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Kingdom Hearts Returns With Familiar Faces In Tow

After years of inactivity, the Kingdom Hearts series returns. This time, anxious players get to experience Roxas’ story of his days in Organization XIII leading up to his awakening in the intro sequence to Kingdom Hearts II. Certain hallmarks of the series return, like fun combat, good production values, and an intriguing story. But what used to be a key advantage, the connection with Disney, has proven extremely limiting to Square Enix. Every single world in 358/2 Days has already appeared in Kingdom Hearts, and the Disney characters don’t serve much of a purpose in the game. Do we really need to be introduced to Genie again or investigate why Beast keeps a woman in his castle?

Wisely, the developers have focused most of the story on their own characters in Organization XIII. The tale of Roxas, Axel, and Xion is a touching one, and should be experienced by any fan of the series, though it could have been told much more concisely. You’ll spend way too much time chatting and eating sea salt ice cream. When it ramps up towards the end, however, it helps make up for these dull moments.

The melee combat and upgrade system work very well. As you complete the game’s bite-sized missions you’ll consistently earn useful goodies that can be applied to the innovative Tetris-like grid system. Placing things on your ever expanding panel unlocks new keyblades, combos, leveling multipliers, defensive maneuvers, magic, and more. Bashing the heck out of the wide variety of enemies satisfies in a classic way and the lock-on system does a good job of keeping foes in view. For some reason, the lock-on goes out the door when it comes to magic. You’ll get steamed as a precious fire or ice spell drifts pathetically past its intended target, and then you’ll just stop using magic altogether.

The short mission structure is tailored for handheld play. Indeed, there are plenty of fun missions and challenging boss battles, but things get repetitive fast. You can replay missions to collect all the items, replay them with special challenge conditions, or replay them in mission mode with or without friends. Fortunately, you can skip many extraneous missions and still be powered up enough to beat the game. And that four-player co-op? It’s local, you can only replay missions you’ve already beaten, and you can’t trade any items. Single player is up to snuff, but multiplayer is a clear missed opportunity.

 

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Second Opinion:

8.00

Most companies only get to use the art it created for a game once. Square has recycled nearly every environment in 358/2 from Kingdom Hearts II. What’s more surprising than this bold move is the fact that I didn’t really mind it. Not only is it impressive to see these PS2 levels running on the DS, the reused environments are appropriately framed to a story about Roxas’ first year with Organization XIII. Gameplay-wise 358/2 also feels a lot like KH II, and while I could have done without the one-hour tutorial, the action is fun. Even the new Panel leveling system adds a unique puzzle quality to upgrading your character. Kingdom Hearts fans won’t want to miss this portable romp through the Magic Kingdom.

User Reviews:

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  • 7.50
    There are many things to like in this game especially if you are a Kingdom Hearts fan. It gives those players a chance to play one of their favourite franchises in a handheld, thus letting them take it wherever they want. However, this game does little to improve the series, whether it is in terms of...
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  • 10.00
    Oh hi there, fellow Kingdom Hearts fan -- it's good to see you. Yes, have no fear, I too am a devoted follower of this venerable Square Enix franchise and I have been since the series debuted on the PlayStation 2. So before you read any further, I can assure you that I care about this game just as...
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  • 10.00
    Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is ne of the best games in history of Kingdom Hearts!!For those who already know what happens after the game,you can pretty much tell why Roxas sees Soras memories when he visits worlds Sora has been to.Still,I wish that there wouldve been any kind of mystery in KH2 as to who...
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  • 8.75
    358/2 Days strives to achieve something nearly impossible: to bring the all of the nuances of gameplay of Kingdom Hearts onto the Nintendo DS. Keeping this in mind, it could be said that 358/2 Days deserves a 10 for this incredible feat. Unfortunately, not many play games for the technical aspects. Story...
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  • 9.50
    ~Updated~ This Review is on the game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days, I believe that this game has a very good storyline for a side game, I loved the gameplay even though it could be better. Gameplay: 9.00 Storyline: 9.40 Twists: 9.30 Overall: 9.50 What is your idea of the game? and say what you mean don't...
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  • 9.00
    The great part about this game for me comes in two parts. The first part was the simple fact that the gameplay resembled so much that of the original Kingdom Hearts and had great graphics on top of that. The second part was learning more about Organization XIII. I was saddened by the fact that the game...
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