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on January 16, 2017
This series is amazing! I have played Kingdom Hearts II and was dying to play with Roxas again. When I found out that Square Enix made a KH game for the Nintendo DS, I just had to buy and try! So far I love that this game is centered on Roxas and the Organization. It explains the friendship between Roxas and Axel and what the Organization was after. Although it doesn't have many cutscenes, it does have a lot of conversations and the gameplay is just like that of KH II with the exception of missions. In fact, many of the lands that are explored are those that were explored in KH II such as Agrabah and Beast's Castle. Though it may be repetitive for some who've played KH II, I think KH 358/2 is something any Roxas/Organization fan and any KH fan that wants to play something KH will enjoy.
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on August 12, 2014
I have only been able to play 3 Kingdom Hearts games until this point. Obviously KH1 and KH2 along with the PS2 version of Chain of Memories. Kingdom Hearts as a whole is in my top 10 for gaming franchises. Due to all the KH games released after KH2 being on portable consoles, I have missed out on some of them. However, I wanted to play 358/2 Days really bad because Roxas is one of my favorite characters and I need to experience more of him. I finally dusted off my old DS Lite and got this game. For a DS game lets just say I was extremely impressed with the graphics and gameplay. However, the hallmark of the game is its story. KH2 introduced us to Roxas who had a short but pivotal role in the game's story. 358 provides us with how Roxas came about and his experience with Organization XIII. It is a strong story that hits all the emotions. Even though I never cry playing games, when Xion fades away into Roxas, it almost gave me tears. This game was designed very well. It was linear, but it felt right since you were a member of the Organization and you are mainly tasked with carrying out missions. As the story progresses, Roxas becomes more and more powerful. It hit its peak at the end when he fights Riku. My much anticipated part of the game, and while it was short, it was a blast. This my just be my 2nd favorite KH game behind KH2. Only thing that could top it is Dream Drop Distance which I will be playing shortly or even Chain of Memories simply due to the Riku campaign. If you are KH fan, and have yet to play 358 find a way to. It is a fantastic game which adds more to the universe and gives you another opportunity to play as Roxas. Got it memorized?
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on October 18, 2009
If you're a big KH fan, who wants to know the back-story of Roxas' time in the Organization and who the 14th member is, then you might want to check this out. If you're a newbie KH player, you might survive understanding this without playing any of the other KH games. Several people's testaments say they haven't had much of a problem. It is recommended though, if you want to completely understand everything, you play the PS2 games first. But, it's not bad for stand-alone players either. I got my younger cousins hooked right away with it. (And for those who haven't touched this game but reviewed it anyways, like the one below me, I can only say that you intentionally want to lower the ratings...)


+ Vibrant colorful transition from its PS2 predecessors. It's like you're staring at a PS2 game inside a DS. Not bad for pushing the system to its limits.

+ The difficulty level is just right, because the Panel system affects it greatly. You can be 10 hours into the game and still be level 6.

+ Platforming is back compared to KH2. You'll be doing a lot more pushing columns and jumping around.

+ Beautiful FMVs (even though, they're just a few)

+ Dodge roll is back!

+ Some new orchestrations by Yoko Shimomura. Don't expect majority of the game to have new ones because you're going back to the same worlds from the PS2 games.

+ New parts of the PS2 worlds created. Meaning, even though we go to the same worlds as before, a lot of them have new environments made for them. So, we're not always completely in the same familiar area i.e. Agrabah's marketplace area and outside Cave of Wonders.

+ This is a long DS game. At least 25 hours and up, depending on what you do. (Not including multi-player so just consider that extra.)

+ The new Panel system, which you can customize how many things you want. It also limits what you have in your inventory. You gain a new panel piece for every mission you beat. It gives you the strategy on how you want to do your battling. Picture the Chain of Memories cards but not in a card deck. Also, you'll be using potion a lot more at the beginning of the game so it'll go quickly. You have to constantly add to the Panel deck and alter it several times.

+ New Secret Reports are added for this game. I've yet to come across them so I can't wait to read them.

+ Roxas' diary entries are interesting to read.

