kingdom hearts 358/2

PLATFORM: NINTENDO DS
RELEASE DATE: SEPT 2009
PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX
ESRB RATING: E
Progress: 80% at time of posting

Missing the heart?

With the new announcement of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, I feel that this post is timely. Let’s hope that Birth by Sleep doesn’t put me to put me to sleep like Kingdom Hearts 358/2. In my opinion, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 was the glimmering hope to revitalize the action role playing Kingdom Hearts franchise. 358/2 tells the story of Roxas, a young nobody trying to learn the meaning of his existence and why he is in Organization XIII. The story is good, but the whole game is based off someone with amnesia, so the story seems lackluster. The game alludes to the other Kingdom Hearts storylines, but fails to provide the piece to continue the Kingdom Hearts storyline. The reason the story becomes attenuated because to advance the story is to do random missions throughout the Disney worlds. The storyline suffers from the mission based game play. Furthermore, the storyline becomes a bit confusing because the main character Roxas suffers from amnesia. And it is the player’s task to piece together his shattered memories (This could be especially confusing for someone who has not played other Kingdom Hearts games).




If you are a fan of the old Kingdom Hearts games, this game might be for you. But ONLY to fill the void till next Kingdom Hearts comes along. If you don’t pick up 358/2, you won’t regret missing this DS game. But then again, this is a decent game for the DS.  Overall, I find the DS game selection to be somewhat childish and uninteresting. But back to Kingdom Hearts 358/2, the fight system is almost the same as Kingdom Hearts 2. However, the developers have added many new options to the game, which I believe detract from the true value of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. First of all, I do not like the mission system. The mission system makes the game lack the necessary flow. To advance in the story one must beat a mission, but the missions have no other point but to get to the next mission. The missions increase in difficulty; however, I didn’t find them very difficult and I found myself doing a lot of button smashing. Each mission is started from the same exact place, Organization XIII headquarters room, no matter how far you have progressed in the story. It becomes repetitive and annoying, especially the repeated cut scenes. Every cut scene is the exact same! Stop showing me that damn clock tower! PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO ME AGAIN SQUARE ENIX!

Another addition to 358/2 is the panel system, where you add stats, levels, magic and weapons. The panel system is a little strange, especially because you have to add your level panels to level up.

Also, if you want to play as other Disney characters, that’s out. In fact, most of the Disney is out of the game, besides playing in the previous Disney worlds and a couple clip scenes of the Beast or Aladdin, the game is basically devoid of Disney. As a Disney fan, I found the interplay with the popular cartoon characters appealing; missing this characteristic the game became less charming.

I’m not finished with Kingdom Hearts 358/2, but I have probably 20 more days left till the end. I will probably finish the game, just because I’m curious to see how the story ends up. To be honest, I don’t think I will touch it after I’m finished. Don’t get me wrong, the game is decent but lacks the soul of the other Kingdom Hearts.

Let’s hope that Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep can be the savior of Kingdom Hearts.

C+
The redheaded stepchild of the Kingdom Hearts franchise

POSTED FOR CONTRIBUTOR: b-real

1 Comment

  1. Kingdom Hearts really needs a console based jumping on point for new fans. I’ve always been curious and the artwork has always looked pretty cool.

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