Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
So we are. Pathetic spin-off time.
We're Roxas, we're before Kingdom Hearts Chain of memories (after Kh1) and we've just gotten recluted in Organization XIII. Great. We start completely useless, unless our dear keyblade, very cool, blablabla. Some days after our Roxas, Xion arrives. Wasn't this organization "XIII"?
But well, the whole game is about those dark days where roxas fought for the organization, good. You can play different chars through the story and all, yeah, fantastic.
It's a shame that gameplay sucks.
You'll find yourself, in the middle of a map, smashing repeteadly the "A" button (and really really rarely the "y" button) to tear apart tons of heartless and, sometimes, nobodies. Pretty challenging if you're on "Proud" mode (there are easy,normal and Proud mode), probably because all you need to do is getting lucky and swift: a good tempism is the key, not godlike combos, not godlike stats, just tempism.
Now, after this statement, let's proceed with the customization: our dear Roxas starts barely with that keyblade and nothing more. After few missions (and days) they'll explain you how to equip magic and other things. Now the funny begins.
Unlike other kingdom hearts, this fictional "action rpg" is developed around the fact that you've got a numbered "backpack" where you can equip items + abilities (yeah, right, you equip an ability), oh dear... in those empty squares, you need to put potions, magics, keyblades and abilities. Obviously this limits the gameplay and, more obvious, is completely messed up. You'll find yourself in a critical state, without a potion, because the mission requested you to get a specifically keyblade which takes up to 3 spaces. That's just crazy.
But it isn't all: the story proceeds almost linear, everyday you'll be assigned to somebody in the Organization, who should be your support, and your trainer. After some days, you'll be alone, due to the squad sent to Castle Oblivion (half organization).
But, your missions will be listed in the same menu, and you'll be teleported in that "map" (which they call "world", probably sarcastic) to accomplish your mission. Sometimes these missions are funny, and reminds you of that kingdom hearts taste of kh1, but often you'll see the boring and frustrating thing about treasures that can't be reached with your current skills, boring missions (examine this, examine that...) and more boring challenges. Infact, if you do not accomplish missions "istantaneously" you can repeat that by choosing "holo-missions" in the menu, and replay to get every treasure, or find every optional boss (yeah, there are some optional bosses... funny and somewhat tactical, though not so challenging)... good thing if the gameplay wasn't this bad.
Now, the hard thing: graphics just suck, if you're using an emulator (like me) you can choose Opengl or nocash as renderers, but the difference with Opengl isn't that outstanding: they still look somewhat poorly textured, though the faces and weapons are really good to see. Obviously if you put apart your keyblade, which will be very much the same in any sauce.
Sounds: i can't really say anything on this, because the emulator doesn't work well with sounds: they're somewhat distorted when the game runs (but not in videos, don't know why), but overall the sound goes well with the mood, and battle sounds are familiar to all those who played Kingdom Hearts: good choice.
Originality/story: now, the story is going to be your reason for playing this. It's really good, though it just spins around money, it seems like kingdom hearts is sounding like "i'm a crazy money worker" and developers are just messing up the plot. Should stay away from this if you're an hardcore fan of kingdom hearts, it just tries to explain that Roxas and Axel aren't a couple, becuase there is Xion! No, really, there isn't an escape for this plot: xion is like aqua... she justifies the Yaoi component in the plot, and the whole game.
Longevity: longevity here means boring and frustrating attempts to complete the game at 100%, and achieve a decent satisfaction for it. If it is a good point in every kingdom hearts game, here, like in Chain of memories, you'll hope that everything will end in the second day you play it.
Pros: variety of monsters, close gap with the plot , somewhat original, will keep you on the Ds for atleast 20-30 hours, various characters to play with, variety of combos, barely replayable, nice sounds and soundtracks, astonishing videos in CG (yeah, HERE the DS graphics just rock)
Cons: monotony of gameplay will conquer your heart, not so "challenging" if it comes to "rpg difficulty" and not "arcade difficulty", very often too linear, frustrating times if you try to get 100%, bad in-game graphics
Game Traits applied to Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS) by Ukeboy