Game Review — Kingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysDecember 17, 2009 at 2:42 am | Posted in Console | 2 Comments
Tags: boring, ds, game review, games, kingdom hearts, kingdom hearts 358/2 days, sea salt ice cream, spoilers
WARNING: SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW. I’m not going to hold back for this because to be honest I’m not going to be able to say all that I want to without spoiling some things. If you choose to read on, don’t complain because I’ve warned you.
Anyways, I got this just about the time it released. But I hadn’t finished it until now. Heck, I barely even touched it until recently, because all I’ve been thinking is “I really should finish KHDS, just to get it out of the way.” So… I did. Argh not sure this was my best decision ever, but it’s over and I now know the ending. I can take the cartridge out of my DS and say good riddance. I’m done with this game, and will likely never look back.
So, follow me beyond the cut for an adventure into Organization 13… or something.
ONCE AGAIN, SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.
This is your last chance to turn back before you have no right to complain.
Alright, so let’s talk about this plot. Quite honestly, I felt there was so little plot at the beginning, I can sum up the “plot” of the first 10+ hours of game play in three little words:
Mission. Ice Cream.
I’m not going to lie, that is pretty much 90% of the game. You do some mission, in some world, find out some information that is not related in anyway to the true plot, and then get ice cream while sitting on the edge of the clock tower. Which, by the way, does it ever occur to them that doing that is dangerous? I mean, geez, Roxas and Xion nearly fell off quite a few times, and I’m sure they’ve also almost fallen off during those skipped days. Oh, yes, days are skipped. You don’t play every single one of the 358 days. Honestly, that’s a blessing. If I had to sit through 200-300 and some odd in-game days of Mission, Ice Cream, I would have tossed this game out a long while ago.
Anyways, so when plot finally starts to show up, you’ve made it through some 30-40 hours of game play. It’s somewhere in the 200s plot starts to emerge. Xion has pretty much, up to this point, been that emo kid who hides in their room or runs away from everything. Xion attempts to run away for good, teaming up with a “traitor” to the Org.13 (Hey guys, he was never among your numbers in the first place. Odd that you chase him alone though, and not the his friend, hint hint “Your Majesty”). She runs away long enough to get the Organization on her case and they send out Axel to go catch her. He brings her back a butt load of times because she keeps running off, and Roxas just keeps getting angry because Axel has to hurt her to do it. Org.13 sets up a trap because Roxas is becoming useless as he dumps everything into her because… Guess what? she’s a puppet, built to suck everything out of Roxas, kill him, and then become their Keyblade slave. So, she hightails it out of there again, this time pretty much for good. Roxas begins to wonder why he’s helping them, and finally decides to really say “fuck this” and leaves. With nowhere else to go, he returns to the clock tower, to be greeted by Sora!Xion, as she has finally realized she will join with Sora so he can awaken. Cue epicly-lame battle, and Xion… dies. Yeah. Following that, you go through Deep Dive, trying to fulfill Xion’s last wish, to destroy Kingdom Hearts so that they can’t use what she did for evil or something. It all ends on a ‘happy’ note and we see Roxas running like an idiot off to hang with his fake friends in Twilight Town.
In short, the plot was shoved into the last couple of hours of game play. There was no point in going to every world, there was no real story going on there besides set-up for what goes on in KHII, so in reality all of it was filler. Killing time to set stuff up for a plot we’ve already seen the end to (Or should have anyways). When the plot finally kicks in, it has so little time to fit into it feels rushed, but at the same time bogged down by those pointless missions Saix keeps sending you on. Once I saw the true plot, and realized how little of the game was left, it really was a rushed plot. They explained a good deal of things, but I’m not so sure I really wanted to know it. Xion was clearly the main plot point, but she was constantly shoved to the side, only to be seen at the end of missions when Roxas headed up for his daily ice cream fix.
Speaking of the ice cream, what is with Roxas’ fixation on the damned thing? I really got sick of him and his need for that stupid Popsicle every day. On top of that, one of his last phrases to Xion is “Who else will I have ice cream with?” Is that all you care about Roxas? Getting ice cream with people? God damn Roxas.
