Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Initial Impressions

WDaysLogoell, here we are again.  Onto the next Kingdom Hearts game (and probably the most oddly-named one, not that they all aren’t oddly named), 358/2 Days.  this game is on the DS, and while it looks a bit dated these days, but thinking back to 2009 (before the 3DS came out), it looked really good for a DS game.

The story this time around focuses on Roxas (who was a member of Organization XIII, and you played as at the beginning of KH2).  We found out in KH2 that Roxas was actually Sora’s Nobody who was created when Sora became a heartless for a short period there at the end of the original Kingdom Hearts.  There was about a year or so that passes between then and the start of KH2, and it is in that year that this game takes place.  You basically track Roxas’ adventures as he learns the ropes of becoming an Organization XIII member.

The idea this time around is you go out on these “missions” for the Organization (which Saix gives out), and they are things like “Kill x Amount of Enemies”, or “Collect Hearts” (which only Roxas can do because of this Keyblade).  There are also investigation missions where you have to poke around the world and discover things about it.  Each mission takes 1 day (but, there will be times where you skip ahead a few).  I’m on around day 110 so far, and have done around 40 missions.  You get to interact with many of the Organization members, and they even make reference to the Castle Oblivion event (from CoM).  After that, obviously there’s a number of members who are no longer around.  I love all the little references to the previous games.  Looking forward to how things pan out.

I’m pretty sure you get to visit a bunch of worlds, but so far, I’ve only been to The World That Never Was (which is where the game starts), Twilight Town, Agrabah, Beast’s Castle, and I’ve done 1 mission in Olympus Coliseum.  So far, the missions are a bit repetitive (as you’re doing the same sorts of things in each world).

Gameplay this time around is very different from Chain of Memories (the last portable entry).  It’s way more like traditional Kingdom Hearts games…very action based, only without the use of an analog stick.  It can be a bit frustrating at times (like having to use the L and R buttons to control the camera), but you get settled in fairly quickly, and the battles don’t seem all that difficult (at least so far….I suppose that can change).  The inventory is very unique this time around too.  Instead of just equipping keyblades and accessories on Roxas, they make use of a Panel system where each item (whether its a keyblade, accessory, potion or skill) is either 1, 2 or more Panels in size, and these items or shaped like Tetris pieces, which all have to be organized correctly if you want to get the most out of the system.  Your “inventory” is essentially a giant empty list of panel slots.  As you progress through the missions, you’ll open more panels to slot stuff into, but what I find really interesting is the fact that you have to equip skills and even level up panels if you want to get more powerful.  It really offers a unique way of progression.  I like it.

I guess that’s all I have to say so far.  After I finish the game, I’ll be going through the HD cutscenes they released with the KH1.5 release.  That’ll be cool too.

Until next time…