E3 Impression

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days


Emanuel Merino

Yes, the combat really is that flashy.

After reading Paws' impressions, it became obvious that I know next to nothing about the Kingdom Hearts series. Rox who? 358 by what? To be honest, the only reason I played this game was because I was in Nintendo's booth and saw an open station, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I was actually glad I did, and I was pleasantly surprised by a game I probably would never have given a chance otherwise.

When I loaded up the game, I had a choice between two levels: Twilight Town and Agrabah. I chose to give Twilight Town a shot first. My yellow-haired character, which I am assuming is Roxas, felt pretty easy to control. It felt really smooth rolling to dodge attacks, locking on to enemies, and tapping on A to unleash a 3-hit combo. My red haired AI partner and I fought a few enemies in Twilight Town, and he did a good job holding his own. One little touch I liked was the fact that I could either re-center the camera with the R-button or use the touch screen like an analog stick to scope out the impressive scenery. It has to be said that this DS game looks good. I was a fan of FFCC: Ring of Fates on the DS, and this easily beats it. The hand-drawn character portraits for each talking character were also a nice touch. Once I had my fill of Twilight Town, I had the nearest PR guy reset the game for me so I could give Agrabah a chance.

I have no clue who these people are, but at least the game is a load of fun.

Now this is where the game got really interesting for me. I found myself alone this time in a familiar Agrabah from Disney's Aladdin. I now had access to four magic attacks, the standard elemental spells, which I could easily access through an L-button short cut. I also had access to a three times air dash that allowed me to quickly dash across the screen by hitting the jump button again while in the air three times in a row. I also had a new and effective combo. After the standard 3-hit combo that I mentioned above, a little Y-button symbol appeared over the enemy's head. After tapping that, I was able to unleash an impressive spinning attack that quickly finished off the fire-breathing enemy. I mention the fire-breathing enemy because before I entered the level, I was given the warning that careful blocking could be a lifesaver and indeed it was. I was able to ward off all incoming magic fireball attacks with a quick tap of the block button. The thing that stands out to me most about this game has to be that it feels automatic enough to make up for it being on a handheld system. With fun, smooth combat, pretty visuals, and like Paws mentioned before, an intriguing story, Kingdom Hearts fans and novices like me are in for a real treat when this drops into our territory.

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