Date Completed: September 24th, 2011
HOLY BORING GAME BAT MAN!!! As a Final Fantasy collector and Disney fan I was compelled to pick this game up shortly after launch but I did not finish it until now, over two years later. I’ve been playing it off and on since 2009 but the game is so horribly boring that I only played it when I didn’t have any other options. Sometimes when I did have other options I chose to sit alone in the dark and cry rather than play this game. I finally got far enough into the game that I was able to power through the ending so that I could retire the title. That joyous day has finally come.
Kingdom Hearts 358 / 2 Days starts off with a series of tutorials designed to make the player hate the game. Each of the tutorials is a mission that the player must embark on. These missions can not be skipped and all teach your completely trivial actions (such as how to jump, how to move) that you could find out in a matter of seconds by mashing buttons or reading the manual (I know, no one does that). After wasting several hours going through tutorials you can finally start on the real missions of the game.
The game is entirely mission driven. You choose a mission from a menu and then you are sent to one of the Kingdom Hearts worlds to fulfill some objective. You may be killing a certain number of enemies, breaking pots, exploring, whatever. You don’t have full access to the worlds you visit during the missions. Areas that are not relevant to your current mission are blocked off so there is no open exploration. After completing your mission you ‘RTC’ or ‘Return to the Castle’.
Between missions you can save and change equipment. Changing equipment involves you putting equipment panels on your panel grid. As you progress through the missions you unlock additional spots for the panel grid. You are required to update the panel grid to get access to abilities as well as level up. Your level is calculated based on the number of ‘level up’ panels you’ve positioned on your panel grid. To make things even more fun you can link certain panels together to increase their power. You can create and save multiple configuration of panels to take with you in the missions but since you have to update your panels after each mission I never bothered to do this. I found the panel system to be unnecessary busy work and I avoided using it any more than I had to.
Camera control is predictably awful. You can lock on to enemies but the camera never seems to be facing the enemy you’re locked on to. Worse, once you get locked on you can never look at anything else. If you’re not locked on to something your chances of hitting it in battle are pretty slim. Combat missions were always miserable time.
You can only save between missions and there is no quick-save feature. Often there are cut-scenes or other dialog heavy interactions between missions or during missions that can extend your game play time beyond what you intended on spending. After getting 20 minutes into a mission with no end in sight I often had to make the choice – Force myself to complete the mission or put the game on the shelf for another three months when I can bear to go through all of this again. More often than not not I chose to quit playing the game.
So, what about the selling point of the Kingdom Hearts series? Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters all mixed together? There are no Final Fantasy characters that I can remember and the Disney characters only appear in passing. You won’t be interacting with them much at all. LAME.
Not only do I hate this game, but this game has burned me out on the Kingdom Hearts series completely. I still have two more games in the series backlogged and I have no desire whatsoever to start on them at all.
* Boring game play mechanics
* No exploration
* Panel System
* Camera Control
* Awful Story
* No Quick-Save