Frido continues our look at the previous Kingdom Hearts games with a look at the Nintendo DS entry, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
And now we’re onto the next game in the series, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The game was released on the Nintendo DS back in March of 2009. The Remix version on the PS4 is just some of the cutscenes, not the full game. So I went on Amazon and was able to find a copy for the DS to do this lovely review. Minor spoilers ahead, but the game has been out for 10 years.
Let me start by saying that this game is hard to follow if you haven’t played any previous Kingdom Hearts games. The game doesn’t follow the series’ main character, Sora, but his Nobody, Roxas. If you do not know (and if you don’t why, are you reading this review? Go play the other games first), a Nobody is the reincarnation of a person who has a strong heart. When that person has their heart stolen, a Nobody is created. Sora becomes a Heartless in the first game, which released his Nobody, Roxas. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 is also happening during the events of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories.
The game follows Roxas’ journey with Organization XIII. At the start of the game, Roxas meets Xemnas in Twilight Town, who recruits him to join Organization XIII. Organization XIII has, shockingly, thirteen members that kill heartless to release the hearts they have stolen. Nobodies do not have hearts and they feel nothing, but they can recall the memories from when they did have a heart and can remember what it was like to feel. Roxas, however, cannot remember who he was before. Roxas and a character named Axel become fast friends and work together on missions. Roxas also goes on missions with other members of Organization XIII. Roxas begins to meet with Axel everyday after their missions on top of the Twilight Town clock tower to eat sea salt ice cream.
They soon meet a girl named, Xion, who becomes Organization XIII’s fourteenth member. Xion becomes friends with Axel and Roxas and begins to join them for their daily ice cream bar. Xion soon falls into a coma after a mission goes awry. We find out that Xion is actually part of Roxas, and when combined, are plans from Organization XIII to make a perfect copy of Sora to do their bidding. Xion is eventually absorbed by Roxas, which leads into the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 2.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a good game. The controls work well, and the graphics are decent for being on the DS. However, the story is overly complicated; Xion is not a needed character, for example. The game could have just went through Roxas’s adventure with Organization XIII and said that they were training him to be a carbon copy of Sora. Her presence was ultimately unnecessary. It seems that the only reason she was introduced was to increase the length of the game.
Kingdom Hearts 368/2 is also the first Kingdom Hearts game to introduce a co-op mode, which, in theory, would make sense with what Nintendo was going for at the time: more cooperative play. With no one still playing this game, I wasn’t able to experience the co-op version for myself, but it seems like a good addition. Being able to carry out missions in a very popular game is a great marketing concept. I don’t know of any other Kingdom Hearts games that offer this feature, but I would love to see it in upcoming games.
Overall, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 is a decent game, it just has an overly complicated story. With the addition of co-op, the game was set up to be a great sequel, but it fell kind of short. If you’re thinking about playing through the Kingdom Hearts series and if you like Roxas as a character, by all means, play through it. If not, I suggest skipping this one. Or just watch the new movie of the cutscenes on the remix for PS4.