|Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days|
North American boxart of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Disney Interactive Studios
EU Eidos Interactive
|Distributor(s)||Disney Interactive Studios|
|Designer(s)||Tetsuya Nomura & Tomohiro Hasegawa (game directors)
Shinji Hashimoto (executive producer)
Patrick Chen (game producer)
|Release date(s)||JP May 30, 2009
NA September 29, 2009
EU October 9, 2009
AUS October 22, 2009
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
|Media||Nintendo DS Game Card|
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (キングダム ハーツ 358/2 Days Kingudamu Hātsu Surī Faibu Eito Deizu Ōbā Tsū, pronounced "Kingdom Hearts 3-5-8 Days over 2") is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS with assistance from h.a.n.d. It is a new installment in the best-selling Kingdom Hearts series. The story is an interquel taking place primarily between the second game, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and the third game, Kingdom Hearts II.
The game centers on the daily life of the main character Roxas, exploring the time from his creation during the first game, Kingdom Hearts, and leading directly into Kingdom Hearts II. Within the game, "358/2 Days" is a code that is explained after you progress through the game's single player mode.
It features 3D graphics, and single and multiplayer modes of play. The game was announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show to be released in Japan; a North American release as well as a European release were later confirmed.Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days had a special edition of the Nintendo DSi when it launched in Japan. The game launched in Japan on May 30, 2009, in North America on September 29, 2009 and in Europe on October 9, 2009.
358/2 Days features the action role-playing game style of the previous games in the series. To accomplish this, the game makes minimal use of the system's touch screen functionality. The game includes single player and multiplayer modes of play. The single player mode is story-based, focused on Disney worlds from past games, and progresses in days. In single player mode, the player controls Roxas, the game's main protagonist, who is accompanied by other Organization XIII members. The two modes are linked in that character growth is shared between them.
358/2 Days features a new gameplay mechanic known as the panel system which involves the customization of the character's levels, items, equipment, and abilities. For example, certain magic spells cannot be used if their corresponding panels aren't equipped, but can be used consecutively if multiple are attached. Weapons are also equipped using panels. There are also "Link Panels", which occupy multiple slots, but can be combined with other panels to form new or stronger abilities.
Limit Breaks, which previously featured in Square's Final Fantasy series, can be activated once the character's health drops below a certain level, indicated by a yellow health bar. Each character has his own unique abilities during Limit Breaks which are usually more powerful than normal attacks, and can attack more enemies at the same time. The second stage of a Final Limit is normally a different or powered-up version of the first, and begins at the point where the white line (starting at the high end of the yellow portion of the HP bar) meets top dead center. For example, Roxas shoots out pillars of light once the line begins to rebound.
Cooperative multiplayer was one feature on display at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show demonstrating that players can work together, in addition to the traditional use of AI-controlled partners. This is the first Kingdom Hearts game to feature cooperative multiplayer and the first game in the series to allow the player to control a female character (Larxene, and then Xion). The multiplayer gameplay is separate from the single player story and is mission-based, including cooperative and competitive player battles. Up to four players can play as one of the fourteen members of Organization XIII, with each member having different weapons, skills, and stats. Sora, Donald, Goofy, King Mickey, Riku are featured as secret characters in the multiplayer who are unlockable while playing through the main story. 358/2 Days' multiplayer also features a chat system for communication between players, but differs from PictoChat in that everyone will draw on the same screen.
Kingdom Hearts series fictional chronology
Like the other games in the series, the player progresses through a collection of various worlds, based on various locales from the Disney animated features canon: Agrabah from Aladdin; the Beast's Castle from Beauty and the Beast; Olympus Coliseum from Hercules; Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas; Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland; and Neverland from Peter Pan (featuring the main island setting new to the series rather than Captain Hook's pirate ship and Big Ben from the first game). The game also features worlds created specifically for the series by Square Enix. The most prominent world is The World That Never Was, which first appeared in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts and serves as the game's main hub, followed by Twilight Town, a frequently-explored locale. Castle Oblivion and Destiny Islands also appear in cutscenes.
The game revolves around Roxas, who was first featured at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II. Roxas is the Nobody of Sora, the series' main protagonist, born when Sora's body vanished as he briefly lost his heart and became a Heartless, and joining Organization XIII, a group of powerful Nobodies who served as the main antagonists of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. Like Sora, Roxas has the power to wield the Keyblade, a weapon normally used for battling darkness. The other members of Organization XIII play a prominent role as well, particularly Axel, Roxas's best friend who debuted in "Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories". The game also introduces a new member: Xion, a girl who resembles Sora's friend Kairi and can also wield the Keyblade.