+ The game's script is witty and good. Good enough that it makes me dislike Larxene 10 times more now.


o The tutorial is long but it's not as long as KH2's.

o In the Panel system, they give you level-up panels, which allow you to obviously, as the name says, level up. You have to keep collecting them to increase your level but sometimes, you won't have any place to put them.

o The story will start off very slow but it gets better as you go along. Everyone recommends the 250th day and up to 300th for the story to really pick up. For me, I don't really care. It's already good as it is. I'm less than 80 days in at this point. Unfortunately, I'm playing this game already spoiled so I know what happens. Plus, the secret behind the 14th member...

o You'll only be using the stylus to control the camera to look left, right, and up. Which, I don't have too many qualms about.

o You have customizable options on your camera control and other things.

o Yes, you might find some parts of the worlds/scenes repetitive, but the ice cream eating has a somber meaning behind it.

o There is a meaning behind the title! If you still don't understand what it means, go look it up! :P


- The camera can get a bit shaky at some times when you're up against something.
- The D-pad will hurt your thumb at the beginning so please, take a break in-between playing it!
- When locking onto an enemy, I wish they allowed you to switch from one enemy to another like in the PS2 games.

That's all I really have to say about it for now. Be prepared for a slow moving story but a well-worth reward ending. :D
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on April 19, 2013
I can look past the bad graphics (bad compared to it's playstation predecessors) because Kingdom Hearts is my favorite series. Even 10 years later, I still play these games. I honestly think that they're the best games that I've played. They're full of all the Disney characters that you grew up watching and loving which makes this game deliver an amazing experience. You travel to worlds that you've seen in movies and the way they connect the Disney characters to the story is great. They feel like they're still the same characters. Not like different people in the bodies of them. The combat system of Kingdom Hearts has been changing and developing. I'm not too fond of the battle system in this game. But it's not too bad to the point where I don't want to play. It's just something that I've had to get used to. I'd say definitely pick this game up for your kids of any age or even for yourself. Even if you're new to the series. It's never too late to get into Kingdom Hearts. Especially with the PS3 version coming out. Wouldn't wanna miss out on all the action, right?
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on June 6, 2016
Haven't finished it yet, but I love it.
It provides hours and hours of gameplay. It also take you (as Roxas) into familiar worlds from Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 and delves even further. There are new rooms such as completely different Cave of Wonders and access to a hall above the Beast's Castle foyer and the top floor of the ballroom. The extra challenges (at least in solo mode) are complex-but-doable, and very fun.
I wish they had made a version of this for PS2 or some reasonable console. The touch-screen is hardly utilized and the game can played without using it at all.
Highly enjoyable game. As a fan of the series, I recommend it.
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on May 18, 2014
As the game has been out for a while, and it'll most likely be Kingdom Hearts fans who're interested in trying to pick the game up, there will be some unmarked spoilers. Further, I have not completely finished the game; I've reached about the 2/3 point. You have been warned.

358/2 Days (Said as "Three-Five Eight Days over Two") is an interquel videogame taking place between the events of Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts 2, both for the Playstation 2. The game follows the story of Roxas, Sora's "Nobody" from when he was turned into a heartless in the first game. It depicts Roxas's first experiences of being accepted into Organization XIII and being trained to perform missions that further the goals of the Organization.

First, the graphics. This is a Nintendo DS game, so as you could expect, the graphics aren't much to write home about. Cutscenes in particular are rather jarring, as you have a placid, happy-looking Xion brooding depressingly over something or a solemn, expressionless Roxas exclaiming something happily, among other... odd situations. Thankfully, the icons inside the text-boxes are better at depicting the characters' emotions(!). The in-game enemy sprites may be rather jarring as well, if you've played other Kingdom Hearts games; in particular, Soldier and Shadow heartless are very oddly proportioned compared to their previous incarnations, with Shadows being rather large and Soldiers having shrunk in comparison. Further, in Mission Mode at least, enemy models can appear very "choppy" at a distance, which was probably implemented to reduce slowdown in multiplayer games. You'll notice that there are very rarely more than three or four Organization members on the screen at a time, which was likely implemented for the same reason in single-player. The weapons, while a bit odd-looking in a lot of instances, are fairly well-rendered and have different models depending on what Gear you have equipped, and magic is fairly decent-looking as well. Ultimately, the only real downfall to the graphics in-game, however, (I'm placing it under Graphics since it doesn't seem to fit in Gameplay or other sections) is the camera. The camera can -really- screw you over if you're Locked On to an enemy that likes to bounce around a lot. Or if you have to make a difficult jump. You get used to it after a while, but it can be quite annoying starting out--and god help you if you Lock On to an enemy that's literally running circles around you; ready your motion-sickness pills.

