Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Review
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: h.a.n.d. Inc. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 29, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Still, despite these minor grievances, the battle/leveling system in 358/2 days is the most solid iteration of the battle system I have seen thus far. The panel system injects some much-needed strategy into the mix, and even though prior iterations did allow for targeted leveling, this one takes that aspect to the extreme and forces you to really focus on your character development.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days screenshot

In addition to the regular gameplay, 358/2 Days is the fist Kingdom Hearts game to feature a multiplayer component. Although it is not part of the story, players can join up with up to three other people (over a local connection; multi-cart) and replay missions from the story with additional help. There isn't much of an overarching goal to the multiplayer mode, but it is a nice inclusion, and as long as you have friends close by to play with, then there's some decent fun to be had with the multiplayer aspect.

As for production values, 358/2 Days is quite solid. The visuals replicate the original Kingdom Hearts quite well, and many of the revisited locales in the universe look just as good as they did on the original. My only complaint with the visuals is that the environments seem a little less detailed and a lot more restrictive than they did previously. Still, given the portable format, some form of truncation is expected, and the world of Kingdom Hearts retains just as much charm and whimsy as ever.

The audio is also of very good quality. Characters are fully voiced during animated cutscenes, and the voice acting is top-notch. The music is also very good, despite being recycled from both console entries. 358/2 Days is certainly a title that is as pleasing to the ears as it is to the eyes.

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I'm sure many Kingdom Hearts fans will opt to skip this title, as Roxas isn't exactly the most popular character, and many wouldn't be interested in an entire game based around him. But if you don't mind Roxas, or are curious about the inner-workings of Organization XIII, then you will certainly find the story entertaining and satisfying.

Aside from the story, 358/2 Days still has the signature Kingdom Hearts style of action RPG combat, which is a boon all by itself. The more strategic leveling system also helps keep this title feeling fresh, and the multiplayer options are just icing on the cake. As a Kingdom Hearts game, 358/2 Days does not disappoint, and fans who don't mind the focus on Roxas will find a lot to enjoy with this entry in the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
The look of the original Kingdom Hearts is very well preserved, and the different Disney Universes are nicely presented, despite lacking some detail.
4.0
Control
The combat controls feel very familiar to the PlayStation 2 entries, and the use of the shoulder buttons for camera movement works extremely well.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
All of the music is sampled from previous Kingdom Hearts games, but original voiceovers sound great.
3.8

Play Value
The single-player mode is really only good for one playthrough due to its linear nature, but the multiplayer mission mode is a great addition to the experience.

3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • World-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura and his team once again unite the magical world of Disney with the characters of Final Fantasy, inviting fans to an enchanting gaming experience.
  • Multiplayer Mode - for the first time in Kingdom Hearts. Four players can team-up as their favorite Organization XIII members.
  • Fully 3D environments and characters, gigantic boss battles and an orchestral soundtrack push the Nintendo DS capabilities to the full.
  • A wide variety of missions to complete across a range of huge worlds. Lots to explore including Standard Missions, Trial Missions, and multiplayer Mission Mode.
  • Limit Breaks! The special near-death ability from Final Fantasy VII is brought to the world of Kingdom Hearts allowing for explosive special attacks.
  • Panel System - organize your weapons, spells, abilities and even levels with this new system that makes you strategically think about what you can carry.


  • Screenshots / Images
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