Anyways, moving along down to graphics. As far as a DS goes, this is the best they can really do. It’s a step up from the last handheld game in this series, but then again a DS is a step up from a GBA for that matter. The 3D is horrid, but again, this IS a DS, so I kind of have to let it slide. They use a video codec or whatever to get those pretty-pretty 3D cutscenes with their usual awesome CGI, and for once they actually put some voices into the thing. I won’t be mispronouncing Xion’s name until they make some console port of the thing! Also, pretty easy to tell genders when they TALK. I know I’m not the only one who though Marluxia (who I also called “Mar-lux-ia”, not “mar-lu-sha” until ReCoM) was a female until they used “he” somewhere late in the game. I really don’t have much to say because the graphics are pretty bad, but they’re the best a DS can churn out.
On the note of graphics, the camera is so frustrating. If only for ONE mission. What moron’s idea was it to put that claw up on top of the swirly hill in Halloween Town? It was horrible to try and attack it, and don’t even THINK about locking on, otherwise you’ll be running back and forth for a long while, and lucky if you don’t get killed, all because they perched this single claw on top of that hill and the camera cannot handle it when you fall off the hill.
Music-wise, I liked a few tracks. That one sad-ish sounding piece was beautiful and I wanted to hear it more. Otherwise I didn’t care. They were all pretty much remixes or just plain copy-pasted versions from KHI and KHII, since all the worlds in here appear in those games too.
Alright, so now we’ve made it to my challenge and enjoyment factor. Challenge? There was practically none. The final boss, even as a multi-stage boss was a push over. Yes, I was playing Standard Mode, but does that really matter? The final boss was a push over, and I had really been expecting more from it. All it came down to was not getting hit and just whittling down her HP. I was majorly disappointed in the final battle. You get to play Deep Dive, but honestly… it was lame. Dual Wielding for all of, like, 5 minutes, and against a lame boss (Riku, yes), who gets his ass handed to him and barely puts up a fight. Even Xion, who I consider the true final boss, put up a better fight than he did, and all of her battles were just a matter of whittling down her HP. Dual Wield + Lame opponent = major butt kicking time. In short, there was little challenge, thus making it easier for me to loose interest.
And now… my enjoyment, or rather, lack of it. As I’ve said, the majority of the game is pointless and stupid, consisting of the same shit for 30-40 hours until you finally hit where the real plot comes out and then they rush it all in a matter of hours. I really was disappointed with this game. I didn’t care for the explanation of some of the stuff in KHII, all I wanted to know was what’s up with Xion, and they failed to deliver that until the end, during which they rushed everything in as quickly as possible. It was nice, however, to see a few world again, since they were cut from KHII. Specifically Neverland, Wonderland, and Agrabah. Neverland was definitely the best world in this game. You finally stepped out of the ship. Yes, you read that right, you aren’t confined to the ship. You’re confined to one set of islands per mission, sure, but that’s not the boat! (Though the boat did seem to get a downgrade for it) Wonderland was nice… until it started to feel like overkill. It felt like they were trying to do TOO much with the world to compesate for the lack of it in KHII. And Agrabah was, in my opinion, one of the better handled worlds as well. Sometimes it felt rather big, but it did work well and they didn’t over kill it like Wonderland. Anyways, on the flip side there are worlds that I never want to see again. I don’t want to see Halloween Town ever again. Three games with the same crappy plot line (Jack preparing to scare the pants off people), and I’m sick of seeing this world. Not to mention I felt they overkilled it in KHDS alone. Also, Beast’s Castle. Another world they just plain overkilled. In general, they covered some worlds well, and others they’ve made so un-enjoyable I never want to see them again. The game really did disappoint me though. The pacing was horrible, the plot rushed, and worlds overkilled, leaving me to just keep thinking “I’m almost done, I’m almost done.”
I just hope Birth By Sleep does a much better job than this boring game.