Kingdom Hearts 358.2 Days Final Impressions

Well, its done.  I finally finished KH 358.2 Days after about 3 months.  This one took a while, which was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t all that motivated to finish it.  I’m hoping that will change for the next game.

I enjoyed the plot a fair bit.  It fills in the gap between KH1 & 2 quite well from a different perspective.  I didn’t elaborate very much last time, other than you’re playing as Roxas during the entire year.  You end up making good friends with Axel (which was alluded to in KH2) and another member called Xion.  You go through all these missions, visiting many different worlds (on top of what I mentioned last time, you also go to Neverland & Halloween Town).  As the story progresses, you learn more about Xion and how she’s a replica of Roxas (much like there was a replica of Riku you were fighting in CoM).  The goal was to try and replicate the power of the keyblade so the Organization could take control of it.  Eventually Xion and Roxas find this out, neither of which are happy.  Xion also discovers that she has absorbed some of Sora’s memories (from Riku, who has been keeping an eye on the entire situation), and because of this, it is preventing Sora from walking up.  At first she doesn’t care, but eventually she comes around and decides to sacrifice herself for the greater good.  Roxas has to fight her to finish the task, which of course he regrets doing.  After it’s all done, Roxas inherits Xion’s Keyblade and tries to leave the Organization when he encounters Riku.  They battle, and while Roxas almost wins, Riku embraces the darkness and knocks him out.  In the final scene we see if Roxas waking up in Twilight Town on “The First Day”, leading right into KH2.  Very complicated, I know, but like I said, it fills in the story quite well.

As for the gameplay, I felt it just dragged on.  To be honest, I didn’t go through and finish every single mission 100%.  Each mission has a base completion state, but you can also collect all the treasure boxes, do a few extra tasks, and collect all of these badges, which I didn’t care to do.  I did enough that I was able to play every single mission (as there are some missions that get unlocked by completing other missions).  These extra missions though are just filler….no real story bits in them.  I did feel I was getting more powerful, which was cool.  I ended up really not liking the inventory Tetris game you had to play though.  It would have been cool if I had to actually make choices between which set of skills I could take with me, but you end up getting enough squares that you can take everything…you just have to gut your inventory and rebuild it each time, which to me was just a waste of time.  The battles themselves were alright, but I got bored near the end as you were fighting the same types of enemies over and over (…and over) again, no matter the world you were in.  I get it’s the DS and you have limited resources, but I suppose you didn’t need to go to all the different worlds then, or cut down on the number of missions because after the 50th “Collect hearts” mission, it was really dragging on.

After I finished, I went back and watched all the cutscenes in KH 1.5 HD.  Square had remastered all the cutscenes for 358/2 Days (although not the game itself…apparently there wasn’t enough time).  They looked good.  They all were fully voiced, and the story bits that didn’t happen in cutscenes were replicated with some text layered on top of screenshots from the game.  I know I wanted to actually play the game, but I will say that if you just wanted to experience the story, these are perfectly fine.  I even think they may have thrown in a couple extra scenes here and there to explain things a bit better.

Anyways, this one is done now, and I’ll be moving onto Birth by Sleep next, which I hear is actually really really good.  Here’s hoping :)

Until next time…