Next, the characters. Many a Kingdom Hearts 2 "Organization XIII" fan has wanted a more in-depth look at the different Organization characters. 358/2 Days delivers, bigtime. According to Kingdom Hearts lore (prior to Dream Drop Distance), the Nobodies have no emotions or personality, instead simply emulating what they think they should be feeling at the time based on their memories of their lives as actual people. At first, Roxas fits the bill spectacularly--he has little to no emotion, no personality at all, and doesn't even really have a will of his own. Basically, he's what anybody would think fits the bill of "no emotions". Strangely enough, however, he begins developing a personality, and even what seems to be emotions, as the story progresses. The same thing occurs with Xion. All the other Organization XIII members, who've been around for much longer than Roxas, seem to have no problem with this, so it can be assumed that every Nobody starts out like this before developing a persona.

Axel isn't nearly as hot-headed as one might expect, instead seeming like an interesting combination of easygoing, level-headed, and calculating. Demyx is a slacker through and through; a lazy, goofy scaredy-cat. Xigbar tends to toss around nicknames and seems rather brash, otherwise seeming to have his own agenda going on in his head. Xaldin is not unlike Xigbar in this respect, though Xigbar seems more laid-back in comparison to Xaldin's fierceness. Luxord is very cool-headed, calm, and has this immense love for gambling puns in every bit of his dialogue. Larxene, though her appearance is very brief, makes her domineering, self-centered attitude very apparent, and finally, Saix is a fairly "Strictly Business" kind of guy, not really wanting to interact much besides to hand out missions. Overall, the cast is very diverse and interesting, shattering my expectations of a dull, dreary and personality-devoid Organization XIII. There's also, of course, the Disney characters... Oddly enough, there seems to be little to no emphasis on Final Fantasy characters whatsoever in this title. Instead, Roxas watches the interactions between the various Disney characters, who inadvertently help him to develop his own persona.

A few other Organization members appear, though their roles are very short-lived. -All- of the Organization members are also playable in Mission Mode. Yes, -ALL- of them.

This leads into the next section, Gameplay.

Combat generally flows very smoothly despite the DS's weak processing power; this is doubtlessly in exchange for graphics. Each character has an array of different weapons depending on the Gear they have equipped, and different weapons also mean different fighting styles for each weapon. It's hard to explain, and something you'd have to see for yourself, unfortunately. For some examples: with the basic keyblade(no Gear equipped), Roxas will do the classic midair combo that many players are likely familiar with from Sora. If you equip the Crown of Guilt, however, the midair combo will turn into a forward somersault, then a backwards spin. Many of the different Gears will change the characters' attack styles in this manner, so choosing a weapon to equip is just as much about how comfortable you are with the fighting style as it is about the weapon's actual stats.

While this is a cool gimmick, it also leads to some problems--namely, while playing as Organization XIII members in Mission Mode. Due to many enemies' small sizes, a lot of the characters' attack styles will completely miss the enemy or are otherwise extremely awkward to use. This is made even worse in the face of enemies who don't flinch from damage (I'm looking at you, Bully Dog), and can make solo missions nearly unplayable depending on who you've chosen. In particular, playing as Xigbar infuriated me--he's supposed to be a ranged character, but his attacks rarely seem to go far enough to actually hit the enemy; his shots' trajectories change depending on his equipped Gear and many of them are difficult to use effectively. This is in conjunction with his attacks doing -very- meager damage.

In fact, damage output from your characters seems to be reduced in general in Mission Mode. Since it's supposed to be multiplayer, and you're supposed to have up to four characters wailing on enemies at a time, it's justified in Multiplayer mode--but in Solo mode, it makes some missions extremely difficult until you've gotten far enough in the game to input enough Levels or Magic panels to offset the ludicrous damage reduction. What's more, you can tinker with the gameplay settings when going into mission mode to -further- reduce your damage output or to increase the damage dealt by enemies.

Thankfully, all of these changes do become offset once you know how to manage Magic properly and have enough panel space to do so. Magic is a serious game-breaker in this game.

So, with that said, on to Magic. Magic is extremely different in 358/2 than in other Kingdom Hearts titles. For one, there is no Mana meter--your spells are limited to a hard number by how many magic panels you install. For two, while there are three levels of each spell, -each level is a separate type of spell-. Rather than losing Fire when you get Fira, or losing Cura when you get Curaga, you keep all spells. In fact, keeping the earlier spells can sometimes be advantageous over using the newer ones; or you can go for "themed" panel-sets by equipping Fire, Fira, -and- Firaga (or the same with any other elemental spell). Fire, for example, is a small fireball that homes in on whatever enemy you're locked on to. Fira, however, shoots a medium-sized fireball that goes in a straight line and pierces all enemies in its path, dealing damage to them all. Blizzard creates a slow homing ice-ball that tracks the enemy and strikes them multiple times before disappearing, while Blizzara creates a sort of "Ice-mine" that damages any enemy who steps on it. These differences in magic allow for a lot of customization in your fighting style--and even as you get the -ara and -aga versions of spells, the first-tier spells can still be more powerful than them if you install them into Magic Level-Up links, meaning you aren't necessarily missing out on damage just by equipping a lower-tier spell.