Other characters who are featured include Naminé, a girl with the power to manipulate memories; DiZ, an enigmatic man wrapped in bandages; Riku, Sora's best friend; and King Mickey, Riku's ally and ruler of Disney Castle. Sora, the main character of the previous games, is featured prominently in the plot, along with his allies Donald Duck and Goofy, though they appear quite infrequently in the form of several flashbacks and memory-induced scenarios. Also appearing are Pete, a persistent villain who first appears in Kingdom Hearts II, and Hayner, Pence, and Olette, a trio of friends living in Twilight Town who also debuted in Kingdom Hearts II. As with the other games in the series, each Disney world features several characters who appear in the films their worlds are based on; on the other hand, no Final Fantasy characters are featured apart from Moogles, who manage shops for the Organization. This game features 19 playable characters, which is the most playable characters ever featured in a Kingdom Hearts title to date.
When Sora loses his heart and becomes a Heartless in Kingdom Hearts, his Nobody, Roxas, is created; unlike most Nobodies, however, Roxas lacks knowledge of his past life as Sora since the real Sora had been restored to his original form; in exchange for that, however, he gains a capacity for emotions. Roxas is soon discovered in Twilight Town by Xemnas, the leader of Organization XIII, and recruited as its thirteenth member. Each day, Roxas is sent on missions to other worlds, alone or accompanied by a fellow member, to destroy vast quantities of Heartless with his Keyblade and release stolen hearts, learning that his actions will further the Organization’s ultimate goal to summon Kingdom Hearts and allow them to become complete beings.
Over his first few days in the Organization, Roxas is placed under the mentorship of Axel, the Organization's eighth member. The two end up becoming close friends and meet up with each other at the Twilight Town clock tower to eat sea-salt ice cream together and talk about what's on their minds. Then one day, Axel is stationed at Castle Oblivion along with a group of other members, leaving Roxas alone. The next day, Roxas is partnered with a girl named Xion, the Organization’s mysterious fourteenth member who was inducted shortly after Roxas and, like Roxas, has no memory of her past and has the power to wield the Keyblade. Xion is initially quiet and emotionless, but begins to open up to Roxas, who suggests that she become friends with him and Axel once he returns. However, Roxas falls into a coma because Sora enters the other Castle Oblivion and Sora's memories are being messed with and entering Roxas' body and does not waken until a while later.
As DiZ and Naminé watch over Sora while he sleeps to cure the amnesia he had during Chain of Memories, Roxas begins to experience the process for himself, growing increasingly curious about why he can wield the Keyblade. In addition, he learns that all of the Organization members stationed at Castle Oblivion have been annihilated, and that Xion has vanished. Roxas is saddened by his friends' disappearance, but Axel soon returns and helps Roxas find Xion. However, Xion has mysteriously lost her talent to use the Keyblade. Roxas and Axel cover for Xion until she finally remembers how to summon the Keyblade via retraining, and the three become close friends.
Later, Xion is thrown into disarray over the nature of her existence after battling and losing to Riku. and distances herself from her friends to learn more about herself. She eventually discovers that she is not a Nobody, but an imperfect female replica of Sora created by Xemnas from his scattered knowledge. Furthermore, Naminé's attempts to restore Sora's memories affect not only Roxas, but Xion as well, preventing Sora from being brought back to life. Torn between staying with her friends and merging with Sora as per Riku's advice, Xion eventually decides to make the decision best for everyone and attempts to escape from the Organization, particularly when her powers begin to increase dramatically while Roxas inversely grows weaker. However, she is forced to fight off her friends, who are ordered to track her down whenever she escapes. Understanding the situation, Axel eventually allows Xion to escape, but loses Roxas's trust. Upon learning the truth about Xion from Xemnas, Roxas begins to doubt the Organization's motives and his own identity. Finally frustrated with his unanswered questions, Roxas leaves Organization XIII as an on-the-run fugitive, leaving Axel dejected.
At Twilight Town, Roxas is attacked by Xion, who reveals that she had been created by Xemnas to absorb Roxas and become the "real" Sora. However, after a grueling battle, Xion allows Roxas to kill her and requests that he release Kingdom Hearts and put an end to Xemnas's plan before turning into particles, causing everyone's memories of her to disappear. While heading back to do so, hoping to revive Xion and renew his friendship with her and Axel, Roxas encounters and battles Riku, who was dispatched by DiZ to capture him. When Riku is defeated, he taps into the suppressed darkness in his heart, granting him the power necessary to subdue Roxas, but also giving him the body of Ansem, who resides in his heart. Riku subsequently brings Roxas to DiZ, who inserts Roxas into a virtual simulation of Twilight Town without any of his Organization memories so that Roxas may eventually merge with Sora and complete the restoration of his memories, setting the stage for Kingdom Hearts II.
358/2 Days was developed by h.a.n.d. with Square Enix employees overseeing the process. The game was directed by Tetsuya Nomura and co-directed by Tomohiro Hasegawa. In 2007, Nomura mentioned he wanted to do a spin-off Kingdom Hearts game on a mobile platform and wanted the game to play slightly different than the other titles already in the series. 358/2 Days was announced alongside Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts coded at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 2007, where a trailer was shown in a photo-prohibited theater. New trailers were shown and a playable demo was available at the 2008 Jump Festa in December 2007 and the DKΣ3713 Private party in August 2008. Both single player and multiplayer demos were featured. Xion was also shown in the new trailer and in the multiplayer demo.
