||As anyone who knows me well at all can tell you, I am a huge fan of the Kingdom Hearts series. Ever since my I first picked up a Keyblade, I've been hooked. I was always attracted to the mix of a Japanese RPG style game with all of my favorite Disney characters thrown in for good measure. And, while to someone who has never played a KH game it may not sound like it makes sense, there's such an odd chemistry and appeal to the whole series. That being said, unfortunately, a setup this good can only do one of two things. It can top itself time and time again and continue to set a bar for other games to attempt to reach, or it can fail to live up to expectations and fail. After the mind blowing experiences players had with the previous games, 385/2 Days was certainly expected to be just as incredible. Too bad it didn't quite live up to the hype. Here's how it breaks down:
The storyline of 358/2 Days isn't bad at all. It actually covers a lot of the gray area and answers a lot of the questions players were left with after the previous games. The story takes you through Roxas' time in Organization XIII and tells the tale of how he discovered his true identity and what his significance in the plans of the Organization was. You progress through the story by accepting and completing missions given to you by your supervisor Saix. Most of the main missions are fun but some of the side quests are overly difficult, tedious, and nearly pointless to the story itself. The main problem with the game is the tedium and frustration of trying to get everything done and still have fun.
The controls are both physically and structurally solid. The game responds very well to your input and there is near pin point precision on the part of the responses. Some minor flaws may show up from time to time when using certain weapons or magic, but these are few and far between.
Thank whatever you must that Square decided NOT to use the ridiculous card battle system for this game. Kingdom Hearts shines the brightest when full out slash and hack fighting is the main way of battle. With simplistic switching from your weapon to magic to items and back again, and a seamless flow of battle, this is where the game really gets it right. There are a couple of problems with the game here however. While Kingdom Hearts was never really big on exploration, it is all but non existent in this game. Basically, get from point A to point B, collect tons of Hearts for the Organization, and you're done! Oh yes, and the difficulty level is never consistent. Some missions early on are super difficult, and some later on are super easy. Too unbalanced for my liking.
The graphics are... well... DS graphics. There isn't a whole lot more to be said than that. The BGM is pleasant, but nothing spectacular, and there isn't any actual spoken dialogue to speak of (no pun intended), so there is an element of disappointment on this category.
Disappointments seem to be scattered around this game in many aspects. While the game is fun and by all means playable, and despite it giving a lot of key clues into the story of Kingdom Hearts, there just isn't enough well structured content to make the game great. It's good, and for die hard KH fans who want their answers, even intriguing. For anyone else, it's take it or leave it. Fun, but nothing to stand in line for.