The trouble in managing magic lies in the hard-cap, which unfortunately can't be overcome until later stages of the game. There is a workaround, however, in Ethers. Using the Magic Ring, you get the ability "Ether Boost" which increases the number of casts of each magic that're restored by Ether items. If you only equip two types of magic--say, Fire and Cure--and stock five each of them, you'll get one cast of each spell back if you use an Ether, leading to each ether restoring two total magic casts out of a stock of 10 total spells. -however-, let's say that you instead choose to stock 3 Fire, 3 Blizzard, and 4 Cure; this leads to restoring three total casts of magic; one of each spell. With Ether Boost, this becomes two casts of each magic, meaning you have four more attack spells for each Ether used. Naturally, this means that having a more diverse range of spells to cast can mean the ability to cast more spells total over the course of a mission. Learning to manage your magic types and tiers and your Ethers can make you a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.

As the final combat mechanic I'll go over, there's the Limit Break. Yes, the emotion-dependent, classic last-ditch-attack in Final Fantasy series is actually available to even Roxas(and the other Nobodies). The HP bar is segmented between a Green section and a Yellow section; if you're down in the Yellow section, you can activate your character's Limit Break by holding down the A button. This will allow your character to unleash powerful attacks that generally put their normal attacks to shame. It's a double-edged sword, however; as you use more Limit Breaks, your HP has to get lower to continue using them. Further, being attacked while Limit Breaking does not interrupt your own attacks; this is both good and bad, as situations that'd normally knock you back and make you want to back off and try to heal won't stop your onslaught, often going completely unnoticed unless you're keeping a close eye on your HP bar. Limit Break truly is a -last ditch effort- attack, not to be taken lightly in most cases. Use it carefully and it can turn the tides of battle, but use it carelessly and you'll end up failing more missions than you succeed at.

There's one last thing I need to review: Mission Types. They generally fall into the following: "Collect Hearts"(defeat all heartless that can drop hearts), "Defeat The Heartless Threat"(Defeat specific strong Heartless or Boss Heartless), "Collect Organization Emblems" (a sort of obstacle course) and "Investigate/Reconnaisance"(Look for different stuff for Roxas and his partner at the time to comment on about a new world). There are a few miscelleneous mission types, but these are the most prominent ones. I will warn you straight away--the Reconnaisance missions can be incredibly frustrating. There are generally no particular signs that you should investigate a particular spot; you just have to either run around covering every inch of ground you can, or look up a guide. It can lead to a lot of wasted time that could be spent towards other missions, and unless you just like listening to the snarking of whoever Roxas's partner is, the recon missions are just generally... un-fun. The Collect Organization Emblems missions can be difficult, as well; you're never pointed towards the starting point of the obstacle course, so you could get halfway through collecting the Emblems only to find out that you started out in a -very- bad spot. I strongly recommend looking up guides for them if you're aiming for 100% completion.

Ultimately, I give Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days a 4 out of 5. It has all the makings of a fantastic game; it could use some damage and hitbox tweaks in Mission Mode(particularly in Solo mode), the Reconnaisance missions can be incredibly frustrating, and the graphics aren't exactly the best thing ever--but the combination of strategy and fast-paced action, as well as the surprisingly diverse cast and the inclusion of a -multiplayer- mode for this Kingdom Hearts title make it every bit worth playing. As long as you don't frustrate yourself too much with Recon or Emblem missions, you'll find the title extremely hard to put down, and even people who started as Roxas-haters(like myself) will find themselves gaining a newfound fondness for the character.
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on March 25, 2015
This is my favorite of the series that isn't on Playstation (Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 2, and Birth By Sleep rank higher than this one). The story was awesome, maybe because I'm a little obsessed with Roxas ha, but I loved it. The gameplay was a little hard to get used to at first but once you get used to the buttons on the DS and whatnot it's great. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because the game does get a little repetitive, but again the story line and realizing what goes on between Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 is awesome. This game is way better than Chain of Memories, Coded, and even Dream Drop Distance, so if you're trying to find a good one in the series to play, choose this one. I've played them all so I would know!
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on October 31, 2015
Ok so I got this game a while back and apparently my first review didn't post for some reason so here it goes. I spent countless hours playing this game I enjoyed every last cutscene and text dialogue. So much so that I decided to replay it. However I will say gather as much heart points/badges as possible and watch your panels. Make good use of the space given
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on October 28, 2009
As a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series, I knew I was going to buy this game the instant it was announced. That being said, I kept up on the news as it was coming out and pre-ordered the game here on Amazon. Now that I've beaten the game I feel justified in giving a review.