The Nintendo DS was chosen as the system before plans were decided. The development team wanted to have gameplay similar to previous Kingdom Hearts titles, but stated the number of buttons on the Nintendo DS was a problem. Some of the DS's functions, like the stylus, are not used in order to retain the similar gameplay from previous titles. Roxas seeing Sora's memories is incorporated throughout the game and has different types of gameplay for each world. The game's logo uses warm colors as a reference to the sunset in Twilight Town. The title, "358/2 Days", is a code that Nomura has stated the player will understand the meaning of at the very end of the game, though hinted in a recent trailer, and the word "day" is attached to the title as a reference to the daily life of Organization XIII. Though Birth by Sleep was the first of the three new games to begin development, 358/2 Days was released before it. The game was slated for a release at the end of 2008, but Square Enix pushed the date to February 2009. Once again the game was delayed for Japanese release until May 30, 2009. A release in North American territories was announced on December 2, 2008. The official English trailer for the title was shown at Nintendo's press conference at E3 2009, confirming a release date of September 29, 2009 for North America and October 9, 2009 for Europe.
|Metacritic||75 out of 100|
The game's current average score on Metacritic is 75%, and is 76.74% on GameRankings. Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot praised the multiplayer mode's gameplay, calling it "fun" and citing the ease of using magic spells and items. He complimented the single-player mode as well, commenting that the artificial intelligence-controlled Organization XIII members were helpful and competent. VanOrd, however, criticized the camera controls, stating that the on-screen character ended up in one of the game field's corners often. Nintendo Power's Chris Hoffman and Steve Thomason referred to the game as highly anticipated, and considered it one of the better titles displayed at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show. They praised the graphics, calling them among the best on the system, and complimented the familiar feel of the gameplay.
The Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave the game 9/9/9/9 (36/40) and praised the graphical quality of the game which had not been seen on a DS before as well as the gameplay mechanics and missions. They were also particularly impressed with the new panel system which allows the player to customize their fighting techniques as well as the ability to customize the characters from the Organization. The website RPGFan gave the game an 81 out of 100, praising the visual and aural quality, though expressing disappointment at the recycling of most of the music from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, as well as confusion about the storyline. Game Informer gave the game an 8 out of 10, praising the graphics for excellent production values and the journey of the camera controls from the PlayStation Analog Stick to the DS shoulder buttons.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was the top-selling game during May 2009 in Japan at 291,000 copies, even though it was released during the final week of the month. The following week, it was again the top-selling game in the region at 106,000 copies. As of August 2009, the game has sold 490,000 copies in the region. It is also one of the most reserved games for the DS. NPD Group sales data shows the game has sold over 360,000 copies in North America as of October 2009. By the end of 2009, the game sold a total of 571,981 copies in Japan alone making it the twelfth best-selling game in Japan of 2009.
"Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days" was nominated for 7 awards on Nintendo 2009 Power awards: Nintendo DS Game of the Year, Best Sound/Voice Acting, Best Adventure Game, Best Nintendo DS Graphics, Best New Character (Xion), Best Story/Writing, and Overall Game of the Year. On February 16th, 2010 it was announced that "Days" won all seven of the awards that it was nominated for.
|Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days|
|Mode(s)||Single Player, Multiplayer|
|Followed by||Birth by Sleep|
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (キングダムハーツ 358/2 Days Kingudamu Hātsu Surī Faibu Eito Deizu Ōbā Tsū ?, pronounced "Kingdom Hearts 3-5-8 Days over 2") is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS with assistance from h.a.n.d.. It is a new installment in the best-selling Kingdom Hearts series. The story is an interquel taking place between the second game, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.
The game centers on the daily life of the main character Roxas, exploring the time from his creation during the first game, Kingdom Hearts, and leading directly into Kingdom Hearts II. It features 3D graphics, and single and multiplayer modes of play. The game was announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show to be released in Japan; a North American release was later confirmed as well as a European Autumn 2009 release. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days had a special edition of the Nintendo DSi when it launched in Japan. The game launched in Japan on May 30, 2009. The game's official North American release was announced at E3 2009 to be September 29, 2009.
Like the other games in the series, the player progresses through a collection of various worlds, based on various locales from the Disney animated features canon: Agrabah from Aladdin; the Beast's Castle from Beauty and the Beast; Olympus Coliseum from Hercules; Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas; Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland; and Neverland from Peter Pan. The game also features worlds created specifically for the series by Square Enix. The most prominent world is The World That Never Was, which first appeared in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts and serves as the game's main hub, followed by Twilight Town, a frequently-explored locale. Castle Oblivion and Destiny Islands also appear in cutscenes.