A Panasonic store in Tokyo, Japan, had demos for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Birth by Sleep and Coded available for the public to play November 2008. Japanese gaming sites Dengeki and Famitsu both were present at the event, and Dengeki has written a very detailed impression report, which you can check out below. Please do not repost without crediting to Heartstation.
DENGEKI ONLINE – On November 12th, an event introducing new mobile phone products was held at Panasonic in Tokyo. Since there were demos of the three new Kingdom Hearts titles exhibited at the event, here are the impression reports.
The three RPG titles were exhibited at the event: Kingdom Hearts Coded beginning service in spring 2009, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (Three Five Eight Over Two Days) releasing February 2009 for the Nintendo DS, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep releasing 2009 for PSP. Out of them, Coded will come preinstalled on the “docomo PRIME series P-01A” (below, P-01A) releasing this November from NTT DoCoMo.
KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 DAYS
Along with the 14th member of Organization XIII who didn’t appear in Kingdom Hearts II, this title draws around the times of Roxas in Organization XIII. The main character is Roxas, and in this demo version you could choose from the stories of him being accompanied by Axel, by Xaldin, or by Xigbar. Because of the impressive scene where the characters sit on top of the clock tower staring at the stetting sun together as shown on the official website, I chose to go along with Axel. Here’s the report.
As for the story, a scene is shown displaying that Roxas is still a beginner in this mission, and Axel is coming along to help protect him. The controls go like: Decide/Examine with the A button, Jump with B, change menu options with X, use Reflect Guard with Y, and Dodge Roll with the control pad. After all, you basically press the A button to play, it’s the same user friendly specifications of a Kingdom Hearts game.
During the battles, I approached the target enemies and selected Attack, Attack, Attack… the basic combos. For difficult enemies, I’d select Magic and use attacks like Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder and then recover HP from a Potion in the Item command. Because the number of times you can use a Magic attack is limited, you have to use them carefully. By the time I got to the last boss round, I was out of Magic attacks…
By the way, the Magic and Item commands can be registered in the short cut menu. Just hold L and press your option (A, B, X, or Y) to exercise it.
In addition, the map is full of tricks, so you must use jump as well as your head to proceed through the action and puzzle oriented levels. So even though it’s on the Nintendo DS, the game style has not changed. Coded is similar, the Kingdom Hearts qualities are recognizable everywhere. For people who’ve played the past series, it wouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to become familar with them.
But it’s also easy for a beginner to play the Kingdom Hearts style too. It’s only hard if you don’t make full use of the action techniques and Magic commands when fighting a boss enemy. I had to fight against a Guard Armor, an enemy with superior defense as its name implies. Even if I attack it, it leaves no open space for me to inflict damage. But if I use Reflect Guard when it attacks me, it’s posture breaks and leaves a chance for attack. Thats how I defeated it with the help of Axel. Thank you Axel! I would have been defeated if I had fought it alone!
After the boss battle, Axel says he’ll give Roxas an award and the two head to the top of the clock tower. The two of them sit eating ice cream and watching the sunset, and the feeling of heartwarming conversations is gone. The stories of Kingdom Hearts are warm but a little heartbreaking, and I think many people like that about it. But even within the limits of the demo version, I don’t feel those connotations were betrayed.