First of all, the storyline is excellent as always. Fans of the series will know exactly what is going on. To me, it seems like they explained the story clearly enough for those that just picked up the game to have a rough idea of what happened in the rest of the series. The game continues the plot by filling in most of the missing details while simultaneously setting up some mysteries for future games in the true Square Enix fashion.

The Nintendo DS does a good job with the cutscenes which look almost as good as a the original Kingdom Hearts. Thankfully, they put in quite a few scenes, fully 3D with voice acting, into the game and you can watch all the scenes again once you beat the game in the Theater Mode. At a quick estimate there were over 30 minutes of cutscenes. As for the actual game graphics, they did a decent job. My only big concern while playing was that the Keyblades are obviously 2D in a way that sticks out when you turn the camera at odd angles. This isn't much of an issue, but it is noticeable.

The controls are pretty much the same as the PS2 counter parts which makes the game intuitive for fans. The small controls are a little bit problematic and I found my fingers getting a little tired of hitting the same button over and over for my next big concern with the game. For some reason that the boss level enemies in this game had way too much health. I was in Proud Mode, which is more difficult, but as the game progressed it got to the point where I would just run away from enemies rather than waste 10 minutes where I'd have to smash the attack command to even kill it. Additionally, all of the enemies will disappear when they're pushed too far from their spawn point which was another problem since some enemies actively run away and your attacks can send enemies flying.

This lead to several instances where I was just annoyed because I was almost finished killing the enemy and they would disappear only to respawn at full health. It seems like they gave the enemies large health to offset the amount of damage they'd receive in Mission Mode, which can be multiplayer though I haven't had a chance to experiment, but it seems like they could have differentiated between multiplayer health bars and single player health. Another small issue I had was telling the depth in the game where sometimes I would get hit by attacks I didn't think were close enough, but I attribute this to the small screen on the DS. Another issue with the battle system was the camera system which didn't work very well. Though the added an "auto-lock on" feature later, it wasn't very helpful when you are hunting a specific enemy.

Another big issue I found was that regular attacks just don't do much damage. The only way to effectively hurt enemies with attacks is through the combo finisher moves which makes upgraded keyblades useless because they generally extended the number of hits in a combo and most latter enemies aren't stunned by regular hits and will counter attack before you can finish your combo. Magic is the most effective route but it is limited by how many magic panels you equip which brings me to the next point.

Another feature that annoyed me at first was the "Panel" system. It is an inventory system but instead of equipping just items and abilities it also applies to your level. Yes, to level up you must equip level panels otherwise you have no stat gains. This was annoying at first when your options are very limited but by the end of the game I found that the panel system was pretty fun and helped make the game more strategic by expanding the customizability of your character.

All these faults aside, there is plenty to do in the game. The main storyline is composed of several missions that a player takes care of to progress to the next story bit. This is either good or bad depending on you preferences. I found it helpful since it allowed me to play the game between classes without getting trapped into a long saga. Additionally, there is a multiplayer mode that allows you to play through the plot again with up to 3 other people. I haven't had a chance to use it with anyone else but you can do "Mission Mode" alone in order to play as a character other than the main one, Roxas. Additionally the game has a challenge mode that applies restrictions to the missions you've already completed. Both modes allow you to obtain more upgrades to make your character better.

In summary:
+Plot is excellent
+Graphics are great
+Lots of post-storyline events
+Gameplay similar to others in series
+The battle system had several annoyances that detracted from my enjoyment

Though I pointed out a lot of flaws I generally enjoyed the game. The storyline was touching and I wouldn't turn the game back in despite the hardships. I'm not sure that non-fans of the series will bother with all the extras, but for the rest of us those add another level to the game and allow for much more playability.
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on September 27, 2015
Kingdom Hearts is my favorite series of game and this one is no exception, it's a must have for anyone who is a fan of the series! If you are new to the series I would still highly reccommend it, the story is played out so anyone can jump in to this wonderful universe.

Game took me about 40 hours to complete and had fun each second, it was a truly wonderful experience!
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