The Kingdom Hearts franchise has been a success for Square Enix as their attempt to reach younger audiences. At first, it did seem like suicidal as they attempted to combine JRPG elements with Disney characters. This seemingly-weird combination did hit the bull’s eye with character designer Tetsuya Nomura’s genius. Ever since the first game, succeeding titles have consistently performed well in the video game market. This time, they take on the handheld gaming market with Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS.
This particular title presented a few challenges for Square Enix to address, especially in translating their successful game franchise into the handheld format without sacrificing gameplay value and visual appeal that its console counterparts are known for.
Despite the Nintendo DS’ limited graphical capabilities, this game did a good job in maximizing its aesthetic value with cool 3D graphics to go along with its brilliant presentation. This goes along with gameplay modified to cope with the limitations of the handheld console. While the word “limitation” may seem to serve as a minus point, it is actually what makes this game good. It is still a good action RPG despite having been crunched down in size.
The gameplay has been broken down into different missions, which lets the player set his own pace by being able to stop and save from time to time, which is an important element in handheld gaming. The developers did a good job in keeping with the concept of handheld gaming in this title, which shows their considerate nature towards their audience.
These missions feature the action-packed battle system that should keep players at the edge of their seats. The camera does tend to be a bit buggy, but it is fairly alright considering you would be using the touchscreen to move it. The controls are comfortable enough for beginners to get into while letting fans of previous Kingdom Hearts games to fit right in.
The Disney theme is still incorporated, providing a fun and challenging platform environment for exploration. The game itself is pretty good in changing things up so that you do not have to do the same boring thing in every single chapter. As you level up, you gain more actions and combos to help fight tougher enemies as the game progresses. It just goes to show that Square Enix has applied their patented RPG formula into this title perfectly.
This does go on to reveal some minor inconveniences brought on by the DS’ limitations as slowdowns do tend to occur at some parts of the game. Also, spellcasting may drag you down a bit during battles, but RPG veterans should be used to that already. The biggest flaw has got to be the camera, which should be tolerable once the player gets a hang of the controls.
With the challenging missions and additional multiplayer capabilities, this game is a must-play for the NDS. Whether you are a Kingdom Hearts fan or not, having this game in your NDS should be a boost to your collection at any given moment. Its value is pretty good as replayability is assured by its fantastic gameplay dynamics.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com