KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days (PS3) Reviews

  • smokin_cheezsmokin_cheez172,994
    21 Feb 2014 25 Feb 2014
    7 0 3
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    As a huge fan of the series, I couldn't wait to replay the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Collection and relive early PS2 life with added content, updated graphics and being able to play 358/2 Days which was one of the DS titles I didn't manage to get my hands on until recently. Something I learned (which I could have noticed if I researched better) was that it's strictly the cutscenes from the game, and no gameplay. I was a tad annoyed but I enjoyed this aspect of the Collection all the same.

    STORY & CHARACTERS
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    This story follows the missions of a Nobody named Roxas. Roxas is a part of Organization XIII, a group of Nobodies (the vessel left behind once the heart is taken from an individual) who's goal is reconnaissance on worlds and the collection of hearts to help in creating Kingdom Hearts. With Kingdom Hearts they're told by their leader, Xemnas, that they'll acquire their own hearts due to its immense power.
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    With Roxas as the last and thirteenth member, and the only one capable of wielding the Keyblade, he's sent on various missions throughout the game. He learns along the way, thanks to the other members and their teaching methods, about reconnaissance and releasing hearts. Each member has their own approach towards Roxas ranging from warm to cold behaviour. The group assists him in wielding the Keyblade more efficiently and pairing him up with different members to be sent on various missions across many worlds, even some previously visited by Sora in the original Kingdom Hearts.

    The story is fantastic and you learn more about the world from the other side of the spectrum. As the Organization, you learn from their perspective what they were doing between the first and second Kingdom Hearts and during Chain of Memories while Sora is gallivanting in Castle Oblivion (play Re:Chain of Memories in the HD Collection).
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    INTERACTIVITY
    The main menu is taken from the game itself but doesn't allow you to play the game. Believe me I was peeved, I really wanted to play the game! But the ability to watch the cutscenes and also to read the various pages of Roxas' diary and Secret Reports (items that are collectibles in the game) feed you the story and allow you to dive more into the universe and try to piece together the various connections between this game and the others.

    With the menu options, you're able to watch cutscenes separately, or just to play the whole thing in one viewing. I, myself, grabbed some popcorn and sat down watching all of the cutscenes, one after another, while occasionally having to press on the controller in order to continue through some text. The thing about watching the cutscenes is that there's a difference between in-game cutscenes and cinematic cutscenes. The cinematic cutscenes show more emotion and movement from the characters and these are the cutscenes that are shown while watching. The other in-game cutscenes, which happen while talking quickly to a character or a long narrative explaining something, isn't included but shows a picture of the moment while explaining what's happening through text. These scenes don't just happen and move on to the next, you need to interact with the controller and skip it after you're done reading. This broke up my "movie time" and made me need to reach for my controller to press the button to continue, which isn't really enjoyable.

    Another menu option they added which I enjoy is the ability to read Roxas' diary that he writes in each day of his time in Organization XIII and the Secret Reports. Roxas' diary entries are interesting, and you see him evolve as a "person" throughout the game as he experiences more and more. He develops his own views on things and thought process when it comes to various characters and situations presented to him so it's fascinating to see his growth. The Secret Reports are written anonymously by various members of the Organization. These reports explain background information in the universe of Kingdom Hearts, whether a member is doing something in 'another game' or has their own hidden agendas. They're pretty interesting and it's pretty easy to guess who's writing the report based on the way the writers carries themselves.

    The only way to unlock all of these pages is to watch every cutscene of the game.

    TROPHIES
    Completing this game is EXTREMELY easy. All there is to it is watching and reading everything throughout the game. Unfortunately, there is no Platinum trophy for this, and I don't blame the developers for excluding it as it would be one of the easiest Platinums to achieve in gaming history.
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    SUMMARY & PERSONAL VIEW
    This section of the 1.5 HD Collection is interesting and all, but I really wish they included an updated graphics version of the game itself from the PSP. Even if they charged more for the game I wouldn't have minded. If they were able to do it with the Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank Collections with three PlayStation 2 games then it should be possible with two PS2 and one PSP game. Other than that, an avid Kingdom Hearts or RPG player should watch these videos as it offers more into the world of Kingdom Hearts and is a good way to spend your evening earning easy Trophies.
    3.5
    Showing all 3 comments.
    BGYCFMBThis is definitely an interesting choice for a game (movie?) to review! A thing you should take note of however is that this was originally a DS game, not a PSP game. You're thinking of Birth By Sleep.

    Regarding the HD collection, in an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, it was explained explained that KH1 lost all original assets and data, so Square Enix had to essentially build KH1 from the ground up again. http://youtu.be/IpzjiMPhNBU?t=7m10s

    While it would have been interesting to see how KH358/2 would play on a PS3, it honestly didn't add much to the series in terms of gameplay except a larger character roster. Square Enix probably recognized that and made a smart yet controversial financial decision about not remaking it for budgeting reasons. I can't imagine how hard it would be to port a DS game to the PS3, which is already notoriously difficult to develop games for.

    This is definitely a title for the true fans the series that are getting hyped up for KH3 coming out soon, but people who aren't familiar with the story will see this being included in the collection as a joke on Square Enix's part, while in all actuality it was actually a great addition to the collection.

    In other words, it's basically like a bonus DVD included with a limited edition game, except you can get trophies on it, so it's automatically cooler.smile
    Posted by BGYCFMB on 25 Feb 14 at 05:04
    smokin_cheezThanks for all the info, man! I knew it was a DS game, I even bought it not too long ago. Must have had a brain fart and put PSP :S but I'll correct it. It's interesting how you said they built it from the ground up again, is that Final Mix that built from the ground up and redone for the HD collection? Or was it redone for the HD Collection? If so, there's so many things they could have improved on like the freaky gameplay cutscene generic character faces. That's why I'm excited to see KH3 so that everything has more detail.

    Now that I think about it it would be difficult to port a DS game over to PS3, but 358/2 Days did have that Mission Mode with the Organization members which would have been interesting to see!

    Thanks for the awesome comment. I like to learn new info on the series I love and constructive criticism on my reviews. Check out my other ones if you're interested in any of those games!
    Posted by smokin_cheez on 25 Feb 14 at 18:49
    BGYCFMBNo problem! I've been a big fan of the series for years and I always look at what people have to say about the games. And I'll definitely check out your other reviews!

    KH Final Mix was remade from using assets they took from actual copies of the PS2 game for the HD collection. It's not all that uncommon for developers to dump out the data for their older games because literally nobody assumed that HD remasters would be a thing for the next generation.

    And yeah, I do wish they would've taken the time to make the faces during cutscenes more consistent. Preferably, I'd rather have had them put some voice acting behind the Final Mix exclusive scenes that were never dubbed in English. I mean it's seriously only like 10 lines of dialogue for Riku and at most 5 for Mickey and their voices haven't changed nearly as much as Sora's has anyway!
    Posted by BGYCFMB on 26 Feb 14 at 08:53
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